Category Archives: Law

Work Hour Laws

Work hours, pay issues, questions, oh my! As a small business owner or manager, the requirements governing meal break laws and other compensation issues can seem trickier than traveling the Yellow Brick Road. My FAQ guide to work hours and pay issues, which are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), will help you sort it all out:

How many hours are required for full-time and part-time employment?

Full-time or part-time employment rules are generally determined by the employer and not by Department of Labor laws.

Are there laws about compensating for breaks and meal periods?

Although the FLSA doesn’t require employers to give time off for breaks or meals, some states may have their own meal break laws. When employers do offer short breaks, federal law dictates that employees must be compensated. Work break laws also say that employers do not need to compensate for meal breaks.

Are there Department of Labor laws regarding flexible schedules?

The FSLA does not govern flexible work schedules, which are typically defined as those that allow personnel to vary arrival and/or departure times. Flexible work schedules are often considered a matter between the employer and the employee.

How can I make sure I’m compliant with vacation pay rules?

Employers aren’t required to pay employees for time not worked. That includes vacations and sick leave as well as holidays. Since there is no federal vacation pay law, paid time off is a matter between the employer and the employee.

Is there a sick leave entitlement?

Although employers are not required to pay for sick leave, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) says that covered and eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain medical situations that affect the worker or a member of the employee’s immediate family.

Non-compliance can be worse than the Wicked Witch of the West.

The Wicked Witch may have had her band of flying monkeys, but the Department of Labor can make non-compliance a costly and time-consuming nightmare for your small business. Know the ins and outs of employment law, from vacation pay rules to sick leave payment, so you can make the management decisions that build a strong and profitable business. If you’re a small business owner or manager with questions about your obligations regarding Department of Labor laws, this guide will give you answers. From guidelines about job sharing policy to last paycheck laws, here is Part II of my frequently asked questions guide to work hours and other pay issues.

Are there travel time laws I need to be aware of?

Any time spent traveling during normal working hours is considered work time, which means employees must be compensated. While travel time generally doesn’t include commuting time, it does include, for example, time spent traveling to and from a client’s office.

How do I know if I’m required to provide hazard pay?

Hazard pay is additional compensation for work involving physical hardship or for performing a hazardous duty. Physical hardship is defined as any work that causes extreme physical discomfort or distress that’s not relieved by protective devices. The law doesn’t specifically require employers to provide hazard pay except as a part of “a federal employee’s regular rate of pay in computing employee’s overtime pay.

The Law of Attraction Hoax

My intention is not to criticize other approaches to manifestation, but rather, to call into question the inconsistencies. Why is it that the Law of Gravity doesn’t require us to change our subconscious beliefs, but the Law of Attraction does? Other “Spiritual Laws” don’t even require changes of subconscious beliefs to easily see the cause and effect relationship: Law of Choices, Law of Action, Law of Balance, Law of Integrity, Law of Compassion to name a few. None of them require changing your subconscious beliefs to see results. They only require being aware that they exist and paying attention to how they manifest (interesting word, huh?) in your life when you take action in alignment with them. So why must we change our beliefs for the “Law of Attraction” to work?

Today, I will attempt to answer that question. First though, I want to say that I willingly use the term “Law of Attraction” because it’s an easy way to communicate a simple idea that has gone mainstream, and that idea is this:

When we live in conscious awareness, we can experience life the way we want to. In other words we can manifest what we want. The difference though between my approach on the “Law of Attraction” than others though is I’m not concerned so much about manifesting “things.” I focus on manifesting experiences -and more specifically- inner experiences of our True Nature. Popular Law of Attraction teachers say that to attract the things you want, whether it be a car, house, relationship, more money, etc, that you must first raise your vibration to be in alignment with that. More aware teachers go so far as to say that you must use affirmations to reprogram your subconscious to ensure that your conscious desires do not conflict with your subconscious desires. Even more aware teachers will suggest that you don’t focus on the stuff you “want” and instead focus on how the stuff would make you feel.

For example, if you want the car then what is it about the car you really want? Is it the adrenaline rush? Is it the feeling of success, or is it to feel abundant? What are the feelings inherent in a meaningful relationship that you desire? Connection, intimacy, playfulness, commitment, joy? In other words, they say to get what you want you must first feel as though you have it already. Some people say you have to truly believe you “deserve” it and “believe it will happen” even when the odds seem slim. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the Law of Gravity. Drop something. See it fall. Yup, the law works! Why can’t the “Law of Attraction” be that simple? My experience is that it can be. In fact, it is we just don’t recognize it as such. Too many teachers have focused on the “getting stuff” aspect of manifestation -because that’s what sells products, books, and seminars- that they’ve overlooked what manifestation really is.

The Secret Law

Law of attraction is common to most people, but this law does not work in solitude. So if you are seated there wondering why you are not getting best results in your life even though you are using this law, it is because there are some basic laws which are lacking. You have the opportunity to live in abundance and you will discover that the only obstacle separating you from your success is your mind. Your mind can be your biggest enemy if you do not condition it to think right. Some of the laws that work side by side with attraction law include the following;

Working with the law is the first law. Humans live in two worlds; there is the seen and the unseen world. Events and circumstances in our lives takes place in the seen world but that is not where they originate. In working with the law, you will be able to distinguish between the two types of human thoughts. Grasp this truth and you will have grasped the reason behind success and failure in life. The second law is the law of thinking. Everyone is able to think, but constructive thinking takes effort and purpose. This law will enable you to quickly develop organized thinking. In the end, you will be able to manifest everything you have ever though about while erasing bad or negative thought from your mind.

The law of supply will leave you with much more abundance than any ATM machine. This law positions you for greater success and you can break your own record in life practicing the law of abundance. Your life long accomplishments, your achievements and your desires are all attainable and are within your reach. The law of receiving requires you to give. Givers gain and the more you give the more you will get. It is through giving that you open up space for more to come in. The law of increase states that what you praise grows. It does not matter what issues you are dealing with in your life because this law will help you generate confidence and raise your self esteem within no time. The law of compensation will help you move from where you are to where you belong. This law will help you to seize opportunities and show you how to identify and attract wealth. The law of non-resistance is key to having emotional freedom. It puts you in total control of your surrounding. The laws of forgiveness, sacrifice, obedience and success are the other laws which work side by side with the laws of attraction. Your volatile circumstance can turn around when you learn the secret and start using these laws.

State Gun Laws

Not surprisingly, state gun laws vary greatly from state to state. Most gun laws focus on three categories: (1) laws prohibiting the possession of firearms by certain people; (2) laws regulating the sale and transfer of firearms; and (3) the possession of firearms in public places.

  • State laws prohibiting the purchase or possession of firearms

Every state except Vermont has state laws that ban the transfer or sale of firearms to a convicted felon. In most states, the gun laws use the traditional definition of felony which include crimes that are punishable by more than one year of incarceration. Some states have additional specified crimes, including misdemeanors, that will also prevent people from possessing firearms. For example, in Indiana, persons with convictions for resisting arrest may not possess a firearm. Overall, twenty-three states have gun laws that include some misdemeanors as crimes that will prohibit the transfer, purchase or possession of a firearm.

  • State laws regulating the sale and transfer of firearms

The Brady Act is a federal law that requires all federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) to conduct background checks on all potential buyers of firearms. However, it is estimated that 40 percent of all firearms purchases are from private sellers, and therefore not subject to background checks pursuant to federal law. Every state, however, except Vermont, has state laws that require some sort of background checks for potential gun purchasers or possessors.

Eleven states require some sort of waiting period between the purchase of a firearm and the delivery of the firearm. These laws apply to the sale of all firearms, handguns only, long guns only, or handguns and assault weapons; and vary in length from 48 hours to two weeks for delivery. There are three additional policy considerations that are triggered with current state laws requiring waiting periods:

  • is the “cooling-off” period established of sufficient duration between the sale of a firearm and delivery
  • valid permits to possess a firearm do not exempt a purchaser from the waiting period
  • transfer of the firearm must not occur until after the required background checks have been completed regardless of any waiting period.

State laws regulating firearms in public places

Various state laws regulate what circumstances, if any, in which a person may carry a concealed weapon in public. Only two states, Illinois and Wisconsin, do not allow the carrying of concealed weapons. Two other states, Alaska and Vermont, do not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon, while the remaining states allow for concealed weapons, but only with a valid permit.

Only three states, Florida, Illinois, and Texas, prohibit the open carrying of handguns in public. Thirty-five states allow persons to carry handguns in public without a permit, but three of those states require the handgun be unloaded. The remaining twelve states allow for the open carry of handguns but require a valid permit. Most states, however, do have exceptions that prohibit the open carry of handguns in certain places such as schools and school zones, state-owned buildings, courthouses, places where alcohol is served or sold, and on public transportation.

Law Practice Management Software

Law practice management software provides lawyers with an effective and convenient way of managing their clients and other pertinent case information such as documents, contacts and calendars. This can also be used by law practitioners to share important information with other attorneys within the firm. Since law schools basically do not teach law students all the needed business skills to manage a law firm, most law offices have heavily relied on technology to aid them in the process as well as to reduce any unforeseen clerical errors. According to the American Bar Association or ABA, the majority of legal malpractice claims can be attributed to deadline and calendar-related errors. Hence, most law firms have invested considerably in their very own software in order to save the firm considerable amount of money, making a law practice management software an ideal investment for any law firm. This specific tool, when used effectively, can be a huge contributing factor to the success of any law firm. This will enable a law office to reduce the number of callbacks everyday since they don’t need to look for physical files in their large archive.

Law Practice Management Software Industry

This industry is gradually growing in the United States and United Kingdom. This is likely attributed to the industry’s natural competitive edge. In United Kingdom, the LSSA or Legal Software Suppliers Association is the sole governing body of the law practice management software industry.

Web-based Law Practice Management Software

Web-based, or most commonly referred to as cloud-based law practice management software basically means that your software and other pertinent case files, calendars and other pertinent data are stored on servers on the internet rather than being stored in your local computer. However, most law firms are wary about cloud-based law practice management software due to security risks, which is not the case.

In terms of security, law firms need not worry since all the important data are securely kept on the web-based servers. With regards to desktop versions of the software, there is a chance of losing all the data stored in one’s local computer. A crash or a virus can completely wipeout all important data in your local hard drive.

Billing and Accounting Features

When you are this kind of software, you also have to make sure that it comes with billing and accounting features. It is equally important that the software generates invoices and it works compatibly with other third-party software such as Quickbooks. Most lawyers make use of Quickbooks for accounting purposes. Hence, it is ideal that the law practice management software works well with the company’s accounting software.

Integration with Third-Party Software

Majority of these software work well with Microsoft Word and Outlook. Only a few of the bunch can integrate with Google Docs and Calendar. Some law practice management software providers charge a fee for additional plug-ins to be integrated in their product. These plug-ins allow third-party applications to be integrated in the law practice management software.

Online Law Tuition

There are a number of reasons for this interesting phenomenon. First online law tuition has the benefit of flexibility. Tutors and students often have busy schedules and it is much easier to work around those schedules when there is no need to be in a fixed location. There is also much time and expense saved without having to travel. Secondly, as any private LLB tutor knows, there are only a certain number of customers in any fixed place. The benefit of online law tuition is that it allows any LLB tutor to reach outside of their location. The whole globe is the market for the online savvy private law tutor. Third, there has been a proliferation of various tools in recent times to help private law tutors with their online law tuition services. These tools include screen sharing, uploading documents such as essays and dissertations for the private tutor to check through, and interactive whiteboards. Although some of these tools may seem unfamiliar to you now, they may soon become common place to all law tutors who ply their trade in the digital realm.

The average LLB tutor will of course benefit from these advances, but it is not just the teaching side of the LLB tutoring industry that will benefit but also students themselves. Many students who study the LLB do not do so in big city hubs, and will not have access to physical law tutors in the abundance that those in city centres do, but through online law tuition they will be able to get the same high quality education. That means law students that are studying closely related courses to the LLB can tap into the best LLB tutors, a group that includes trainee barristers, academic researchers and first class graduate students. This is no simple advantage but may make the difference between students who pass their degree and those who end up achieving a first class honours result. In an increasingly competitive law market, good results in the LLB make law students stand apart so that they are more viable as candidates to law firms and the bar. Law tutors play an integral part to the future success of these students.

Employment Law

One of the most important areas to consider in business law is employment law. If you don’t comply with all the employment laws and regulations, it is highly likely that you will end up in lots of trouble! There are different laws that actually rule the employment basis of both the regular employees and the contract employees of a business. Some of the employment business laws that have to be met by you are FLSA, the Fair Labor Standards Act, The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1966 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. However, these laws are not connected to the various state employment business laws that you may find to your business! These laws are a different thing altogether. To confirm that your business meets all the employment laws, it is always better to checkup with your HR department.

To run a business, it is important to have a business permit or a license. If you do not have one, there is a high possibility of you having to shutdown your business and to pay hefty fines and penalties. Moreover, in addition to federal business law it is required that you meet the state business law regulations too. And if you have an international based business, you have to be aware of the different international business laws and how they can affect your business, you and your bottom line. You at least have to meet the general international business laws, import laws, any specialized export laws and laws of the country you maintain business with.

Those running online businesses may be of the impression that there are no business laws pertaining to the internet. However, this is not so. There are many internet and online business laws that have to be followed to maintain any online business. The reason for these laws is that the internet explosion over the past decade has forced the government to introduce internet compliance laws to maintain some law and regulation over the internet. So if you by any chance run a website make sure that you abide the internet business laws. If you don’t do so, there is a high possibility of your site being shut down and of you, in the mean time, facing criminal prosecution and huge fines.

A Career In Law

There are certain characteristics that one needs to have to succeed in a career in law. You should assess yourself before actually enrolling into any institution. To have a clear idea, you can visit local courts, attend trials, talk to lawyers and observe the functioning of the legal system. Observing lawyers and judges at work will enable you to identify some of the skills, knowledge and values necessary for a career in law. You can even get advice from a career counselor.

Law is the field for those:

  • Having outstanding and above average independent learning skills such as reading, listening, writing, talking and analysis
  • Having excellent verbal, public speaking, arguing and debating skills
  • Having a high level of patience and confidence.

Before beginning the application process, consider carefully if a law degree is right for you based on these attributes. You may also need pre-law courses for admission to particular programs in law.

Preparing For Law School

The field should be explored through research, investigation of resources on the Internet, discussion with law students, and counseling. Joining some pre-law courses offered by various institutes will enable you to develop skills which will be helpful for law school, such as study of the English language and principles of accounting and finance. There are many branches in law practice such as tax law, corporate law, labor/employment law, civil law, family law, international law and real estate law among others. You need to be clear about your interests, which will help in choosing the appropriate program of study.

Applying to Law School

Information on law schools offering programs in law can be obtained with the help of education counselors or on the Internet by visiting law school websites which provide details of the programs on offer by them and the application process. The best sources are law school catalogs or reference books that profile law schools and their admissions criteria. The Law School Admissions Council (“LSAC”) sponsors annual law forums throughout the country that give interested persons time to speak with representatives from accredited law schools. Programs leading to the presentation of the Bachelor of Science in Law (B.S.L.), Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degrees are some of the common programs on offer by law schools. American law schools are expensive, especially the private ones. The competition to get into top-rated law schools is tough. Applications are accepted based on an individual’s grades.

Career Choices With A Law Degree: Job Or Business/Self-Practice:

  • Business/Self-Practice: You can have your own business setup such as a consultancy firm providing legal consultation and guidance to your clients, self-practice – legal representation in courts, drafting legal papers for clients or just having your own coaching classes.
  • Job Market: You also have various options in the job market – teaching, working with law firms, and with companies and corporate bodies as legal advisors and attorneys. However, your legal qualifications alone will not help. You need to market yourself and your law degree to reap the benefits of all your hard work. You need to find the right job for yourself and then market yourself to secure the position.

Types of Law

This article briefly lists the types of law:

Admiralty Law: The Admiralty Law is also known as Maritime Law and governs all U.S. All countries have maritime laws and they are responsible for their vessels regardless of which ocean they are sailing in. Admiralty Law Attorneys represent cases of all matters concerning cargo disputes, oil pollution, fishing regulations, international trade, cargo and injury that takes place on docks and vessels. Admiralty Law Attorneys also offer advice on trade laws, legal matters concerning environmental groups and the protection of endangered species. Admiralty Law also covers freight and passenger liabilities.

Aviation Law: Laws have been instituted by state and federal governments to enhance safety in air traffic. Aviation Laws in the United States govern aircraft operations and the maintenance of aircraft facilities.

Bankruptcy Law: When an individual or a company files for relief of debt, it is termed as Bankruptcy. In the United States, there are specific courts that handle bankruptcy rulings and specialty attorneys who handle these cases. A fundamental goal of the federal bankruptcy laws enacted by Congress is to give debtors a financial “fresh start” from burdensome debts.

Civil Rights: A Civil Rights Attorney has the responsibility of defending the rights and privileges granted to all United States citizens. These include freedom from slavery, freedom to vote, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of speech and the right to be treated fairly in public places.

Consumer Rights: The Attorney General of a particular state houses the division of Consumer protection and its team of consumer fraud attorneys. Complaints about misleading advertising or business practices that are unlawful can be filed and that division investigates and mediates on behalf of the consumer.

Corporate Law: A corporation is a legal entity created through the laws of its state of incorporation. Individual states have the power to disseminate laws relating to the creation, organization and dissolution of corporations. Many states follow the Model Business Corporation Act.

Criminal Law: A “crime” is any act or omission (of an act) in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it. Though there are some common law crimes, most crimes in the United States are established by local, state, and federal governments. Criminal laws vary significantly from state to state. There is, however, a Model Penal Code which serves as a good starting place to gain an understanding of the basic structure of criminal liability.

Employment Law: Employment law is a broad area encompassing all areas of the employer relationship except the negotiation process covered by labor law and collective bargaining. Employment law consists of thousands of Federal and state statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial decisions.

Immigration Law: Federal immigration law determines whether a person is an alien, and associated legal rights, duties, and obligations of aliens in the United States. It also provides means by which certain aliens can become naturalized citizens with full rights of citizenship.

 

Pirates, Piracy and the Law

As piracy is a crime their must be in existence specific laws on the subject. Like all criminal laws the laws regarding piracy serve to define what actions or combination of action or omissions would constitute piracy. Like all laws the laws relating to piracy have a source. The Source for laws includes custom, statue and treaties. The law also provides for finality. Laws sometimes have exceptions the exception to the general law om piracy is privateering. Finally the law of piracy provides procedures for the prosecutes pirates and for the alleged pirate to defend against those charges.

Regarding the law defining piracy; Their are many laws on piracy however it is possible assemble a definition of piracy. An individual is guilty of piracy if he disposes and “carries away” or attempts to dispossess and carry away another’s vessel its cargo or passengers property on this said vessel; or be the commander or member of crew of a ship used as platform for the completed or attempted act of piracy. All the aforementioned conduct will unless the crew conducting the piratical act is acting under and according to a letter of marque or otherwise functioning as a state apparatus. Furthermore for one to be guilty of piracy the piratical act must take place in international waters which exists at least 3 miles from the coast of the mainland. The law banning piracy would not limit it self to people engaging in traditional acts of piracy; the law also classifies people knowingly helping or involving themselves with pirates as pirates themselves. The type of help or involvement classified as piracy include conspiring with the pirates, financing the pirates, procuring items to be used by pirates, holding stolen goods for them, advising them, directing from shore giving them equipment or helping them recruit etc.

Of course no discussion of piracy would be complete without discussing the legal form of piracy known as privateering. Privateering involved the state granting private merchant mariner’s licenses know as letters of marque legally entitling the licensed mariner to rob ships of an enemies and pirates. By operating under and within the scope of the letter marque an act which would nominally be classified as piracy would not be legally definable as piracy. A liscensed privateer was immune from a charge of piracy not only from the country who issued the license but from all other nations including the nation whose shipping was attacked by the privateer. Customary international law of the time demanded that other nations give a letter of marque full faith and credit and not consider its holder a pirate. Customary international law defined privateers as legal members of his countries service engaging in a legal military operation. As a member of his countries service he was immune from criminal charges for killing done in pursuit of privateering, and if captured had to be granted prisoner of war status. Not with standing its legal status, was very much like piracy. The privateers where motivated by profit. After paying the State a share of the prize they could keep the rest.