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Estate Planning and Special Needs Trusts in PA

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Jul 13, 2015 5:31:50 PM

Children who have a physical or mental disability may qualify for benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, subsidized housing or other benefits. In order to qualify for SSI, for example, the child must meet Social Security’s definition of disability and the child’s income and resources must fall within specific eligibility limits. In 2015, the child cannot be working and earning more than $1,090.00 per year and the child cannot have assets worth more than $2,000.00. 

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Questions to Ask a PA Estate Planning Attorney

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Jul 6, 2015 1:26:17 PM

Estate planning is necessary for everyone.  No one knows what the future holds, so it is extremely important to anticipate and arrange for how your assets will be distributed upon your death. For Pennsylvania residents, the first step is to contact an estate planning attorney in PA.   There is a large number of estate planning attorneys with the expertise to assist you.  So how do you decide which one is right for you?  And how do you know that the attorney is detail oriented enough to make sure that your final estate plan is sufficient for you and contemplates many different

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Tips for Finding A Good Healthcare Attorney in PA

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Jun 23, 2015 2:18:32 PM

Healthcare is a unique area of law that requires attorneys to have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience.  Hospitals, physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists and other healthcare providers often need a lawyer to help them start their healthcare practice, or navigate the insurance and Medicare minefields, or provide an analysis of a particular arrangement under the Federal Stark or Anti-kickback laws, or assist them with regulatory matters.  So how does a healthcare provider find a good healthcare attorney?

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5 Reasons You Should Call Divorce Attorneys in PA

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Jun 11, 2015 1:00:00 PM

When it comes to divorce, advanced planning can go a long way.  Recognizing and prioritizing your divorce goals from the start will save you time, money, and stress throughout the divorce process.  Part of this planning should be finding and contacting experienced divorce attorneys in PA.   Skilled divorce attorneys can not only ensure that your rights are protected throughout your divorce, but will be the ones to remove the stressful burden of divorce from your shoulders.  The following are a few important reasons why you should contact experienced divorce attorneys in PA:

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Can an Attorney Stop Debt Collection Harassment?

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Jun 4, 2015 10:30:00 AM

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Many individuals, families and businesses across Pennsylvania have all been adversely impacted by the economic recession.  While the recession may be over for some, others are still feeling the effects of increased debts and obligations that remain unpaid.  Creditors try hard to collect these outstanding debts. Some use collection agencies that send nasty letters and make annoying and consistent phone calls. But, creditors cannot harass you for payment.  There is a very specific law known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that governs how creditors are lawfully able to pursue the collection of unpaid debts.  An experienced debt collection lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected.  

What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you.  This includes collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them.

The FDCPA covers almost all types of debts, other than those you may incur in running a business. Debts covered under the FDCPA often include credit card debt, medical debt, and your mortgage. 

What does the FDCPA prevent?

While the FDCPA is not a complete barrier from communications made from a debt collector, it does set forth a number of specific, inappropriate things debt collectors cannot do. For example:

  1. Harassment - They cannot "harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact." Debt collectors cannot threaten violence/harm, they cannot publish your name, they cannot use profane language, or they cannot repeatedly call you to annoy you.

 

  1. False Statements - Debt collectors cannot lie when attempting to collect a debt.
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House of Representatives Vote to Repeal Federal Estate Tax

By Jason Martin, Esq. on May 28, 2015 11:30:00 AM

As reported in a recent article on syracuse.com,  in a 240 to 179 decision, the House of Representatives voted on April 16, 2015 to repeal the Federal Estate Tax.  While the bill to repeal this tax has passed, President Obama has threatened to veto the bill.  He made clear that he wants to raise the tax rate, not eliminate it, as it only affects approximate 5,400 estates per year (less than 1% of all estates), but would generate approximately $269 billion over the next decade. This bill will soon become a point of contention in the 2016 presidential race.  

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Analysis of a Common DUI Case

By Jason Martin, Esq. on May 21, 2015 11:20:00 AM

At approximately 4:25 a.m. on April 20, 2015, Upper Dublin police found Kendall Brown asleep behind the wheel of her running vehicle in front of her house in Montgomery County, PA.  Showing signs of intoxication, the police did not hesitate in charging her with driving under the influence, even when Ms. Brown refused to submit to formal blood testing and the police did not actually witness her driving under the influence.

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US Supreme Court Ruling - Police Cannot Detain Suspects to Wait for Drug-Sniffing Dogs

By Jason Martin, Esq. on May 15, 2015 9:00:00 AM

On April 21, 2015, in a 6-3 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in the case of Rodriguez v. United States that the 4th Amendment prevents police from detaining a suspect without probable cause, even for as little as 10 minutes during a traffic stop in order to wait for drug-sniffing dogs to be able to investigate the vehicle.  This case marks an important decision for citizens and PA criminal lawyers alike, as US Supreme Court decisions regarding constitutional protections are rare and significantly affect criminal defense strategies moving forward.

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Police cannot pick and choose when to charge you with criminal offenses

By Jason Martin, Esq. on May 11, 2015 12:08:00 PM

Under Pennsylvania law, 18 Pa. C.S.A. §110, when police observe you committing a number of criminal offenses at the same time, they are forced to bring all of these charges against you at once, or not at all.  This is called a "compulsory joinder" of charges and the Pennsylvania Superior Court recently dealt with this issue directly in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Steven Wayne Dillow, ruling that police could not initially file charges against a defendant for disorderly conduct and public intoxication and, only after he pled guilty to them, file subsequent DUI charges stemming from the same incident.  Experienced PA criminal lawyers use cases like this as a solid basis to argue that subsequent charges should be dismissed or simply to calm down a client who is scared that subsequent charges may be forthcoming.

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