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

What is a Grand Jury?

Justice Department special counsel and former FBI Director, Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in his investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election. The significance of this is that issuing grand jury subpoenas doesn’t signal that indictments are imminent — or will ever happen — or that Mueller has concluded there has been wrongdoing. The move is often simply a tool to allow a prosecutor to gather evidence or testimony. Impaneling a grand jury shows that Mueller means business by doing a serious criminal investigation. Ty Cobb, special counsel to the President, said he wasn’t aware that Mueller had started using a new grand jury. So, what is a grand jury? In Maryland, a grand jury is a group of Read More