A very good friend of mine also happens to be an extremely talented artist on the verge of big things, by way of helping him through the legal tangles of the entertainment and music biz - I have learned a great deal about entertainment law and have devoted significant time to studying this area.
I now represent both artists and record labels and want to expand this practice area. I want to invite anyone who needs assistance in this area to contact my office, including but not limited to, existing record labels and record label start-ups, artists, bands and musicians, writers, agents, etc.
Those familiar with this area understand that entertainment law is primarily a network of contracts fighting over rights and royalties to copy-written and original material. Artists, publishing houses, and records labels all need an attorney to make sure that their interest in the work is protected and that the best possible deal has been obtained.
It is the first and most obvious question to ask oneself if injured in an accident. Because of my prior work experience as an adjuster for an insurance company, I seem to be asked this question an awful lot. I have worked on both sides of an injury claim, previously for the insurance companies, and today for my injured clients. So knowing how insurance companies evaluate claims, the question is often raised to me - does an attorney make a difference? Do I need a lawyer?
The simple answer, no surprise, is yes. I do not give this answer simply to solicit business. A good lawyer (and I include myself in this grouping) takes a case with the expectation that it will have to go to trial. That said, evidence and all vital information is secured early, the theory of liability is well thought out, and the case is monitored from the onset to ensure that nothing goes wrong. In so doing, a good lawyer gains leverage over the insurance companies.
In addition to protecting the strength of the case, a lawyer is necessary to secure a fair value for the injury suffered. Adjusters are quick to say that they evaluate claims the same way whether a claimant has an attorney or not - and to some extent this is true. If an injury is a relatively minor one, the evaluation will be approximately the same with or without an attorney. If you have been seriously injured, however, you NEED an attorney to obtain fair value. Insurance companies will make sometimes embarrassingly low offers for fractures or scarring, for example, and an unsuspecting claimant might accept such a number thinking it is a good deal.
Therefore, if you have been seriously injured in any kind of accident, hire an attorney to protect your rights and ensure that you receive full value for the injury suffered. My office offers a free consultation and is open to discuss any questions you may have regarding the process.
It has been leaked by several news sources that President Obama is going to nominate Sonia Sotomayor to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court. Justice Sotomayor of the Second Circuit would join Justice Ginsburg as the second woman on the bench and would be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.
Though first nominated to the Federal Bench by a Republican, George Bush, her decisions have leaned largely to the left and she was nominated to the Second Circuit by President Clinton. She has had two Second Circuit decisions overturned by the Supreme Court because her opinions failed to gain the support of the conservative majority.
I applaud this decision by President Obama and am confident that Judge Sotomayor will pass through Congress to ultimately replace Judge Souter.
The RI Supreme Court has upheld a conviction even though the alleged victim changed her testimony. Acting Chief Justice Goldberg recognized that the Court was "confronted with yet another victim of domestic violence who, after her abuser was arrested and charged with a felony, changed her story and gave markedly different testimony at trial to protect her abuser."
The SC held that a jury could rightfully base their decision on prior testimony given at the time of the incident so long as there is other evidence to support a finding that a crime was committed.
Based on an understanding of human psychology, this is the proper decision. One could argue that the jury is hearing direct testimony from the alleged victim that is contrary to a finding that a crime occurred, and therefore should find the defendant not guilty. On the other hand, there are volumes of text showing that victims of domestic violence will often protect their accusers, and therefore, the trial testimony should not be given any credibility. If the jury decides, based on this latter point, that the testimony given to police on the night of the arrest is more credible than the testimony given at trial, then it is appropriate for the SC to uphold the conviction.