Skinner & Associated, LLC

Steps to take if you’re Being Sued, or Suing Someone

If you’re being sued, or suing someone, it can become a very stressful situation. Luckily, with a little guidance, you can decide what the right plan of action is depending on your personal position. The attorneys at Skinner & Associates can assist you both if you’re being sued or if you need to sue someone else.

Being sued

If You’re Being Sued

The first thing you need to do upon hearing that you’re being sued is to immediately contact an attorney so that you do not miss any deadlines. An attorney with experience in the area of law in which your lawsuit involves will be able to give you the best advice on how to proceed. He or she can tell you how to respond to the claims, what your defenses may be, and how to prepare your case for trial. In most cases, your attorney will serve as your agent in court, and will take the responsibility of filing legal forms, talking to the judge, presenting your arguments and generally minimizing the impact of the lawsuit on your life. Attorneys at Skinner & Associates can also help you attempt to settle your case before trial.

If You’re Suing

Whether you’ve been in an accident or have a financial dispute, you may have a claim against someone else. Before suing, the attorneys at Skinner & Associates will discuss the merits of your claim and possible outcomes. Sometimes, alternative dispute resolution such as mediation could assist you in settling your claim without a trial.  At times, settling a case without a trial could save you the cost of taking depositions and hiring experts.

If you’re looking to sue, or are currently being sued and need the opinion and guidance of a lawyer, contact Skinner & Associates today. We can guide you through the entire process, and help you along every step of the way. Call or email us today at 614-664-0200 or info@skinnerattorneys.com. Please visit our website to learn more about the services we offer.

If you're suing

The information at the Skinner & Associates, LLC website is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. Use of this site is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site should seek professional legal counsel regarding their specific matters. Attorneys at Skinner & Associates, LLC would be pleased to speak with interested parties, but we can only represent clients where we are licensed to practice, and where no other bar to representation exists. If the information provided by this website does not comply with the legal or ethical requirements of a particular user’s state or country, we may be unable to represent you. Although we are a general practice law firm, we may be considered a debt relief agency because we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Education Law: What it means to you

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” While we can all agree on the importance of a great education, sometimes there are snags along the way.Education Law in Columbus OH

Education law is one form of law you don’t hear about often. This practice area includes issues such as students’ rights, teachers’ rights, school safety, discrimination, conduct and discipline, special education, curriculum, and education options such as homeschooling and charter schools.

The federal Department of Education funds and regulates all U.S. public schools to some degree, so education law sometimes intersects with administrative law (the body of law governing administrative agencies). In addition, each school district has its own procedures. Our attorneys can assist parents who believe their children’s rights have been violated with where they need to file their grievances.

Student Discipline

Teachers and school administrators need to be able to discipline students to maintain order in the classroom and on campus. Some types of discipline are suspension and expulsion, which are serious actions and can have a lasting impact on your child’s education. Parents who feel their child has been unfairly disciplined may consider legal help and hire a lawyer.

Bullying and Harassment

Bullying and harassment in public schools happens, and unfortunately mobile phones and social media sites have proven to be powerful weapons for school bullies. While virtually all schools prohibit bullying and harassment, some states have also passed laws protecting students. This means schools may be held liable for damages caused by the bullying or harassment of other students or teachers.

Bullying & harassment issues - Reynolsburg OH

Special Education and Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities, including those enrolled in special education programs, have the right to be tested in order to determine what types of accommodations they need. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees access to an education that prepares them for employment and independent living.

If you’re looking for help in the area of Education Law, contact the trusted professionals at Skinner & Associates Attorneys at Law. We have six office locations in central Ohio to better serve our  clients. Call or email us today, at 614-664-0200 or info@skinnerattorneys.com , to schedule a time to speak to an attorney or visit our website at skinnerattorneys.com to learn more about our office and our services.

special education legal issues - Columbus OH

The information at the Skinner & Associates, LLC website is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. Use of this site is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site should seek professional legal counsel regarding their specific matters. Attorneys at Skinner & Associates, LLC would be pleased to speak with interested parties, but we can only represent clients where we are licensed to practice, and where no other bar to representation exists. If the information provided by this website does not comply with the legal or ethical requirements of a particular user’s state or country, we may be unable to represent you. Although we are a general practice law firm, we may be considered a debt relief agency because we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Employment Law at Skinner & Associates

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a job for the first time, or if you’ve recently been terminated, it’s important for you to understand your rights as an employee. Both federal and state governments have enacted a wide range of employment laws protecting employees from discriminatory treatment, unfair labor practices, unsafe work conditions, and more.

Here at Skinner and Associates, we can provide in-depth knowledge on all phases of the employment process, from the interview and hiring stages to promotion, and even termination. In addition, we can provide further information about privacy in the workplace, wage and hour laws, workplace safety, family leave policies, and much more.

Areas where employment law can help you:

  • Hiring Process: Whether it’s your first time looking for a job, or you’re a seasoned professional, it’s always nice to have an employment lawyer on your side.
      • Applications and Interviews
      • Offers and Contracts
      • Contractor or Employee
  • Wages and Benefits: Ensure you’re getting compensated fairly, whether in a new job or promotion.
      • Wage and Hour Laws
      • Fair Labor Standards Act
      • Retirement Benefits
  • Employment Discrimination
      • Race Discrimination
      • Sexual Harassment
      • Religious Discrimination
  • Family and Medical Leave
      • Family and Medical Leave Act
      • State Leave Laws
  • Workplace Privacy
      • Employee Privacy
      • Drug Testing
  • Workplace Safety
      • OSHA
      • Workplace Exposure
  • Whistleblowers
      • Whistleblower Protections
      • Qui Tam Actions
  • Losing a Job: If you feel you’ve been wrongfully terminated, an employment lawyer can help be your voice should you need it.
    • Job Loss Basics
    • Wrongful Termination
    • Unemployment Benefits

Employment laws governs the employer-employee relationship and establishes important rights and regulations that determine what is legal and illegal in the workplace. We represent individuals and companies in a number of employment law areas. If you are an employee and believe your rights have been violated, or are a company and have questions about employment matters, Skinner & Associates will work with you to make sure your rights are protected and your needs are met.

Here at Skinner & Associates, we’re here to serve you. Contact Skinner & Associates Attorneys at Law for a no obligation consultation for a trustworthy, knowledgeable legal team to handle your case. Give us a call today at 614-664-0200 to set up an appointment, or visit our website to learn more about the services we offer and our areas of practice.

Employment Law at Skinner & Associates in Columbus OH

The information at the Skinner & Associates, LLC website is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. Use of this site is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site should seek professional legal counsel regarding their specific matters. Attorneys at Skinner & Associates, LLC would be pleased to speak with interested parties, but we can only represent clients where we are licensed to practice, and where no other bar to representation exists. If the information provided by this website does not comply with the legal or ethical requirements of a particular user’s state or country, we may be unable to represent you. Although we are a general practice law firm, we may be considered a debt relief agency because we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Divorce, Dissolution & Legal Separation

Divorce is one of the hardest decisions a person has to endure.  The undertaking can be emotionally painful and should not be entered into lightly.  Much thought and consideration goes into it before the decision is made. If you decide to proceed, it is critical that you learn and understand the differences between legal separation, divorce, and dissolution.

Legal Separation is an arrangement by which a couple remain married but live apart, following a court order.  In a legal separation, the marriage remains legally intact, but the issues addressed by the court in a final order of legal separation are the same matters that are dealt with in a divorce or dissolution.  

There are many reasons why a legal separation is the road some people take instead of divorce or dissolution of marriage.  

Some of these reasons may be:

  • The emotional impact of being divorced — both parties cannot accept the significant social and psychological impact.
  • Religion – some religions prohibit divorce.
  • Financial considerations to remain technically married.   
    • Health insurance.  Many couples are motivated to remaining married (legally separated) because of  health insurance.  In some employer health insurance plans, the coverage and costs change if you divorce, but not if you get a legal separation.  
    • Social security.    The need to remain married in order to meet the 10-year requirement for social security benefits. The decision to legally separate generally means there is a strong desire to provide financial support to the spouse.

Divorce or Dissolution is a  legal dissolution of a marriage by a court, a couple is  no longer married.  However, in all cases, the court addresses the same matters whether it be  pertaining to residential parent, legal custodian, parenting rights, child support, spousal support, division of property and payment of debts.  Legal separation agreement may later be the basis for grounds for a divorce.  However, the marriage remains legally intact until one of the parties says differently.

Divorce vs. Dissolution:  

While both of these process annul or put an end to  a marriage, there is a difference. It’s important to know when selecting between a divorce vs. dissolution  – a dissolution of marriage in Ohio is a much different process than that of a divorce.

While a divorce may end in settlement instead of a trial, a dissolution begins and ends as a settlement between the parties. Additionally, there does not need to be “fault” for a dissolution like there is for a divorce.

Whether a legal separation, a divorce, or a dissolution, if you find yourself down this path, our attorneys will provide you with the one-on-one attention needed for your family law matters and are here to explain all of your options. Contact  Skinner & Associates Attorneys at Law  or call 614-664-0200 to schedule a consultation. We are here to help you through the transition.

The information at the Skinner & Associates, LLC website is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. Use of this site is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site should seek professional legal counsel regarding their specific matters. Attorneys at Skinner & Associates, LLC would be pleased to speak with interested parties, but we can only represent clients where we are licensed to practice, and where no other bar to representation exists. If the information provided by this website does not comply with the legal or ethical requirements of a particular user’s state or country, we may be unable to represent you. Although we are a general practice law firm, we may be considered a debt relief agency because we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Sources:

https://www.ohiobar.org/ForPublic/Resources/LawYouCanUse/Pages/LawYouCanUse-101.aspx

https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/legal-separation-vs-dissolution-of-marriage

http://loraindivorceattorney.com/practice-areas/divorce-vs-dissolution/

The Importance of Estate Planning

You may have heard of estate planning, but do you know what it entails? It may sound complicated, but an estate plan just refers to the documents that almost every individual needs, regardless of how complex their financial and familial affairs are. The purpose of these documents is to help avoid problems that may arise in the event of your death. Without an estate plan, these problems are often resolved by courts and state law — a sometimes less-than-ideal situation for the surviving family members. A properly-prepared estate plan will let you decide for yourself ahead of time important choices like the care of surviving minor children or pets, division of assets, and who will ultimately be the executor of your estate. Here are just several ways estate planning will benefit you and your family, from the American Bar Association:

  • Get your property to beneficiaries quickly. You can opt to have insurance paid directly to your beneficiaries.
  • Plan for incapacity. This is important if you want to decide in advance what happens if you become physically or mentally incapacitated and life support is in question. You can also choose someone who will make medical decisions for you in the event of incapacitation.
  • Minimize expenses & ease the strain on your family. Good estate planning can keep the cost of transferring property to beneficiaries as low as possible, leaving them more money. It also takes the burden from your grieving loved ones if many of the big decisions, such as funeral arrangements, are prepared ahead of time.
  • Give to your favorite charitable cause and/or establish a trust fund. Have a charity you wish to help out? Or a grandchild whose education you want to assure? Philanthropy and trust funds can be a part of your estate plan, too.

Need assistance planning your estate? Skinner & Associates works with Ohio residents through the estate planning process to create a plan that may include a Will, Living Will, Healthcare and Financial Powers of Attorney, and a Transfer on Death Affidavit, if applicable. If you’re looking for a unique and useful Christmas gift for a loved one, consider an estate planning package from Skinner & Associates. Contact us for more information!

The information at the Skinner & Associates, LLC website is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. Use of this site is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site should seek professional legal counsel regarding their specific matters. Attorneys at Skinner & Associates, LLC would be pleased to speak with interested parties, but we can only represent clients where we are licensed to practice, and where no other bar to representation exists. If the information provided by this website does not comply with the legal or ethical requirements of a particular user’s state or country, we may be unable to represent you.

Although we are a general practice law firm, we may be considered a debt relief agency because we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

A Closer Look at Child Custody

There are many facets to child custody cases, and the law differs from state to state, from married couples going through a divorce, to unwed single parents. Each case is different and takes special consideration. There are various types of child custody, each with their own upsides and downsides. Here are the four main types of child custody in family law, as explained by FindLaw:

Legal Custody

Legal custody gives a parent the right to make long-term decisions about the raising of a child, and key aspects of the child’s welfare – including the child’s education, medical care, dental care, and religious instruction. In most child custody cases, legal custody is awarded to both parents (joint legal custody), unless it is shown that one parent is somehow unfit, or is incapable of making decisions about the child’s upbringing.

Physical Custody

The parent who has been granted physical custody is the parent the child or children will live with. Most modern custody arrangements give physical custody to one parent (called the “custodial” parent) and grant visitation rights and shared “legal custody” to the non-custodial parent. Typically, visitation rights give the non-custodial parent exclusive time with the child every other weekend, alternating major holidays, and a number of weeks during summer vacations.

Sole Custody

A parent with “sole custody” of a child has exclusive physical and legal custody rights concerning the child. These custody arrangements are usually limited to situations in which one parent has been deemed unfit or incapable of having any form of responsibility over a child — for example, due to drug addiction or evidence of child abuse. In sole custody situations, the child’s other parent has no physical or legal rights, but may be entitled to periods of visitation with the child (though those visits may be supervised, especially in situations involving domestic violence or child abuse).

Joint Custody

In true joint custody arrangements, parents share equal legal and physical custody rights. This means that parents participate equally in making decisions about the child’s upbringing and welfare, and split time evenly in having day-to-day care and responsibility for the child — including the parent’s right to have the child live with them. True joint custody arrangements are rare because of their potential to cause both personal difficulties (stress, disruption of child’s routine) and practical problems (scheduling, costs of maintaining two permanent living spaces for the child).

If you are looking for help in the area of family law, look no further than Skinner & Associates. If you have questions or concerns regarding your rights or obligations, we will work aggressively to protect your rights and achieve an outcome that is best for you. We have 6 locations in central Ohio to help serve you better. Contact us today!

Child Custody

The information at the Skinner & Associates, LLC web site is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. Use of this site is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site should seek professional legal counsel regarding their specific matters. Attorneys at Skinner & Associates, LLC would be pleased to speak with interested parties, but we can only represent clients where we are licensed to practice, and where no other bar to representation exists. If the information provided by this website does not comply with the legal or ethical requirements of a particular user’s state or country, we may be unable to represent you.

Although we are a general practice law firm, we may be considered a debt relief agency because we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Skinner & Associates – Now Certified in Mediation

When two parties cannot come to an amicable solution, sometimes they call upon a mediator to help settle the issue. Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution that utilizes an unbiased third party. The mediator does not make a decision but rather provides suggestions and helps to create the dialogue to come to an agreement.

Why mediation?

Mediation is typically quicker, less expensive and a more simplistic way to settle a dispute. It allows both parties to consider all the situations that might have led to the dispute instead of a narrow legal issue. The question of fault and right or wrong is typically not the focus of the discussions, rather coming to an adequate resolution is the goal.

Should you use mediation?

If you are in a position of being unable or even unwilling to resolve a dispute, using mediation is a good option to provide a resolution. Mediation is a short term process which is very structured. The mediator works with both parties by overseeing the exchange of information. They help them find a common ground and resolve unrealistic expectations while determining appropriate solutions. They may also be called upon to draft a settlement.

When mediation is necessary

Mediation is typically a voluntary exercise but can also be court ordered. It is common in a small claims situation, housing issues and family law. It is also occasionally used in criminal court proceedings. While a litigation process involves a judge making the final decisions, in mediation, both parties and the mediator work together to determine the terms of the both the mediation process as well as the final agreement.

After a resolution is reached

When the mediation process is concluded the final agreement can be either oral or written. The laws in the jurisdiction in which the mediation occurs will determine if the agreement is binding. If an agreement cannot be reached the parties can pursue other legal measures to make their claims.

At Skinner & Associates, we are pleased to announce that in addition to our full range of legal practice areas, we are also certified to help clients through the mediation process. If you are considering mediation to settle a legal dispute, contact our trusted team today.  

Mediation Services in Columbus, Reynoldsburg OH

The information at the Skinner & Associates, LLC web site is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. Use of this site is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site should seek professional legal counsel regarding their specific matters. Attorneys at Skinner & Associates, LLC would be pleased to speak with interested parties, but we can only represent clients where we are licensed to practice, and where no other bar to representation exists. If the information provided by this website does not comply with the legal or ethical requirements of a particular user’s state or country, we may be unable to represent you.

Although we are a general practice law firm, we may be considered a debt relief agency because we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Five Things You Should Know About Personal Injury Cases

Being injured in an accident can be a very overwhelming and difficult time. In addition to the physical pain from an accident, you might also be strapped with lost wages and other stressors. Having a qualified attorney guiding you through the process is important as you navigate a personal injury claim.

5 Things You Should Know About Personal Injury Cases in Columbus OH

An insurance company will take the claim more seriously if you have a lawyer – While insurance companies are not out to get the claimant, they certainly don’t want to hand over money if they don’t have to. A qualified personal injury lawyer is well aware of your legal rights when it comes to a personal injury claim. This means that quite often, items that an insurance company might overlook, a lawyer will be sure to include in your claim.

You need a lot of information to go forward with your claim – Insurance companies sometimes ask for medical records, medical releases, statements, examinations under oath, and an independent medical exam. Your attorney can compile the needed documents for you and help you navigate these potential pitfalls.  

It will probably take longer than you think – It is common that a case is not settled while medical treatment is taking place. While your attorney will touch base to ensure that you are doing okay, monitor your progress, and make sure all your bills are being paid during your recovery, the case will most likely commence after all the facts are gathered.

Most cases don’t go to court – Because of the cost of a trial, most insurance companies do not want to go through the process. The only reason a trail typically occurs is if liability or negligence cannot be established or the insurance company will not provide an adequate settlement.

The final decision is yours – While your attorney will make recommendations on how to proceed with your case, ultimately the decision on how to move forward is yours. Your attorney should be acting in your best interest and should not force a settlement. If you do not trust your attorney to make appropriate recommendations, it is probably a good idea to seek another lawyer.

If you or someone you know has been injured because of the negligence of another person, contact the trusted attorneys at Skinner & Associates.

 

The information at the Skinner & Associates, LLC web site is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. Use of this site is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site should seek professional legal counsel regarding their specific matters. Attorneys at Skinner & Associates, LLC would be pleased to speak with interested parties, but we can only represent clients where we are licensed to practice, and where no other bar to representation exists. If the information provided by this website does not comply with the legal or ethical requirements of a particular user’s state or country, we may be unable to represent you.

Although we are a general practice law firm, we may be considered a debt relief agency because we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

What is a Guardianship and Why Does It Matter?

A guardian is a person who is legally responsible for another individual who is unable to manage his or her own affairs. The guardian is appointed by a judge and is able to make a variety of important decisions on behalf of the individual. They are called on to protect the individual and their property. Depending upon the specific terms of the agreement, as well as a state’s rules overseeing this designation, a guardian might be able to make legal, financial, and health care decisions on behalf of the individual. You might be asked to handle the following if you are appointed as a guardian.

  • Oversee and make investments
  • Take care of day-to-day expenses
  • Oversee real estate transactions
  • Handle Social Security benefits
  • Obtain and oversee Medicaid benefits
  • Speak on loved one’s behalf regarding medical concerns
  • Handle insurance claims
  • Oversee distribution of pension benefits

Who Needs a Guardian?

The standards for determining the need for a guardian can vary from state to state. In general, it will be ordered if the individual is unable to make decisions on their own behalf. It must be proven that they are unable to act in their own best interest. A guardian is appointed in the absence of a power of attorney (this includes financial and medical powers of attorney).

Who can be a Guardian?

While the best case scenario is to appoint a family member in the role of guardian, the
State may select a friend, neighbor, or even a public or private agency to take
on this role. This further speaks to the importance of making these important
decisions in advance whenever possible.

Legal Proceedings

A guardianship can be requested by any party who believes it is in the individual’s best interest. This party will likely hire an attorney to file the petition. After this happens, a hearing will be held to determine what is in the best interest of the individual.

If you are looking for more information about guardianship proceedings, contact the trusted professionals at Skinner & Associates. They have six offices to serve clients in Reynoldsburg and throughout central Ohio.What is a Guardianship in the Columbus OH area

Real Estate Attorneys – Here to Assist You in the Complicated Legal Maze

Buying or selling a property brings with it a flood of emotions. From the excitement of finding a place to setting down roots or moving on to a new location, to the apprehension of ensuring that you are getting the very best for your hard earned dollar, there are a lot of things to consider. While a real estate professional may be able to help you choose the best property for your family, they are not always aware of the legal intricacies of the real estate process from both a buyer’s and seller’s perspective. Having a real estate attorney on your side is a great way to ensure the process is handled in your best interest.

  • Real estate transactions are complicated – There are a lot of details that go into a real estate transaction. Buyers need to be aware of any concessions as well as contract contingencies. In addition, if the property you are considering is a leaseback or short sale, there are additional things you need to be aware of that could impact the transaction. An experienced real estate lawyer will help you understand all the terms of the real estate contract and make you aware of any risks that could hinder the process.
  • Legal issues with the property – In addition to the property purchase terms, there are additional things that could have a dramatic impact on the property sale. These might include unknown property liens, zoning restrictions, property easement requirements or issues with the property title. Each of these could have a profound effect on your real estate investment. A qualified attorney will help you understand each of these and determine the best options moving forward.
  • Move negotiations forward – If the deal seems to be faltering, your real estate attorney can assist you in finding options to save the proceedings and get things back on track.
  • Legal ramifications – If the real estate sale ends on a sour note or starts to move in a contrary direction, a trusted real estate attorney can assess your options to determine if you should consider further legal recourse to enforce your rights.

Skinner & Associates Attorneys at Law LLC has experienced real estate attorneys that can ensure your best interests are being met. Contact their qualified legal team to discuss your legal needs.

Real estate transactions in the Columbus OH area