The Inner Workings of a Law Firm

Filing An Income Tax Return After Becoming A Permanent Resident

Immigrants to the U.S. may have a physical presence in the country before becoming a lawful permanent resident. For the calendar year in which permanent residency status is obtained, the income tax return for a new immigrant reports income differently for the periods before and after becoming a permanent resident. For income tax purposes, a permanent resident with a green card is taxed in a manner somewhat similar to that of a U.S. citizen. Beginning on the first day of permanent residency, all worldwide income becomes taxable. In contrast, a non-permanent resident alien without a green card is taxed only on U.S. sources of income. Form 1040NR and Form 1040 A non-permanent resident alien normally files IRS Form 1040NR to report U.S. sources of income. If you have a presence in the U.S. before becoming a permanent resident, your tax status in the year of transition is referred to as that of a dual-status resident. For that year, you may file a regular Form 1040 to report your taxable income for the entire portion of the year in which you resided in the U.S. As a dual-status resident, your filed Form 1040 may include a Form 1040NR attached as a supporting schedule. Any tax due on Form 1040NR is entered on a designated line on Form 1040. The remainder of Form 1040 is completed for your period of permanent residency. To mark the status of the return, IRS instructions advise to write “Dual Status Resident” across the top of the form. Tax deductions Different tax deductions are allowable during permanent residency than for a period of non-permanent residency. You... read more

What You Need To Know About Foreign Adoptions

Adopting a baby from another country can require a few extra steps beyond what’s required for U.S adoptions. Every country has their own standards for the adoptive parents to meet, and some of the rules and requirements can be strange and confusing. Most countries, however, want adoptive parents who can provide a stable and healthy home for the child, something most families are well-prepared to provide. However, once the adoptive country has given you the go-ahead to bring your precious new family member back to the United States, there are a few more legal hurdles to overcome. Read on to learn more about the Visa requirements for foreign adoptions. Immigration Visas You child must have a Visa to enter the United States, and the type of Visa issued depends on the country that the child is coming from and where the adoption proceedings were completed. You will be issued an IR-3 if your child is coming from a non-Hague Convention country, or an IH-3 for Hague Convention countries, if the adoptions proceedings were completed prior to leaving those countries. These types of Visas will enable your child to become a United States citizen upon entrance to the country (at the border crossing or once you clear customs at the airport). An official document will follow a few weeks later, allowing you to apply for a birth certificate. For those parents who complete the final steps of the adoption process here in the U.S., an IH-4 is issued for those children coming from Hague Convention countries and an IR-4 for non-Hague Convention countries. These types of Visas require that you complete... read more

4 Ways To Get More Money Out Of Your Auto Accident Claim

Auto accident claims are important to follow through on, especially if you have been injured or your vehicle has been badly damaged. This will ensure that you receive proper compensation for the accident that was caused by another party. Here are four ways to ensure that you get the most money possible out of your claim: Explain All Pain to Your Doctor: All the pain that you are experiencing needs to be reported to your doctor. This will ensure that they are taking thorough notes on your injuries and providing you with proper treatments that will be covered by insurance later on in your case most likely. If you aren’t reporting even the slightest of pain that you are experiencing, then your doctor’s notes won’t be as thorough and it will be more difficult for them to take the stand for you if you proceed to court for your claim.  Listen to Your Doctor: If your doctor prescribe you a specific type of medication or asks you to visit other specialists for certain injuries that you have sustained, it’s important that you follow through. If you do not follow through on listening to your doctor, then you won’t be seen as having as bad of injuries as you claim. The judge won’t take you as seriously and neither will the insurance company providing you with your compensation.  ‚ÄčTake Pictures: Immediately after the accident, you should take pictures of your injuries if you can, as well as damages to your vehicle. By doing this, you are providing further evidence to be used to help you settle your claim, especially if you must go... read more

Three Things To Note About Frozen Embryo Adoption

What do you do if you can’t have a biological baby, especially if fertilization cannot take place in your body, but you still want a child? One of the options is to adopt an embryo to be implanted in your womb. Here are four things to note about the process: It’s a Byproduct of the IVF Process The first thing to note is that embryo donation is only possible because of in vitro fertilization (IVF). There is no other fertilization process that results in embryos that can be donated to other people. In short, the donated embryos are a byproduct of the IVF process. IVF is a process in which eggs and sperm are harvested from respective donors and then mixed and allowed to fertilize in a laboratory setting. The fertilized cell (embryo) is then inserted into a healthy woman’s womb. In many cases, however, the process results in multiple embryos. It is the extra embryos that the biological parents can donate to you if you don’t have the ability to conceive. The Adoption Process is Inexpensive Compared to IVF Adopting an embryo will set you back anything from $2,500-$4,000. The average cost of IVF, however, is $12,400. This is mainly because, in the case of the embryo adoption, you don’t pay anything to the donor. Rather, all you do is reimburse the donor for all expenses incurred in the donation process. Such expenses include things like blood tests, legal fees, and agency fees, among others. The Relevant Laws Tend To Be State Specific Most legal issues surrounding frozen embryo adoption are decided by the state laws; federal laws do not apply. Some... read more

3 Reasons To Hire A Lawyer For A Workers Compensation Case

Workers compensation is designed to protect the employee from loss of income should they be injured on the job. As such, filing a claim is often imperative when a workplace injury occurs. Yet, when filing a claim its hard to determine if you need a lawyer or not. Indeed, while minor injuries or injuries that your employer recognize as happening on the job might not need a lawyer, there are always some circumstances in which hiring one is in your best interest. Your Employer Is Dodging Your Claim Workers compensation settlements are often expensive affairs for businesses, which tends to lead them to trying to avoid paying out whenever possible. Usually, this is on the hopes that the injured employee will fail to appeal the claim in court. If you’re like a great deal of Americans, you might lose hope when this happens since you might think you can’t afford a lawyer. Yet, one thing to know about workers compensation lawyers is that their services are generally free up front until the settlement is made. This means they will fight hard for your case for both you and them to get paid. So, if your employer is hassling you by trying to bury your claim, you can almost always get some sort of settlement by lawyering up.  Punitive Action Is Taken Against You When You File A Claim As a worker, it is your right to file a claim in the event of an injury. So, under absolutely no circumstances should your employer ever take any sort of punishing measure for you doing as such. If your employer engages in... read more

Filing for Bankruptcy? A Few Things a Lawyer Can Probably Do Better Than You

If you’re considering bankruptcy, then you may thinking about whether or not you need to hire a professional lawyer for assistance. While it is true that you can file your bankruptcy on your own, you could end up biting off a lot more than you can truly chew. Therefore, it is best to weigh the pros and cons now. Here are five things that an attorney knowledgeable in bankruptcy can do for you better than you can do for yourself. 1. A Lawyer Will Know When Bankruptcy Is the Best Option and When It Isn’t For many individuals who find themselves in serious debt, they think that bankruptcy is the only possible solution. However, this is not necessary true. For one, not all debt can be discharged in personal bankruptcy. Some debts that cannot be cancelled include taxes, child support, and student loans. Therefore, if your primary reason for filing for bankruptcy is because of one of these debts that cannot be eliminated, then an alternative solution with fewer long-term penalties will most likely be more beneficial to you. A lawyer will be able to thoroughly evaluate your situation and help determine the best course of action. 2. A Lawyer Can Accurately Identify the Most Appropriate Type of Bankruptcy For personal bankruptcy, there are two options: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Choosing the right one can be intimidating and difficult if you aren’t sure of the differences. Ultimately, the one that is chosen will greatly depend on a number of factors, such as your primary end-goals, financial situation, and the types of debts that you want to discharge. A... read more

When A Deer Causes A Car Accident, The State Or Local Government May Be At Fault

Reports of cars crashing into deer on lonely stretches of highway are common. The impact of the collision could result in serious injuries. This is why state and local governments have to take necessary steps to reduce the risks deer pose to drivers. Failure to cut down on deer crossing risks could leave these government entities open to civil damages. Post Signs in an Effective Manner Probably the most basic and necessary step for a local municipality to take is to post a “Deer Crossing” sign on the highway. Merely posting a single sign, however, is not going to be sufficient to free the locality from liability. The display of any signs has to be adequate enough to reduce the potential for car and deer collisions. An auto accident attorney could ask a jury “If a single sign was posted on a particular stretch of highway and then no sign was posted for another five miles, is this truly adequate?” What if accidents between cars and deer had occurred several times at areas in between the placement of the first and second sign? The municipality could have placed additional signs in case the first sign was missed or had a driver assumed the absence of signs for three or four miles inferred no more deer-related driving hazards existed.  Other responsibilities associated with proper sign placement include: Ensuring the signs are able to be read at the speed in which cars travel. Removing and replacing damaged signs. Clearing away obstructions to the signs such as vines or tree branches. Again, posting a sign does not free a municipality of liability.... read more

Answering Common Questions About Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit

There are few things that are more painful than losing someone you love, and this pain can be amplified when their death was the result of another person’s negligence. While wrongful death lawsuits are designed to give these individuals the justice they deserve, it is important to note that there are a couple of questions that you may have about collecting these damages. Understanding the impact of the deceased’s employment status and how incurred debts are handled will help you make this stressful time in your life go more smoothly. If Your Loved One Was Unemployed, Will That Impact Your Claim? A major concern for many people is how the economic status of their loved one will play into determining the amount of compensation to be given. This is particularly common for instances where the deceased was unemployed for an extended period of time. However, it should be noted that a person’s economic contributions are not the only factors that the courts will consider during the proceedings.  There are many ways that your loved one contributed to your life, and it may be possible for you to collect damages for these losses. For example, a stay-at-home wife or husband will provide their spouse with help around the house, companionship, and a host of other benefits. The exact laws governing this will vary from one state to another, and you should consider speaking with a wrongful death attorney to determine what compensation your case may qualify to receive. What If The Expenses Of This Death Force You Into Bankruptcy Before The Case Settles? It is possible for you to incur a... read more

Why Pedestrians Can And Should Sue For Personal Injury

In any city of any size, there’s always the chance that a pedestrian will fall victim to an accident. Cars hit pedestrians, probably more than most people think. However, many of these pedestrians do not pursue personal injury cases. Some may even stand up, brush themselves off, and move on. This is a mistake for many reasons. The Injuries to Pedestrians are Usually More Severe Pedestrians are far more vulnerable than anybody else. They have little to no protection and usually take the full force when a driver strikes them in any way. Because of that, pedestrian injuries are usually far more severe. Sometimes those injuries aren’t immediately apparent. That’s why it’s important for pedestrians to still go through the process of filing a report, seeing a doctor, and speaking to a lawyer, like any other accident victim. There are Laws to Protect Pedestrians There are laws in place specifically to protect pedestrians from motorists. If you’re on foot, on a bike, on a skateboard, or using any other device other than a motor vehicle, you have protections. You have protection against negligence just as you would in any other situation. This is important to remember because you may think that you’re in the wrong. For example, if you’re crossing at an intersection, and a driver turns and strikes you, it’s not your fault. Even if the car had the right to make the turn, it doesn’t excuse the driver from failing to see you. If you stand up and feel fine, you shouldn’t let the driver off the hook. They were still negligent. And even if you feel... read more

The Legal Rights Of Incarcerated Parents

In 2013, 2.7 million minor children in the U.S. had at least one parent in prison, a situation that puts unbearable stress on families. If you or a loved one faces incarceration, understand that being imprisoned does not terminate parental rights. You should consult an attorney well-versed in family law to help you navigate the delicate process of protecting your child while exploring your legal options. Legal Custody Obviously, inmates cannot have physical custody of their children, with the exception of those enrolled in special programs for mothers of newborns. While in prison, you may maintain at least shared legal custody of your offspring. You need to have enough contact with the other parent and your children to contribute in a meaningful way to their upbringing. In many cases, you will be able to have this consistent communication with your children, so your opinions on schooling, religion, and medical matters will still be valuable.  Visitation You will probably retain your rights to reasonable visitation with your kids. Even if you have no custody rights, you are usually granted visitation when authorities deem it in the “best interest of the child.” Prisons are by nature grim, and for some children, visiting their parents may prove to be too stressful, often depending on whether the penal institution is somewhat “child-friendly.” In some instances, children may be excused from any sort of visitation plan.  Termination of Parental Rights You may fear that you will lose custody of your children, and in some cases, you might. When a child has been in foster care for too long, the Adoption and Safe Families Act kicks... read more

About Me

We all know that lawyers are professionals who help people interpret and work with the law, but do you know how a law firm works from the inside out? I am a professional paralegal, and I have worked in both large and small law firms during my career. I can tell you that a successful law firm needs more than just lawyers to keep it running smoothly, and sometimes things can get really crazy! Take a tour through a law firm in my blog, and find out what really goes on behind the scenes of an active and successful law firm.