Immigration, Legal

Made to Feel Alien: Legal Reasons #46

Since the Trump Administration has been in power, I get weekly calls from panicked people asking whether their status could be changed or taken away.  There also appears to be a push by agencies to deny extensions or ask more questions in regards to reasons why certain visa holders wish to stay.

The ones most fearful are the ones out of status, or here illegally. With daily news on a purported wall and higher change of raids, it is hard not to wonder what can happen. It is important to get the most information you can from someone who knows immigration law rather than just listening to news, or a non legal source.

Each matter is unique and even if it appears that one’s situation is similar to someone they know or know of, it is always best to get professional help. Most attorneys do not charge for an initial consult or a very low-cost. Regardless, it is always to best to get that peace of mind because there is nothing worse than feeling like an alien in a country that has always been open to immigration.

employment law, family law, Immigration, Legal

It’s Just A Phone Call, Just Charge Me For That: Legal Reasons#45

I often get calls from prospective clients who just want “quick advice” or “send an email” or “make just one call” as their attorney.  They often balk when I mention my retainer and hourly rate. Rarely do people realize that as soon as I become their legal representative, a whole host of ethical, legal and practical duties come into play.

It is the very rare case where only one email, letter or phone call is required.  Besides, most attorneys need to know all the facts, research the law (if uncertain) and really understand what the client desires and the possible outcomes before shooting off an email or a call.

In this new age of fast responses, and ease of technology, it is even more so difficult to agree that it will be just one email, phone call or appearance. And as my favorite cousin likes to say, ‘ when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

employment law, Legal

An Employee Just Threatened To Sue Me For A Missed Lunch! Legal Reasons #44

As Employers in California know, we are in a state with a tons of protections for employees especially in the area of wage and hour, meal and rest breaks. I often get calls from harried employers who, it seems, regularly get threatened with lawsuits by disgruntled employees. The reality is that while it is the attempt of most employers to ensure their employees get proper rest and meal breaks, call outs, scheduling conflicts and customer flow can interrupt those breaks.

Sometimes, it is also due to an untrained supervisor improperly scheduling meals and rest periods.  While it is understandable that some employees may feel that they can sue (my law professor  said, you can always sue, but will you recover, is the real question), they may be unaware that if they are receiving a one hour penalty for miss meals and breaks, their claim is significantly reduced or eliminated.

Moreover, an employer may consider offering a wage settlement if there are consecutive missed time periods. My point is that do not assume the worst if an employee threatens a lawsuit, always consult with counsel to ascertain if there is a legitimate claim or not.

Legal, personal injury

I Just Hit and Ran!: Legal Reasons #43

There are times when we can panic and make mistakes that seem unfixable.The reality is that although some actions are repair, a hit and run MAY be possible to overcome.  It’s a crime in California to leave the scene after being involved in or causing an accident. Any driver who does so can be charged with misdemeanor or a felony hit-and-run. The severity of the charges depends on whether the accident involved property damage, bodily injury, or death.

A driver can be charged with hit-and-run after leaving the scene of an injury accident even if he or she wasn’t at fault. California law requires every driver who causes or is involved in an accident to stop and exchange information. Hit-and-run is an extremely serious charge, even if the accident involves only property damage. If the crash results in a hit and run causing death or serious injury, the driver faces severe consequences that can include prison time.

A driver convicted of hit-and-run with injury in California faces repercussions that may include heavy fines, a driver’s license suspension, probation, and possibly even seizure of the driver’s vehicle and jail time. If someone other than the driver suffers serious permanent injury, a convicted hit-and-run driver faces up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

So no matter what, I always advise to pick up that phone and call a professional who

Immigration, Legal

Know Your Rights: Legal Reasons #42

With the advent of a new administration, there has been increasing tension from certain sectors of the population who are not naturalized or U.S citizens. I have fielded numerous panicked calls from students, tourists and in process applicants who are afraid of being accosted by authorities. Here are some things one should be aware of in the following situations: Rights-No-Matter-Who-Is-Pres-2016-11-10, also if its work related then know this: Work, and if you are in public, then this: Public.

Regardless of your status, know that you have rights and use your common sense in answering or not answering questions. You can always choose to remain silent and ask if you are being detained or if there is a warrant. Remember, stay calm. And know there is always help out there.

Legal

You Want To Charge Me For What???!! Legal Reasons #41

I admit it. Telling potential clients by starting retainer often causes sticker shock for someone as most of the time people assume a smaller number or assume they will be billed hourly. The reality is that once matters get to an attorney, a lot of information and procedures come into play.

“But it’s just a simple matter. You just have to read a page,” The reality is that we have to follow a set of ethics. I am not a proof reader. Each line has to be read and understood what the long-term effects or consequences could be. It is never as simple as just reading a document, but evaluation for the client the potential risks, conflicts and omissions. So while some can think they are being overcharged, the reality is that they are buying peace of mind and security.

What is your value for those?