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Month: January 2019

DUI and Military Law

Posted on January 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

You might think that getting a DUI is the same for all American citizens, however there is one group that will face a much different procedure than the majority of the country. When you are in the military, you are governed by a much more stringent set of rules than the rest of the population. While you are in the military if you experience any type of legal issue, especially a DUI you will want a military attorney to defend you.

Military Law
The one thing you must understand about military law is that it does not have to conform to the constraints or state laws. In other words just because you are not over the legal limit for your state law does not mean you, as a military member, will not be charged with a DUI under military law. The US constitution made provision that all military personnel are ruled by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This is why you need a military lawyer if you ever get into any type of legal trouble as a member of the armed services.

Not only can the definition of a DUI be different from civilian law to military law, the consequences are quite different as well. In addition to a jail sentence and fines, you could be facing loss of rank, pay grade, security clearance or even a dishonorable discharge. While a DUI in regular life is not any fun it generally will not interfere with your job or career path, this is simply not the case in military justice. Remember there is no maximum sentencing so the judge can impose a lengthy jail sentence. As you can see the consequences can be quite severe and a military lawyer is a must have.

Men and women who protect this country are subject to civilian law but they must also adhere to military justice as well. What might be looked at, as a minor infraction in the civilian courts can be a serious incident when you are governed by UCMJ. You might try to defend yourself in the regular court system, but if you are facing a military trial make sure you have a military lawyer!

Law Student Jobs – Myths About Law Student Jobs

Posted on January 14, 2019 in Uncategorized

Legal field offers some of the most exciting job opportunities to the students of law. If you are interested in this field then you need to make sure that you have certain qualities in you. First of all you must be a hard working person and must love to work with challenges.

You might not think that being a lawyer you just need to provide justice to people and argue at the top of your voice inside the courtroom. There are lots of other important aspects of this profession.

Taking up a case requires lots of research and planning. If you are looking for law students jobs then first of all you need to enroll yourself to one of the best law schools of your country.

A law degree and a good training in law with really help you with legal jobs. You might have come across certain myths regarding the law student jobs. But if you want to make it big in this field then it is very important to get rid of all these things from your head and concentrate on your career.

First of all people think that to get these kinds of student jobs you really need to have good connections. Some people think that if they can befriend some of the best lawyers in town then their influence can be used to enter into the law school and then go for the entry level law jobs.

Secondly some people have the myth that you must have the power to argue well. You must remember that the matter is not about arguing. It is only about placing your points correctly so that your client cannot be denied justice.

Legal jobs are not only limited to being a lawyer. There are many other things which can be done. You can even take up legal secretary jobs or even law clerk jobs.
These kinds of jobs are always good as the entry level law jobs because you get so many things to learn. A good internship or the entry level jobs can become a ladder to move up in this career.

Most of the firms that hire people for legal work always look for the degree and they also make sure that they choose somebody who has been awarded with good marks in his graduation school and bar exam. Some people have the myth that computer is not essential for the legal workers because they perform paper work.

But this is not true. You must also have good computer skills because the documentation is usually done on the computers these days. A degree in business administration can also help you get law clerk jobs or even secretary jobs.

What You Need to Know About “Alternative Dispute Resolution” in Employment Law Disputes

Posted on January 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

Alternative Dispute Resolution is not new. What is new is the rapid shift to private mediation and arbitration of cases that traditionally went to trial. If you have an employment or commercial dispute, the odds are increasing daily that you’ll find the courtroom doors closed to your case.

This article will provide some basic description of the Alternative Dispute Resolution process, and its costs, and also describe the trend toward using mediation and arbitration.

First, some clarifying descriptions: mediation is a voluntary submission of a case to a neutral, paid “deal broker” whose goal is not justice but closure. The parties to the mediation are not bound by the result, and agree that the discussions in the mediation will be kept confidential. There is no evidence taken in the mediation. The mediator is not an adjudicator of the facts, and reaches no decisions. He or she is certainly no dispenser of justice. Mediators have said to my clients in the opening session, “This will sound strange, but in this process today we will not be focused on either the truth or justice. Today, we have only one goal: to settle your case.”

The second major “Alternative Dispute Resolution” tool is arbitration. Arbitration is the private resolution of a dispute compelled by a contract between the parties, and requires the submission of evidence. The arbitrator acts as a judge of the facts and decides the issues of law. His or her decision is often final, with very limited rights of appeal to a court. The arbitration agreement often specifies the arbitration service that will provide the arbitrator. That arbitration service often has already developed a set of procedures and rules that will guide the arbitrator and parties on how the arbitration will be conducted. However, the parties can agree to different guidelines in their contract.

“Alternative Dispute Resolution” can be expensive. Successful, entrepreneurial mediators in Southern California in employment disputes, for example, command fees between $4,000 to $10,000 per day of service, the parties often splitting the cost of the mediation. Most employment law mediations require one full day. Complex cases, and certainly class action mediations, require multiple days.

Arbitration costs are also quite high. An Arbitrator may charge “per diem,” meaning a flat fee per day, or by the hour, but fees of $4,000 per day of arbitration would be considered normal in Southern California employment law disputes. An arbitration, like a trial, involves witness testimony, demonstrative evidence [charts, pictures, videos] and documentary evidence [often emails, data reports, memos, business records]. The result is that arbitration can consume a week of time or longer, and the expense can be substantial. The parties are also paying for their attorney’s time and any expert witness time as well.

Compare these costs to taxpayer supported access to the courts, and you see that the costs of justice has been shifted, and shifted generally to the disadvantage of the individual challenging misconduct by a corporation or other wealthy opponent. California courts have mitigated this burden on the employee by holding that in discrimination cases, the cost of arbitration will be no greater than what the employee would have occurred at a traditional court trial. Also, the California courts have held that they will not enforce arbitration agreements that are not basically fair and balanced in allowing the employee the benefits of preparing and submitting the case for arbitration. That includes access to evidence and basic “due process” in the conduct of the arbitration.

The general rule is that the winner recovers the “costs” of arbitration, which would include the cost of the arbitrator. However, unless there is a statute or written agreement between the parties for recovery of attorney’s fees, each side must pay his own attorney. In employment discrimination cases, there are just such “fee shifting” statutes favoring the employee. Also, employees often enter contingency fee agreements with their lawyer.

Mediation is an informal process. The parties usually meet in the mediator’s offices, and each occupies as separate conference room. It has become customary in my mediations in Southern California that the parties do not even see each other during the day. Instead, the mediator shuttles between them, stating to each the weaknesses [and occasionally the strengths] of their positions. However, the mediator is the voice of reason and dispassionate analysis. The mediator is not there to rubber stamp a party’s advocacy of why his case is so great, but to point out how badly things might turn out for that party if the case proceeded to trial. The goal is to provide a dose of caution and prudence, thereby inducing a party to avoid the risks of litigation by a written settlement, often that same day.

Arbitration is a formal process, but in my experience, not as formal as a courtroom, and with a refreshing degree of flexibility in fashioning the way the case is presented. Much of that flexibility depends on the individual arbitrator. Rules of evidence still apply, but arbitrators are more likely to allow evidence, subject to assessing its weight and credibility. However, the arbitrator is hired by the parties to conduct the arbitration according to the terms of the arbitration agreement, which may set forth strict procedural requirements. The place of arbitration is also often in the facility provided by the arbitration service, but without the usual pomp and gravity associated with a courtroom.

Most significantly, the arbitrator is accessible before the arbitration, often by conference call, to manage the case as it proceeds to hearing. The arbitrator in this way can quickly hear the arguments and decide a motion or resolve a discovery dispute, thereby keeping the case on track. Often, the timing of key events in the arbitration, such as when depositions will be completed, or a key motion will be heard, is arranged by consultation with the arbitrator followed by a stipulation of the parties. Thus, the process is more efficient because the parties have more access to the decision maker. Finally, arbitration often are concluded more quickly than trials. This is because there is no jury, and because court judges, unlike arbitrators, have hundreds, often thousands, of other cases to manage at the same time, and so must interrupt the trial calendar to attend to them.

The United States Supreme Court has taken a clear stand supporting the right of parties to agree to arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act. The Court has given approval to often one sided agreements favoring the more financially dominate party who drafted the agreement, such as large financial institutions. The California Supreme Court has tried valiantly to fit notions of fairness within the sweeping mandate of the U.S. Supreme Court. The California Courts have held that under basic common law contract principles, an arbitration agreement must not be so one-sided in favor of the employer as to be “unconscionable.” This State-Federal battle continues, but the obvious ultimate victor will be a conservative U.S. Supreme Court, and the trend is already toward greater enforcement of arbitration agreements meeting the minimal requirements of federal law.

In conclusion, “Alternative Dispute Resolution” is the trend of the 21st century unless the State and Federal Judiciaries take measures to make the courts more accessible through the use of internet filing and service of process, video conferencing, and expedited jury trials. Also, repeal or amendment of the Federal Arbitration Act is indicated if the general population is to continue to believe in the American concept of equal access to justice.

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