Month: November 2019

Mediation Could Allow Everyone to Move on with Their Lives More Quickly

Most private individuals enjoy very little about being involved in a legal dispute or spending time in the courtroom. While tempers may run high in the beginning and the urge is there to fight, to sue, and to win, being in a highly adversarial situation and conflict can be extremely draining. While litigation does have its place and sometimes is the only solution for settling a serious issue, many individuals may overlook mediation, and miss out on a much more streamlined way to solve a problem. Not only that, parties who agree to mediation are usually much more motivated to reach a settlement—with the help of a neutral mediator who is able to assist in clarifying details and keeping the process moving along with a good flow.

Not only does mediation help parties in dispute move on more quickly, but the pace at which they reach a resolution could also be exponentially faster. Rather than spending weeks or even months tied up in scheduling with the courts, postponements, and more, the mediator usually meets with everyone involved ahead of time, gains an understanding of the issues at hand and what originally led to the dispute. The mediator is also in charge of setting and time and location for the proceedings—usually offering flexible scheduling and a more relaxed and casual setting that is conducive to an open discussion. In some cases, mediators may even offer to meet with everyone after hours to make up for busy schedules.

Other benefits of mediation are that it is completely confidential, and the parties involved in the dispute have complete control over what happens, while the mediator may step in intermittently to help. And while mediation may not be free, the costs in comparison to that of litigation are exponentially less. The timeframe is exponentially less too; in fact, an agreement could be made within mere hours. Mediation usually works, and it can also be a great benefit for the future as relationships that may have already been long-standing or preserved.

The Bolender Law Firm will advocate on behalf of clients through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

 

witness

Understanding the Role of the Witness in a Car Accident Case

If you have recently been in a car accident or even if you were just witness to a terrible wreck, you may be going through one of the toughest times of your life; in fact, even a minor fender bender can cause trauma too as you may keep reliving the event in your mind, from the surprise of the crash to hearing the sound of squealing tires, breaking glass, and feeling the subsequent flow of adrenaline that can take quite some time to subside.

More serious accidents may result in emotional harm, as well as causing major physical injuries such as concussions or traumatic brain injuries which could be long-lasting or even permanent, spinal injuries which could result in partial or complete paralysis, soft tissue damage, broken arms and legs requiring surgery, cuts and contusions, and much more.

If you have filed a claim against the other party’s insurance due to their negligence, you may be very concerned about the outcome. And witnesses could play a critical role; in fact, they may make or break a case due to what they saw. Usually, such individuals can offer an expanded view of the incident. This can be incredibly helpful, as otherwise, it is just your word against that of the other party—although evidence may be in place that is compelling too.

If it looks like your case is going to trial, you may be relying on one or more individuals who were there and saw what happened during the accident. The key is to approach them on the scene, directly afterward, as these are people you may never see again. That may not have been possible if you were seriously injured, and witnesses could simply walk away with no one ever even knowing they were there unless law enforcement spoke with them and asked for their contact information, including it in the police report.

It is important to understand that the witness is not under any obligation to testify in your case. They are not legally obligated to give you their information, speak with you further, or unfortunately, help you in any way. The hope is that most people will understand how important their viewpoint is, especially because they should be neutral with absolutely nothing to gain, giving a third-party report.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

exclusions

Exclusions are Written into Policies to Protect the Insurer—Know What They Are!

As a policyholder, it is critical to understand exactly what you are paying for, and what is covered in the case of an accident or event that requires you to file a claim. Although the process sounds simple enough if, for example, you are going to buy a new home: one of the initial steps is to begin researching insurance and then purchase a policy. In order to protect your assets, the process may be anything but easy though. Unless you have purchased many homes before or dealt with other insurance policies, you may have quite an education ahead of you as you attempt to protect your assets—and especially as over the years insurance companies have become even more savvy about protecting themselves.

Beginning with finding the proper insurance agent to work with, you may embark on a new business relationship with someone who will be assisting you for the rest of your life. You may have discovered your insurance agent through word-of-mouth, advertising, or other professional avenues—but don’t be afraid to conduct ‘interviews’ to make sure you have the right fit, especially if your insurance needs are more complex and will probably continue to be so throughout the years.

In other cases, gaining insurance may be as easy as making a phone call and discussing your requirements over the phone. You may not ever even meet the person helping you attain insurance, but the important note is to make sure that you are being provided with exactly what you need. The worst mistake you can make is to go forward with an agent who does not know what they are talking about, or one who lacks serious experience. Most likely, you are protecting assets that you worked very hard for—and chances are you do not want to put them in unskilled hands.

The insurance policy is a legal document, and obviously it is not particularly exciting to read; however, you must understand details like exclusions, and how they could affect you later. A good example of an exclusion on a homeowner’s insurance policy would be earthquake coverage. For something like this, it is important to know what types of disasters your home is not covered for and whether you may need to buy additional coverage, or an additional policy. Storm coverage is another area where there may be different exclusions for wind or flood.

Understanding your insurance policy and the exclusions that may be held within is about more than simply educating yourself and being forced to read a long and perhaps boring document, but it is also about the difference between being fully covered or having to pay an enormous out-of-pocket expense.

If you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm. If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Trademark v Service Mark: Do I Need Both?

Intellectual property can be so confusing that many of us struggle to understand the delineation between the trademark, copyright, or patent, and all the different applications, registrations, and approvals that must be met simply to protect our branding mechanisms, our work, and our ‘artistic expressions,’ often which may have great value. The choices—and the process for registering can be complicated, which is why you should consult with an experienced attorney from the Bolender Law Firm as soon as possible.

The trademark is unusual as it also encompasses the service mark. For dynamic businesses of today participating in a world economy (and especially with the advent of the internet and online marketing and shopping), one or the other may be critical for marketing purposes. The trademark is one of the most common forms of intellectual property. Like all other types of intellectual property, it becomes yours as soon as the IP comes into existence; in other words, as soon as you create a mark designating the product that your company sells, you are in full ownership of it. Questions only arise should someone infringe on your creation, and then you are forced to ask them to cease and desist, or take further legal action.

More specifically, the service mark helps customers recognize the services that you offer—and because of the separation between the service mark and the trademark, familiarizing consumers with your products, it is completely possible that you could need both in terms of branding your company. Again, your intellectual property attorney can help you search whether or not there are other identical or extremely similar marks already out there that could cause your application to be rejected. If the mark is considered to be obscene or if it contains a symbol that could be the same or similar to that of a government seal of any sort, it may also be rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Filling out the proper applications and registration for any type of intellectual property can be arduous, sometimes expensive, and the approval process may take a long time. Because of this, you should have the help of your intellectual property attorney, who can educate you fully on the process as well as discussing your true needs in terms of IP protection.

The Bolender Law Firm can assist you in all intellectual property matters. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!