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This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.
If you are intending to lease a property for business use, consult an experienced North Salt Lake Utah real estate lawyer.
Prior to leasing or purchasing an existing building or facility, a physical security survey should be conducted to assess security needs commensurate with facility use. All door locks should be changed prior to occupying the facility. This could be a problem if inferior hardware has been used in the original construction; however, the expense of converting to a heavy duty system is worth the cost. Consideration must also be given to crash-out doors, windows, roof hatches, outside ladders, utilities, skylights, ventilators, manholes, subterranean ducts, storm drains, lighting, fencing, and parking garages. The security of most of these items should be covered in the lease agreement.
The lessor writes the lease and thus controls the leasing situation. Assuming that you have competent legal counsel, there should be few problems, but some areas require special attention if you are the lessor:
• The increasing use of technology and mobility require that leases address the hours of operation and the cost of substantial electrical and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems.
• The lease should specify proper installation and apportioning of costs for supplemental HVAC.
• The lease should certify that the space is free of PCBs, asbestos, lead in the drinking water, and common air pollutants.
• The agreement should be clear about special-purpose space, which varies substantially from common use of the facilities. An example could be file rooms (high floor loads) and computer rooms (high HVAC, fire safety, and electrical loads).
• There must be adequate access and egress for material and debris, particularly for facilities that do not have freight elevators or loading docks.
• The lease must specify the use of tenant material handling devices inside the facilities.
Lacking a standardized lease, anyone entering into a lease should be particularly concerned with the following:
• Escalation clauses
• The building standard or “work letter”
• Tenant allowance and their applicability against extra work
• Approval of tenant’s extra work
• Access by lessee’s contractor
• Weekend HVAC
• Appurtenances (parking, toilets, storage space, etc.)
• Renewal options
• Division of costs for:
— Major building alteration
— Landlord repairs
— Building services
Leasing can be worrisome because it is fraught with legalism and seeming bias toward the landlord.
Homeowners associations (as well as property-owners associations or landowners associations) are a special kind of residential association created by the covenants, conditions, and restrictions of a common interest development. Elected boards oversee the common property, and each home is purchased with the CC&Rs as part of the deed. An extensive set of rules and regulations are mandated by the CC&Rs, and homeowners associations as private entities also can make their own rules. In an overwhelming number of cases, particularly when racial discrimination is not an issue, covenants are treated as private agreements that need not comply with the constitutional standards that apply to the laws adopted by public local governments.
Homeowners association boards make decisions that affect every aspect of community life. These decisions and the functioning of the board are monitored constantly by residents and evaluated in terms of how decisions resonate with the values and preferences of individual households.
The difference between co-ops and condos lies not only in the structure of ownership, but also in the degree of control residents have in selecting prospective tenants. In cooperatives, residents become members of a corporation or limited partnership that collectively owns a building or group of houses. You become a shareholder and purchase shares that entitle you to a long-term “proprietary lease.” Individual shareholders do not actually “own” their units, but own a percentage of shares within the cooperative. Condominiums, on the other hand, are real property, usually with individual ownership of the house or apartment, and common ownership of facilities, land, or buildings. Fees covering maintenance, taxes, and improvements are distributed to all residents in both organizations, but in a condo arrangement, an individual can often sell or rent his or her apartment without the approval of the other residents or the condo board. In the cooperative, however, the co-op board must approve every buyer or renter and has broad powers to grant or withhold approval.
Local government can use zoning ordinances and enact design review standards to regulate the landscape, but to be enforceable the standards must be objective, allow for due process, and serve the public’s health, safety, and welfare needs. Property owners are entitled to a hearing on any government decision to restrict the use of private property, and if the restriction creates a hardship, property owners can apply for a variance. Further, if the zoning ordinance or design standards are deemed excessive, they can be considered a “taking, ” and the property owner must be compensated for any financial loss. These same protections are not available to a property owner living in a private, gated community because “these constitutional and statutory limitations do not apply to private agreements.”
Private governance enhances the ability of residents to keep inter-personal and neighborhood conflict at a minimum. The complex CC&Rs guarantee that most problems are resolved before they start. Another aspect of private governance is the complexity of setting up the board as well as staffing it to maintain the properties and enforce the rules and regulations.
Upon the purchase of his/her unit, the new owner automatically becomes a member of the residential association. The problem of the legitimacy of imposed rules varies according to whether such rules are explicitly included in the declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions or in the regulations imposed by the board of the residential association.
Restrictions contained in the declaration: scope and limits of the original contract
From a purely “contractual/consent” point of view the question is fairly simple. The contract that entails the acceptance of the declaration is voluntarily signed by the owners, and accordingly the restrictions contained therein are largely legitimate even if they curtail certain individual rights such as free speech. The original membership in a homeowners association is more voluntary than the original membership in a city; therefore, an association’s (private) constitutive contract should be allowed to include certain substantive restrictions usually not allowed in a city charter.11 Inasmuch as it is an explicit contract, knowingly and voluntarily entered upon, one can reasonably hold that the declaration must be honored by all residents— and actually the US courts tend to ensure that the obligations contained in the declaration are respected.
Further problems arise regarding decisions later made by the homeowners association’s board, that is, the elective management body. Owners are under an obligation to abide by the decisions made by the board since the purchase agreement includes membership in the residential association and the obligation to respect the board’s decisions. In this respect, the homeowners association functions like a private government. All the owners are part of it and may stand for election to the board. The board decides, for example, on the use of collective spaces, on certain activities conducted in private spaces, and on the buildings’ architectural features.
If you having problems with your homeowners association, an experienced North Salt Lake Utah real estate lawyer can help you.
If a man gives an easement on part of his property, he can enter the value of it as a charitable deduction on his income tax. More important is the local property tax. If a man gives an easement, he will not necessarily get a reduction in his present taxes; in all likelihood, the assessor has been valuing the land only at its open-space value. What the easement does is ensure that he will keep on valuing it that way and not raise the assessment on the basis of the development potential. Some states have passed laws to that effect, but in principle they should be unnecessary. In most state constitutions, there are guarantees against assessment at more than fair market value. If a man gives an easement on certain portions of his land, the assessor should recognize this in computing market value. He cannot rightly value it as developable land if there is a binding agreement that it is not developable.
Most easements are for perpetuity. Some people blanch at the thought of such a commitment and would like to see short-term easements. But the sale of the fee simple, or of most anything else, for that matter, is for perpetuity, and there are practical reasons why easements should be too. If they are not, the landowner is likely to have trouble persuading the assessor to overlook the development potential. Nor will the landowner be able to get capital gains treatment. If the payments are for a lesser period they will be taxed as income, just as lease payments are.
Short term easements can also create problems for the purchaser. Public agencies have found that it is as much trouble to renegotiate an easement that is about to expire as to negotiate one in perpetuity and be done with it, and agencies that used to secure short-term easements are now switching to the long term. They find that it costs them no more to do so.
Perpetuity does not last forever. In almost every easement deed there will be a reverter clause to the effect that if the purpose for which the easement was acquired is abandoned, the easement will then automatically be voided and all rights will return to the owner of the fee simple. Many of the old interurban trolley lines were laid down on easements; now that the trolleys have gone, the easements have long since reverted. The people who own the land are often unaware of this, and in many areas these ghostly traces can still be found, weedy and unused.
Easements are worth what the landowner is giving up. Sometimes this is a good bit; sometimes it is very little.
The rule of thumb for estimating the value of an easement is to figure the “before and after” value of the property; the difference between what the property is worth without the restrictions and what it is worth with them is the value of the easement. This depends on time and place. If you want an easement forbidding development on a piece of prime land in an area that is ripe for development, the owner is giving up a major part of the value of his property, or thinks he is, and you could pay through the nose.
People who want to use easements can be similarly imprecise. The most frequent error is a failure to distinguish between a scenic easement and an easement that grants public access. The two rights can be combined in an easement deed for a particular tract, but the two can’t be had for the price of one.
Easements are very binding indeed, and there should be no sugarcoating the fact. This is why they work. The deed forms must be explicit as to what is granted and what is not, and there can be no open-end clause by which the purchaser can make up new conditions for the landowner as time goes by. Such flexibility would appeal to administrators; it would not to the landowner or to the courts. They frown on loosely drawn easements, particularly those so loose that it is difficult to determine how much the landowner is letting himself in for and, thus, how much he is entitled to be paid.
Easements “run with the land,” and their conditions apply to subsequent owners of the property. Unlike covenants, they are held by someone with a truly proprietary interest in seeing that they are enforced.
Speak to an experienced North Salt Lake Utah real estate lawyer if you have any questions regarding easements in your land. You may entitled to an easement. An experienced North Salt Lake Utah real estate lawyer can review your circumstance and advise you if you can seek an easement.
When you need help with an eviction, real estate matter, quiet title issue or partition action, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
Consider the following situation. You go out after work with a few friends and have a couple of drinks. You think you are OK to drive home. The cop that pulls you over for swerving thought otherwise. Before you know it you are sitting in a jail cell. You get bailed out and are now facing a serious DUI charge. Right now you have a choice and that is to hire a DUI lawyer or accept the court-appointed one. You would be a lot better off in the long run to hire your own. There are a few reasons why.
The one thing you are in danger of losing is our drivers’ license. An experienced attorney can help you retain it even if it is to drive back and forth to work.
They can also look at your actual arrest a lot more thoroughly. This includes looking unconstitutional doings by the arresting officer. Did they have real probable cause to pull you over? Did they read you our Miranda rights?
You can also count on their guidance to help you in your case. They have most likely been in court for several hundred or even thousand cases and know exactly what to expect. The plea bargain is one of the things that they know about and will know exactly what to ask for. That may include probation or community service which is a lot better than possible jail time. They can also help keep your criminal record clean which is very important for a lot of different reasons by itself.
Facing a DUI charge in court can be made a lot easier by hiring a DUI lawyer. If you find yourself facing a charge make sure you keep the above-mentioned things in mind when it comes time for you to decide if you want to hire one or not.
This section applies to many DUI situations. It is not a substitute for individualized legal advice. Your situation may be different.
If you were drinking and driving in and subsequently stopped by a police officer, you are immediately suspected of DUI or driving under the influence even if you’re not intoxicated. First and foremost, you need to remain calm. As difficult as this can be, it’s important. Staying calm will help you be more aware of what you need to do. You must act courteous and polite. Refer to the officer as “sir,” “mam,” or “officer.” Keep in mind the officer is under stress every time they pull a car over, even yours. Police officers have a dangerous job and approaching an unfamiliar car is no different.
Secondly, have all of your driving information prepared and ready to hand over; that is your drivers’ license, registration, and insurance. Having your info handy ahead of time will benefit you in this situation. When pulled over you’re likely to get nervous and possibly shaky. Fumbling papers look bad. Keep your information in a folder or envelope located in your glove box or center console. Your drivers’ license should be easily accessed in your purse or wallet. Having your information in order will lessen the chance of officers thinking you are inebriated.
After you give your papers to the officer remain calm. You should not talk any more than you have to. The more you speak, the bigger the chance you slur one of your words. Anything you say truly can be used against you. Even everyday chit chat if it provides evidence against you. You will more than likely get the typically question- “Do you know why I pulled you over?” Your answer should almost always be no. This is a trick question designed to get you to admit that you ran a red light, speeding or any number of the infractions you can be pulled over for in most counties. More than likely you will have the officer’s flashlight pointed in your face, as well as his car spot light pointed into your mirror blinding you from another angle. The lights are part of an old interrogation tactic. Reason for it- people are less likely to do something out of line when they can’t see and it helps the officer maintain control. With the lights blinding you the officer can now come within the distance necessary to smell your breath and look within your car without fear of you pulling a gun.
“Have you been drinking?” If you say yes, prepare for the full roadside DUI Test. If you lie and say no, additional charges may be brought against you, and if you show signs of being intoxicated you will more than likely have the full roadside DUI test anyway. Rather than saying no, you should answer, “I’d rather not say.” If the officer asks you to breathe or blow on his or her face, simply say “no, sir/mam.” If the officer asks how much you have had to drink, reply with “I’d rather not say.” Do not say “I’m not sure” or “I forgot.” This only implies to the officer that you are too intoxicated to remember.
When the officer asks this, you should comply. When you step out of the car, shut and lock the door behind you. The officer will most likely challenge you on this. If the officer asks if you have something to hide, drugs, or weapons in the car, your response should be, “I’d rather not say.” The officer may ask if he or she can take a look inside your car. Your response should be “no, I do not want you to search my car.” At this point, the officer will more than likely threaten to have your car impounded and relay what the daily fee will be for having your car there. If you have alcohol on your breath your car is getting impounded anyway and an impound fee is much less than a DUI fine.
The officer may ask you to open the trunk or one of the doors. If the officer is asking, say no. If the officer is telling you, go ahead and comply.
Now, if the officer starts “telling you” to do other things such as say your ABC’s backward, stand on one leg and count to ten, or walk a straight line, you have the right to refuse. If you refuse, the officer will do anything they can to convince you that you have to. You should refuse each of these tricks otherwise known as “field sobriety tests.” These will only be used against you in court and in no way can they help you. They are designed to benefit the officer and when you fail one or more, the officer places it in the report as additional evidence that you are intoxicated. Tell the officer that you do not want to do any field tests. Do not say anything to the relation of “I couldn’t do this sober.” That can be taken as an admission of intoxication.
At this stage of the process, the officer will attempt a “preliminary breath test” by asking you to blow into a breathalyzer. It is highly recommended to reuse this as well. Just like the field sobriety test, you can refuse it and you should. The “preliminary breath test” is another tool for the officer’s report to justify his probable cause to arrest you for DUI. By refusing you will lose your license for up to a year, but within 10 calendar days of the loss you can contest on a technicality.
Follow these steps, and your chances of being misguided by the police are much less. Police officers are not happy when you don’t help convict yourself. They may try to act like your friend and tell you that they’re trying to help you, they’re not. The officer will threaten you by telling you that you won’t go home that night, you’re going to lose your car by being towed, or a number of other threats. Keep in mind, if you are charged with a DUI, you did everything in your power to help yourself in light of the offense.
Do you know your rights when you are pulled over for a DUI in Utah? What you do or don’t do could have ramifications on your case. Read this article and know your rights.
The police must have a reason to pull you over. Just because they saw you coming out of a bar at 1:30 am is not enough (ironically, if you have the fuzzy dice one your mirror, that is enough to pull you over). Once they pull you over, this is where you must know your rights.
1) Always have your drivers license, proof of insurance and registration in an accessible place. The officer is looking to see if you are “fumbling” about the car, and this will give him or her reasonable suspicion that you have been drinking.
2) Next, the officer will ask, is if you know why you were pulled over. Always answer no to this because anything you say can be used as an admission. Let them tell you why you were pulled over.
3) The officer will probably ask if you have been drinking. Remember, it is not against the law the drink, then drive. It is against the law to drive while drunk. So if you answer yes, this will give the officer more reasonable suspicion that you were drinking. Politely refuse to answer this question. Don’t make the job easier for the officer.
4) Next, the officer will ask you to submit to the Field Sobriety Tests (FST). These tests were developed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The three standardized tests that are recognized in court are:
1-The Walk and turn
2- The one-leg stand
3- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN).
Also known as the “pen test”.
All other tests are not standardized and cannot be used in court. You do not have to submit to these tests and should refuse them. Most of the time, they are done incorrectly by the officer and are always subjective.
5) Next, the officer will ask you to submit to the preliminary breath test (PBT). This test is to detect if there is any alcohol on your breath. They are wildly inaccurate in detecting your blood alcohol content (BAC). The officer is using this test to determine if there is probable cause to arrest. Whether you refuse or accept, chances are you will be arrested. But without the PBT, we have a better chance to argue an illegal arrest. If you take the PBT, and it is positive for alcohol, then the ability to argue an illegal arrest diminishes.
6) The officer must advise you of your rights in regards to the PBT test. if they do not, then your rights have been violated. There is no automatic suspension of your license by refusing the PBT. It is only a civil infraction, with no points on your record. If the officer tells you you already consented because you signed your driver’s license, still refuse the test. Your license will not be suspended for refusing the PBT. The Datamaster test will have sanctions, as will be discussed later. One caveat: if you are a commercial driver, refusal of the PBT will result in a misdemeanor charge and license sanctions.
6) If you have refused the tests, then the officer may place you under arrest (remember, if you take the tests you may still be arrested anyway, but you have in fact helped prove the State’s case against you. They will take you to the station to be booked. If they have not read you your Miranda rights, then they cannot ask you any questions, other than standard booking questions. Don’t talk to anyone.
7) The officer will next conduct the Datamaster test. This test is more accurate than the PBT but less accurate than a blood draw. Before they conduct this test, they must-read you’re Chemical Rights Test. If they do not, then the Datamaster test cannot be used in court. You have the right to refuse to submit to the Datamaster test. However, if you do, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year and you will have cost and fines to get your license back. So think long and hard about refusing this test. If you can do without your license for a year, then refuse to take this test.
8) If you request to take the data master test, then the officer will request a warrant to do a blood draw to determine your BAC. In order to do the blood draw, they must have a warrant. They will take you to a hospital (of their choice) to do the draw.
9) If the police to a blood draw, then you have a right to an independent test and should use this right. Always request an independent test. If the police refuse, we can use this refusal in front of the urn to show your rights were not respected.
One of the most important pieces of evidence is the in-car video from the police. This shows how the FST was conducted, the PBT administered and what transpired. Everything will be on video and audio. Most police departments recycle the videos after a certain time, so it is imperative that you contact an attorney right away so this evidence can be preserved. Keep in mind, many times you will not receive a court date for a DUI until months after you are arrested. Don’t wait until you get a court date before hiring an attorney.
It does take careful thought and planning to budget your money. In today’s world careful financial management is not just sensible, it is be vital as more and more people take charge and make decisions about their retirement investments and daily living expenses.
Even if you are new to the job market you should be saving for your retirement years. As life expectancy continues to improve, many people discover that their retirement life could span more than 20 years. Yet many young people have only a hazy idea of how much it costs them to live. Many young Americans are reeling under debt. If you are like one of them, all is not lost. You may have options. It may be possible for you to get rid of your debts. That too through the court. Speak to an experienced Layton Utah bankruptcy lawyer to know more.
Credit card issuers make their money through the interest they charge. Typically, the issuer will allow a holder to pay a “minimum monthly payment,” a small percentage of the outstanding balance. As long as those monthly payments are made, the credit card issuer is willing to let the person keep paying off the debt in small chunks. That’s because the issuer will continue to collect interest.
The worst thing about debt is that it tends to snowball. Some people are able to get out of that predicament fairly quickly. They forgot to pay a bill on time and made amends as soon as they recognized the error. That’s simply an error. Even though the mistake may have cost them some extra money in penalties or late fees, it was correctable.
But when paying bills late or paying one bill and leaving others unpaid becomes habitual, it’s a sign of a much more serious problem: runaway debt. And like a runaway train, when that runaway debt gets on down the track, it gains momentum.
A mountain of debt can seem overwhelming. But it’s not hopeless. That’s what makes those stories about young adults who took their own lives as they sank further into debt all the more depressing. Too much debt is obviously a problem. It’s a sign that one needs help handling one’s finances. Do the responsible thing: take steps to reduce debt. If that means telling your parents you’ve made mistakes, do so. If it means finding professional help, do so. Don’t hold yourself back from picking up the phone and scheduling an appointment with an experienced Layton Utah bankruptcy lawyer.
Don’t think that you can hang on until it gets so bad you can just declare bankruptcy. Even though more than a million Americans do so each year, declaring bankruptcy should be an absolute last resort. Why? First of all, bankruptcy can stay on your credit record for 10 years, meaning that it almost certainly will become more difficult to qualify for a mortgage or other loan, and that the terms of credit cards will be much less appealing. Bankruptcy should not be seen as an escape hatch. Before you file for bankruptcy, you need to give it a serious thought. Sometimes it may be your best option. Consult with a Layton Utah bankruptcy lawyer.
For those who have some income, and have fallen into the habit of spending more than they’re earning, financial recovery may be a matter of imposing strict financial discipline. Such a change of heart might be difficult, but staring down the chasm can create crystal clear focus and initiative. If you can’t do it alone, there are professional credit counselors who can help you create a debt management plan to pay off your creditors.
First try some steps for yourself. Review all your outstanding bills and make sure they’re accurate. If you think any are wrong, contact the creditor immediately.
Find out exactly what you owe to whom. Contact the creditors and let them know you’re having difficulty. This can be a hard step to take; most people would rather hide from their creditors than acknowledge their inability to pay. But creditors will have more respect for those who come clean. If there are circumstances, such as a recent job loss or high medical bills you’re paying off, let them know them that as well. “Managing Your Debts,” a booklet by a consortium of financial and consumer companies, gives the following advice: “Try to work out an acceptable payment schedule with your creditors. Most are willing to work with you and will appreciate your honesty and forthrightness. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Law prohibits a debt collector from showing what you owe to anyone but your attorney, harassing or threatening you, using false statements, giving false information about you to anyone, and misrepresenting the legal status of your debts.”
Determine how much money you must pay every month for rent, utilities, and travel to and from work. Add to that the amount you’ve worked out with creditors to pay off the balance on debts. Then work to economize on the rest of your expenses. How much have you been spending on dining out? Cut it down to zero for a while so you can channel that money into debt repayment. What have your entertainment expenses been? Cut them. Vacations? Postpone them. These might seem like drastic measures at the moment, but the feeling of relief and accomplishment will soon outweigh the sacrifice. Put off all unnecessary expenses for a while. Take a look at your possessions. While selling off grandma’s jewelry probably isn’t a good idea, selling a second car, a second bike, or other accumulated and unused items might be.
While it’s generally recommended that you keep a savings safety net, high debt might be an exception to the rule. Look at the numbers. Your savings account in the local bank is drawing 4.5% interest. On your debts, you’re paying 14.5% interest. As soon as you’re able, you can start funneling money back into the savings account, but for now, you’re better off paying down the debt. If a CD is due to mature soon, it might be better to wait than pay the penalty for early withdrawal.
Enough said. If credit cards are what got you in trouble in the first place, stop using them. At a minimum, stop using them for everything except emergencies. Above all, don’t apply for new credit cards. This is not the time to get creative with borrowing from one card to pay another. It’s time to get serious about repayment.
Determine if you qualify for any government or private assistance. Government assistance includes unemployment compensation, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), food stamps, low-income energy assistance, Medicaid, and Social Security including disability.
If you can’t do it alone, there are professional credit counselors who can help. An experienced Utah bankruptcy lawyer can guide you to a professional credit counselor. The counselor will work with you on developing a budget. The counselor can also negotiate a financial management plan with creditors who are pressing for repayment.
The lesson of money management is really quite simple: Save as much as you can as often as you can. Having a cushion of savings and some money invested means your money is working harder for you. That means that your goals are more easily within reach. Financial security transcends having a savings account, however. Knowing that you’re on the right path so that money will be there when you need it provides emotional and psychological security as well.
So before making that next big purchase–or even the little ones that add up–ask yourself the following questions: Do I need this? If I do need it, do I need it now? Delaying purchases can often save lots of money.
Technological improvements in computers, for example, often mean that you can get more computer for the same amount of money. Delaying the purchase until you have the full amount, or close to it, in cash also saves money. Since you’re not buying with credit, you’re saving interest charges. And you’ve achieved the satisfaction of planning for a purchase and saving toward that goal.
Delaying or passing up larger purchases also helps get you in the habit of passing up smaller purchases. Saving money doesn’t mean self-denial. It’s trading one pleasure for another. If the goal is to buy a new entertainment system, it might mean passing on lunches at the nearby café every day. Think about it. If those lunches cost nearly $10 a day, you could have almost $200 saved up in one month. It’s a relatively painless way to get to the goal.
How do you decide where you can cut? Keep track of your spending. Pull out a notebook and write down all your expenses. Especially keep track of those smaller ones–the $5 for coffee, the $15 for a midday snack at the vending machine. At the end of the month, look at where the money’s gone. What were your good decisions? What were the bad ones? Try to cut out those expenses.
Be careful with credit cards. They’re wonderfully easy to use, but their major attraction is also their major downside. They can be too easy to use. It doesn’t feel like spending money when you say, “Charge it.” But each time you charge, you are spending money–and it’s an expensive loan if you let charges build up without paying them off.
Remember that overusing credit cards–especially when you start transferring balances from one to another–is in direct contradiction to the goal of saving. And if you get into trouble with credit card debt, let someone know right away. The sooner you start working to solve the problem, the sooner you can be on the right path.
Whatever your financial goals are, there’s a way to get there. If the goal is a long time away–retirement, for example–you can afford to take greater risks with the investments allocated toward that goal. If the goal is to save $250 in the next month so you can buy a new phone, tuck it in an account where you won’t touch it. It’s awfully hard to keep money in your checking account earmarked for something more than a few days away.
As a last resort, bankruptcy is a legal procedure to provide a fresh start. There are two types of bankruptcy filings:
• Chapter 7 (so called because the rules governing these types of filings are found in Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code) is a “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy, requiring that the debtor liquidate or sell all assets that are not exempt in that state.
• Chapter 13 is known as a reorganization plan. It allows debtors to keep property, such as a house or car, that they might otherwise lose. These types of filings often allow debtors to pay off an existing loan, over three to five years. This type of plan can work for people who have consistent income and need time to pay off debts, as well as relief from creditors while they’re trying to pay their debts down.
Both types of bankruptcy filings may get rid of those debts to which creditors don’t have specific rights to properties. They can stop foreclosures, repossessions, garnishment of wages, utility shutoffs, and debt collection activities.
Bankruptcy can adversely affect your credit score. Credit score is a tool that’s designed to enhance a lender’s ability to determine the likelihood that a consumer will repay a loan. It’s based in part on credit scoring “models,” which are computerized systems that look at a variety of factors (sometimes hundreds) relating to many consumers’ credit histories and personal information, such as age, income and level of outstanding debt.
Scoring systems collect this data to try to predict a consumer’s willingness and ability to pay future debts. Credit scoring systems usually produce a numerical score–a credit score. Lenders use these scores as tools to help decide if a loan should be made and to set repayment terms.
When you need to file for bankruptcy, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506 for your Free Consultation. We want to help you.
Wills should be probated when the person dies. Wills do not have to go through probate unless you want to transfer ownership of assets owned by the testator, or the person who wrote the will to her living beneficiaries. Many states provide legal options for doing this through simplified procedures for limited estates. Generally, probate is required for large, complex estates with multiple assets to settle the testator’s affairs in an orderly, legal way. However, there are ways to avoid probate even in this instance. When there is no urgency to transferring title of assets left by the testator, or the person who wrote the will, some families do not bother to go through the process. There is no penalty for this. For instance, in Utah, if the family continues to make tax payments on property owned by the testator and does not attempt to sell it, in most cases the asset can remain in the testator’s name indefinitely.
However, check with an attorney in the state where the testator died to be sure this holds true there because state laws vary. Even large estates can by-pass the probate process through the use of revocable living trusts. A testator transfers assets to the trust during his lifetime and is generally the trustee, retaining control over his assets, but technically the trust owns them. Therefore, when the trustee dies, there is no need for probate because the owner of the assets, the trust remains alive. However, this is only a viable option when all assets are transferred to the trust. Probate would still be required to transfer ownership of any that are overlooked or omitted.
Many states offer simplified versions of the probate process for small estates. Although technically these procedures are still “probate,” they by-pass many formalities that incur court costs and expenses for the estate and that can take up a lot of time. The criteria for simplified probate in most states are the value of the estate, usually minus the value of any real estate. Some wills include assets that are not subject to probate. These include life insurance policies and retirement accounts with named beneficiaries that pass directly to that beneficiary at death, so probate is not necessary to transfer the asset. Real estate often does not require probate, either. For instance, most deeds that are held jointly between two people contain provisions for the deceased’s share to pass automatically to the survivor. However, the property would still require probate eventually when the second owner passes away.
Probate sounds like a complex and expensive process. However, probate is actually a very common legal procedure and is the way that some assets must be formally passed from the person who is deceased to his or her heirs or beneficiaries. Whether probate is needed depends on the type of property, how it is owned, and what the state laws are. For very large estates the probate process can be a complex procedure, but for most people, it is a very simple formality. Probate is really just a judge giving legal permission for assets to be passed on, whether or not there is a last will. Most people think of probate as involving a will.
If a person dies and leaves a will, then probate is required to implement the provisions of that will. However, a probate process also can happen if a person dies without a will and has property that needs to be distributed under the state intestacy law (the law of inheritance). If the decedent owned an account that named a beneficiary (such as a retirement account) but the beneficiary has passed away before the owner of the account, probate law requires that account to go through the court so that the funds can be passed to the person legally entitled to them under state law. If the decedent formed a revocable living trust and funded his assets into the trust, they would not require probate because living trusts avoid probate. They allow a mechanism by which assets can pass to beneficiaries under the terms of the trust agreement so probate is not required. But many people who form trusts also create something called a “pour-over” will. This type of will is designed to catch any assets the trust maker neglects to place into his trust for one reason or another. It then transfers them to the trust at the time of the trust maker’s death, and this type of will would require probate even when a trust exists.
Basically, probate is necessary only for property that was:
• owned solely in the name of the deceased person for example, real estate or a car titled in that person’s name alone, or
• a share of property owned as “tenants in common” for example, the deceased person’s interest in a warehouse owned with his brother as an investment.
This property is commonly called the probate estate. If there are assets that require probate court proceedings, it’s the responsibility of the executor named in the will to open a case in probate court and shepherd it to its conclusion. If there’s no will, or the will doesn’t name an executor, the probate court will appoint someone to serve. Either way, the person in charge can hire a lawyer to help with the court proceeding, and pay the lawyer’s fee from money in the estate.
Typically, many of the assets in an estate don’t need to go through probate. If the deceased person was married and owned most everything jointly, or did some planning to avoid probate, a probate court proceeding may not be necessary.
Here are kinds of assets that don’t need to go through probate:
• Retirement accounts—IRAs or 401(k)s, for example for which a beneficiary was named
• Life insurance proceeds (unless the estate is named as beneficiary, which is rare)
• Funds in a payable-on-death (POD) bank account
• Securities registered in transfer-on-death (TOD) form
• savings bonds registered in payable-on-death form
• Co-owned savings bonds
• Real estate subject to a valid transfer-on-death deed (allowed only in some states)
• Pension plan distributions
• Wages, salary, or commissions (up to a certain amount) due the deceased person
• Property held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship
• Property owned as tenants by the entirety with a spouse (not all states have this form of ownership)
• Property held in community property with right of survivorship (allowed only in some community property states)
• Cars or boats registered in transfer-on-death form (allowed only in some states)
• Vehicles that go to immediate family members under state law
• Household goods and other items that go to immediate family members under state law
• The way in which assets were held, which will either be in joint names, or in the deceased person’s sole name; and
• The value of these assets.
Assets that are owned jointly can be held one of two ways: as joint tenants or tenants in common. Assets held as tenants in common will not pass by survivorship but will pass to whoever is legally able to inherit under the deceased’s Will or intestacy. If any assets are held in joint names as Joint Tenants with someone who is still alive, the asset will automatically pass to the co-owner under the Right of Survivorship. If this applies to all the deceased’s assets, Probate will not be required. But if any assets are held in the deceased person’s sole name, you need to find out how much that particular asset is worth. If it’s over the Probate threshold (explained below) then Probate will be needed in order to access and/or transfer it.
Even if the deceased person owned an asset in their sole name, Probate may not be needed if it is worth very little. That’s because most banks and financial institutions will release funds if the deceased held or owned less than $5,000. However, each bank has its own minimum Probate threshold and it’s worth checking the position with them. Where the deceased held assets in their sole name but they are of little value, it’s called having a small Estate. It’s hard to put an exact figure on what constitutes a small Estate, as every bank and financial institution has their own limit. But generally if the total value of the Estate is less than $15,000 then usually Probate will not be required. But if the deceased owned assets worth more than the threshold, you’ll need to go through the Probate process. So if the person who died owned a property in his/her sole name, you can be certain that Probate will be needed. It doesn’t matter if there’s a legally valid Will. This has no impact on whether or not Probate is required.
Probate is not exclusively for Estates where the person died Intestate (meaning without a Will). Instead, Probate is required for all Estates where assets are above a certain value, and are not being automatically transferred to a surviving joint owner. However, you do need find out if there’s a Will, as this will influence certain things. For example, if there’s a Will it will name Executors. These people must apply for a Grant of Probate, if necessary. The Estate will eventually be distributed to the beneficiaries named in the Will. If there isn’t a Will, the will determine who the beneficiaries are. If Probate is needed, one of these people must apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration, rather than a Grant of Probate.
When a person dies with a will, they typically name a person to serve as their executor. The executor is responsible for making sure that the deceased’s debts are paid and that any remaining money or property is distributed according to their wishes. It’s not uncommon for wills to be written years before a person die. Once death occurs, the executor should file the will in court to begin the probate process.
Failing to file a will within the time required by the state can have serious consequences. Although failure to file by itself is not a criminal violation, in most states this subjects the person to a lawsuit by someone who was financially hurt by the failure to file. For example, in Utah, the law says that anyone who “willfully failed to file a will with the court” is liable to any injured party for the damages resulting from the violation. Criminal liability could occur if the failure to file a will is coupled with intent to conceal the existence of the will for financial gain. For example, your father decided to leave his entire estate to a favorite charity and left you nothing. You decide not to file his will. The laws of intestate succession allow you to inherit your father’s entire estate. In this instance, a failure to file the will would likely expose you to criminal liability.
When people die, its common to have unpaid bills. Opening probate cuts short the amount of time a creditor has to claim against the estate. A creditor must file their claim within four months from the date an executor or personal representative is officially appointed. A creditor’s claim may be rejected by the executor if it is filed late. When probate is not opened, a creditor has one year to file suit against the estate. It is common for a will not to get filed when the deceased’s estate is insolvent, meaning there are more bills that money. In general, relatives and friends have no legal obligation to do anything to pay the debts, to communicate with creditors, or open a probate. So, the simplest solution is to file the will and walk away from the problem by not opening probate.
Before you can submit the will to Probate, you’ve got some work to do.
The first thing you must do is look over the Will and determine who the beneficiaries are, what assets the deceased owned (and the value of those assets), and what debts the deceased owed. You will also need to establish a bank account in the name of the estate to handle any money that continues to come into the estate (income, earnings, or savings) or any bills or dues that the estate will be paying. Many people keep their Will in file cabinets, safe deposit boxes, offices, or with an attorney. You need the official document to begin the Probate process. Put together a list of all the people named as beneficiaries. This list should be as complete as possible and include the following information about each beneficiary:
• Phone number
• Email address
• Date of birth
• Social Security Number
If you know that someone named as a beneficiary is dead, you should obtain a certified copy of that person’s death certificate.
Someone first receives official notice that he has been sued by receiving the plaintiff’s complaint and an accompanying summons from the court. The summons typically directs the now-defendant to answer the complaint, but the defendant actually has a number of different ways of responding to being sued. If you have been served with a summons in a family dispute, contact an experienced Heber Utah family lawyer.
First, the defendant can simply ignore the whole thing. If the defendant in a criminal case fails to answer a summons or appear for trial, the police can go out and arrest her. Not so in a civil case. But that doesn’t mean that anyone can just ignore a complaint. The sanction for failing to respond to the complaint is that the plaintiff can get the court to enter a default against the defendant. A default prevents the defendant from subsequently entering any defenses on the merits of the case, and the plaintiff can proceed to get a default judgment that concludes the case against the defendant and then can attempt to enforce it like any other judgment.
Sometimes a defendant may take the chance of ignoring a complaint and having a default judgment entered against it because the defendant doesn’t think the plaintiff will be willing or able to enforce the judgment. The second tack the defendant can take is to raise an objection to being sued that is unrelated to the merits of the case. The objection takes the form of a motion to dismiss. A motion is a formal request to the court, here to get rid of the case without ever reaching the substance of what happened.
Some of these objections are trivial. A defendant can say that there was a technical defect in the form of the summons or in the method of service of process, sending the complaint and summons by mail, for example, when personal service is required. If the plaintiff can cure the defect, in this case by personally serving the defendant, then the objection may delay the case but doesn’t halt it altogether. If the plaintiff cannot cure the defect because the defendant is unavailable to be served, then the defendant’s strategy may prevent the case from going forward at all.
A more important basis for a motion to dismiss is that the court lacks jurisdiction over the defendant or the case. Recall that a court can only render a binding judgment in a case when it has jurisdiction, or authority over the subject matter of the case and over the parties. If the defendant demonstrates that the court lacks jurisdiction, the court has no power to do anything other than officially recognize its lack of jurisdiction by dismissing the case.
The third move the defendant might make is to challenge the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff’s complaint. This procedure was classically known as a demurrer, and is today more commonly referred to as a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim or failure to state a cause of action. In such a motion to dismiss, the defendant argues that even if all of the facts that the plaintiff alleges are true, there is no legal basis for holding the defendant liable to the plaintiff. The motion therefore tests the strength of the plaintiff’s legal argument without getting into the facts underlying the dispute.
If the defendant has no basis for making a motion to dismiss the complaint, or if any motions to dismiss fail, the defendant finally has to meet the complaint on the merits of the case. The defendant does this by filing a pleading called an answer, which, obviously, answers the allegations made in the plaintiff’s complaint. The defendant can meet the plaintiff’s allegations in three ways, by saying “no” (denying that the allegations are true), “I don’t know” (disclaiming knowledge about the allegations), or “yes, but” (admitting the allegations but stating facts that would provide a defense to the plaintiff’s claims).
Ideally, a defendant might like to deny everything the plaintiff said in its complaint, thereby hiding all the information the defendant has about the case and putting the plaintiff to the trouble of proving every piece of information it needed to establish its claim. In former times and in a few jurisdictions today, the defendant could accomplish that through a general denial, which places into contention every allegation in the complaint. Most courts no longer permit a general denial, though, because in most cases it subverts the purposes of the pleadings and the goals of the procedural system. The pleading process is designed to help identify and narrow the issues that are in dispute. If the defendant, through a general denial, controverts an allegation that it knows to be true, an issue that could be excluded is raised unnecessarily.
Sometimes the defendant will admit that the essential elements of the plaintiff’s complaint may be true, but the defendant will argue that the complaint doesn’t tell the whole story. If so, in its answer, the plaintiff can raise an affirmative defense. A defense introduces a new factor that eliminates or reduces the defendant’s liability even if all of the elements of the plaintiff’s claim are established.
Often the defendant doesn’t know whether some of the plaintiff’s claims are true. In that case, the rules of civil procedure permit the defendant to say, in effect, “I don’t know.” This puts the issue into dispute and the plaintiff has to come up with its proof. Of course, the desire to promote candor and to define the disputed issues through the pleadings requires that the defendant really not know if the plaintiff’s allegation is true, and courts often extend that requirement to force the defendant to engage in a reasonable degree of investigation to ascertain the truth. If, for example, the allegation concerns some facts about what the defendant itself did, the defendant cannot profess lack of knowledge. Once again, the goal of the process is to efficiently define what the parties are really disputing about and what they can agree on.
Usually we think of a lawsuit as involving two people, the plaintiff and the defendant. But even an ordinary action may involve multiple parties. In addition to involving multiple parties, lawsuits often involve multiple claims.
It would be possible to proceed to trial without each party finding out in advance what the other knows. But modern civil procedure uses a more open system in which each party has an extensive opportunity to unearth all of the facts relevant to the litigation during the pretrial stage of the litigation. To obtain information that is in the adversary’s possession, or that can be most easily obtained from the adversary even though it may be available elsewhere, a party can interview the other party under oath, called a deposition; submit written questions, called interrogatories; demand that documents or other physical evidence be produced; require the other party to submit to a physical examination; and ask the other party to admit the truth of facts relevant to the litigation.
A deposition is an oral examination of the other party or someone else with knowledge of the case. A deposition is like the examination of a witness at trial, in that it is conducted by an attorney, a verbatim record is made, and the witness is under oath; the key differences are that the examination is not conducted in front of a judge and there is no cross-examination. Instead, a court reporter swears in the witness and records the testimony. By taking someone’s deposition, an attorney can find out what that person knows in a flexible way; the answer to one question may open up a new line of inquiry. If the witness might testify in an adverse way at trial, the deposition pins down the testimony, allowing the attorney to develop contrary evidence or to use inconsistencies between the deposition testimony and subsequent testimony at trial. It also gives both attorneys a chance to assess how good the witness will be at trial–not only what she says, but how persuasive or credible she is.
The disadvantage of taking depositions is the expense. In a typical deposition, the attorneys for both sides will be present, running up their fees, and the court reporter must be paid, too. One way of reducing this cost is to submit written questions (interrogatories), to be answered under oath. All the attorney has to do is prepare and submit the interrogatories, not be present at a deposition; therefore, interrogatories can be much cheaper, especially because standard form interrogatories are often used for routine aspects of cases.
Interrogatories also place on the adversary the responsibility of ascertaining the facts needed to respond to the questions posed. The disadvantage of interrogatories, though, is that they are inflexible and not spontaneous. The answers often are crafted by the attorney for the responding party to be responsive but not particularly forthcoming, cryptic, and narrowly drawn to give no more information than is absolutely necessary. Nor can an attorney follow up on the answer to one question by asking another; the attorney has to anticipate all the questions that might be asked and include them in the original set of interrogatories.
In connection with depositions or interrogatories, or in a separate request, one party can demand that the other produce documents or other evidence.
Where someone’s physical or mental condition is at issue in the case, one party can ask the court to require them to submit to a medical examination. And a party must disclose whether it has retained an expert to testify at trial and what the expert will testify about.
Finally, where one party believes that some facts are undisputed, that party can request the other to admit that they are true, narrowing down the issues to be tried.
Pretrial discovery has significant advantages over a system of trial by surprise in achieving a fair and efficient process, and in promoting the values of the underlying substantive law. Simply at a practical level, it focuses the recollection of witnesses at an early stage and preserves information that otherwise might not be available at the time of trial. Because it typically takes years for a civil case to come to trial, witnesses may forget details about: events or may even die, and documents or other evidence may be lost or destroyed. Discovery comes well before trial, when recollections are fresher and evidence is more likely to still be available.
More importantly, through discovery the parties learn the contours of each others’ cases and clarify which issues actually are in controversy. This helps the parties to prepare for trial and negotiate a settlement because it narrows down what is involved in a case and gives them a sense of the strength and weakness of each party’s position.
Finally, discovery furthers the law’s substantive values by making it possible to bring actions or assert defenses that could not be done in the absence of full discovery, and by allowing the parties to bring out all of the evidence that might relate to the application of the relevant rules of law. Only when the parties discover and present at trial all of the evidence that bears on the case can the relevant rules of law be correctly applied.
These functions of discovery suggest that the scope of discovery–what information parties can discover and what tools they can use to obtain it–should be very broad, and in most court systems it is.
As the defendant in a Utah family law dispute, there is a lot at stake. You should appear in the court on the date listed in the summons and defend the case against you. Utah family law is complex. Seek the assistance of an experienced Heber Utah family lawyer. The lawyer will review your case and advise you on your options. Never attempt to self defend yourself in order to save on attorney fees. It will prove costly.
The attorney’s fees is different that the costs of filing. The cost to trademark a logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is $225–$600 as of January 2017, plus legal fees. You can register a trademark with your state for -0, but federal registration offers a great deal more legal protection. Call Ascent Law for your Free Consultation and we can guide you on the right path for you.
The USPTO offers four different forms, each with different pricing. If you file online using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS), you can choose from three options. File a regular TEAS for $400 or a TEAS RF for $275. You can file a TEAS Plus for $225 if you meet certain terms, such as fitting neatly into one of the standard business groups. Which form you can use will depend on your business and your logo? You can also opt to file a paper form for a flat rate of $600. These fees are valid as of January 2017, according to the USPTO website.
Most businesses also choose to pay a lawyer. A law office can conduct a better search to make sure your logo or business name doesn’t belong to anyone else and can help make sure your application is approved. Lawyers might charge between 0 and 00 to prepare a federal trademark application.
A logo is a design that your company uses on its products, signs, or ads to identify yourself. A logo is often a visual image of your company name, like the logos for Coca-Cola or McDonald’s. Other logos are designs that represent a company without using words, like the Apple logo or the Nike swoosh.
Trademark offers the legal right to keep others from using your company name, logo or tagline. Any design, symbol, word, or phrase that denotes your business as the source of a product can be protected by trademark. If your company sells services rather than goods, you would use a “service mark” instead of trademark, but most people use the word “trademark” for both.
Register your trademark at the federal level by filing an application with the USPTO. Paper applications are accepted, but electronic applications through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) or via an online service are preferred. Using TEAS will save you money; the fees for e-applications are $225–$400, while a paper application will cost you $600. If you use your logo for multiple classes — like if you run a diner and also sell t-shirts — you’ll need to apply once for each class. Filing fees are not refunded if you are not approved.
Foreign-owned businesses who want to trademark their logos in the United States have three options: A foreign application, a foreign registration, or a Madrid Protocol application.
U.S. based businesses that want to protect their trademarks overseas will need to register with the government in each country where they plan to engage in trade. Holding a federal trademark will make that process easier.
Holding a trademark for your logo offers you protection against imported goods that might bear a similar logo.
Trademarking a name by applying for a trademark registration with the USPTO involves filing an application that identifies the trademark and the class of goods or services that you’re using it for.
You can submit a trademark registration application online, using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) or through an online service. The USPTO also accepts paper applications but strongly prefers electronic applications. Trademark fees for electronic applications are currently $225–$400 per class of goods or services, depending on the type of application you file. The trademark cost for registering with a paper application is currently $600 per class of goods or services.
If you use your mark in connection with more than one class of goods and services—such as both t-shirts and software—you must pay the filing fee for each class of goods and services. The fee is not returned to you if your trademark registration application is ultimately denied.
A slogan is a word or phrase typically associated with a business, product, or service and the fee for trademarking your slogan is $325-$375 depending on how you file.
Considering a slogan is technically intellectual property and part of branding, it is not uncommon for a slogan to be trademarked. Therefore, you should know the trademark cost even if you aim to trademark a slogan.
In order to trademark your slogan, it must be connected to your brand. If your brand and slogan are not connected in some way, you cannot trademark it.
If you aren’t sure whether or not your slogan can be trademarked, an intellectual property lawyer – such as myself – could lend you some assistance. I will also help you determine its trademark cost. Technically, there are just a few steps to getting your slogan trademarked.
Step One: Make sure the slogan is available. You can only trademark a slogan if it hasn’t been trademarked by someone else. This just involves checking the online database that belongs to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Besides informing you about the trademark cost, fortunately, this is also something a lawyer could help you with.
Step Two: You will either obtain a hard copy of the application or you will visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to fill out the application online.
Step Three: Fill out the application as completely as possible. Then, you just have to pay the necessary filing fees as part of the trademark cost. To date, it costs roughly $325 to file your trademark online or 5 if you decide to file with a paper application.
If the slogan you are using is utilized with more than one type of product or service, you will have to pay extra filing fees. Naturally, it is also important to keep in mind that filing fees are nonrefundable.
Finally, you just have to wait for your trademark application to be processed. As long as you have paid the trademark cost and filled out the paperwork properly, your slogan trademark should be registered with the online database once the paperwork is processed.
To know more about your trademark cost and begin the process of trademarking your slogan, start by calling us.
What Is the Trademark Cost If You Want to Trademark a Product?
To trademark a product, you will pay $325-$375 as the cost of trademark for the filling fees and additional attorney fees as applicable.
Trademarking a product is considered branding that product. For example, Nike’s swish check mark is how they trademark their products.
An attorney can do a search to determine if you can trademark your invention or mark and then file the right applications to make sure your trademark has the best chance of approval. The attorney will also tell you about the trademark cost involved.
If you choose to hire a lawyer to conduct a trademark search or help you with the trademark registration process, you will also incur legal fees. Many lawyers charge by the hour, with rates typically ranging from about $125 to a few hundred dollars. Some lawyers will handle trademark registrations for a flat fee.
Every 10 years, you must file an application to renew your trademark registration. The USPTO’s fees for trademark registration renewals are approximately $300 for an electronic application and about $400 for a paper application.
Trademarking a business name can offer valuable protection. You may be able to obtain state trademark registration for $100–$200. Federal trademark registration extends your protection nationwide and offers other important advantages, but it typically costs more: $275–$375 for each class of goods and services that you want to protect.
Your first cost for a trademark application is for doing a thorough search of other trademarks that have been applied for and registered. You can do the search at no cost by using the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).
You might also want to hire an attorney to do the search for you, to make sure you aren’t missing a mark that might be too close to yours. This cost varies on whether you want to search internationally or locally, and it can be up to several thousand dollars.
The first variable in trademark costs is the number of objects or types of services you want to trademark. You must file a separate trademark application for every class. A class is a type of product or service where your trademark appears. For example, if you have your trademark on t-shirts, mugs, and pens, you must file three trademark applications.
The USPTO has three levels of costs for trademark applications: TEAS Regular, TEAS Plus, and TEAS RF.
The regular TEAS application is the “basic” application. The cost of an initial application is $400. You only need to submit minimum information, and submitting a complete application will speed up processing time.
TEAS Reduced Fee (RF) is a moderate option. You don’t have to file a complete initial application, and you must agree to communicate electronically. The cost of an initial application is $275.
TEAS Plus is the least expensive and streamlined application. You must file a complete application, pay all filing fees at the time of filing, agree to file certain documents electronically, and receive all communications via email. Another benefit to the TEAS Plus application is faster service. The cost of an initial application is $225.
This article from the USPTO explains the details of the requirements for the three types of applications.
For the various trademark filings, for the initial application and continuing reports, the best and least expensive method is to use the USPTO Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). You can use the TEAS system for all filings and payments. Once you file your initial application, you are registered in the TEAS system, and you can use it for other documents and fee payments.
Drawing Costs. You must submit a “clear drawing” of the mark (the logo or name/logo combination) that meets specific requirements. A trademark design might cost anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars.
International Trademark Registration. Since many trademarks are on the internet, it’s difficult to just register in the U.S. You can register your trademark internationally through a separate application to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), through the U.S. trademark office. The cost for an initial Madrid Protocol application, per class, is $100 if filed electronically and $200 if paper-filed.
Statement of Use Fee. If you file your trademark application before using it, you need to file a declaration later when you begin using it. The cost of filing this declaration is $100 electronically or $200 by paper.
If you use a trademark or service mark before it’s registered, you’ll need to use the or ℠ designations. When your registration has been approved, you can use the ® designation.
Trademarks can’t just be “set it and forget it.” To continue your trademark protection, you must maintain it and report your maintenance activities. The USPTO calls this process “keeping your trademark alive.” There is a cost to these reports, and a separate filing must be made for every class of goods or services in the registration.
The trademark process can be tricky, and a trademark can be rejected for a variety of reasons. If you are really serious about getting your logo or business name trademarked, you should consider paying for an attorney to work through the process. According to Up Counsel, a flat fee for a trademark attorney might range from $300 to $1000 per application.
These are just the basic costs for trademark applications. There are other costs for expedited service, renewal, late fees, and others.
When you need legal help with a trademark, copyright or other intellectual property matter, please call Ascent Law for your free intellectual property law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
In a probate litigation that you are involved in, you may be required to testify in court as a witness. Always speak to an experienced Midway Utah probate lawyer before you testify in a probate court. The witness’ role in a probate litigation can be described in four scenarios: (1) answering questions, (2) interacting with the examining attorney, (3) collaborating with his or her own attorney, and (4) his or her personal deportment and appearance.
Remember, your Midway Utah probate lawyer will be present. He or she will guide and support you. Your attorney cannot answer for you, but can tell you when you should not answer by objecting to any question deemed inappropriate. It is your right to consult your attorney at any time for direction, explanation, or clarification. This must be a team effort.
Tell the truth and convey that idea in each response. Never lie! Remember that you are under oath. Lying under oath is perjury—a felony, a crime. Each answer must be as truthful and as accurate as possible. Do not attempt to distort or hide the facts; this could impeach your credibility and severely compromise your defense. Be sincere, open, and forthright at all times. Do not equivocate or try to manipulate the facts in such a way as to present yourself or your case in a more favorable light. Never admit any liability or blame! Never mention that an incident report was prepared. Make no attempt to justify your actions or decisions, or propose your rationale for them. Offer no excuses for any of your actions. Unless asked, do not mention the names of any other persons. Never blame or accuse others. Do not make denigrating remarks about others.
Do not make prejudicial comments of any kind. Do not try to evade a question or change the subject. Make each answer as positive as possible. Do not state dates, times, or any other facts or data unequivocally if you are not absolutely certain of them. Avoid such words as [always] and [never]. Do not give an opinion in answer to a question unless you have been deposed as an expert witness. If specific facts are requested, answer only to the extent of your direct knowledge of such facts. Do not substantially change an answer without good reason. Qualify, explain, or expand an answer only if it is absolutely necessary. Avoid such qualifying statements as [maybe], [possibly], [if, [perhaps], [to tell the truth], [honestly], [I think], [might have], and other such vague phrases. Do not speculate, theorize, or hypothesize. Never make assumptions. Never guess!
If you are asked to approximate, estimate, or guess, phrase your response so that it is clearly qualified as such. State directly if you do not know an answer or that you do not remember. Say: [I do not know] or [I do not remember]. These are acceptable, truthful, and appropriate answers. Never say what you do not know.
Answer the question asked and only that question. Do not give the opposing attorney more information than is required by the question. Doing so could provide ideas for a new line of questioning. Do not volunteer any information. The whole purpose of the deposition is to make the examining attorney [discover] the facts. Make the examining attorney ask questions. You are not there to educate the examining attorney or present him or her with any advantage. Do not fall into the [pregnant pause] trap. If the examining attorney reacts to your answer with a long expectant silence, ignore it. Answer each question in as few words as possible. The best answer is the briefest, most direct. A succinct [yes] or [no] is usually adequate and always advisable. Be direct and to the point in answering each question. Each answer should be as concise and as unambiguous as possible. Do not respond to a question with any information or data of which you do not have firsthand knowledge.
You can provide hearsay information if this is requested but only if it is clearly identified as such. Do not attempt to answer until the attorney has finished the question. Confirm to yourself that you fully understand the question before attempting to answer it. Do not allow yourself to be pressured or rushed in answering. Do not let the examining attorney force a [yes] or [no] answer; say what you must say to answer the question completely. Take as much time as you need to formulate your response. Pause for a moment or two before answering. This provides your attorney time to object to a question that may be inappropriate. An objection is your signal to immediately stop answering a question. If a question is ambiguous or unclear, ask that it be clarified, repeated, or rephrased. You do not have to say why.
If the question is long, convoluted, complex, or compound, request that it be simplified. You do not have to say why. Do not anticipate questions. You may be reasonably certain of what is going to be asked next. Wait until it is asked. If the examining attorney attempts to cut you off, affirm that you have not finished speaking, and continue your answer. If he or she persists, remain silent and wait for your own attorney to present the question to you again in their examination. Correct what you believe to be any errors in facts stated by opposing counsel. Respectfully challenge any erroneous assumptions. Be alert for a series of leading questions in quick succession. Be alert for hypothetical questions; these are for the expert witness only, not the fact witness. Do not answer questions by gestures or by nodding or shaking your head. All responses must be oral, audible, and clear so that they can be accurately recorded in the transcript. Avoid the use of slang, jargon, idioms; use proper grammar.
Do not rely on your memory; it may lead to errors or contradictions. Utilize the medical record and any other resources as necessary. Take your time in finding any document you need. If you must use medical or scientific terms, be sure you use the correct term in the correct context. You may be asked to spell such terms—be prepared. Ask to examine any document that opposing counsel refers to in framing a question. If you are given documents or other items to examine or identify, do so very carefully before answering any questions. If you have been deposed and are testifying as a nurse expert witness, do not readily accept the opposition’s cited authors as the sole authorities on the subject.
Do not be intimidated. Take control! Keep your wits about you. Do your best to maintain your self-control. Do not get excited or upset. Try very hard not to lose your temper and become visibly angry.
Do not let yourself become sarcastic, testy, or irritable. The opposing attorney may do his or her utmost to rattle you and provoke you. This is a test to see how well you will stand up in a courtroom before a jury. Stay calm. You will be challenged; do not react in kind. Maintain your composure, even when being blatantly provoked. Be assertive but not aggressive. Do not take an overly offensive or defensive stance. Defend yourself, your dignity, and your rights. Confirm that you will not be bullied or intimidated. Be extremely cautious of overly agreeing with the examining attorney. Do not become inordinately friendly with the opposing attorney. Remember this person is an adversary. He or she is not your personal enemy but is not your friend. Be polite, courteous, and respectful. Look directly at the attorney when you are being asked a question and when answering. Never argue. You can not win. You can challenge, dispute, or disregard, but do not allow yourself to be drawn into an argument. The deposition must not turn into a battle of wits or egos. Remember, this is not a platform for debate. The experienced trial attorney has an undeniable edge here. Play to beat the attorney at his or her own game. Do not make it easy for him or her!
As a general rule, never sit beside your attorney when being questioned. Request that you be seated so that your attorney is directly in your view. Do not turn and look to your attorney for help in answering a question. He or she cannot do this in a deposition or a trial. A deponent is expected to answer each question spontaneously as best as he or she can, and in his or her own words. Constantly looking toward your attorney may prompt a criticism or a challenge from the examining attorney, who may accuse you of uncertainty, lack of conviction, lack of self-confidence, or of hiding something. Stop speaking immediately whenever your attorney interjects. Listen very carefully to any objection being made by your attorney. It may provide clues to an appropriate answer.
As necessary, you can write notes to your attorney, or quietly ask questions while sitting at the table. Do not communicate with your attorney when someone else—attorney or deponent—is speaking. It is not advisable to ask your attorney questions or make any statements regarding the case that could be overheard by opposing counsel or by any one else.
Maintain your self-control at all times. Remember: It is your deposition! Be honest and credible. Be positive. Present yourself as a professional at all times. Look and act confident. Exude competence. Be cordial, polite, and civil throughout the proceedings. Try to be as relaxed as possible. Do not embellish or exaggerate. Do not emote—no hyperbole, theatrics, histrionics. Never allow yourself to appear weak, apologetic, repentant. Do not play for sympathy. You will get none of it here. Do not whine or complain. Do not appear cavalier or overly casual. Do not surrender under a salvo of interrogation. Be organized, come prepared. Be knowledgeable, but do not be pedantic. Unless you are an expert witness, you are not there to teach. Try not to sound [rehearsed], [coached], or [canned]. Speak only when spoken to during your examination. As a general rule, do not interrupt another. Speak slowly, clearly, and loud enough for all present to hear you. Stop speaking when your attorney or opposing counsel begins speaking (unless the latter is interrupting you). Your body language will speak volumes about you. Always be aware of your posture, movements, and facial expressions. Do not testify with your arms crossed. This could indicate a defensive, hostile posture.
Make yourself as comfortable as possible before you start. Sit up straight; sit still. You may hold something in your hand, but hold it still. Avoid touching yourself or your clothing unnecessarily or too frequently. Do not look at your watch; this can convey the impression of impatience. Do not try to be amusing, tell jokes, or quip. This is not the time for it. Make a best effort to appear very interested even when the proceedings may become very boring. Remain alert and attentive, particularly when you are being questioned or when another deponent is testifying. You may look around during pauses but always keep your gaze up. Do not sit staring abjectly at the table or at the floor. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the presence of the plaintiff and/or the plaintiff’s family. They may have been instructed to sit in your line of sight and stare hostilely at you.
How a witness presents himself or herself can make a favorable or unfavorable impression in a videotaped deposition or live—before a jury. The witness should:
• Appear neat and well groomed;
• dress for and act the role of a professional;
• wear conservative, comfortable clothing;
• not wear excess or oversized jewelry;
• and not reek of perfume or aftershave lotion.
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