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How to Choose a Car Accident Lawyer

You know you deserve payment for the injuries you’ve suffered in a car accident, but you have no earthly idea where to begin. There are countless television commercials, radio advertisements and billboards looming over your daily commute that tell you to call a law office if you’ve been injured, but can you trust these ads? If you’re wondering how to choose a car accident lawyer in Southern Indiana, then you should keep a few basic things in mind. First, let’s review the absolute essentials when picking an attorney. Then, we’ll look at how to refine your search to find the best fit for your case. Absolute Requirements The first thing you’ll want to look for when hiring a car ...

Do I Need a Lawyer for Mediation?

Mediation is a way to resolve your differences with another party and avoid the high costs in time, energy, emotion and money that come with litigation. It involves a neutral third party who guides the parties to an agreement which ends the dispute. You don’t need a lawyer to be involved in mediation, but if your dispute involves your federal or Indiana legal rights, it’s best that you have one to help you. A mediator is normally an attorney who does this full time or as part of his or her legal practice, as we do at Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law. Mediators can handle any kind of dispute, whether it’s related to divorce, child custody, disagreements between business owners or rea ...

What is a Collaborative Divorce?

For many, the process of going through a divorce is one of the most difficult times in life. Things can be further complicated when divorcing spouses encounter disputes about child custody, division of assets, and other terms of the separation. Fortunately, much of the stress and drama of a separation can be avoided by going through the process of a collaborative divorce. How Does a Collaborative Divorce Work? In Indiana, a collaborative divorce refers to one where both parties work with their own attorneys and meet regularly to reach agreements on various aspects of the separation itself. Ultimately, the goal of a collaborative divorce is to iron out differences and avoid needing to go ...

Understanding the New Criminal Justice Bill

During the fall of 2018, Congress voted to approve a new bipartisan criminal justice bill known as the First Step Act. The goal of this bill is to improve the conditions in federal prisons across the country and address the mass incarceration problem for drug-related crimes and similar offenses. While many would argue that there are still a lot of changes that need to be made to the criminal justice system in the United States, there is still much to like about this bill. The First Step Act: What Does It Do? Specifically, the First Step Act introduces several programs that allow prisoners to earn "credits" that can be used to reduce their sentences or enter into pre-release custody/home conf ...

Should Indiana’s Spousal Maintenance Law Change?

If you’re a spouse who sacrificed a career to care for children and later divorces, you may get spousal support for only three years. If you’re back in the workforce after being absent for years, this isn’t much time to get your income to a level where you can comfortably support yourself. This part of Indiana family law has come under scrutiny and should be changed because of the unfairness it can cause. This type of spousal maintenance (the term “alimony” isn’t used in Indiana law) is known as rehabilitative maintenance. It’s supposed to help “rehabilitate” a spouse whose unpaid job (possibly for decades) was to care for children and a household; it gives a three-year ...

Mediation Can Help Bring Legal Actions to an Early Conclusion

The legal system has become so complex, time consuming and costly that parties normally work very hard to avoid using it. After a civil lawsuit is filed, negotiations may ebb and flow, but the vast majority of Indiana lawsuits are resolved through settlements, not verdicts after trials. Those are the endings you see in movies and TV -- reality is normally far less dramatic. Mediation is the use of a neutral third party to help the parties negotiate a resolution. At Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law, Larry Church, Jason Lopp and Dana Eberle not only negotiate settlements for their clients involved in litigation, but they also work as mediators in other cases. There are many benefits to s ...

Introduction to Indiana Drug Laws

How Indiana controlled dangerous substances (CDS) crimes are classified varies depending on possession or sale, the type of drug and amount. No matter the possible crime, if you learn you’re under investigation for such a crime or have been arrested for one, you need to talk to a criminal defense lawyer to best defend your legal rights and freedom. Indiana has five CDS schedules based on their potential for abuse and whether they’re approved for medical use. Schedule I drugs (including opiates and heroin) have a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use or are unsafe for use in treatment, even under medical supervision. Schedule II drugs (including morphine and opium) ...

Mistakes to Avoid When Getting a Divorce

An Indiana divorce could be a complicated and emotional process, but there are things you can do to make the situation even worse. First and foremost, divorcing couples need to think things through and not respond emotionally, two things that can be difficult for some people. You may be angry, upset and feel the life you planned for yourself is being robbed from you, but it doesn’t justify making these mistakes. DO NOT . . . Use your child as a pawn: “Parental alienation” is an all-too-common problem for divorcing parents. Kids are used as pawns in the divorce battle and directly or indirectly asked to choose sides, which is a no-win situation for a child. Degrading your spouse o ...

Considerations for Postnuptial and Prenuptial Agreements

An Indiana divorce can drain you of energy, emotion and dollars. Two potential ways to prevent or lessen those losses are prenuptial and postnuptial agreement, drafted by a family lawyer. They are agreements made between the parties either before (prenuptial) or after (postnuptial) they’re married These agreements can spell out how various issues (but not child custody or support) will be resolved in case the parties end their marriage. Without one of these agreements, under Indiana law all property brought into a marriage or acquired during it is joined together and will be subject to division in a divorce. Under Kentucky law, property is deemed marital or nonmarital. The division of p ...

Secret Sources of Information Can Taint a Criminal Prosecution

Indiana criminal defense attorneys can’t take at face value prosecution claims and evidence supposedly found during an investigation. They have to be verified for their accuracy, that they’re genuine and the source of the evidence or claim is legitimate. We need to know whether evidence has been fabricated or obtained illegally and whether evidence pointing to another suspect has been ignored. If so, it may result in charges being dropped by the prosecution or a jury finding of not guilty. Much of this depends on relying on prosecutors to act in good faith and honesty, but unfortunately that’s not always true. Human Rights Watch accuses the federal government of secretly supplying evi ...

Pitfalls of DIY Trust And Estate Planning Documents

Featured Snippet: The drawbacks of DIY trust and estate planning documents include inconsistencies, lack of flexibility, asset omissions, vague provisions, and they may not follow the laws of your home state. In addition, they lack proper consideration for future challenges and opportunities. 

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