1. Probate, Guardianship, Wills, Trusts
    The incapacity or loss of a loved one can be emotionally challenging but the legalities that come from that can be impossible to manage alone. Probate is required when a person dies and leaves property solely in their name. An Administration must be opened to deal with the assets and debts of the person's estate. Guardianship involves a person who is no longer capable of making decisions due to health or mental issues. A Court appoints a Guardian to protect the Ward and his/her assets. Wills and Trusts are the vehicles used to direct how an Estate is handled and in some instances a Trust can avoid probate entirely.
  2. Criminal Matters
    Typically a criminal case begins with an arrest of an individual. After arrest, paperwork containing the basis of the arrest (probable cause) is forwarded to the State Attorney s Office to determine whether formal charges will be filed. An information is a formal charging document and a no information is a formal dismissal. If an information is filed, the person charged must enter a plea of either not guilty, guilty, or nolo contedere (no contest). If a person pleas not guilty, the case will be set for a pre-trial and trial date. If a person pleas guilty or nolo contedere the person may be sentenced by the court at that time or on a later date.
  3. Family Law
    There are a wide variety of matters in the area of family law. These matters include: divorce, custody, paternity, modifications, pre-nuptial agreements, injunctions for protection, and domestic violence. A family law case can be filed by either interested party in other words husband or wife, father of child or mother of child, and in some instances caregivers. In divorce cases it is important to be able to advise any attorney you hire the assets and liabilities of you and your spouse as well as if there are any children involved.
  4. Dependency Matters
    A dependency case is a civil case in which a parent(s) rights to have their child(ren) can be terminated. Typically a case is brought by the Department of Children and Families after they are notified that some abuse may be occurring. The department will send an investigator to the home to determine abuse. If the investigator determines there is cause for removal of the child immediately from the home a Department attorney will prepare a shelter order to be reviewed by a Judge. These are very complex matters that sound legal advice is essential.
  5. Landlord/Tenant Matters
    When an owner of a residential or commercial property rents that property to another individual and lease is created. A lease may be oral or written. There are many pitfalls for landlords in the event that they do not have a detailed lease. A landlord is going to be held to a high standard and all rules need to be complied with to protect their interest. A written lease and following notice procedures are imperative when entering any rental contract.