Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Monday, November 20, 2017
When the holiday season rolls around, most people think of thanksgiving dinners, Christmas shopping and spending time with family and friends. As folks prepare for the holiday season, insurance defense counsel prepare for the increased potential for year-end insurance settlements. Both the plaintiffs and the defendants have incentives for settling cases before the beginning of the new year. Plaintiff’s would enjoy some extra shopping money for the holidays. From a tax perspective, money received in the current year is better than turning the tax calendar year over, since taxes are usually only going up. This is an incentive for individual plaintiffs and their attorneys to receive the settlement money and fees before the next tax year.
From the defense perspective, some carriers want to try and clean out old claims that are filling up their books. The type of claims that could be a target for year-end settlements will vary. The majority of the case that are good candidates for year-end settlements are newer, lower value cases. Small value claims are always a good candidate for settlement to decrease costs and legal fees. The end of the year provides a great incentive for plaintiff’s attorneys to settle these cases in the current year, before taking them over into the new year, when they are smaller value.
Older, larger value claims are also good candidates for potential year end settlements. The end of the year provides an incentive to try to settle the old claims before taking them on for another calendar year. One good way to move an older claim is through mediation or pre-trial settlement conference. Mediators and Judges are heavily booked during the October through December months. They are booked due to adjusters and plaintiff’s attorneys trying to close out smaller and older files before dragging them into the new year.
The end of the year settlement months are not for every case. The insurance defense attorney should not try and settle cases just because it’s the end of the year. The management of each case dictates appropriate times to settlement. If the case needs further discovery, then that discovery takes a priority over settlement. The defense attorney should never initiate settlement talks without first speaking with his insured and the adjuster. But, something about the holidays makes attorneys on all sides pick a few cases to see if a settlement can be reached before the new year.
Please contact Alex Sweis at McKenna Storer or questions about this topic or other Insurance Defense matters.
If you found this article helpful, you may value other insurance litigation defense articles by our attorneys.This post was originally published at https://www.mckenna-law.com/Insurance-defense-counsel-prepare-for-increased-year-end-insurance-settlements
Monday, November 13, 2017
We compiled this practical blog to answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about brankruptcy.
Should I file for bankruptcy?
This is a difficult question with no easy answer. You may want to file bankruptcy if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:
- Have you been paying on creditor card for years without lowering the balances?
- Would it take you more than five years to pay all your creditors in full?
- Do you have a high-interest car loan, and your car is more than two years old?
- Is your house underwater?
- Have you received notice of a lawsuit?
- Are your wages being garnished?
You also may file to stop creditors from harassing you, taking you to court or garnishing your wages.
Will I lose my house and/or car if I file for bankruptcy?
No, individuals do not automatically lose their home, car, or other property just because they file for bankruptcy. The federal bankruptcy laws and state property exemption laws offer protection for consumers’ most important assets.
What chapter should I file?
The decision to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to wipe out your debts or to file a Chapter 13 to consolidate your debt in a structured repayment plan should be made in consultation with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. There multiple reasons to file a chapter 7 vs. a chapter 13.
What are the pros to filing for bankruptcy relief?
- A fresh financial start
- Stopping creditor harassment
- Ability to rebuild your credit
- Ability to start saving
Can I be denied bankruptcy?
Individuals will only be denied a bankruptcy after allegations of fraud, misrepresentation or perjury are proven true.
What should I expect when I file bankruptcy?
- You will need to compile these documents:
List of creditors Proof of income
Creditor reports Tax returns
Recent billing statements Bank statements
- You will need to complete required courses:
Credit counseling before filing
Debtor education (also called financial management)
- You will need to review and sign bankruptcy documents
- You will need to attend a hearing with the trustee assigned to your case
Can I file for bankruptcy if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes, Legal Permanent Residents may take advantage of the bankruptcy laws just like naturalized citizens.
How much does it cost to file for bankruptcy?
You will need to pay attorney fees, a filing fee, and fees to complete required courses. Attorneys charge different fees but can provide you with an estimate on -costs after a consultation. Keep in mind the phrase “you get what you pay for”. An attorney with the lowest fee may provide with the least amount of face time and direct your calls to an assistant. An attorney that charges a fair fee will answer your questions, be available to respond to emails and calls, and meet with you when needed.
What should I look for in an attorney?
An attorney that has significant experience with filing bankruptcy cases. McKenna Storer has over 20 years of experience in representing clients in bankruptcy courts.
Download your complimentary Bankruptcy Checklist for more detailed information and helpful free resources.
Contact Jaime Dowell at McKenna Storer for more information about this guide or any other bankruptcy questions.This post was originally published at https://www.mckenna-law.com/blog/bankruptcy-frequently-asked-questions/
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
References to the internet as a vast, ungoverned and ungovernable territory as might have existed in the Wild West are simply not true, but you hear them all the time. The truth is that laws governing internet security and other matters related to how it is used and what can be distributed over it do exist. Here are three laws you might have heard about, but you might not have realized the effect they have on your use of the internet.