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Taking Action Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

With the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1964, everyone working in America is ensured legal protection from facing discrimination in their place of employment. One of the many issues the EEOC continually addresses is the problem of sexual harassment in workplaces across the United States. Between the years 2010 and 2015, the commission has tallied receiving an average of around 7,387 reports of sexual harassment charges every year.

According to the Texas employment law attorneys of the Leichter Law Firm, sexual harassment in the workplace can be defined as unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors. It also includes any kind of verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature—including making lewd comments, profane gestures, and sexually explicit jokes—that helps breed a hostile working environment. Although one off-color joke might not count as sexual harassment, several occurrences of the same incident could contribute to an employee’s inability to feel comfortable in their workplace. The Leichter Law Firm also emphasizes that offensive remarks falling under sexual harassment do not necessarily have to be sexual in nature. These offensive remarks could also be comments that target someone’s gender or sexuality, such as crude jokes about women or the LGBT community.

While majority of sexual harassment reports are filed by women, this type of workplace discrimination can victimize employees of all gender. As a matter of fact, for the year 2015, about 17 percent of cases reported to the EEOC were filed by men. Regardless of sexuality and gender, employees targeted by sexual harassment have every right to demand their employers for a safe workplace and to be able to enjoy the benefits of equal employment opportunities. Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace are encouraged to seek appropriate legal counsel in order to receive just compensation.

Difference Between Arbitration and Mediation Explained

When couples are in the brink of ending their marriage, there are several ways they can resolve their differences and one of them is through arbitration and mediation. The website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC revealed that mediation and arbitration is more cost-effective than filing a case and going to court. And while it may not be right for every couple, it may be one of the best options to avoid contentious and drawn-out court proceedings.

Mediation and arbitration are examples of alternative dispute resolutions (ADRs) for settling disputes through other means than litigation. And while they have the same goal in mind which is a fair resolution of the issue at hand, there are major differences which couples must understand. Mediation is an informal process that involves an impartial third party mediator. Their job is to guide the parties toward a mutually agreeable settlement by clarifying their underlying interests and concerns.

Mediators are not authorized to issue orders, find fault, or make determinations. They help the involved parties reach a settlement by providing assistance with communications, obtaining relevant information, and developing options. The first part of the process will usually have the mediator meet the parties together with the mediator explaining their view of the dispute. Next, the mediator will then meet the couple separately.

On the other hand, arbitration is a more formal process than mediation. The arbitrator could be a retired judge, senior lawyer, or a professional such as an accountant or engineer. It is a much simpler version of a trial involving less complicated rules and procedures. Arbitrators have more flexibility than judges in determining how the process would proceed and what weight to give evidence. If the parties agree in advance to “binding arbitration,” the decision of the arbitrator is enforceable in court if the losing party does not comply with the terms of the Award.

In arbitration, both parties are given an opportunity to present their cases to the arbitrator. Just like in a court hearing, lawyers can question witnesses from both sides. The arbitrator is authorized to render a legally binding decision that should be honored by both parties.

Elder Issues (Alzheimer’s)

Alzheimer’s disease, or senile dementia, is a heartbreaking illness in which the brain cells degenerate and die, which results in memory loss and the impairment of other mental functions. This devastating condition targets approximately 5 million in the U.S., with development most commonly found in people over 65 years of age. Because so many are affected by Alzheimer’s and a cure has not yet been discovered, there is a high demand for developing the best provision of emotional and medical support for afflicted loved ones. One popular way to monitor and treat Alzheimer’s is through Memory Care, a long-term senior care program specialized to the needs of individual elders who become unable to independently care for themselves.

Due to how long it can take for Alzheimer’s to worsen, there is usually uncertainty in determining when one will reach the point of needing assisted living. Also, this decision is made more difficult when considering how the elder will react to a loss of independence; feelings of helplessness and frustration will make it difficult to cope with their illness, but patience and reassuring can help to heal their emotional angst.

As seen on, some signs that would suggest consideration for Memory Care include a heightened risk to the safety of those suffering from dementia. Individuals with Alzheimer’s may unintentionally wander into a hazardous environment, or they may start displaying other potentially hazardous behaviors, such as aggression. Another sign is when Alzheimer’s affects the individual’s ability to manage their money. They may forget to pay their bills or simply may no longer be able to make rational decisions regarding how they spend their money. These individuals may also lack the physical capabilities for taking care of their home, such as cleaning, dispensing of trash, or cooking. Lastly, sometimes the caretaker of someone with Alzheimer’s disease is unfit to look after that person for an extended period of time and may seek assistance.

All of these signs suggest that the sick person is very prone to danger when their condition is so greatly affecting them, therefore implying that Memory Care assisted living may be one’s best option for quality treatment and security. If this course of action takes place, someone living with Alzheimer’s could be provided the care they deserve.

The Signs of Cerebral Palsy

Around 10,000 babies produce cerebral palsy, every year, and sadly, a large number of these situations certainly are a result of medical negligence. When the right procedure is not adopted, it can have lasting results to your kid.

Cerebral Palsy is the result of a head injury that develops during brain development. It certainly will have indicators such as weak or firm muscles generally within the arms or thighs, tremors or motor moves and usually evolves from the era of three. Influenced babies tend to be gradual to learn to roll over, spider, walk, or look. Faults for example disappointment to take care of situations transforming, or inability to identify seizures, making the child while in the start canal too long are medical errors that can cause toddlers to produce cerebral palsy. A few indications that will indicate your baby may be a victim of medical malpractice ultimately causing cerebral palsy include:

  • Extra air was required by your child after birth
  • Your baby expected a brain check, CPR, or particular attention after birth
  • Your infant had seizures both just after delivery or within 3-4 days of living

Brachial Plexus palsy is a common beginning injury involving shoulder weakness arm or palm muscles. Many toddlers with brachial plexus palsy create a full healing, but need actual therapy and some proceed to suffer from supply weakness. A brachial plexus injury can happen obviously, but according to the website of the brachial plexus attorneys at the Driscoll Firm, there are several medically responsible events may cause this injury to start. These activities include the inability to execute a proper section, stretching that is excessive or manipulation of the neck or shoulders, or forceps’ use.

Therapy and surgery could be draining, so it’s vital that you contact a cerebral palsy attorney if you were to think your child is suffering from cerebral palsy as a result of medical malpractice.

Important Concerns Regarding the Use of Morcellators

The power morcellator was introduced by pharmaceutical giants like Johnson & Johnson in the 1990s as a minimally invasive solution when performing hysterectomies and myomectomies to remove fibroids and other noncancerous tumors in the uterus. Before morcellators, these procedures had to be done through open surgery, requiring surgeons to make large incision. With a morcellator, these procedures can be accomplished with a much smaller incision, effectively reducing the risk of infection.

Morcellators are primarily used in procedures meant to remove benign growths in the uterus called fibroids. These growths usually differ in size depending on the circumstances. In some patients, fibroids are barely noticeable and causes little to no symptoms. However, there are cases where these growths can grow to be so large that the uterus becomes bloated and distorted. These cases can also result in significant pain and discomfort. Severe cases of uterine fibroids can cause heavier and longer menstrual periods, pelvic and back pain, frequent urination, constipation, and even issues with fertility and complications during pregnancy.

With the use of a power morcellator, these fibroids can be easily removed through a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is both convenient for doctors and patients. Doctors are able to finish the procedure in a much shorter time, while patients are able to recover from the surgery much faster. Morcelators work using small, fast spinning blades that slice down tissues to make them easier to extract. While morcellators have been widely used by doctors in the last decade, recent news makes it clear that it might not be as safe as the medical community first perceived it to be.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning detailing the potential dangers that morcellation can cause for patients with undiagnosed cancer growths in their uterus. These growths are hard to diagnose and can be easily mistaken for benign fibroids. Using a morcellator in such cases can cause the cancer to spread and develop more easily, causing the patient devastating results.

According to Williams Kherkher, pharmaceutical companies must be held accountable for dangerous outcomes caused by their products. This means that morcellator manufacturers can be held liable for the dangerous medical situation may arise from the use of their products.

Understanding DUI and DWI Penalties in Texas

Alcohol-impaired driving is a serious offense across the country. Individuals who are caught driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) can expect to meet harsh penalties. This is especially true in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 5,333 alcohol-related crashes just in the year 2013. 31.63 percent of these accidents caused serious injuries, while 6.34 percent led to fatalities.

As such, Texas law enforcement has been extremely vigilant about curtailing these numbers. Through checkpoints and increased police presence, officers check for the blood or breathe alcohol concentration (BAC) level of drivers they suspect might be driving while impaired. Any individual whose BAC level goes beyond 0.08 are legally considered as intoxicated and may be charged with a DWI.

Texas also has a zero tolerance policy for alcohol-impaired drivers under the age of 21. Anyone below the legal drinking age caught driving with any trace of alcohol in their systems may be charged with a DUI. However, if an under aged drinker is caught with a BAC level above 0.08, he or she may also be charged with a DWI.

Charges for both DUI and DWI offenses will differ depending on the number of convictions. For a DUI, an individual may be charged with 60 days license suspension at first offense, 90 days suspension at second offense, and 180 days suspension at third offense.

Meanwhile, DWI penalties are obviously a lot more severe. At first offense, an individual may have to meet the following punishments: a fine of up to $2,000, 3 to 180 days of jail time, a year of license suspension, a 3-year license retention annual fee of $1,000 – $2,000. For a second offense, a DWI charge may lead to a fine of about $4,000, a month to a year in jail, 2 years of license suspension, and paying an annual license retention fee of up to $2,000 for 3 years. Finally, a third offense can lead to a $10,000 fine, 2 to 10 years in prison, 2 years license suspension, and an annual license retention fee of up to $2,000 paid for 3 years.

There are also special punishments for DWI involving a passenger younger than 15 years old. Individuals charged with DWI with a child passenger may be punished with a fine of up to $10,000, up to 2 years in state jail, as well as driver license suspension for 180 days. It’s also important to note that anyone with 2 or more DWI convictions in the span of 5 years will be required to install a special ignition switch in their cars. The switch is engineered to prevent vehicles from being operated by anyone impaired by alcohol.

The strict regulation and implementation of DUI and DWI penalties are important to keep Texas roads safe. Texas law enforcement takes on a noble task to help keep drivers and pedestrians from serious injury. However, this doesn’t guarantee that the system is completely infallible. A law firm with significant experience with criminal defense in Houston might tell you that there are instances when individuals are flagged down and arrested just to err on the side caution. During such scenarios, arrested drivers should seek legal counsel to learn their options and avoid the strict consequences of a DUI or DWI conviction.

Ways Wills are Contested

Probate litigation is a complicated process, and among the many types of issues that come into being is will contest. Will contest is a legal objection made to argue the validity of a will, contending that will does not mirror what the testator intends. The main argument for a will contest is the question on the testators testamentary capacity, or if he or she was operating on what may be considered an insane delusion, or possibly subjected to an undue influence or possible fraud. A part of the will may be contested, or the whole of its entirety. In order to understand how a will can be contested, here are some common grounds that people use:

  • Claims of Testamentary Capacity – it is already assumed that adults are capable of making a will. Among the reasons for the question of the testators’ testamentary capacity are possible mental issues such as dementia, senility, insanity, and other basis for unsoundness of mind and lack of mental capacity to write a will. It is the person challenging the validity of the will to demonstrate the incapacity of the testator to understand the result of their actions during the execution of the will.
  • Claims of Fraud – fraud is the practice of deliberately deceiving another in order to obtain an unlawful or unfair gain. In order to prove fraud, there are four elements that are essential: (1) the testator received false representations of the facts, (2) the perpetration is aware of the fraud, and that he/she (3) intends to act upon the representations given, and (4) it resulted to injury or damages.
  • Claims of Insane Delusion – this argument is used when the testator is believed to have suffered from a false concept of reality, and some courts further expands the concept by adding that the steady false belief should be strongly held to against all evidence and reason.

There are other grounds for will contest, such as duress (where the testator was put under threat of physical harm or coercion) and undue influence (where someone close to the testator actively procures a new will). Because the testator has the legal right to distribute their property the way they want it to be, a will can still be considered valid despite it seeming “unfair.” According to the website of Peck Ritchey, the results of probate litigation from a will contest can go a number of ways. One would be that the contested late will and testament will be deemed invalid and this will lead to the execution of an earlier will, or the reduction of certain gifts to particular heirs.

Traumatic Brain Injury

In and around the United States, traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of disability and death, accounting for 30 percent of deaths due to injury. According to statistics, 138 people die from severe injuries such as TBI, and people who survive a traumatic hit to the brain are often left suffering with permanent disabilities that can hinder and affect the quality of life. According to the website of the Houston personal injury lawyers at Williams Kherkher, the effects of TBI do not only impact the individual who suffered from it, but it affects the individual’s family and community as well.

A traumatic brain injury is considered as caused by a jolt, bump, or blows directed or penetrating to the head which is strong enough to disrupt the brain’s normal function. There are mild types of TBI that can result to momentary changes mental status or loss of consciousness, and there are those that are severe enough to cause serious brain damage. Most of the TBI that occur in the United States are mild, and come in the form of concussions. Athletes are most prone to this, along with young children. Another factor in mild TBI or concussions is accidents, such as car collisions, slip and fall, or any other accidents.

The treatment for traumatic brain injuries, including care and rehabilitation, cost more than $30 billion every year in the United States, and this is a lot considering that there is presently no proven method of undo the effects of TBI. The treatment and rehabilitation of those suffering from traumatic brain injuries are a case to case basis. Athletes who suffer from traumatic brain injuries may require a different treatment as those who experienced a car accident. Because of the complications and the difficulty that comes with handling a serious injury, it would be a good option to consult with and hire a personal injury lawyer should legal representation become necessary for settlement negotiation or trial. Injuries can be financially crippling, which is why it is important to file a claim in order to avoid further problems in the long run.

Birth Control Litigation: Dangerous Pills

The ongoing litigation regarding the plaintiffs harmed by the birth control pill Yaz (together with Yasmin, containing the newer type of synthetic progestin called the drospirenone which was later determined to lead to increased levels of potassium in the blood and could lead to higher risks of blood clots, gall bladder disease, and pancreatitis, among many others. Bayer HealthCare, the manufacturers of Yaz and Yasmin, is already facing thousands of lawsuits because of the complications that the dangerous drugs have brought to their health.

According to the latest update of the lawsuits against the said dangerous drugs, US District Judge David Herndon has chosen 33 lawsuits are to be prepared for trails which may begin in May of 2015. The 33 lawsuits all contain complaints linked to arterial thrombotic problems as well as those with complications related to patent foramen ovale. The report says this could be a pivotal for the Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits and trials, as a great majority of these lawsuits were settled by both the plaintiffs and Bayer HealthCare. However, the drug company has denied settlement to roughly 5,000 other lawsuits that allege of injuries linked to patent foramen ovale and arterial clotting. These cases are important for the Yaz and Yasmin trials because they will be the one to assist in determining the respective merits of the arguments and evidence as stated in the lawsuits, and it will also measure how the jurors would possibly react in the subsequently substantial matters. This would possibly facilitate negotiations on settlement if they are necessary. This may be not only vital for Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits, but also for those who have filed an Ocella lawsuit since they have cause similar injuries to their patients.

Recently, the number of lawsuits due to dangerous drugs has been rising, and as it says on the website of Williams Kherkher that a great number of these lawsuits are due largely to the fact that these medications usually misrepresent their benefits and misinform or hide important risks that come with using them. With these new trials coming soon, it may set the stage on how future settlements may proceed.

Postnuptial Agreements

For some marriages that aim to make things work, the option of getting a postnuptial agreement can seem like an option they can try without risking too much. Just as with prenuptial agreements, a postnuptial agreement works by helping to settle both spouses’ assets and affairs should the marriage end in a separation or divorce. However, unlike prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements do not call for as many legal requirements. The validity of postnuptial agreements can depend on the area or state where you live.

In order to make a postnuptial agreement a legally valid document, you have to have it notarized or acknowledged by a judge. This is because these types of agreements are often argued in the statute of fraud. Aside from the five elements that make a contract legally binding, postnuptial agreements further demand five more elements to make the document legally valid. One, the agreement should be made in writing. Second, the agreement should not be unreasonable. Third, it should be made with complete and/or fair disclosure at the time of its writing. Fourth, the execution of the agreement should be voluntary. Lastly, the agreement should be executed by both partners as an acknowledgement before a notary public.

Although the last element may require both spouses to present the postnuptial agreement personally, it is still important to have legal counsel during the drafting of the said agreement. According to the website of Marshall & Taylor, judges may throw out a postnuptial agreement if the judge deems it as being not done properly. This does mean the end, however. Both the spouses can again work out a deal. This is why it is important for each of the spouse to have their own lawyer, since they help in going over the agreement and ensure equality or fairness between you and your spouse. Your lawyers can also act as third party mediators when you choose to discuss matters pertaining to the postnuptial agreement.

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