What You Need to Know About Living Trusts

If you are interested or considering setting up a living trust, there is a lot to know before you get started. The good news is, there are lawyers who can help guide you through the process as well as explain any laws you need to know. If you’re just looking for a place to start then this video is for you.


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In this video, you will learn everything you need to know about setting up a living trust, including how to do it, important information you’ll need to know, and how it can benefit you.

Setting up a living trust can help you avoid probate for your family that comes with a will. Wills should not be a primary form for passing on your estate. It can be a great backup, but a living trust will benefit you much more. A living trust can even dictate how the assets get distributed, not just to who, so that you have ultimate control over a period of time.

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What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash

Motorcycle accidents are scary and can cause both minor and major injuries. It’s important to know what to do after a crash so that the situation can be handled professionally and properly. If you have been in a motorcycle crash recently, or if you are preparing for the event you may be involved in one, this video is for you. In this video, you will learn what to expect after a crash, and especially how a motorcycle accident attorney can help you.

The video will answer common questions that people tend to have about motorcycle accidents. These types of accidents are actually quite different from other types of auto accidents which is why it’s important to have the help of an attorney who specializes in motorcycle accident law.


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The video will also give you tips for staying safe on your motorcycle to hopefully avoid having any crashes at all. Remember, if you find yourself in a crash, contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.

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Learn How the Bail System Works

The legal system in the United States is very complex. Once arrested, a judge sets bail at a certain number for the individual to get out of custody. Unfortunately, many people are unable to afford bail and have to sit in jail until their court date. However, they can contact a bail bondsman service to cover their bail for a fee. This is becoming a regular practice.


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In this video, you will see exactly how the bail system works.

Once processed through the jail system, a bail hearing is attended. This where a judge sets bail based on the individual’s criminal history, flight risk, and the seriousness of the crime. If bail cannot be afforded, you have the right to reach out to a bail bondsman. They take your contact and jail information to start the process. Rates can vary by state. Bail agents are reachable at any time on any day. To make sure you pay the agent back, they have the right to find you for payment and can also have collateral (such as assets) if you avoid paying them back.

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Should You Become a Lawyer?

Here are a few reasons that you should consider becoming a lawyer. The video outlines key aspects that contribute to successful law candidates.

Books Don’t Scare You

If you enjoy reading and seeking out new information, that is great news if you’re considering being a lawyer.


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A considerable amount of reading is needed to successfully handle the job. You will spend many hours in the library in preparation.

Arguing to Prove a Point

The principal job of a lawyer is to argue in their clients’ defense. If you love having passionate debates with facts to back it up, this career may be for you.

Standing For What You Believe In

Having moral obligations and reasons for defending your stances is a good sign that you can successfully handle the responsibilities of a lawyer. Your strong beliefs can play a big role in creating an effective defense.

Confidence is Key

For an effective argument, you must exude confidence. Your client must also have confidence in you. It is an essential trait for successful lawyers.

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How To Apply Fort Social Security Disability Benefits

The video, “Social Security Disability Income and How to apply” discusses the challenges social security disability applicants face. Benefits may not be approved quickly, resulting in appeals. The agency is responsible for determining whether a social security disability application will result in an approval of benefits. Preparation and focus are essential to completed applications.


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Gathering Documents and Verifying Identity

The administration will need to see official documents for identity purposes. Poverty and homelessness can make finding and keeping documents a challenge. The Social Security Administration website offers information regarding what to have before applying or what to bring when at the office.

Completing The Application

From those with chronic pain to people with mental illness, social security benefits can help people whose disabilities prevent them from working. Questions on an application cover disability and work history, such as the date an injury occurred or the date when working was no longer possible.

The video alludes to resources found on the social security website through its use of real professionals, including a claims specialist. Navigating the application is difficult, but the experts discuss the benefits of applying for social security disability benefits.

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Learn about Americas Bail System

The bail bond services industry makes serious money due to their ability to claw away massive amounts of funds from those who need to post bail in order to get themselves out of jail. This might seem like a service that the industry is providing on the face of things, but it is far from a simple service to help people out. No, this is all about making major money, and the industry certainly does that.


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Courts set bail not based on the inmate’s ability to pay said bail, but rather on an amount that the bail bond industry has been able to exploit. If someone receives a bond set at $50,000 for example, they are unlikely going to be able to pay that. Instead, they turn to a bail bond company who will agree to put up that bond for them in exchange for the individual paying them about ten percent of it. So, the accused pays $5,000 directly to the bail bond company, and the company puts up the remainder of the bail to the court. The company then has incredible leverage against the accused if that person fails to show up for court. They will literally go and track that person down and get them put back in jail for bail hopping.

The industry continues to grow with each passing year, and it is a highly profitable and all cash business that is difficult to stop.

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What Type of Lawyer Can Help You in These Situations?

Although all lawyers take the same basic courses in law school, most move beyond those courses to focus on a specific practice area. These practice areas are diverse and reflect the lawyer’s interests and aptitudes.

When attorneys focus on a particular field of law, they develop both the knowledge and experience within that area of law to master it. That does not make the lawyer a specialist. Traditionally, state bar associations did not allow lawyers to claim to be specialists since there was no standard definition of a specialist within a field of law. Currently, only 11 states certify legal specialists including:

  • California
  • New Jersey
  • Connecticut
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Ohio

But even if you live in a state that does not certify legal specialists, you can still find a lawyer with knowledge and experience in a narrow field of law who can help you with your legal problem. Here is an overview of what type of lawyer can help with various legal problems.

What Type of Lawyer Can Help with a Divorce or Separation?

A divorce lawyer solves many problems arising in marriage by helping a spouse dissolve it. Marriages break down for many reasons. Finances are a leading reason for divorce in the U.S.

Most states offer couples no-fault divorce. This means that you do not need to disclose, or even have, a reason for the divorce other than irreconcilable differences. The purpose of no-fault divorce is to allow either spouse to dissolve the marriage for any reason. This avoids forcing spouses to remain in a broken marriage.

During a divorce proceeding, the court will resolve four issues:

  • Child custody: Also called parenting time in some states, the court must resolve the child’s living situation. This will determine where the child lives and for how much time. The court will also resolve how decisions affecting the child will be made. For example, medical, education, and religious decisions are usually made jointly.
  • Child support: The parent who provides for the child’s physical needs is usually entitled to a financial contribution from the other parent. Most states use a fixed schedule to calculate child support. The calculation is based on the child’s needs and the parents’ resources.
  • Property division: The couple will divide the property obtained during the marriage. Some states use community property laws that require an equal division of assets. Other states use equitable distribution. This allows a judge to vary from an equal distribution based on fairness and each spouse’s financial condition.
  • Spousal support: Spousal support is also called alimony. This financial support from one spouse to another is intended to help both spouses maintain the living situation they established during the marriage.

What Kind of Lawyer Can Help With Adoption and Custody

Family law covers many issues including:

  • Child custody: Separate from the custody issues that arise in a divorce, child custody issues can also arise when a parent cannot care for a child. Rather than leaving the child’s fate to social services, sometimes a relative can step in and take legal guardianship from a parent who is incarcerated, mentally ill, or struggling with substance abuse.
  • Adoption: Adoptive parents use a family lawyer to guide them through adoption. In a typical adoption, the attorney may also be needed to review the documents from the adoption agency and biological parents to ensure they have properly surrendered their parental rights and cannot undo the adoption. To finalize the adoption, the family will attend a court hearing where a judge will make the adoption official and order the state to issue a new birth certificate in the adoptive parents’ names and the adopted child’s new name.
  • Guardianship: When adults are unable to make legal, financial, and medical decisions on their own, a family member can seek guardianship. This gives the guardian the authority to make decisions on the person’s behalf. People with dementia, mental illness, or developmental disabilities are examples of people who might need a guardian.

What Type of Lawyer Can Help With Insurance Claims?

The answer to this question is a bit nuanced, but generally, a personal injury lawyer helps file insurance claims for bodily injury while an insurance lawyer helps file insurance claims for property losses.

Some examples of reasons you might call an insurance lawyer include:

  • Natural disaster: You lost your home or business in a natural disaster like a flood, wildfire, or hurricane. During a mass casualty event like a natural disaster, the insurer receives many claims at the same time. A lawyer can make sure your claim is submitted correctly, so it can be acted upon rather than being rejected and being sent to the back of the line.
  • Insurance dispute: You lost your home or business in an event that the insurer disputes is covered by the policy. For example, your home sustained water damage and the insurer denies the claim because it believes you knowingly hired an unlicensed plumber to install a new water heater. An insurer usually must have a good faith basis to deny a claim. When it does not, you can hire a lawyer to pursue a bad faith insurance lawsuit.
  • Insurance fraud: In addition to being a crime, insurance fraud is also a ground for an insurance company to deny an insurance claim. If prosecutors file charges of arson against you, you will need a criminal attorney to keep you out of jail and an insurance attorney to recover the money the insurer owes you for the house fire.

What Type of Lawyer Can Help You Form a New Business?

Forming a new business can be an exciting time. A business lawyer can help you through the steps of forming a new business including:

  • Forming an entity: A lawyer can explain the benefits and drawbacks of each entity type and help you prepare and file the documents needed to form a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company.
  • Obtaining a business license: In many locations, you might need to apply for a license from the city, county, and state, so they can collect business taxes from your new venture. A lawyer can figure out which licenses you need and how you need to comply with local licensing laws.
  • Filing a trademark application: If you have a unique name for your business or the products and services it offers, an attorney can help you file a trademark application. A registered trademark can be used to stop competitors from copying the names of your products, services, and business.

Just as important as filing, a new business might need guidance to remain compliant with the law. Businesses must comply with many regulations, such as health codes, tax codes, labor laws, and building codes. A business attorney can coach you, so you can implement a compliance program. This way you can ensure your business does not violate any applicable regulations. A business attorney can also help you if any state or federal agencies file an enforcement action against your business for a regulatory violation.

What Type of Lawyer Can Help Plan Your Estate?

Planning your estate can be complicated work. But an estate planning lawyer usually can take your wishes and turn them into legal enforceable plans. More importantly, an estate lawyer can help you put your plans into action while minimizing taxes and other transactional costs that eat into your estate.

Some options available for an estate plan include wills, trusts, and gifts. Gifts help you reduce your estate, so you can avoid the estate tax and minimize probate costs. But you might need a lawyer to make sure your gifts fall within the exceptions to the gift tax.

A will is useful to put your wishes into writing for how your property is passed. For example, if you want your antique toys to go to your nephew and your wedding ring to go to your granddaughter, you can do that through a will. But wills must go through probate. Probate is a court proceeding where a judge reviews the will to make sure it is valid and the way that it devises property is legal. Probate also gives heirs and creditors an opportunity to challenge any property transfers in the will.

Trusts can do most of the things a will can do. But trusts do not go through probate. This makes the process of transferring property after your death go smoother and with less expense. On the other hand, trusts take more time and expense to draw up, so you may incur similar costs overall by shifting more of the expenses to before your death from after your death.

What Type of Lawyer Can Help With Insolvency?

When your liabilities and debts exceed your assets and income, you qualify for bankruptcy. Many people feel shame in declaring bankruptcy, but bankruptcy is an orderly and legal process that pre-dates America’s founding. In fact, the U.S. Constitution specifically grants the U.S. government the power to establish a system for bankruptcies.

Bankruptcies help both the creditor and the debtor. Without a bankruptcy system, the cost of collecting debts would skyrocket and credit would freeze. Creditors would also be left to battle among themselves for repayment, increasing the cost of lending even more. A bankruptcy system provides an orderly way to prioritize creditors in a single proceeding.

Bankruptcy also benefits debtors. After bankruptcy lawyers file a bankruptcy petition, the credits must cease all collection efforts. When a repayment plan is approved by the court and the debtor emerges from bankruptcy, all dischargeable debts become void and the debtor will be debt-free as long as the repayment plan is met.

What Type of Lawyer Can Help With Work-Related Injuries?

Americans suffer millions of work-related injuries every year. Most of those injuries are covered by worker’s compensation.

Workers’ compensation is an insurance system used in every state. Except in Texas, employers are required to buy workers’ compensation insurance. When a work injury occurs, the insurer investigates the injury and pays workers’ comp benefits. If the insurer disputes the injury, a workers compensation lawyer can help you fight the insurer.

The benefit for the worker is that work injuries are compensated regardless of the cause. The benefit for the employer is that the worker cannot sue the employer for the accident and is limited to workers’ comp.

What Type of Lawyer Can Help After an Arrest?

A criminal defense lawyer has the experience in both criminal law and procedure to guide you through the criminal justice system. In many cases, an arrest is not followed up with charges. But when it is, you will probably need a criminal defense attorney to help you avoid jail.

A criminal lawyer is there to protect your rights. If the police violated the Constitution while investigating the accusations, your lawyer can help you get the evidence excluded. The lawyer will advocate for your right to present your defense at trial and receive fair treatment from the court.

What Type of Lawyer Can Help an Older Client?

Elder law encompasses many issues that affect seniors including:

  • Disability and pensions: Whether through a private insurer, employer or union policy, the VA, or Social Security, many Americans are entitled to payments when they retire or illnesses prevent them from working. An elder law attorney can help seniors fight for their benefits.
  • Elder abuse: A lawyer can help with accusations that an elderly person is being abused by relatives, caretakers, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities.

What Type of Lawyer Can Help After a Boating Accident?

While less common than auto accidents, boating accidents do happen. Just like auto accidents, boating accidents might require a boating accident lawyer to help recover compensation for injuries.

The complication with boating accidents is that most states do not require boaters to carry liability insurance. Thus, where an auto accident claim would go to an insurer first, almost all boating accidents go straight to a lawsuit. This makes it necessary to consult a boating accident attorney after a boating accident.

If you think you’re in legal hot water, it’s important to contact the right professional for the job. Make sure you’re keeping this information in mind.

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An Intro to the Electric CARS Act

electric cars act

The evolution of automobiles is being witnessed across the world. Cars are no longer powered by diesel or petrol but electricity. The emergency of electric vehicles in the market has created a different avenue that many people are enjoying. As much as it has not been embraced fully, electric cars are gaining popularity as governments find them fit to use and good for the environment. Several government incentives have been established for plug-in electric vehicles. Such incentives include tax credits and subsidiaries to encourage people to buy and use electric cars.

The use of fossil fuel has been present for generations. However, with the need for an environment-friendly energy source to power cars, governments are starting to phase out gasoline-powered vehicles to pave the way for electric cars. Electric vehicles are considered to be the game-changers in the market, especially with the technology in place. The introduction of the Electric CARS Act has opened the right direction for governments and people to get the most from electric vehicles.

What Is the Electric CARS Act?

The Electric CARS Act is a new bill proposed in Congress to introduce and advocate electric cars. The Act also aims to notify, create awareness and update the Electric Vehicle tax credit bill. The tax credit is to be extended by almost 10 years so that a phase-out of eligible vehicles from established manufacturers can be done. The buildout of more electric car charging infrastructure is among the many things the bill seeks to support.

The Electric CARS Act was introduced on April 2, 2019, in the 116th Congress (2019 – 2021). While it was first introduced much earlier, it did not get the required votes until 2019. The primary reason for introducing the Electric CARS Act is the ongoing climatic chaos experienced due to increased air and noise pollution worldwide and not just in the United States of America. Record-setting climatic changes and calamities such as winter storms, catastrophic fires, and violent hurricanes contributed to the Electric CARS Act’s proposal by several Congress legislatures.

How the Electric CARS Act Can Be Helpful

Through the bill, electric vehicle consumers will access the tax credit for the next 10 years. This means that regardless of the manufacturer the consumer buys the car from, the tax credit will apply. The tax credit helps consumers avoid the price burden of purchasing new cars, especially in the competitive market.

The tax credit can be used for over five years. The five-year use period allows the consumer to apply for the credit when making the purchase or later on without questions being raised. The Electric CARS Act makes the credit more applicable to both the buyers and the manufacturers without large tax liabilities.

The Electric CARS Act is focused on infrastructure. With the understanding of how relevant charging points are for the cars, the bill supports the building of such points among other infrastructure that will allow for the better and easier rollout of the electric cars in the market. It will be easier to prioritize wealth management services with the Electric CARS Act, especially with charging systems.

How Does an Electric Car Work?

Unlike the traditional petrol and diesel cars that run off internal combustion engines, electric cars are powered by an electrically charged battery pack. The motor is powered to enable it to turn the wheels. Electric cars depend on electricity for power. This means that you cannot substitute with petrol or diesel to power the wheels. The power is supplied when the car owner plugs in a wall socket and lets the battery charge fully. It is plugging in the car’s charge port to an electricity source that the battery receives power stored inside the car.

Electric cars are considered environmentally friendly and are mostly chosen by eco-conscious drivers. The cars are also quieter than the ones powered by petrol or diesel.

Components of an Electric Car

Battery

The battery is vital in an electric car as it is used to store electrical energy that powers the vehicle. In a battery pack, there are several cells grouped into modules. The battery is only ready to use when sufficient energy is stored. Over the years, the battery technology has improved for high efficiency within the car. Lithium-based batteries are the currently used ones for electric cars. Lithium batteries are preferred because they have a lower rate of discharge. It is important for the battery always to have a charge even if it isn’t driven for a while. The car engine has aluminum components that prevent massive wear and tear after a while on the road.

Battery charger

For the AC power available in the electricity network to be converted to DC power stored in a battery, the battery charger must be functional. The battery charger controls that voltage level in the battery cells by adjusting the rate of charge. The battery charger will also monitor cell temperatures. When the charge is controlled, it helps keep the battery healthy and long-lasting.

Electric motor

Electric motors are vital in almost every electrical appliance. Electric motors are essential in washing machines, juicers, electric toothbrushes, to robots. Without an electric motor, the appliance can be considered dead. Electric cars need motors to function well and be driven with ease. Electric cars have motors that use AC power.

Inverter

The conversion process of DC power to AC power is vital to electric cars. An inverter is a device that does the conversion. An inverter in an electric car changes the speed at which the motor rotates. This is done by adjusting the frequency of the alternating current to fit the need of the vehicle. An inverter also regulates the power of the motor by adjusting the amplitude of the signal.

Controller

The controller is the brain of the vehicle. This is because it manages all the parameters in the vehicle. The information from the battery is used to control the rate of charge. The pressure on the accelerator pedal is also translated to adjust the speed in the motor inverter. The performance of electric car suspension relies on the functionality of the controller.

Charging cable

The electric car has a standard charging cable that is stored in the vehicle. The cable is used for charging at home or standard public charge places. Having a charging cable is vital during emergencies.

Benefits of Buying an Electric Car

Electric cars are becoming common in the market than in the past, thanks to good and reliable technology. When you shop for a new car, take note of the different electric car models available in the market. Unlike the past, when they were only limited to a range of 80 to 100 miles, nowadays electric cars can run for miles as long as it is powered well. With the increased popularity, owning now means enjoying the related benefits:

Less maintenance

Compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, electric cars need less maintenance. Having an electric vehicle means avoiding auto repair maintenance such as constant oil change, replacement of air and fuel filters, spark plugs, and catalytic converters. The fewer maintenance needs you have for your car, the higher the chances of meeting your goals.

The electric car’s engine is much simpler as there are fewer components than the internal combustion engine. The simpler the engine, the less wear out of the key components as the maintenance objectives are met with ease. While the transmission of a gasoline-powered car has a multi-speed gearbox, the electric car a single-speed transmission, which makes it much easier to take care of.

The only exception that one will get while using an electric car is the battery. Over time the battery will reduce its ability to hold a charge and start to fade. At this juncture, replacing it with a new one will be the best thing to do. However, a good battery will serve your car for more than 100,000 miles before the need to replace it arises.

Best tech features

Electric cars have cutting-edge technology, which puts them among the best in the world. They have highly connected and feature advanced tech. The high-tech equipment also improves their performance hence making them preferred by most drivers. Apart from the high tech you get to enjoy, you also pay less in fuel costs and maintenance. Electric cars become cost-effective in the long run. Owning and driving an electric car helps you to keep things moving in the right direction. Compared to using petrol or diesel cars, electric cars give you the comfort needed.

Better Environment

The main reason electric cars are being advocated for in the electric CARS Act and people encouraged to buy is environmental conservation. Electric cars don’t burn gasoline and produce zero tailpipe emissions. It also easier to exercise pipe corrosion prevention as electric cars have no emissions. Using electric cars means air and environmental conservation for a better future. The less air pollution caused, the lower the cases of respiratory and related illnesses.

Cheaper to run

Electric cars are not cheaper in terms of buying one but the cost required to charge the battery. The cost of electricity needed by the electric car is almost 40% less than buying petrol or diesel. If you feel the charging point’s cost is much higher than expected, you can consider charging using a solar PV system. Electric cars being cheaper to run means that saving money becomes easier in the process.

Better for health

The less harmful exhaust emissions are, the better the health of people around you. When the quality of the air is high, fewer health problems will be witnessed. The cost of medical services will also be lower when fewer people are falling sick. Electric cars are also quieter, which reduces the noise pollution experienced by most regular vehicles.

Tips for Buying an Electric Car

With the Electric CARS Act being considered, many people are making efforts to buy and own cars. You must have information on how the Electric CARS Act will benefit you as a consumer. You should also have the relevant tips on buying an electric car to make the selection process easier and smoother.

Price

As much as electric cars are environment-friendly, they are costly. The complex electric drive train and the battery packs are pricey compared to regular cars. You need to be critical of the costs of the car before heading to the market. This means looking for information through research and talking to experts before making a decision. However, with the Electric CARS Act, you can get a reprieve in the long run as a consumer.

Understand incentives and benefits

You should note that electric car consumers enjoy tax benefits. Through the Electric CARS Act, introduced by the government, electric vehicles’ overall cost has been reduced. With the knowledge about such incentives and tax benefits, it will be easier to achieve your objectives.

Specifications

Unlike regular cars, electric cars come with a wider range of motors and battery packs. The battery packs also come in different capacities. When choosing a car, it is important to pick one with the specifications that meet your requirements. You don’t want to have an underpowered car that will only irritate you instead of helping in your endeavors. Consider going through the technical details thoroughly with an expert before deciding to buy one.

Battery life and driving range

The battery pack is among the crucial components to be looked at critically. The fact that the battery pack is costly means that you should have one in a car that will take you long before a replacement. The battery life is vital as it also determines the driving range the car will have. Before deciding to buy an electric car, you should check the driving range. The best car should not give you less than a 100km driving range.

Car brand and model

How much info do you have about electric cars, their brands, and models? If you have less information about the brand and models of electric cars, you must research intensively before heading to the market to buy one. You should also note that the brands and models will determine how far you will go with your budget.

Technology advancement has enabled electric vehicles to be massively manufactured and adopted in different countries across the globe. These countries need to have guidelines and regulations for these electric cars.

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New Jersey Representative Cleans Up the Capitol Building After Shocking Riot

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The storming of the United States Capitol was a shocking event for Americans in general but a personal experience for politicians in Washington D.C. at that time. Members of the House and the Senate were forced to take shelter and wait until it was safe for them to leave the breached Capitol buildings. Although none of the Congresspeople were physically injured, the remnants of the day’s events remained clear in terms of the damage done to the Capitol buildings and the surrounding areas. These buildings are quite old, made largely of materials like marble and crafted to be symbolically representative of American values more than they are durable. The Capitol Building stands as the meeting place of the U.S. Congress and the seat of the federal government legislative branch, which doesn’t necessarily require physical durability. For this reason, the buildings were at risk of experiencing damage during the storming. While they largely escaped long term damage, there remained litter and debris like broken furniture surrounding the buildings. These were noticed by NJ Congressman Andy Kim as he prepared to go home after voting to certify Joe Biden at the next U.S. president.

The New Jersey representative, a two-term Democrat, noticed that Capitol officers had been assigned to cleaning up the scattered office equipment and garbage, and he was compelled to help them. Picking up a trash bag, NJ Congressman Andy Kim didn’t bother to change his clothes or move on elsewhere to put away his belongings. He simply began to join in, despite the fact that it was quite late in the night, or early in the morning, rather.

His good deeds were noticed by New Jersey Representative Tom Malinowski, who recognized what Kim was doing at one A.M. By that point, NJ Congressman Andy Kim was actually working largely alone, picking up debris and garbage with the intent to eventually move it into a trash dumpster later. Much of the garbage that he was picking up had been left behind by the mob that stormed the Capitol building. This may seem like a remarkable gesture to make following the day’s events, and in many ways, it certainly is. But Kim’s past speaks to his lifetime of service.

The Background Behind NJ Congressman Andy Kim’s Actions

In many ways, NJ Congressman Andy Kim hailed from a background that aligns with his recent act of service. His parents were Korean immigrants, making Kim a first-generation American. Immigrants in the United States can naturally face certain difficulties that may not necessarily be similar to those experienced by individuals who are not immigrants. For example, there are fewer children of immigrants in the U.S. Congress than there are representatives that do not hail from recent immigrant families.

In fact, NJ Congressman Andy Kim is actually the first Asian American to represent New Jersey in Congress. Prior to that, Kim made a name for himself academically at the University of Chicago. Receiving his degree from the university, he was also a Rhodes Scholar. Kim was actually specifically chosen by Obama to serve as the Iraq director for the National Security Council. This was done in part because Kim had a background of fulfilling similar roles. Kim’s record spoke to his ability to fulfill a similar position. This speaks to the fact that though Kim was a qualified politician with an extensive background in political work, he did not feel above working to pick garbage and debris up off of the floors of the Capitol building.

NJ Congressman Andy Kim saw the process of picking up trash and debris off of the floor of the Capitol building, despite the trauma that had occurred in the building and the surrounding outdoor structures, as a healing moment. It was symbolic and spoke to the love that he bore for the Capitol. Heartbroken and disturbed by the desecration of the iconic building, he did the work in order to ensure that it was as well-cleaned as possible. Not only was this for the sake of the Capitol building. It also eased the stress and work placed upon the employees working within the Capitol, many of whom had experienced stress and trauma throughout the day. In this sense, it was a major act of service.

The Damage Done to the Capitol Building

Ideally, the work that NJ Congressman Andy Kim was doing speaks to and brings attention to the damage done to the Capitol building at large. Within the past few days, the initial inventory of the damage done to the Capitol building was released by the office of the Architect of the Capitol in Washington. This office is meant to preserve and maintain the Capitol building, which is not only a place of work but a historic monument. The office is also responsible for maintaining the art within the building, as well as its neoclassical architecture.

Fortunately, at this time the initial inventory does not indicate that there was major permanent damage done to the building and the art and decor within it. It is clear that there will be a need for door repairs in the near future, as doors were obviously the most immediately attacked by the mob. Doors were directly damaged, while their hinges and glass features were also damaged. In some cases, doors were also shot at or through, leading to a need to not only handle the repairs themselves but also replace some.

Additionally, a good deal of glass was scattered around the building due to smashed windows. These windows were broken in the riots in general, and they allowed access for the mob. Fortunately, these types of fixtures are not overly unique and can be replaced or repaired fairly simply. The same cannot be said for many of the fixtures and features within the Capitol building, which are normally housed much as they would be in a museum. It should be noted that some of these fixtures and features are on display because the Capitol building has historically been open four tours given to the public. Due to some reports indicating that the insurrectionists did tour the Capitol building prior to the storming, there has been some discussion of limiting or even eliminating tours in the future.

Although there was graffiti throughout the Capitol building, this graffiti was not applied to the historical statues, murals, and benches. This does not mean that there was not intent to damage these pieces, however. Tear gas, fire extinguisher liquid, and pepper spray residue were seen on those types of features, indicating that there was an effort made to damage them in major ways. Many of these items are quite old and usually have been restored several times over the years. They will need to be carefully cleaned and conserved following the riots, which will naturally expend funds.

At the building’s exterior, more damage was done, perhaps because more people remained outside the building than were able to actually breach the building’s interior. Frederick Law Olmsted designed two bronze light fixtures in the nineteenth century, which were hosted outside the Capitol building. These were broken in the midst of the riots. Additionally, the inventory revealed graffiti applied to the west side of the building. Specifically, this graffiti was applied in areas close to the stands being constructed for Joe Biden’s inauguration. Although there was understandable and valid concern regarding the direct violence presented by the mob, many of whom were wielding firearms.

The fact is that many of the people within the mob were aware of the damage that they could cause without actually physically harming other people. Some of them may have preferred to cause property damage due to the perceived lower penalties compared to those associated with causing a personal injury. In reality, there are still many legal penalties associated with causing property damage as well, and some of them can be quite severe. This is in part because of not only the cultural threat posed by this damage but the financial repercussions they offer.

At this time, the inventory reports that no major artworks were damaged in the midst of the event. The Capitol building does house some significant artworks. The art collection managed by the office of the Architect of the Capitol lists some of the prized artworks online, although they are not always constantly displayed. These include busts and statues of prominent historical and political figures like Abraham Lincoln and Alexander Hamilton, as well as reliefs depicting lawmakers, and even relief portraits of foreign rulers like Alfonso X. For people like NJ congressman Andy Kim, the point is not the potential value of the items that were damaged, but the symbolic significance.

The reality is that the Capitol building being breached is historically significant, as these types of events are unusual in the United States. Additionally, as many foreign leaders noted in their reactions, the Capitol building is symbolically linked on a global scale with democracy. So whether or not there are real results found through the actions of the mob, the aesthetic and symbolic significance of the breaching cannot be ignored. This is why many have called for the penalties for people within the mob at Capitol Hill to be severe, in part to dissuade future people from doing the same and causing this costly, painful damage.

As of now, arrests are ongoing following the riots. The number of people that may or may not go to trial remains to be seen. Part of the reason why these arrests are taking some time is that they did not initially occur at the time of the event. Rather, the people within the mob moved on out of state, which made it difficult though far from impossible for law enforcement to track them down and ensure that they faced justice. In some cases, they have been charged with crimes related to property damage. However, there is the potential for more charges to occur over time.

The other charges in question would potentially include gun-related offenses. These charges can potentially be quite serious, prompting the rioters to seek aid from criminal defense attorneys. Not all of the rioters carried legal gun permits, or permits to carry the guns in public or carry them concealed. There are also federal laws against carrying a fun in the Capitol building, as well as the possession of an unregistered firearm or unlicensed ammunition in the District of Columbia.

In one case thus far, an individual has been charged with assaulting a federal law enforcement officer. This is in fact a federal crime, and therefore carries a hefty penalty. Individuals can also be charged with unlawful entry on Capitol grounds, as they did breach the Capitol building unlawfully. Another federal crime, this crime may be more severe in terms of consequences that some Americans may realize.

This is a good deal of debate concerning the law enforcement officer that was killed during the event. Much confusion surrounds whether or not the person who killed him will be charged with murder or manslaughter. Additionally, it can be difficult for investigators to uncover which individuals were directly involved in the death.

This can all be extremely discouraging to read about, and understandably so. Regardless of an individual’s political affiliations, it can be difficult for them to view the storming of the Capitol building as anything other than a major historic event and a signal of a continuously tumultuous political climate.

But there is hope to be found. This hope can be found in the simple but profound actions of NJ Congressman Andy Kim. Although he may not be able to find the perpetrators of the property damage immediately, he shows that individuals can make a difference and do real good despite the damage that has been done and the frightening conditions under which he suffered trauma so recently. Many people may be encouraged by his actions, understanding that if the Congressman, who was at the scene of the event, can make a small and positive change, so too can other Americans.

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Young Lawyers Charity Ball

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The elegantly clad young lawyers dressed in evening dresses, and a black-tie gathered on 3 September 2015 in Myer Mural Hall, Melbourne, to attend the LIV Young Lawyers Charity Ball. The LIV Young Lawyers Society organized the Ball, and the event’s main sponsor was Gatehouse Legal Recruitment. Every year the proceeds from this function go to a selected beneficiary, and in 2015 the Ball benefited the Human Trafficking Taskforce in Melbourne.
The event organizers, LIV Young Lawyers Society, provide a platform where newly graduated, fledgling lawyers can voice their ideas on professional development and at the same time give back to their community. The Ball provides an opportunity for smartly clad members of the society to mingle and network while at the same time raising money for charity.
The Ball is beneficial for all involved. The community’s charities benefit from a cash donation. The legal recruiters, who sponsor the event, informally get to know the pool of candidates available to fill law firms’ positions. The young lawyers themselves benefit by meeting their peers who can guide and shape the decisions they need to make about their careers now that they have graduated from law school. It can be confusing for young graduates to choose and follow a specialty in the law field as there are many opportunities and specialties for them to choose from. The wide umbrella of the term “lawyer” covers many fields of specialty, from prosecutors and advocates to the lesser-known law sub-specialties like a family lawyer, corporate lawyer, labor lawyer, or even a chapter 7 lawyer.
During the event, the attendees were spoilt with a three-course meal and listened to speakers talking about pertinent law practice issues. They were also encouraged to participate in the various auctions during the event to ensure that they could raise a maximum amount of money to support their chosen charity, Human Trafficking Taskforce. Some young lawyers got to show their talents, other than just being brilliant in court and entertained the crowd with their ability to sing. At the end of the evening, the DJ provided music to dance, let their hair down and enjoy themselves.
The LIV Young Lawyers Society needs to be commended on starting this great initiative that, through celebration, manages to benefit the profession and help everyone involved. It provides a great opportunity for new lawyers to contribute to their chosen profession and supports the community’s worthy causes.twitterby feather