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Bergen County, New Jersey, Law Blog

Will law to end 'surprise' medical bills be enough?

You can argue all you like about whether medical debt is a leading cause of bankruptcy filings in the U.S. or not. Experts regularly do. Regardless of what side of the fence you come down on, however, no one would argue that the cost of care is inexpensive.

One trip to the emergency room, even for those with stable jobs and good insurance, can lead individuals to the brink of bankruptcy, wondering what will happen if they take the plunge. The best way to learn the answer is to consult with an experienced debt relief attorney.

Juggling potential employment law benefits

Those who juggle call it an art and a sport. Regardless of how you describe it, it takes lots of practice to master keeping multiple things in the air at once. We draw on this to suggest an analogy between juggling and the practice of employment law.

Attorneys skilled in protecting worker rights don't juggle balls, torches or chain saws. Rather, what they are called upon to do is know all the laws that might apply to a particular situation, whether they happen to be federal or state. Further, they need to understand how the laws apply. Does one supersede another? Do the various laws complement each other in ways that can benefit the client? These are questions that need answering to assure optimal outcomes.

How to prove workplace discrimination

As an employee, you have the right to be free of discrimination in the workplace. Regardless of your race, gender, age or ethnicity, you deserve the same treatment as all other workers.

Is that standard not getting met in your career? Maybe you keep getting passed over for promotions that you know you deserve. Maybe you have not gotten a raise in too many years, even though others have. Maybe you face consistent discrimination when supervisors make derogatory comments about you, or when other employees make jokes at your expense.

Amid changing NJ laws, employees need to know their rights

The history of law is long, going back thousands of years. That does not mean it is stale and dusty. The truth is that it is ever changing, and so are the implications that follow. The challenge of keeping up with the shifts is a difficult one to face unless you're immersed in the legal environment. That's the value that attorneys bring to the table, and why consulting experienced counsel matters.

The issue of mandated worker benefits is one that is rarely off the legislative radar. As an example, note recent items in the news concerning efforts to provide greater support for working parents through paid family leave in New Jersey.

Tax reform adds complexity to spousal support

Under the current system, a person paying alimony deducts his or her alimony payment thereby receiving a, sometimes substantial, tax break.  The alimony recipient then has to report his or her receipt of alimony as income on their tax returns and therefore pay taxes on that amount at his or her, typically, lower tax bracket.

After the end of this year, Dec. 31, 2018, under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, any alimony settlements entered into will no longer be considered a taxable event. What that means is that a paying spouse won't be able to deduct the payments from their taxes and recipients won't have to report it as income on returns.  This significant change in the manner in which alimony is treated will necessarily complicate the analysis regarding the calculation of spousal support.

With some medical devices, you don't know what you don't know

There are regulatory protocols to follow for getting the government's OK to market most medical products in the U.S. Prescription drugs need to prove their effectiveness and safety through human trials. Manufacturers must provide data showing study results, side effects and more. Final approval only comes after a review by a panel of Food and Drug Administration scientists.

You might expect something close to the same level of oversight for medical devices. However, that is not the case. Those with experience in personal injury law know there is a loophole in the regulatory net that has allowed myriad products to reach the market over the past decade without any significant review. The result is that a growing number of unsuspecting consumers have either already suffered injury, or face the risk of injury from device defects.

What an attorney may ask for after an accident with a truck

Many news stories about Labor Day weekend focus on auto safety. This is understandable given that millions of people will be driving to their favorite vacation destinations over the next few days. But with semi-trucks on the road, avoiding staying out of truck accidents must remain a priority.

Due to the size difference between passenger cars and trucks, an accident between the two can cause significant traumatic injuries. If you have the misfortune of being in such an accident, hiring an experienced attorney can be helpful in securing a recovery. The attorney will need some important pieces of information. This post highlights a few of them.

Supreme Court: Get a warrant before pulling phone location data

In what is considered a major victory for privacy rights, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement must generally obtain a warrant before accessing cellphone location data. This data, which Chief Justice John Roberts called "detailed, encyclopedic and effortlessly compiled," can be so revealing about the user's movement that it amounts to surveillance.

The ruling follows up on a 2014 case in which the high court ruled unanimously that a warrant is required before law enforcement can search the contents of a suspect's cellphone, even when that person has been arrested. 

Accused of a DUI? Your future isn't necessarily ruined

It's only natural to assume that if someone is charged with drunk driving, both their short-and long-term futures are damaged. This common perception is perpetually reinforced by the celebrity mugshots and daily media coverage that DUIs and DWIs receive. These individuals are portrayed as problematic citizens who deserve to be punished for their transgression.

But in many cases, this narrative doesn't fit. Plenty of people who are accused of drunk driving violations are good, honest, hard-working people who made a mistake -- and they shouldn't be defined by that one mistake. And more to the point, just because they are accused of a drunk driving offense, it does not mean their future is forever ruined.

How do the processes for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 differ?

Filing for bankruptcy is an intimidating step no matter what. But once you hear about the various different types of bankruptcy, it can be even more overwhelming. Today, we want to discuss the main differences between the two most common types of personal bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

The first thing to realize about these two forms of bankruptcy is that, regardless of which chapter you file, it can help you achieve financial stability over the long run by discharging your debts. There may be some tough times, of course. That is only natural with bankruptcy. But it won't be all bad, and when the process is complete, you can start living your life and rebuilding your credit -- without the stress and anxiety of your debts affecting you.

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