Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What can Lawyers do to Help Victims of Domestic Violence? A lot.

Victims of domestic violence often feel helpless, trapped and alone. They may stay with an abuser due to of a lack of resources, issues of custody or fear of retribution if they leave. Enlisting the counsel of an experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of the court system can help you break the cycle of violence and be an advocate for you and your family.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetime.

A domestic violence attorney can assess your case and help you determine the best course of action to take. Before your consultation, sit down and write a list of things you’d like to discuss and questions to ask. If possible, it may also help to write down all incidences of violence, the circumstances and dates that they occurred. Be open and honest with your lawyer. Your attorney is there to advocate for you and needs to know the facts of the case to make strategic decisions, such as specific evidence to present or selecting witnesses to testify on your behalf.

A domestic violence attorney can help in many ways, including:

Get a  temporary or permanent protective order in place. In Pennsylvania, victims of domestic violence can seek a protection from abuse order that may prohibit the abuser from making contact or coming within a certain distance of the victim. In certain situations, a protective order can also require that the abuser move out of a home shared with the victim. Each county has its own filing procedure, so having an attorney who is familiar with the local courtscan be a lifesaver.

File a domestic violence lawsuit. Your lawyer can file a civil lawsuit that allows you to recover any medical expenses, financial loss, or pain and suffering caused by your abuser..

File for divorce. If the perpetrator is a spouse, a family law attorney can assist you through the divorce process, including seeking spousal support and receiving your share of marital assets.

Get custody of your children. If the abuser is also a parent of your children, an attorney can help you get custody as well as child support from the other parent.

Represent you in court. A domestic violence attorney will file required documents and be your advocate in court.

Communicate with the defendant (or his or her attorney). Your lawyer will also communicate and negotiate with the defendant throughout the legal process so you do not have to deal with any more abuse or conflict.

Suffering abuse at the hands of a loved one is a  traumatic and life-changing experience. Our experienced and compassionate attorneys located in West Chester will be there to support you every step of the way, fight for your rights and help you protect your family.

If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

Thursday, September 7, 2017

You Just received a Traffic Ticket. Now What?

Although a speeding ticket or other traffic violation may seem harmless, they can result in costly fines, points on your driving record, higher insurance premiums and  suspension or loss of your driver’s license. A criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in Pennsylvania traffic laws can advise you on the best course of action to take, and may be able to get charges reduced or dismissed.

What can you Expect when you Receive a Traffic Ticket

The severity of your violation determines the dollar amount of fines and the number of points that will be added to your driving record. If you accumulate six or more points, your insurance rates will most likely increase, and you may even risk having your license suspended or revoked. Serious traffic violations may include:

  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to stop for a school bus with flashing lights
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked license
  • DUI

If you receive a traffic ticket for violating state motor vehicle laws, you must resolve the issue by the date displayed on the citation. You can resolve it one of two ways: either pay the ticket and admit guilt, or submit a “not guilty” plea to the court processing your traffic ticket.

The process of submitting a plea varies by jurisdiction. A criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid further fines and penalties by submitting your plea in a timely manner in the proper jurisdiction. Your attorney will closely examine your ticket to check for any inaccuracies and analyze every aspect of the evidence against you.

On the day of your traffic violation trial, you will have the opportunity to present your defense. If you fail to appear in court on the scheduled date, the judge will hold the trial in your absence. If you are found guilty, the conviction will be reported on your driving record.

Your attorney may use the following defense strategies to get charges reduced or dismissed:

Human error–There are many different scenarios in which human error plays a part when calculating the speed of a vehicle. A police officer who is following you to determine your speed could be distracted or may not have followed you for a long enough distance to get an accurate reading.

Other factors such as darkness at night and curves in the road can also call into question the accuracy of determining your speed. If your car was being tracked by aircraft, a police officer looking down at the controls could easily lose sight of your car or confuse it with another that is similar in color and style.

Faulty calibration of equipment—Automated systems such as VASCAR measure speed by dividing distance traveled by the time it took to travel the distance. In Pennsylvania, VASCAR equipment must be calibrated every 60 days, and radar guns and police car speedometers must be calibrated at least once a year. If these devices were not calibrated within the proper time period, they will not produce reliable results that will stand up in court.

Motor vehicle laws are complex, and an attorney who is familiar with handling traffic cases in the municipality where you received your ticket will have a better understanding of how to proceed with your case. Carosella & Associates’ skilled defense attorneys are knowledgeable about state and local traffic law, and will fight to protect your rights and help you win your case.

Monday, August 28, 2017

How to Make Sure your Bankruptcy Lawyer is Looking Out for Your Best Interest

When you feel like you’re drowning in debt you may be vulnerable and looking for a quick way to resolve your financial issues. Enlisting the counsel of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you sort it out. Finding the right attorney for you and your situation is vital to understanding which type of bankruptcy you should file. If you are searching for an attorney or aren’t sure if your current bankruptcy lawyer is looking out for your best interest, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your bankruptcy is handled competently and in a timely manner.


Filing for Bankruptcy

There are several types of bankruptcy, but Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most popular for individuals. Chapter 11 is often an appropriate type for small businesses. Before you jump into determining which type of debt relief will work best for you, make sure you do thorough research on the options that may be available to you.
There are many misconceptions about filing bankruptcy. Some people think it’s difficult to qualify for bankruptcy, that it will destroy their credit, or believe that they may lose everything they own. Do not assume that advice from friends and family or what you read online about filing bankruptcy is accurate. There are state-specific laws and issues surrounding bankruptcy, every case is different, and many issues will be unique to your situation. Consulting with a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the process is essential.

Is Your Lawyer Looking Out for You?

The quickest path to debt relief is not always the most effective. Unless you are in a dire financial emergency, you likely have time to consider all options to get your finances back on track. A good attorney will present all options to you at the outset, and explain the benefits and pitfalls of each one.

There are a few important things to look for to ensure your lawyer is looking out for your best interest. Does your lawyer:
  • Present you with all options available to you?
  • Ask about your goals in regard to filing bankruptcy?
  • Treat you with respect and listen to your concerns?
  • Provide direct, honest answers and solutions that meet your needs?
  • Keep you informed about the progress of your case?

While many of the questions your bankruptcy lawyer asks will involve your finances and assets, he or she should ask some personal questions as well, such as:

Are you experiencing any immediate medical issues or needs? If your health is not stable it may be best to wait to file for bankruptcy, but if your financial hardship is due to exorbitant medical bills it may be the best option.

At Carosella & Associates’, our clients’ best interest is a top priority in each and every case. Our knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyers can determine the best option for your situation and help you achieve financial stability again.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

How to get good Legal Advice for Business Start-ups

Opening a startup business can be exciting, but many entrepreneurs underestimate how much legal help they will need. Qualified business lawyers who are experienced in dealing with startups can advise you about the laws and regulations that pertain to your business and advise you on a variety of issues that may come to light as you’re setting up your business.



Determine your company’s needs. There are many legal considerations that need to be taken into account when starting a company. As soon as you have an idea, you may have intellectual property to protect. Experienced business lawyers can help you protect it with trademarks, patents or copyrights.

It’s also important to figure out ownership entity, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, limited partnership, general partnership, corporation or LLC. This determination can depend on the type of business, how many people are involved, tax issues, and potential liability issues. It is essential to enlist the help of skilled business lawyers for this step. A poor choice can have major financial repercussions.

There are also a variety of human resources issues that may come up. Attorneys with experience in employment law can help you make sure your company has the correct employment policies in place to comply with labor laws.

Find the right fit with good business lawyers who understand exactly what you want

Find business lawyers who possess solid knowledge about the industry in which you work. If your attorneys understand your business and industry, they can help guide you through some of the major obstacles you may face, and help you make informed business decisions. Ask for referrals from other people in your industry. Ask them who they're using or have worked with in the past, who is good and why.

Hire lawyers who are responsive. Lawyers who have your best interest at heart will be there when you need them, especially when it comes to urgent matters. If you send a note to a firm saying you're interested in working with them and you don't hear back promptly, cross them off your list.

Set ground rules and discuss billing and fees. Once you have selected business lawyers to work with, part of establishing a positive working relationship is setting clear operating guidelines. These guidelines should help set pricing and billing expectations between your company and the firm. Discussing these expectations as part of your vetting process can also shed light on whether a particular team will be right for you.

Create a strategic plan. Think about when you will need legal support over the course of the foreseeable future and what it will cost in terms of both time and money. Make sure expenses for each category of legal work are within expected margins. This will help to control your budget, and provide early indicators of where your business is headed.


Once you have narrowed down a list of lawyers, choose someone with solid knowledge and experience of corporate law, contracts, intellectual property, and tax and employment law. If you select the right team of competent business lawyers like Carosella & Associates, P. C. and focus on getting the best value from their services, your startup will be on the road to success in no time.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Why do you need a Business Lawyer for drafting Business Contracts?

If you do not know an estoppel from an easement, you need a competent attorney to help you draft business contracts. Even if you can separate an exemption clause from an exclusion clause, having an attorney with you to create a business contract adds an extra layer of protection and confidence that your business will not suffer from a costly legal oversight. In today’s competitive market, contract lawyers are essential in drafting business contracts. 

Just for Contracts?

You need not hire an attorney only to help with your business’s contracts. Indeed, by retaining a law firm to assist your company in all areas, you increase the efficiency and security of your day-to-day operations. Ideally, one firm should be able to provide your business with: 
  • Entity formation
  • By-laws
  • Patent applications and intellectual property rights
  • Stockholder agreements
  • Personnel issues 
A sufficiently large, multi-faceted law firm with a deep bench of talent can help your business when unexpected opportunities or emergencies arise. 

Especially for Contracts!

Drafting contracts favorable to your business while maintaining ethics and fairness for the other party is complex. You can be assured the employee, vendor or client has their own lawyers checking the contract you offer; make certain it is on solid legal footing before presenting it to the other party. Make certain your own contract lawyers have examined the contract. 

Many business contracts today depend on so-called “boilerplate” clauses and sections that have been slightly modified from the expected wording to benefit one party. A typical issue is the pervasive, subtle shift to arbitration, often at the cost of preserving a company’s right to sue. Only business contract lawyers will take the time and perform the due diligence needed to check every paragraph, sentence, clause and word of that “boilerplate” to protect your company's rights. 

Remember your business is not exclusively creating contracts for employees, suppliers and clients to sign; you often have to respond to contracts created by others. Getting these contracts reviewed by experienced attorneys greatly simplifies your decision-making. 

Available to Help

Hiring contract lawyers should be convenient to you. Are their offices nearby? Do they answer or return your telephone calls promptly? Do you have sufficient resources to devote to your needs? 

Contracts can mean success or bankruptcy to your business, so lawyers you engage should convey a sense of the grave responsibility they bear. If you do not personally connect with the team, you will not feel well served. A successful relationship depends on the law firm valuing you and the business you own and doing all it can to protect that business. 

Specialization

A business contract can be many things to many companies. A good team of contract lawyers has experience across the wide range of contract law: 
  • Intellectual property
  • Buying and selling
  • Construction bids and contracts
  • Letters of intent
  • Non-compete agreements for valued employees

Your goal in hiring lawyers for your business is to anticipate the many varieties of contracts your business may need as it grows and prospers. Leaving business contracts to do-it-your-selfers is a sure way to leave your business vulnerable to gaps in contracts that could spell disaster for your dreams. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Finding Quality Business Lawyers for Business Legal Advice


If you own or operate a business, you know it is critical as well as difficult to find and retain a qualified attorney who has vast business, commercial and litigation experience.
Many business lawyers focus on particular aspects of business law, making them experts in certain areas, but the downside is that their collective experience may not be comprehensive enough to suit all of your business needs.
Other firms fall into a "jack of all trades" category, but may not have business lawyers who have the experience to handle all of your business needs.
There are several key factors you should consider when searching for business lawyers:

Structure

The firm should be large enough to handle complex cases, but also small enough to offer you personal attention. Ideally, their business lawyers should be experienced in all critical business areas including:
  • General Corporate matters
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Zoning Issues
  • Commercial and Real Estate
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Immigration
  • Bankruptcy Litigation

They should offer a team of business lawyers that are experienced in each and who are committed to combining their skills and experience to best serve their clients.

Communication

It is equally important to ascertain how accessible their business lawyers are. Will they be there for you when you really need them? In times of urgency it is important that you are able to connect with your lawyers and that they return your communications promptly.
Look for a firm where you will be able to reach your business lawyer during evenings, including weekends, if necessary. Business decisions sometimes need to be made during off-hours, so you need a firm that is committed to keeping in touch with you whenever you need help.

Philosophy

Find out what a particular firm's business philosophy is. Are their business lawyers committed to providing both competent and professional services, counseling and advice to you? 

Legal Affiliations

Find out what legal affiliations your chosen firm has. By having membership in these various organizations, they are always expanding their knowledge and advancing their experience by engaging with other law professionals.
Are they a member of their local bar associations or other societies specific to your business needs?
Check to see if the firm or their lawyers are a member of the following associations:
  • Local County Bar Association
  • City Bar Association
  • State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

References

Lastly, but equally important, ask for references. Check with others who might have worked with the same business lawyers that you are considering and read any testimonials or reviews that you can find on the internet. Other clients have nothing to gain by sharing their experiences, so you should receive an honest and accurate portrayal of the service they received.

Located in West Chester, PA, Carosella and Associates P. C. is a team of business lawyers with vast experience in business law.