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Pittsburgh Legal Blog

Driving hungover is almost as dangerous as driving drunk

Imagine a scenario where you attend a dinner party with close friends. You enjoy reconnecting with your peers over a few glasses of wine and decide to stay the night – because you want to be a safe driver.

The next morning, you realize you had a few too many drinks and woke up to a massive migraine. You want to leave as soon as possible to sleep off the hangover in your bed. But is that the right decision?

The basics of a severance agreement

Pennsylvania recognizes at-will employment. This means that an employee can be fired at any time with or without cause. On the flip side, an employee can quit a job at any time. Of course, there may be consequences for prematurely terminating employment, especially when that employment is dictated by an employment contract or discrimination has occurred. However, there may come a time when negotiating a severance package is in both parties' best interests.

Oftentimes, a severance agreement is used to prevent a former employee from taking legal action against the employer, such as for wrongful termination. In exchange, a former employee typically receives compensation and some sort of benefits package. The basis of severance pay can rest on many factors, including: the length of the employee's service to the employer; the reason for the employee leaving the employer; and even the financial health of the employer.

Am I too young to draft a will?

Generally, it is a good idea for every adult to have a will. None of us will live forever, and unexpected accidents happen all the time. Although you may think you have nothing to pass on, the amount of money you have now may not be as relevant as it seems. Depending on how you die, your estate could be awarded money in a lawsuit over the cause of your death. If you have no will, you have no say where any of your assets go.

However, a will can do more than determine who gets what, and many of the general reasons for having a will are just as valid for young people as they are for older ones, including:

  • Minimizing estate taxes
  • Shortening the probate process
  • Naming someone you trust to manage your final affairs

Pittsburgh-area man arrested on aggravated battery charges

Oftentimes when individuals are accused of committing a crime, their defense is to show that they were not involved in the alleged criminal wrongdoing in any way. An individual accused of robbery or murder, for example, may present an alibi to demonstrate that he or she was somewhere else when the crime occurred. However, sometimes this simply isn't possible as it is clear from the facts and witness accounts that an accused individual was involved in the events in some fashion.

This is the case for two Pittsburgh-area men who are facing criminal charges after an altercation on a city bus. According to reports, the men started to argue at a bus stop when they exchanged disconcerting looks. One man said that the other followed him onto the bus after he told him to relax because he, meaning the second man, didn't know what he was capable of.

The right approach to family law issues

A recent post here discussed how "bird nesting" can play into child custody and visitation issues. While this is just one way to deal with this prevalent family law issue, it does show just how creative the resolution process can be. When parties to a child custody or visitation issue are able to amicably work through these matters, they may be resolved quickly and fairly. Those who can't may find themselves embroiled in litigation.

Either way, these individuals need to ensure that they are aggressively presenting their position and diligently protecting their rights. Failing to do so could lead to an unfavorable result, even if the matter is negotiated, because one parent may be unknowingly taken advantage of by the other. There's a lot at stake in these matters, too, as the result can have a dramatic impact on a parent's relationship with a child.

What is "venture capital" under business law?

Individuals who are interested in starting a business have many important decisions that they must make. One critical issue that they must figure out is how to raise the funds needed to finance their endeavor. This week we want to take a brief look at venture capital and how it can be beneficial to entrepreneurs. Venture capital is money that is obtained from investors and investment banks for the purpose of starting a business. These investors generally take an equity interest in the business with the intent of later selling off that equity for a profit. Venture capital, while usually financial in nature, can come in other forms. Individuals can invest expertise in a number of fields, including the technical and managerial realms, to help a business get up and running.

Pennsylvania casino faces premises liability lawsuit

Individuals who are invited onto the property of another, whether that be as a customer in a store or as a social guest at a friend's gathering, usually don't give much thought to how the property itself may pose a danger to their safety and well-being. Yet, oftentimes property owners failed to routinely inspect their properties, and thereby quickly identify and remedy hazardous conditions. As a result, unsuspecting individuals are sometimes injured or even killed by dangerous property conditions. This is entirely unacceptable, which is why those who have been injured in an accident while on the property of another should carefully consider the legal options available to them.

One couple has done just that after a woman was injured while on the premises of a Pennsylvania casino. The woman claims that she suffered injuries to her neck, shoulder, ankle, and foot after she tripped and fell on a broken manhole cover in the casino's parking lot. She is now seeking more than $50,000 in damages because she believes that the casino did not properly identify and remedy that dangerous condition.

Aggressive, holistic criminal defense can be had

Being accused of a crime can fill an individual with anxiety. This is understandable. After all, a conviction on criminal charges can result in harsh penalties that can have long-lasting consequences. For example, an individual may wind up facing the possibility of months or even years behind bars. He or she may also end up being slapped with large fines and irreparable damage to his or her reputation. Although prosecutors typically aggressively pursue criminal charges, even if through plea negotiations, strong criminal defenses may be available to accused individuals depending on the circumstances at hand. This is why whether an individual is facing relatively minor criminal charge or something serious, he or she should consider how best to present legal arguments that seek to avoid these damaging penalties. This is where the help of a qualified a criminal defense attorney may prove beneficial. The legal team at our firm is well-versed in the various defense strategies as they relate to criminal law. This means that we diligently work to not only assess the facts at hand but also to utilize those facts and the law to build compelling and persuasive arguments. We thoroughly identify and question witnesses, gather relevant documentary evidence, and zealously advocate for our clients in both the negotiation room and the courtroom. Developing a sound legal strategy to defend you against criminal charges can be enormously complicated. The rules of evidence and trial, in association with applicable statutory in case law, can muddle issues making them ripe for legal argument. This is why it is often advisable to seek legal assistance from a skilled criminal defense attorney before proceeding with your criminal case.

What if you receive a citation for violating liquor code?

For an establishment that serves alcohol, losing a liquor license is incredibly detrimental and may even ruin your business. In Pennsylvania, it is the Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (PSP BLCE) that enforces liquor license violations.

A business may lose its liquor license for many reasons. Below are three common violations.

Child custody and visitation: what is bird nesting?


Divorce can be a stressful process for anyone, but it can be even more so for children. Kids oftentimes don't have any concept that their parents are even capable of breaking up, so the sudden shift in relationship and their own living environment can leave them emotionally and physically changed. Of course, most parents want to prevent this harm as much as possible. One way to do so is to make the process amicable while retaining as much routine as possible.

One way to do this is to engage in "bird nesting." This phrase refers to a process where parents retain the family home, share the expense of a second residence, and then rotate in and out of the familial home to stay with the children. Therefore, a father may stay with his kids in the familial home for two weeks while the mother stays in an apartment, then the mother will move into the home with the kids for two weeks while the father stays at the apartment.

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