Common Law vs. Civil Law: An Introduction to the Different Legal Systems

Broadly speaking, a common law syste.m is based on the concept of judicial precedent. Judges take an active role in shaping the law here, since the decisions a court makes are then used as precedent for futures cases. Whilst common law systems have laws that are created by legislators, it is up to judges to rely on precedents set by previous courts to interpret those laws and apply them to individual cases. In certain common law countries, courts (such as the Supreme Court of the United States) have the ability…

Read More

Social Security and How It Works

What’s Social Security? Social Security is a federal government program that provides a source of income for you or your legal dependents (spouse, children, or parents) if you qualify for benefits. You also need a Social Security number to get a job. Find how to apply to get a Social Security number or to replace your Social Security card. How Do Benefits Work and How Can I Qualify? While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to those who…

Read More

Discrimination and Harassment at Your Job

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. These laws protect employees and job applicants against: Discrimination, harassment, and unfair treatment in the workplace by anyone because of: Race Color Religion Sex (including gender identity, transgender status, and sexual orientation) Pregnancy National origin Age (40 or older) Disability Genetic information Being denied reasonable workplace accommodations for disability or religious beliefs Retaliation because they: Complained about job discrimination Helped with an investigation or lawsuit Not All Employers Are Subject to EEOC Laws An employer must have a…

Read More

How To Handle A Traffic Accident

Accidents happen. And car accidents happen a lot — with more than 7 million crashes reported in the US  in 2016, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. While car accidents are common, they are also unexpected, and they can have far-reaching consequences, including injuries and legal complications. Knowing what to do ahead of time can help you handle things well in what is almost always a stressful situation. Here are some steps to take when you are involved in a traffic accident. Stop your car and move it to…

Read More

Six Reasons Why Insurance Companies Will Reject Your Personal Injury Claim

While there are numerous excuses insurance companies will use to reject paying you for your personal injury claim, the reasons below are some of the most common that I’ve come across in my experience as a San Diego personal injury lawyer. Keep in mind, your personal injury claim includes your damages for past/present/ future pain & suffering, past/present/future medical bills, and past/present/future emotional distress. 1. You made a statement to the insurance company in the spirit of “cooperation” The number one mistake injury victims make is talking to, or making…

Read More

Changes for H-1B visa applications

The H-1B visa enables employers to hire alien workers in various specialty occupations, for which there is a shortage of qualified U.S. citizens or legal residents. (The employer applies for the visa on behalf of the alien.) The foreign worker must have a demonstrated skill in a recognized specialty occupation, such as information technology (IT), mathematics, or scientific research. Generally, workers with H-1B visas are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree. There are annual caps on the number of H-1B visa granted in each calendar year, which stokes…

Read More

Apply for legal status, get arrested: a catch-22 for undocumented immigrants

Undocumented immigrants seeking a green card – the document that signifies lawful resident status –  are not guaranteed protection from deportation during that process. And a rash of recent arrests at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices, where immigrants go for their green card hearing, could be a sign that getting legal resident status has gotten more dangerous. The path to legal status For undocumented immigrants already in the United States, obtaining a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen ranks as the most reliable route to legal…

Read More

California becomes “sanctuary state”

California’s new “sanctuary state” law, designed to protect immigrants who do not have legal U.S. residency, went into effect January 1, 2018.  The law prohibits “state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from using money or personnel to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.” Legislating sanctuary states The new law, which codifies policies in place in so-called sanctuary cities throughout the nation, puts up barriers between California law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency the enforces…

Read More

Green-card marriages

Hollywood loves a green-card marriage – typically depicted in film as marriage of convenience between a U.S. citizen and a foreigner who wants to become a permanent resident of the United States. But as any real-life couple will tell you, getting a green card – the official document of permanent residency – through marriage is anything but convenient. the person providing an avenue to the green card must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. In almost all cases, he or she submits Form I-130 (Petition for Alien…

Read More

Difference Between Criminal Law and Civil Law

In the US, there are two bodies of law whose purpose is to deter or punish serious wrongdoing or to compensate the victims of such wrongdoing. Criminal law deals with behavior that is or can be construed as an offense against the public, society, or the state—even if the immediate victim is an individual. Examples are murder, assault, theft,and drunken driving. Civil law deals with behavior that constitutes an injury to an individual or other private party, such as a corporation. Examples are defamation (including libel and slander), breach of…

Read More