Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Experienced law firm handling plethora of family law matters

The decision to get married is often one that is made out of love, and this is rightly so. Yet, despite the flood of emotions a couple may feel when they decide to take the plunge into matrimony, they need to realize that they are not only making a decision based on what they feel in their heart, but they are also making a decision that can impact their wallet.

While most married couples agree to share everything, from vehicles to homes and bank accounts, sometimes one or both parties want to try to retain some form of financial independence. This can be especially true when at least one of the parties comes to the marriage with significant assets. In these instances, it might be a good idea to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement, which can help clarify what will be subjected to property division in the event of divorce. It can also lay out how alimony will be addressed should marriage dissolution occur.

What are the common defenses to breach of contract?

Contracts are a pivotal part of conducting business. Without them, businesses would be left to rely on each other's word, leaving them no legal recourse in the event that a party does not live up to its side of the bargain. Therefore, contracts can be a great way for businesses and individuals to ensure that they are receiving exactly what they have bargained for. In the event that they don't, they can take legal action in hopes of obtaining compensation for their damages or specific performance of the obligation that was not completed.

Many times, though, allegations of contract breach lack legal sufficiency. Yet, without putting on a proper defense, the party accused of breach may be left facing significant financial penalties. There are many ways to defend against an allegation of breach, but the right legal path depends upon the specific facts at hand.

What is the difference between a living trust and living will?

As you get ready to create estate plans and make your end-of-life care instructions, you may find yourself wondering if you really need a living will or trust. Although they sound alike, they serve two different purposes. 

Both documents allow you to leave explicit details on how you want your medical affairs, estate and finances to be managed. They also provide protection if you become mentally incapacitated. To avoid making mistakes that can result in the mismanagement of your end-of-life plans and estate, take some time to learn some key differences between living wills and trusts. 

Is an inheritance subject to property division in divorce?

Divorce can be a big decision, not only because of the emotional ramifications that can come with ending what was once a strong relationship, but also because of the financial impact it can have on an individual's post-divorce life. Of course, child support and alimony can play key roles in the financial outcome of a marriage dissolution, but perhaps an even bigger piece of the financial picture is property division. Pennsylvania recognizes equitable distribution of assets upon divorce, which means that property is divided in a way that is fair but not necessarily equal.

It is important for Pennsylvanians to note that only marital property is subject to division through divorce. Separate property is not. Therefore, one major issue during property division is figuring out which property qualifies as marital property. Oftentimes, inheritances are drawn into questions, with one side trying to retain their right to keep what was left to him or her, and the other side trying to obtain a piece of what they believe to be his or her fair share of that inheritance.

Criminal defense and the right to remain silent

Law enforcement officers and prosecutors are constantly looking for ways to build cases that leave them well positioned to obtain a conviction against an individual they believe has committed a crime. Although the law tries to strike a balance between protecting personal liberty and public safety, far too often overzealous police officers infringe on an individual's rights. When this happens, individuals can be wrongly accused and even wrongfully convicted, leaving them subjected to serious penalties.

In the event that an individual is arrested, one of the worst things he can do is speak to the police. Investigators are trained at teasing out information and catching people in contradictions. This can sometimes make innocent people look guilty. For this reasons, those who are being questioned by the police should carefully consider invoking their right to remain silent. An individual should be notified of this right as part of the reading of his or her Miranda rights, and officers should not continue to question an individual once he or she invokes that right.

Pittsburgh raid leads to prostitution charges

Pittsburgh residents who are slapped with criminal charges can find themselves afraid on many levels. They might be concerned about how the allegations will affect their reputation, but their primary concern may revolve around the potential penalties they could face if convicted. Depending on the crime at hand, a criminal conviction can result in prison time, significant fines and a mark on one's criminal record that can be hard to overcome, even after one pays his or her debt to society. With so much at stake, it only makes sense that these individuals would put forth the strongest criminal defense they can manage in hopes of avoiding some or all of these damaging penalties.

Two Pittsburgh women may be in this position now after being taken into custody on prostitution charges. According to authorities, the accused women, who were employees at a local massage business, were arrested after a months long investigation and a recent raid. The police claim that three undercover officers entered the massage business in June, July and August where they entered a private room They were then asked to pay cash and were supposedly told that they could receive sexual acts in exchange for money.

The remedies for contract breach

Whether one is buying real estate, entering into a business deal, or hiring an employee, a relationship exists. Contracts are an integral part of just about every major transaction. Generally speaking, a contract is an agreement to enter into a bartered exchange. Therefore, an offer must be made by one party, and that party must accept the offer in exchange for something else. Many individuals and businesses come to rely on the promises made in these situations, so anytime a party doesn't adhere to their end of the bargain, significant damages can be suffered. This failure to uphold an agreement is a breach.

When a breach of contract occurs, a party can seek one of four types of damages. First, one can seek compensatory damages. This compensation aims to put the victim in the same position he or she was in prior to the breach. The second type of damages are punitive damages. Those who successfully obtain these damages will receive compensation not for their losses, but as a way to punish the party who breached the contract. Punitive damages are usually only awarded when the breaching party engaged in some type of serious wrongful act. For this reason, punitive damages are rarely awarded.

Fighting to hold negligent truckers accountable

Recently, this blog discussed how semi-trucks need additional distance to come to a safe stop when compared to the stopping distances of passenger vehicles. This distance can be affected by a number of factors, including driver attentiveness and sobriety. Far too often, though, truckers are distracted, fatigued, intoxicated or otherwise negligent while behind the wheel. Even truck companies oftentimes fail to properly maintain their trucks and train their employees. Any one of these factors could cause a devastating truck accident that leaves a victim with serious injuries.

Recovering from these injuries can be trying, too. Physical pain can be a difficult thing to cope with, and a victim's finances can take a significant hit on account of unexpected medical expenses and lost wages suffered from being unable to work. The stress of the entire situation can leave a victim completely overwhelmed and concerned for his or her future.

Mistakes to avoid when applying for a liquor license

If you are planning to own a business in Pennsylvania that serves and sells alcohol, you will need to get a liquor license. The application process may seem like it is an easy one. However, if you are not careful, you could make mistakes that prevent approval of your application. It is essential for you to lay the right foundation for your business to improve its chances for success. 

Take some time to learn about mistakes to avoid when you apply for a liquor license. 

Contract breach and potential remedies

In many instances, in order for businesses to operate properly promises have to be made and kept. Because of this reality, many individuals and businesses find themselves relying on the promises of others. This is the basis of contracts. Most often, parties come together to barter over some sort of exchange, and their agreement is memorialized in writing. When the terms of a contract are broken, then a breach of the contract may have occurred. A breach can leave a party worse off than they were, which is why many breach of contract issues result in some sort of legal action.

A breach can take many forms and is wholly dependent on the type of agreement that was in place. For example, a business that agreed in a contract to deliver certain goods by a certain date may be in breach of that contract if the goods are not delivered on time. In some cases, a breach occurs when a party fails to perform any of the obligations listed the contract. These breaches are labeled as either material or immaterial, a label that can have a significant impact on the remedies available to the victim of contract breach.

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If you need to speak with an attorney about an important legal matter, contact my law office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To schedule a free consultation, call 412-455-5388, or contact me by e-mail.

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Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C.

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Pittsburgh, PA 15238

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