All Posts by Jessica Banks

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Germany, Frankfurt, Justice
Jul 31

About Environmental Lawyer

By Jessica Banks | Environmental Laws

These laws seek to protect and keep safe the nature from human destructive activities. One of the first environmental laws are made in England even over 300 years ago and in the last 50 years all other countries over the world started regulation of these laws concerning pollution regulation and resource conservation. This created a new group of specialists whose debit is to deal with various issues regarding environmental laws and they are called environmental lawyers.

Education and licensing

It is needed to obtain a law degree known as a Bachelor of Laws for start or a Juris Doctor. While first one presents undergraduate qualification the other one presents a postgraduate qualification. If someone is more ambitious and seeks for a higher pay grade or more senior roles in the future than it is best to finish Masters of Environmental Law or a Doctor of Philosophy.

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Once the law degree is completed it is required to gain further practice. Various courses may be taken as contract courses, environmental law, conservation, legal writing ad environmental topics to many other, similar topics. Most states require lawyers to pass a bar examination due to practicing beside participating in continuing education courses so they keep up with development of current and future regulations and laws. Once admitted to the bar a lawyer may formally provide legal service and represent future clients.

Responsibilities

These vary depending of the fact for who is this lawyer working for. If lawyer works for example for a government agency his duty is to compile evidence, interview witnesses and presents the case for prosecution on the court.

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If in some case lawyer works for a waste management company, focus is on complying with regulations, helping his client understand better all the facts regarding the case, collect necessary documentation and make successful defense on the court. In any way, these layers must represent their party in their best interest by carefully researching every detail regarding the case and the law.

Skills

Of course knowledge about the legal system is primary thing beside the fact it is needed for this lawyer to be familiar with regulations in the jurisdiction and keep up with all current environmental laws. Analytical skills, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills and communication are some basic ones every environmental attorney should have in order to be good at his work. Research skill is particularly important to make best preparation of the future cases, legal recommendations, advices or defenses.

Waste management
Jul 31

Top Environmental Crimes

By Jessica Banks | Environmental Laws

Environmental crimes are the one of the top worldwide problems today having various different forms. Some even reached a level of the most profitable criminal activities in the world. Common ones are usually regarding to waste disposal, pollution and exploitation of flora and fauna.

Wild animal traffic

Beside arms and drug traffic this is by the Interpol third largest illegal business on the planet. Biodiversity survival is greatly endangered by this serious threat and most guilt goes at the consumers. People pay some incredible prices for black market products and if this would disappear everything would be solved.

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Worst thing in all this is the more species is endangered it brings more money. It is amazing how some people are ready to pay a fortune for it. Most popular animals in black market are arachnids, monkeys, tropical birds and reptiles. There is an awful fact about making money not only on the animals as a company animals but on their parts, such as elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns. This ivory is used for some nonsense products like medicine, aphrodisiacs and souvenirs.

Logging

One of the main causes of deforestation in the world making huge damages for flora and fauna. There is a huge increase of deforestation in case of large rainforests which are being reduced in last couple of years for even 30%. Not only it presents massive threat for the forests and trees but also for endangering many species of animals and plants by damaging their habitats and ecosystems. So to fight this successfully it is necessary to avoid buying products which are produced due to extensive farming and support environmentalists by signing various petitions.

Finning

Extremely high numbers of sharks are captured on annual basis because of their fins. Even worse if we could say it, their bodies are thrown back into ocean when their fins are removed. Highest levels of cruelty is made by this where sharks die in huge pain.

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Unfortunately this trend is just raising on daily basis especially in Asia where shark fin soup presents a specialty in restaurants. Sharks make extremely important part of trophic chain and people just forget this fact when doing this extremely inhumane act.

Waste management

There are millions tons of electronic waste dumped in developed countries every year and most of it is consisted of electronic waste such as mobile phones, computers, TV sets and others. They are illegally transported in countries such as Africa, China and India. Most of this waste comes from the West and there is extremely huge problem in Ghana where great amounts of waste are finding a place.

Only successful solution for this is that governments invest in serious recycling measures to level it with amount and consumption rate of the waste. Similar huge problem of is done with the water where many companies are dumping fecal and toxic waste into many rivers and lakes. Some power plants and companies flush water back in the river after cooling down their mechanisms. This is endangering many ecosystems, killing outnumbering species. Simple sewage collectors or sewage plants would solve this terrible crime.

Win-a-Civil-Case
Mar 22

Usual Types Of Civil Cases

By Jessica Banks | Civil Law

While in criminal litigations subject is focused on violation of federal law and state which is usually clear case of right or wrong, in civil litigation it is not so simple. In civil lawsuit a complainant believes they have obtained a loss because of other individual and in that order they demand some form of remedy or compensation. It is often in business world but it also happens in some other life areas. Here are some of common cases of civil law.

Property dispute

A civil litigation attorney can handle many different types of property disputes. These disputes involve everything regarding property ownership and damage that has be done to somebody’s real estate or property.

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There is often a case about property line between two neighbors where one crossed it with building or planting. Individual even can require a compensation if he earns a loss just because of other’s neglecting.

Contract dispute

Occurs often because rarely people fulfill their obligations after signing a contract. This is often in area of the commercial law. It can come in many forms and usual solution at the end is that clients choose to settle rather than go on court. Also there is a big number of cases where contract is written in fuzzy terms and this results with dissimilar expectations between signers.

Complaints against the city

It is well known a complainant can start a lawsuit against city if having proper arguments that prove a harm he was caused by city law or policy. These are generally settled out of court but ones that are refused to settle by the government are mostly tried as civil cases. It is the best to look for specialized lawyer in this area which will help client to define the lines and reach a settlement.

Car accidents

These are really common civil cases with clear blame element of one irresponsible driver for created damages. It is usually solved by negotiation between two sides and paid bills by insurance companies. Other more complex and unclear cases are brought to lawyers so they can exactly identify and define condemnation and share the damages accordingly.

Tort

This form of cases is rising on daily level. They are usually against a business from side of its employees for not providing safety conditions and protections as it should be. If someone gets injured, physically or emotionally.

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In such working area company is constitutionally responsible for damages and injury compensation. This is often settled by agreement especially in cases such as battery, assault and negligence cases.

Class action cases

It is very similar to tort case but main difference is that prosecution represents a group or even a class of people who have been damaged or injured by the same thing. Typical case in this area is the group of employees from companies or industries that was injured while working with hazardous materials.

Family and divorce cases

Most people unfortunately had experience with this type of cases. Child custody, child support, separation, divorce, domestic violence are just some of the outnumbering relation disputes that people decide resolving on the court.

Civil Law
Feb 02

What Is Civil Law And Why It Is Important?

By Jessica Banks | Civil Law

Civil law is the formation of rules that protects and defines the private rights of citizens while covering areas such as torts, contracts, property and family law. These civil law systems trace their roots from the ancient Rome and its legislators and administrators use these doctrines to form a code by which all legal issues will be decided.

Most European and South American countries have a civil law system while England, Canada and the United States have a common law system which relies on prior court decisions to determine case final solution. Important difference between civil law systems and common law systems is in a common law jurisdiction where appellate courts may review only findings of law while civil law appellate courts may review findings of act as well as findings of law. Civil law is codified and common law is generally uncodified.

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Primary goal of civil law is to provide compensation and resolve arguments for someone injured by some other person’s behavior or act. Actually injured person is the one that brings the lawsuit. These cases are concerned only with the private law. A civil law system is generally more prescriptive than a common law system. Judge is here to establish the facts of the case and apply the provisions of applicable code and he always must work within a framework established by codified set of laws.

There are four main categories of civil law cases and each has specific range of issues to cover.

Contract law

Is about agreements between two or more parties where each is obligated to hold up to their part of the agreement. These agreements or contracts can be written or oral while there are some types which have to be put in writing.

Tort law

Deals with civil wrong. This wrong is done by a person or entity to another which can result as a property damage or injury. There are three types of torts or civil wrongdoing and these are intentional tort, negligence and strict liability.

Property law

Is covering real property and personal property. In personal property belongs jewelry, merchandise and animals or intangible such as copyrights, bonds and stocks. Real property refers to anything built on some property or property for itself and anything under the surface of the same property.

Property law consists of two types of torts, conversion and trespass.

Family law

This is a branch of the civil law which deals with child custody, birth, adoption, child support, marriage, divorce and other family relation situations. This is a very specific category as there is not a necessarily a person who committed a civil wrong. There are some new categories that fall under this branch also such as artificial conception, surrogate motherhood, in-vitro fertilization and same-sex marriage.

Importance of civil law

This law branch is very important in society because it legally resolves issues where a complaining individuals feel accused or wronged. It serves to keep the public safety and well-being of society.

Personal-Injury-2-1
Jan 02

Type Of A Personal Injury Case

By Jessica Banks | Civil Law

A lot of people wonders about what is the worth of their case when starting a personal injury lawsuit after experiencing some slip, fall or any kind of accident. “Damages” that have been done to a client are the true answer. Physical, mental and monetary cost of these injuries must be figured out. The complainant is paid for done damages by the company or the person who is found to be guilty and legally responsible for the accident. This award is usually agreed by negotiated settlement between the parties, insurance companies and their attorneys, but there are also cases where it is ordered by jury or a judge on a court.

Compensatory damages

These damages are meant to compensate the injured complainant for what he or she lost due to injury or accident that happened. The goal is to make the injured party whole again if possible from monetary side which means putting a price number on the consequences.

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Some are pretty easy to define while some can get really complex on a trial. There are some of the common ones like medical treatment, property loss, pain and suffering, income, emotional distress, loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment. These are divided in two groups, general and special damages. General damages compensate for emotional distress and pain and suffering while special damages are economic ones. Special damages can be measured by direct economic loss like medical expenses, property damage or loss of earnings.

Punitive damages

These are more severe as they are meant to punish the defendant for the reckless behavior or the negligence that cause injury to complainant. These are actually as a warning to the defendant and the others to show that this kind of behavior will be punished in every similar case. It is not unusual that these punishments reach millions of dollars so many states have set up a limit on a punitive damage awards. In any way the goal of these damages is to punish defendant for its conduct.

Complainant actions affect damages

This is a very serious and complex side of a trial where it is necessary to define if injured person had a role in causing an accident. This significantly affects the amount of damage compensation available for a personal injury in the case.

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There is approach of comparative negligence where two types of negligence may be defined. A pure and modified comparative negligence. In both cases each party’s negligence is weighed for a given injury but in the first one damages are reduced for complainant’s contribution in injury while in the other complainant doesn’t get any damage if there is a result of more than 50% of his/her contribution in injury.

There is also approach of contributory negligence which is used to show that individual has a duty to act as a reasonable person. If the injury occurs while the complainant was partially or entirely responsible for it even though there was another party involved there is possibility to a contributory negligence counterclaim. This usually results by reducing or even totally barring the complainant from recovering damages.

environmental-management
Jan 02

Principal Environmental Laws In USA

By Jessica Banks | Civil Law , Environmental Laws

In past few decades US congress has amended several main environmental statutes which are enforced through various regulations by US Environmental Protection Agency, US Army Corps of Engineers and US Department of the Interior. Federal government has authority of enforcing and assuring compliance of these and state governments may even adopt more rigorous regulations than allowed under federal law. Local governments on the other hand may generally adopt more strict environmental laws but they are obligated to cohere with federal laws. Congress is the one that gives money to the EPA, other agencies and states to enforce these rules.

Key environmental legislation

Clean Air Act (CAA)

Is consisted of two objectives. Primary objective is human health and secondary is agriculture, aesthetics and other non-health objectives. It regulates air quality and addresses air pollution by setting goals for the concentration of various pollutants in our surrounding.

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Essential thing is to set these goals in order to make the health risk zero. Usual air pollutants are HCs, CO, Pb, SOx, NOx ozone and particulates which emission limits are made by specific standards in technology. These standards are set for various industrial categories such as petrochemical plants, refineries, power plants, car factories, airplane factories and other sources.

Clean Water Act

Also consisted from two objectives, where primary eliminates discharge of all pollutants and secondary maintains and restores quality of the nation’s waters. Quality is based on fishing and swimming possibility in these waters.  This Act sets standards for which pollutants may be released into rivers, streams lakes and other waters. Permits to do so are extremely rigorous. There are also standards for specific industry categories which specify limits treating wastewater disposed in a water body. First point of this act were industrial point sources but with time there are also added requirements for the control in urban and agriculture runoff.

Safe Drinking Water Act

With three key objectives where primary ensures potable water, secondary ensures palatable water while tertiary protects the quality of underground source of the water. Potable water is one regarding human health while palatable water considers aesthetic characteristics such as color, odor and taste.

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This Act by regulating public water systems regulate the public drinking water supply. Other regulations in this Act also take control over important factors regarding healthy waters such as permits, operations, constructions and underground wells. There are four categories met here and those are chemical, physical, radiological and biological. All standards set allowed maximum contaminant levels that must be met and are enforceable.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

Is the one responsible of controlling the handling, transportation, storage, treatment and transfer of dangerous wastes from very beginning of their production to their final disposal. It contains various sections to regulate various activities such as characterization of the waste, tracking framework, requirements for waste facilities and treatment specification of the waste.

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

Where main objective is to clean up abandoned and dangerous waste resources and sites. It must provide proper industrial waste management practices to every community. It is known as a Superfund that provides money based on taxes assessed to the petroleum and chemical industry in order to clean up every site of significant risk.

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Aug 22

About Civil Attorney

By Jessica Banks | Civil Law

What is a Civil Attorney?

Also known as a litigators or trial lawyers are the professionals in Civil Law area that represent defendants and complainants in civil lawsuits, more exactly non-criminal cases. These lawsuits are usually concerning the recovery of property or money and may arise in many different areas of law such as family law, immigration law, real estate law, business and finance law, employment law and tenant law. Civil Attorney must be able to manage all the phases of the case which are including investigation, pleadings, pre-trial, trial, settlement and appeal. Lawyer duties may vary depending of his experience, dispute nature and who is he representing, the defendant or a complainant.

When to hire Civil Attorney?

Law is really complicated area so it is best to let professional navigate it. It is necessary to have somebody who knows ins and outs of the field and is able to explain to the client all the details to achieve better understanding of the legal ramifications.

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Above all it is most important to act immediately when becoming part of some lawsuit because delaying will only bring damaging consequences for your side and making chances to lose the case much bigger.

How much does a Civil Attorney cost?

This varies depending upon the area of the law, attorney’s experience, case difficulty and spent time of working on the lawsuit. Fee structure also makes important role, some lawyers are paid by hour fee, some take a flat rate while many take a percentage of your total compensation, more exactly charging a contingency. These ones are usually very strong cases.

Do you need a Civil Attorney?

If you find yourself in situation of filling a lawsuit it may be best to at least consult a litigation lawyer. This makes good chances for success of your case. As they are familiar with all important steps, documentation, procedures in process of a trial they will handle it much quicker and efficient advising you with all possible options that could bring the best final results of your case.

What to expect from your Civil Attorney?

Representation in every step of your lawsuit is the core of Civil Attorney job as an obligation to the client. Outcomes may vary, some cases end up solved privately while some end up on the court. One thing is for sure, as these professionals know legal procedures and keep track of local news you will be in much better position to win your lawsuit.

Biological children custody
Jul 31

Family Law Issues For Same Sex Couples

By Jessica Banks | Family Law

There is significant and huge progress recently when talking about same sex marriage, but true legal equality still has a long way to go comparing to standard marriage. These couples also have a wish and need to get married, start a family and live their lives with same quality as standard couples. Today there are certain issues and various prejudice which stand in a way of same sex couples to realize same goals and happiness as standard couples, here are just some of them.

Property planning

Same sex couples have to carefully create an estate plan if they don’t want to find themselves in a problematic situation. While legally married couples have much easier option to protect their spouse after the death.

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Same sex couples need to collect and determine estate planning documents such as trusts, wills and guardianship of minor children so they can ensure their assets are distributed and children protected or entrusted to person they choose.

Child adoption

Heterosexual couples have so much options comparing to same-sex couples when it comes to adopting a child. Heterosexual couple may adopt child almost with help of any regular agency while same-sex couple has rarely some door of these agencies opened for cooperation. Unfortunately they have right to refuse same-sex couples where these couples face on of many discriminations and have really small chances to adopt a child.

Biological children custody

There are many cases where same-sex couples decide to have a child by one spouse to become parents and this becomes a very complex situation for them. The non-biological parent has to go through a second parent adoption in order to be granted secure parental rights. Some state may grant these rights without second parent adoption but then comes a problem if this couple decides to travel to state that doesn’t honor parental rights the same way.

If child get injured in this case a non-biological parent doesn’t get access to their child in hospital according to that state’s laws. Legal adoption is secure way to have access to your child in any state and circumstances. Same problems come if the biological parent dies.

Healthcare

Usual situations in a healthcare with heterosexual couples are where healthcare staff takes just a word from them as a legal proof that they are married but when it is about same-sex couple they ask for a legal proof. This is one of the usual discriminations which is very unfair and this is why it is best to ensure legal protection and establish power of attorney. This will provide access in any medical emergency for both partners.

Taxes

When same-sex couples are married they have an option to fill federal income tax returns separately or together, this, unfortunately, becomes complex when couple is united as a domestic partnership or a civil union.

So to avoid these problems and inconveniences it is best to ask for professional help from specialized accountant or a lawyer who will lay out all the options and solutions to file your taxes in a best way for some time.

Environmental-Law
Jul 05

Importance Of Environmental Laws

By Jessica Banks | Civil Law

We could say it is a matter of human existence when we talk about environmental law roles. If we want to take care of our environment and nature properly it is really important to have some regulation in place. This system of laws is actually like a guideline which takes care the protection of the environment is done in most effective way. They are significant device for the front line when it comes to take care of the environment and there are various different eco charities and legal organizations that make it so. It is a complex group of regulations that make balance and successful interaction for both sides when it comes to humanity and nature. This group is consisted of conventions, treaties, regulations and statutes which purpose is to preserve and protect environment and it often falls under common law.

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Two main matters come under environmental law, there is a management and conservation of the land and pollution control. Both protect soil, water, land and air and if some person doesn’t respect or neglects these regulations he automatically breaks it where punishment is given. Commonly broken laws regarding protection of the environment are forest fires, watershed pollution, dumping unsafe and risky materials and littering. Punishments for this may vary, starting from community service and fines to doing the jail time.

Govern industries and production

Production companies and bigger industries can’t be set up without making sure they meet the legal obligations they are required in order to respect and save our environment. Environmental lawyers are the ones with biggest role in making this happen concerning protection of our surroundings.

Environment and human health

Here is all about making balance when protecting the environment so it doesn’t harm humanity. Such examples are often in agriculture using harmful pesticides make really bad impact on human and animal health.

This is where the role of these regulations is to make sure that the systems and chemicals used in environment do not harm neither side and make the best conditions for everything included.

Quality waste management

This is one of the biggest problem of today. Wherever we turn our eyes there is so much waste it feels like we are drowning in it. It is very serious problem but it could be solved with proper investment in good waste management. Sweden even made it to the level of importing waste from other countries by developing perfect waste managing and recycle machinery. Environmental laws are her to make sure this management doesn’t have bad effect on human health and environment and that is meeting proper set of procedures and standards.

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People that make sure these regulations are met and respected also need to be protected by the law so they can do their job in most efficient way. Enforcers and officers have to be protected in order these regulation realize best possible sanction and control without any illegal interference. We exist thanks to environment so if we want to keep it that way foundation is to legally conserve it for the future.