A Legal Council Guide

3 Tips For Writing A Strong Description Of Your Product When Applying For A Patent

If you have come up with a really great idea, you might be thinking about applying for a patent or discussing a patent acquisition so that you don’t have to worry about anyone else stealing your idea. Doing so can be a smart decision–particularly if you plan on moving forward with your invention–but the process is not as easy as you might think. You will need to file a patent application, and in this application you will need to provide a strong description of your product. These are a few tips that can help you write a good description on your application.

1. Think of the Questions You Might Ask

Since you are the one who has come up with the product, you probably don’t have a lot of questions about it. However, the person who reads your patent application more than likely will. This means that when you are drafting the description part of your application, you will need to think about the questions that you might ask if someone were telling you about the product. Then, make sure that you answer these questions in your description. If necessary, consider talking to friends and family members about your product, and see what types of questions they ask. Then, address those questions in your description.

2. Break it Down

You might feel silly writing things out in simple terms, but when it comes to describing a product that has not been invented yet, this is usually the best way to go. Break things down and oversimplify them as necessary. This will help eliminate questions that someone might have when reading your patent application and will help ensure that you don’t leave anything out. Use a thesaurus during this process to find the most accurate word(s) you’re looking for.

3. Look at Photos for Reference

Even though your product might not have been created yet, there may be photos out there of similar items that can help make it easier for you to describe your idea. Use photos for reference to help you come up with a more thorough description for your product, and consider attaching these photos to your application. These photos can help you construct a patent drawing (required for most applications) when you hire an artist to draw up your plans. If you are a good enough artist, you can create this drawing yourself by doing the following:

  • drawing everything to scale
  • labeling each component with number callouts
  • using the correct paper size and margin size required by your patent office
  • drawing the invention with only black ink

Along with following these tips, it’s a good idea to work with a patent attorney. Then, he or she can look over your patent application and can help ensure that you don’t make any mistakes.

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2 Ways To Present Evidence In Your Custody Case

When marriages come to an end it can be challenging to determine who will retain custody of the children. Many couples find that the matter must be settled in court. If you are in the midst of a custody battle with your soon-to-be ex, it’s important that you understand how you can present evidence to the court supporting your position that you should be awarded custody.

Here are two ways that you can present information to the court on your behalf.

1. Photo Albums

It’s not uncommon for a former spouse to try and convince a judge that their partner doesn’t do anything constructive with the children during his or her time. The quality of the time spent with young ones is something that a court could take into consideration when awarding custody, so being able to prove that the time you spend with your kids is meaningful can be beneficial.

Photo albums documenting vacations, family movie nights, or other activities that you participated in with your children will give a judge visual proof that you are taking your role as a parent seriously. Be sure to ask your lawyer if photo albums can be used as evidence in your custody case.

2. Key Witness Testimony

Custody battles often feature a lot of he-said, she-said arguments, so having the ability to provide outside confirmation of your argument that you would be a better custodial parent can be beneficial when trying to win a custody case in court.

Not everyone makes a good witness, so you must focus your efforts on identifying key witnesses that will have credibility with the court. If your ex is struggling to get your kids to school on time, ask the school secretary or a teacher to testify. If a caseworker was assigned to evaluate your parenting situation, have the caseworker report his or her findings in court.

These key witnesses can provide impartial evidence that the judge will likely take into consideration when determining whether or not you should be awarded custody of your children in the future. Be sure to visit with your divorce attorney to determine which individuals in your children’s lives might be able to provide evidence in court as key witnesses.

Being able to provide proof that you are a good parent can mean the difference between a win and a loss when it comes to custody battles. Ask your attorney how photo albums and key witnesses can be used as evidence on your behalf in the future.

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How Can You Help Prevent Your Elderly Parent From Falling Victim To Wire Fraud?

Although charlatans have been a part of society since the beginning of recorded history, only recently have there been ways for these scam artists to access money or identifying information with the touch of a key — or for an unwitting victim to be able to wire money or make an online transfer without even leaving their home. If you have an elderly parent who lives on his or her own, you may be concerned about the risk that your parent will fall victim to one of these scams. What should you tell your parent to be particularly wary of, and what can you do to protect him or her from becoming a scam victim while still allowing financial independence? Read on about some of the more recent scam tactics, as well as how you can arm your parent with the tools to combat fraud.

What types of wire fraud are most common among seniors?

Unfortunately, due to the slight but natural decline in cognitive abilities in certain parts of the brain that come with age, seniors are especially vulnerable to certain types of scams. One common scam used to target seniors requires the fraudster to do some online research into your family tree or even look at an obituary that lists surviving family members. This person will then take on the name and persona of one of your parent’s children or grandchildren, then set up a dummy email account or call your parent (using a muffled voice) and pretend to be stranded in a far-away city or country and in need of immediate cash to get home. Although some seniors will see right through this scam, those who have grandchildren in college several states away may allow their panic or desire to help override any red flags that may come up.

Another scam your parent may stumble across is the “tax on prize winnings” scam. These are commonly targeted toward all age groups, but involve telling the potential victim that he or she has won a prize but will be required to pay taxes (or sometimes shipping) before it can be mailed out. Of course, once the scam artist receives your parent’s “tax” or “shipping” money, he or she is long gone. 

What can you do to ensure your parent is protected against wire fraud?

It can be worthwhile to review some of the more common types of wire fraud with your parent. Simply knowing that these tactics are out there can encourage your parent to more closely evaluate any requests for money (or at least double check with you or the grandchild’s other parent before sending cash).

You may also want to talk your parent into granting you a durable power of attorney (POA). This legal document can grant you the right to make medical or financial decisions on your parent’s behalf if he or she becomes incapacitated and is unable to make these decisions alone. Although you won’t be able to make decisions for your parent until he or she is incapacitated or agrees to cede control, having this document in place can help you legally step in if you fear for your parent’s financial security.

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Guardian Ad Litem: Burning Questions About This Type Of Family Lawyer And The Answers You Seek Before You Head To Court

When people say, “family lawyer,” it could refer to one of three types of legal counsel. One type of legal counsel this phrase can refer to is a guardian ad litem, or children’s lawyer, who is commonly appointed to represent minor children since children are not allowed in court. You may be assigned a guardian ad litem (GAL) in court if you are about to divorce and have minor children whom you share with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Before you head into court, you may have some burning questions about this type of family lawyer. Here are some common questions and their answers about GALs with which to familiarize yourself before you head into court.

Why Do You Have to Have a GAL?

Most people do not like the idea of an extra lawyer (or other professional) being assigned to their families. If anything, you may feel indignant about the fact that you are not allowed to select your own GAL to represent your children. It is very rare (and often much more costly) to select a GAL for your children, since the courts often want a completely unbiased and objective person in this position, and someone selected solely by you or solely by your ex-spouse represents a possible bias.

Ergo, most courts appoint a GAL for your minor children because your children are not old enough to select their own lawyer or appear in court for themselves. Most counties, cities and states do not allow minors in the courtroom, both because of the children’s ages and because there is a greater possibility for emotional or psychological harm if the parents have a volatile marriage and divorce. In most cases, the GAL is almost always a lawyer, but it may be another trusted professional who works with children.

Who Pays for the GAL and Why?

In most cases, the legal fees charged by the GAL are split between the divorcing parents because both parents are responsible for costs concerning the children. Even if you adamantly reject the court’s offer of a GAL and the services provided by a GAL, you will still have to pay the GAL’s fees. If you cannot afford the fees, you may still be charged at a reduced rate for the GAL’s involvement with your family’s child custody case(s).

You Do Not Like the GAL–Can You Get a Different One?

There is almost always one parent who may not like the GAL assigned to them. There has to be a lot more going on than not liking a person or not liking his or her recommendations for placement of your children. If you find that (once assigned) your GAL is ineffectual, does not represent your children’s best interests adequately, ignores documentation of abuse, or behaves unethically or unprofessionally, then you may request a new GAL. You will have to prove your statements against the GAL, however; the court will not take what you say at face value. Ergo, your own family lawyer that represents your interests in court may be able to help you document any issues you encounter, should there be any.

For more information, contact Watson Law Firm or a similar organization.

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The Blame Game: 3 Reasons Your Employer May Say You’re At Fault For Your Own Injury

When something happens at work and you are left with an injury, you fully expect that your employer will step up to the plate and make sure your medical bills are taken care of and you are covered for your time off of work. However, many employers don’t like to file workers’ compensation claims because it can make their premiums higher. Furthermore, workers comp insurance companies will often try to downplay your injuries to prevent having to pay. Don’t be surprised if your employer tries to somehow claim you are at fault for your injuries on the job. 

They may say you were already injured when you arrived at work. 

One reason why it is important to report an injury as soon as it happens is because it will be less likely that your employer will claim that you were injured on your own time. Say, for example, a heavy box falls on your foot as you are on your way to punch out for the day and you just go on home. If your foot swells overnight and you try to report the incident the next morning, Your employer could say you were injured at home because you were fine when you left. 

Your employer could claim an injury was due to your own misconduct. 

If an employee is injured out of blatant disregard of safety rules, the employer can get out of paying for an injury or paying for the extent of the bills and time from work in some cases. Some employers will use this to their advantage by claiming you were not following safety rules when you were injured on the job. This is one reason why it is crucial that every time you go to work, you follow safety rules and regulations to the letter. This way, if you are injured, there is nothing your employer can hold against you when you file a workers comp claim. 

An employer can use previous injuries to their advantage. 

Even though an injury at work should be covered even if you were previously injured and the injury was exacerbated in an incident, this can mean that your employer will not have to accept full responsibility. Make sure when you go for medical exams after a workers comp claim that you are clear about any previous injuries and how they were or were not affected by the incident on the job. To find out more, speak with someone like Kolker Law Offices.

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Three Topics To Be Sure To Discuss When Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney

Hiring a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney is arguably the most important thing you can do if you’ve been injured and are thinking about pursuing legal action. Having the right person on your side will ensure that your case is strong and that you’ll have the best chance possible of receiving a favorable settlement or verdict. Before you get to this point, however, it’s beneficial to take some time to find the right attorney. Recommendations from people you know and online testimonials can help, but you should also contact some local attorneys to discuss your case. Covering these three topics will help you decide which attorney to hire.

Legal Strategy

Even though you’re not a legal expert, it’s important to ask the attorney about his or her legal strategy so that you know the direction the case will be headed. Once you’ve talked to a few attorneys, you’ll be able to evaluate these strategies to determine which seems the best. The attorney should talk about having you meet with health professionals and investigators right away to document the nature of your injury and learn more about the situation that led up to your accident. He or she should also identify potential shortcomings in your case but share methods of overcoming them.

Lead Attorney

Some attorneys you meet with are in the practice of handling clients’ cases on their own, while others will assign much of the casework to a junior attorney or other type of assistant. Both strategies can be successful, but it’s useful for you to know the route that the attorney will be taking if you hire him or her. This is because if you click on a personal level with the attorney, you might want him or her to be doing all the work for your case and updating you about the progress that is being made.

Settlement Versus Trial

Upon hearing the particulars of your case, each attorney should be able to provide you with an initial assessment about whether accepting a settlement would be advantageous over going to trial. The idea of a significant financial settlement is enticing to many personal injury victims, but you need to rely on your attorney to let you know if going to trial would be preferable in your case. Discussing the probable timeline of each scenario can also help you know what to expect as the case progresses. Contact a lawyer, such as Risley Law Firm, P.C., for more information.   

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Will You Go To Jail For Not Paying Child Support?

Courts take child support payments very seriously. Unlike other divorce issues that are disagreements between two adults, child support is supposed to make sure that children, who can’t take care of themselves, are cared for despite the divorce. Because of this, courts impose harsh penalties for not paying child support up to and including possible jail time. Here’s what might happen if you don’t pay child support.

A Late Payment

If you make a payment and it’s late, it might not be the end of the world. Courts understand that people can be late with bills and other obligations because their paycheck is delayed and they simply forget.

The occasional late payment probably won’t be met with more than a predetermined late fee and/or interest charge. However, if you make a habit of paying late, the court might consider it a willful noncompliance with the child support order.

Can’t Afford Payments

Child support payments are set as a percentage of your income. Therefore, it’s going to be very difficult to convince a court that you are unable to afford child support payments.

However, if you have a significant change like a pay cut, job loss, or medical condition, you may be able to seek a recalculation of the child support amount. You will likely be held liable for all past due payments, but may be offered an adjusted payment schedule.

The important thing is to proactively reach out to the court and your former spouse. You want to show that you are being responsible and making efforts to pay not that you are making excuses only after you have fallen behind on payments.

What Happens if You’re Still Not Paying?

If you continue to not pay, you will be ordered to come to court. The court will issue what’s known as an “order to show cause” requiring you to give a good reason for not paying child support.

If you don’t have a good reason, the court may begin collections actions. This could include directly garnishing your wages and putting your tax return on hold.

If you continue to circumvent payments or the court feels that you aren’t making good faith efforts to obtain a job so that you can make payments, you may then be found in contempt of court which could carry possible jail time.

To learn more about what happens if you don’t pay child support, contact a family law attorney, such as Karen Robins Carnegie PLC, today.

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