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Objections and What They Mean

Objections and What They Mean

Objection my lord! What is that all about?

In the legal field, an objection is a legal way in which an attorney seeks to disallow a piece of evidence or a statement from being made. A proper objection is timely and very specific so that no much time is wasted and the judge gets your reasons for the objection.
The judge can either sustain or overrule the objection. Sustaining means the judge conquers with the attorney for objecting while overruling implies that there is no valid reason as to why the evidence or statement should not be made.

Types of Objections
There are two kinds of objections namely; substantive and nonsubstantive objections.
Substantive objections are those raised against relevant questions that require inadmissible answers, i.e., answers that do not add any relevance to the ongoing trial.
Nonsubstantive objections mostly challenge the type of question asked. For example, if a question is leading the witness.

court scale in action

Reasons for objections
In a trial case, objections may arise due to the following reasons:

1. Where a question that has already been asked, is asked again.
2. Some questions may be misleading and ambiguous. Such questions may hinder a witness from giving a clear and concise answer.
3. A lawyer may be argumentative with the witness; which is not allowed in a courtroom.
4. Hearsay- this is where evidence is presented based on a second-hand source.
5. Speculative questions are not based on immediate facts and involve the witness to think and hence objected to.
6. Leading questions- these suggest an answer to the question and thus limit what the witness should have answered.
7. In case an attorney asks questions that have nothing to do with the court proceedings, an objection is raised.
8. Some witnesses may be given the privilege to answer questions of their choice. This may lead to a wrong verdict if not objected to.

The judge uses the above reasons to decide whether to overrule or sustain an objection.
Withdrawing a statement. An attorney may make a statement or present evidence which is objected to. Instead of the judge deciding on what action to take, the attorney may revoke his statement. They are said to have withdrawn their statement.

What happens when an objection is sustained?

The lawyer must rephrase the question or elaborate the question with evidence outlining its importance in the case trial.

An attorney needs a mock trial to be able to eliminate all possibilities of raising objections on his part as well as try and identify faults in the opposing attorney. Practice must be done to perfection.

The Appeals Process: Everything that You Should Know

The Appeals Process: Everything that You Should Know

At times, decisions made by federal or state trial courts may be reviewed by appeal courts especially when the parties involved are dissatisfied with the decisions. The role of an appeal court is to review everything that happened during the proceedings of the lower court in order to establish whether there were any errors. More often than less, decisions made by an appeals court are legally binding.

Trials Vis a Vis Appeals

Trial and appeals processes have a few similarities. Nonetheless, they differ totally. In trial cases, parties involved present their cases, call witnesses to present their testimonies, and also present evidence including surveys, blueprints, and photographs. The jury uses such evidence and testimonies to establish whether the case holds water or not. During a trial case, the judge controls all courtroom activities besides making all legal decisions that pertain to the case.

Appeal cases typically entail reviewing the application of the law by trial courts. No jury is involved. In addition, lawyers do not present any form of evidence or witnesses. The court only accepts facts that were brought to light during the trial. However, this is not the case if a fact is against the validity of the evidence presented before the appellate judge.

Trials and appeals also differ when it comes to the judges involved. Only one judge presides over trial cases whereas an appeal case is heard and determined by several judges. The number of judges who will hear and determine an appeal case varies according to state. Appeals are sometimes determined by panels, which typically comprise three judges. Supreme courts at federal and state level have between five and nine judges who are sometimes known as justices.

What are Appellate Briefs?

Written appellate briefs are the main method of persuasion used during appeal cases. These briefs are usually filed by each party’s legal counsel. The losing party uses appellate briefs to convince the appellate judges that the trial court applied the law incorrectly. On the other hand, the winning party’s brief convinces the court that the trial court’s application of the law was correct and fair.

Both parties are required to support their stands while referring to applicable case statutes and laws. This clearly shows that appeals take a more scholarly approach than trials. If an error in the application of the law at the trial stage is established, the initial ruling will be reversed. If no error in the application of the law is established, the trial court ruling will be upheld.

Why Should I Do Pro Bono Work

Why Should I Do Pro Bono Work

Pro bono work is volunteer legal work that attorneys perform for free. In an industry where time is money, lawyers often ask – why should I bother?

1. You have a responsibility.
Generally, there is a sense that attorneys have a responsibility to use their special skills to give back to the community through pro bono work. All bar associations in the United States strongly encourage lawyers to perform pro bono work. Some states even require it, particularly for law students seeking admission to the bar.

2. Your help is needed.
There are many people and organizations that would not have access to legal advice and advocacy if weren’t for pro bono work. Many people simply cannot afford legal services. Others are incapable of advocating for themselves – such as children, severely disabled individuals, the elderly, or victims of abuse. If you don’t help them, you must wonder who will.

3. You will feel good about it.
Performing pro bono work will give make you feel great. You will feel proud to know that you were able to use your skills and experience to assist someone who really needed it. You will walk away with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

4. You can pursue your passion.
You can choose to perform pro bono work that will benefit a cause that aligns with your passions. If you are passionate about animals, you can take a pro bono to benefit abused animal or perform legal services for an organization that benefits animals. If you are passionate about criminal rights, you can take a pro bono case to prove a wrongful conviction or perform legal services for an organization that fights police brutality.

5. You can get more experience.
By performing pro bono work, you can gain more experience in an area that you otherwise would not have the opportunity to work in. For example, if you are a corporate transaction attorney, chances are that you will not gain experience in civil rights unless you perform some pro bono work. Thus, pro bono work can broader your career horizons and skill set in ways that your traditional practice cannot.

Companies and Cigarettes

Companies and Cigarettes

When Should a Company Be Allowed to Not Hire a Person Who Smokes Cigarettes?

There are two occasions that I think a company should be allowed to not hire a person who smokes cigarettes, and I think that that is when food and healthcare are involved.

I apologize if I offend anybody with what I am about to say. These are just my personal thoughts. You are more than welcome to disagree in the comment section below. That being said, I personally feel quite ill when I see someone taking a smoke break at a restaurant. I don’t like the smoke being anywhere near the restaurant. Furthermore, I start to get paranoid thinking about if they wash their hands or not. Granted, EVERYONE should wash their hands when they come back from a break.

I just think it about it extra hard when I see people smoking, because I don’t want their cigarette smoke anywhere near my food. I am weary about the smoke smell still being on the employee’s clothes. Cigarette smoke carries a very heavy, strong odor. I have no desire to have my food smell like smoke. I am pretty positive that I have seen multiple employees take their smoke breaks while they still have their aprons on. I find that to be rather disturbing, and I do not understand how it is allowed.

I am not saying that people who smoke cigarettes should not be allowed to work any time food is involved. I am just saying that I think that that is one of the times a company should be allowed to not hire someone for smoking cigarettes. Another time that I think a company should be allowed to not hire a person who smokes cigarettes, is when healthcare is involved. That is for obvious reasons.

For both of these situations, it is really up to the companies to have the proper protocols to handle their employees who smoke effectively. If they do that, then there should not be much of an issue with hiring them. What do you all think? Leave a comment down below!

The United States and International Law

The United States and International Law

The United States is the preeminent power on the international stage, possessing the world’s most powerful military and it’s most vibrant and diverse economy. Time and time again, American judicial precedent has been used by other nations and international organizations in the formulation of their own laws, and the U.S. has often played a heavy role in the crafting of international law.
Nonetheless, the U.S. is seldom – if ever – a signatory of agreements that bind it to so called “international laws”. How has this come to be, and what are the consequences of this for the American people?

Following the second world war, the U.S. was the dominant voice in international affairs, and took every advantage it could that came with such a position in formulating the post-war international order. As the United Nations came to be formed, and international treaties and laws began to proliferate, the U.S. more often than not took a leading role.

History nonetheless shows time and time again that the U.S. will not permit its interest to be sacrificed for the sake of international norms and laws. The most recent examples of this phenomenon are glaring; the U.S. recently pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, a non-binding treaty intending to reduce global carbon emissions. Before that, the U.S. famously invaded Iraq in 2003, though it lacked permission from the United Nations Security Council to do so.

image of US and international laws

The explanation for this phenomenon is entirely political; as the world’s dominant superpower, the U.S. cannot and will not allow itself to be cowed by international rules that don’t serve its interest. As a nation that is domestically governed by a strict set of institutions which relies heavily on law, this is a curious, if not altogether understandable position.

While the U.S. often refuses to sign treaties or enter partnerships which may later tie its hands, it is nonetheless a global force for good in terms of enforcing law and order. For instance, while the U.S. is not a member of the International Criminal Court, if often complies, at least partially with its judgments and recommendations. American treaties and court decisions more often than not seek to align themselves with morally defend-able positions, and act as important role models the world over.
What are your thoughts on international law, and American adherence to it? Should the United States become a member of the International Criminal Court? Does it already do enough – or even too much – in the name of international law? Leave a comment down below!

A Legal Right to Work?

A Legal Right to Work?

As the uncertain future of automation looms over broad sectors of the American economy, people from all economic walks of life have been left pondering worrying questions. How will automation impact my industry? How will it change my day to day life? Will I lose my job to a robot? Above all else, one question remains pertinent; do Americans have a legal right to work?

Even the most ardent advocates of automation will concede that robots can’t truly replace everyone; there will always be a plethora of jobs capable of being done only by humans. Nonetheless, massive quantities of jobs in our economy, particularly in areas such as manufacturing, retail, and transportation, are vulnerable to automation. How, then, will the coming wave of robotic automation change our nation’s economic and legal landscapes?

Right-to-work laws already exist in many forms throughout the U.S., yet these laws focus primarily on unionization, rather than automation. No legislation nor precedent as of yet exist to determine whether an American has a right to a job over, say, a robot. Nor is any such thing realistically likely to come into effect.

Nonetheless, labor unions and independent workers alike will certainly take steps to insure their economic well-being against automation, particularly in the field of law.

Legal actors should prepare themselves for a future where they may be dragged into a civil or criminal case regarding automation. If a company automates a position, and the robot or programming later causes a severe error or crisis to unfold, how might a prosecutor go about trying their case?

Lawyers will most likely be largely unsuccessful should they try to argue that their client’s right to a job supersedes a company’s right to automate. Yet they may find themselves more successful bringing lawsuits against those same companies when an automated function of their business causes personal or economic injury to another. A shrewd legal actor may argue that tragedy could have been averted, should there have been a human overseeing a job.

These kinds of scenarios are not hypothetical; thousands of manufacturing, service, and transportation jobs are already undergoing massive change due to advances in automation and programming. Lawyers and legal actors may even find their own jobs jeopardized by the onslaught of technological advance; routine paperwork can be done effortlessly by computer programs in a fraction of the time it takes a human, and complicated text can be quickly analyzed and interpreted by machines.

As the tides of time turn forth greater and greater advances in robotics and programming, legal scholars will be forced to confront questions such as these. Wise judicial actors should get a head start on these issues today, rather than suffer them tomorrow.

How might automation impact your job? Do you think legal actors have reason to fear computers taking their jobs? Leave a comment down below!

Children’s Personal Injury Lawsuits

Children’s Personal Injury Lawsuits

Seeing your child get injured can be one of the most traumatic experiences for a parent. It’s natural in such cases to want to get justice for an injury caused by someone else’s behavior. But when you do so, remember that personal injury lawsuits for children are different from the same kinds of lawsuits for adults. Below are three ways that the law treats children differently when it comes to personal injury cases.

1. The Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations set time limits on when a person can file a lawsuit. But children normally can’t file a lawsuit at all, because they’re considered to be under a legal disability. Because of this, the law generally extends any applicable statutes of limitations until the children reach adulthood. For example, if a six-year-old is hit by a car in state with a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury, the statute of limitations would normally expire by the time the child turns eight. But because children can’t sue, the statute of limitations for that six-year-old actually won’t expire until he or she is 20—two years after becoming an adult.

2. Settlements

For the same reason that children can’t sue on their own, they also can’t make contracts on their own. In fact, if a child were a party to a contract, the child could simply cancel the contract at any time. A child’s inability to contract extends to settlement agreements. So, the law provides a special requirement for settling children’s legal claims. Once the claim is settled, the adults involved must ask a court to approve the settlement agreement. They will also have to provide evidence that the settlement is in the best interests of the child at a hearing. That hearing is sometimes known as a “friendly hearing,” because both sides agree on what the outcome should be. Once the court approves the settlement, it is legally binding on the child.

3. Money

Whatever compensation the child receives, whether at the end of a trial or through settlement, must be handled in a particular way. Once more, the child’s minority means that he or she will be treated differently than an adult would be. Whereas an adult can take the money received from a lawsuit and do whatever he or she wants, compensation to a child must be placed into a special account. That account might be one maintained by the court until the child turns 18, or it might be a special education account that will help pay for the child’s college. Different states have different rules for this, but the bottom line is that the court will ensure the child’s funds are protected.

These three ways in which the law treats children differently from adults in personal injury lawsuits are all designed to help protect children when they need it most. Of course, if your child is ever injured by someone else, you should consult a local, knowledgeable attorney to learn how these differences apply in your case.

What Are Bail Bonds Agents

What Are Bail Bonds Agents

handcuffed and in need of a bondsman

A bail bonds agent or bail bondsman is a person or company who pledges their money as bail for a defendant under the condition that the defendant will show up to court. A percentage of the bail is paid to the agent. In most cases, some kind of collateral is put in place. For instance, if the defendant does not show up to court, the bail bonds agent may seize their property as compensation. These people are super handy if you end up in jail and need help.

Although it’s a tough job, being a bail bondsman has several advantages. First, it pays well. Bond dealers can earn up to $50,000 to $80,000 per year. This is quite a tidy sum for their troubles. If you are self-employed, you get to set your own commission so you can earn even more than this.

Second, You can own your own business. Once you are licensed, you can be hired by a company or start your own business. Starting your own business is best once you have acquired some experience. Having your own business allows you to have flexible working hours and gain more profit.

Third, It is never boring. It simply never gets boring in this line of work. With constant interactions with court officials and sometimes having to track down clients who have run off, it is always interesting.

Well, if this seems appealing at all to you, continue to read to learn how you can become a bail bonds agent. The process of becoming a bail bondsman varies slightly from state to state, but the general process is as outlined below.

The first thing you need to do to become a licensed bail bondsman is to ensure your eligibility. There is a set of conditions that you must fulfill if you want to join this line of work. You must be 18 years and above, have a high school diploma or GED, have sufficient financial resources to meet all surety obligations and have the sponsorship of a surety company. Additionally, you must be willing to attend and complete a pre- licensing course and pass the state licensing exam. In most states, this exam contains 50 to 60 multiple-choice questions to be completed in an hour’s time. The exam usually costs around $40 to $100 and is administered by a variety of independent test providers.

woman in jail waiting for bond

Second, you will want to apply for a state license. In order to receive a state license, you will be required to submit an application that is only found in the state’s department of insurance website. Submit your state licensing exam score and provide a licensing fee in the form of a check, money order or credit card. You will also be required to provide documentation of surety company sponsorship and submit a bond for a state mandated amount. Your license will take 1 to 3 years to be in force.

Third, you can join or start a bail company. Most newcomers join an established company first to gain experience before starting their own. This way, they can learn the tricks of the trade before going out on their own. If you are looking from great information on how to get started from a reputable bail bonds company, click here. Whichever you choose is ultimately up to you. Good luck and let me know if you want some more information on this subject.

Assisted Suicide: My Thoughts

Assisted Suicide: My Thoughts

This is a very touchy subject – at least for me. I remember reading a few Supreme Court cases about assisted suicide, and I always had mixed emotions about it. I read that six states now permit assisted suicide (there are certain criteria that must be met in order to do so). I was quite surprised. I will share what I think about this topic, although, I am basing my thoughts off of an emotional stance as opposed to a legal stance.

When thinking about this topic, I tried to picture someone that I love and care about deeply wanting to undergo an assisted suicide. If he or she were in that much physical pain that him or her felt the need to have a doctor end his or her life, would I want the law to deprive him of her of that? Is that my place?

I guess it is not. I do not know what that person is going through internally and emotionally. Aren’t we given a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? If we are given the right to life, are we not allowed to control that life? Are we not allowed to control whether we choose to suffer or not? I want to say yes. I want to say yes extremely bad. However, I do not.

It is not that I do not think that people have rights to their own lives. Of course, they do. I just do not think that they have a right to have a doctor kill them. In no way am I saying that they have a right to kill themselves or that they should. I am not saying that at all. To give the right for doctors to kill Americans is a scary thought to me. I think of where this could lead to. Limits are created for a reason. This limit needs to continue. I feel that this can open the door to a ton of accidental or unnecessary deaths, give a patient an option to automatically give up (even with restrictions included – but especially without), and give doctors power that I am not comfortable with them having.

What are your thoughts on assisted suicide? Leave a comment down below!

Breastfeeding in Public: Should it Be Allowed

Breastfeeding in Public: Should it Be Allowed

This has become a huge debate within the past year. I remember when I was a kid, I would see women breastfeed in public all the time. I have always had a high level of morality, but I never saw this as a bad thing. I don’t understand why it has become such a controversy lately. Regardless, I do feel like breast feeding should be allowed in public.

I have noticed a lot of men complain about this topic. As a woman, I will never understand how men can have such strong feelings about things their bodies will never go through. It is very hard to understand something that you have never experienced. I do not have any children yet, but when I do, I plan on breastfeeding. I am not completely educated on how it works, but I do know that it is something that is not as simple as putting a formula in a bottle. I am not saying that to belittle or put down women who use formula for their babies. The fact that you carried a life and are taking excellent care of that life is all I care about.

I said that to say, women who breast feed are trying to do something that they feel will benefit their kid in the long run. It is not an easy task. They try to pump and do what they can, but sometimes, they just have to do what is convenient for them. I wish people would consider that when they are judging them. If some moms are able to breastfeed in the comfort of their home 24/7, then that is good for them – but that is not the case for every mom. You do not know what every parent’s situation is.

A lot of people also complain about women who do not cover up their breasts as they breastfeed. Because I worry about the impact of children seeing that, I can understand that argument. That being said, breastfeeding is not meant to be a sexual act. It is a mother trying to feed her child. Maybe she did not have a cover-up at the moment, or maybe she just doesn’t care because all she is focused on is feeding her child. Regardless, she should not be kicked out for that. As another article that I read said, the baby pretty much covers everything. Furthermore, if it bothers a store that much, the employees should leave a visible sign that expresses that women who breastfeed must cover-up. Completely banning them from breastfeeding however, should not be allowed.

What are your thoughts on breastfeeding in public? Leave a comment down below!