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The Fixer: Prominent Legal Analyst and Attorney Mark NeJame
Texting and Driving: Should Florida Punish Those Who Are 'Distracted'?
I think many of us will admit that we have used cell phones to either: talk, text, or email while driving. I also believe we can admit that it can be very distracting! However, in today's technological age and from a business perspective; immediate access to information is essential to running an efficient and effective business.» Read Article
Florida Drug Laws: The Epitome of Hypocrisy
Florida law, Chapter 893 classifies substances according to five (5) schedules. Schedule I substances have "a high potential for abuse and . . .no currently accepted medical use . . . and in its use under medical supervision does not meet accepted safety standards." Heroin, LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin (hallucinogenic mushrooms) are among a few of the substances listed.» Read Article
You can Bet on It..Sometimes
Why is it acceptable to lose money to the casinos and the State of Florida but not to your friends? The answer to that question is because the Florida Legislature said so and because they cannot make any money off of your friends.» Read Article
To Blow or not to Blow
Everyone thinks "it can't happen to me! It won't happen to me!" Well it can and it does happen to you. Everyday people are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). A couple drinks while at dinner, watching the big game or even hanging out with friends can put your blood alcohol at an unlawful level of 0.08 or above. Your body processes alcohol at a constant rate of .5 oz. per hour, regardless of how many ounces you consume. For example, if a 160 pound man has 3 drinks in an hour, his blood alcohol level will be at an unlawful level.» » Read Article
Your Right to Bear Arms
The firearm laws are so contradictory and changing so often that if you ask 100 police officers, judges and lawyers what carrying a concealed firearm is, you will probably get 100 different answers. That isn’t because the law is unclear; it is because most people are unaware of the nuances to this law.» Read Article
ID on Demand
Recently, on talk radio, the issue as to whether or not a police officer could just walk up to anybody and demand that the person present some identification was debated.Some thought that citizens must show identification to police when asked and that it may even be a crime not to have identification on you at all times.» Read Article
In Fear of Foreclosure?
By now, most homeowners facing foreclosure are aware of the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) which offers a way to avoid foreclosure for those who wish to keep their homes and meet certain eligibility guidelines. HAMP has come under public scrutiny for disappointing results in terms of homeowners who have obtained successful modifications and the numerous complaints that Lenders are inconsistent in their treatment of applicants."» Read Article
Do I Qualify For A Loan Modification?
Under Obama's Making Home Affordable (MHA) Plan, every Homeowner who is struggling to make mortgage payments and is in financial distress is entitled to apply for a loan modification. The latest MHA data reveals that Homeowners in permanent loan modifications have seen their monthly payments cut by a median of 40%. That is over $4.5 billion in reduced mortgage obligations in the last year. It's no wonder more and more Homeowners are asking "Do I qualify for a loan modification?"» Read Article
Staying Safe in A Cyber World
In going about our daily lives and utilizing what technology has to offer, we expose ourselves to would be cyber scammers; fraudsters; and bullies. How do we live our connected lives yet protect ourselves from the technology assisted identity thieves, conmen and stalkers? While volumes can be devoted to personal cyber-security, this article will outline a few simple steps we can take to provide ourselves with a bit more protection when dealing with online dating or social networking sites.» Read Article
Solving your collection problems
There is no question that the economy is in a recession. In this current economic environment, your business has undoubtedly experienced difficulty in the maintenance of regular accounts receivable collections.» Read Article
Foreclosures in Florida
It's not difficult, these days, to see the economy effecting residents and businesses around Orlando. When will the economy start to recover? No one really knows. However, one can look to the number of new foreclosure filings as an indicator for whether or not the local economy is recovering. A positive indicator would be if the number of new foreclosure filings starts to decline.» Read Article
Your L-1 Visa Petition: Preventing and Surviving the Request For Evidence (or Notice of Intent to Deny)
Many foreign businesspersons have experienced the anxiety and frustration that occurs after filing an L-1 visa petition. Upon filing the petition, the USCIS issues a lengthy Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). What are the common issues that cause a RFE or NOID? How can this be prevented and if the government does issue a RFE or a NOID, then how can you overcome it? First, let us briefly review some background of the L-1, and then dissect its legal requirements and its evidentiary criteria» Read Article
What is SB 1070; Why is it Understandable, yet Wrong; and What is the Solution
With the Supreme Court's ruling striking down much of Arizona's SB 1070 law, the debate lingers. So who is correct? Is Arizona correct in criminalizing unlawful presence within its borders, or did Arizona usurp too much power in passing this law? This debate isn't easy and emotions can run high on both sides.» Read Article
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: What Notaries Do Not Know!
The trend is definitely there: Every year, numerous members in the immigrant community become victim to those who commit unlicensed practice of law. And this number increases when the government announces an amnesty program or some other form of relief. Innocent people are lured by the bait of "cheap" fees and become victims of "notaries" who mishandle their cases and destroy their chances of ever adjusting status.» Read Article
Keeping the DREAM Alive: A Glimmer of Hope for the Undocumented Youth!
On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States illegally through no fault of their own as young children will not be removed from the United States.» Read Article
EB-5 Visa - Investing your way to a Green Card
Now more than ever, with the slowdown of the global economy, investors from around the world are looking to preserve their capital in a reliable and safe haven. Despite its economic challenges, the United States, still offers the best place to live and invest. Thus, the EB-5 Visa, an abbreviation for the 5th preference employment-based category, is increasingly popular nowadays. Currently, the Immigration and Nationality Act allows 10,000 immigrant visas per year for the EB-5, which are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise.» Read Article
The "O"ther Visa
One often overlooked visa for professionals or those with advanced skills is the "O" visa. The O visa comes from Section 101(a)(15)(O) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Often foreigners and their immigration attorneys reviewing possible immigration options overlook this possible visa. If an alien does not qualify for the traditional business visas, such as the L-1 or E-2, or certain employment visas such as the H-1B or H-2B, then he may still be eligible as an "Alien of Extraordinary Ability."» Read Article
Is ICE being NICE? The True Impact of Obama's New Immigration Policy - Immigration Law Article
Ever since the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security on August 18, 2011, that its agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will consider administratively closing some of the deportation cases, there has been confusion in the community about how immigrants without status can benefit from the new policy.» Read Article
The L-1 Visa: Transferring from your foreign business to a U.S. Office
The L-1 Visa is one of the most common non-immigrant work-related visas. The L-1 Visa is available for foreign national executives, managers and other persons with specialized knowledge who have been working for a non-U.S. company and that may be transferred to a U.S. company. The U.S. company must be the parent company, subsidiary, branch, affiliate or joint venture partners of the foreign company but does not have to engage in the same line of business than the foreign company.» Read Article
Applying for US Citizenship
Becoming a U.S. citizen is a dream for many immigrants to the United States. But unless if you are born in the United States or have acquired citizenship derivatively through a parent, then you must fulfill certain requirements in order to naturalize in the U.S. What are these requirements? Let's review these.» Read Article
The B-2 Option-Your Family's Visit to the U.S.
For those who have immigrated to the United States, there are loved ones in their country of origin, who long to reunite with them. However, bringing your relatives to the States for a visit is not necessarily easy. Unless your relative is a citizen of one of the countries belonging to the visa waiver program, or among those few exempt from a visa, he or she must apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy in their country. Let's review the background and common problems in applying for this visa.» Read Article
Your TAXES and IMMIGRATION Consequences
It is that time of year again . . . to pay your dues to Uncle Sam! But besides just being the only certainty along with death (as the adage goes), taxes can also be necessary for your immigration status. Let us explore how paying, or not paying, your taxes can affect your status in the United States.» Read Article
Transferring your Foreign Business to the U.S.
The L-1 Visa is one of the most common non-immigrant work-related visas. The L-1 Visa is available for foreign national executives, managers and other persons with specialized knowledge who have been working for a non-U.S. company and that may be transferred to a U.S. company.» Read Article
Crossing Borders for Love
As our world becomes more and more intertwined, the romantic metaphor of crossig the seven seas for your beloved becomes a reality. Cross-cultural marriages are becoming part of the norm. But which is better? Filing as a fiance or spouse? Let us explore both options.» Read Article
New Investor Visa - E-2 CNMI Investor Visa
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted a final rule in the Federal Register that creates a nonimmigrant investor visa classification in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The "E-2 CNMI Investor Visa" permits long term investors to reside in the CNMI through December 2014. USCIS will begin receiving petitions for the E-2 CNMI Investor classification on Jan. 18, 2011.» Read Article
Criminal Convictions and Immigration Consequences
If a person is not a United States Citizen, a criminal conviction can subject them to deportation/removal from the United States. If a person has been convicted of certain criminal offenses, including simple or domestic battery, they may be subject to deportation regardless of how long ago the criminal conviction occurred, or how long they have been in the country.» Read Article
More Restrictions for Our Religious Workers
No one is exempt from the complexities of our immigration laws. Not even the clergy. In fact, the religious worker visas have come under more and more scrutiny over the past few years. And now, the new immigration policy creates a hurdle for them to adjust status in the United States.» Read Article
Planning your Trip to the Caribbean
Traveling to the Caribbean is as simple as buying an airplane or a cruise ticket for most. But before you pack your bags, be prepared for all the immigration requirements. Even if you are a U.S. citizen, there could be some surprises along the way. So let's look at what you need to be prepared for.» Read Article
EB-5 Visas: Investing to Permanent Residency
During this time of economic challenges, any immigration policy must make economic and political sense. One such program is the EB-5, which is the fifth preference of the Employment-based classification of visas.» Read Article
A Success Story: Saving a Battered Spouse from Deportation
In November of 2008, a divorced woman of Egyptian origin consulted with us about her immigration options. She was in removal proceedings after her ex-husband, a U.S. citizen, had abandoned the immigration petition he filed for her. Her previous attorney, not seeing any form of relief, had abruptly withdrawn from her case, leaving her unrepresented.» Read Article
What's Missing from Immigration Debate?
What is missing from today's immigration debate? A simple concept that should not be foreign to anyone's human experience; empathy. A perfect example of this deficit is the cold debate surrounding the Dream Act, a bill composed of uncontroversial humanistic policies.» Read Article
Planning for Your Citizenship
Becoming a citizen of the United States is a dream for many immigrants. However, achieving this dream requires careful planning since many find their dreams unexpectedly shattered. This article reviews the basic eligibility requirements for naturalization while warning of some common pitfalls.» Read Article
The H-1B Visa: Background & UPDATES
The H-1B Visa is a valuable employment-based petition. This article seeks to inform our readers of some basic aspects of this visa, while also advising of its complexities. The article also contains some important updates.» Read Article
Temporary Protected Status for Haitians
Following the devastation from the January earthquake in Haiti, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security took measures to provide protection to certain Haitians in the U.S. For one, the government temporarily halted the deportation of detained Haitian immigrants. Moreover, the government announced a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.» Read Article
Amnesty: Are We There Yet?
Where is a magic mirror when you need one? Much of the immigrant community and the immigration lawyers have been waiting for amnesty or some type of immigration reform. They all wonder when it will arrive. But before we have reform, we must understand why reform is needed; and also what kind of reform is needed.» Read Article
She finally discovered Mr. Right. She met him in an online chat room and so their relationship began. But he was abroad. She had gone to meet him several times and ultimately they decided to marry. Accordingly, she filed a fiance petition for him and upon the issuance of a fiance visa, he gained entry to the U.S. As required by law, they married within 90 days and shortly thereafter, he filed for his permanent residency.» Read Article
What is a Tortfeasor? Helping you Navigate your way Through the Complicated World of Auto Accident Claims
You have just been in an auto accident. What should you do? You will need to collect all of the information about your accident. More specifically, you will need the names of the parties involved in the car accident and the names of any witnesses to the accident. Most of this can be accomplished by calling the police. You should call the police so that a police report or accident report can be generated.» Read Article
Do I Stay with my Personal Injury Attorney or do I Go?
Once you get in an accident and are injured, you decide to hire a personal injury attorney who comes recommended from a friend or advertises on T.V. How much do you actually know about this attorney? How aggressive are they? Will they take an active role in handling your case or just turn it over to a "case manager"? Most importantly, will they actually take your case all the way to trial if necessary? It is important to know what questions to ask and what you should know.» Read Article