In Defense of Lawyers

Let’s face it: lawyers get a bad rap. They are the butt of so many jokes. People call them heartless, cold, and bloodthirsty like it’s part of the job description. While I’m sure most lawyers have thick enough skin to not worry about that, perhaps we have been giving them too hard a time. While I can’t speak for all lawyers, there is something to be said in defense of the profession. The truth is that we couldn’t get along as a productive society without them. 

There are many different kinds of lawyers, including immigration lawyers, family law lawyers, personal injury lawyers, and criminal defense lawyers. It’s this last category that some people take issue with. It can be hard to understand why some lawyers would take on cases in which terrible people do terrible things. How could someone possibly defend someone who was guilty of such a terrible crime? Well, that’s the first problem. They’re not guilty yet. In some cases, the defendant is the one being treated poorly. From shoddy police work to false testimony, there are more than a few ways for people to be falsely accused of terrible crimes. That happens more than any of us would like to think, because we want to have faith in our criminal justice system. Without criminal defense lawyers, the falsely accused would be making up a higher percentage of United States’ prisoners. 

Of course, I know the falsely accused are not the majority of people facing criminal charges. In many cases, those who are charged with crimes are guilty of their crimes. The trouble is, there is so much nuance to saying someone is a “criminal.” While it may be true, in that they broke the law, we should always try to look at the honest truth of the case rather than how much the government punishes people for it. For example, most of the people who are incarcerated in the United States are guilty of drug-related offenses. Thinking about it critically, it may not be fair that someone who was found with cocaine is sentenced to jail for so long. And afterward, it can be extremely hard for them to find a job or get back into the flow of free society. People make mistakes, and even if they’re terrible mistakes, it’s a lawyer’s job to make sure that they are treated fairly under the law, whether we agree with them or not. 

Lawyers do everything in their power to help their clients, such as this firm that uses high-tech forensic science to get to the bottom of their clients’ cases. So, while we may not personally want to defend criminals who have been charged with heinous crimes, it’s a good thing that we have people who do. If we didn’t, the entire system would be thrown out of whack.

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The Most Common Child Support Hang-Up

Single parents have to jump through a number of hoops while they raise their child. They are doing it all on their own, they don’t have a partner to tag in when things get tough. Usually, this means the parent raising the child is devoting almost all of their time and money to the child so that it can grow up happy and healthy.

Sometimes the parent gets remarried or lives with their parents so the child can have a stronger support system, but for a lot of single parents, they’re doing it alone. Certain government assistance programs can help a single parent provide for their child. WIC, food stamps, and a number of other social programs make it so that these parents can buy groceries and other household staples without breaking the bank.

Other systems provide daycare for the child of a single parent. One thing that can be a tremendous help to a single mother is child support.

Child support is money taken from the parent who does not have custody of the child or children. This goes to help feed the child and provide clothing and other basic necessities. The amount of child support awarded to the parent with custody varies based on a number of topics, such as the number of children, the standard of living, etc. Child support can greatly improve a single parent’s life, but it is rarely ever easy to come by.

One of the first things required in a child support case is proof that the child in question is actually the father’s child. Paternity tests help with this and establish a father-child relationship. Establishing paternity involves comparing both the child and the alleged father’s DNA for a match.

If it matches, the child is the child of the father, and the father potentially becomes responsible for child support. In return, the father can now apply for visitation. Determining paternity is a complicated process, and law firms like Alexander & Associates are available to assist the parent along the way.

Paternity testing also occurs in a variety of situations, not just ones where a single mother is seeking child support. Paternity tests are also useful during divorce proceedings when the husband is accusing his wife of infidelity. If their child has different DNA from the husband, he can question whether or not he needs to pay child support.

Paternity testing also helps grown children who grew up without their father. If the test is accurate enough, it can help reunite adopted children with their biological father. Adopted children often go through life wondering how things could have been different had they known their biological parents. Now that DNA-based paternity testing exists, these children can go search for these answers on their own once they reach the proper age.

If you’re a single parent trying to seek help from your child’s father, or if you’re an adopted child looking to meet their biological family, consider getting a paternity test done! These tests can offer vital information that can alter your life forever.

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The Difficulties of Step-Child Adoption

Do you ever stop to think about everything that goes into adopting a child? There are tons of rules and regulations that apply to every step of the process, and it’s even more complicated if you’re looking to adopt from an international agency. Divorce is fairly common these days, and many children are being raised at least partially by step-parents. This can cause a lot of trouble for parents and step-parents. Many step-parents may have come entered a child’s life while they were still very young. The child has grown up with the step parent, and the child respects and loves the step-parent as if they were a real parent. For better or worse, step-parents do not automatically have legal authority and responsibility over that child. In order for a step parent to enjoy the full rights granted of a biological parent, they need to go through the adoption process. The crazy thing is that it looks much the same as an adoption that happens through an adoption agency. The familial bond doesn’t do much to cut out any of the legal processes. I found out about this while I was reading through some information on the website for the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield. The attorneys at that office work on step-parent adoptions all the time. They help step-parents acquire what’s called legal guardianship of a child so that they can enjoy the rights that the biological parents do.

The laws surrounding step-parent adoption vary from state to state. Most states have an extensive process that includes background checks, home studies, court processing, and other requirements. All of these things have to happen in a specific order and in a specific timeline. The whole process can be confusing, and most judges are looking to protect the interest of the child. If you make an honest mistake while filling out paperwork or you fail to meet a deadline, a judge may view you as careless or not invested in the child. This can be detrimental to the adoption process.

In some unfortunate cases, a parent may place their own ego before the interest of their child. Some biological parents may try to stop stepparents from gaining legal guardianship so that they retain more control of the child’s life. They may falsely slander you or your spouse in court. As a biological parent, their word will hold some weight with the judge. If you try to involve yourself in a he-said, she-said situation between parent and step-parent, it’s not going to look good for anyone. Hiring a lawyer will help you navigate any potentially ugly situations like this. It’s a lawyer’s job to represent you and put your best face forward. Having a lawyer helps you show your true character in a way that is professional and convincing to a judge. A lawyer will also be able to explain away any slander that comes your way with evidence and testimony rather than relying on pure word of mouth. These are all great things to consider.

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Introducing Another Tree Pest: Stipplers

Trees are having a hard time these days. There have been numerous imported pests that have scourged certain tree populations, in particular ash trees. Recent hot summers have led to more forest fires that have burned up huge patches of forest across the country. Erratic weather has led to flooding and storms that can drown or uproot trees. And, as the population expands out from city centers, more forests are cut down to accommodate new homes and to make room for those homes.

As even this brief portrait describes, it’s been a tough period for trees, and that’s only the overall story. There are far more problems than the ones that make the news.

Many of us care deeply for trees. We know trees are beautiful, life-giving, oxygen-creating, living things that deserve attention, respect, and assistance. That’s why we want to publicize more of the problems facing trees so more of us can do something to help.

To begin with, it’s important to recognize the limitations of what an individual can do. Unless you’re a park ranger or a firefighter, you probably aren’t going to be able to do much to stop the forest fires out west. You won’t be able to single-handedly reduce the spread of the suburbs or reduce the use of timbers.

What you can do, though, is watch out for the trees under your care and provide them with the assistance they need to flourish. That can involve a reasonable amount of work on its own, depending on the circumstances of your property. For instance, you may want to consider changing the soil if it isn’t particularly high quality. You may also need to provide water in moments of drought, particularly for trees not native to an area of low rainfall.

And then, there is keeping up with the pest risks. One of the lesser-known pests that attack trees are the stipplers. According to Hamlin Tree Care, these come in two forms: lace bugs that you’ll identify by their lacy wings, and spider mites that can be hard to see with the naked eye. Either way, you’re most likely to know you have a problem based off what you observe happening to your tree. The leaves of your tree will become bronzed or bleached with small holes in them. The leaves will then fall off the tree.

If you have a sycamore, oak, walnut, or hackberry tree, this is a very serious risk that can cause serious health problems for your tree. It may even reduce the lifespan of your tree, since it can’t get the nutrients it requires.

This is, of course, only one of the threats out there to the trees in your yard, your town park, and across the country. We have to do more to be more vigilant of pests on our trees, since that is one thing we have ultimate control over. The more healthy trees we have in our communities and in our country, the better. And taking care of your trees is a great way to start helping out.

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How to prove the accident wasn’t your fault

Anyone who gets on the back of a bike knows they can be dangerous. While we all accept that risk, that doesn’t mean we have to accept the blame for every accident that happens. Motorcycle accidents are particularly harmful, but it’s important to remember it’s usually NOT THE BIKER’S FAULT.

Those who ride probably know that already, but what they probably don’t know is that many cops will just assume they are at fault and they will have to prove otherwise. To do that, they don’t just have to ride smart. They have to think and act smart as well by following these tips.

Tip 1: Don’t be reckless

Every biker loves the thrill of the ride, but you have to be willing to drive safely. If you’ve been observed constantly swerving between lanes, it’s unlikely you’ll be believed that the accident wasn’t your fault. The more proof you can give that you have been a safe driver, the better. Which is why you need…

Tip 2: Keep your record clean

If you’ve got a record of accidents, speeding, or worse infractions, you’re almost certainly going to have trouble defending yourself, no matter how obvious it is someone else is at fault. With a clean record, however, you’ve got proof you handle your vehicle safely and carefully. That means you’ve got a case already built that you’re likely not the one causes the accident. Especially if you’ve…

Tip 3: Complete a safety course

Once again, this is more evidence in your corner that you are not at fault because you are a safe and careful driver. Taking the time out of your busy life to complete a safety course is an excellent way to prove not just that you are safe but that you care about safety. Yes, it’s true that this is rarely expected of car drivers, but that doesn’t matter here. You’re assumed guilty from the start, so you have to go that extra mile.

A safety course also proves you care about your driving more than having a clean record. With a clean record, you might have just gotten lucky, with a course, you made an effort. All that is pretty compelling, especially if…

Tip 4: The other driver was being reckless

Here, as with tip one, you have not just to act well but be observant. After the accident, try to work back through the events before the police arrive. Figure out what the other driver did to cause the accident and get the story clear in your mind. If you were driving well, have a clean record, and have a safety course on record, the police are likely to take your story as true, and if not, you’ve got a strong case to argue against their assessment.

There you have it. Just four tips, but they could make all the difference whether you lose your license or not after an accident. Keep them in mind as you ride, especially tip 1. The safer you drive, the less likely you’ll have to worry about the rest later.

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