Types of Business Bankruptcy

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Bankruptcy

The challenges faced by many small businesses are sometimes too much, resulting to these firms thinking if filing bankruptcy would be a beneficial move for them. Bankruptcy is a process that individuals or companies go through to help them eliminate or repay their debts which have increased to an amount that is quite impossible to manage. While individuals file for personal bankruptcies, the type filed by firms are business bankruptcies, which are either liquidations or reorganizations.

The specific bankruptcy chapter that a business may file depends on it form of business. Sole proprietorships, which are legal extensions of the owner (making an owner of a business firm responsible for all assets and liabilities of his or her firm), can file business bankruptcy under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13. Partnerships and corporations, on the other hand, being legal entities separate from their owners, can file business bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11.

For a firm that really has no future, has no substantial assets, or the debts of which are so overwhelming so that restructuring it would not amount to any benefits, Chapter 7 business bankruptcy may be the best option. A firm filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called Liquidation bankruptcy, simply means that business operations are over.

The firm itself, and whatever assets it has, will have to be surrendered to a court-appointed trustee who, in turn, is tasked to liquidate these and use whatever amount is earned to pay the firm’s creditors. At the end of the bankruptcy case, the sole proprietor will receive a “discharge,” which releases him or her from any further obligation in connection to the debts (this discharge is not available to partnerships and corporations).

If the firm still has a future, then Chapter 11 business bankruptcy would be the ideal choice. This chapter involves a plan wherein financial reorganization is made and the firm allowed to balance its income and expenses, continue earning profits, as well as operations. Reorganization is made under the guidance of a court-appointed trustee, who may also happen to be the owner of the company.

While it is true that many small corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships shy away from Chapter 11, because it is risky, complex, time-consuming and expensive, many still choose it because it is the only bankruptcy chapter that allows firms to restructure and continue operations.

Chapter 13 business bankruptcy, the third option, but only for sole proprietors, allows business owners to restructure their debt payment plan. For sole proprietors to qualify under Chapter 13, however, their unsecured debt should not be more than $383,175, and their secured debt, not more than $1,149,525.

It its website, the firm Ryan J. Ruehle Attorney at Law, LLC, explains how difficult it can be for business owners to deal with financial problems which could possibly result to the loss of their business. Through business bankruptcy, however, these firms have a way out of these problems and a shot at getting back on solid financial footing.

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Postpartum Depression

Posted by on Jan 24, 2016 in Death

Having a child is an experience filled with joy, excitement, and nerves for most people. However, following child birth, many mothers will experience something known as postpartum depression. While “baby blues” are feelings of sadness after birth that last for a couple of weeks and can usually resolve on their own, postpartum depression involves much more severe feelings that last for months or even years after giving birth to a child.

Mothers suffering postpartum depression may experience feelings of inadequacy and fear that they are not a good mother. They may also have extreme mood swings, anxiety, and cry frequently. These symptoms can not only affect the mother themselves, but can prevent them from developing a connection or relationship with their baby. While some symptoms may go away with sleep and assistance with the care of the newborn, others may become worse. When this is the case, postpartum depression begins to interfere with a mother’s life and day-to-day activities, making treatment essential.

Although many mothers are extremely busy after giving birth to a child, it is important to seek therapy if you are experiencing postpartum depression. According to The Solace Center website, a therapist will help you identify the issues that are leading to your disorder as well as help you become more self-aware and develop coping skills when these problems threaten to take over your life.

The relationship between a mother and a child is one of the most important ones in many women’s lives. However, suffering from postpartum depression can cause women to be unable to nurture this relationship properly as well as take care of themselves. By seeking therapy for these symptoms, women can take control of their lives and build a better foundation with their newborn.

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How to Qualify for an H-1B Visa

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Immigration

Under section 101(a)(15)(H) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, US employers are allowed to hire (on temporary basis) foreign workers in specialty occupations. Qualified foreign nationals are to be issued an H-1B visa, which is a non-immigrant visa that has a duration of three years, but which may be extended up to six years. Though non-immigrant in nature, H-1B visa holders are eligible to seek permanent residency in the nation.

Possible recipients of an H-1B visa include foreign nationals who are hired to perform services in: specialty occupations; research and development projects for the Department of Defense (DOD); and, fashion modeling.

The website of AmLaw Group shares a list of the various criteria for a foreign national to qualify for an H-1B visa. The most basic of these are; (i) a foreign national’s possession of a Bachelor’s or higher degree from a recognized foreign institution or accredited US university/college, or a specialty training plus work experience (at least 12 years in his/her chosen field of specialty) which may be a substitute for the Bachelor’s or higher degree, and, (ii) filing of an approved form ETA-9035, Labor Condition Application (LCA), with the form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant worker by the US employer, who intends to hire the foreign national, with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The sensitivity of, and the demands associated with, the works that fall under H-1B visa category call for strict compliance with these basic requirements.

The specific visa categories and the other criteria for each are as follows:

1. H-1B Specialty Occupations. The list of jobs under this visa category includes accounting, medicine and health, business specialties, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, social sciences, education, arts, theology, law, biotechnology, and so forth. Other requirements in order to qualify for an H-1B Specialty Occupations visa include:

  • Acquisition of an unrestricted state registration, license, or certification that will allow the foreign national to fully practice the specialty occupation
  • Proof of progressively responsible experience in the chosen field of specialty (which is equivalent to a degree in the chosen field), and recognition of expertise through the holding of responsible positions that are directly related to the specialty

2. H-1B2 DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker. Though this H-1B category does not require the second (ii) basic requirement mentioned above, the work can only be provided through a government-to-government agreement that is administered by the US Department of Defense. Other requirements that need to be complied with under this visa category are the same as in H-1B Specialty Occupations.

3. H-1B3 Fashion Model. This visa category is issued only to fashion models of distinguished merit and ability. As for the basic requirements, a labor certification (from the US Department of Labor) and the filing of an approved LCA with the form I-129 by the prospective employer are the only criteria that need to be complied with.

Below are some of the other essential things that foreign nationals need to understand about the H-1B visa:

  • 12 points need to be earned to qualify under the H1B visa program (3 points are given for every year of studies in a college or university and 1 point for each year of work experience)
  • The annual numerical cap or limit for H-1B visa is 65,000 for each fiscal year; exemption from this cap, however, is granted to the first 20,000 petitions filed in behalf of those with a US Master’s degree or higher, and to those who are to be employed in institutions of higher education or in non-profit entities affiliated to these, government research organizations, or non-profit research organizations
  • While H-1B non-immigrant visa recipients are usually allowed to work in the US only up to six years, exceptions, based on sections 104(c) and 106(a) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21), may be applied
  • Costs of return transportation of foreign national upon termination of work by the US employer or at the end of his/her authorized period of stay is to be shouldered by his/her employer (this does not include voluntary resignation, though)
  • An H-1B visa holder is allowed to have multiple works. Each of his/her employers, though, should approve his/her Form I-129 petition. He/She may also work for another employer, requiring only an H1 transfer case and the filing of new Form I-129 petition (by his/her new employer)
  • As an employee in the US, an H-1B visa holder enjoys all the benefits of employment, including sick/maternity/paternity and vacation leaves, going on strike
  • An H-1B visa holder’s family (spouse and unmarried children below 21) is allowed to stay in the US for as long as the H-1B visa is valid.
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Divorce: Dividing Assets and Properties

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Assets

There is no way to sugarcoat the process of divorce. Going through one will surely be a trying time. No matter how amicable the decision, a couple that have decided to end their union and file for a divorce will be going through a lot emotionally and psychologically. The stress of the situation doubles when couples have to take into consideration the many legal issues they have to come in agreement on. Among such complications include the decision on how they will have their shared assets and properties divided.

According to the website of divorce lawyer from Arenson Law Group, PC, divorcing couples can decide on their own how they would like to have their assets and properties divided. However, in most cases, such decisions come to an impasse and the possibility of coming to an amicable arrangement is lost. Property division and other financial concerns are typically very hotly contested issues during divorce proceedings. There is usually plenty of baggage when couples have to decide what to do with their assets and properties, especially if one spouse had been financially dependent on the other. When this happens, the court—with the judge acting as executor—will have to step in to make the decision for the couple. It is fundamental therefore to hire a highly trained lawyer.

The court divides a divorcing couple’s shared assets and properties after taking several factors into consideration. Ideally, family courts prefer to divide assets and properties equally. However, this decision can’t always be applicable for most scenarios. The court will try to exercise fairness and examine the incomes and earning opportunities of each spouse. Factors like the age and health of each spouse can also be taken into consideration. Sometimes, family courts will also consider the how long the marriage lasted. If the couple has children together, the court will also make necessary provisions for the spouse that had been granted with physical custody.

Generally, the court will take into consideration specific details that will help them determine the best decision for a given situation. It can take some time before a judge can definitively decide how to divide a divorcing couple’s shared assets and properties. This can cause a lot of stress for the individuals involved in the process, particularly if the divorce is already antagonistic from the start. It will help if the couple can seek out experienced legal counsel on their own to learn more about how they can ease the process.

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US Statistics on Accidental Amputations

Posted by on Jan 19, 2015 in Personal Injury

We understand that loss of limbs can easily happen in serious accidents, but we don’t really know what it does to a person who undergoes accidental amputations until it happens to us. People tend to avoid thinking about horrific possibilities because it stresses them out, which is why it is so traumatic when it does happen.

Amputations are defined as the disconnection of an appendage or limb from the body in a surgical or traumatic event. Non-traumatic reasons for an amputation may be due to prevent complications due to poor circulation to the affected appendage leading to tissue necrosis (gangrene) or for a current infection that is not responding to antibiotics. Approximately 200 people have surgical amputations. Traumatic amputations, on the other hand, are usually due to some type of accident, and this happens to about 30,000 people annually. About 2 million people live with an amputated limb, a quarter of which is due to accidental amputations, of which 70% involve upper limbs.

An accidental amputation may involve part of a finger or toe or it could involve an entire leg or arm. This may be due to vehicular collisions, work-related incidents, explosives or firearms, electrocution, or building accidents among other things. The amputation may be sudden, such as forceful separation at the time of the incident, or eventual, such as when the limb of an accident victim is pinned for a considerable period preventing the blood from circulating, leading to tissue death. The latter makes amputation medically necessary.

The most common cause of accidental amputations are vehicular accidents, and to make matters worse, 22% those who have lower limb amputations are readmitted to the hospital for complications within 30 days. As pointed out on Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® website, major limb loss racks up huge medical and related expenses and this is made worse by complications.

Accidental amputations can mean considerable loss not only in the physical, emotional and psychological sense but also financially. When it is due to the negligent act of a third party, it just makes it worse knowing that it was completely preventable.

If you suffered a negligent accidental amputation, it’s just right that you sue the responsible parties for compensation of your losses. Consult with an experienced accidental amputation lawyer in your state to take matters in hand.

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Theft in Texas

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Criminal Defense

There are many kinds of theft under Texas law, and even under the same kind there are different levels that dictate the kind of punishment that a convicted defendant will have to face. For example, identity theft is one type of theft if it leads to the use of identifying information to get something of value, but it is not a physical object as we normally associate with thievery. The same goes for copyright or piracy crimes.

By definition under the Texas Penal Code (Ann. § 31.03), theft is the unlawful appropriation of property with the intention to take it away permanently from the owner (paraphrased). In layman terms, you have committed theft if you take something that isn’t rightfully yours without planning to give it back without the consent of the owner or without any acceptable justification under the law. There are fine shades to this definition as competent Austin criminal defense lawyers will be quick to detect but which may not be apparent to the untrained eye, which is the reason why it is advisable to consult with a criminal defense lawyer when charged with any crime.

Basically, the severity of an offense is directly proportionate to the financial value of the property or service that was appropriated but in some instances may also be based on the type of property taken. Below are some of the general classifications and criminal consequences for theft in Texas.

  • Less than $50 – Class C misdemeanor, fine up to $500, no jail time
  • More than $50 but less than $500 or property stolen was an identity card i.e. driver’s license – Class B misdemeanor, fine up to $2,000 and/or jail time up to 180 days
  • $500 or more but less than $1,500 – Class A misdemeanor, fine up to $4,000 and/or jail time up to one year
  • $1,500 or more but less than $20,000 or certain property such as livestock or firearms valued at less than $20,000 – state jail felony, fine up to $10,000 and/or minimum jail time of 180 days but no more than 2 years
  • $20,000 or more but less than $100,000 or certain property such livestock or firearms valued at less than $100,000 – Third degree felony, fine up to $10,000 and/or jail time of two to 10 years
  • $100,000 or more but less than $200,000 – Second degree felony, fine up to $10,000 and/or jail time of two to 20 years
  • $200,000 or more – First degree felony, fine up to $10,000 and/or jail time of five to 99 years

In addition to criminal penalties, a convicted defendant may also be held civilly liable under the Texas Theft Liability Act.

If you are being charged with theft, don’t try to sweet talk your way out of it because anything you say can be used against you. Seek the advice of a criminal defense lawyer in your area before making any moves.

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Low-T Therapy is not for Everyone

Posted by on May 3, 2014 in Medical Tests, Product Liability

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which is normally associated with women who are suffering through the effects of menopause or other health conditions that result in hormonal imbalance, is a risky proposition for either gender. The mechanism and effects of HRT is not well understood, which is why some doctors decline to put their patients on it until more is known.

But to hear the marketing pitch of drug companies to men who find themselves more interested in sleeping rather than sleeping with someone, Low-T medications is the easy solution for low libido and energy. Low-T therapy is not a magic pill and it definitely isn’t safe for everyone. This is the thinking that has landed a lot of men who believed the hype in trouble with their health, and fueled the recent momentum in testosterone supplement lawsuits. There are cases where Low-T therapy has had a beneficial effect on a patient, but there are no guarantees that it will not make bad to worse.

Although the products in question, specifically Androgel which is manufactured and marketed by Abbvie Inc., have been green-lighted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the regulatory agency emphasizes that the approval was contingent on a finding that the low levels of testosterone is due to injury or health disorder. But the FDA is nevertheless currently conducting a review of these Low-T supplements.

The defendants in ongoing Low-T lawsuits, meanwhile, insist that the health risks of using the products are included in the warning label. It is suggested that the labels need to emphasize these dangers more strongly to prevent harm to at-risk patients. Ongoing studies outside of the FDA investigation are also looking at other health effects that these supplements may have.

If you have been prescribed with Low-T supplements which you believe may have caused your current cardiac problems, you should find a lawyer in your area with experience in handling product liability cases. Pursuing a case against a drug company is always an iffy situation; you want to deal with a law firm with an established reputation for getting results.

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Proving the Case: Going Beyond the Law

Posted by on Nov 24, 2013 in Criminal Defense

Knowing and proving are often two different things. One may know the law but may not be able to prove its relevance in a particular case. In the US, the prosecution has the burden of proof in a criminal or civil charge. All the criminal defense lawyer has to do is to disprove the evidence against the defendant, or to introduce reasonable doubt.

In jurisprudence, the reasonable doubt standard in the jury system is actually instructions to members of that jury that as reasonable people they must believe in the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. This may seem like a very vague and highly subjective standard, which is why in most cases brought before the jury or judge, it is important that the lawyer on either side is able to present their arguments persuasively and convincingly. It is not enough that the lawyer knows the law and how it applies to a case; the jury or the judge must understand and see it in the same way as well. This is not to say that lawyers have to deliberately mislead; rather, they need to be able to make the jury members or judge see the case from a particular perspective.

While perhaps not as dramatically portrayed as on television, in a real court case the bare facts of the case in point can take on a radically different meaning depending on how it is presented. The defense lawyer has to be able to find a plausible explanation for the facts as they appear to the advantage of the defendant. This is not to say that the prosecution’s interpretation of it is wrong; it merely suggests that another explanation is possible. And this introduces reasonable doubt. In a court case, it is important that the lawyer establishes a relationship with the client, the jury and the court officers in order to determine the right approach to a particular case. As pointed out by a co-counsel of Bryan Bleibdrey on the website of The Woodlands based BB Law Group PLLC, his interaction with the client and his cross examination of witnesses helped to prove the case in point.

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Additional Violations of Intuitive while already in the midst of Crisis

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Medical Tests, Personal Injury, Product Liability

Negative press release, denial of insurance firms to cover robotic surgeries, increase in the number of lawsuits and decrease in demand have all resulted to a quite significant drop in Intuitive Surgical Inc.’s projected shares and sales for 2013.

But probably worse than all those stipulated above is the US Food and Drug Administration’s July 16, 2013, warning letter to Intuitive, due to the latter’s failure to inform the FDA about the communication it sent only to a few medical providers. This warning, which the FDA declared was due to Intuitive’s violation of a federal rule, comes in the midst of lawsuits and product recall that the company is facing.

A number of the violations Intuitive is guilty of include failure of Intuitive to notify the FDA regarding:

  • The robot’s damaged tips, which could definitely injure patients
  • Problems during thyroid surgeries (worse, da Vinci has no clearance to perform this type of surgery)
  • Concerns on the proper flushing and inspection of cannulas
  • Use of the device in surgeries involving children

These issues stem from accusations that the company’s da Vinci surgical robot is dangerous. In the hands of improperly trained surgeons, errors can lead to lifestyle changing injuries in patients who were expecting minimally-invasive procedures with quick recovery times. On top of the challenges Intuitive is facing from the FDA, it is also facing many surgical robot lawsuits.

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A New Painless and More Effective Way to Test for Tuberculosis

Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Medical Tests

A new patch designed with small biodegradable needles able to penetrate the skin provides a more convenient and precise way to check for tuberculosis. Compared to the usual hypodermic needles, this patch is easier and much simpler to use, less painful, and has the potential to be more effective, especially where children, who fear needles, are concerned.

While using a hypodermic needle may result to a failed test if the needle is inserted at an incorrect angle or if the solution to check for the disease is injected too shallow or too deep into one’s skin, the patch, which uses micro-needles are guaranteed to deliver results.

Microneedles are actually the latest painless alternatives to hypodermic needles in injecting drugs into the body. These are made from synthetic polymers, metals and silicon and, recently, from natural, eco-friendly materials, like silk and chitin, which are taken from the hard outer shells of certain crustaceans and insects. The tips of these micro-needles are coated with protein derivative, which is actually a necessity when testing for tuberculosis.

Using the patch is just like using a bandage, which may be placed either on an arm or leg. Once applied, the tiny needles create small holes on the skin as the medicine coated on each needle is diffused into the body. With this patch millions of US residents who get a tuberculosis skin test will get the result they want fast and easy. This is also because the micro-needle test leaves a little room for user error.

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