Selecting The Best Maritime Law Firms

Maritime law practice involves all legal activities related to marine activities. In most cases, companies that work in marine related companies require advice on contractual agreements, legal suits as well as advice on how to handle different things within the stipulated frameworks. In addition to this, the maritime law firms and lawyers are involved in situations where major catastrophic activities or events have occurred in order to advice different marine companies appropriately to avoid or minimise liability in cases where they are engaged in a legal tussle. They are also involved in commercial activities that relate to marine vessels, equipment, employees and other types of negotiations.

In the choice of a lawyer or maritime law firms, there are a number of issues that you should consider. First, is the level of specialisation of the lawyers or firm in question. Given the nature of law, working with a specialised firm gives you an edge over working with someone who is a jack of all trades. Specialisation ensures that the lawyer has an in depth understanding of all aspects of maritime law, in depth knowledge of similar cases, procedures, legal loop holes that could work to your advantage or against you and has most likely come across other lawyers in the field and understand their litigation style. He or she understands what documents are required for the specific case and will therefore have a higher quality of work compared to lawyers who are not specialised.

The level of experience is also an important aspect to consider. While understanding the theoretical aspect of law is great, there are things that cannot be learnt behind a classroom door. There are things that come along due to experience and continued practice. This makes it very important to work with a firm that has accumulated maritime legal experience over time. Such a firm is likely to deliver high quality work compared to inexperienced firms. Remember that maritime law may differ from state to state and therefore, it is advisable to work with a firm that has prior experience in your state.

The cost of the services is a great factor that should never be overlooked. Lawyers charge differently depending on their level of specialisation, experience, education and their target clients. It is essential to carry out an assessment of the legal rates in your state to avoid an over charge. Note that higher fees do not necessarily imply higher quality of work. Weigh the quality of work, the level of specialisation, the charges and the amount of time dedicated to your company while gauging how reasonable the fees quoted are. Remember that there is always room for negotiation and that some of the payments can be done in kind, especially in cases where your company may be facing financial stress.

Important Tips On Bus Accidents

Buses offer a reliable mode of transport. Regarding ownership, they can either be public or privately owned. Bus accidents destroy property and can be fatal. Legal channels should always be followed to establish the cause of such a disaster and bring those responsible for booking.

What are the possible causes?

Many factors can contribute to accidents. Negligence, physical fatigue, and mechanical hitches are common causes. Public and private carriers are required to have third party insurance. Such an insurance cover is necessary for compensation of passengers who get injured during accidents.

What are the legal channels to follow?

When an accident happens, informing the security agencies is the first step. Traffic police secure the scene and get the necessary clues on circumstances leading to the crash. The bus owner should immediately notify their insurance firm when an accident happens. Insurance firms are responsible for making compensations to the aggrieved passengers. For those injured, medical attention should be offered to avoid possible loss of life.

Who should take the blame for an accident?

The cause of a crash will dictate who faces legal prosecution. If a driver was high on drugs or negligent, they will be fully liable and taken to court. Issues such as poor bus maintenance make the owner or firm owning the bus responsible for prosecution. If another driver is responsible for the accident, they will be punishable by law.

Compensation for damages and injury to victims

It is mandatory that buses have a third party insurance cover. If a comprehensive policy is in place, repairs will also be covered by the insurance company. Immediately an accident happens. Notify your insurance firm promptly so that they can start conducting its independent investigations. Late applications are not valid for compensation. Hand over all the necessary documents to make the
process of validating your claim easy.

Most bus accidents are avoidable. Bus drivers should undergo comprehensive training on responsible driving and how to conduct first aid. Buses should always have well equipped first aid kits and safety belts. Maintenance of buses should frequently be done to ensure coaches are in the best condition of service.

2018 Law Predictions In The U.S.

Laws change from one decade to the next, depending on what they’re related to and how hotly debated they are. 2018 law predictions are probably no secret. But, there are some may draw more attention as the beginning of the year gets nearer. Below are some of the most serious predictions of changes in U.S. law.

1. Workplace laws

Workplace laws have not changed much in the past few decades, other than the requirement to offer health insurance to employees, for businesses with more than 50 workers. Some predictions relate to the Department of Labor exemptions for white-collar overtime. Some states are focusing in on what is termed wage theft. This can include failure to pay overtime, failure to pay minimum wage, and other actions that short workers the wages they are owed. Washington is believed to have a paid sick day law waiting for approval early in 2018.

2. Legalization of Marijuana

Some states have already legalized marijuana, at least on the books. Many have not yet designated the growers they will use for prescription marijuana to those who have certain health problems. However, six states can potentially become full use, which means marijuana will become legal for recreational use. These states are Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Michigan, Ohio, and Arizona.

It is thought that states neighboring those with legalized marijuana use will jump on the band wagon, when the see the revenues generated by the legal sales of marijuana products. The states mentioned already have laws related to medical use. So, recreational use is the next logical step in the process. Some states that allow medical use have yet to set up designated growers for the pharmaceutical industry and doing so may be too costly. So, by allowing all types of use, those who may have prescriptions will have easier access, without the need for a prescription or using an out of state pharmacy.

3. Immigration-related

There is plenty of infighting among republican politicians in the White House, over immigration related to children living in the U.S. If politicians don’t reach an agreement, the House could lose much of its conservative base, making it more difficult to repeal the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, which makes allowances for children of migrant parents living in the U.S.

What 2016 Statistics Reveal About U.S. Lawyers

Lawyering remains a vibrant part of American democracy, as 2016 statistics reveal. Basically, lawyers represent legal interests of individuals and businesses. But more importantly, the professionals uphold the rule of law and are an acid test of democracy.

According to the United States Department of Labor, there were close to 800,000 lawyer jobs up for grabs as 2016 statistics show. Statistics don’t lie unless of course, someone has managed to fat-finger some numbers under the nose. America’s 2016 statistics about the lawyering profession, for their part, are cold. As such, the 2016 statistics are best examined with the blindfolded symbol of justice in mind.

As American jurisprudence reminds us all, everyone is considered innocent unless proven otherwise in the courts of law. It’s so easy to get angry when a prominent lawyer manages to get a perceived criminal scot-free by virtue of a legal technicality. Nevertheless, this is what the nearly 800,000 attorneys had signed up for.


They have sworn to defend a person regardless of his or her stature in life. For doing their job, attorneys basically earn USD $56 per hour according to 2016 statistics. And it doesn’t matter whose side they’re on.

Lawyers are paid an average of USD $118,000 per year also according to 2016 statistics. These numbers include malpractice fees or the so-called inadequate defense that often results in a mistrial. Just like the 2016 statistics for global warming, the 2016 statistics for lawyers show a steady increase in attorney salaries.

Although lawyering may seem like a fun job, the profession is just as grueling and as stressful as being a doctor. The 2016 statistics may be staggering considering the average salary of other professions, particularly on a per hour basis. However, when you look at what lawyers have to go through to earn their keep or the tremendous student loans they had to pay back after school–all these are mitigating circumstances for the topnotch pay the solicitors of America are getting.

Lawyers can even theoretically challenge 2016 statistics if they so wish or if there’s a client for which such a pursuit will be worthwhile. This profession is definitely full of surprises. Anything can happen on any given day unless an attorney is just content with doing notary public documentation. Fortunately, 2016 statistics demonstrate that a vast majority of counselors are up to more interesting cases. So much for job satisfaction.

How To Find An Affordable Lawyer

Lawyers have a reputation for being expensive, but you have to consider the value that you get in exchange for that legal fee. They are your advocates, and choosing a cheap lawyer can sometimes end in disaster. You need to stay within your budget, however, so make sure you know how to find an affordable lawyer.

First, ask for referrals. Maybe a friend, family member, or someone you work with has needed legal help in the past and can recommend an affordable attorney. Don’t be shy about asking for help. Let the people close to you know what you need, and they will probably have some ideas.

Conduct a search online. You’ll want a lawyer with a good reputation, and their website can often tell you if they provide free consultations or what some of their basic services will cost. For example, if you’re contemplating divorce and you need a separation agreement, you may find lawyers who advertise the cost of such an agreement. That can help you choose an attorney you can afford.

Set up interviews. Talk to a few lawyers in person so you can get a better idea of what kind of services are included in their fees. Remember that everyone charges differently. You might find one attorney with a higher retainer fee, but that could be more cost effective in the long run. If you find a cheaper lawyer who charges extra for every filing, every mailing, and every phone call – you’ll end up paying more than you would have for the other lawyer.

Hiring a lawyer is a very personal decision, and the cost will depend on what kind of advice you need. Knowing how to find an affordable lawyer will help you feel better about the money you’re spending and the resources you’re gaining.

Should You Hire The Most Expensive Lawyers?

Human beings have been programmed to think that the most expensive lawyers are the best in the industry. To an extent, this statement holds some truth. However, this is not always the case. There are many competent lawyers who charge competitive rates for their services. When you need legal advise, representation or a defense in a criminal case, therefore, you should focus your efforts towards finding the most qualified and most competent lawyers in town as opposed to looking for the cheapest or the most expensive lawyers.

Finding the Right Lawyer

When looking for a lawyer, it is important you consider the services you need. If you have been charged in court with a criminal offense, you should look for a criminal defense attorney to defend you in court. The type of crime, whether sex or drug related, assault, fraud or murder, should also be considered as there are lawyers who have specialized in each of these areas.

If you need to file a personal injury lawsuit, or you have been sued by someone for negligence, errors, omissions or recklessness that caused them injury, you must hire a personal injury lawyer to help you out with the case. As you can see, there are lawyers for every legal situation.

Once you have made a shortlist of lawyers who have specialized in the area of interest, you need to check the amount of experience they have, their reputation in the industry and success rate. The availability of an attorney to handle the case must also be ascertained. After all, you want to hire a lawyer who will be available to handle the case. Once you have found three or four lawyers who are properly qualified to offer the services you need, the next step is to obtain quotes and choose the most affordable lawyer.

Average Prices For Lawyers Across USA

For those of you wanting to know the average prices for lawyers across USA, this will help you. There are a number of things to consider for fee arrangements. There is the hourly rate, retainer or contingency fee, and flat fee. The most common of them is hourly rates. This is the price that you and your lawyer agreed upon. For experienced lawyers the average price is between $100 to $200 an hour. In big cities though you can expect between $200 to $400 an hour.

A retainer has you usually paying in advance on an lawyer’s hourly rate to handle your case. The retainer is put in a trust account and deducted when the lawyer works on your case.

Contingency fees is where the lawyer gets a percentage of the settlement on behalf the client. This can include for debt collection, medical malpractice, automobile accidents, and personal injury cases.

A flat fee is where the lawyer asks for a flat fee. This can be for wills, simple bankruptcy filings, and uncontested divorces. When considering this fee it is best to know what fee is covered and what is not.

Expenses can add up when hiring a lawyer. This can include filing fees, delivery charges, court costs, and secretarial time. You may also need to pay the support staff and paralegals. For a good paralegal you may have to pay between $50 to $100 an hour.

It is best to keep track of all the legal fees and to to get the agreement on fees in writing. Many states require a written fee agreement in the cases they are handling. You may want to put a limit on fees so that you are not paying an exponential amount of money to resolve the problem you are facing. You don’t want to pay more than you can afford.