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What is Privacy Law?

What is Privacy Law?

shutterstock_27708013-1-300x199 What is Privacy Law? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyThe privacy laws of the US relate to various legal concepts. Invasion of privacy is one of these legal concepts. 

It is a tort, based in common law, enabling an aggrieved party to file a lawsuit against a person who illegally intrudes into their private affairs, reveals their private information, publicizes them in a false light, or appropriates their name for personal gain.

People in the public eye have less privacy. This area of law is evolving as it pertains to the media. The core of the law is based on a right to privacy, which is broadly defined as “the right to be let alone.” 

It typically excludes personal issues or activities which may reasonably be of interest to the public, such as those of celebrities or participants in newsworthy events.

The invasion of the right to privacy can form the basis of a lawsuit for damages against an individual or entity in violation of the right. These rights include the following:

  • The Fourth Amendment right to be free of unwarranted search or seizure
  • The First Amendment right to free assembly
  • The Fourteenth Amendment due process right: This right is recognized by the Supreme Court as protecting a general right to privacy within marriage, family, procreation, motherhood, and child-rearing.

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations.

Modern Tort Law

Today, in the US, “invasion of privacy” is a common cause for action in legal pleadings. Four categories of invasion of privacy are included in modern tort law, as first categorized by William Prosser:

  • The intrusion of solitude: Physical or electronic intrusion into a person’s private quarters
  • Public disclosure of private facts: Spreading truthful private information which a reasonable individual would determine to be objectionable
  • False light: The publication of facts which place an individual in a false light, even though the facts themselves may not be defamatory
  • Appropriation: The unlawful use of an individual’s name or likeness to acquire certain benefits

Public Disclosure

Public disclosure of private facts happens when one individual discloses information which is not of public concern, and the divulgence of which would be offensive to a reasonable person. 

Appropriation of Name or Likeness

While privacy is usually a common-law tort, a majority of states have enacted statutes that disallow the use of an individual’s name or image if used without permission for the commercial benefit of another person.

Appropriation of name or likeness arises when an individual uses the name or likeness of another individual for personal gain or commercial benefit. 

Action for misappropriation of right of publicity protects an individual against loss due to the appropriation of personal likeness for commercial gain. 

The exclusive right of an individual to control their name and likeness to prevent others from using without consent is protected in a similar way as a trademark action with the individual’s likeness, rather than the trademark, being the subject of protection. 

In terms of invasion of privacy, appropriation is the oldest recognized form that involves the use of a person’s name, likeness, or identity without permission for purposes such as advertisements, products, or fictional works. 

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.

 

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

What is Poverty Law?

shutterstock_504503152-300x200 What is Poverty Law? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyPoverty law refers to the practice of law as it pertains to the less privileged in society. The practice of poverty law ensures that poor people and the disadvantaged are treated in a fair manner under the law. 

Poverty law is not always about representing clients in court. It might involve analysis of problems that affect the poor. It might include advocacy for changes in policies and law as well. 

In effect, poverty law is a broad term that encompasses various government bodies, private enterprises, and groups and subjects. Attorneys who focus on poverty law work on multiple subjects in various forums.

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding communities. 

Administrative Law

The aim of poverty law is to ensure that the disadvantaged have fair access to government assistance programs. Attorneys advocate for legal changes that help the poor receive the benefits that they need. In addition, they aim to help people to ensure that they receive the benefits that they are due under existing law.  

Clients may require help to ensure that they have fair access to cash assistance programs, Medicaid, food assistance such as the Supplemental Nutrition Insurance Program (SNAP), and access to housing. 

People who request public assistance may need to attend hearings to establish their eligibility. They may need to defend themselves against allegations of inappropriate access to these benefits. 

Poverty law attorneys may help clients fill out routine application forms, or may offer assistance with complex issues at contested hearings.

Civil Rights

Poverty attorneys protect the civil rights of the less privileged. They ensure that law enforcement does not target people on the basis of their socioeconomic status or race. 

The right to assistance of counsel in a criminal case, the right to a fair trial, and the right to vote are a part of civil rights. Poverty attorneys do the vital work of making sure that low-income people can exercise their civil rights, and that their rights are protected under the law. 

Criminal Law

There is often an overlap between criminal law and poverty law. At times, people facing allegations of receiving government benefits that they do not deserve have to respond to criminal charges. Poverty attorneys may assist clients in defending against charges of health insurance fraud or welfare fraud.

Health Law

The manner in which society should manage medical care services and access to health care and insurance is an on-going discussion. Poverty attorneys typically work to assist their clients in attaining access to medical care that they need while working for sweeping changes in the healthcare system. On top of this, they may also work on sensitive issues, such as priorities for organ transplants.

Abuse and Neglect

When low income and a lack of access to resources prevent parents from providing for their children, poverty lawyers can help them in applying for public services. They can also assist parents in defending their interest and advocating for their children in abuse and neglect cases. 

Poverty attorneys ensure that the state complies with their obligations to offer rehabilitative services to parents. In addition, they hold the state to their very high burden of proof to seek to terminate parental rights to a child.

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.

 

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

What is Personal Injury Law?

Personal Injury Law

What-is-Personal-Injury-Law-300x166 What is Personal Injury Law? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyPersonal injury law is the area of civil law that enables people to bring a legal claim when they are hurt due to the wrongful actions of someone else.  

Personal injury law requires individuals who are responsible for an accident to pay for the damages that they cause. This body of law aims to use money to compensate victims when they are hurt because of another individual’s negligent or intentional act. 

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations. 

Personal injury law is not criminal law 

While personal injury law and criminal law may have some commonalities, a personal injury case is not a criminal case.  

An individual who is the reason for an injury may face criminal charges as well as a civil personal injury suit. For instance, drunk driving is a personal injury case that may also be a crime.  

Negligence, recklessness or intentional conduct is the basis of personal injury law

Negligence, recklessness and intentional conduct can all grounds for personal injury liability.  

Negligence 

The failure to be careful is negligence. It is based on how an ordinary individual should behave in similar situations. It is not necessary that people have to behave perfectly or predict harm. Rather, the law evaluates what is reasonable in any given circumstance.  

Recklessness 

Recklessness refers to engaging in behavior that a person knows or should know is likely to cause harm. It is distinct from negligence as an individual acting in a reckless manner should know that their conduct is harmful. For instance, a car crash may occur due to reckless or negligent conduct. 

Intentional conduct 

Intentional conduct refers to behavior that purposely causes harm to another. For example, an assault and battery is intentional conduct.  

What do I have to prove to win a personal injury case? 

The victim must prove four things to win a personal injury case based on negligence, namely, duty, breach, causation, and damages. This means that the victim must prove that someone else was not careful enough in a manner that caused their injuries.  

First, the victim must show that the individual responsible had a duty to act cautiously in the given circumstance. For instance, a driver is duty-bound to drive carefully as they are not the only one who can get hurt when on the roads. In addition, the victim must show how the other individual breached their duty of care. 

Examples of Personal Injury Cases 

  • Car accidents 
  • Assault and battery 
  • Dog bites 
  • Medical malpractice 
  • Failure to warn of dangers with a product 
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress 
  • Boat accidents 
  • Slip and fall accidents 
  • Defective product design 
  • Defective product manufacturing 
  • Defamation of character 
  • Other types of accidents 

Comparative negligence and contributory negligence in personal injury law 

In case an individual is partially responsible for an accident, they may be able to recover a reduced amount of their overall damages. Comparative negligence and contributory negligence laws differ significantly between states.  

If the defendant believes that a victim also contributed to the accident, they must voice the question in the court proceedings and present proof as a defense in the case.  

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas. 

 

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

Posted in Law

What is Patent Law? 

Patent Law 

Patent-Law-CA What is Patent Law?  Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyPatent law pertains to the body of law that encompasses an inventor’s exclusive right to use their own invention. Patent law aims to encourage new products and inventions by providing creators with the legal light to use and profit from the things that they develop.  

Patent lawyers assist clients in applying for patents, enforcing patents, and challenging them. Patent law forms a part of intellectual property law. 

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations. 

What is United States patent law? 

Patent law is US federal law, and it comes from the US Constitution as well as from federal laws passed early in American history.  

An inventory receives a US patent by applying for one with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In case an application is successful, the patent holder attains the exclusive right to use and profit from their invention for the next two decades.  

The patent holders may challenge any individual or company who tries to infringe on their patent rights. Patent law involves litigating the dispute when a patent holder accuses another individual or company of patent infringement. 

Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution provides Congress with the power to establish a system for awarding patents in the US. The Constitution states that Congress may encourage progress in the arts and science by enabling creators to have exclusive use of their creations.  

Title 35 of the United States Code develops more specific laws for the US patent systems.   

What types of things qualify for a patent? 

Four types of inventions are eligible for patent protection. These are as follows: 

  • Process: Also known as a method, a process is a new way of doing things. 
  • Machine: A machine refers to a concrete object or device. It creates a function or produces an outcome 
  • Manufacture: A tangible object or item. 
  • Composition of matter: A composition may be the outcome of chemically combined materials or a mixture. 

The laws of nature, description of physical phenomena, and esoteric ideas are not eligible for a patient. Additionally, a patent must be novel, which means that it must be unique. An item or idea is ineligible for a patent if it is apparent or common. 

An individual cannot receive a patent on an item that is already common simply due to the fact that no one thought to patent the item yet. There must be something creative or special about the invention. 

Patent infringement and enforcement 

A patent holder who thinks that someone has infringed on their rights has various avenues to pursue enforcement. They may seek court action. There is an extensive range of remedies available in the court system, including injunctions, financial remedies, and the court’s powers of contempt. 

Further to court actions, a patent holder can also file a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC can investigate the claim and pursue two remedies, including barring imports into the US and issuing a cease and desist order for imports. Patent holders may pursue ITC enforcement as well as legal remedies.  

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas. 

 

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

Posted in Law

What is Parliamentary Law?

Parliamentary Law

Law-Crime-Judge-Legal-Court-Justice-Lawyer-Trust-Case-840x630 What is Parliamentary Law? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange County

Parliamentary law refers to a collection of laws, procedures, and rules that organizations use to undertake business. Parliamentary law is the set of rules that a private or public group utilizes to conduct meetings or otherwise undertake their routine affairs.  

Parliamentary attorneys facilitate the use of parliamentary laws. Additionally, they assist their clients in challenging decisions when the procedure used to arrive at those decisions may be under contention.  

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding communities.  

Parliamentary law makes an organization run in a consistent manner 

All organizations must have rules in place for how to accomplish tasks. There must be a procedure for how long to conduct a meeting. In order to function effectively, there should be rules for how to introduce new laws or concepts. In addition, organizations must have voting procedures for their membership.  

It is not just enough to elect representatives to a private or public body. Every governing body requires rules for how to undertake their affairs. The rules for conducting these affairs are essential for the effective functioning of an organization.  

They are also vital so that those governed by the body or a member of the organization can have trust in the fairness and legitimacy of the decisions that the leadership makes.  

Representing a client means understanding their parliamentary rules 

It is necessary for a parliamentary law attorney to understand the parliamentary rules that a specific organization uses. To assist an organization in complying with the procedural rules, it is important to first understand what those rules are.  

It is vital not to assume that the organization uses Robert’s Rules of Order. The parliamentary rules of the organization should be easily available in their documents. In case they are a government agency, the rules should be in their ordinances.  

When representing a client as a parliamentary law attorney, it is crucial to understand their parliamentary procedure. The lawyer must make sure that the organization that they represent makes decisions in ways that follow the rules. In case the organization does not pass resolutions according to the rules, the resolutions may not be enforceable.  

Taking parliamentary law to court 

Practicing parliamentary law usually means working in an advisory capacity, but it can also find its way to the courtroom. The courts may interpret the application of the rules by the government body.  

The inability of a body to follow their own parliamentary rules can make their own decisions unenforceable. As the courts have the power to address rule violations, it is essential that governing agencies have clear and practical rules. It is also important that they conform to their rules.  

The laws of procedure 

Parliamentary law makes sure that governing bodies conduct their affairs in an appropriate and fair way. Parliamentary law assists all members of a representative body to have an equal opportunity to participate in the process of governing. Lawyers who advise their clients about parliamentary law have a crucial job to perform.  

They must assess a proposed course of action considering parliamentary law to ensure that the client conducts their affairs properly and in compliance with the rules.  

Parliamentary law represents a challenging and vital area of practice that typically focuses on the local, unique rules of the organization. 

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas. 

 

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

Posted in Law

Special Needs and Elder Law Update

KNOW YOUR PARENTAL RIGHTS

Brief Overview of Special Education Law & the IEP Process
by Peter Nolan

Parents of children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21 have important educational rights protected under the law. The Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides for procedural safeguards with regard to the processes involved. Specifically, families with special education children have the right to:

  • Have their child assessed to determine eligibility and needs;
  • Access, inspect, review and obtain copies of school records pertaining to their child
  • Attend an annual “individualized education program” (IEP) meeting and develop an IEP plan with their school district; and
  • Resolve disputes with the school district through both administrative and legal process.

Most importantly, parents must be given the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process regarding their child’s special education program. Parents have the right to participate in IEP meetings about their child’s eligibility, assessment, educational placement and other matters relating to their child’s free appropriate public education (FAPE).

To effectively protect their educational rights, parents need to be informed of the basic special education process under IDEA.

Step 1 – Child must be identified as possibly needing special education and related services. Schools engage in “Child Find” activities to assist in identification, but parents  may also ask to have their child evaluated.

Step 2 – Child is evaluated.

Step 3 – Eligibility is determined.

Step 4 – IEP process takes place. The process includes notification of parents, scheduling of meetings, and the development of the child’s IEP. During this process, the parents may express their concerns or disagreements directly with the IEP team.

Step 5 – Services are provided. The program laid out in the child’s written IEP is then implemented.

Along the way, the child’s progress is measured and reported to the parents. At least once a year, the IEP is reviewed and modified as necessary. Each child is reevaluated at least every three years.

Although forms will vary from one school district to another, every IEP should include the same information. That is:

  • Current educational status
  • Goals and objectives
  • Instructional setting or placement
  • Transition services (if the child is 16 or older)
  • Due process

As a parent of a special education child, you have the right to take any dispute you have with your child’s school district to a neutral third party for resolution.

For more information on the IDEA, the IEP process and your rights, contact your local school district, California Department of Education Special Education Division, U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, or contact us at SBEMP to discuss your child’s individual situation and see how we can protect your family’s rights.


CASE ALERTS

Disability Law Center of Alaska v. Davidson 

Summary: In March, 2018, the Disability Law Center of Alaska and minors R.S. and J.S., represented through their parent Kikona Savo, sued Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Valerie Davidson, and the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services. The defendant’s motion for summary judgment was denied on grounds that plantiff, Davidson, did not inform the defendant on how to apply for applied behavioral analysis (ABA), did not reimburse ABA under the program, or provide ABA services in reasonable time. This case is yet another example of the importance of ABA programs and knowing the rights of special needs minors. Click here to learn more.

Green v. Green

Summary: Molly Green, after the death of her husband, filed a restraining order against stepson, Holden Green, in 2014. The Superior Court issued a one year protective order to Molly Green. Once the one year period had passed, Molly renewed the restraining order for another five year period in 2015. Holden then filed three separate appeals, claiming the initial restraining order was unqualified, and that the extension of the order and awarding of Molly’s attorney fees and costs were both unnecessary. The California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District ruled in Molly Green’s favor, affirming the renewal order. Click here to learn more.


Did You Know?

Families with 529 accounts can now transfer, at a rate of $15,000 annually, to an ABLE Act account for their child with special needs. Before doing so, families are encouraged to consult with their tax professional to fully understand the associated tax consequences.

ABLE Act beneficiaries who work are able to contribute part of their income (i.e., up to the Federal Poverty Level, $12,490.00) on top of the annual funding of $15,000.00.

It is permissible for a SNT Trustee, where the language contained therein supports the same, to fund an ABLE Act account for the SNT beneficiary up to the annual $15,000.00 allowance.

Valerie A. Powers Smith: Vision 2019

valerie-powers-smith-300x203 Valerie A. Powers Smith: Vision 2019 Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyPalm Springs Life Vision 2019

Valerie A. Powers Smith was recently featured in Palm Springs Life as a 2019 visionary. Watch the video below and read the full article here.

What is Oil & Gas Law?

Oil & Gas Law

Oil and gas law is the body of law that controls oil and gas production. Oil and gas laws establish who owns the right to mine for oil and gas. It determine the conditions that mines have to follow when they extract oil and gas.

oil-and-gas-law-palm-springs-lawyer What is Oil & Gas Law? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyThe area of oil and gas law is a combination of common law, statutory law, and administrative regulations that controls the mining and harvesting of these natural resources in the US.

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations.

What are oil and gas rights?

Oil and gas rights are an element of the wider topic of mineral rights. A segment of real property may be rich in natural resources, such as precious metals or water. Energy-producing substances such as oil and gas can be lucrative for those who capture them for consumption.

A majority of oil and gas laws are state laws. The federal government has relatively little control over oil and gas law. However, it is involved in leasing and permitting on federal lands. In addition, the federal government also controls offshore drilling.

Oil and gas laws establish who may mine for oil and gas, how they may mine, and what occurs when a dispute happens.

Who can own oil and gas?

Oil and gas rights can be owned by any entity that can own property in the US. An individual may own oil and gas rights. Stemming from this, federal, state, and local can be owners as well. A significant amount of oil and gas mining is undertaken through lease agreements to third-party oil and gas production firms.

Who practices oil and gas law?

Oil and gas lawyers represent people and entities who are involved in various aspects of oil and gas production. As many oil and gas corporations have significant legal needs, they are likely to hire lawyers as in-house counsel to manage all of their legal work.

Similar to the companies that drill, landowners require lawyers to help them negotiate and draft agreements.

While oil and gas law is mainly transactional law, oil and gas disputes may also involve litigation. In case of disputes, litigation may be necessary to resolve these issues. Attorneys may draft pleadings, conduct discovery and present cases in contested hearings. Oil and gas attorneys may be both litigators and transactional lawyers, depending on their client’s needs.

The law of natural resources

Oil and gas law is a form of energy law. Oil and gas lawyers represent energy-producing companies and landowners. The body of law provides attorneys with the opportunity to work in various settings.

A majority of oil and gas law is state law. However, federal law may apply. Oil and gas attorneys must understand various regulations, permitting needs, contract laws, and property laws that may be in their client’s case.

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

What is Obscenity Law?

Obscenity Law

Obscenity-Law-Lawyer-Palm-Springs What is Obscenity Law? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyObscenity law is the body of law that controls what images, speech, and other expressions people can legally communicate. Obscenity law pertains to suppressing or banning speech that is in violation of standards of good taste and decency.

This body of law creates a balance between legitimate communication in a free society with the purposes of public censorship. Obscenity law involves the prosecution and defense cases that contradict and interpret obscenity laws.

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding communities.

What does the US federal government state about obscenity?

Federal obscenity law does not exist. The US government does not explicitly ban obscene conduct. In reality, the American government expressly protects some communications in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

According to the Supreme Court, the US government has well-defined obscenity laws that can be constitutional if they are written and applied appropriately.

State laws create obscenity laws

While the federal government does not have obscenity laws, a majority of states have laws that prohibit obscene communications. The laws differ between states.

State obscenity laws are derived from the state’s police power. Obscenity laws refer to criminal laws that prescribe punishments, including fines and jail time, for disseminating obscene material.

The federal government’s power is restricted by the US Constitution, but states have extensive powers to control the conduct of those within their borders.  They may control behavior as long as their prohibitions are not in violation of US laws.

Obscenity laws are typically constitutional and enforceable as long as they do not run against the First Amendment protections of free speech and expression.

What qualifies as obscene?

While obscenity laws are usually enforceable, the body of law still prompts the question of what speech and materials are deemed obscene and what speech is merely controversial or artistic. The definition of obscenity by the US Supreme Court has changed throughout the years. While there is a three-part test in place today, the definition of obscenity remains subjective.

Censorship and Telecommunications

Obscenity laws also encompass rules pertaining to what broadcasters can present on TV and radio. The regulations from the Federal Communications Commission require broadcasters not to publish anything obscene at any time.

In addition, they cannot publish anything obscene between the hours of 6:00 am and 10:00 pm. They define indecent as anything that is offensive in comparison to general community standards.

Since the regulations are so vague, it can be challenging for broadcasters to understand how to comply with regulations while still maintaining creative power over the materials that they publish.

Obscenity laws remain controversial

As one judge stated, what one man believes is vulgar, another man sees as just a song lyric. Obscenity laws remain controversial as the standards of morality and decency differ significantly between people and communities.

Additionally, standards of morality can change over time. Restrictions that seem justifiable at some point in time, such as a prohibition on sending contraceptives through the mail, might appear offensive only a few years later.

Lawyers who practice obscenity law have to balance all of the facets as they advocate on behalf of their private clients or for public interests.

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

Posted in Law

What are Mergers & Acquisitions?

Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers-Acquisitions-lawyer What are Mergers & Acquisitions? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyMergers and acquisitions refer to business transactions that occur as a result of a purchase or takeover of one company by another. A merger or acquisition is combining businesses or absorbing one business entity into the other.

The transaction enables a business to become bigger or smaller or change its organizational structure. Mergers and acquisitions law involves offering advice to companies on potential mergers and acquisitions.

In addition, it involves negotiating the transaction as well as the preparation of the necessary paperwork to complete the merger or acquisition.

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding communities.

What is a Merger in Business?

A merger occurs when two companies combine to create a new company. After a merger, the two companies combine to conduct business operations together.

While every merger develops a unique organizational structure and climate, the nature of a merger is such that both companies involved are on an equal plane during and following the merger. Usually, after a merger, the old shares from each company are transferred to create new shares in the name of the new entity.

There are various types of different business entities that merge. For instance, two companies that are in direct competition to offer the same goods or service might combine to compete together.

Two organizations offering similar products in diverse markets may combine to expand the market size. On the other hand, a manufacturer might merge with a supplier, or companies offering different but related products to offer combined products in a single territory.

What is an Acquisition in Business?

When one company purchases another company and takes over operations, it is known as an acquisition or a takeover. Acquisitions may involve private as well as public companies.

The acquired company may or may not be open to the transaction. It is known as a hostile acquisition when the management of the acquired company is against the transaction.

A majority of acquisitions involve an older or larger company taking over a smaller or newer company. A reverse takeover refers to a smaller or younger company acquiring a larger company but retaining the name of the larger company.

Why do Companies pursue a Merger or an Acquisition?

Companies might consider a merger or acquisition to enhance their business position. One or both organizations might increase the value of their company due to the transaction.

The transaction might enable a company to increase the geographical territories where they conduct operations or diversify their interests. The transaction can result in a payday for owners or shareholders of the acquired company.

Who practices Mergers and Acquisitions Law?

Business attorneys practice mergers and acquisition law. As a merger or acquisition is a time-intensive and involved process, most lawyers who work on mergers and acquisitions specialize in business law at least if not entirely focus on mergers and acquisitions. But not all mergers and acquisitions lawyers are engaged by large firms.

A small company that operates in a single geographical territory might use a local, solo practitioner to pursue a merger or acquisition. Alternatively, a large company pursuing a merger or acquisition usually works with larger law firms.

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

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