Blog

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 […]
January 16, 2017

Business Owners and Their Potential Liability for Slip and Fall Injuries

When a business owner opens his doors to the public, he also opens himself up to potential liability for a slip and fall injury. Premises liability law makes a business owner responsible for certain injuries suffered by persons who are on the premises and are injured due to an unsafe […]
January 13, 2017

Parking Lots: Busy and Often Dangerous Places

Parking lots are very busy, and sometimes dangerous places – and most people have been both an impatient driver and a distracted pedestrian as they locate a parking place in a busy parking lot, exit their car, and walk toward their destination. Although drivers usually travel slowly through parking lots […]
January 6, 2017

Evidence of Immigration Status Inadmissible in California Personal Injury Cases

Never have terms like “illegal alien,” “illegal immigrant,” and “undocumented worker” created more fear and controversy in our nation than now. The passionate responses inspired by the word “immigration” carry such a substantial danger of interfering with the jury’s duty to conduct a fair deliberation, and so significant is this […]
January 4, 2017

ND Ranks Second Highest in Hate Crimes in U.S. Per Capita

North Dakota may have a reputation for being nice, but the state ranks second in the nation for reported hate crimes per capita, according to Forum analysis of 2015 FBI statistics released recently. Thirty-six hate crimes were reported to North Dakota police departments in 2015, or 4.8 crimes per 100,000 […]
January 2, 2017

Marsy’s Law: What it Means for North Dakota

Marsy’s Law is not a law at all, but is actually part of the North Dakota Constitution as of December 8, 2016.  North Dakota’s voters approved a new constitutional amendment about victims’ rights called Marsy’s Law.  Despite opposition from attorneys, state officials, and other groups, Marsy’s Law passed with 62% […]
December 29, 2016

Increased Penalties for OSHA Violations Could be Scary for Businesses

For the first time in 25 years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) increased monetary penalties for standards violations under the provisions of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. In November 2015, the U.S. Congress enacted legislation requiring federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties for inflation, and […]
December 27, 2016

Medical Marijuana Law in North Dakota

North Dakota recently joined many other states in approving marijuana for medical use.  The ballot measure passed with 64% of the statewide vote, indicating a majority of North Dakotans favor the use of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions.  The statute only allows for medical use, and does not allow […]
December 21, 2016

Felons Still Denied Voting Rights in Minnesota

Despite a push to change state law, Minnesotans who were on probation, parole, or serving time in prison due to a felony conviction weren’t able to vote in this year’s general election. Unlike in North Dakota, where the law gives voting rights to people on felony probation and parole but […]
December 19, 2016

Business Liability for Data Breaches

Recent news is often dominated with the latest and largest corporate data breach, and even the 2016 U.S. election was not immune to hacking. According to Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report, small businesses having 1-250 employees were the victims of 43 percent of all data breach attacks carried out […]
December 15, 2016

Supreme Court Finds that Warrantless Blood Tests Violate U.S. Constitution

All 50 states have enacted “implied consent laws,” which essentially mean that by driving on the state’s roads, drivers are deemed to have consented to testing if they are suspected of drunk driving.  Twelve states, including North Dakota and Minnesota, impose criminal penalties on suspected drunk drivers who refuse to […]
December 13, 2016

Limited Campus Police Jurisdiction: What it Means

For many years the North Dakota State University Campus Police and the Fargo Police Department operated under a Memorandum of Understanding, which essentially granted NDSU Police to patrol and make arrests anywhere within the City of Fargo. Several universities and municipalities, including UND and the Grand Forks Police Department, used […]
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