Friday, March 27, 2009

Issues in Collecting Child Support

The economy has obviously put a strain on all facets of life. One issue that may be of growing concern is the ability to collect child support for many parents. Wage garnishment in order to provide regular child support is is nothing new to most employers. The orderly process of keeping children and their parents funded is a vital component to the welfare of the state and the children themselves.

Income sources for child support are not limited to payroll deductions, they can also be drawn from insurance claims if there is a past-due amount of child support owed.

You can read more in our article entitled "Collection of Child Support From Employers and Insurers, located at the website. You can also read some more thoughts about the collection of spousal and child support in Pennsylvania at our site.
Bookmark this on Delicious

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Twitter and social networking can pose problems for legal system.

Technology moves quickly. The legal system does not always move so swiftly, but it is being forced to address a fluid situation in which technology may well be compromising the integrity of the judicial system.

In recent weeks, there have been several examples of this coming to light. In Arkansas, a juror was posting 'tweets'(the messages sent using the Twitter program) during breaks to give updates on the trial. The defendant, Russell Wright and Stoam Industries, had lost a $12.6 million lawsuit. His legal representation has filed an appeal of the findings claiming that juror Jonathen Powell was not fair and impartial. Wright's attorneys are basing this claim on the content of Powell's tweets. One of these messages read ""just gave away $12 million of someone else's money" and later went on to add that no one should buy Stoam "now that their wallet is 12M lighter." The defense is claiming that the juror also used the internet do research about the case. Powell has not denied using the internet to research, but now claims that he was 'looking up stuff about being a juror.'

In more local news to those of us in the Pottstown, PA area, is the federal corruption trial of former Pennsylvania state senator, Vincent J. Fumo. Before the jury reached a verdict, Fumo's defense attorneys have demanded the judge declare a mistrial in the case because a juror had been posting messages using both Twitter and Facebook regarding the trial. The judge ruled that the juror could stay and Fumo was convicted on all 137 counts. However, his attorneys have already expressed the desire to appeal the decision based upon their belief that the juror had reached a decision before the conclusion of the trial.

Just last week, a juror in a Florida federal drug trial admitted to the judge that he and other jurors had been researching the case on the internet. It turns out that a total of nine jurors had researched the case on Google. Federal judge, William J. Zloch, had no choice but to declare a mistrial. “We were stunned,” said a defense lawyer, Peter Raben, who was told by the jury that he had been on the verge of winning the case. “It’s the first time modern technology struck us in that fashion, and it hit us right over the head.”

It would appear that, at a minimum, jury instruction will now have to be changed to include the use of Twitter, Facebook and internet based search engines such as Google.

The technology is certainly no stranger to the Judicial System. Twitter can be a tremendous resource for networking and information exchange. In fact, the Philadelphia court system has its own twitter. Now we must move past simply using the technology to reap its benefits and come to terms with the full ramifications of its uses. The three cases above have resulted in one mistrial while the other two will likely end up with lengthy, and costly, appeals being filed. The end result is an added burden on the judicial system and a drain on tax-payer dollars.

Bookmark this on Delicious

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rising Unemployment numbers in PA

According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, Pennsylvania's unemployment rates are on the rise.

The numbers reflected by this published report are both sobering, and alarming.

-Unemployment rose to 7 percent in January.

-PA lost 3,500 jobs in January.

-The number of people looking for work in the civilian sector has risen to 6,446,000. That is an increase of 5,000 from the previous month.

The Pennsylvania Unemployment Act offers some help in these difficult times by providing weekly benefits that are based upon length of employment and total amount paid into the unemployment system.

The law firm of Wolf, Baldwin and Associates, P.C. can help you receive benefits that are due to you. The variety of issues that determine whether or not you are eligible for unemployment benefits are complex and unique to your own situation. We cover a variety of these concerns in our article regarding "Unemployment Compensation." Feel free to contact us at our Pottstown, PA or West Chester, PA offices.

Bookmark this on Delicious

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Unemployment and Workers Compensation resources

In this week’s blog, I thought I would bring to you a list of articles and resources that you may find useful during these difficult times.

Do you have questions or concerns about your eligibility for Unemployment Compensation in the state of Pennsylvania? Then you may want to check out our article regarding “Selected issues in Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law."

Have you ever wondered what is in your Personnel Files? You do have rights to review certain employment records. You can protect yourself and your identity as an employee. If you would like more information on this subject, feel free to review our article “Employee Rights under the Personnel Files Act of PA.”

If you feel that you may need to start a workers compensation claim in Pennsylvania, you may want to check out our article on that very subject here. This should give you a good guideline and starting point to pursue your claim.

Finally, for my fellow lawyers and law professionals who may be reading this blog, I found an interesting article this week written by Gina F. Rubel at the National Law Journal entitled “To Friend or Not to Friend: Social Media for Lawyer.” I found it to be both useful and interesting; I’d highly recommend that you read it.

Bookmark this on Delicious