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March 21, 2019
large tree and beach chairs on a beautiful montego bay beach

What Laws Can I Break When Traveling Abroad?

I recently vacationed in beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica and the issue that came up was: What laws do I, as a U.S. citizen, have to follow? The focus really is on jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is the “legal power” over someone or something. There are essentially three types of jurisdiction you would need to be aware of when traveling abroad. First, territorial jurisdiction.  While I was in Jamaica, Jamaica has jurisdiction over me because I am physically present inside its territory and must abide by the laws of the country I am in. Remember Amanda Knox? She was accused of murder in […]
March 20, 2019
happy birthday cake

Can You Be Sued For Singing The Happy Birthday Song?

Your legal brief for today: Can you be sued for singing the “Happy Birthday” song? Imagine on Christmas Eve, your son sings the cutest rendition of “Santa Clause is Coming to Town.” You capture it on video and post it on YouTube. One hundred thousand viral views later, you get sued by the company that owns the rights to the song. Is that possible? It actually is if the song is copyrighted. Generally, copyright protection lasts for 96 years and going back 96 years brings us to the year 1923. So any song written before 1923 is in the public […]
March 14, 2019
felicity huffman and lori loughlin

College Admission Scandal: What Law Was Broken?

As you may have heard, there is a recent scandal in which rich and famous parents were paying a lot of money to get their kids into good schools. But, what law did they violate? As much as thirty parents were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud. What is honest services fraud? Let’s look into it, but first… What is conspiracy? Conspiracy is when two or more people plan to commit a crime. And in most jurisdictions, they have to perform an overt act in furtherance of that crime. So that’s the conspiracy part of […]
March 5, 2019
tomatoes

By Law: Is the Tomato Legally a Fruit or Vegetable?

It’s the age old question. Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?  In 1893 Congress had passed a law taxing vegetables but…you guessed it…NOT taxing fruits. And in the a case that made its way to the highest court in the country, Nix v. Hedden, the supreme court gave us an answer. For a scientist, the tomato is a fruit because it has seeds and is edible – like an apple or a lemon. However, the Court in the Nix case looked at how tomatoes are used by people and restaurants in cooking. Restaurants don’t generally serve tomatoes by […]
March 4, 2019

We Have Gone Paperless!

We have gone paperless! Like most high volume law firms, we used an enormous amount of paper. In addition to filling up office space, we had a whole room dedicated to just storage of years worth of discovery, pleadings and other legal documents. We are pleased that at the beginning of this year, all client files are now digitally stored to help reduce our firm’s carbon footprint. The technology and manpower we invested in going paperless are well worth it to help the environment.
February 14, 2019
woman handing back an engagement ring to a man

Broken Engagement: Who Gets to Keep the Ring (By Law)?

It’s Valentine’s Day.  Did you know that on Valentine’s Day almost 6 million guys will propose this year?  But, thinking like a lawyer here… What happens if the engagement falls apart?  Who keeps the ring? Luckily, I never needed to know the answer to this question but there IS an answer! Florida law is pretty clear that the gift of an engagement ring is made on the condition that a marriage will follow. This is basically the law of gifts. This was decided in the case of Matter of Stage, 85 B.R. 880 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1988). Basically, the ring […]
February 4, 2019

How to Determine the Value of a Personal Injury Case

One of the first thing a client asks us is, “What is the value of my case?” Essentially, what is my case worth? One of the first things we ask is:  Where did the injury occur?  What County are you in?  There are conservative counties and there are more liberal counties. Some counties you get more, some counties you get less. For example, we recently tried a case in the Panhandle and the jury did not award what you would expect in Orange County or even Osceola County for that matter. As trial attorneys, we always refer to the jury […]
December 13, 2018

Biggest Threats To Your Safety This Holiday Season.

The holiday season is one we all look forward to. This time of year brings laughter and joy, as well as a list of “to-do’s” much longer than any other time of year. The last thing anybody needs is to add dealing with an accident or injury to that list. Here at Hogan & Hogan, we want to give you the tips you need to arrive safely and enjoy the holiday festivities. 1.  Remain Aware in Parking Lots. The malls and stores are more crowded than ever from November to January. With many more vehicles and pedestrians in the area, […]
August 13, 2018

Can I FIRE My Lawyer?

We often receive telephone calls from people who are unhappy with their current lawyer and want us to take over their case. So, can you fire your lawyer and how does it work? The short answer is, yes, you can fire your lawyer at any time and the lawyer will have a lien on the proceeds of your case. Before firing your lawyer, you should first clearly state your problem, in writing, to the lawyer. Usually the problem with people who hire big law firms is lack of communication and responsiveness – the feeling that they are just a number […]
June 11, 2018

Can I Collect Workers’ Compensation as a Volunteer?

Whether it is building a house or working at a local meal center, people volunteer for various reasons. Some people do so because it gives them a chance to give back to the community. And likewise, some people do so to make a meaningful societal difference. A Chicken Soup for the Soul kind of reasoning. For others, it is an opportunity to develop new skills or improve existing ones, make new friends, or, less altruistically, watch a live entertainment. Sadly, like any activity, personal injury can happen while volunteering. It is bad enough that someone was injured while doing a […]