Author: United States Laws

New Jersey Representative Cleans Up the Capitol Building After Shocking Riot

nj congressman andy kim

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

Measures for Justice – What the Portal Can Do

Contrary to popular belief, most of the action performed by the criminal justice system is done on a local level. Things like trials, sentencing, and punishment come down to the county and there are vast differences in how different counties do things. For a long time, it has been very difficult to gather information on local criminal justice systems. But the Measures for Justice data portal aims to change that.

The Measures for Justice data portal is an online database that collects information from counties all over the United States. This data is then organized and provided for users to go through to look for patterns and information they need. According to the creators of the Measures for Justice data portal, the data they collect can lead to some surprising questions and insights.

Among the major uses for the Measures for Justice data portal is determining whether or not those caught in the criminal justice system are being treated fairly. And often, the numbers confirm what is already obvious. There are major discrepancies in how people are treated based on their background. This is particularly true when it comes to race and housing status, which are the two examples used in the video. When database users filter the results, they find that non-white defendants are more likely to be convicted than white defendants. Likewise, homeless defendants are sentenced to terms three times longer than others. Bail is also a major issue that is determined solely on a local level. While some defendants don’t have to pay bail or can pay it on their own, others have to rely on the bail bondsman services or remain in jail. This is a systemic problem that might not be obvious on the surface. These statements are backed up by data, leaving little room for doubt. Without the Measures for Justice data portal, there would be no way of knowing how widespread racial and economic prejudice is within the American justice system.

However, having this information also provides a great deal of hope. With solid numbers like those provided by the database, activists have a foundation to start on when they develop criminal justice system reforms. They can point to the numbers using the filters described in the video and see exactly where changes need to be made. And with numbers and information constantly coming in, they can also see the changes in data over time, showing exactly what kind of impact these reforms are really having. twitterby feather

3 Benefits of Using Divorce Mediation Services

If you’ve decided it’s time to file for divorce, it’s important to know that there are more options available to you and your partner than just battling it out in court. In fact, divorce mediation services come with several unique benefits. Let’s explore a few of them.

Save Money

While you’ll still need to pay for divorce mediation services, it’s not nearly as expensive as paying to work with a lawyer for a months-long battle in court. Through mediation, divorce costs typically average out to somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000 for both parties involved. Not only that, but you’re not dragging out the length of time you’ll need mediation services through a series of court dates. If you and your partner both want as amicable a divorce as possible and to not spend a fortune during the process, mediation is definitely a good option to consider.

Save Time

One of the biggest benefits that comes with divorce mediation is all the time saved. During a normal divorce, the entire process can take a long time. In fact, most divorces take anywhere from nine months to two years to complete. Litigation can quickly become a complex process, and the timeline for most divorces provides plenty of evidence to that point. Mediation, on the other hand, typically takes much less time than a typical divorce. If you choose divorce mediation, you’ll be looking at a timeline of approximately two to four months instead of two years. If you and your partner want to move on with your lives and make your split as painless as possible, mediation is the way to go.

Protect Your Children

If you and your partner have children together, mediation might be the best way to save them from undue emotional distress. Divorce is tough enough without the long, drawn-out litigation battles that can last for years. Instead, mediation provides an opportunity for you and your partner to work together throughout your separation to decide what’s best for your family moving forward. When your children see that you and your partner still have respect and compassion for one another, it might be easier for them to handle the transition during your divorce.

Divorce mediation offers a whole host of benefits for both the parties getting divorced and the families affected.

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Intellectual Property Is Up For Grabs Without Protection Why You Should Apply For A Patent

Your intellectual property is important. You’ve spent months, perhaps years, on these ideas of yours. Don’t you want to give them the best possible chance at success?

This is where a patent comes into play. It’s not enough to brute force your way into protecting your work…you need a few legalities on your side. The domestic patent process is one thousands of Americans apply to every year, designed with the express purpose of looking after your work at all times. It can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never done it before, however. A patent attorney can walk you through your application and clear up any concerns you have right off the bat.

In today’s digital age it’s easier than ever to lay claim to something that’s not yours. Let’s learn more about what it takes to obtain a patent so you can defend your work sooner rather than later.

It seems everywhere you look there are people stealing ideas. They’re scrubbing out watermarks, pret Read More

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What Does A Trademark Lawyer Do?

Someone having their intellectual property stolen happens more often than one might believe. Typically, an intellectual property issue is associated with the music industry—lyrics or beats are often stolen from other artists without their knowledge, which usually makes headlines. The scandal surrounding intellectual property issues makes it sensational in the media, but most people don’t understand what constitutes as an intellectual property issue and how a trademark lawyer solves the case.

What Is A Trademark Lawyer?

Patent law pertains to a branch in law that deals with intellectual property law, such inventions or creations that have made a significant contribution. Traditionally, the patent process only protected scientific inventions, such as circuit boards, car engines, heating coils, or zippers that were considered the top patents of the day. However, as the Read More

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A Lawyer For Medical Malpractice or Workplace Injuries

Personal injury is a common reason that Americans today seek lawyers, and a person today may suffer injury after a drunk driver hits them on the road. In other cases, a construction worker may suffer injuries while on the work site, or a patient may suffer from medical malpractice. Should any of this happen, a victim may look for a personal injury lawyer from an injury attorney firm near them, and such firms can be found online. A medical malpractice lawyer in particular is helpful after surgery has gone wrong, and medical malpractice lawyers are hired more often than some Americans may realize. After a botched surgery, for example, a medical malpractice lawyer can represent their client in seeking compensation. Injury attorneys, meanwhile, may have construction workers or car accident victims as their clients.

Hiring a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Many injuries in the United St Read More

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Taking A Closer Look At The World Of Immigration Law

The United States is a country of immigrants, there is a simply no doubting this fact. After all, it was a country founded by immigrants hundreds of years ago, with the descendants of these very first immigrants still living among us today. In the hundreds of years that has since passed, immigration has continued to remain an important part of our world, something that is very much supported by the statistics that have been gathered on the subject.

For instance, immigrants now make up very nearly 15% of the total population of this one country alone. In addition to this, Mexican immigrants account for up to one quarter, if not slightly more, of all immigrants throughout this country. This makes them the largest immigrant group, but many other immigrant populations also thrive throughout the United States, something that is likely to hold true in the years that are ahead of us. In total, more than 43 million people currently living in this country could be considered to be immigran Read More

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Read This if You Want to Know When You Need a Construction Lawyer

Many of us are familiar with different forms of law. For example, we may understand what family law is and when it is necessary for us to work with a family lawyer regarding a domestic issue. The same goes for employment law and DUI law—we know when we may need a lawyer who specializes in ones of these. However, when it comes to construction law, you might find yourself asking, “when do I need a construction attorney?”

Construction lawyers can help provide services during any stage of a construction project. This includes everything from planning to completion. The right construction lawyer can help with a number of different duties involved in the project including scheduling, budgeting, and contracting. They can also be of service when it comes to submitting claims and terminations.

If you’re stuck wondering, “when do I need a construction attorney?” and are considering beginning a construction project, there is no time like the present!

When do I need a construction Read More

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Bankruptcy Attorneys and Other Debt Relief Options

Bankruptcy can be a challenging situation, making it essential for an attorney to help with the process. This is one of the key procedures that Americans need lawyers for, in addition to civil, financial, and other litigation services. Individuals and corporations often need the quality services of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

When to Hire Bankruptcy Attorneys

So many issues arise when filing for bankruptcy, no matter the different type of application you need to prepare. Bankruptcy lawyers have the greatest knowledge in relation to this, considering the fact that it is a detailed legal and financial matter. The application requires a great deal of care, especially with the changes that it will make to your credit, either personal or commercial.

Bankruptcy attorneys are able to provide many more services than assistance with debt relief. This is something that ca Read More

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