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Appealing a Judgment – Is it Possible?

The short answer to this question is “yes”. However, an appeal isn’t that cut and dry. Read on to find out more about how appeals work and to see if one can work for you…

Criminal & Civil Appeals Lawyer

Firstly, here are a few things to know about appeals:

  • You may not be able to appeal your judgment simply because you are unhappy with it. There must be legal grounds on which to base your appeal…
  • You must adhere to specific court rules according to Florida’s appellate procedure
  • Appeals are not trials and they are not meant to give you a second chance to re-argue the facts of your case.
  • The court you appeal to, called the appellate court, does not serve as a jury.

 What is a Final Judgment and Why Does it Matter?

Generally, the court must issue a final judgment before you can appeal the order. There are some instances where you can appeal a court ruling rendered in the middle of a case, but let’s focus on appeals for final judgments. A final judgment is reached at the end of your civil or criminal case. Once a final judgment has been entered, then you may appeal the order.

The Drop Dead Deadlines…

There are very specific deadlines you must adhere to if you decide to appeal your judgment. No, you won’t really drop dead but they are super important. Therefore, it is very beneficial to hire an attorney who has experience with appeals. This may be the attorney who handled your original case, or you may seek to hire a civil appeals lawyer who specializes in appeals.

Whomever you decide to work with, it is crucial that you speak with an attorney as soon as you receive notice of your final judgment as the clock starts ticking right away.

Reasons for Appeal

Criminal Appeals – If you are convicted of a crime in one of Florida’s circuit courts, you can file a direct appeal of your conviction (and sentence) to the appropriate District Court of Appeal. In order to determine which is the correct court, speak to criminal appeals lawyer immediately!

But keep in mind that if you pled no contest or guilty to the charges against you—and you have been convicted/sentenced based on that plea—then your grounds for appeal are very limited and narrow.

Civil Appeals – You may also appeal a final judgment reached in your civil case, such as a personal injury action. Again, once the lower court – likely the circuit court – issues a final judgment in your case, then you may appeal the judgment to the appropriate District Court of Appeal.

Meet an Experienced Criminal and Civil Appeals Lawyer

Given the very specific process you must follow in filing an appeal, it is definitely recommended that you contact an attorney who has experience in appellate procedure. If you fail to timely appeal your judgment correctly, you may have waived your rights to do so.

Don’t risk what may be your only chance for an appeal. Work with a criminal and civil appeals lawyer today.

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6 Reasons You Should Hire a Business Litigation Lawyer

There are many reasons to start your own business. It is both an exciting and scary time. While you really want to focus on further developing your products and/or services, and growing your business, you may encounter some legal setbacks along the way. In fact, there are many legal considerations you should be aware of when starting out on your adventure. One of the questions you should ask yourself is: “What happens if you get sued?

Business Litigation Attorney

 

If you find that your business is being sued or is in the middle of a dispute, here are some reasons why you should hire a business litigation attorney.

1. Correct Formation

When you start a business, it must have a legal structure. This means it could be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an LLC, or a corporation. A business litigation lawyer can work with you to ensure that your business is legally operating under the correct formation type and assist in protecting your rights under that particular formation.

2. Review Agreements

While it might be a great idea to partner or team up with another individual to run and operate your business, remember that there are a number of legal implications and considerations that go along with this decision. A business litigation attorney can help you draft those agreements and put them into motion to ensure that both your interests are protected in the event of a dispute or breach of contract.

3. Control Contracts

As a business owner, you know you need a contract for pretty much anyone you do business with, from partners, other organizations, vendors and suppliers, service agreements, and even employees. A business litigation attorney can help businesses with legal disputes surrounding contracts. In fact, the Court will often require that legally binding contracts between entities be drafted by an attorney.

4. Free from Fraud

We hear about fraud on a daily basis. From healthcare fraud to insurance fraud to consumer identity theft, fraud is all around us. And businesses are at risk too. A business litigation Lawyer can help your business fight against fraudulent disputes that arise.

5. Regulate Responsibilities

Sometimes in partnerships and in other agreements the break down of roles and responsibilities can get confusing and even lost in translation. A business litigation attorney can help iron out fiduciary duties.

6. Execute Employment

One of the biggest problem areas for businesses is employment. From workers’ compensation claims to employment contracts to employee lawsuits, if an employee files a lawsuit against you, regardless of the reason or cause, a business litigation attorney can help serve and represent you and protect your entity.

Why You Need an Attorney for a Living Will

In a world where many advertisements discuss the benefits of “do it yourself” estate planning, it’s tempting to think that a living will is an easy document you can create on your own. While there are no laws stating that you cannot make a living will yourself, there are several good reasons why you might be better off having a knowledgeable attorney make one for you.

Why You Need an Attorney for a Living Will

What is a Living Will?

A living will might also be referred to as a health care directive. It is not the same thing as a traditional will, where you would outline how you want your property or assets divided among your loved ones.

Instead, a living will explains what kind of medical care, if any, you want to receive if you become incapacitated and are no longer able to make these critical decisions for yourself.

Are You Using the Correct Verbiage?

It is not a good idea to use a generic form for your health care directive. With such important matters on the line with this document, having it be legally inaccurate could cause tension, confusion, and legal issues for your loved ones. The document needs to be properly and clearly written.

Don’t let your family members discover too late that your document is unclear or does not follow the laws of your state. This can lead to serious issues, so make sure that you hire the right estate-planning attorney to help draft your living will.

Are You Making This Big Mistake?

A big mistake is printing a generic living will and assuming that you only need to sign it and file it away in order for things to be complete. Your loved ones might find out down the road that this is not legally valid. You could be jeopardizing your wishes being properly carried out in the future. Sadly, many people never even realize they made a mistake…

Do You Need an Estate-Planning Attorney?

When your loved ones are grappling with your incapacitate, they have enough on their mind. Don’t add to the frustration by forcing them to try and figure out what you wanted. It could lead to fights within your family during an already difficult time. Make sure you consider the benefits of doing the living will right the first time. This means having signatures from witnesses or having it notarized.

The good news is that working with an estate-planning attorney gives you the opportunity to do just that. Then you can rest assured knowing that your document is legally accurate and properly outlines what you actually want.

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How Do Government Regulations Affect Businesses?

Federal, state, and local governments all mandate certain regulations for small businesses. Governments issue regulations related to environmental practices, employee practices, advertising practices, and much more.

Furthermore, government regulations affect how companies structure their businesses, where companies decide to locate, how they classify their employees, and thousands of other things. Some of these regulations stand out and affect employers and their employees more than others.

How Do Government Regulations Affect Businesses

Environmental Regulations

Environmental regulations for companies exist to reduce the negative impacts of manufacturing on the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers federal initiatives passed by Congress.

For example, the EPA has passed many federal bills over the years in order to ensure that businesses have a minimal impact on the environment. One example is the Clean Air Act of 1990, which governs how businesses must do their part in the following:

  • Protect air quality
  • Clean up air pollution
  • Regulate vehicle emissions and smog levels
  • Protect the environment

Another example of federal legislation that applies to businesses is the 1972 Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act. This generally affects businesses that manufacture products, thereby creating waste. The act prohibits businesses from dumping nasty, harmful waste, and other materials into the ocean.

EPA regulations also require companies that dispose of their waste materials into hazardous waste sites to either pay the EPA to cleanup the site or provide their own staff to clean it up.

Also, when businesses seek to build or expand their facilities, they must seek permits from local authorities. Local authorities will ensure that no wetlands or other protected areas will be destroyed as a result of the construction.

Oftentimes, municipalities will grant land, zoning, and building permits in return for some proactive environmental protection promises on behalf of the business. For example, a town may grant a business a permit for a new building but may require the business to plant a certain number of trees and other landscaping in return.

Advertising Regulations

Obviously, marketing a business is crucial to expanding its network. Instead of giving businesses free reign to advertise and market however they wish, the federal government has imposed advertising laws to keep things in check.

Essentially, the goal of the regulations is to help keep businesses honest in their advertising and marketing campaigns. If the government determines that a company has omitted important information or blatantly lied in its advertisements to the public, then the business may be required to pay handsome penalties.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established for a number of reasons, one of which is to enforce businesses’ online advertising. The regulations are specific in preventing consumers’ private information during electronic commerce.

The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act requires that a business not only be truthful in listing the ingredients in products that are consumed by customers, it also requires businesses to all of the ingredients (in a specific order) and the products’ nutritional information. A product’s packaging must follow certain guidelines. Again, any information listed on a product must be truthful and accurate.

Consumers who have been misled by a business’ advertisements and thereafter suffer physical can sue the businesses for their irresponsible ads.

Employment Regulations

Regardless of the “workers” employment status—whether the company chooses to hire independent contractors, freelancers of full time, salaried employees—small business owners must familiarize themselves with employment laws in the state(s) where they conduct business.

Employment regulations cover fair wages and hours, retirement, and health insurance benefits, discrimination in the workplace, and unemployment and workers’ compensation compliance.

Conclusions

There are many more government regulations that affect companies, and it is important that company executives are aware of these regulations so as to effectively conduct business while staying within the limits of the law.

Violating local, state, and/or federal regulations can be severely detrimental to a business and may even lead to bankruptcy. If you require representation in this area, contact us at 561-734-5552.

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How a Business Litigation Attorney Can Help Businesses Take Over the World

If you have ever started a business, then you know that hiring a lawyer is a crucial part of the start-up process.

Business Litigation Attorney Can Help Businesses

Many business litigation attorneys are also called “transaction lawyers.” They specialize areas such as:

  • Contract law
  • Finance
  • Establishing partnerships
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Negotiations
  • Intellectual property
  • Assets and liabilities

However, many transaction lawyers have never seen the inside of a courtroom…

Taking Over the World…

This presents a few different issues. One of the primary roles that business lawyers play is negotiating business deals. The truth is, when businesses are at the beginning stages of their deals, they have plans of world domination and think everything is going to go great—they will never have to deal with court because they will be able to maintain good relationships with their business partners.

The job of a transaction lawyer is to protect their clients in the event their plans for world domination or relationships fall through.

Combating Business Risk: The Benefits of a Business Litigator

By working with a business litigator and an experienced attorney, businesses can take their world domination plans one step further and greatly mitigate their risks. Businesses can greatly benefit from an experienced and aggressive litigator.

Here are some benefits of working with a business litigator:

  • A business litigator serves as a second pair of eyes for reviewing business documents could prove largely beneficial.
  • A business litigator is great to call should your business receive a summons or complaint in your mailbox
  • A business cannot appear in court prose (or fore oneself) and must hire an attorney to appear in court.
  • In-house counsels are often unfamiliar with court procedure and will usually desire to hire a business litigator anyway in the event the company is sued.
  • A business litigator can also help review compliance work from a litigation perspective. This often involves reviewing policies and procedures to strengthen them and make sure that they conform to evidentiary rules.

Call a Business Litigator Today

When it comes to the law, businesses want to minimize risks so they can avoid expensive litigation, and possibly a damaged reputation, that can last for years. In fact, some businesses never recover completely. Don’t let this happen to you.

If you’re a small business, call a business litigator today and find out how they can help protect your business and keep your business strong…so you can really take over the world.

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What is the Probate Process?

When someone is deceased and has final debts, it has to be settled through a legal process known as probate. The property title is also passed on to heirs or beneficiaries of the deceased through probate. There are many disagreements when it comes to probate and its ultimate worth in an estate plan. If you are new to probate, you will find an overview of the process below.

Probate Process

In the Beginning…

The probate process begins in the county where the decease resided at the time of death. Someone will act on behalf of the deceased, but the person must come forward with an original will. This person is typically the one named as executor in the will and is usually someone chosen by the deceased prior to death. If no will exists, then someone must request that the court be the appointed administrator, performing the same function.

Be advised that…More than likely, the executor of the will is an adult child or surviving spouse. If a dispute arises over who should be the administrator, then the court will step in, appointing someone neutral, unbiased and fair. For this person’s service, an hourly payment will be awarded and taken from the estate finances.

Who are the Administrator and Executor? What is the Difference?

The administrator and executor have basically the same legal rights and obligations. Both will become the personal representative of the deceased. The authority of these personal representatives only covers the probate estate. The probate estate is clarified as probate property subject to the rules of the court. Property that is not in the jurisdiction of the court will then be subject to ancillary probate, which means it will be decided in another jurisdiction.

Be aware that…Neither the executor nor administrator has any control over disposed assets outside of probate.

The executor of the will is obligated to file court documents for an Appointment of Executor and Petition for Probate of Will. This can be done with the help of an experienced probate attorney. The court will request a copy of the death certificate in order to proceed.

If There is a Will, there is a Way…

The executor will receive a set date to appear in court before the judge. The will has to be presented and the executor has to ask the court for formal appointment. Once the authenticity of the will is validated, the court will issue a probate order to admit and record the will into court documents, which then becomes public record.

The Fundamental Steps

The basic steps for probate proceedings once the executor or administrator is appointed are as follows:

  • Collect information and inventory of assets
  • Appraise probate assets
  • Pay debts, which includes funeral expenses, taxes, creditors and estate expenses
  • Formally transfer estate property as the will instructors or as the state laws dictate

When all expenses are paid and the waiting period has expired, the remaining amount is shared amongst beneficiaries or heirs.

The probate process can be quite intimidating, challenging, conflicting and controversial. That is why you need a probate attorney to help you get through the process. Contact Feaman Law Firm today to discuss all your options.

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The Best Healthcare Litigation Tips You Will Read This Year

Healthcare litigation is unique because it combines two very complex areas: law and medicine. There are an untold number of laws and regulations that affect hospitals, clinics, and other medical care providers. There are also specific laws that and regulations that govern patients’ rights.

Generally speaking, any case that involves a hospital or medical professional may require healthcare litigation. The need could also arise in medical employment disputes or patient care in and out of the hospital. Many cases are resolved using negotiation and settlement, but some require healthcare litigation in a court of law.

Health Care Litigation

Using a Healthcare Attorney as a Healthcare Professional

A healthcare attorney is helpful for hospitals or other healthcare organizations when they need to deal with:

  • Following regulations like the False Claims Act, confidentially requirements, and Anti-Kickback Statutes
  • Government investigations
  • Contracts and company polices
  • Network disputes
  • Internal compliance investigations
  • Whistle blower statutes and claims
  • Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement appeals

Your attorney will help you comply with the numerous regulations at both the state and federal level. He or she will walk you through compliance requirements and make recommendations.

Your healthcare attorney can also help you create company contracts and policies to avoid litigation. Your healthcare attorney can engage in litigation if needed.

Using a Healthcare Attorney as a Patient

  • Healthcare insurance issues
  • Payment disputes
  • Discrimination in health provider claims
  • Alternative dispute resolution and arbitration
  • HIPAA concerns

Generally, healthcare attorneys do not help with medical mistakes that cause injury; instead, you should consult a medical malpractice attorney.

If you need a healthcare attorney as a patient, you can expect that your attorney will explain the complicated legal and medical rules and regulations involved in a way that you will understand. He will work with your medical care provider to resolve your claim. If a resolution is not available through negation and compromise, then healthcare litigation is an option.

Finding a Healthcare Attorney

Because of the extremely complex nature of healthcare law, there are very few healthcare attorneys compared to other areas of the law. Those that practice in this area spend a great deal of time learning the laws and keeping up with changes in the healthcare industry.

If you have a legal healthcare concern, then it is important to find an attorney that specializes in this area or has worked in this area of the law previously. Attorney Peter M. Feaman has the experience and knowledge that you need for your claim. Call (561) 734-5552 to schedule a consultation today.

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Business Litigation: What is a Deposition?

Business litigation lawyers normally use a deposition of key witnesses as a vital weapon in trial. A highly experienced trial attorney will thoroughly prepare for the deposition. A lawyer representing a client in a deposition needs to make sure that the client is well prepared and knows exactly what is expected of him or her during the entire process.

what is deposition

What is a Deposition?

Witnesses and parties who have never been involved in business litigation may not properly understand what a deposition is or even how significant it is to the absolute success of the lawsuit.

On the other hand, litigation attorneys may be so accustomed to the process of litigation that they fail to clarify exactly what a deposition is to the client.

Who is Present?

A deposition is an opportunity for a party to question a third party witness or another party about matters arising in the lawsuit. A deposition is normally held in a conference room at an attorney’s office. The witness’ attorney, witness, a court reporter and the deposing attorney will be present.

In some cases the deposing party may also be present in the meeting. For vital witnesses the deposition may be videotaped and this means that a videotape technician must also be present. Parties are allowed to attend but not third parties unless the parties involved agree.

The deposing attorney will question the witness during the deposition and it will be the work of the court reporter to transcribe everything that is said. After that, the court reporter will make a transcript of the proceeding.

How Does One Prepare for a Deposition?

For a party the most vital aspect when it comes to preparation is knowing exactly what you need to prove or disprove to start your case. In simple terms, the deponent’s attorney needs to make sure that the deponent properly understands the various elements of the case.

For instance, a business litigation case may involve allegations of a breach of contract. The deponent may be aware of the story of his association with the other party.

Nonetheless, he or she needs to know the legal elements of the claim—that indeed there is a contract, that one of the parties involved breached the contract, and that the other party executed his or her responsibilities under the contract and damage was there.

If the party has assenting defenses, then the deponent should know what those defenses are and the questions that will be asked about them.

It is also vital for a witness at a deposition to be aware of the legal objections, what to do, and when and why they are made. Most objections made by a lawyer in a deposition (law) are objections specially made for the record. This means a judge can review them at a later date.

Nonetheless, a witness has to listen to the objection for a hint to potential problems with the question. For instance, “calls for speculation” refers to the questions that involve a guess such as how you think someone felt, what you think someone else thought, etc.

This could also mean that there are other ways to interpret the question. A witness also has to know that he or she can request the questioner to rephrase the question.

Advice to Deponents

Never take a deposition for granted. Life can indeed get busy sometimes but you should meet with your lawyer before you are deposed to make the deposition. Make sure you review the all the documents presented to you. And more importantly, make sure you know exactly what the case is all about.

Whether you are facing a simple or complex business matter, our business litigation attorneys at the Law Firm of Peter M. Feaman, P.A., will offer you the necessary legal services. Call us today on (561)-734-5552 so we can begin tackling your case.

The Basics of Business Litigation

Owning your own business and being your own boss certainly involves a great sense of responsibility. In addition, understanding the basics of business litigation and also being prepared for possible legal issues should they arise is part of being a successful business owner.

Even though no company looks for legal problems, issues can arise at any time—no matter how careful or diligent an entrepreneur is. And preparation is one way to avoid long-term damages.

business litigation attorney

Professional litigation addresses the challenges and problems unique to the business world. Having a grip on its fundamental lessons can really help any kind of business run more efficiently, and can help a business owner in determining the right time to hire a professional.

Any business owner with a good understanding of business litigation 101 can protect his or her entity from possible legal issues, and hiring a business litigation attorney can help;.

Understanding the Basics of Business Litigation

As a business owner, you know very well that your success greatly depends on the business relationships you build and maintain. Dealing with contract disputes can easily tarnish the good name you have built for your business, and even lead to significant losses.

In line with the National Bar Association (NBA), business litigation is defined as the practice of law in handling legal issues related to challenges and problems arising from commercial and business relationships.

When legal matters arise, most business owners choose to hire a skilled and highly professional attorney to help with these legal issues. A business litigation lawyer will simply assess, handle, and resolve any legal matters before state and federal courts.

Most Common Business Litigation Disputes

Being fully prepared for business litigation issues before they happen is the best way to protect your business from significant legal damages or issues.

The following are some of the common types of business litigation disputes that affect small business owners today:

Partner and shareholder Disputes – For business owners facing potentially damaging repercussions from partnership or shareholder disputes, it is important to involve a professional to come up with an offensive strategy to deal with these disagreements.

Fraud Litigation – This normally involves a single party enticing a partner or another company into a misleading agreement or deal for personal or professional gain.

Insurance Litigation – Legal professionals can easily help business owners with disputes over coverage between the insurers and the insured.

Company Purchases – This includes the legal transfer, sale, or mergers and acquisitions of an entity from one company to another.

Breach of Contract – Business owners are able to get the necessary protection in case a party does not stick to the conditions set forth in their contract.

Franchise Issues – When establishing new brokering agreements, franchisees, etc., many times a business litigation expert will be hired to handle the whole process on behalf of the business owner.

Being Prepared for Potential Litigation Issues

Discussing sensitive legal issues like this can make business owners somewhat uncomfortable. No one enjoys the idea of being in court, or even having to intensify a professional dispute to that level. Nonetheless, understanding the fundamentals can be instrumental in avoiding business legal issues altogether.

It is important to invest time and resources in learning about the various aspects of litigation, and the common types of disputes that tend to affect other business owners. If you are considering expanding or growing your business in any way, then you may want to consider hiring a business litigation attorney.

At the Law Firm of Peter M. Feaman, P.A., we have set up a personalized process that is aimed at getting results. Talk to with our Boca Raton business litigation lawyers who understand these unique situations and challenges.

We can help equip you with the knowledge you need to protect your business. Don’t wait any longer. Call us today at (561) 734-5552 to schedule a consultation.

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5 Tips for Handling HOA Disputes

Homeowners’ associations are becoming more popular as residential developments complete. While they offer numerous advantages to buyers in the area, there will always be a homeowner that wants to complain. The complaint process is necessary and does not have to become a huge legal battle. As long as complaints are addressed appropriately, your HOA can avoid any legal disputes.

HOA Disputes

It is imperative that your HOA has a comprehensive dispute resolution process already in place. This can tell homeowners and HOA board members how to properly handle and address the disputes they receive—and avoid costly hearings.

Five Tips for Handling HOA Complaints

1. Get Complaints in Writing – Verbal complaints are never addressed properly. Then, homeowners do not have an adequate paper trail to prove the complaint. It is best that your HOA require all complaints to be in writing and the individual must identify themselves clearly on the complaint. This not only gives you the necessary information to follow up, but it also ensures the person complaining has a legitimate reason to complain to your HOA.

If an owner wants their identity kept secret, let them know there will be a private investigation and their name will not be published; however, you still need their name for explanations.

2. Host Board Meetings and HOA Forums – Meetings are the best place to collect complaints. Tell owners to bring any complaints to their meeting and give each owner time to discuss theirs out in the open. Just make sure meetings are handled appropriately. It’s important to welcome and encourage conflict, as long as it is managed appropriately to avoid gripe sessions. If they become such, then appoint a board member to serve as the intake person to collect all owner complaints and issues and forward them to the proper committee.

3. Do Not Give One Person Too Much Authority – No matter whom oversees your homeowner’s association, make sure he or she isn’t given too much authority. While it may be a board member, it is easy for someone to let it overtake him or her if they are in charge of everything. As a result, they may start creating more conflicts than they are resolving. You should have an entire board share the authority for determining conflicts and solutions—avoiding a single person to be in charge of the homeowner disputes.

4. Know When Something Needs Board Action – Not all complaints are serious enough to need board action, but sometimes there will be a complaint that should be addressed on the agenda at your next board meeting. These can include complaints about HOA vendors, a particular homeowner dispute, etc. If one person is handling the complaint, make sure he or she documents what has already been done to accept the complaint or any recommendations they have for resolving the issue.

5. Don’t Ignore, but Don’t Accept Every Gripe – There will be some homeowners in your HOA that continue to gripe and complain about everything. While you cannot ignore them, you do not have to be thorough or make a big deal out of every little issue that arises.

For Assistance with Your Housing Committee, Call the Law Offices of Peter M. Feaman

Condo and homeowners’ associations can be difficult to manage, but an attorney can help. When drafting rules and procedures, you should enlist the assistance of a trust attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Peter M. Feaman today for assistance with your homeowner’s association issues. You can schedule a consultation at 561-734-5552.

Related Post : Understanding Contract Disputes and Litigation