How to Find the Right Motorcycle Helmet

Motorcycle helmet | Accident Lawyer | Huntsville, ALAt Martinson & Beason, P.C., we strongly recommend that you wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. A helmet can’t prevent a motorcycle crash, but it can save your life if a crash ever happens. It can also make a ride more enjoyable, cutting down on wind and protecting your face from flying insects and debris.

However, you can’t wear just any helmet when riding a motorcycle. Different helmets are designed for certain activities. Just like you wouldn’t wear a construction hard hat when playing football, you shouldn’t wear a helmet not designed for motorcycle use during your ride. [Read more...]

Army May Cut Active Duty Force from 570,000 to 420,000

 

The Department of the Army has released its Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment (SPEA).  The Army completed a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) in 2013.  Since that time, Department of Defense (DoD) fiscal guidance has continued to change and the initial projected cuts from 570,000 Soldiers to 490,000 are looking far more grim.  The Army is now studying the possible effects of nearly doubling those cuts to an Army end strength of 420,000 Active Duty Soldiers in order to operate on a significantly reduced budget.

While the Army will attempt to reduce its force size through normal attrition (i.e. retirements, voluntary separations, and reduced accessions) thousands of Army enlisted Soldiers and Officers will face involuntary separation.  Nearly all Army installations will witness additional reductions to their force numbers.  The current SPEA, however, specifically identifies installations that could experience reductions of 1,000 or more Soldiers and Army civilians.  The Army report can be found at http://aec.army.mil/Portals/3/nepa/Army2020SPEA-FNSI.pdf.

According to Defense Department officials nearly 3,000 officers are expected to be laid off.  Among those to receive pink slips are Army leaders currently serving in Afghanistan.  In the coming months, enlisted Soldiers and Officers, alike, will face possible separation due to budget cuts.  Unfortunately, this means many Soldiers who have good service records, and who are fully qualified for continued service, will have to leave active duty because of severe budget cuts.

Because even high performing Soldiers are at risk of being eliminated, it is important that Soldiers ensure that their Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) is up to date and presents the best possible snapshot of that Soldier’s career.  Every Soldier needs to check that their DA photo is current and that their Officer Record Brief or Enlisted Record Brief accurately reflects their assignment record, service data, security data, education (both civilian and military), awards and commendations, personal data, and foreign language skills, if any.

Depending on the type of separation, a Soldier may be entitled to Separation Pay.  However, if a Soldier is being separated for misconduct, poor performance, and/or derogatory information contained in their OMPF that Soldier may see their career end with no chance of separation or retirement pay.

If you are served with notice of possible administrative separation under Army Regulation (AR) 635-200 or AR 600-8-24 it is important to speak with an attorney immediately.  Soldiers facing involuntary separation are entitled to free representation by an appointed Judge Advocate serving in the Trial Defense Services of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.  Considering the seriousness of early separation and how it may affect your future employability and retirement prospects, you may also choose to hire a private, civilian attorney with prior military experience to represent you at a separation board hearing.

 

*Caleb Smith (Licensed only in PA)

Distracted Walking Is a Danger to Pedestrians

Distracted walking | Pedestrian Accident Lawyer | Huntsville, ALCell phones are a marvel of technology that offers the opportunity to be connected at nearly any time and in nearly any place. Just because they offer this opportunity, however, doesn’t mean that we should necessarily take it.

In recent years, there has been a fair amount of public backlash over the constant use of smartphones. Over-use in public settings, like restaurants and movie theaters, has been deemed rude and obnoxious. Games have been created to reward people for not using their cell phones. (Consider the game that has restaurant guests placing their phones in the center of the table during the meal, and whoever reaches for his or her phone first pays the bill). And a recent prankster garnered millions of YouTube hits after he uploaded a video of himself “crashing” other people’s cell phone conversations in an airport. [Read more...]

Near-Death Prompts Bike Safety Invention

Child riding bicycle | Bicycle Accident Lawyer | Huntsville, ALThree years ago, parents Dave and Judith Meyer were enjoying a cookout with friends while their son, Luke, rode his bike in the front yard.

When Luke wrecked his bike, his parents—like any normal parents—examined him to make sure he was okay. He didn’t have any outward signs that he had been seriously injured. He stopped crying after a while, so they put him to rest in bed.

But the next morning, Luke was still in pain, with a fever, chills, and a racing heartbeat. [Read more...]

Truck Driver Charged, Wal-Mart Sued for Accident that Injured Tracy Morgan

Semi truck | Car Accident Lawyer | Huntsville, ALIn June, Tracy Morgan made news, not for his comedy tour or his work on “30 Rock” or “Saturday Night Live,” but for the injuries he sustained during a serious car accident caused by a semi truck driver.

According to ABC News, police believe that the truck driver had fallen asleep at the wheel.

New Jersey State Police Sgt. First Class Gregory Williams said, “Driver failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead. He observed at the last minute—just prior to impact—the limo bus carrying Morgan and his party.” [Read more...]

Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower from Huntsville’s Marshall Space Flight Center

meteor showerWhen was the last time you looked up at the stars? Really, truly looked, letting the majesty of infinite space sink in?

Just like most of us don’t take the time to stop and smell the roses, few of us take the time to look at the stars. However, it’s time to start—and there has never been a better opportunity this year.

Tonight, the Perseid meteor shower, one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year, will peak overhead. After dark, be sure to put on a few extra lawyers, grab a blanket, and set up camp outside to view an amazing show. The shower is projected to peak around 3-4 a.m. [Read more...]

Lou Reed’s “Unfinished” Estate Plan

Lou Reed | Estate Planning Lawyer | Huntsville, ALSadly, Lou Reed—lead singer and guitarist of The Velvet Undergound and successful solo musician—passed away late last year. It has recently come to light that his estate plan was lacking important provisions that would have better protected his family.

Reed joins many other prominent public figures whose inadequate estate planning has led to potential losses, including Michael Jackson, James Gandolfini, James Brown, and others. [Read more...]

Free Tickets! Marion Meadows at the Three Caves

Marion Meadows

Are you ready for another Martinson & Beason, PC giveaway?  We’ve got more concert tickets to give away to some Huntsville jazz lovers.  Marion Meadows, a world famous smooth jazz recording artist and saxophonist, will perform at the beautiful Three Caves venue this Saturday, August 9th, at 7pm.  We’ve got three sets of two tickets to give to some lucky Facebook users.  All you have to do is share our Facebook post about the event to be entered in the drawing.

We will announce the winner on Thursday, August 7th, and the tickets can be picked up at our Huntsville location during office hours on Friday, August 8th.  Get jazzed! Learn more about the event here.

Celebrate the End of Summer with These Events

Huntsville farmers marketBefore the summer finishes winding down and the kids go back to school, take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy the many outdoor events that Huntsville has to offer!

This month, downtown Huntsville is putting on events for all ages and interests. Here are just a few:

Thursday Night Bikes: No bike? No problem! Borrow a bike and explore downtown, Twickenham, Old Town, or Five Points. The bike is completely free to borrow: simply register at the borrow station at Greene Street Market. There are only ten free bikes available, so make sure to get there early! [Read more...]

How to Stay Safe This Motorcycle Season

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer | Huntsville, AL | Martinson & Beason, P.C.We’re well into summer, and many people are enjoying the nice weather by riding their motorcycles.

If you are one of them, we want you to stay safe.

Despite ideal riding conditions, the number of accidents that occur during the summer is high. This is partly because of the increased traffic on the road, particularly around the holidays.

A recent article in Consumer Reports offers great tips for both new and returning riders. [Read more...]