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

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Understanding the employment contract

There's no doubt that the economy has recovered considerably since the Great Recession. With the job market growing in response and the employment rate continuing to decline, employers are often left competing for the best employees in their field. This means that the terms of one's potential employment need to be strong, which is sometimes commemorated in a contract.

There are a number of issues that can be addressed through an employment contract. Obviously, the length of employment and salary can be detailed, but so too can vacation and other leave as well as job duties. There are other more complex matters that may be addressed, too. For example, an employee may be asked to ensure that confidentiality is maintained, which can help an employer guarantee that its secrets are maintained. Sometimes employment contracts require confidentiality to be maintained even after employment has ended.

Injured in a car accident? We stand ready to help

A few weeks ago on the blog we discussed the dangers of drowsy driving. Unfortunately, far too many motorists on the road today are fatigued, which can seriously impact their driving abilities. Their reaction time can be slowed, their decision-making impaired and when they fall asleep behind the wheel they can swerve into oncoming traffic, drive up onto a curb or fail to stop for a pedestrian or halted traffic. When these drivers cause a car accident, they can leave innocent and unsuspecting individuals with severe injuries and associated damages.

The harm suffered in the aftermath of one of these wrecks can be quite severe. Physical pain is the most obvious, but victims can also be emotionally harmed on account of having to deal with their injuries. Also, having to obtain medical care and rehabilitation for one's injuries can be quite expensive, threatening to eat into an individual's financial well-being. This can be especially problematic when one's injuries disallow him or her from working for a significant period of time.

Should I bother with estate planning if I have debt?

Estate plans are an essential tool for those in the Pittsburgh area who want to protect their legacies. If you feel like you cannot benefit from estate planning when you have debt, you have been sadly misinformed. You do not need to have a considerable amount of wealth or debt to use estate plans. Depending on how you structure them, they could be the solution you desire. 

When you die, your personal assets and debts trickle down to your estate. Before your loved ones can receive their inheritances, your estate must settle any outstanding financial obligations. The following information offers insight on how to lessen the impact of debt on your legacy

Pedestrian accident results in DUI charge

There's no denying the fact that car accidents continue to impose extensive physical, emotional and financial devastation of Pittsburgh residents. Although there are a number of reasons for these wrecks, including wrongdoing on a victim's part, it oftentimes results in a driver facing criminal charges. Sometimes such charges are relatively minor, such as a traffic violation, but sometimes, the charges are much more serious.

This is the case for one 20-year-old Pittsburgh-area man. According to reports, the man was riding a motorcycle with a passenger when he struck a pedestrian. The pedestrian and the passenger were taken to the hospital with injuries. Reports indicate that the pedestrian had just picked up beer at a local business after finishing his shift as an Uber driver. One witness indicated that the motorcyclist was seen trying to leave the scene, but was later stopped by an undercover officer. He was subsequently taken to the hospital, where authorities claim his BAC was measured at .163 percent.

The pros and cons of partnerships

Before a business can get up and running in Pennsylvania, many important decisions must be made. Amongst those decisions is the one regarding the structure that the business will take. There are often advantages and disadvantages to each, and fully understanding them is imperative to making the right decision.

One option is to create a partnership. Perhaps the biggest benefit of a partnership is that it is easy to create. Generally, partnerships are created through a written agreement that spells out how the parties are supposed to act. Profits from a partnership should be equally divided. Although it can be easy to create and enter into a partnership, choosing a partner should be done so with care. This is because each partner carries equal authority to enter a business into contracts, including those that involve debt.

Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving

Thanks to public service initiatives, laws and tragic stories, Pennsylvanians are well aware of the dangers posed by drunk driving. These motorists can see their driving skills severely diminished as reaction time slows, the ability to multitask is impaired and maintaining a lane becomes extremely difficult. As dangerous as drunk driving is, though, it is not the only form of dangers driving. In fact, drowsy driving can post just as significant of a risk.

Being tired or fatigued while behind the wheel can seriously impair one's ability to drive safely. It can diminish one's ability to pay attention to the road, his or her reaction time can slow and decision-making skills can be negatively affected. In short, those who drive drowsy can suffer from many of the impairments felt by drunk drivers.

We can help address numerous paternity issues

Unmarried Pennsylvanians who see their relationship with their significant come to an end can find themselves facing similar, if not identical, family law issues as those who go through a divorce. When it comes to one of these issues, though, there can be some significant differences. Whereas paternity is assumed when a child is born during the course of a marriage, paternity must be established for those children who are born out of wedlock. By establishing paternity, often by signing a paternity affidavit, a man can establish a legal relationship with his child.

However, opening a paternity case is about much more that a legal relationship with a child. In practice, the establishment of paternity allows a man to seek visitation rights and even custody. A woman may want to establish paternity because it can give her the opportunity to seek child support. Regardless of which side of the matter you fall on, you may need a strong legal advocate on your side to not only protect your legal rights but also to protect your child's best interests.

What is the exclusionary rule and how can it be helpful?

Criminal prosecutions are often based on evidence that is collected during the execution of a search warrant. Although the police certainly have the right to request a search warrant, certain requirements must be met before it can be determined that a search warrant can be legally issued. After all, the U.S. Constitution protects citizens' rights to unreasonable searches and seizures. When issues arise related to search warrants, accused individuals need to do everything they can to protect their legal rights. If they don't, they may put their freedom in jeopardy.

One way to challenge evidence collected by the police is to utilize the exclusionary rule, if possible. This legal rule essentially allows a court to suppress evidence that is gathered subsequent to an illegal search. For example, a police officer, without a valid search warrant, enters the home of a suspected burglar. Upon entering the home, the officer finds not only stolen items related to the burglaries he is investigating, but also drugs and drug paraphernalia. The man is subsequently charged with burglary and drug crimes.

Is it better to mediate or litigate business disputes?

As a Pittsburgh area entrepreneur, you probably have yet to learn that disputes and disagreements happen all the time. It is important for you to learn proper methods of resolution to mitigate the need for litigation. In some business disagreements, it is possible to resolve them without racking up the legal expenses. Quick dispute resolutions are not ideal, although they can and do happen. Most business disagreements take a fair amount of time to settle. 

The courtroom is not always the best place to stop business disputes. Litigation is not always cost-effective, and it also can take some time to finalize. Many people do not have time to go back and forth to court instead of taking care of their other obligations. Take some time to consider the following pointers about mediating business disputes: 

Divorce, property division, and taxes

As we have discussed previously on this blog, ending a marriage is not an easy time.. Divorce can have a tremendous impact on one's finances for years and even decades to come. Most often, this impact is caused by property division, alimony and child support, which is why it is critical that Pennsylvanians fully understand the legalities involved with these issues before addressing them. Those who fail to do so could be at risk of being taken advantage of during settlement negotiations.

When it comes to property division, one issue that individuals need to carefully consider is taxes. For example, retirement accounts that are subject to property division may be difficult to disperse upon divorce if they are distributed without a qualified domestic relations order. This court order very clearly lays out the procedure by which the retirement funds are to be divided in the future.

Contact Me

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.

1290 Freeport Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

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