Acceptance, Surrender, and Presence… a Sprituality that Works

There is a vast difference between being “happy” and finding a genuine inner peace that “passes all understanding” to quote the book. Happiness is often confused for inner peace. The two are not the same. One can be having a miserable experience and still be at the core “at peace.” You can be suffering through the loss of a loved one, career, belief or be in a health crisis an still have an inner peace. When you meet these unusual people, you remember them. The bottom line is tied directly to how one graciously accepts what is as opposed to demanding life be some other way for happiness to be. Happiness is that shallow and temporary fix one gets from stuff, position and comfort, while peace is that deep ability to not define the real self by such elusive qualities. Inner peace is the ability to say “is that so” when life does what it does and defeat the drama queen in all of us with presence.

Is it Good, or is it Bad?

I have a saying “It’s not good, it’s not bad….it just is” on the wall in my workspace and many clients comment on it. They like it even thought they can’t quite say why they like it. I think the reason is that down deep, we all know that one can’t judge how something works out no matter how it seems at the moment.

A client knocked it off the wall accidentally and cracked the glass. She brought it out to me in tears and said she was so very sorry. I said read it……I told her she made it even more perfect a truth than before by breaking the glass. I thanked her for how good the crack looked going all the way through the saying. She smiled and said…”I get it…but Dennis, you ain’t right.” I hung it back up and now clients think the crack was deliberate for effect.

Who’s to say what is good or bad? So often what seems so good turns out to make a miserable experience. What seems so bad turns into the greatest teacher and opportunity. Doors open to better ways of being or an opportunity that never would have come any other way. Bad stomach cramps and a morning in the bathroom after an anniversary dinner the night before, gone bad, did , in fact, keep one business man from making it into work exactly where the first plane hit on 9/11. For him what’s bad certainly was good.

A “bad” experience can force one to let go of illusions, falsehoods and wrong concepts that will not serve one’s life experience. A “bad” experience can cause one to become more real, more humble, more compassionate and to possess an understanding . A bad experience, when viewed from the ego which is merely the mind’s false sense of the self can keep one frozen in time, bitter, angry and consumed with changing the unchangeable past. The ego is that unconscious and running mind that views itself as unique and separate from everything and everyone else. The ego views everyone and everything as a potential threat to itself and can only preserve itself with control, power, greed and attack. Ego runs and ruins organizations and sends governments off to commit genocide on those perceived as “them.” All conflict is a battle of egos, and the need to be right. Give up the need to be right and you will have arrived at a state few attain to.

Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now sums it up nicely

“When two or more egos come together , drama of some kind or another ensues. But even if you live totally alone, you still create your own drama. When you feel sorry for yourself, that’s drama. When you feel guilty or anxious , that’s drama. When you let the past or future obscure the present, you are creating ….the stuff of which drama is made. Whenever you are not honoring the present moment by allowing it to be, you are creating drama.”

“Most people are in love with their particular life drama. Their story IS their particular life drama…. When you live with complete acceptance of what is, that is the end of all drama in your life. …. YOU CANNOT HAVE AN ARGUMENT WITH A FULLY CONSCIOUS PERSON.”

The Power of Now

It has been my own experience that some need their drama to define themselves. I remember well one who was railing to me against a minister that had hurt them deeply in life. I was appalled and ashamed at what she said he had said to her. She was in her 80’s and I could not imagine who among my peers in WCG would be so cruel and stupid…well I could actually.. But she needed help with this. After listening for 30 minutes I finally asked who this minister was and when did this happen. She screamed at me…”Rev. Butler and it was August 12th, 1933!” It was 1978 or so when she came to me. Even in the ignorance of my mere 27 years I remember thinking “yikes.” Butler was long dead, yet he lived.

I certainly have played that game and sometimes still do, though less and less. I won’t let the past define me or others define me based on their perceptions of who or what I used to be. Perhaps not letting them is too optimistic. I should say, I accept it as something they need to do but not something I need to buy into and take personally. Every honest human being knows themselves better than any other can possibly imagine and get it more correct than others can with fleeting judgments or invoking their own accumulated pain to define others.

It is drama that freezes one in place spinning hurts and pain of the past in ways that merely lead to more spinning and pain in the present. The spinning and pain accumulate like so much stuff in the attic. It is the energy behind lives. It takes time and energy in the present to keep that of the past going. It is the false belief that if we don’t keep the past in mind and alive, something will be left undone or someone unpunished. It is what the ego needs for identity.

I remember a first time visit to specific church member mobile home where I found my mind going blank. It seems these people could not physically throw out anything including the garbage and so we sat at a small table with white garbage bags filled and piled from floor to ceiling, front to back, side to side. What did not fit in the home was under the home outside and packed all around this place where these two people lived. It was an amazing experience and in hindsight, a reflection of the baggage this man had crowding his mind. His home was a stark reflection of his inability to let go. His past garbage was his current décor. Of course he was mentally ill, but I would not have known then how to define it or perhaps recognize this outward manifestation of how the man thought. I might have shook my head then but now I see how we all have the potential to lose site of the life garbage and pain body we have stacked so neatly where we now are endeavoring to live. This man had literally tuned out what he was doing and it all seemed quite normal to him now. There was no sane reason for this man to do this physically, and there is no sane reason for anyone to do this emotionally. You’ll get sick or at best not have much room to maneuver.

This is not to say there is not a processing time of months or even some years of events past, but I am not speaking of that. Even an animal has to flap and shake itself off after a painful or tense situation to drain off the excess energy raised in the fray. But it is relatively short lived and animals have the wonderful ability to bring themselves back into the present.

I am speaking of creating an identity for oneself based on past pain. Take away the drama and the ego would not know exactly who it is anymore. It would have to get out of the past, which contains all the stories and drama that dictate the present , or resist projecting themselves into the future where fears can be imagined and cultivated, to be present and at peace. But then again, the ego lives in the pain of the past to define itself. The ego, the false self does everything it can to avoid the present, which is the only real thing any of us have to work with. We all know of people who left without their pain, illnesses, negativity, complaints and woe would probably have to go out and find a new batch or risk having to be likeable…and present.

Simply put, the sum total of all painful experiences, if cultivated and held on to into the present can ruin you. The mind and body were never meant to store psychological time, that is the sum total of painful experiences kept alive by the unconscious, running mind in the present. There is a vast difference between one’s life and one’s life situation.

“I have lived with several Zen Masters…..all of them cats.”

A “good” experience, on the other hand., can keep one way too comfortable, aloof and unreal. Sometimes we say “I feel so dis-illusioned.” What’s wrong with that? Sure, it’s painful but who wants to be illusioned? We should thank someone when our illusions are exposed. Easy to say, I know. I’m still trying to get over some of the illusions I had about the Bible itself and the implications of such illusions. Illusions are false beliefs about ideas and ways to be. Delusional is when one has false beliefs about themselves which do not stand up to reality.

“Don’t be so negative”

Hot button words those! Usually we say this when someone has pretty much pushed our last button or we are sending out a warning that we have had enough. It’s a way of saying that someone is bleeding their pessimism, anger or past pain all over and it needs to stop. It is a way to say “you are ruining my day, my moment and my desire to be around you much longer.” It’s another way of dividing people up into types. It’s also a way to live one’s entire life.

“All inner resistance is experienced as negativity in one form or another.

All negativity is resistance. In this context, the two words are almost synonymous. Negativity ranges from irritation or impatience, to fierce anger, from a depressed mood or sullen resentment to suicidal despair. Sometimes the resistance triggers the emotional pain-body, in which case even a minor situation may produce intense negativity, such as anger, depression or deep grief. The ego believes that through negativity it can manipulate reality and get what it wants.

Once you have identified with some form of negativity, YOU DO NOT WANT TO LET IT GO and on some deep level, you do not want positive change. It would threaten your identity as a depressed, angry or hard-done- by person. You will then ignore, deny or sabotage the positive in your life. This is a common phenomenon. IT IS ALSO INSANE.”

The Power of Now

Tolle goes on to notice that most neurotic behavior seen in animals seems to afflict only those animals that live in close contact with humans and so link into the human mind and this insanity. Be careful who you hang with!

The simple fact is and if you are screaming “simple my ass!”, that’s the ego making every effort to defend and preserve itself. Acceptance of what is provides the way out of pain. All resistance is some kind of non acceptance and that is a bottom line reality in how life really works. Is it easy? Yes….just accept what is. Stay present and not needing the pain of the past to define you or the fear of the future to justify you. Or No…it is not easy and it won’t be if one is left with only the false ego self running the show. The ego knows only one tune…”I will survive” even if you don’t.

We have ALL had quite an experience with religion and religious types whether sincere or supremely manipulative. All churches contain all types, from Pastors to members, from founders to administrators. If you know where to look, you’ll find both Old and New Testament accounts full of drama queens, liars and my-way-or-the-highway leadership. Even as a kid I wondered why the personalities of the Bible were so full of bluster and threats. Why were individual lives so cheap and power over others so evident. Even God, by his own admission was jealous, angry and insecure to the point of needing absolute control over people and worship. Come on, only human ego could get a rip out of twenty four of your best friends singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” to you day and night forever! And then not for very long I would suspect before we had to at least change the tune. Ego is also easily bored. Needing to be worshipped makes me nervous.

The Power of Now IS the peace that passes all understanding. Ego will argue this to it’s last breath because ego can’t live in the present. That’s too real and genuine. It has to derive it’s power from the painful past or the fearful future. The Lion lying down with the Lamb is another way of saying there is another reality here that can work.

Being enlightened or being conscious and present, is not some new age doubletalk. Jesus was enlightened by any standard. It simply means to be to be made lighter. At risk of angering the ego, lighten up. When you understand the terms, a mind , or that spinning thought factory for pain, anger and resentment is a terrible thing… waste it. If it is filled with negativity and drama… waste it. Get out of the unchangeable past and the unknowable future. Buddhism says that sometimes there is nothing left in life to do but have a good laugh. If you just said in your mind “that’s stupid” , it was your ego defending and wanting to justify itself.

“Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. The only place where you can experience the flow of life is the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation…..It is to relinquish inner resistance to what is…It is precisely at those times that surrender needs to be practiced if you want to eliminate pain and sorrow from your life. Acceptance of what is immediately frees you from mind identification and thus reconnects you with Being. Resistance is the mind….Surrender is the most important thing you can do to bring out positive change. Any action you take is secondary. No truly positive action can arrive out of an un-surrendered state of consciousness.”

When God Is One, Why People Fight In The Name Of Religion?

All religions accept that God is One who has created the Earth, Heaven and everything that is seen and unseen in the universe. Even the polytheistic religions like Hinduism, believe that all Gods are the manifestation of the same Ultimate Reality of Bhagawan. Yet it is also a fact that people have always fought in the name of religion. Even in the modern world, religion continues to be the cause of conflict in many parts of the world.

Even though, God has been perceived and represented differently in different religions, yet all religions agree that God is omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, the origin and cause of all things, just, compassionate and the source of all goodness in the world. However, on the ground level, most people are extremely suspicious of the gods of other religions. They believe that only their god is the True God while the God of other religion is either False or inferior.

Why such a misconception in understanding God? Is it deliberate or natural? The answer to this question is necessary for the mankind, as God is still the most important reality in the life of most people in the world. Religion still gives meaning to most of the people in the world and most people are tied to their religion and spend their life in the religion they are born.

God: The Essence of Religion

It is difficult to define religion as no unanimity exists on the concept of religion. As per one definition provided in Wikipedia,

“A religion is a set of beliefs and practices often organized around supernatural and moral claims, and often codified as prayer, ritual, and religious law.”

Thus the concept of God is not necessary in religion but the external codes of the religion like prayer, ritual and a sacred book or scripture are necessary in all religions. Yet the faith and believes of all religions revolves around the central theme of God but the concept of God is different in all religions. Hence all religions are same to the extent that they all deals with God (the supernatural power), but different to the extend that they represent the different concept of God. God may be a single word, but its meaning is different in all religions and indeed for every one.

The Trinity of God

In order to understand the different representations of God, it would be useful to understand the concept of Trinity in Christianity. The concept of Trinity of God means that God has three manifestations i.e. the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Father God refers to the concept of God that is beyond the perception of human mind and senses as the Father God is infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omniscience while human mind has limited capability to learn and understand. Father God is known by different names in different religions like Yahwah (Judaism), Allah (Islam) , Brahman (Hinduism) or Absolute. However the Absolute God is incomprehensible to the common people as it is beyond the grasp of the senses and the mind. This God is better understood by the philosophers who spend their life in understanding the God intellectually and rationally.

Therefore, the God we know is the God who takes the form of man and communicates to us in the language and symbols of the man. The Son God is thus the human representation of God in the world. Christianity refers this form of God as “Son” or Jesus Christ, or the Son of God. In other religions, the human representation of God has been referred as Avatars (Incarnation) or Prophets. The Prophets or Avatars are the human beings who have acquired the highest state of “spiritual” awakening which has made them closest to the divinity. Thus man acquires divinity by the power of the Spirit.

The third manifestation of God is therefore, the Holy Spirit or simply called the Spirit. Spirit of God is believed to be present in all the living beings. Every person has the presence of God in him or her due to the omnipresence of spirit in this world. It is due to the presence of spirit that we are capable of knowing God through self-realization or meditation. Thus some religions like Buddhism or Sikhism are essentiality spiritual religions, who do not believe in the God as Absolute or God as human being but treats God as Spirit that is present in all living beings. Upanishads and Gita also call this representation of God as Paramatma (Universal Soul) whose spark i.e. Atman (Soul) is present in every being.

The Mystery of Revealed Truth of Religion

Even though all human beings are the son (or daughter) of God, yet we fail to understand God due to our engagement in the external world or the world of the senses. The human mind is capable of seeing outside world from the eyes of the senses or seeing inside Self through the eyes of intuition and achieve self-realization. Yet few people realize the need for self-realization as they prefer to understand the Truth from the people who have achieved self-realization.

Since every person is both a body and a soul, he is not only a part of the material world but also a part of the spiritual world. He has to integrate himself with this world for the survival of the body and also required to integrate with the spirit or the unknown world to receive happiness and peace in life that emanates from the soul. He needs to earn his livelihood to keep the body in living condition. Thus the knowledge of the world is absolutely necessary without which no person can play any useful role in the society and fulfill his material necessities of the body.

However, every person is also a Soul hence part of the Universal Soul or the Spirit. Since his soul is deeply connected with the Universal Soul, hence by self-realization alone a person can hope to achieve the true knowledge of the religion or the world or get answer of the deeper quest of life. However, self-realization is a difficult task which can be achieved only when a person focuses all his attention away from the material world and search the truth within. In some ways man has to himself become Spirit (devoid of physical passion and material desire) to reach extremely close to the divinity in order to understand the thoughts of God. It is only when the man attains the nature of spirit; the Truth is revealed to him by God.

Yet, even after realization of the Ultimate Truth, it is difficult to explain this Truth to the common man who are still attached to the material world. If the Truth is explained to them as revealed, it would be incompressible to the common man. A common man can not understand the spiritual truths as they can only see from the eyes of the senses rather then seeing from the eyes of the spirit. The prophets, thus face unique dilemma. They can either limit the Ultimate Truth to a selected few that can be understood by few people who are in the higher stage of spiritual evolution, or covert the Ultimate Truth in the language of the senses and mind for the understanding of the common man.

Rituals: The Body of the Religion

Religion, therefore, like any other creation of the world has both the body and the soul. While the soul of all religions emanates from the same God, the bodies of the religions are different for each culture and society.

In some ways, we can perhaps compare the differences in the religions with the differences in the physical appearance of the people of different race and ethnicity. If it is true that all human beings are offspring of God, then why they all look different from each other? While some differences between individuals are unpredictable, yet other differences surely have explanations. For example when a soul takes the form of a body, the physical characteristics of the body does bear a close resemblance to the body of the parents. Therefore, if the soul takes human form in black parents, the body of the son shall also be black and if the parents are white so shall be the offspring.

Thus when the spirit is converted into body, its physical outlook develops a close resemblance with the parent. In the same way, when God take incarnation in this world, his revelation in the language of the world are different for each religion.

When Symbols are Confused with Reality

The body of the religion is created when the “Revealed Truth” is expressed in the form of words or symbol by the prophets. While people can listen to the words and see the symbols, they can’t know the spirit of the religion except by self-realization. However, most of the people do not have the time and inclination for self-realization. The result is that they confuse the body of the religion as the religion itself. Thus instead of using the words and the symbols as a means to realize the Self or God of the religion, the words and symbols become the end in itself.

All the conflicts within a religion or between different religions arise only because the followers of the religion confuse the symbols of divinity with the divinity. Instead of using the symbols as the means to understand the divinity, they believe the symbol itself as divine. Since symbols are external, they are different in reach religion. The methods of prayers and the words that are uttered in the prayers are always different in each religion since the language is the creation of the man. In the same way even the name and description of God in every religion is different as every society has different languages and symbols to express the thoughts and ideas.

Stop Fighting in The Name of God

Religion, in the modern society is considered to be a matter of person choice. Therefore, governments all over the world are doing little to create a harmony between religions which are essentially the reflections of the same God. The scientific knowledge of the Truth is based on the body i.e. the material reality. Hence, scientific thinking can only reveal the differences in religions, rather then the common truth of the religion, which can come only from the intuition and self-realization. However, in the world of materialism, it is extremely difficult for the people to focus their mind inwards when all the material realities lie outside. The result is that people understand religion only from the symbols and fight with each other. As soon as the complete Truth of God and Religion is realized by self-realization, the conflicts in the name of religion has to come to an end.

Copyright Infringement in the Digital World

Downloading files from the internet is not a crime, but if you download files for free which you usually have to pay for, then there’s a problem. The piracy issue occurs when the copyright owners do not get the amount that they are due.

Piracy is the illegal copying and selling of copyrighted materials, but the common misconception is that people don’t think it matters because no one gets hurt. In reality, the evolution of piracy from burning CDs and DVDs to digital copying has affected the global economy. Pirating a physical copy or streaming illegally affects the livelihood of artists too.

Pirated copies are not always great

Most of the time, illegal copies do not have the same quality as the legal content. A pirated movie may have been recorded on a camcorder at the back of a cinema, so the quality is poor. Its content may be grainy or black and white at some parts. Copies downloaded from the internet on the other hand may suddenly stop at some parts and the sound quality can be very quiet and muffled.

Easy digital access

Downloading directly from the computer has become popular among internet users primarily because of the ease of access. Even with the number of sites that offer legal downloads, there are still file-sharing networks that offer free access to copyrighted materials. And it’s sad that many are active in some form of piracy, either through streaming, downloading, or the old school style of buying counterfeit DVDs.

In any case, piracy costs the entertainment industry. It is stealing from the businesses involved in the art. People must remember that nothing is free. Pirate sites make money through subscription costs or advertising when a consumer streams illegal content. The operators of these sites earn from sharing copyrighted materials that they do not own and have no permission to distribute.

How to minimize the problem?

Having internet service providers get on board in helping fight piracy and detect copyright infringements has always been a struggle. It would require content holders to educate people and private entities to be responsible, make them understand the importance of copyright, and encourage them to support different ways to consume content legally like going to the cinema or subscribing to Netflix and other video-on-demand sites.

Piracy may not be easy to kill but it can be reduced. Besides, with all the latest technology coming out, we only need to keep up. Also, there are entities that help fight piracy with the use of software to detect copyright infringements.

Posted in Law

Personal Injury Should Be Well Taken Care Of

If there is ever a situation where a person is suffering terribly from an injury, disability or in worse case scenarios, even death, mostly due to a careless negligence of an individual, in such cases, the personal injury law covers these instances and extends its hand for help.

A severe injury can cost an individual to shell out a lot of money, sometimes an amount that the individual might not even be capable of paying, if you opt for a personal injury claim in such desperate moments then you are eligible to seek some compensation for the injury you have faced and the payment gets taken care of because of the claim.

Mostly this law covers all the kinds of injury that can possibly take place, these injuries can be of any type. It can either be something that can cause a lot of harm to your body or it can make you face some kind of emotional trauma as well. It can be anything and at anytime and having a claim especially for these kinds of injuries will help you in emergencies.

Be alert and be careful of every step you take.

Let us have a look at some of the tips that can help you get this claim:

• DO NOT DELAY TO GET SOME MEDICAL ATTENTION

The first and foremost step that you need to take when you get an injury is to seek out for medical help immediately and instantly. Do not under any circumstances delay that step because the more you delay it, the more serious it can get, therefore seek out for some medical help as soon as you find yourself in such a situation.

• BE CAREFUL OF THE STATEMENTS YOU MAKE

Be absolutely confident and clear in what you say in the accident scene. Do not say anything that might make the situation much more complicated than it already is or give rise to some kind of a conflict. Be clear in what you have to say and keep it straight when asked about it. This will help in dealing with the process much quickly.

• KEEP A CHECK ON ALL THE EXPENSES

This would include all the bills in the hospital. Be it expense bills; diagnose bills, medical bills or any other tests that you might have undergone. Have a record of all the expenses because it might be asked for when you go to claim for compensation. You can also keep a record of some lost wages that you might have faced due to missing work. Keep a track of everything.

Posted in Law

Three Categories of Family Law Documents

This branch of the law covers all legal matters that pertain to a family. This can include marriages, divorces, prenuptial agreements, adoption, civil unions, property settlement, child custody and visitation and more. To become an attorney that deals with family law you have to first get your bachelor’s degree, attend law school and then pass the bar but if you plan to specialize in family law there are many different specialties to choose from, including adoption, neglect, abuse, divorce, paternity, custody and visitation, paternity, and more.

Marital unions

Under this category marital unions include civil and traditional marriage unions. It rarely includes formal pleadings. The reason is that this area of the progress of family life is less contentious. This means that not many couples at this stage are filing actions against each other. Some of the documents include:

  • Name change forms
  • Certificates of marriage
  • Prenuptial or premarital agreements

These documents may be called by other names in different jurisdictions but they all cover the same area. Some jurisdictions may also enable other types of actions under the category of martial unions but the general concepts as to what is handled by these forms, agreements, and certificates are common in all jurisdictions.

Marital termination

This category is where you will find most of the documents. These documents deal with marital terminations and include divorce, separation, and annulment. One of the parties will initiate a court action to sue for relief. These particular documents will mirror the types of pleadings that are filed. In addition to asking for termination of the marriage the documents can also include replies to the court action filed and any counterclaims. Some of the more common documents can include motions to restrain a spouse from deleting the marital assets, temporary alimony, and court costs. This category of family law documents include all the attachments and forms that are used to establish the marital estate as part of the proof that will be needed to reach an amicable and fair divorce settlement.

Parent-child relations

In this category are the actions that will do the following:

  • Appoint a legal guardian
  • Establish paternity
  • Deal with the issues of support, custody, and visitation
  • Removing a child from a home for cause

The petitions can also include motions to modify an order for child support, and motions for contempt for failure for either party to comply with any prior court orders.

As you can see there are many different documents that a family law attorney has to deal with so that is why many specialize in one particular area although some may practice in more than one area. To be sure which specialty volunteer to work for a family law firm.

Posted in Law

The Do’s and Don’t of Workplace Injury Claims

When an employee is injured while on the clock, they have the option of accepting workers’ compensation benefits through their job. These benefits are meant to help cover the cost of the damages and losses incurred as a result of the accident. This may include lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, prolonged therapy, and more. If you were recently injured at work, it is in your best interest to learn what you can about workplace accidents and injury claims so that you may make the right decisions regarding your physical and financial recovery.

If you have not been injured at work, it is still wise to learn these tips so that you are prepared if it ever happens to you or someone you love. Continue reading to learn what you should and should not do in the case that you are injured at work and considering workers’ compensation.

Here’s What You Should Not Do:

Do not hide your injury or fail to report it.

Do not decline medical attention. This can be harmful to you both physically and in terms of filing a claim.

Do not let the company’s case manager into your hospital examination room while you are with the doctor if you do not want them in there.

Do not let the workers’ compensation insurance carrier take too long to approve or deny your injury claim. There are state laws that mandate when they must respond. It is usually within 30 days after the claim is officially filed.

Do not believe your employer if they tell you there is a “minimum period” of employment that you must retain in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You are entitled to benefits immediately, no matter your length of employment.

Do not miss or reschedule any appointments that are made by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Missing too many appointments can revoke your right to certain benefits.

When you return to work, do not let your employer place you into a line of duty that violates your work restrictions.

Here’s What You SHOULD Do:

Report your injury immediately, whether you think you need medical care or not.

Demand that a written accident report is made on the spot and be sure to get a copy for yourself.

Immediately seek or accept medical attention.

Retain all paperwork and documentation of your accident, injuries, and medical care. Keep track of all the written restrictions and instructions given to you by your doctor.

If your employer makes any retaliations or threats in regards to your claim, contact the Department of Labor immediately and report the harassment.

If you are unsatisfied with your medical treatment or diagnosis, ask for a second opinion.

If you are denied certain benefits due to a “pre-existing condition”, be sure to protest with the help of a licensed personal injury lawyer.

Posted in Law

Vehicle Tracking Laws

Real-time vehicle GPS Trackers have different laws that vary from state to state. Each state has a different law, so it is important to check with a lawyer to make sure that placement of the GPS won’t have any legal issues.

General laws

  • It is generally legal to use a GPS Tracker if you or the organization own the vehicle that is being tracked, or if you are the owner of the asset.
  • It is also usually legal if you are tracking your child that is under the age of 18.
  • Usually, it is legal to track a car or asset for legal repossession in the event of a loan or default.
  • It is usually illegal to use a tracking device if you are not the owner of the vehicle or if you are tracking a boyfriend or girlfriend in their own car.

Laws in the state of Florida

The state of Florida has tracking laws that can be different from other states.

Florida established a new statute that makes it illegal for somebody to place a tracking device unless you are the owner of the vehicle.

The exception to this law is a parent who is the sole guardian of a child, or if both parents consent to place a tracking device to monitor their child.

Another exception to this law is a person with a disability. This can include an Alzheimer’s patient or somebody suffering from dementia.

Using a GPS Tracker illegally in Florida is a second-degree misdemeanor. This can lead to an excessive fine or up to six months of jail time.

It is very important to verify your state laws prior to placing the tracking device. Each state has unique laws so even though it may be completely legal in one state, it can potentially lead to jail time in another state.

The general rule of thumb is that if the vehicle is in completely in your name, you should be permitted to place a GPS Tracking device to monitor the vehicle. However, if you are placing the GPS Tracker on somebody else vehicle, it is most likely illegal and can result in a fine or possibly even jail time.

Again, these laws are state specific so it is very important to consult a lawyer prior to purchasing a tracking device. The laws are also constantly changing in every specific state in the U.S., and it is important to check your state laws before purchasing and activating any GPS Tracker.

Posted in Law

What Is Tort Law Exactly?

Have you ever done something that was against the rules? Well, torts are something like that; but much more serious. Torts are civil wrong-doings; immoral behaviors and actions against civilians. The law identifies a tort as immoral, and approves it as grounds for a lawsuit. Most often, torts come with severe consequences, like serious injuries and death. These consequences establish a civilian’s right to file a personal injury claim against a wrongful party.

Torts that result in serious injury or death can be punishable by imprisonment; however, the objective of tort law is to acquire compensation for damages incurred by victims and families of victims. In addition, and equally important, intent is to prevent similar wrongdoings from occurring in the future. In fact, victims of tort can take legal action for an injunction in order to inhibit further torturous conduct of the opposing party.

Explaining Torts and Tort Law

Victims of tort can pursue fair compensation for damages incurred as a result of the offence. Exemplary damages include everything from pain and suffering to loss of companionship, and much more; such as lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, scarring or disfigurement, funeral expenses, prolonged rehabilitation, permanent disabilities, and much more. Injured victims can also pursue compensation for damages like diminished quality of life and loss of benefits from loved one’s death. Tort law is established to protect injured victims that were wrongfully hurt by a negligent party. Negligent parties can include people, companies, individuals, organizations, products, and much more.

Categories of Tort

There are several individual capacities of tort law that all depend on the type of injury or accident that harms a person. Types of tort include motor vehicle accidents, product liability, assault and battery, sexual harassment, drunk driving accidents, wrongful death, slip and falls, head or brain injuries, dog bites, nursing home neglect, motorcycle accidents, and several other types of deliberate inflictions of emotional or physical trauma.

Every type of tort can be grouped into three separate categories of tort law; these categories are Intentional Torts, Negligent Torts, and Strict Liability Torts. Intentional torts are deliberate, premeditated, and purposeful. Assault and battery, sexual misconducts, and nursing home neglect are some examples of intentional tort. Negligent tort occurs as a result of carelessness and disregard. Disobeying traffic signals and causing an accident that harms another person is an example of negligent tort. Other examples include pedestrian accidents, hit-and-run accidents, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and slip and fall accidents. Strict liability torts, on the other hand, occur when a particular action causes harm or damage to another person; such as liability for making and selling defective products that are hazardous.

If you are a victim of tort, or was recently injured in an accident caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact a licensed personal injury law firm for professional guidance and counsel. It is important to take immediate action following a serious injury before the State’s statutes of limitation runs out. An experienced tort lawyer will substantially increase your chances and likelihood of winning your personal injury claim recovering compensation for your damages.

Posted in Law

Things to Know About Domestic Violence Laws in the US

In every household there comes a time that an intense verbal argument occurs for a number of reasons: jealousy, financial problems, sibling rivalry, etc. However, sometimes people may physically assault a family member because they cannot control their anger, want to assert control or may have been verbally provoked. In so doing, the aggressor has committed Domestic Violence.

Whenever such serious matters occur, you may think of seeking outside help either by calling the police or by consulting an attorney. It is preferable to discuss the issue with an experienced legal professional first, since you may have trouble handling the legal ramifications that may ensue following the crime’s disclosure.

The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the most important legal aspects of Domestic Abuse, in a simplified and accessible way and to provide a starting point for more specialized study.

1. What is Domestic Violence?

Any person who physically abused a family or household member has committed the crime of Domestic Violence. Domestic assault is a distinctive and more serious case than Assault and Battery -which involves strangers- and is treated accordingly.

2. Domestic assault can be difficult to prove.

The easiest way to identify an abused victim is by looking for signs of assault on the body (scratches, bruises, etc.). In the absence of such evidence, eye witness’s testimonies are valuable, but are not always available. What adds complexity when evidence is inconclusive, is that it can be hard to prove the crime or ascertain who the instigator was (both parties can claim to have been abused or acting in self-defense and the aggressor could deny the charge).

3. The severity of the assault, the victim and the aggressor’s medical history and potential addictions are taken into account for the sentence.

Simply put, an aggressor who slapped his spouse will be punished more leniently, than one who punched and kicked her. If a child was abused the law is more severe. A person with addictions (a drug-user or an alcoholic), or mental disorders may also be required to undertake therapy.

4. If domestic abuse is reported, it can severely disrupt family relations.

Domestic assault is a serious criminal charge, which means that if the authorities find out about the crime, they are obligated to take legal action, whether the victim intents to or not. The state laws of Virginia dictate that the authorities can issue a no-contact (protective) order, effectively prohibiting any form of communication between the aggressor, the victim and the rest of the family.

5. First time offenders can have their case dismissed or may be judged more leniently.

The guilty party can have their sentence dismissed, if they have never committed a crime before. It is also possible that the state offers a plea bargain to the accused. If the abuser admits guilt before the case goes to court, the sentence can be more lenient.

6. The alleged abuser’s and the accuser’s personality and habits play an important role in court.

A person with a toxic and abusive personality, will have a harder time convincing the court about his innocence. On the other hand, the accuser may have an ulterior motive or may be a habitual liar. All of the above aspects come into play when the case is tried.

7. It’s advisable for both parties to avoid contact after the crime has been reported.

Whether you are the accuser or the perpetrator it is preferable to refrain from communicating between each other, as any form of contact could have a detrimental effect to your case, especially if a protective order is in effect.

Conclusion

Domestic Violence can be a complex and challenging crime to handle. Whether you decide to press charges against an abuser, or think you have been wrongfully accused, you should always consult with an experienced criminal law attorney.

Posted in Law

What Are the Most Common Forms of Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to innovations of the mind, such as inventions, scholarly and creative works, patterns and marks, names and likenesses used in trade and business. All IP is protected by the various laws in existence locally, regionally nationally, and internationally. Laws exist for patents, trademarks, copyright, service marks, trade secrets and more.

What is a Patent?

A patent is an absolute right granted for an invention, which is a product or a method that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or proposes a new specialized solution to a problem. To obtain a patent, methodological information about the invention must be revealed to the public in a patent application. The process for obtaining a patent is complex. If you are interested in obtaining a patent, you should first visit this website: The US Patent and Trademark Office. Once you have begun to understand this process and the associated laws you can apply for a patent. However, keep in mind this is a complex process and using an attorney specializing in patents would be the best avenue to use.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a legal term used to illustrate the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Creations covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, films, computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, technical drawings, and more. Copyright is not a complex IP to apply for and most people can easily complete a form and submit their work. Be sure to visit the Copyright Office online to learn everything you need to apply for a copyright, including fees, what to submit, etc: US Copyright Office.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a sign which distinguishes between goods or services of one company from those of other companies. Trademarks are safeguarded by intellectual property rights. Trademark protection can be obtained through registration, by completing an application for registration via the trademark office and paying the required fees. The website is the same as for patents.

What is a Service Mark?

A service mark is a mark that distinguishes between services. Businesses use service marks to connect their services and differentiate them from other services in the same field. Service marks consist of letters, words, symbols, and other devices that help notify consumers about the origin or source of a particular service. Registration can be completed at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

What is a Trade Secret?

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”) classifies a trade secret as: information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process that produces independent economic value. These secrets are either tangible or impending, and generally are not known or easily discovered by other persons who might receive monetary value from its revelation or use; and is the focus of efforts that are logical under the conditions to preserve its secrecy. There are two basic situations in which acquiring the use of a trade secret is illegal. If a trade secret is acquired through illegal means or if through a breach of confidence then there is a legal standing for suit. Trade secrets may be obtained by lawful means such as private discovery, reverse engineering, and unintentional disclosure. The trade secret holder’s failure to take reasonable protective measures can allow this to occur. The misappropriation of trade secrets is considered a form of unfair competition. Reverse engineering is oftentimes restricted as found in computer programs.

What is Industrial Design?

An industrial design right is an intellectual property right that shields the visual design of objects that are not purely functional. An industrial design consists of the creation of a model, pattern or composition of a pattern or color, or permutation of a pattern and color in three-dimensional form containing aesthetic value. An industrial design can be a two- or three-dimensional prototype used to produce a product, industrial commodity or handicraft.

What is Trade Dress?

Trade dress is a legal term of art that generally refers to characteristics of the illustration of a product or its packaging or the design of a building that signifies the origination of the product to consumers.

What is Fair Use?

Fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a partial and that changes the purpose, such as to comment upon, disparage, or lampoon a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. Fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement.

Commentary and Criticism

If you are commenting upon or criticizing a copyrighted work a book review or any valid review, fair use principles allow you to replicate some of the work to accomplish your purposes.

These are the most common forms of intellectual property. If you decide that something you have created falls under one of the categories stated in this article, then you should look into registering the work or product. Be certain that what you are registering is not the same as what someone else has already registered.

Posted in Law