PA Lawmakers Might Change Statute of Limitations After Sexual Abuse Report

The Catholic Church was delivered a bombshell after a shocking report detailing the deepest levels of sexual abuse of Catholic priests in Pennsylvania. The report outlined that since 1947, within 6 dioceses, there were more than 300 “predator priests” and over 1,000 reported victims, many of who are not within the statute of limitations to file criminal charges. Pennsylvania lawmakers are preparing to vote on whether to either eliminate the statute of limitations and make the window for filing lawsuits longer.

As it currently stands, a victim of child abuse has 18 years to file charges against their abuser. If that time has expired, the law states that the victim can file civil charges against their abuses until they are 30 years old and they can file criminal charges until they are 50 years old. The new bill, SB 261, that is being presented to the state House would remove the time limit completely and raise the civil lawsuit age to 50.

The grand jury that released report recommended removing the statute of limitations stating that “no piece of legislation can predict the point at which a victim of child sex abuse will find the strength to come forward.” However, this new bill does not help the current victims of sex abuse who have aged out. It will not apply retroactively so to speak. But there are lawmakers who are fighting for those who have been wronged such as state Representative Mark Rozzi who wants to amend the bill to include a 2-year window for anyone who has been a victim to file charges regardless of how long ago the abuse happened.

This isn’t the first time a bill like this has been proposed in the State Senate but they have failed to reach votes. Due to the current controversy House Majority Leader Dave Reed expects this to get to the voting stages this fall. The bill has been passed in the Senate unanimously.

How To Protect Yourself Against Online Identity Theft

Just because you have your credit card, social security number, and other sensitive documents securely on you, it does not mean you cannot become the victim of identity theft. With the boost in popularity of the Internet, more and more people become victims every day. Here are some great tips that will help you stay safe.

Use Unique Passwords

When you are setting passwords for websites, make sure that you select a combination that is unique. It is common for people to use things like their pet’s name, date of birth and other information that may be common knowledge, and this can lead to disaster. If someone is able to guess your password, it means that they can access all of your information.

For this reason, it is important that you choose something that is not easy to guess. In case you need some help creating the perfect one, you should use a site that helps generate random strings of letters and numbers.

Purchase From Trusted Sites

There are numerous websites out there that promise consumers the best deals on anything they could ever want to buy. The problem with this lies in the fact that all merchants are not created equal. You do not want to head to a site in search of discounts and you end up with your identity being taken away from you. The best way to get around this problem would be to only buy items from trustworthy sites that you are familiar with.

Download The Right Software

You should not use your computer without making sure that all of the best software is downloaded. There are several types of programs that need to be there in order to ensure your safety. This list includes:

  • Antivirus protection
  • Protection against malware, spyware and other sneaky programs
  • A firewall
  • A pop-up blocker

As long as you place all of these on your system, you should be able to relax on the Web knowing that you are not going to be vulnerable to any identity threats.

It may seem like a sad state of affairs when you have to jump through hoops in order to make sure that you are not too vulnerable when you are online. Even so, you should make sure to place some focus on the advice here. Otherwise, there is a chance that someone may gain unauthorized access to your information.

What Really Is Commercial Litigation?

Birth injury lawyer and Commercial litigation involve business issues. In fact, it is a broad field of law that involves issues between businesses. It can involve every type of dispute that arises between various businesses. There are many commercial litigation situations out there. In fact, being involved in any type of dispute can negatively affect the image of your business as well as your individual livelihood. That is where you need the services of a reputable and experienced commercial litigation attorney. Such a professional can help solve your dispute and clear the name of your business. Here are the most common types of commercial litigation situations out there.

Contract disputes are quite common among businesses. It can arise in a number of different situations. For example, if a supplier fails to deliver the goods to your company according to the terms of your agreement, you may have to solve such an issue through the commercial litigation process. On the other hand, an employee may have a dispute with his or her employment contract. This also falls under commercial litigation and would require the services of a reputed commercial litigation attorney. A contract is a legally binding document between two or more parties involved in it. It creates an obligation for each party to do or not do certain things during the process. Each party is obliged to perform the agreed-upon contractual duty. If a party fails to act according to the contract, a breach of contract occurs. The non-breaching party may file a case against the wrongful party via the commercial litigation process. You should work with a reliable commercial litigation attorney at all times when filing such a case.

Corporate disputes are quite common in the commercial litigation field. Businesses – corporations and partnerships – may face various legal disputes from time to time. These disputes usually fall under commercial litigation. There could be disputes among the partners or shareholders of a business. That is where corporate litigation comes in handy. You should make sure to choose the right commercial litigation attorney in the area. Your research is very important when picking the right lawyer for your case. You can search Google or Yahoo for this purpose. Make sure to check the reputation and experience of the attorney when choosing the right one. That way you are assured of the services of the best commercial litigation lawyer in the area.

Pennsylvania Passes a Bill Expanding the Legalities of Fireworks

Just in time for the biggest firework holiday of the year, (July 4th), Pensylvania lawmakers passed House Bill 452. Houe Bill 452 expands the class of fireworks to include larger, aerial fireworks, which were illegal prior to the new bill. Bill 452 was officially passed on October 30, 2017, and was passed with the intention of repealing and replacing the Fireworks Act of 1939.

What are the Different Types of Fireworks?

The Department of Agriulture spokesman, Will Nichols, broke fireworks down into three different categories. The first category is ‘pop’. The pop category contains small fireworks, like sparklers. The next category is called ‘bang’. The bang category gets a little more serious as they are still floor fireworks, but they are more like fountains that spray upward without leaving the ground. In this category, you will see floor fireworks that may shoot up, but do not get a lot of height. The ‘boom’ category is for the fireworks that were made legal in October. In the boom category, you have larger aerial fireworks like bottle rockets, roman candles, and mortars (500 mg of explosive material).

What are the Restrictions of Purchasing Fireworks?

Upon entering a firework store, you will be asked to show ID and sign a waiver that you will comply with the local rules of your town or state. In addition, you must be 18 years of age or older to purchase fireworks.

Why is Pennsylvania Passing the New Bill?

Well, as much as they want the residents of Pennsylvania to enjoy the nation’s birthday, that may not be the entire reason for passing the new bill. Pennsylvania lawmakers plan to use the sale of fireworks to fix budget issues the state is having. The state plans to place a six percent tax on the fireworks, but they won’t stop there, as they plan to place an additional 12 percent fireworks tax on the explosives. According to the Associated Press, the state House predicts that this new law will generate greater than $9 million each year.

Pennsylvania Consider Offering Sports Betting

On Monday, the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protect Act, a federal law that prohibited states from allowing sports betting to become legal. This decision was made because the Supreme Court believed that the states should have the power to make this decision on the state level without control of the federal government.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board now has the opportunity to create new rules and regulations involving sports betting that will fall under Pennsylvania’s Act 42 the law that allowed a huge gaming expansion signed by Gov. Tom Wolf in October 2017.

Licensed casinos in the state will now be able to apply for a sports wagering license to conduct sports betting either on location at the casino, an off-track betting location or online. However, it is very expensive to apply for a sports wagering license. The fee is $10 million with a renewal fee of $250,000. Not to mention the high tax rate of 34% to the federal government, 1% to the county and 1% to the municipality.

Governor Wolf believes that the new revenue from the sports wagering licenses will increase yearly budgets for other government programs like education and healthcare. However, this didn’t come under intense criticism as others believe that Pennsylvania should not rely on the public to help balance the state budget.

 

What Happens When My Personal Injury Case Goes To Trial?

The good news is this: personal injury cases won’t normally go to trial. Neither party involved in the case wants that, and most times a settlement will be reached long before you need to worry about it. That’s because both legal teams understand that a jury solution is a bigger gamble with perhaps even greater costs. The question remains: what happens when your personal injury case does go to trial?

It’s important to understand the importance of all evidence gathered before the trial begins. After you’ve filed a lawsuit, there will be a process of discovery for both sides. Your lawyer and the defendant’s will gather as much information as possible in order to determine the best possible arguments for either side. In addition to physical documentation, witnesses will provide statements to lend expert analyses to the event in question, and usually, the victim of the injury will be deposed. Everything that happened goes on record.

After that, your personal injury case will likely be mediated one way or another in order to find a settlement outcome that suits both parties more than a trial would. Usually, this works out because one party has a clear edge over the other.

When neither party is willing to give ground, a case might go to trial. When this happens, all the evidence gathered through discovery is presented to a judge or jury. This process can be long and painstaking. First, a jury is selected. After that, the sequence usually plays out like this: both sides will present opening statements to frame their arguments, witnesses will present testimony that could lend credence to those arguments, and then both sides will present closing arguments. After that, the jury will be instructed on how to best fulfill its role. The jury will deliberate, and you’ll have to hope for the best.

This process isn’t ideal because a jury is composed of people who aren’t fluent in how the law works. They’re newbies, and it’s difficult to predict how they’ll react to the story presented by either the victim or the defendant. If possible, try to avoid this outcome–even if you think you deserve better.

What Are The Penalties For DUI in Florida?

If you’re not prepared, the legal system can chew you up and spit you out–especially if you choose not to adequately defend yourself against the consequences of going through that system. First, make sure you find a qualified DUI lawyer. Even if you’re innocent of the charges against you, don’t think you can make it without a good defense. If you’re prosecuted for the charge of DUI, these are some of the penalties you might incur.

The penalties for DUI become more extreme depending on circumstance. If this is your second offense, then you can expect to be hit even harder. Florida issues tens of thousands of DUI tickets each year, but not all of them go to court. Don’t panic.

For a first conviction you could experience the following penalties:

  • A fine between $250 and $500.
  • A year or less of probation.
  • Six months or less in jail. If you were driving under the influence while a minor was present in the vehicle, then this figure changes to nine months or less.
  • Up to fifty hours of community service.
  • Up to twelve hours of DUI school.
  • Your license may be revoked for at least 180 days.

The figures change substantially with each subsequent charge. If this is your third DUI charge in less than a decade, you’ll experience the following substantial penalties:

  • You’ll spend a minimum of thirty days but up to five years in jail.
  • Five years or less of probation.
  • You’ll pay a fine of no less than $2000 and no more than $5000.
  • Your license will be suspended for ten years.
  • You’ll face mandatory substance abuse education.
  • Your vehicle will be impounded for three months.

If these penalties weren’t enough, you’ll also be paying legal fees and ballooned insurance premiums. It isn’t worth it! Don’t drink and drive. Most lawyers offer free consultations to discuss the circumstances of your arrest, so take advantage in order to find the one for you.

Do I Have to go to Trial For A Breach of Warranty Case?

If you’ve fallen victim to the broken promises made during the purchase of any product, then you’re probably already under a great deal of stress. A breach of warranty means that a manufacturer or seller failed to provide the agreed upon services in the event your product broke down. If the product is a vehicle, for example, and your vehicle breaks down while under warranty, then a quick call can usually lead to a repair. If that doesn’t happen, then you might have a breach of warranty case.

If you’ve been taken advantage of, then you’re probably concerned about the possibility you might be dragged into a long court case. Not everyone has the financial stability to afford these legal maneuvers. If you think you have a case against either a seller or manufacturer, then it’s important for you to place yourself in the experienced hands of an attorney who practices breach of warranty. You’ll be able to discuss specific details of a potential case.

One of the factors that can determine whether or not you’ll end up in court is the evidence required to prove your case.

An express warranty is voluntary on the part of either the seller or manufacturer, as the burden of proof will be placed squarely on the defense. An implied warranty is an assumed agreement at the time of sale–buy a car, and you expect it to provide transportation. Ask your lawyer if the type of warranty breach will affect your case.

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to the question of whether or not you’ll get stuck in a court trial for a breach of warranty case. It all depends on the finer details of your own circumstances. How large was the breach of warranty and how much did it cost you? Did the breach of warranty affect only you, or did it extend to many others?

Depending on the scale of the breach, the case might go to trial. If the scale was small, then you might be able to skate by with a small claim–and that means you can avoid trial. Some cases can go as high as the Supreme Court!

What happens if I have to go to Trial after a Car Accident?

In most cases, if you are involved in a lawsuit due to a car accident, the case will settle out of court. This is seen as optimal for both parties. In some cases, like a rear-end collision, it is easy to prove fault. Although, this is not always the case and sometimes a trial is required. A trial can lead to a couple different scenarios for the plaintiff. The first scenario is the court can rule in favor of the plaintiff, rewarding them more than the original amount. The other scenario is the court can rule against the plaintiff, awarding the original amount or nothing at all. A trial is more likely for cases that are for a very high reward as opposed to a case that is a smaller or midsized reward. This is because a judge will not want to bring a case for $20,000 to court because of the time and resources that a trial will ensue. If the case is for one million dollars, it is a lot more likely a judge will see this as a matter that is important and should be heard by a jury.

The Trial                                 

The process of a car accident trial is very similar to a “normal trial.” The main difference is that penalties for car accident trials are financial, not punitive. If you are not familiar with the process of a trial, we have taken the time to lay out the steps for you.

  • Jury selection
    • Most states will have the judge select a jury for a trial. Jurors will be selected by the judge after they face a series of questions. The judge will determine which jurors ideology best fits the case at hand.
  • Opening statements
    • The opening statements will be made on the first day of the trial. During this time, each lawyer will explain their client’s case and state why they are suing or should not be sued.
  • Presentation of Evidence
    • The plaintiff will take the lead here presenting any evidence they feel necessary in proving their case. Evidence can include photographs, medical reports, police reports, witnesses or anything else that proves their side of the case.
    • The defendant will follow the plaintiff. It is at this juncture that they will be able to provide their own evidence and cross-examine the plaintiff’s witnesses. Technically, the defendant does not need to bring any evidence, as it is the plaintiff’s job to prove the defendant wrong beyond reasonable doubt.
  • What’s the Verdict?

Following the closing statements, the jury will convene and come to a decision. They will then inform the judge of their decision. The judge will take all of the information, and provide a ruling on the case, including the reward, if there is one.

How Often Do Personal Injury Cases Go To Trial?

How Often Do Personal Injury Cases Go To Trial?

Personal Injury Law bookPersonal injury cases, like other forms of civil suits, rarely goes to trial. Personal injury claims are a claim against and entity stating that that entity’s negligence caused you to suffer an injury. The plaintiff will file a claim against the defendant, for the money they feel they are owed due to medical expenses, lost time at work, pain and suffering, and any other relevant damages the defendant may have incurred.

In the United States, only four to five percent of personal injury cases actually reach a trial. The overwhelming majority (95%-96%) of cases are settled pretrial. According to thelawdictionary.org, 90% of the cases that actually go to trial result in a loss. Personal injury cases that reach the trial phase often do better in front of a trial judge, rather than a jury. Trial judges tend to pay off at a higher rate and for a larger sum of money.

Why do Most Cases Settle?

 

  1. Settlement allows a defendant to control risk and avoid legal costs

 

If the defendant knows that they are at fault, they will often try to settle outside of court. By settling out of court, the defendant will avoid suffering a bigger loss due to the emotional appeal of the jury. Another reason the defendant will attempt to settle outside of court is that they can control the offer of the settlement.

  1. Settlement can allow defendant to keep the case out of the public eye

This is generally applicable to high profile suits. For example, if a major corporation sells a defective product that injures a few people, they will attempt to come to an agreement outside of court before it hits the press cycle.These settlements can include a confidentiality agreement.

  1. Settlement allows plaintiff to avoid protracted trial

If the plaintiff needs money because he/she is unable to work and cannot afford the medical expenses, it is more than likely the two parties will reach a pretrial agreement.

  1. Settlements are a guaranteed victory

Settlements are a guaranteed victory. When a plaintiff goes to trial for a personal injury suit, there is a chance they can lose and receive nothing for their injuries. Settling before a trial takes place ensures that the plaintiff will receive something.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured due to another person’s negligent or reckless behavior, you may be entitled to compensation. Compensation can include lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. While personal injury does not always result in a trial, there is a small chance your case does. In the case of a trial, it is important to make sure that you have an experienced personal injury litigation attorney on your side.