Job Opening – Entry Level Legal Assistant

Minimum Education Requirements: Associate’s Degree or higher

Job Requirements

  • Experience not required but preferred.
  • Must be people oriented with commitment to customer service.
  • Must communicate effectively with customers and attorneys.
  • Ability to pay close attention to detail.
  • Proficient editing skills.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel.
  • Demonstrate initiative and ability to work independently.

Job summary

Wiseman Bray PLLC is medium-sized boutique law firm.  A Legal Assistant’s primary responsibility is to support Attorneys and the Litigation Coordinator in any manner that allows them to be more effective and efficient.  The position involves general office work such as scheduling, filing, editing, preparing correspondence, and basic research. The applicant must be detail oriented and able to juggle multiple tasks while independently keeping track of, and following up on, open items.  A Legal Assistant serves as a primary point of contact for clients and customers, and is responsible for answering incoming phone calls and identifying and addressing customer needs.

Wiseman Bray PLLC employees receive 12 days paid leave annually.  Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with an hour for lunch break.  Beginning salary is $30,000 per year, and employees are 401(k) eligible after completing 1 year of work.  Unfortunately, Wiseman Bray PLLC is not able to offer health insurance benefits.

Wiseman Bray does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, or disability.

Please send all inquiries and resumes to info@wisemanbray.com.

Resumes that contain spelling or grammatical errors will not be considered.

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim? What You Should Know

A study from Johns Hopkins Medical suggests that errors and omissions from medical malpractice are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Medical malpractice cases are some of the most strenuously defended claims in the law of personal injury. They’re time consuming, and they’re expensive to bring and win. In order to prove that medical malpractice occurred, you’ll need to show:

There Was a Physician and Patient Relationship

Establishing a doctor and patient relationship is more contractual than medical. You’re required to show that you wanted to hire the doctor, and the doctor agreed to be hired. The question of whether there was a physician and patient relationship might get confusing if the doctor was a consulting physician who didn’t directly treat and care for you.

Negligence

The mere fact that there was a bad result doesn’t mean that a doctor was careless and negligent in treating his or her patient. There are several important points to keep in mind:

  • We’re required to show that the physician who treated you or your family member breached the standard of care and caused harm. That standard of care is consistent with the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled physician with similar training in the same geographical area would have provided under the same or similar circumstances.
  • The care and treatment need not be the best possible. It need only be reasonably careful and skillful. That level of care and any alleged deviation from it are what the facts of most medical malpractice cases turn on.
  • Each side almost always hires its own independent expert to testify on the standard of care and any breach of it. Sometimes the parties have more than one expert.

Causation

People usually don’t see doctors unless they’re sick or injured. The severity of the illness or injury that brought the patient to the doctor must be considered. The level of severity raises the issue of whether the doctor’s care and treatment actually harmed the patient. This can be a cloudy issue often left to the testifying experts. To prove medical malpractice, we’re required to show that a doctor’s negligence through an error or omission in treatment actually caused the harm. Even a gross deviation from the standard of care isn’t actionable if no serious harm was caused to the patient.

Proximate Cause

Proximate cause in medical malpractice is determined by using a “but for” test. But for the error or omission of the treating physician, would the specific harm that the patient is complaining of have occurred? That specific harm must result in legal damages to the patient. Those damages might be in the form of:

  • Additional medical bills
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Lost earnings and earning capacity
  • Any permanent disfigurement
  • Any permanent disability
  • Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a wrongful death

Common Examples of Medical Malpractice

A wide variety of acts or failures to act can constitute medical malpractice. Some common types of medical malpractice are:

  • Failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis. There might have been a better result without one of these occurring.
  • Improper treatment or choosing the proper treatment but administering it improperly.
  • Failing to warn a patient of known risks.
  • Surgical errors like operating on the wrong body part or performing the wrong procedure on a patient.
  • Anesthesia errors by administering too little or too much of an anesthetic to a patient.

Medical malpractice laws vary widely from state to state. Anybody contemplating a medical malpractice case should speak with an experienced and respected attonrey such as the  Personal Injury Lawyer Milwaukee WI  locals trust before making the decision to take legal action.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim for their insight into medical malpractice claims.

Food Poisoning at a Catered Event: Who’s Liable?

Good food can turn a simple event like a budget meeting into something that everyone wants to be on time for, as a quality event venue Glendale CA relies on can attest. However, food poisoning is not something that a person envisions when eating those delicious ribs or baked beans. If a person does get sick at a catered event, who is liable for damages?

 

Why Did the Victim Get Sick?

In a personal injury case, an individual is only entitled to compensation if he or she can prove that negligence occurred. One element to proving negligence occurred is that a duty of care existed and was breached.

However, an injured victim is also responsible for taking reasonable steps to protect his or her health and safety. Therefore, the circumstances surrounding the food poisoning incident are important when determining liability. For instance, if a person ate meat that had been sitting in the sun all day, he or she may be partially liable for his or her own illness. This is because a reasonable person knows or should know that warm meat can make you ill.

It is also possible that the catering company would be liable for leaving meat out in the sun or otherwise allowing it to get so warm in the first place. Catering services can reduce liability by following food safety standards, such as keeping meat at below 40 degrees while in storage and at over 140 degrees when served.

Did the Victim Suffer Any Damages?

Technically, negligence does not occur if a victim doesn’t suffer any physical injuries and economic damages. In the case of a person who got food poisoning, it might not be enough that he or she experienced a stomach ache for 24 hours. The victim may need to show that the illness required a trip to the hospital, made it impossible to work (resulting in lost wages), or otherwise significantly reduced their quality of life.

Was the Victim Allowed at the Event?

The law divides people on a premises into three different categories. The first two are invitees and licensees, and these are people who were either invited to the event or were contracted to work there. The final group consists of trespassers, and they are people who enter a premises without the right to do so. Generally, there is little or no duty of care to trespassers unless they are children. If a trespasser got sick eating food that he or she had no right to take, it may be difficult or impossible to hold a caterer liable.

Were Other Parties Involved Before the Event?

If the company that provided the caterer with food gave them a tainted product, the supplier may also be liable for damages. If there was a problem with a thermometer or other tools used to measure the temperature of a food, the supplier of that tool could be held liable for damages. Those who improperly put food on a truck or otherwise had custody of it before the event may be additional defendants in a food poisoning case.

There are many questions that need to be answered when determining liability in a personal injury case related to food poisoning. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help a victim determine his or her rights and how to proceed with a claim. It may be possible to win compensation for medical bills and other costs incurred because of an illness.

Metropol Banquet Event Venue GlendaleThanks to our responsible friends at Metropol for their insight into quality catering and venue management.

Why an Experienced Attorney is Necessary for Slip and Fall Accidents:

When you encounter a slip and fall or any hazards on someone else’s premises, it is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney. There are many different routes slip and fall accidents cases can go. These cases can go many ways for many different reasons so it is wise to be aware of the possibilities of your case and always deal with someone with experience.

Possibility of Litigation:

While every case is different, most slip and fall cases go to litigation (trial). If you plan to file a claim, you will need an attorney who has the will to fight in the courtroom. Slip and fall cases often see a courtroom because there are rarely any good faith negotiations that occur in these instances. It is very important to hire someone that has experience in the courtroom.

Denial of Liability

In car accidents, in most cases it is clear who is at fault. Because the evidence is not always as clear in a slip and fall accident, companies or premises owners do not want to take responsibility for the incident. So, you may need to go to court to demand the monies you think you deserve.

Case Refusal

Some attorneys fear litigation. Fighting can open the opportunity for losses, for some attorneys they would rather not sacrifice a win. Slip and fall accidents do not guarantee settlements. It is very important to hire an experienced attorney, like a personal injury attorney Atlanta GA relies on,  that will be able to battle in your defense and know how to respond.

Physical damages and medical bills incurred during slip and fall accidents is stressful enough. The best decision you can make will be in your legal representation. The likelihood of your case seeing a courtroom is far too

Andrew R. Lynch, P.C.Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into why an experienced attorney is necessary for slip and fall accidents.

What You Need to Know About Rollover Accidents

 

Modern cars are designed to withstand many different kinds of accidents and forces, but it is still possible that a car will rollover – perhaps multiple times – under the right conditions. While the overall percentage of accidents that include a rollover is very low (2%), the death rate associated with rollovers is disproportionately high at 35 percent.

The most common causes of rollover accidents are “tripping” where the driver clips a guardrail or curb and the car flips as a result. Tripping also occurs if a driver drifts onto a sandy surface or softer soil and attempts to correct and get back on the road. Other rollovers can result from product defects, usually in tires, weather conditions including slick roads and ice, or poorly maintained roads.

The reason rollover accidents are responsible for such a high rate of deaths is because in some cases, drivers or passengers are ejected during the crash or the roof of the car collapses. While there are upgrades mandated for newer vehicles, older vehicles are not likely retrofitted and may be particularly prone to rolling over or roof collapse.

Even if the rollover accident does not result in casualties, the injuries that are incurred can be severe including head injuries, spinal injuries, and neck injuries. Medical and rehabilitation costs will be high, possibly in excess of the lifetime cap on insurance under your private insurance, if you have it. In addition to medical costs, there are the lost wages if you are unable to go back to work for some time due to your injuries.

Depending upon the reason for the rollover, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recoup some of these costs. This is particularly true if there was a blowout or a tire defect, the road was poorly maintained and hazardous, the car’s airbags did not deploy due to a defect, or another driver was at fault, causing the ultimate rollover.

Who you file against depends mostly on the nature of the cause of the accident. Poor road conditions are usually the fault of the state and any associated construction firms who are working on the road. Tire and airbag defects land squarely with the manufacturer of those products. And, of course, if another driver is at fault, then the suit would be filed against them and their insurer, if they have one. It is not uncommon, either, for there to be multiple causes of the ultimate damages including another driver whose actions caused you to rollover coupled with defective airbags that failed to deploy.

Of course, in the immediate aftermath of a rollover, the most critical steps are to ensure medical treatment for all who are involved. Depending upon the severity of your injuries, you may not be able to take much ownership in this role and must rely instead on others. Getting medical treatment will also help to document your injuries in real time which can be particularly helpful later on. Finally, take everything to a qualified personal injury lawyer Delray Beach FL trusts  to evaluate your case.

Eric H. Luckman LawThanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Offices of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into rollover accidents.

The Best Time to Begin Estate Planning

A necessary and important life step, estate planning is the process of preparing the transfer and allocation of your assets and wealth in the unfortunate case of death or incapacitation. If you have wealth in the form of assets, bank accounts, pensions, life insurance, real estate, cars or other personal belongings, then now is the time to begin preparing for the future. Whether old or young, sick or well, rich or poor, it is important to ensure that when the time comes, your belongings and those dear to you are taken care of. It is advised, however, that estate planning be done while still relatively young and in good health, because whether we accept it or not, the future is very uncertain.

Although the time is always right to begin estate planning, there are significant life points at which these preparations may be especially vital. You should probably begin planning if:

  1. You’re Young, Single and in Good Health

Ideally, this is the best time to start estate planning. Though death is probably unfathomable at this stage in your life, it’s important to prepare for the unknown.

  • Creating a will at a younger age is beneficial in the case that something does happen, so that you are able to ensure your chosen family and friends receive whatever assets you may have. Plus, you can change your will at any time throughout your life. At the very least, you’ll be staying ahead of the game.
  • If living wills and trusts are of interest to you, this is also a good time to talk to an attorney and begin the process. Making important health decisions now, while in good health, can allow you to specify your wishes in the case of becoming incapacitated.
  1. You Have Children

Once you have had children it is especially important to begin estate planning, because it is the surest way to guarantee they will be taken care of if something were to happen to you. It is important to:

  • Leave a will or living trust to ensure they receive your assets as requested
  • Consider naming them as beneficiaries of your life insurance and other important accounts
  • Hire an attorney who can possibly prevent your assets from getting stuck in the probate process
  • Specify which children should receive what, in order to prevent possible disputes
  1. You’re Middle aged and Well Established

If at this point you own assets of significant value, you may want to have a plan for where they will go if something happens to you. Leaving behind a substantial amount of wealth without a will may create legal issues, lots of stress and possibly disagreements, among those in your life. You should:

  • Name who should receive what, and whether you want any of your assets to be liquified
  • Plan with a lawyer whether you want to leave your assets to your spouse, then children, or directly to your children.
  1. You Are of an Older Age or Have Serious Health Issues

If the possibility of death or incapacitation is more imminent, and you have not yet written out a will, you should contact an estate planning attorney as soon as possible. Planning your estate will relieve both you and your loved ones of the burden and stress.

When starting or continuing preparations, you should contact an estate planning attorney in your area such as the Scottsdale Estate Planning Attorney locals have been trusting for years. They can answer questions and concerns as well as help you set up a plan specific to your needs and circumstances.

Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys A special thanks to our authors at Arizona Estate Planning for their expertise in Probate and Estate Law.

Personal Injury Settlements and Paying Medical Bills | Wiseman Bray Law

If you are involved in a personal injury case, chances are you’ve been saddled with a great deal of medical bills. You may be waiting awhile if you’re waiting on an insurance company to pay out your fair settlement. How can you cover your current costs in the meantime? The following tips can help you pay your medical bills until the settlement comes through.

1. Seek a Lawsuit Loan

If you have a strong case, it’s possible that you could receive a lawsuit loan from a lender. Having your lawyer speak to the validity of your case might make such an individual more likely to help you and approve your request.

2. Have Your Attorney Negotiate an Out-of-Court Settlement

The process of taking your claim to trial can be long and drawn-out. When you work with an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Brooklyn NY relies on, he or she may guide you through the process of settling with the insurance company outside of court. In so doing, you may get the money you need much sooner than you otherwise would have.

 3. File a Disability Claim

When you anticipate the recovery process being on the longer side, it is possible that your doctor could provide you with the necessary documentation to file a federal disability claim. If the recovery is expected to take at least one year, the possible benefit amount may increase.

 4. Sell Personal Belongings

If you own any items that you no longer have use for–for example, furniture, clothes, and media products–there may be room to sell these items to raise money for your bills. Having a yard or garage sale or listing these belongings online are a few ways you can take action quickly.

5. Apply for a Peer-to-Peer Loan

Another kind of loan you can use to pay your medical bills is a peer-to-peer loan. Using one of many peer-to-peer lending sites, you can tell your story and share it online. When people know that it was through an accident that you were injured, they may be sympathetic to your situation and help by donating money.

Start By Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Hiring an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer can be in your best interest when it comes to getting compensation as soon as possible. There are many personal injury attorneys who work on a contingency basis, so making a call for a consultation can come at no risk to you. Be sure you bring as much evidence as possible when speaking with a lawyer, such as photos, medical records, and witness statements, so he or she can better evaluate your case.

Laurence C. Tarowsky Attorney at LawThanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Laurence C. Tarowsky for their insight into personal injury cases.

Comparing Civil Suits to Criminal Charges | Wiseman Bray

There are significant differences in how civil cases and criminal cases are adjudicated.

For starters, civil suits are tort law cases where one private party is claiming they have been a victim of the neglect of another individual. This can be a personal injury situation or a contractual dispute. Contract disputes can be both oral implied agreements and written definitive agreements, complete with signatures and exact language. Civil suits can involve governmental agencies. The plaintiff’s attorney in a civil case is the prosecutor in the tort matter, but if the civil case reveals activity that is against codified law, then the state may still step in and apply the criminal charges. Criminal charges may be brought by an individual, but the case is actually prosecuted by the state or federal government.

Burden of Proof in Civil Cases

The burden of proving guilt in a civil tort case is the duty of the plaintiff’s attorney. However, there is still a major difference in determining the final outcome of the claim.

Civil cases are decided by a “preponderance of the evidence based on a totality of the circumstances” instead of the commonly thought “beyond a reasonable doubt” that is applied in criminal cases. Even though a civil case may be supported by a large amount of evidence, technicalities can still matter when the question is one of reasonable duty of care or intended deceit by the respondent party. Preponderance is generally considered by the legal profession as an easier standard to meet. When a defendant loses a civil case, they do not face jail time but are usually subject to paying a monetary award to the plaintiff, the amount being decided upon by a jury or judge. The amount is often based upon the damages put forth by the plaintiff but the actual award granted can be for more or less than that amount.

Case Remedies for Criminal Charges

Remedies for criminal charges are usually incarceration or a fine, or both, with many times the defendant being placed on probation if it is a first offense.

Certain criminal charges require mandatory jail terms, such as a conviction for driving under the influence, and many times the punishment is severe in terms of a jail sentence. Fines can be extensive as well, depending on the criminal charge. Civil cases are remedied with money in most instances and only result in incarceration when a crime has been committed during the negligent or deceptive act claimed by the plaintiff.

Representation and Court Costs

It is not a requirement for an individual to have a legal representative to file a civil case, as pro se filings are legal. It is also not a requirement for the respondent to have legal counsel unless the civil case also connects to a criminal case that could result in incarceration.

A criminal case representative is not necessarily the legal counsel for a civil suit either because they are legally two separate issues. The tort suit is filed by the victim and the criminal case is filed by the state authorities. The court costs in a criminal case are paid by the convicted defendant, while the court costs in a civil suit are paid by the plaintiff. They are, however, recoverable in the final settlement as determined by the court. All individuals who may face incarceration for a criminal charge are required by the Constitution to have legal representation.

Courtroom Proceedings and Hearings

A final major difference in civil suits and criminal cases is that many civil cases never even make it to court.

The complaint is delivered to the respondent well before the court date and many times the opposing attorneys can work out a settlement before the court hearing. This never happens when criminal charges are pressed. The criminal defendant must be arraigned in an open public court hearing with an appropriate bond arrangement made at that time. All civil suits are settled financially, while criminal charges can result in major fines along with being incarcerated or having the case deferred if the attorney cannot win a dismissal. All criminal defendants also have their sentencing pronounced in an open public hearing after the state attorney proves the charge.

If you are facing criminal charges or a civil suit, contact an attorney like a skilled criminal defense lawyer Phoenix AZ relies on. Some attorneys offer a free consultation.

Lorona MeadThanks to our friends and contributors from Lorona Mead for their insight into the difference between civil and criminal cases.

Truck Rollovers and Personal Injury Settlements | Wiseman Bray Law

When a truck rolls over, the results can be catastrophic or fatal. A tractor-trailer can weigh 20 times more than a passenger car. There’s also the cargo spillage factor that can create a dangerous high speed obstacle course for other drivers on the highway.

Common Causes of Truck Rollover Accidents

As per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about 327,000 large trucks are involved in accidents every year and an estimated 3,500 people lose their lives in them. About 15,000 of those accidents involve rollovers. The FMCSA has concluded that nearly half of all large truck rollover crashes involve the failure of drivers to adjust their speed to road curves. Other causes involve:

  • Drowsy or fatigued driving
  • Distracted driving like using a mobile phone or navigational device
  • Over-steering or over-correcting
  • Load shifts or improper loading

The Right to Compensation

Every trucker on the road has a duty to operate their rig in a safe and careful manner so as not to endanger the safety of others around them. Some truck drivers breach that duty and cause rollover accidents resulting in severe injuries or deaths. Injured victims and the families of those who died at the hands of careless and negligent truck drivers are entitled to seek compensation for their damages and losses. Those damages might consist of:

  • Previous medical bills and any medical bills that they may incur in the future
  • Previous lost earnings and any earnings that they may incur in the future
  • Any permanent disfigurement
  • Any permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of a normal life
  • Loss of consortium, companionship, and guidance from a loved one
  • Funeral and burial costs when a wrongful death results

The Stakes Are High

When a large truck like a tractor-trailer is responsible for a crash involving one or more other vehicles, the insurer risks high financial exposure. Insurance companies are well aware of that fact, so it’s not unusual for them to dispatch an investigative team to the accident scene before the mess and debris are even cleaned up. Don’t expect their investigative report to mention any evidence that’s favorable to you. The purpose of that insurer’s investigation is to attribute blame, or shift a percentage of the blame, for the crash over onto you. For the insurer, it’s all about saving money.

Preserve the Evidence

Evidence can disappear, get lost or destroyed, and witnesses can vanish. Victims or their families will want to contact us right away. If needed, we can visit the accident scene and start our own investigation immediately. We might even obtain a court order to compel the trucker and his employer to preserve all evidence in connection with the crash. Evidence might include GPS data, onboard computer data, logbooks, maintenance records, physical objects, and the like.

Settlement

While all of the evidence regarding liability is secured and examined, witnesses are interviewed too. We’re also documenting our client’s damages up to the time that the client reaches his or her highest level of medical improvement. Even in a wrongful death case, the economic and noneconomic damages also take time to document. Our objective is to maximize our client’s settlement.

Along with proven and aggressive litigation techniques, we bring personal attention and compassion to the representation of accident victims and their families. Contact an experienced professional such as the Personal Injury Attorney DC locals trust right away by phone or by email after any truck accident for a free consultation and case evaluation. You don’t need to have a single dollar in your pocket; that’s because no legal fees are due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.

Frederick Brynn LawA special thanks to our Author at Fred Brynn Law for their insight into Personal Injury Law.

Tax Issues Associated with Estate Planning | Wiseman Bray Law

An estate planning attorney is extremely useful to help you deal with the issues that arise when a family member suddenly passes away or requires intensive medical care. The attorney can provide services to facilitate asset distribution, minimizing tax fees and clarifying the final wishes of the family member. The Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, defines an estate as the net worth of a person at a specific time–in some cases at time of death. This includes the final amount of someone’s assets, legal rights and interest in property (real or intellectual).

Transferring property after someone’s passing can be difficult if they did not hold a title to the property. In some cases, a beneficiary can be allowed by a lender to inherit property. Usually a lender requires they be paid the full amount of the loan upon death of the property owner and typically the lender will not refinance a loan on property given to someone in the form of inheritance. It is highly advised to consult with an experienced Estate and Probate attorney such as the Estate Planning Attorney Scottsdale AZ locals have been trusting for years!

Estate Planning Services

A licensed and insured estate planning attorney can help you with protect your assets in case of unforeseen circumstances through trusts. Trusts contain real estate, titles for your vehicles, beneficiary deeds and the transfer of bank account balances. Creating a trust will help establish inheritances, choose your executor, and decide who distributes your funds and assets.

Attorneys can help with documents such as living wills, medical directives, living or revocable trusts, choosing who is granted power of attorney, formation and administration of trusts, probate litigation and guardianships and conservatorships.

A Guardian and a Conservator

Before you become unable to manage healthcare or financial matters, you may want to consult an estate law attorney to form a conservatorship and guardianship. A court-appointed conservator manages the financial situation of a patient and a guardian provides care and makes medical decisions for the patient. .

“What if my loved one doesn’t have a will?”

Probate litigation happens when someone dies without a will; if a conservator or guardian is unable or ineffectively honoring their obligations and duties; or possibly if seniors have been financially taken advantage of. They could be victims of fraudsters, caregivers or family members.

Important Tax Concerns

It is incredibly important to hire an attorney with a thorough knowledge of estate tax law, especially one who can inform you of IRS regulations.

An estate of $5 million or more (or $10 million or more for married couples) is subject to a federal estate tax and estates affected by this tax owe 40 percent in gift estate tax or generation-skipping transfer tax. This affects gifts from grandparent to grandchild.

An estate law attorney can negotiate IRS regulations and protocols on your behalf and provide other services including dealing with unfiled federal and state tax returns; IRS and state payment plans; and wage garnishments, liens and audits. Ensure your financial future and meet with an estate planning attorney to discuss your financial options and obligations for yourself and your loved ones.

Arizona Estate Planning AttorneysA special thanks to our authors at Arizona Estate Planning for their insight into Estate and Probate Law.