Month: June 2016

Legislative Update: Common-Law Marriage

In February of this year, a bill was proposed to abolish all common-law marriages entered into on or after January 1, 2017; that bill passed the legislature and was signed by Governor Bentley on May 3. Below is a summary of important points regarding the elements of common-law marriage and how this may impact family law and estate cases in the future. A common-law marriage is a legally recognized marriage without all or some of the pre-requisites of a statutory marriage, such as a valid marriage license or no marriage solemnization. However, there are still necessary elements to a common-law marriage that must be proven in court: (1) Both parties must have mental capacity to enter into a marriage; (2) Mutual consent to enter into a marital relationship, exclusive to all others; (3) public recognition of the marital relationship (holding yourselves out to be married in public); (4) cohabitation or mutual assumption of marital duties and obligations.

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Case Study: The Stolen Therapy Dog

signal-2016-03-27-031650The Alabama legal motto is “lawyers render service”, and us attorneys are often presented with countless opportunities to help people in need. Whether it is representing an indigent person charged with a crime they did not commit or drafting uncontested divorce documents for free through a local legal aid group, Alabama attorneys are very selfless with their time and care a great deal about the communities they represent. About two years ago, in the summer of 2014, I was presented with an opportunity to render service to a friend of mine with an autistic son whose brand new puppy had been stolen by the original owner of the dog. My buddy calls me on that summer morning and is, of course, frantic and a little upset. My friend explains the story as follows: A few weeks prior to the phone call, he and his wife purchased a weeks old pit bull puppy for their 8-year old son who has autism. The dog is a gorgeous male dog with a blue/silver coat and white paws, and he and the boy make an immediate bond. Dogs are a natural pet for children with autism because they can provide an extra level of physical protection, such as preventing the child from wandering off, and serve as an emotional anchor for those children. There are countless stories and videos on the internet of dogs providing great therapy to autistic children. I challenge anyone reading this not to cry watching or reading those stories.

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These 5 Mistakes Could Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim

Every legal case is complex in its own way, but personal injury claims are typically the most sensitive when it comes to obtaining the justice you deserve. There are numerous phases in personal injury cases, including discovery, negotiations, and a potential trial. Therefore, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who knows the specific rules in your state to help you receive maximum compensation for your pain and suffering. Unfortunately, insurance companies and their attorneys often attempt to twist the facts of your case to make you seem like the villain. Your future and livelihood may depend on the result of your personal injury case, which is why you cannot afford to proceed without a trusted personal injury attorney. There are several missteps that you can make throughout the personal injury lawsuit process, but some happen more often than others. Here are five common mistakes that can deter you from receiving the compensation you deserve in a personal injury lawsuit:

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