General Legal

How a Garden Dispute Launched a Multi-Million Dollar Court Battle

Have you ever found yourself frustrated with your neighbor? Whether they have a habit of playing their music just a bit too loud in the middle of the night or their dog/child refuses to give you a moment’s peace, chances are we’ve all had to face a frustrating neighbor at some point in our lives. But if you think blasting music is an issue, imagine your disdain when you discover your neighbor is trying to sue you over a tree in the backyard. Well, that’s just what one couple had to go through. The couple, who shall remain nameless for legal reasons, had been living in their new home for around 6 months with no issue. They had finally found their own little section of paradise when a letter came through the door that would turn their perfect world upside down over the next few years. One lovely summer day, the couple had come home from work to discover a letter inside their door addressed to them.

 

In it, they found a letter addressed to ‘The Couple in # 47’* (*house number has been purposely changed). In the letter, it explained how their next-door neighbor was getting frustrated with the growth of #47’s tree. They went on to say that it has been an ongoing issue and if it wasn’t sorted within the next week, the neighbor would be forced to take matters into their own hands. The couple scoffed at the letter and set it on their table. They wound up forgetting about it and a week had passed. If you’re looking to avoid mimicking this issue, why not keep your trees and your relationship with your neighbor in order by checking out tree loppers Perth for all your Australian tree grooming needs.

 

The couple had heard nothing and even began to forget about the letter when early one morning, they were woken by a loud crash. They didn’t worry and continued with their day; it wasn’t until later that week that they received an official court summons. The neighbor claimed that they had forced him to take matters into his own hands, and after trying to deal with the tree, he had wound up causing damage to his shed out his backyard and was wanting to sue the couple for damages. What followed was a ridiculous back and forth that cost both sides millions of dollars.

 

So, What’s the Moral of the Story?

The moral of the story is that no matter what the issue is, communication and proper research is key to solving any problem that may come your way. You can find out how the Australian laws work in your own backyard and can know for yourself what you’re entitled to. Keep yourself covered by staying with these laws and be cautious when exploring some of the grey areas.

Keep yourself knowledgeable of what you can and can’t do and who knows, someday you might be saving yourself from splurging on millions of dollars on legal fees.

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Why the EU is Looking to Change Inheritance Law

Legal disputes during the grieving process are never ideal. The time is bad enough without further complications and everyone deserves that period to be as least stressful as possible. That is what inheritancelaw really understands. they are based in Manchester, Birmingham, and London.

Cross Border Inheritance

Recently, lawyers have cautioned that UK people with assets and belongings in Europe could, unbeknownst to them, leave them to the mercy of the English law after new rules have emerged, and cross border inheritance has come into effect.

I can’t tell you how mad this makes me. It’s another post Brexit thing and I’m sick of it.

The whole purpose of this change is to make it easier for EU residents by giving them the choice between either choosing the law of the country of their nationality or the last place they lived to have an effect on their inheritance.

Forced Heirship

And what’s more, the UK has elected not to follow the new rules but the changes will still affect the UK citizens with, as I said, assets and belongings in Europe. The biggest uproar from this is it allows people to be exempt from the ‘forced heirship’ rules that affect a large number of countries in the EU and dictate how assets are inherited throughout a family after death. The Society of Trust and Estate, as an example of how the rule will be used in action, has said a woman in the UK that owns a house in France would have had to have left it in her will to her husband and kids. This is due to the French Forced heirship rules.

However, because of the new rules implemented, she could choose to have the UK law affect her house, allowing her to leave it to a sibling if she chooses. It offers more freedom. Unfortunately, this also means that people not born in the UK could be affected by their laws without even noticing it.

This could be incredibly problematic and, as I have said, the grief period is a stressful and awful time anyway without this piling on top.

People that don’t want the English law to have an effect on their assets will need to alter their will to make this clear and people with assets across the EU are being urged to review their plans and wills.

If someone in your family or a close friend dies and you are an heir, as a basic rule, you can settle their inheritance with:

  • A person authorized to perform legal actions of any EU country
  • The courts where the recently deceased lived before their death.

Heirs Choosing the Court

So if there is an issue that needs to be resolved by a court, as an heir you will normally be required to go to the courts of the country in the EU where the deceased previously lived. On the other hand, if the deceased had, in fact, chosen that law of their nationality to apply to what they’re leaving behind, and that is also the nationality of an EU country, you and other heirs can present the issue to the EU courts of that country.

If you are an heir, you also need to prove your entitlement.  Usually, this comes from a national document certifying your status. You can also ask the powers that be to grant you a European Certificate of Succession. So overall, the benefit of this is that it means its effects are identical throughout the EU regardless of where it was given and it’s recognized without any additional procedure. It can be obtained from any EU court.

 

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Breaking Into the World of Law: Starting Your Own Firm

Starting your own law firm can lead you to be part of a very strong and profitable industry. Lawyers and law firms are required for a variety of tasks and it is the opinion of many that it is a crucial service. Setting up your own law firm is something that is going to take time and precision as it is such a professional industry. Here are some key steps to help you break into the world of law and become a successful and trusted firm.

 

Legal Qualifications

First things first, you are joking to have to ensure that you are qualified to start up a law firm. You will need official approval and a license to practice before thinking about a single case. In order to be a working solicitor you will need the following qualifications.

 

-Three-year undergraduate degree

-One year Legal Practice Course

-Two years of Law Skills Course

-Two-year law training contract in an established law firm

 

Once you have gone through the motions of your law training you will be able to look at setting up your own firm, I would recommend remaining as a working solicitor for some time to give you some further experience in the industry.

 

Premises

After your training in order to set up your own law firm, you will have to go about sourcing some form of premises to operate from. That could start off as a home office situation and develops into actual offices depending on your budget. You may be able to find somewhere a lot easier if you are backed by external funding or investments, I would recommend using this money to establish your firm in a stable location.

 

Hiring

 It will come as no surprise that you will be unable to set up a law firm alone, you are going to need a team of talented and effective solicitors as well as extra staff 5o help around the firm. When it comes to hiring the greatest team of employees you should advertise the positions you need and put potential applicants through a fairly rigorous interview. Working in law is a demanding profession and you will have to be sure the people you hire are up to the task, and are worthy enough to represent your firm.

 

Training

In the initial stages of setting up your law firm it would be a good idea to set up some kind of training initiative. With training you will be able to ensure that all bases of your staff’s ability is checked over, this not only allows you to test the strength of your team but also tells your staff exactly what you are looking for from them. Just because someone is qualified for a position doesn’t mean they are the right person for the job, the law industry can be a cruel place and people who represent your firm must be able to deal with this in a professional way.

 

Student Placement

A great way of getting the word out about your law firm as well as getting first dibs on budding lawyers would be to set up placement schemes for students. This would build your reputation in a positive way in your local community and get people talking about your firm. As well as publicity you would be doing something good for the public which in turn boosts your image and makes people more likely to choose your firm to represent them, when they see you doing good for the community.

 

Advertising

How you advertise your services can be crucial in bringing your firm more clients, whether you choose to market online or in a physical way you should target a wide range of people. You must ensure you have a strong online presence giving potential customers all of the information they need to decide they want you, getting a new website design is a good idea as a professional-looking page is crucial for you to be taken seriously. Like any business your image must be maintained to show that you are serious about helping your clients with their needs.

 

Expanding the firm

If you have taken all of my advice you will be sure to have made progress in terms of your firm’s growth. How you deal with the expansion of your law firm is totally dependent on the direction you wish to go in. Some choose to remain relatively local and deal with the lower scale cases but, if you have aspirations of spreading countrywide I would begin by looking at investing in another premises, location is key as you must be able to simultaneously provide legal advice in two different areas, expansion like this will require more money, more staff, and more resources but the benefits are more than worth it.

 

Customer Service

A final piece of advice to be applied to any business including law would be to maintain a strong respect for your customers. The legal industry is one that can involve some sensitive issues, it is vital that you do not forget to instill a level of professionalism towards clients and their cases. This can be implemented through inspections and training regarding client interaction, particularly for those who are fresh out of Law school with little experience, customer service can be overlooked. However it is the simple things like being respectful towards clients that will give you and your law firm a professional reputation.

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How Different European Countries Decide on New Laws

How Different European Countries Decide on New Laws

Law is an integral part of society today and you would be amazed at how many people don’t know the decision making that goes behind the rules that govern our lives. How many times have you wondered why that law is there? Or who came up with it, and why? Thankfully, there is a lot of information on Dutch lawfirm Le Poole Bekema explaining how European countries, such as Holland, decide on the new laws. There’s a lot more to it than just picking and it often takes years to establish new laws.

Many counties in Europe are part of the EU and this has a massive effect on the laws they implement. The European Commission proposes laws that are inside the EU’s parameters. That is to say, they are laws that the EU approve of. The level of scrutiny of these laws is then much higher because they not only represent that country but the EU as a whole. This means the laws are heavily reviewed, checked by professionals, and updated when necessary, all so that they are as effective as possible. Any new European laws are proposed by the European Commission. The laws are set up and refined by them so that the interests of the union are protected and as a result, it’s citizens. The European Commission will send a legislative proposal to the European Parliament and also the Council of the European Union who then must reach an agreement on the text for it to become an actual law.

A lot of people can have their say in the law-making process, including businesses, members of the public, public authorities such as the police, and stakeholders. This concept, known as better regulation, is a huge part of the process of creating new laws. It shows the European Commission actually listens to those that the laws will directly affect and it is usually evidence-based. It allows the laws to be put in place for the people to improve the things that really need to be improved. this helps the Commission to reach its target at a low cost and with less work going into the admin side. It shows people that they are being listened to and therefore feels more inclusive.

There are many ways interested members of the public and shareholders can suggest new laws, such as impact assessments, legislative proposals, elements of evaluations and fitness checks, or previous laws and roadmaps where the Commission demonstrates new ideas for policies or reviews of existing ones.

Passing Law

Whenever a law is passed, the Council of the European union can authorize the Commission to take two types of acts that aren’t legislative to ensure laws are implemented properly or updated if required. If it wasn’t clear by now, the Commission is solely responsible for ensuring whether the EU laws are applied on time and in a suitable manner.  That is why many refer to it as the Guardian of Treaties. If an EU country does not apply the law in the intended fashion or worse, doesn’t make the proposed legislation part of the new law at all, it will take steps to correct this. These steps may include holding formal infringement hearings, against the particular country. This has been known to happen in the past.

The benefit of the Commission is used to set up new European laws is it is monitored heavily. The EU laws are regularly evaluated to see if they have had the desired effect they were set up to do. the findings of the evaluation will encourage the Commission to decide whether or not the EU actions have any need to be changed. They really listen to the public as anyone is able to give feedback and take part in evaluations and checks on the laws.

The impact the EU has had on European laws is astronomical. Since the Second World War, the EU has intended to deepen its integration in search of a peaceful future and growth in the economy. By regulating European laws, they are able to help in a big way and ensure the public and businesses really get their voices heard. The European Parliament is the only elected EU body and they are the ones tasked with proposing the laws, implementing decisions, regulating issues, and representing the EU around the world. It may not be able to propose legislation but laws cannot pass through it without their approval. Currently, the leader of the EU parliament is Italian politician, David Sassoli.

The Council of Ministers, also known as the Council of the European Union, are the ones who also need to approve of legislation before it passes. They consist of government ministers from all countries of the EU and they are all organized by their area of policy.

 

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Health & Safety Regulations Every Small Business Owner Must Know

Keeping your small business afloat is a lot of responsibility. But one of the most important aspects of owning a small business is ensuring you are aware and compliant of health and safety regulations. They ensure your employees and clientele are kept safe. Failure to comply can lead to injury or damage which can be expensive to deal with and detrimental to your small business. While it shouldn’t be an issue for the vast majority of small businesses, it’s probably worth noting that your employees have the right to refuse to do any task they deem as unsafe. So, if you’re wanting to make sure your business is on top of its health and safety, pay attention to this advice and be sure to do your own research – or else your business could be on the line.

Furniture

In order to prevent injury and potential lawsuits, it’s probably worth checking the furniture you have around your workspace. Check your desks and chairs are sturdy and unlikely to break. If you’re unsure it may be worth investing in some new furniture that passes health and safety regulations. For example, the best office chairs to invest in if you’re wanting to ensure you’re meeting health and safety regulations are like the office chairs reviewed here. Don’t take any chances, your employees and clients should always be your number one priority.

Cleanliness

It should be a given, but it is very important you keep your workspace as clean as possible. It could be worth investing in a cleaner, but if it isn’t in your budget, you should ensure your workspace is given a deep clean at least every two weeks. It may also be worth establishing a basic cleanliness standard that all your employees are aware of. Make sure your soap dispensers are consistently topped up and add a sign beside your sinks to remind people to wash their hands. It could also be worth in investing in some hand sanitizer pumps around the workspace.

Fire Safety

Also, an extremely important aspect of keeping your workspace safe is ensuring you’re on top of your fire safety. Make sure you test your fire alarms regularly and have a fire escape plan in place that your employees are confident with. Ensuring you have fire extinguishers around your workspace could be the difference between a burnt-up microwave and losing the entirety of your workspace.

Space to People Ratio

Many people may not know this but there is a regulation in place to ensure your employees have an adequate amount of space to work in. To stay within regulation, you should ensure per employee, there is at least 41 square feet of office space.

Obstructions

To help reduce the risk of injury, it’s important to limit the clutter in your workspace. Any doors, especially fire exits, should never be blocked and walkways should be clear. Should the worst happen, and you and your employees need to exit the workspace quickly, it shouldn’t be made any more difficult by obstructions. Don’t put your business at risk and keep your workspace tidy.

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What are Consumer Protection Laws and Why are they Important?

The world of corporate law is a vast and often confusing world. And it is important for anyone looking to step into the legal world to be able to understand some of the more important aspects of it. To that end, we are going to be looking at consumer protection laws and why they are important. This guide will cover the topics in a basic manner, looking at the different aspects of consumer protection laws and why they are so important to, not only your legal career but the world as a whole.

The Basics

To put it simply, consumer protection laws do what it says on the tin. They are laws designed to protect consumers. But what does this mean? Essentially these laws look at making sure businesses are not price-gouging customers, protecting customer data, being truthful to customers and giving them a fair, proper customer experience. Things such as warranties and return policies are determined by consumer protection laws. Businesses can be hurt or even shut down if they do not adhere to these laws and individuals who run the businesses, can be fined, or even prosecuted for breaching these laws.

KYC

Know Your Customer, or KYC, is a method within the business world that is used to establish information about a customer. This system works two-fold, it benefits the business but also protects the customers. KYC is often a system that collects data from a customer, willingly, while they are using their business. This data is kept and stored and allows a business to tailor their experience to the customer, but also allows them to make sure a client is who they say they are. This is how KYC protects the customer. It is a system that stops fraudsters very early on. If a customer’s information has been stolen, KYC is used to make sure nothing fraudulent happens. Customer protection laws work their way into KYC. Businesses are required, by law, to make sure the customer data is secure and safe and not being misused for malicious, or fraudulent purposes. KYC can be handled on-site by a business or by an outside company. I tried KYC solutions from Fully-Verified.com and it proved to be an insightful look into how KYC works and was beneficial to my own company.

Importance

Why are these laws so important? They are not only designed to protect customers but also to keep businesses in check. Without these laws, companies would be free to do whatever they wish. They would be able to produce an advertisement that lies about products, meaning customers would not be getting the product they expect. This could cause a lot of harm, especially for products that have potentially life-threatening implications. Without these laws, companies would be able to sell faulty, or ineffective products, and not allow customers to claim on warranties or returns the products for a refund. This would essentially let scammers and fraudulent businesses run rampant. Without these laws, businesses would be allowed to use customer data however they want. They could sell it to whoever they like and cause serious harm to their customers.

The Next Step?

If you are interested in working in cooperate law, specifically in the field of customer protection laws, there are a number of ways you can go about it. There are a lot of active firms that are built around making sure businesses are adhering to these laws.  Watchdog organizations and the like are great places to look. It is also a good practice to look at how different countries handle their customer protection laws. For example, the EU has blanket customer protection laws for any company operating within Europe, even if they are based somewhere else.

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The 7 Most Important Advertising Laws You Must Know

Advertising law is often cited as one of the most confusing sections of the law to try interpret, this passage will attempt to break down some of the more confusing parts of these laws into simple layman terms. 

Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act

The TAC act is meant to put a leash around telemarketing companies and stop any and all deceptive practices. This act was instrumental in protecting the consumer and eliminated many shady yet common practices. 

Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992

This act requires companies to disclose possible dangers to children, and offer a transparent billing practice. This act changed telephone advertising and squeezed unsafe products out of the market. 

Fair Packaging and Labeling Act

The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act requires that all consumer commodities, apart from food and drugs, label their contents and their place of manufacturing. This does not include online services so take this example of a digital signage product from digitalframe0 this product would not require the company to list such things. 

Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act of 1986

This act was perhaps one of the biggest in American advertisement history. This completely eliminated the opportunity for cigarette companies to advertise on TV and radio. The act also forced cigarette companies to place warnings on their packets, including health warning labels.  

Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1966

Another important cigarette-based act was the Federal Cigarette and Advertising Act. This forced companies to report on the effectiveness of cigarette labelling, and also offer recommendations for new legislation. The Tobacco Education Act was actually based on the recommendations this act produced. 

CAN-SPAM Act

This act deals with companies that send unsolicited commercial emails. The act does not entirely ban the sending of such emails but restricts them to a strict set of guidelines. The act mainly deals with the banning of false information and aims to put a stop to deceptive subject lines. The act also offers a cash reward system for those who report deceptive practices, which eliminated immoral emails from the industry. 

Wool Products Labeling Act

This act aims to eliminate deceptive practices from the wool industry. Wool companies must now clearly label where the product was processed or manufactured. The wool company must clearly state if the wool was manufactured in the US or imported. 

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