Blog

March 15, 2017

O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss Nominated for Two Chamber Awards

Each year the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce presents ChamberChoice Awards to one business in each of seven categories. Even being chosen to “be in the running” is a significant honor. This year the Fargo law firm of O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss has been nominated in two categories; Small Business […]
March 13, 2017

Top Five Things Your Estate Plan Might Not Address, but Should

The main purpose of an estate plan is to provide a comprehensive set of directions to your personal representative and the courts as to how your assets should be treated and your affairs are settled following your death. The more comprehensive your estate plan is, the less courts and your […]
March 10, 2017

When Your Personal Representative Will Not Do the Job

Selecting an appropriate personal representative when creating your will is a critical step. You want to be able to trust your representative to faithfully carry out your final wishes reflected in your will. As a result, you and other North Dakota residents will often choose close family members or friends […]
March 8, 2017

Pet Custody in a Divorce

Americans love their pets. 65% of households—nearly 80 million—have a pet, and a majority of pet owners consider their pets “family members.” Couples seeking to split are increasingly likely to bring pets into their divorce proceedings, with 88% of such cases involving dogs. Despite the way many people regard their […]
March 6, 2017

Life Events That Call for Review of Your Estate Plan

For many North Dakotans, estate planning is a task whose benefit is obvious but it is nevertheless often left undone. Individuals may readily admit the need to create or update an estate plan, but may believe that doing so can wait until a “more opportune time” in the future. The […]
March 3, 2017

Parenting Plans and Parenting Time

A parenting plan describes the child custody arrangement that you and your separating spouse will adhere to after a divorce. According to section 14-09-00.1 of the North Dakota Century Code, a parenting plan “describes each parent’s rights and responsibilities.” Section 14-09-30 elaborates on what such a plan must contain. If […]
March 1, 2017

Service of Process in Your Personal Injury Case

You have been injured in a North Dakota personal injury accident (such as an auto accident or serious injury accident) caused by another person’s careless behavior. However, before you can collect compensation from the at-fault party – indeed, before your personal injury lawsuit can actually begin – you need to […]
February 27, 2017

Determining and Changing Spousal Support

In North Dakota, judges have broad discretion in ordering one spouse to provide financial support to the other spouse in the event of a divorce. Spousal support (or “alimony”) is usually paid in regular installments and is intended to level the playing field for both parties. Perhaps one spouse had […]
February 24, 2017

Slip and Fall Injuries in Residences

Many individuals have either experienced a slip and fall injury at a place of business (a wet floor at a supermarket, for example) or know of someone who has. These injuries can be quite serious and severe. For example, depending on several factors, the following catastrophic injuries may result from […]
February 22, 2017

Avoiding Fire and Burn Injuries from North Dakota Car Crashes

It is not uncommon for car crashes to result in one or more of the cars erupting in flames. This is especially likely to occur when the crash is of such force as to rupture the fuel tanks of the vehicles or where one vehicle was transporting a hazardous chemical. […]
February 20, 2017

Beer Recalled Over Chipped Glass

The California-based maker of Sierra Nevada beer recently issued a voluntary recall for a certain number of its products manufactured in its North Carolina brewery over concerns that a small part of the glass bottle may chip, creating a danger to customers. The recall affects its Pale Ale, Beer Camp […]
February 17, 2017

Communicating Your Intentions: Estate Planning with Your Family

An estate plan contains arrangements for handling your affairs in case of incapacity or death. Many people concentrate on the material aspects of estate planning—the distribution of assets through a will, for example—but fail to address important considerations such as medical care during times of incapacity, or the guardianship of […]
February 16, 2017

Why Avoid Intestate Succession?

When a person dies and leaves no will, they have died “intestate,” i.e., without a last will and testament. In the absence of a will to direct the distribution of any assets, state law determines who inherits through intestate succession. Furthermore, if there are assets not accounted for in a […]
February 15, 2017

When You Lend Someone Your Car, You’re Also Lending Them Your Insurance

In most states, including North Dakota, car insurance follows the car and not the driver, so when you give someone permission to drive your car, you’re also lending them your car insurance. Primary Coverage vs. Secondary Coverage When you lend a friend your car, your insurance will generally cover them […]
February 10, 2017

Protect the Elderly from Financial Exploitation

When our loved ones grows old, we are often on the lookout to protect them against instances of nursing home abuse or neglect. There are other ways in which elder abuse occurs, such as when vulnerable individuals are exploited for their financial resources. Section 50-25.2-01 of the North Dakota Century […]
February 8, 2017

What are the Chances That My Personal Injury Case Will Go to Trial?

Approximately five percent of all personal injury cases go to court, and the rest settle before trial. While attorneys on both sides may evaluate a case on a similar basis, there is no guarantee whatsoever that a jury will, and neither side wants to be surprised by an unfavorable verdict. […]
February 6, 2017

The Basics of Serving as a Personal Representative

Personal representatives handle the estates of deceased persons. As defined by section 30.1-18-03 of the North Dakota Century Code, they have a fiduciary duty to administer the estate according to the terms of the will or laws of probate. They have the legal power to collect the assets of the […]
February 3, 2017

Adopting Your Step-Child

The process for adopting a child can be long and complex, but when a step-parent wishes to legally adopt his or her step-child, the process can be simpler and quicker. According to the Children’s Bureau, step-parent adoption is the most common type of adoption. To Adopt or Not to Adopt? […]
February 1, 2017

When Inaction Causes Medical Malpractice: Failure to Diagnose

We put our lives in the hands of medical professionals, and we trust that their training and procedures will protect us against harm. Often, though, we think of medical malpractice is a result of what the doctors did incorrectly, but sometimes what the doctors failed to do can have equally […]
January 30, 2017

Your Fitbit May Provide Evidence in Your Personal Injury Case

In our modern age of technology, we generate a plethora of data as we go about our lives. Social media has been used in divorce, child custody, personal injury, and criminal cases by providing evidence contrary to what the parties are claiming in court. As social media use has increased, […]
January 27, 2017

Loss of Income or Lost Earning Capacity: Make Sure You Fight for Fair Compensation

The consequences of a personal injury do not necessarily end at medical or repair bills: It could also affect your job. Not only are you accumulating additional bills to pay, you may also be losing income with which to pay the bills. The party responsible for your injury can be […]
January 25, 2017

Massive Airbag Recall Nearing Settlement, but Defective Vehicles Still on the Road

Japanese auto parts manufacturer Takata has been at the center of “the largest recall in American history,” due to defective airbags, causing over 180 injuries and claiming 11 lives in the U.S. alone. The propellants used are prone to destabilizing over time and sending shrapnel shooting out when the airbag […]
January 23, 2017

Distribution of Marital Property in a Divorce

If you and your spouse are preparing for a divorce and are able to come up with a fair division of your assets, the courts in North Dakota will honor that agreement. Often, negotiating a divorce settlement with your spouse outside the courtroom is the best way to achieve a […]
January 20, 2017

What is a Power of Attorney, and Do I Need One?

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives a designated individual, known as an attorney-in-fact or agent, the authority to act on behalf of another person. The laws for appointing a power of attorney vary from state to state. Who Can Create a Power of Attorney? To create […]
January 18, 2017

Are You a Safe Driver?

Car manufacturers are adding safety features to their vehicles with ever increasing frequency. Things like brake assist devices, electronic stability control, collision avoidance systems, and phone suppression devices are all extremely useful, yet the most important safety feature in your car is you. Most of us consider ourselves to be […]
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