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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jam that bankruptcy! The power of a 523 exception.

When the case you are pursuing get's booted by a bankruptcy -- fight back!

Folks, there are few things more frustrating to civil attorneys than watching a great case get all the way to trial stage...and then poof! Bankruptcy is filed by the defendant and the case flops like a fish on dry land.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Appropriate conduct at a deposition.

Am I allowed to pummel and yell at an "opponent" in deposition? If I called a Naval officer a liar, am I in trouble?

Depositions are covered by both local rules, and in Federal procedures, Rule 30 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Specific to this question, Rule 30(d)(3)(A) which reads:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Can support paid to family members count as an IRS deduction?

Does support count as a charitable contribution? A "charitable contribution" must meet the qualifications of the IRS covered under 26 USC §170, specifically 170(c) -- definition of charitable contributions. As a rule of thumb, you need to donate to a corporation that has been qualified as non-profit or tax deductible by IRS regulation. This is not an absolute rule, but rather a good guideline. If you really have nothing to do, feel free to slog through section 170. This section has been known to make seasoned lawyers weep. Or, you can always find a willing tax attorney of CPA who will meet with you to help qualify your contributions.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Admitting evidence when the authenticator can't come to trial

I have a great document I want to admit at trial, but author of the report is not coming to trial. What should I do?

Rather than try to answer this question under local jurisdiction rules, I'll try to tackle this using the Federal Rules of Evidence. For an excellent, searchable summary of the Federal Rules, see LII Rules of Federal Evidence. That should make this answer applicable to most locations. However, always check your local rules for evidence or procedure.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

DUI, OWI and DWI in Virginia and DC. What is the law?

So what is a DUI?

Well...a DUI (driving under the influence) is a criminal offense. Generally, there are two types of alcohol related charges.

DUIDriving under the influenceVaries. However, generally this charge requires proof that the alcohol content in an individual's blood is .08 or higher.VA Code 18.2-266; DC Code 50-2206.11

Friday, July 4, 2014

Avoiding Divorce -- Can I be made to sign something I don't want to?

I don't want a divorce...can I duck it?

Well, maybe. The question is, do you want to spend your life hiding under a rock?

In order for a divorce to be had in Virginia, DC, or Maryland, one of two things must happen (this assumes there is no acceptance of service, or agreement to waive service).

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Why Everyone- Even The Guilty- Deserves To Be Defended

I had an interesting discussion today with a colleague of mine who practices personal injury law. Now this fella is a great attorney, and I have a lot of respect for his approach and his ethics. However, as seems to always be the case when we discuss law issues (I know -- shallow group, we lawyers), he is dumbfounded on how my firm can practice criminal law. More precisely, I was explaining a recent "win" we had on a sexual assault case. This made him angry. After all, didn't we just get a rapist to go free? That's right folks -- we won a complete dismissal of all charges on a class "A" felony count for first degree sexual assault (for those of you not privy to legal jargon, a class "A" is the worse type -- life in prison or the death penalty).

It would be easy to say we do this for the money -- for surely, defense of serious criminal matters is not a cheap proposition. It would be easier to say we do it because, "every person deserves his/her day in court -- and someone has to stand by them."