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March 22, 2019
god on the witness stand

Can You Sue God?

And win? Believe it or not someone has tried. And lost but Not because God is almighty. But because the court dismissed the case. So what was the problem? In 2005, a man sued God for all sorts of intentional torts and atrocities against mankind – disease, pestilence – intentional flooding of the world (hmm…sounds like a great insurance claim #lawyerdream). In any case, the problem was with service of process. A lawsuit can’t just be mailed to someone’s home like an Amazon delivery. The law requires that a copy of the lawsuit be hand delivered … placed into the […]
March 22, 2019
human anatomy model

Do You Own Your Own Body?

You own your house, your car, your clothes. But do you legally own your own body? The answer may surprise you. Most people know that the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution outlaws slavery. But now in the 21st century, do you legally own your own body? If you think about it for a moment, even here in the liberty loving United States of America, there are numerous laws and regulations about what people can do with their own body. For example: It is illegal to put certain drugs in your body. Prostitution in certain places is illegal. Abortion […]
March 22, 2019
red objection ballon being popped by a needle

What The Heck Are Lawyers Always Objecting To?

Objection! On television, it seems like us lawyers are always objecting all the time. But what are we objecting about? Lawyers generally object for one of two reasons. First, we object because we don’t think the question asked of a witness is proper. Second, we object because we don’t think the answer the witness is giving is proper. After a lawyer objects to a question, the judge either sustains or overrules the objection. If the judge sustains the objection the lawyer cannot ask that question and must move on. The most common objection is hearsay. Hearsay is when a witness […]
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 […]