Finding the Best Lawyers

A lawyer is someone who has a highly detailed knowledge of the law and who has experience and skill in representing client in court and speaking in front of a judge and jury. If you find yourself in court for any reason, or in a position where you intend to take someone to court and to press charges, settle a divorce or get yourself out of a contract, then you will need to make sure that you have the best lawyers on your side.

Without lawyers we are basically ‘sitting ducks’ in a court of law or any legal dispute. Most of us will have very little knowledge of the details of the law, of the ins and outs or of the various loopholes. This means that other can use these against us unless we have lawyers to defend us, and it means that we are unable to use them ourselves even if they might have been able to help us win our case.

So in short using the best lawyers is a huge investment that can help you in many ways – whether it helps you to get out of an uncomfortable contract, whether it helps you to improve your working conditions, whether it helps you to keep your assets in a divorce, or whether it helps you to retain the legal rights pertaining to your work or an intellectual property. In any case you will save yourself a huge amount of money and inconvenience and this means that it is more than worth spending some time and money up front now in hiring a good lawyer.

But with so many lawyers out there, how do you go about finding the best lawyers? How do you recognize them when you find them?

Well thanks to the internet we now have access to a huge range of law firms and lawyers from the comfort of our front rooms. This allows us to browse the sites of many different legal experts and to compare the best lawyer s and law firms directly.

When searching online, you should first and foremost look for lawyers that will deal specifically with your area of the law. If you are in legal disputes with your employers, then you will need to use an employment lawyer for instance, and if you are going through divorce then you will benefit most from divorce lawyers.

The reason for this is that lawyers that specialize will have a lot more intricate knowledge regarding the area you are interested in. They will know more of the loopholes, more of the laws, and more of the case histories that relate to you. If you used a general lawyer then they would have good breadth of knowledge, but they would understand relatively little about each topic compared to specialists.

You should then look around the site of the lawyers to ascertain which are the best lawyers. Look for sites that are well designed and that look professional, and be weary of anything that is poorly designed. Likewise look for good testimonials, and be sure to speak with the lawyers in person on the phone before you decide.

Some Reasons Why You Should Consider Training As A Court Reporter

There are several names by which those in this occupation are sometimes called. They can be known as voice writers, stenotype reporters or transcribers. The court reporter creates an accurate transcription of official proceedings. These transcriptions are used for future reference and for research purposes. This job requires a very high level of accuracy and attention to detail. People in this occupation are often highly intelligent and multilingual.

Stenographic reporting is the most common method. The operator use a stenotype machine and is able to press multiple keys at a time to represent sounds, phrases and words. Modern technology allows for the machine to be linked to a computer system that translates the shorthand from the stenotype machine into text that appears instantly on the computer screen.

Another popular method is electronic reporting. The transcriber uses audio equipment to record the proceedings. Apart from overseeing the proper operation of the equipment, he also takes notes aimed at clarification and identification of the speakers. The recording is then later transcribed. The main disadvantage of this method is that the records of the proceedings are not available immediately.

One of the most technologically advanced methods is voice writing. The reporter speaks into a voice silencer that ensures that the proceedings are not disrupted. All testimony is repeated into a hand held mask that houses a microphone. Gestures and emotional reactions are also recorded, requiring a high degree of skill. Speech recognition systems are sometimes used to provide an instant real time transcript.

This occupation is not limited to courtroom work. While these services are of immense value to the judiciary, transcribers are also in high demand for the recording of depositions, arbitration hearings and many other meetings where an exact record of the proceedings is required. Some earn a extra income from the sale of their transcriptions for study and research purposes. Many also earn an income from recording speeches and lectures.

There is more to this occupation than just he actual recording of proceedings. Voice writers and stenotype reporters have to create and maintain the computer dictionaries that are used to translate the keystrokes or voice into text. It is sometimes even necessary to customize the dictionaries for proceedings where specialized terminology will be used. Other tasks include the editing of transcriptions for grammar and spelling errors.

In order to qualify for this type of work intensive training in English and business law is necessary. There is also a high emphasis on legal and medical language. Training is offered by most business schools, and some colleges and universities. Examinations involve both theoretical tests and practical assessments. Qualified reporters are required to perform transcriptions at approximately two hundred and fifty words per minute.

To become a court reporter it is necessary to be highly organized, precise and disciplined. Most members of this profession earn a good income, they are highly regarded and their services are sought after. Many disputes and potential misunderstandings have been avoided or solved because of the existence of accurate records of proceedings.

How Credit Law Protects Consumers

Consumer credit laws were designed to provide protection in a variety of ways that affect consumers fair access to credit. This can refer to the consumer’s right to understand the credit and loan terms prior to agreeing to them, every consumer’s fair and equal access to credit, limitations on loan and credit interest and terms, and so on. Even a basic understanding of these important laws and Acts can help individuals understand their rights.

Understanding consumer credit rights is the first step to ensuring that you’re being treated fairly by creditors. These credit laws also provide consumers with avenues to have their concerns addressed. The Federal Trade Commission, for example, is charged with overseeing some of these consumer credit laws.

Outlined below are several laws of particular importance for consumers. In today’s economic climate, many consumers are particularly concerned with repairing bad credit reports and scores, and for this reason, the laws of particular importance to those individuals interested in credit repair efforts are placed in their own category.

Consumer Credit Laws

Laws of special importance to credit repair services and a general overview are provided below.

The Credit Repair Organizations Act was designed to ensure that those seeking credit repair services from credit repair organizations are provided with the information necessary to make an informed decision. It aims to ensure that consumers are protected from deceptive or unfair advertising and unscrupulous business practices.

Examples of unscrupulous practices include suggestions that a consumer change their identity or that a consumer lie about their past credit history to potential creditors.

Credit Repair Organizations that violate the law can be sued for damages and attorney’s fees. Violations of the Act can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission and/or your local state attorney general. A consumer has 5 years to take action against an organization once they have learned of a violation to the Act.

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits the denial of credit because of sex, marital status, race, religion, national origin, age or because a person receives public assistance. This law offers protections to consumers when they deal with any people or organizations who participates in the decision to grant credit or in setting the terms of that credit. This includes banks, credit unions, credit card companies, loan and finance companies, retail stores, and real estate brokers.

The law ensures that consumers have the right to know whether their applications for credit were accepted or rejected within 30 days of filing a complete application and to know the reasons why an application was rejected. It also protects the rights of consumers to know the reason(s) why they have been offered less favorable terms than requested, but only if that consumer rejects the less favorable terms being offered.

A number of federal agencies are charged with the enforcement of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, including Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, to name a few. Where a consumer directs complaints depends on the complaint itself. A starting point for consumers is to visit the Federal Reserve website or call 1-888-851-1920.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives any individual the right to know what information is being distributed about them by any credit reporting agency. It regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer credit information. The FCRA was passed in 1970, and along with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), it constitutes the core of credit law in the US.

Critical to the Fair Credit Reporting Act are the rules and responsibilities outlined that Credit Reporting Agencies must follow. Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) are the entities that collect and store credit information on every US consumer. The FCRA also provides regulations that those who provide the CRAs with information must follow. Examples of these information furnishers are creditors such as credit card companies, mortgage companies, and automobile financing companies. Other information furnishers include employers, bonders, and courts that enact judgments against individuals, such as bankruptcies.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. The FCRA is arguably the most powerful piece of legislation used by credit repair companies who seek to have out of date and/or incorrect information removed from a consumer’s credit report.

Notices of Rights and Duties under the FCRA (July 1, 1997) were published by the Federal Trade Commission as amendments for the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Notices must be distributed by Credit Reporting Agencies and include a summary of consumer rights under the FCRA; a notice that sets forth the responsibilities under the FCRA of those who furnish consumer information to consumer reporting agencies; and a notice that outlines the obligations for any person who uses information covered by the FCRA.

These Notices were designed to enhance the Fair Credit Reporting Act in an effort to promote accuracy, fairness, and the privacy of information in the credit files created by all credit reporting agencies.

The Federal Trade Commission oversees the proper implementation of the FCRA and the Notices of Rights and Duties.

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) is a US federal law that was enacted in 1968 and is contained in Title I of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. It’s intent is to protect consumers by requiring that any lender, prior to entering into a credit transaction, provide written disclosures of the costs of credit and the terms of repayment.

Excluding some high-cost mortgage loans, the TILA doesn’t regulate the charges that may be established for consumer credit. What the Act requires is standardized disclosure of costs and charges for credit. This protects consumers by helping them shop and compare the costs and terms of credit and make informed decisions about where and from whom they access credit.

Other benefits to consumers include the right to cancel particular credit transactions that involve a lien on a person’s primary dwelling and the regulation of credit card practices. It also includes mechanisms to protect a consumer’s timely resolution of credit billing disputes.

The Truth in Lending Act is enforced by the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and several other agencies. Those creditors that are not under the jurisdiction of any specific enforcement agency answer to the Federal Trade Commission.

Other Consumer Credit Rules and Acts

The Consumer Leasing Act is a federal law that requires leasing companies to inform a consumer in writing about the details involved in a contract. It outlines requirements regarding the cost and terms of any leasing agreement, including a statement of the number of lease payments and their dollar value, penalties for reneging on timely lease repayment, and whether a lump sum payment is due at the end of the lease agreement.

This Act helps consumers understand the important details of any lease agreement so that they can shop for the best leasing terms. It also helps a consumer compare the cost of leasing with actual purchase costs. In addition, it regulates lease advertising by penalizing unscrupulous or unfair advertising practices.

The Act applies to leases including personal property leased by an individual for the period of more than four months for personal or household use, long term rentals of items such as cars and appliances, and other personal property.

The Consumer Leasing Act is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.

The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) is a US federal law that was set forth as an amendment to the Truth in Lending Act. The Act outlines guidelines and procedures for resolving billing errors that may appear on credit card and charge card accounts, and protects consumers from unfair billing practices.

The procedures outlined in the FCBA include the proper dispute process for consumers. Consumers may send via mail a written dispute of perceived billing errors to their creditor within sixty days of the statement date on the account statement. The creditor is obliged to acknowledge and investigate the dispute, and within 90 days, make the requested correction or inform the consumer in writing that no correction with be made the reasons why.

Examples of billing errors covered by the Act include: charges not made by the consumer; incorrect charge amounts; charges for goods not received by the consumer; charges for goods not delivered under specified terms; charges for damaged goods; failure to update account payments made; calculation errors; charges a consumer either requests proof of or wants clarified; and payments mailed to the wrong address.

Overall enforcement of the Fair Credit Billing Act is the responsibility of the Federal Trade Commission; however, enforcement for banks falls under the domain of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) sets out guidelines and procedures for collections companies that prevents debt collectors from using unfair or deceptive practices to collect overdue bills. Debt collectors regulated under this Act include collection agencies, lawyers who regularly collect debts, and companies that buy delinquent debts from others and endeavor to collect them.

The debts covered under the Act do not include debts incurred by businesses. They do include family, and household debts, such as money owed on credit card accounts, medical bills, auto loans, and mortgages.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is charged with the enforcement of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) is an amendement to the Truth in Lending Act and was implemented by the Federal Reserve System in 1994. It was designed to protect consumers by restricting certain terms of high cost home loans in situations where the interest rate or fees are above specified levels.

This Act applies to the sub-prime mortgage market and home equity lending, and it has therefore been discussed at great length in recent times.

The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act applies primarily to refinancing and home equity installment loans, provided that these loans meet certain criteria and fall under the definition of a high fee or high rate loan. The Act does not apply to reverse mortgages, loans to build or buy a home, or home equity lines of credit.

As with the Truth in Lending Act, enforcement of HOEPA falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission.

Credit law exists to protect consumers. The Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Credit Repair Organizations Act are of particular importance to those who provide credit repair services and those seeking to repair bad credit reports on their own. Understanding these laws and where and how they are applied and enforced is critical for any consumer interested in protecting their rights in any credit or leasing arrangement.

The Lawyer Business Coach: Humor Means Health! Are Lawyers ‘Legal Eagles’ Or ‘Legal Beagles’?

Yes, I’m a lawyer. Please don’t hold it against me. Many people don’t like lawyers. They say they seldom return phone calls. Others complain that they charge too much money. Many say they don’t speak plain English, and instead speak what is sometimes called ‘legal gobbledegook.’ Some even think lawyers are all crooks.

Many people think lawyers should be eliminated altogether. But America loves lawyers. We have more lawyers, per capita here, than any other nation in the world. When I passed the bar and started law practice, the registration number I was assigned was 2,386. That’s how many lawyers there were in Colorado, USA. If I were to tell you how many Colorado lawyers there are today you wouldn’t believe me and you would think I was lying. By the way, you do know how to tell if a lawyer is lying don’t you? If his mouth is moving.

Again, many people think lawyers should be eliminated altogether. Shakespeare, in Hamlet, has the line, “The first order of business should be to kill all the lawyers.” Heaven forbid! Pogo, our cartoon philosopher friend, gave us an alternative: “Let’s just shorten their legal pads.” This sounds like a much more realistic idea to me. Doesn’t it to you too?

I write different types of articles: business, spiritual, and human development. I call myself ‘The Lawyer Business Coach,’ and ‘The Gospel Coach.’ Most people can understand me writing law-business articles. But many can’t understand me writing spiritual articles. I’ve had people say, “How can you be a lawyer, and a Christian too? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?”

At a funeral service the minister said, “Here lies a lawyer, and a good Christian man.” One fellow asked the minister: “Did they bury two men in the same grave?” But, yes, I do write spiritual articles. My focus is living daily life in the power of the finished work of the gospel of Jesus.

My purpose in these humor articles is simply to give you a greater fondness for us lawyers. Maybe just a greater tolerance for us? Take your pick. Don’t forget to hug your lawyer today. On second thought, maybe that’s not such a good idea. Ignore that counsel.

Remember, lawyers are people too. Well, at least most of us. And at least most of the time. Whichever is greater. Or least. Or perhaps both.

Those Legal EAGLES (or is that ‘BEAGLES’?)

Lawyers are the legal eagles of society! We are the custodians of liberty!! We are the protectors of the people!!! We are the stalwarts of justice!!!! We are the upholders of the Constitution!!!!! And if you believe this, then I also have some ocean-front property in Denver, Colorado I want to sell you too.

We all know what an eagle is. It’s a large, gorgeous, strong bird that is the symbol of America herself. We lawyers like to consider ourselves legal eagles. We also all know what beagles are. It is defined as a dog who is a small hound, with a smooth, lavish coat, short legs and drooping ears. They also have a wide throat, and produce a deep growl or fierce bark. This describes a lot of lawyers I know.

It’s Hard For Lawyers To Stay Motivated

It’s especially hard for us lawyers to stay motivated because of all the negative lawyer jokes we hear all the time. I wish people would go back to Pollock jokes. But then I’m not so sure about this either, because Sir Frederick Pollock was a famous English lawyer barrister, and jurist.

I feed myself this stuff because it’s so hard for us lawyers to stay motivated. That is, unless we are suing someone. Why? Because we lawyers are the most enthusiastically negative people in the world. But it’s not without cause.

In defense of lawyers (most of whom need a lot of defense), do you have any idea how difficult it is to stay motivated, enthusiastic, or ‘up’ when you face one negative person or situation after another, hour after hour, all day long?

Law offices are negative, because they consist of lawyers. Also, a lawyers’ secretary is often down in the bumps because of her boss. After all, how would you feel if you were a legal secretary and you were ready to leave work for the day. You pop your head into your bosses’ office and say, “Hey boss, have a good day!” He snarls back at you: “Don’t tell ME what to do!”

That’s how it is in most lawyers’ offices. Wouldn’t this negative atmosphere rub off on you too if you had to work in it constantly?

Of course, clients are usually negative because of the things they are facing – criminal matters, traffic violations, divorces, bankruptcies, corporate problems, contract breeches, and many, many other types of things. When you’re a lawyer, you must handle those negative clients – and then fight with other lawyers and judges on top of that.

At the end of the case you often have to fight your client to collect your fee. Especially if you lose! What a business. It is no wonder lawyers are negative people.

Practicing law is a lot like practicing prostitution. In both cases, the value of services rendered drastically declines – once those services have been performed. It’s because clients don’t like to pay once services have been performed that makes many lawyers collect their fees in advance.

So, we lawyers spend all of our days fighting with everyone we come into contact with. Then we spend our nights worried about the next day’s activities. And you thought being a lawyer was just a lot of fun and games, didn’t you?

Next time we’ll talk about the mixed messages that lawyers often give people.

Benefits of Law Transcription Services

Quality law transcription services ensure an array of benefits for legal professionals and law firms. The significant advantage is that these services enable legal professionals to maintain error-free and updated textual copies of important legal dictations in their practices. These documents can be easily retrieved for reference at any point of time.

Benefits of Law Transcription Services – An Overview

Legal practices and law firms have to manage a series of legal proceedings on a regular basis. Amidst their busy schedule, legal professionals most often might not get enough time to devote for transcription. Entrusting their law documentation tasks to a reliable legal transcription company would allow them to complete the documentation procedures and get the transcripts updated quickly. Well coordinated law transcription services offered by established transcription companies ensure legal practices benefits such as:

Reduce documentation workload: Professional transcription services considerably reduce the documentation workload of legal professionals. These services save precious time and effort, and help them focus more on core processes.

Avoid file backlogs: As the dictations are transcribed by experts on a regular basis, legal practitioners can easily avoid file backlogs.

Save additional expenses: Through outsourcing their core documentation tasks, legal entities can save the huge expenses that would be otherwise required to maintain the infrastructure, resources, manpower and technology to perform the transcription jobs in-house.

Improve efficiency and productivity: Reduced workload considerably enhances the efficiency of legal professionals and their supporting workforce, which would definitely make the practice more professional and productive, and improve its reputation.

Law reports in convenient file formats: Efficient legal transcription services help lawyers and attorneys maintain transcribed law reports in easy-to-use electronic file formats or as hard copies. The records would be kept well-organized and can be easily retrieved as and when needed.

Ideal Transcription Solutions for all Legal Documents

Outsourcing companies strive to deliver quality transcription services that precisely match the specific documentation needs of legal entities. To offer professional law enforcement transcription services in a modern infrastructure, most firms utilize advanced transcription technology, software utilities and services of experienced transcription experts and quality controllers. The transcription specialists in these firms are highly skilled and provide secure and accurate services. They can efficiently handle dictations provided in any file format such as digital audio files, digital video files, audio CDs, micro cassette tapes, cassette tapes, DVDs and more. These experts offer reliable transcription solutions for the following legal documents:

• Legal pleadings
• Law enforcement field dictation
• Memorandum letters
• Court transcripts
• Private investigations
• Depositions
• Hearings
• Client letters
• Interrogations
• Reports
• Wire-taps
• Briefs
• Surveillance reports, and more

Excellent Document Accuracy Rate

Transcription services offered by a reputable legal transcription company ensure your transcribed documents an accuracy rate of 99%. Their professional services also feature:

• Convenient dictation options: Digital recorder dictation, Toll free phone dictation
• Excellent data security and confidentiality
• Electronic signature
• Three level quality assurance
• Transcription management software
• Feeds for EHR or EPM
• Rapid turnaround time
• Affordable pricing up to 40% lower than market rates
• Continuous technical support
• Free trial offer

Outsource to an Established Company

When planning to outsource their law transcription tasks, legal entities must necessarily utilize the services of an established legal transcription company. The services offered by such a firm can assure you many benefits in terms of reliability, quality, pricing structure and instant response.