fredag 15. juni 2012

When To Seek Legal Advice? - Advokat Vidar Borgersen

We live in a society that is governed by laws and to maintain orderliness everyone should abide by these laws. And many people ask “When is the right time to seek professional legal help?” There is actually no definite rule as to when one needs to consult a lawyer. The services of an attorney become necessary when the situation calls for the professional judgment of someone who is expert at law. It is also necessary to hire a lawyer when the issue at hand is related with the interpretation of law. In some cases, people hire lawyers to protect their rights.
Ideally, you have to consult a qualified legal professional if you’ve got any question regarding how a certain law applies to your situation. We have a very complex law and there are many ways to interpret it. An attorney can give you legal information through careful research. The lawyer can help you research past cases that may be applicable to your situation. This expertise is essential when it comes to the interpretation of the law. It can provide you with an insight that is favorable to you.
You must seek legal aid as soon as a legal issue becomes apparent, particularly for disputes regarding legal rights. Take note that most of potential lawsuits or legal causes of action have a certain statute of limitation. You have to take action or file a formal case during this time or forfeit your rights. For instance, if you are involved in a criminal case, you may inadvertently waive your rights or the possibility to defend yourself if you fail to take appropriate legal action within due time. As much as possible, you have to seek legal help in situations when you do not understand the law.
There are also some common situations when a legal advice becomes necessary. Before you sign into any contract or legal document, you have to know what is exactly stipulated in it. Remember that you will be bound to the contract for a long time and you would not want to be in a disadvantage. Once you’ve signed into a contract, the law presumes that you have read it and fully understood its contents. Unfortunately, not all people understand the legal jargon that comes with these legal documents hence the services of an attorney is necessary. Ignorance of legal terms within the contract does not excuse you with the responsibility and obligations. You really need to understand the document you are signing into before finally affixing your signature.
If you are in a situation where you are wondering whether you need to seek legal help, chances are, you should visit a lawyer. Committing a mistake in the legal process can be very costly. If you want to avoid problems in the future, you have to go through the entire law process. Consulting a legal professional is the best way to protect your rights under the law as well as to avoid problems.

Advokat Vidar Borgersen

Divorce Process – An Attorney to Guide You Through - Advokat Vidar Borgersen

When going through the divorce process, there is no doubt that you are going to end up going through a number of new challenges. For most people, even the divorces that are the most peaceful are challenging because they signal loss and change. If you want to make sure that you get through your divorce cleanly and smartly and without sacrificing more than you need to, it is essential that you team up with an attorney who has plenty of experience helping many people through their divorces and who also will be able to impart some useful knowledge to you. At the same time, you want to make sure that you are working with someone who is professional and who is able to see to it that you are taking all of the right steps.
On top of it all, your attorney should make the divorce process much easier for you in an emotional sense. One thing that people realize when they first go through this process is that many of the most important features of their lives, ranging from expensive assets to children, are to some degree up for grabs. It can seem like a cold and unbearable process if you don’t have a professional on your side who is going to take care of a lot of these issues for you. The last thing you need at a time like this is to have to worry about arguing over financial, parenting, and ownership matters that can cause despair.
When you are looking for an attorney to help you through the divorce process, you need to think about getting a free consultation. A few things are going to happen this way. On the one hand, you are going to be able to meet with your potential attorney and find out if he or she is someone whom you trust because he or she has had years of divorce law experience. At the same time, you will want to feel him or her out and make sure that you yourself feel comfortable with him or her.
Keep in mind that an honest divorce process attorney is not going to be sure that he or she can help you until you sit down and explain your situation. Your attorney can tell you what to expect based on his or experience and how he or she can make this difficult process go as smoothly as possible. With the right kind of lawyer, you can come out of your divorce unscathed.

Advokat Vidar Borgersen

Personal Injury – A Lawyer for Tough Times - Advokat Vidar Borgersen

Any person who has suffered personal injury understands that this can be an incredibly difficult challenge to encounter. Sure, you have to deal with the pain and potentially being out of work. If you have a severe injury, however, you also are going to have to deal with the financial aspects of injury, which include thousands upon thousands of dollars that might go to treatments, surgeries, emergency care, and rehabilitation. If you don’t have health insurance or if you are not fully covered, you are going to need to get that money from somewhere. This is why people sue. They don’t like it, but sometimes there is no other choice.
Now, when you are looking for the best personal injury attorney, you will want to start by trying to find attorneys who have plenty of experience working in this particular field. If you have never dealt with a lawyer before, then you should know that there is no such thing as one size fits all. Different attorneys have different kinds of experience. Some concentrate on divorce while others concentrate on real estate of bankruptcy. You will want to find a lawyer who has years of experience helping those who have been injured to recover the money that is owed to them.
You can help your search for the best personal injury attorney by doing a little research yourself. Don’t be afraid to read some studies and high profile cases that occurred in your state or, better yet, in your immediate area. This is a great way to learn about attorneys. You also will want to read the various educational materials that attorneys post on their websites and blogs, this way you can choose one who has proven that he or she understands this kind of law.
At the end of the day, the best personal injury lawyer is going to be one whom you trust. Those free consultations you sit through are going to be informational meetings where you can plan your next move and decide if this particular attorney is the one whom you believe can get you the best results. You will also want to make sure that you are meeting others on a staff and with whom you probably will be working. This might include junior attorneys, paralegals, interns, and other trained professionals who will do research and perform regular communications with you and other relevant parties.

Advokat Vidar Borgersen

What are the steps in the criminal process? - Advokat Vidar Borgersen

Before exploring the details of criminal procedure, let ‘s look at a quick overview of the steps of the process. The process works differently In different states and the federal system, and not every case proceeds through the system In the same way. but this description Is a good approximation of the path of a typical case.
The criminal process begins, of course, with a crime, or. more accurately, the suspicion of a crime by the authorities. A 7-11 convenience store Is robbed, and either a police officer witnesses the crime or. more commonly, the victim (here the owner) reports the crime to the police. The first step Is for the police to Investigate the crime: Interview potential witnesses, look at the security camera videotape, collect other evidence from the crime scene, and compare this crime to similar Incidents. The Investigation may focus suspicion on an Individual—call him Buggsy—and the police might question him. They might stop him on the street, or go to his home, and temporarily detain him to conduct the questioning. If the 7-11 was held up by an armed robber, or If they have other reasons to suspect Buggsy might have a gun. the police might frisk him—pat down his clothing to make sure he Is not concealing a weapon that could Immediately endanger them. These kinds of encounters with the police can be annoying. Intrusive, or even harassing, but they are permitted as steps short of arrest or taking someone Into custody.
In other types of cases the Investigation may be more complex. In a homicide, for example, the scientific Investigation of the crime scene may be more extensive, and an autopsy will be performed on the victim. Informants, wiretaps, and even sting operations may be used In Investigating more complex criminal enterprises.
From this point on. several screens are applied to determine whether Buggsy will be formally brought Into the criminal process and. once he Is In It. whether he will be able to get out. (As long as Buggsy remains In the system, the Investigation of the crime may be ongoing: the police and prosecutors may gather further evidence to be used against him at trial.) Once the investigating officer is satisfied that there Is probable cause to believe that Buggsy held up the 7-П. he will arrest him. Buggsy will be taken Into custody (except In the case of very minor offenses) and booked by having his name and other Information recorded, being fingerprinted and photographed, searched, and locked up (again, except for certain minor offenses, for which he will be released and told to appear before a judge at a certain time).
The next step is to determine whether to formally charge Buggsy with a crime, and. if so. which crime. Charging is normally done through the filing of a complaint, a document that sets forth what offense Buggsy has been charged with and the facts underlying the charge. The charging decision is typically made by a higher ranking police officer, a prosecutor, or both. The person making the charging decision might decide not to charge or to charge Buggsy with a different crime for a number of reasons. He might decide that the matter can be better handled In another way;  if Buggsy Is a kid who has stolen a candy bar from the 7-1 i. for example, the police may release him to his parents with only a stern lecture. Or he might decide that the arresting officer’s determination of the charges was incorrect: depending on what kind of weapon Buggsy had and how much he stole, the charges might be increased or reduced accordingly.
After Buggsy is charged, his status changes from arrestee to defendant, and the focus shifts from the police station to the court system. Shortly after the charge Is filed, the defendant Is brought before a judge (often a lower-level magistrate) for an Initial appearance. Most jurisdictions Impose a time limit on how long a defendant can be held (often 24 hours) before being brought before a judge. At the first appearance, the Judge will Inform Buggsy of the charges against him and will advise him of his basic rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to counsel. If Buggsy Is Indigent, the Judge will take steps to have a free attorney provided for him. The Judge will also set ball. The amount set will depend on the seriousness of the crime. Buggsys background, and the perceived risk that he will fall to appear for trial. If the defendant cannot make ball, he remains In Jail awaiting trial. In many cases the Judges will release the defendant on his own recognizance, not requiring any ball at all.
Following the Initial appearance, a defendant In a felony case may be entitled to a preliminary hearing. In misdemeanors (minor crimes) the preliminary hearing and some other Intermediate steps usually are not necessary. The preliminary hearing Is the first Independent review of the charges by a Judge, who must determine whether probable cause exists that the defendant committed the crime charged. The prosecutor presents witnesses to establish the basic elements of Its case, and Buggsy s defense attorney can cross-examine those witnesses and even present defense witnesses, although for tactical reasons that opportunity Is seldom taken. If the Judge determines that there Is sufficient cause to hold the defendant, the case proceeds: If not. the case may be dismissed, unless the prosecutor Is able to file reduced charges that are supported by the evidence.
The traditional means of giving further review to felony charges Is by the grandJury, which decides whether there Is sufficient evidence to Indict the defendant. The prosecutor can also use the grand Jury as an Investigator body before bringing charges. The grand Jury, like the trial (or petit) Jury, brings laypeople Into the criminal process as decision makers. The grand Jury proceeding Is secret, and only the prosecutor presents evidence. Witnesses brought before the grand Jury are not allowed to be assisted by counsel during their testimony. Accordingly, the grand Jury ‘s historic function of reviewing the prosecutor’s case and screening out unsupported cases has significantly declined. As the saying goes, a competent prosecutor can persuade a grand Jury to Indict a ham sandwich. In many Jurisdictions, there Is no longer a requirement that the grand Jury review the charges.
If the grand Jury has Indicted, the Indictment Is filed with the court. Where grand Jury review has not occurred, the prosecutor files a comparable document known as an Information. Like the complaint, the Indictment or Information lays out the charges against the defendant and the factual basis for them. Buggsy Is brought back to court and arraigned on the Indictment or Information. At the arraignment, he Is again Informed of the charges and asked to plead either guilty or not guilty. Here (or sometimes earlier, sometimes later) plea bargaining enters the picture: Buggsy may decide to plead guilty In exchange for reduced charges or favorable sentencing.
A defendant who pleads not guilty looks ahead to the trial. Before the trial, however, the defense attorney may make a series of procedural or substantive motions to the court. Typical procedural motions will challenge some defect In the charging process. The most Important substantive motions concern discovery of the prosecution’s case and suppression of evidence. Buggsy has a right to know what evidence, favorable and unfavorable, the prosecutor has against him prior to trial, so that a defense can be better prepared. If there were defects In the process of collecting evidence, such as an Interrogation of Buggsy without adequate warning of his constitutional rights, the defense can make a motion to have the evidence excluded from the trial.
The formal centerpiece of the criminal process Is the trial. The defendant has a right to a Jury trial In felonies and In serious misdemeanors, although the right can be waived so the case will be tried to a Judge (called a bench trial). If the defendant Is acquitted, the case Is over. If he Is convicted, the Judge or Jury, as directed by statute, will determine the sentence—the punishment that Is to be applied.
The trial Is hardly the end of the story. The defendant has a right to appeal, to ask a higher court to review the trial for errors. (If the defendant Is acquitted, the prosecution cannot appeal, because of the constitutional prohibition on double Jeopardy.) If errors are found, the defendant may be entitled to a new trial. Even after the normal appeals are concluded, the convicted defendant can pursue collateral postconvlctlon remedies. Often the defendant will petition a federal court, alleging some constitutional error In the trial, even If the trial Initially was In state court.

Advokat Vidar Borgersen

mandag 11. juni 2012

Rules Regulating Foreign Currency in Russia

If you are planning on visiting any country, it is always helpful to be familiar with the rules governing the import and export of currency and other securities. In Russia these issues are regulated by Federal Law from 10.12.2003 No.173-FZ “On Currency Regulation and Currency Control” and Customs Legislation.
Foreigners may bring with them into the country foreign currency, Russian rubles, as well as travelers’ checks and other securities without limitation.

If a foreign citizen upon entry into the country has in his or her possession a total sum greater than 10,000 US dollars, including currency, travelers’ checks and other securities, he or she must specify the value of each on a customs declaration and submit it to customs authority at the border crossing.

A foreigner may, when exiting the country, take with him or her all currencies which were declared upon entering the country or those which were transferred to Russia during the period of stay. However it is incumbent on the foreigner to prove the values of each that were either in his possession at the time of entering or transferred to him while in Russia. In order to do this, a foreigner will need at the moment of departure from the country to provide documentation regarding the transfer of currency and or other assets to Russia or submit the customs declaration which was completed at the point of entry into Russia. In this event, a declaration at the point of departure is not required.

In addition to foreign currency and or Russian rubles totaling that which was declared upon entry or transferred to Russia, a foreigner is permitted to export from the country the amount of currency which is not in excess of 10,000 dollars US. Customs will not require supporting documentation that this additional currency had been previously imported or transferred to Russia. To depart from the country holding currency in excess of that amount is strictly forbidden.

Upon departure, if a foreign citizen is holding 3,000 dollars US or less in any currency, he or she is not required to declare this at Customs. If however the amount is greater than 3,000 dollars US, the entire amount is subject to written documentation at Customs upon exiting from the country. The customs declaration most also show declared values for travelers’ checks, if the total value of such which is being taken out of the country is greater than 10,000 dollars US. Securities which are being taken out of the country must be declared regardless of their total value. In this case, as was noted earlier, it is permissible not to declare at the point of departure that which was declared upon entry into Russia, including currency, travelers’ checks and other securities.

The conversion of foreign currency, Russian rubles and US dollar travelers’ checks are all subject to the official exchange rate which is set by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation on the day of declaration to the customs authority.

We would like to wish all travelers a safe and pleasant stay in our country.

Advokat Vidar Borgersen, 


Environmental Laws and How They Can Protect You and Your Property

Environment laws protect our natural resources by regulating businesses that have the potential to impact them. Due to the importance of these laws, the Environmental Protection Agency was formed as a federal agency whose main task is to control and decrease pollution by researching potential hazards, monitoring companies that may cause environmental harm, setting standards of practice to minimize environmental impact and enforcing punishments for those who violate environmental regulations.
Environmental laws control almost every industry in the country in some form. Specific regulations such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts serve to protect land owners from environmental and property contamination caused by polluting businesses. The Clean Air Act regulates air emissions from mobile and stationary sources—from cars and trucks to plants and factories.

The Act authorizes the EPA to set and enforce National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect the public from emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Amendments to the Act passed in 1990 gave the EPA the right to force industrial polluters to use technology-based standards to reduce emissions of hazardous substances. Major industrial operations must also obtain operating permits from the EPA before starting up. Companies and individuals who violate the Clean Air Act may face extensive fines and be forced to stop polluting and, if possible, correct any damage they may have caused.

The Clean Water Act regulates discharges of polluting substances into any body of water in the United States. The Clean Water Act makes it illegal to dump any type of pollutant from a point source (pipes, man-made ditches and other similar conveyors) into any navigable body of water without obtaining an EPA permit. While private home owners do not need to obtain a permit as long as they are connected to a municipal water system or use a septic tank, industrial and municipal facilities do need permits. Under the Clean Water Act, the EPA sets wastewater standards for industry and also establishes minimum water quality standards for all surface waters. Again, individuals or companies found to be in violation of the Clean Water Act may be fined or have other penalties imposed on them by the EPA.

When plants and factories create air and water pollution, they negatively impact the health of the people who live in their vicinity and lower the value of properties in the surrounding area. Sometimes, the level of pollutants released are so great, they render neighboring properties untenable. Fortunately, the Clean Air and Water Acts can be enforced to make industrial polluters pay for the damage they have caused and restore the land they’ve corrupted to its original state. If you have been injured or suffered property damage as a result of industrial pollution, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an environmental attorney from Arnold & Itkin today for a free consultation regarding your case.

Advokat Vidar Borgersen, 

AUTHOR: Arnold & Itkin LLP

Fighting School Bullying in Court

Civil courts are seeing more school bullying cases. Parents are hoping these lawsuits will bring more attention to the seriousness of bullying.
Over recent years, school bullying has been receiving more and more attention from schools and law enforcement. Now it is also receiving more notice from the courts as an increasing number of cases are being taken to the civil court. J. T. and T. C. are one such case. They have filed a $20 million lawsuit against their son’s school district because of the lack of attention and action given to their son. The eighth grade boy was bullied for years before he committed suicide. The boy’s parents filed the lawsuit on the one-year anniversary of his death. They want their actions to increase awareness of the seriousness of bullying. If people are more educated concerning bullying, they will be more likely to report it.

The family attorney of J. T. and T. C. says that he has dealt with almost seventy cases or bullying in the past two years alone. He stated that parents come to him because they do not want the bullying to happen to anyone else. On the other hand, if schools are required to use their funds on lawsuits, that money will be taken away from education. However, something must be done. The parents of the young boy believe that their son’s suicide could have been prevented. They allege that many students and staff were aware of the bullying, but failed to take any action. One video of their son being stripped of his clothing and put in a trash can was even put online. However, nothing was done to protect him and the incident was not reported. The parents of J. C. do not want any other child to be driven to suicide because they feel like there is no other way of escape.

Schools are designed to be a safe place for children to learn and grow, but if school authorities are purposefully ignoring bullying, there is a problem. The effects of bullying can last for years. One-on-one bullying seems to take place more in elementary schools, while group bullying is more prevalent in high schools. Physical bullying involves hitting, tripping, punching, or any other violent act towards a student. Emotional bullying, however, can be just as degrading and can have more lasting effects on the victim. Relentless name-calling, humiliation, insults, and teasing are only some of the ways children hurt other children. Cyber-bullying can be more difficult to discover but can have extremely destructive results. If your child has been a victim of bullying, you should speak with a personal injury attorney for legal advice and help.

Advokat Vidar Borgersen, 

AUTHOR: Cohn & Swartzon, P.C.