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October 13, 2017

False Accusations of Child Abuse

Filed under: Family Law — Chuck @ 7:45 am

I’ve seen an increase in false accusation of sexual abuse of a child in custody battles. Whether the reports are knowingly false, unknowingly false, the result of paranoia, etc. is of little import. The matter may be devastating. Read this the Family Defense Center’s manual.

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October 9, 2017

Preparing for a Divorce

Filed under: Family Law — Chuck @ 7:30 am

Several potential clients have come to me wholly unprepared for the realities of divorcing. Below is an excerpt of a part of my website:

There are steps you should take to be prepared if you see a divorce coming. The following list is far from comprehensive – but if you complete these tasks, you will be ahead of the game:

  • Make Personal Notes: You are sure that you will remember all that you need to when the time comes – but under the stress of an actual divorce, memory flees. Make sure you write about specific incidents and patterns of any kind of abuse, etc.  Note your contribution even if not monetary. Contributions of a homemaker, parent, household administrator, etc. are all important even if they did not directly contribute to the family’s finances. Also keep good notes concerning any financial contributions you have made to the family. The more information – the better.
  • Collect Documents: Marriage is a life partnership, but it is just as much an economic partnership. You should collect copies of all records affecting the finances of the family. Try to obtain copies of any: bank statements, credit card statements, mutual fund and other portfolios, brokerage account statements, mortgages, mortgage applications, tax returns, pensions and retirement fund documents, insurance policies, wills, receipts and warranties for significant items, loan applications, legal documents, financial documents medical records, and employee benefit books and records.  Credit card records can be extremely important if you think your spouse is not declaring all of his or her income.
  • Rainy Day Fund: You need to start setting aside money. When you leave a marriage and establish a new home, you may well need a significant amount of cash for deposits, etc. You will also need money to pay your lawyer and other fees associated with your divorce. Money has a tendency to disappear from joint accounts. Therefore, don’t save money in a joint account, but establish a new account for yourself and make sure that your spouse does not have access to it. It can be a good idea to make this new account joint with someone you trust. Maintain good records concerning money that goes in and out of this account, and if you can, take out new credit cards in your name only.
  • Get a Lawyer: Even before you have decided to divorce your spouse, you need to find a good lawyer to give you advice. Make sure you feel comfortable with the lawyer, and that the lawyer is sensitive to your needs. Your lawyer needs to communicate with you in a clear and understandable manner, and must not be so busy, or self important, that he or she does not listen to you as an individual. Trying to find a lawyer that does a lot of divorce work is also a good idea. Although your family lawyer may well be able to do a good job for you, if you use a lawyer that works in divorce and family work, you are much more likely to receive good advice. Before you actually file, get a written contract, and make sure you understand it. Don’t feel that you cannot ask your lawyer to change items in the contract. Finally, be sure that your lawyer understands that you want to make the final decisions in your case, and before you sign anything, make sure you read it carefully. Under no circumstances should you use the same lawyer as your spouse.
  • Make Financial Notes: Your notes concerning the family’s finances, lists of assets, debts, income, and expenses are important for your lawyer. Tracking assets such as IRAs, property, insurance policies, degrees and licenses, other kinds of investments, real estate are all important.
  • Keep a listing of passwords and safety deposit box numbers. Debts are also important: keep lists of any money owed to other parties such as credit cards, auto loans, promissory notes, unpaid taxes, student loans, home equity loans and other like debts. Keep track of income from such common sources as salaries, etc. but also from business distributions, rental payments, interest, capital gains, etc.

October 5, 2017

Women Drivers – about time!

Filed under: Family Law,Other Law I want to pontificate about — Chuck @ 7:19 am

Your culture does not need to be the same as my culture – but c’mon:

Saudi women drivers

October 3, 2017

OK – wwhhaatt! Mississippi once again tries to screw LGBTQ (and just about everybody else who screws) people!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chuck @ 6:29 pm

I am sorry but seeing the competition between Mississippi and Alabama to go ever lower is getting tiring.

Appeal of Mississippi misogynist law!

Employers are Responsible

Filed under: Employment Law — Chuck @ 7:30 am

This case has been decided for quite some time now (although its only yesterday in “law time”), but the Seventh Circuit case of ANICICH v. HOME DEPOT came to mind after a potential client spoke to me. The Federal Court applied Illinois law: specifically ” Illinois law permits recovery from employers whose negligent hiring, supervision, or retention of their employees causes injury.” Unusual about this case is that the wrongful act of the bad employee took place away from the premises of the employer.

The Federal Court of Appeals found that the employer (actually joint employers) had a duty to protect its employee from the criminal acts of a supervisor, even away from the workplace. The supervisor in question had a history of sexually harassing employees and was ordered by the employer to take anger management classes. This requirement was never enforced. Nor did the employer remove supervisor of his supervisory responsibilities.

He then allegedly threatened the employee with firing or a reduction of hours if she refused to go with him on a non-business trip.  The employee agreed – and was  murdered and then raped when she refused to have a sexual relationship with him.

Ruling (by overruling the trial court’s dismissal of the case) in favor of the heirs of the employee, the Seventh Circuit said that it was quite clear that all employers have a duty to act reasonably in the hiring, supervising and retaining of employees. If they do not “act reasonably in the hiring, supervising and retaining of employees”, they may be liable to the employee effected by acts of the other employee – especially supervisory employees.

Although the opinion is very technical, the overarching message for employers is that they cannot ignore the safety of their employees when they have reason to know that other employees present a danger.

September 21, 2017

Employee Misclassification in Illinois

Filed under: Employment Law,Wage & Hour Law — Chuck @ 4:43 pm

A friend of mine, who is a building contractor in North Carolina, noted that a new employee misclassification law was coming into effect out there. While I declined to give him advice (even free) about another state’s law, the inquiry made me look again at the misclassification law in Illinois.

Per 820 ILCS 185/10, in Illinois any individual performing services for a building (or related) contractor is assumed to be an employee unless:

  • the individual is and will be free from virtually any control or direction over the individual’s work; AND,
  • the work performed by the individual is outside the usual course of services performed by the contractor; AND,
  • the individual is engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business; or the individual is legitimate sole proprietor or partnership (long list of tests in Sec C).

The law has been effect for a long time but it still is violated daily. Employees – stand up for yourselves. Employers – do it right!

September 15, 2017

Religious Accommodation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chuck @ 7:39 am

Ya gotta and shoulda accommodate.

Here is a good list of things to keep in mind:

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September 5, 2017

Posner Retiring

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chuck @ 9:03 am

Judge Richard Posner is retiring from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. He will be missed by many. He has always been entertaining. Usually the smartest person in the room, Judge Posner suffered of knowing it. Although more conservative than I would prefer, Judge Posner was not political, and no prisoner to conservative orthodoxy. Lets hope his replacement is half the judge he is.

September 2, 2017

Ruining it for the Rest of the Police

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chuck @ 1:31 pm

My police friends often wonder why the general public increasingly disrespects them. This is among the reasons:

Nurse Arrested by Police Ignoring the Law

I don’t practice criminal law at all, but I’ve known for some time that the police cannot generally draw blood without a warrant. Certainly a trained police phlebotomist (and his Lt.) had to know.

When police officers blatantly ignore the law and abuse their powers of arrest,  how can they expect the public to respect them  – and their fellow officers who do at least try to follow the law?

Bad apples need to be thrown away before they spoil the whole barrel. The honest and hardworking police don’t deserve to have their lives made harder by the bad ones.

August 24, 2017

Students are Not, generally, Employees

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chuck @ 7:30 am

Although the analysis is important, and not legally self-evident, I am not surprised that cosmetology students who work in school salons as part of their training are not employees.

See, http://www.wageandhourlawupdate.com/2017/08/articles/wage-and-hour/hair-today-gone-tomorrow-seventh-circuit-rejects-claim-that-cosmetology-trainees-were-employees/

 

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