You just got married and had kids, you’re young and healthy, so you don’t need to worry about making a will, right? Wrong!

Death is not a pleasant topic. Discussing the subject is difficult even for couples who have been together for decades. Talking about making a will is not a conversation younger couples tend to even think about having. But for young couples with children, a will is important and necessary to prepare for the unexpected. No age is too young for couples to begin this conversation. A will has the ability to ensure that, should something terrible happen, your (minor) children will be cared for in the way that you, as a couple, decide is best. Passing away without a will affects the succession of your property and the guardianship of your children. If one spouse passes away without a will, Read More

Common Sense Saves the Day

Personal injury cases are mostly fact-driven. They rarely rely on nuanced legal interpretation, but rather on a common sense analysis of the facts.  And the facts usually play out over a very brief period of time.  It only takes a second or two for an accident to begin and end, and it is in this moment that someone may or may not be at fault for an injury.  It is often the presentation of simple facts that can make the difference at trial. I recently tried a case that I believed we were likely to lose.  My two clients were the passengers in a large SUV that was stopped at a left turn signal.  When their vehicle turned left, it was struck in the intersection Read More

So You Want to Become a Lyft Driver in Traverse City…

What Tax and Legal Issues Should You Be Aware of? ARE YOU QUALIFIED? Lyft’s website says they are hiring drivers all across Michigan. Applicants need to be: -at least 21 years old -pass a background and DMV check -own a smart phone -have a 2005 or newer vehicle with four doors and 5-8 seats -possess a valid driver’s license, registration and insurance. Applications are being accepted online.   YOU WILL BE AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR Lyft drivers are independent contractors, not employees of Lyft. So, as a driver, you are considered to be self-employed; you own a separate “business” that Lyft uses to provide driving services. When you get paid, it is not like a traditional paycheck; taxes have not been taken Read More

What the Heck is Ground Rent?

Baltimore Row Homes.

  According to The People’s Law Library of Maryland, “Ground rent is a periodic monetary payment by a tenant to a ground lease holder who holds a reversionary interest in the property or “ground” underneath a home.”   But what does that actually mean in plain English? Basically, for certain properties (most of which are located in Baltimore City), homeowners are required to pay a small sum of money (typically $50.00-$100.00 per year) to a person or company known as the ground rent holder.  This concept, which dates back to the 18th Century, still causes confusion to homeowners and mortgage companies unfamiliar with the practice.   If it’s that simple, why is it so confusing? Ground rent is an unfamiliar Read More

Defamation Lawsuits

newlyweds, wedding photo.

By now I am sure you have heard the viral news story about the wedding photographer who was awarded over a million dollars in a defamation lawsuit last month. If you have not, here is what you need to know: Andrea Polito is a professional photographer from Dallas, Texas who took pictures for Andrew and Neely Moldovan on their wedding day. The newlyweds became impatient after the wedding while waiting for the pictures to be ready, so they inquired about the photos. Polito said she was still waiting on a few items from the couple in order to finish the pictures. But, the couple was not satisfied with this answer and began contacting local news stations saying Polito was holding Read More