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Gregory A. Franklin

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An adoptive parent himself, Gregory Franklin has experienced first-hand the challenges and joys of adopting a child. Adoptions involve a highly emotio... (more)

Ted A. Barraco Lawyer

Ted A. Barraco

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Ted Barraco is a sole practitioner attorney in the areas of family law, criminal law, real estate, personal injury, contract disputes and other contes... (more)

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Ronit Zusman

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Don Henry Twietmeyer

Commercial Real Estate, International Tax, Entertainment, Estate Planning
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Peter Scribner

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LEGAL TERMS

INCIDENTS OF OWNERSHIP

Any control over property. If you give away property but keep an incident of ownership--for example, you give away an apartment building but retain the right to... (more...)
Any control over property. If you give away property but keep an incident of ownership--for example, you give away an apartment building but retain the right to receive rent--then legally, no gift has been made. This distinction can be important if you're making large gifts to reduce your eventual estate tax.

SUBSTITUTED SERVICE

A method for the formal delivery of court papers that takes the place of personal service. Personal service means that the papers are placed directly into the h... (more...)
A method for the formal delivery of court papers that takes the place of personal service. Personal service means that the papers are placed directly into the hands of the person to be served. Substituted service, on the other hand, may be accomplished by leaving the documents with a designated agent, with another adult in the recipient's home, with the recipient's manager at work or by posting a notice in a prominent place and then using certified mail to send copies of the documents to the recipient.

AUTHOR

In terms of copyright protection, either the person who creates the work, the person or business that pays another to create the work in an employment context o... (more...)
In terms of copyright protection, either the person who creates the work, the person or business that pays another to create the work in an employment context or the person or business that commissions the work under a valid work for hire contract. For example, a songwriter may write a song, but if he is employed by a company to do so, the company is the author of that song for copyright purposes.

JUS COGENS

Principles of international law so fundamental that no nation may ignore them or attempt to contract out of them through treaties. For example, genocide and par... (more...)
Principles of international law so fundamental that no nation may ignore them or attempt to contract out of them through treaties. For example, genocide and participating in a slave trade are thought to be jus cogens.

EASEMENT BY PRESCRIPTION

A right to use property, acquired by a long tradition of open and obvious use. For example, if hikers have been using a trail through your backyard for ten year... (more...)
A right to use property, acquired by a long tradition of open and obvious use. For example, if hikers have been using a trail through your backyard for ten years and you've never complained, they probably have an easement by prescription through your yard to the trail.

TENANCY IN COMMON

A way two or more people can own property together. Each can leave his or her interest upon death to beneficiaries of his choosing instead of to the other owner... (more...)
A way two or more people can own property together. Each can leave his or her interest upon death to beneficiaries of his choosing instead of to the other owners, as is required with joint tenancy. In some states, two people are presumed to own property as tenants in common unless they've agreed otherwise in writing.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

The legally prescribed time limit in which a lawsuit must be filed. Statutes of limitation differ depending on the type of legal claim, and often the state. For... (more...)
The legally prescribed time limit in which a lawsuit must be filed. Statutes of limitation differ depending on the type of legal claim, and often the state. For example, many states require that a personal injury lawsuit be filed within one year from the date of injury -- or in some instances, from the date when it should reasonably have been discovered -- but some allow two years. Similarly, claims based on a written contract must be filed in court within four years from the date the contract was broken in some states and five years in others. Statute of limitations rules apply to cases filed in all courts, including federal court.

FRIENDLY SUIT

A lawsuit brought by two parties, not as adversaries, but as collaborators in order to resolve a legal question that affects them both. For example, two compani... (more...)
A lawsuit brought by two parties, not as adversaries, but as collaborators in order to resolve a legal question that affects them both. For example, two companies might bring a friendly suit to court in order to clarify a legal interpretation of a contract between them.

BALLOON PAYMENT

A large final payment due at the end of a loan, typically a home or car loan, to pay off the amount your monthly payments didn't cover. Many states prohibit bal... (more...)
A large final payment due at the end of a loan, typically a home or car loan, to pay off the amount your monthly payments didn't cover. Many states prohibit balloon payments in loans for goods or services that are primarily for personal, family or household use, or require the lender to let you refinance the balloon payment before forcing collection.