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Home Page > Law > Personal Injury > Understanding Attorney Independence

Understanding Attorney Independence

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Posted: Feb 07, 2011 |Comments: 0
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The independence of the American lawyer is a vital factor in American life, but it doesn’t mean a blind allegiance to the client or opposing all changes to the legal profession, according to a Colorado Supreme Court justice. What you can apply to trial lawyers and the entire community of legal professionals is the concept of attorney independence. Regardless of your perspective and what kind of practice you have, every lawyer shares a profound mission and that is to give objective, sound legal advice to his or her clients.

Two elements are involved when you take the matter of lawyer independence into consideration. All lawyers have duties to their clients and other people cannot control them. Aside from government issues, self-interest, and public opinion, a lawyer can work for other clients too.

A lawyer’s duty to the client is easily marred because of another duty which is to the legal system. With regard to these notions, the both of them matter in the legal profession. Because of this, the stress continues for the lawyers. A lawyer is limited to acting independently on behalf of the client and this is it.

For a lawyer, he or she can only be the mediator. The conscience is a personal thing which cannot be shared. The capacity to follow the rule of law allows a lawyer to be independent.

The ability to assist the client within the framework of the law is demanded from all lawyers and they should be able to give the client objective advice about the case when needed. If the client will not be in a good position, the lawyer needs to do everything in his or her power to keep a client out of court.

Almost always, independent lawyers play very important roles when it comes to political or unpopular cases. When it comes to the criminal defense bar, a lot of hostility comes from the general public. The legal profession is suffering because of this.

The second thing that causes us a lot of problems is the age old debate. Here, the question remains of whether this is a profession or a business but with what has been happening through the years, it is safe to say that what we have here is more of a business than a profession. Examples include lawyers in lieu of fees going into business with clients, including in the new dot.com e-businesses.

Apart from exorbitant legal fees, you need to address the pressure to include lawyers in multidisciplinary practices, a belief that the law is complex and lawyers spend most of their time in arcane paper shuffling, and lawyer advertising creating the impression a law practice is a business and not a profession in this case. There are more concerns because of the culture of law itself. This job is demanding and what it needs are people who can stand the long hours and the incapacity to have a social life.

In such a profession, change is good as it allows the core values to be safe from being compromised. What the people here want to do is progress without changing and this is where some of the difficulties will arise on your part. In order for change to be a possibility, the functions of independence and client confidentiality should not be compromised.

 

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Understanding DUI Scientific Evidence: Leading DUI Defense Lawyers on Utilizing Expert Witnesses, Understanding Chemical and Field Sobriety Testing Procedures, … Trial Strategies (Inside the Minds) Reviews

Understanding DUI Scientific Evidence: Leading DUI Defense Lawyers on Utilizing Expert Witnesses, Understanding Chemical and Field Sobriety Testing Procedures, … Trial Strategies (Inside the Minds)

Understanding DUI Scientific Evidence is an authoritative, insider s perspective on the evolving technologies and procedures associated with the evidence of DUI charges. Featuring partners and shareholders from some of the nation s leading law firms, these experts guide the reader through the key stages and steps involved in successfully defending a client accused of driving while under the influence. Emphasizing the ability of an attorney to help their clients weigh their options and select the best course of action, the authors discuss the most important considerations when developing a strategy based around scientific evidence, including utilizing an expert witness, understanding the prosecution process, interpreting chemical and field sobriety test results, and researching the latest DUI technologies. From explaining options to clients and analyzing the costs associated with DUI defense to predicting the upcoming changes in DUI law, these top lawyers examine the challenges of working with DUI scientific evidence as well as how best to keep on top of new developments. The different niches represented and the breadth of perspectives presented enable readers to get inside some of the great legal minds of today, as these experienced lawyers offer up their thoughts around the keys to navigating this ever-changing area of law.

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Appendix H: Driving While Drugged and Related Issues
Appendix I: Gas Chromatography Gold Standard and Quality of Chromatograms and Other Error in Gas Chromatographic Procedures
Appendix J: Scientific/Medico-Legal Defenses in Alcohol Testing
Appendix K: Hospital Tests are Generally Different than Crime Lab Testing Procedures
Appendix L: Retrograde Extrapolation and the Rising Alcohol Defense
Appendix M: First Conference Questionnaire
Appendix N: Investigation Outline
Appendix O: Request for Discovery
Appendix P: Expert Witness Introductory Questions
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Appendix R: DUI Intake Questionnaire

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Contribution Of Psychology To Understanding Of The Judge And Jury Decisions


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Contribution Of Psychology To Understanding Of The Judge And Jury Decisions

Contribution Of Psychology To Understanding Of The Judge And Jury Decisions


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Contribution Of Psychology To Understanding Of The Judge And Jury Decisions

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Introduction

There have been numerous applications of psychology in the courtroom. This scenario has become quite common to the point that it is replacing religious witness evidence. However, it should be noted that most of the time, there are instances in which psychology may not be appropriate. This is because the objectives for these two areas of specialty i.e. psychology and the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system aims at giving punishment for those who have done wrong while the field of psychology mostly focuses on the reasons behind the offender’s actins. When the criminal justice system pays too much attention to psychology, it may result in the excusing of various issues and this will impair the administration of accountability. (Vidmar,1989, p1-8)

However, one must not undermine the role that psychology plays in the process of determining the true offender and in the protection of victims. In relation with this, there are also certain factors that have to be considered when dealing with particular such as experts. Details of psychology in the courtroom and in other aspects of the criminal and civil system will be examined in detail below.

Analysis of how law and psychology interact in the civil and criminal justice system

The psychological role of non-verbal communication in the justice system

There are certain psychological factors that come into play when analysing the criminal and civil justice system. The first one to be considered is communication. Communication is the transmission of information. It can be divided into three main components. These are

verbal communication
vocal communication
non-verbal communication

Verbal communication involves the use of written or oral formats to convey specific messages to other parties. Vocal communication involves all the audible aspects of communication such as tone, pitch of voice, rate of speech, intonation and inflexion. In this form of communication, focus is kept on how the message is conveyed rather than the subject matter itself. Lastly, there is non-verbal communication; here, there is consideration of visible elements such as personal appearance, facial behaviours, body orientation, posture, touch, gestures, eye contact and even eye movement. Auditory cues are the main consideration in this form of communication.

Psychologists normally assert that the most influential form of communication in the courtroom is the non-verbal form. Others have argued that in case jurors or judges are faced with situations where the statements presented to them are in contradiction with each other, then chances are that those jurors will rely on non-verbal forms of communication rather than the actual word spoken. It has been shown that many jurors have been convinced by some forms of communication that are not as direct as the spoken word. So influential are these gestures, postures etc, that some jurors may judge the case in favour of the defendant or the prosecutor depending on which side produced the most appealing or positive form of non-verbal communication. (Pennington and Hsati, 1986, 242-258)

As a matter of fact, there are numerous attorneys who use this psychological aspect to sway their jurors’ decisions. They may inform their clients; witnesses, suspected offenders and victims about some these tactics so as to win the hearts of the jurors. For example, when a victim wishes to depict feelings of insecurity and lack of confidence in themselves, then they are likely to avoid eye contact. Some may be slump their shoulders and talk in mild tones. However, this can also work against them because those same gestures can be interpreted to mean that that given individual does not believe in themselves. Sometimes when lawyers want to make their clients seem influential and powerful, then they may advice them to make use of expansive gestures. This is because such gestures normally make those given clients take up more space and thus seem more powerful. (Pennington and Hsati, 1986, 242-258)

It should be noted that non-verbal communication also applies top members on the other side of the bench. During the selection of jurors, there are certain indications that may depict a give juror’s personality. Attorneys have been made aware of some of these features. For example, jurors who do not make eye contact often are less likely to pay attention during court proceedings or chances are they may not focus on details. Psychologists have been quick to asset that not all of these signs are accurate and they must not be interpreted on their own. Psychologists assert that when attorneys wish to include non-verbal communication as an element during the process of jury selection, they should be look at it in the context of other broader psychological theories. This is something that should be done with the help of experts in this particular field. It should also be noted that when lawyers wish to make this form of communication work for them, they should conduct mock trials where they will read signs depicted by neutral parties and then apply it when coaching their witnesses, defendants or victims.

One can therefore conclude that non verbal communication is something that can be used by lawyers to manipulate the jury in order to bias them. Attorneys are usually bound by the law to defend their clients enthusiastically. They should therefore employ all methods available to them in order to defend their clients. This is why some trail lawyers may even hire behavioural scientists in order to coach their clients on appropriate non-verbal methods of communication. The reason why this method of coaching can work for them is because victims/defendants/offenders are more likely going to pay attention to a specialist than their own lawyer. They normally realise the seriousness of the case after they see that a psychologist has been hired specifically for the purpose of coaching them on their conduct in court. Consequently, they will listen to every word that the psychologists tell them and will implement in court. The same could not have been witnessed if it was just their lawyer who was advising them on their behaviour in court. (Ellsworth, 1989, p205-224)

The use of non-verbal communications or tactics to woo jurors is not something that poses lots of ethical implications for the trial lawyer. Ethical considerations mostly apply to forensic psychologists hired within the trial. This is because forensic psychologist have certain guidelines that control the way the conduct themselves when giving expert testimonies. However, this is something that is still; under debate today. Psychologists have not fully exploited the area of behaviour consultation. Some have argued that there is nothing wrong with the involvement of psychologist in the process of jury selection. The jury is normally biased towards the prosecution, it would thereafter be appropriate for trail lawyers to bring in additional elements to help them tip the stakes. However, there are some who believe that involving psychologists in the trial will affect how neutral the jury will be.

The psychological role of race in the criminal and civil justice system

In the UK, most jurors are normally involved in conducting criminal rather than civil cases. It should be noted that jurors are selected randomly. This is in line with statutory requirements for the process. This may sometimes result in a jury that has a larger percentage of whites or blacks. This may eventually affect their decisions; a fact that has been debated and challenged in courts within the UK ever since the 1980s.

However, some people have argued that race is not an issue that may bias jurors’ decisions in the courts. In R v Bansal et al [1985] Crim. L. R. 151, there was a defendant who claimed that the jury was going to be bias towards him because they were all of a different race. However it was ruled that this should not be a factor that should be considered during the process of selecting the jury since this would have an influence of the degree of randomness of the election process. In another case, R v Smith, the defendant had been accused of assaulting a white victim. At the same time, the jury selection process resulted in the formation of a jury that had only white members. The defendant felt that these members would have a bias towards him and he therefore petitioned the case. This petition showed how there are certain preconceived notions that may exist based on race. (Gordon, 1990, 971-983)

In the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 6, there is a strict requirement that all defendants have the right to fair trial. This Article was applied in the case of Saer v UK. Here, one of the jurors made racists statements about the defender during the trial. A complaint was lodged to dismiss the juror but the judge in question ruled in favour of the juror. When the European Court intervened, it found that the judge had violated Article 6 since he was denying the defendant a right to have a fair trill. The European Court requires that all jurors should be seen as objective in the process of administering cases; something that was distinctly missing in this particular case.

One can therefore conclude that the main psychological factor that comes into play during the judging process especially among jurors is a bias against ethnic minorities. Some jurors may have the preconceived notion that certain ethnic groups have higher probability of committing crimes than others and may prematurely conclude that they are guilty without considering all the evidence presented before them. This psychological factor arose as early as ion the thirteenth Century. At that time, there was a need to defend Jewish offenders against bias. This necessitated the idea of a split jury where half of the members of the jury had a Jewish background. This is especially relevant in the nineteenth Century where there were other ethnic minorities that were incorporated into the ethnic minority issue. It should also be noted that most of these biases are likely to arise when the cases to be tried deals with race related issues. Research conducted in the US by Gordon (1990, p 81) on this topic depicted that there are more chances for bias when black jury members dominated the bench rather than white juror. This is because they tended to have preconceived ideas about the actual defendant.

Gordon (1990, p 81) found that judges or jurors tended to have stereotype tendencies. He claimed that certain offenders would be affected by demographic characteristics and that judgement tended not to favour them depending on the kind of background they had. For example if a white person has been accused of fraud, then chances are that most jurors will have a bias against them and may decide that they are guilty of the crime. Similarly, most jurors will decide against the defendant if he was a black person and had been accused of committing armed robbery. Overly, however, it was found that black jurors tended to be less sympathetic towards criminals and gave them seemingly severe sentences even when the crime committed did not fit that particular crime.

Psychological factors relevant at each stage of the criminal justice system for victims, witnesses and suspected offenders

Pre-trial

There are certain psychological factors that come into play during consideration of the victim before they are taken into trial. One of the pre-trial factors that must be considered is the emotional damage that occurs to these victims during the process of waiting for trial. Sometimes the anxiety created prior to the trail might affect the way the present their case to court. It may be possible to find that certain victims, especially younger ones, tend to get scared and choose not to reveal all the necessary information to convict the offender of their crimes.

During the trail

During the actual trial, there are numerous psychological factors that come into play at that time. For example, if a certain case is being tried by a jury, judges are still relevant in order to control the court process. There are certain psychological factors that do come into play during such trials. Blanck, Rosenthal and Cordell (1985, p 82) assert that if a judge has a bias it may eventually change the final outcome of the trial. They go on to add that his influence is normally not seen directly but manifests itself in less obvious ways. They claim that judges expectations for certain trails usually make them predict how the outcome will become, consequently, this will affect how they go about administering the trail and what the jury will decide at the end of the trial.

It was found that sometimes certain judges develop a bias if the defendant happens to have a past criminal record. (Blank et al, p92, 1985) Such judges will conduct the trail in such a way that the defendant will have it difficult to plead his case. Similarly, defendants are also at a disadvantage during appeal cases. This is because reports read at that time normally do not contain information about certain gestures or signs that could have caused a bias in the court. All the appellate court will have going for them are written words that may not necessarily give the true picture of the entire process.

Ellsworth (1989) conducted a research on the effectiveness of jury systems in the civil and criminal justice system. He found that jurors are indeed effective because there is some group psychology that comes into play when there are many numbers that are required to make a decision about something. He asserted that such larger numbers tended to be more objective and tended to have higher chances of coming up with fairer decisions. On the other hand, there are certain cases in which psychological factors in group psychology negatively influence the jury as oput forward by Vidmar (1989). This is because he believes that sometimes some jurors may have greater experience when dealing with certain types of cases. However because of group psychology, it is often seen that these expert opinions are denounced from the case. It should be noted that this will make the jury less competent.

Vidmar (1989 continues to argue that there is little evidence to show that if one individual was to carry out judgement rather than many; i.e.  a judge rather than a jury, most of the time the same conclusions are made. A research examining 3000 cases found that about seventy eight percent of the decisions arrived t by the group was similar to that made by individuals.

Post trial

Vidmar (1989) claims that the remaining twenty two percent tended to favour defendants rather than prosecutors. In group psychology, there is a tendency to do good will. So most of the jurors felt that it would be better if they let someone who was guilty of an offence go free rather than placing an innocent man behind bars.

It is also of fundamental important to understand the psychology behind the decisions made by jurors after trials have been completed. Pennington and Hsati (1986) found that most of the time, jurors make their decisions based on establishment of a story that fits their particular situation. They usually try and make fixes within stories through this type of approach. Most of the time, there may be missng links, juries usually establish stories to fill in those gaps. The stories themselves re related to the fact that actions themselves have cause and effect. Ellsworth (1989, p223) found that as the juries continue deliberating the case, they eliminate facts that may seem irrelevant or they may decide to eliminate all the scenarios that seem illogical and unreasonable.

Reskin and Fisher (1986) found that most of the time, there is application of community norms and values during the decision making process. Most of the time, jurors do understand the importance of the law but may not fully understand it. But part of the reason why the Constitution allowed jury laws is such that the criminal justice system would try and balance between the law and community norms. Jurors normally mix the evidence presented before them community values.

Tanford and Penrod (1986) bring out fundamental issues regarding the voting process made by juries and psychological factors that come into play. First of all, it is extremely difficult to determine whether or not a certain jury will decide on verdict then create a story around it or the opposite. If they choose the opposite, then chances are there will be some forms of bias when making the final decisions. MacCoun (1989) showed that in about ninety five percent of all the cases judged by juries, the final outcome depended upon the initial vote made at the beginning of deliberations. This brings out the important issue of conformity pressure. Most jurors would prefer not to derail the process of deliberation by giving opposite opinions to the norm. Conformity pressure is quite influential even when there may be evidence that is supposed to sway juror’s decisions to the contrary side. This severely affects the level of fairness of such a system and comes in the way of administration of justice.

Another psychological factor that affects jurors and hence the lives of the potential offenders is the attractiveness of the defendant. Darby and Jeffers (2000, p67) found that there in cases where the defendant was perceived to be attractive, jurors tended to see them as individuals who can be trustworthy and who are happy with their lives, they were more likely to be a given a ‘not guilty’ verdict. However, this was affected by the attractiveness of the jurors. When jurors were not attractive and they were handling cases in which the defendants themselves are unattractive, then chances are that they would let them go because they perceive them as similar to them. That is, they both have common characteristics. On the other hand, if a juror was dealing with an attractive defendant and they themselves were unattractive, they would still pass moderate sentences towards them. On the other hand, it was found that offenders who had neutral looks were recipients of severe punishments. (Downs and Lyons, 1991)

Wiener, Staebler, Habert and Shkordriani (1991) found that there were certain preconceived ideas that affected the offenders’ fate within the court room. For example, when a juror had been working with a certain judge for a very long time then chances are that they would not consider their instructions during their deliberations as much as they would have if this was the first time they were dealing with that judge. It was also found by the same authors that jurors who have a lot of experience gave very severe sentences. Psychologists assert that this could be because they no longer hold the belief that one is always innocent until they have been proved guilty. Another factor that could sway their decisions against the offender and towards the victim could be because of the fact that prosecutors representing the state are appear more commonly than defence lawyers. This means that jurors would rule in favour of the prosecutor since they have learnt to trust them. Because of holding these beliefs, such jurors would be likely to pass judgements that are biased.

In order to tackle some of these biases, some countries have opted to blindfold their jury. This would make those particular jurors blind to some of the visual elements that would create the biases.

Current perspectives and insights on legal decagons making based on contested/incomplete data relevant to law and psychology and conclusions

Because the law does not allow conducting research during jury deliberations, it may be difficult to obtain hard data on the psychological factors that affect their decision making process. However, analysts have gone about this deficiency in other ways. For example, one can create a mock trial where certain factors to be determined are assessed. On the other hand, it may also be possible to come up with conclusions on the matter they want to decide. Artificial jury conditions are quite helpful in the process of understanding jury deliberation processes.

Gakuen (2004) conducted a research on the factors that determine the decision making process within groups. He achieved this through the use of experimentation. He created a group in which there were high status members and also low status members. It was found that contrary to popular belief high status members really influenced the mock jury’s decision to influence despite increasing the numbers of the low status members. This depicted clearly as the group’s membership was being decreased. The analysis involved the use of group numbers that ranged from five, four and three. The high status members were found to be quite influential even when there ere greater increases in the numbers of low status members. This experiment was conducted through the Social Decision Scheme analysis.

Role and limitations of expert testimony

Expert testimonies are usually given when the person under consideration is posses enough knowledge and skill in a certain field of specialty. It should however be noted that not everyone with these qualities can be allowed to give testimonies. Besides possessing thwse qualities, one should also posses the qualities given by the Federal rules of Civil Procedure Rule 702. Some of the qualities include possessing;

education
training
skill
experience
knowledge
etc

(Tanford & Penrod, 1986, p322-347)

All these must be found to be relevant to the actual case under consideration. They must have the ability to apply their expertise in the process of scientific research pertaining to the question under consideration. On top of this, the evidence presented by the expert must be founded on research. Even the way they collected the evidence should be scientifically based or it should be done with methods that are scientifically admissible. Normally these experts are used in the process of determination of some clinical cases. A good example of this is the assessment of parents’ response to children after adoption, some experts may be brought in to assess whether or not certain witnesses are capable of understanding the intricacies involved in the case and whether the evidence they provide can be relied on. It should be noted that experts are not just limited to psychologists. There are other types such as doctors.

Some of the limitations that have been presented for expert testimonies is the cat that they should limit their opinions to knowledge acquired professionally during their service. This is something that may not be adhered to by some experts. Some tend to give information that may not be related to their profession. Besides this experts re suppose to give evidence that has been collected through the use of tools that are appropriate to the specific scenario that they are dealing with. These are some of the ethical considerations affecting the way psychologists go about their business.

It should be noted that there are certain instances when experts; especially psychologists, may give evidence that is not based on scientific validation. There are numerous theories out there that can be used in the process of determining the diagnosis and treatment. There is also scientific information out there that can give explanations about these treatments. Some psychologists hardly apply the right scientific explanation for theories chosen. One example is through syndrome testimony. This form of testimony has exposed a lot of inefficiencies in the legal; system and especially in giving expert testimony. (Darby & Jeffers, 2000, p 67)

Another limitation that exists in the issue of testimonies is the accessibility of draft reports by the other party. The law provides that an opposing party cannot ask for draft reports made by experts in the process of preparing a case for their side. This is so as to protect the witness. Another limitation is that when there happens to be some form of communication between a lawyer and the expert, and then this communication should not be addressed unless it is in very special circumstances. Another limitation exists during the examination of a certain expert. The opposing party is allowed to examine all the relevant facts that the expert used during the process. Besides this, there could be an assessment of whether or not the expert considered all the alternatives available.

Recommendations

Psychology in the pre-trial phase can be witnessed before a certain witness meets the jury. If such a witness happens to be the victim, then chance are that they would develop anxieties about the court and might decide to skip certain crucial information when giving their testimony. It is therefore advisable to minimise waiting periods before witnesses can testify otherwise psychological factors can come into play and impede the administration of justice.

During the trial process, there may be chances of bias that come into play as a result of the non-verbal forms of communication. The best way to deal with this could be through blindfolding the jury for cases that seem particularly susceptible to racial or other forms of visual biases.

Another issue that may result in the trial process is expert testimony. There are certain limitations that may occur. The best way to ensure the best application of expert testimony is through ensuring that the best instrumentation is used and that collection and analysis of the evidence to be presented is scientific. Ethical considerations must be adhered to especially when dealing with issues concerning psychologists as expert opinion. However too much attention should be given to psychological causative factors as those may not be relevant to the particular case.

Conclusion

Psychology has gained wide application in the courtroom scenario so much so that it is replacing religious consultations. Some lawyers normally apply psychology when preparing their witnesses, victims, and even offenders. This is seen as a form of manipulation by some, but my opinion is that there is nothing wrong with it since lawyers must protect their clients.

There are numerous psychological factors that must be considered during the judging process. Sometimes judges may have racial biases, other times they may be influence by too much experience and over familiarity and other times they are affected by conformity pressure.  (Diamond et al, 1989, p 246-267)

The utilisation of expert opinion is also quite instrumental in the criminal and civil justice system. There are certain psychological opinions that may not be relevant to the case or those that were not obtained in a scientific way. IT is therefore necessary to ensure that this is first established before and expert takes the stand.

Reference:

Blanck, P. D., Rosenthal, R., & Cordell, L.H. (1985): The appearance of justice: judges’ verbal and nonverbal behavior in criminal jury trials; Stanford Law Review, 38, 89-151.

Darby, B. W., & Jeffers, D. J. (2000): The effects of defendant and juror attractiveness on simulated courtroom trial decisions. Society for Personality Research, p 67

Diamond, S. S., Casper, J. D., & Ostergren, L. (1989): Blindfolding the jury; Law and Contemporary Problems, 52, 246-267

Downs, A. C., & Lyons, P. M. (1991): Natural observations of the links between attractiveness and initial legal judgments; PSPB, 17, 541-547

Ellsworth, P. C. (1989): Are twelve heads better than one? Law and Contemporary Problems, 52, 205-224

Gordon, R. A. (1990): Attributions for blue-collar and white-collar crime: the effects of subject and defendant race on simulated juror decisions; Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 20, 971-983

Himelein, M. J., Nietzel, M. T., & Dillehay, R. C. (1991): Effects of prior juror experience on jury sentencing; Behavioral Science and the Law, 9, 97-106

MacCoun, R. J. (1989): Experimental research on jury decision making. Science, 244, 1046-1049

Pennington, N., & Hastie, R. (1986): Evidence evaluation in complex decision making; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 242-258.

Reskin, B. F., & Visher, C. A. (1986): The impacts of evidence and extralegal factors in jurors’ decisions; Law & Society Review, 20, 423-438

Tanford, S., & Penrod, S. (1986): Jury deliberations: discussion content and influence processes in jury decision making; Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 16, 322-347

Vidmar, N. J. (1989): Empirical research and the issue of jury competence; Law and Contemporary Problems, 52, 1-8

Wiener, R. L., Habert, K., Shkodriani, G., & Staebler, C. (1991): The social psychology of jury nullification: predicting when jurors disobey the law; Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 21, 1379-1401

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Understanding Copyrights And Trademarks


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Understanding Copyrights And Trademarks

Understanding Copyrights And Trademarks


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Home Page > Business > Understanding Copyrights And Trademarks

Understanding Copyrights And Trademarks

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Posted: Feb 28, 2010 |

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When creators of artistic and literary works are given legal rights, then copyright describes the process. Literary works that are protected by copyright include poems, novels, plays, newspapers, reference works. Artistic works which include drawings, paintings, sculpture, photograph, advertisements, architecture, technical drawings, and maps. Others are databases and computer programs, musical compositions, choreography, and musical composition.

Copyright is important to the creativity of every people. It gives them incentives either in the forms of fair monetary rewards or recognition. The creators are rest assured that they are protected from piracy or unauthorized copying thus they can distribute their works without fear. In return, it enhances knowledge, entertainment, and culture enjoyment across the globe.

Works that are originally created and covered by copyrights have some basic rights which can be passed on their heirs. They are holding exclusive rights to use or give consent other people to use their works through an agreement. The original creator can authorize or prohibit:

–    Reproduction in different forms including sound recording or printed publication.

–    Public performances as in musical works or plays.

–    Recordings in different forms including videotapes, cassettes, or compact discs.

–    Broadcastings via cable, radio, or satellite.

–    Translations to other languages or adaptations. One typical example is a novel used in a screenplay.

Most creative works under copyright require financial investment, communication, and mass distribution upon dissemination using different media. It includes publications, films, and sound recordings. The creators are often selling the rights of their works to companies or individuals who can market their works best to get back what they paid for. These payments are independently made based on the actual work usage, known as royalties.

However, the economic rights entitled to them are limited only to fifty years after the death of the creator as what is stated in the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) treaties. Longer limits on time can be also established by the national law. This will enable the creators as well as their heirs to gain financial benefits over a specified time limit. Moral rights are also included under copyright protection. The creators are given the right in claiming an authorship or opposing the changes made harming their reputation.

Copyright and other related rights are given by individual countries through national legislation. Even international treaties applied some national laws to ensure that a number of rights are granted to the original creators based on nondiscriminatory status. The creators can consult the National Copyright Administration or CLEA (Collection of Laws for Electronic Access) WIPO database.

WIPO, an intergovernmental organization is administering lots of treaties internationally which is associated to intellectual property rights, requests, and government advice. However, it is mandatory for WIPO to give non-governmental organizations or private persons legal advice. It is much better to consult a copyright lawyer for specific matters.

Copyright is not dependent on official procedures. Created works are considered copyright protected upon its existence. It was stated in the Berne Convention about protecting artistic and literary works that without formalities, these works are already protected provided that the country is a part of the said convention.

A system for copyright registration is not provided by the WIPO.  But many countries have national copyright offices. National laws are allowing registration for artistic and literary works to serve some purposes. Copyright can distinguish work titles, or become a prima facie proof used in courts to solve copyright disputes.

A trademark is a word, device, symbol, name, or combination of any of these elements intended or used in business to distinguish and identify the products of one company or seller from products sold or manufactured by others, and indicate sources of the products. To make it simple, a brand name defines a trademark.

Registration of a trademark is not required by the government. However, several advantages can be given if a trademark obtained federal registration. It includes evidences of trademark’s ownership, nationwide constructive notice about the owner’s claim, federal courts jurisdiction can be invoked, registration can be a basis to obtain international trademark registration, and registration can be filed with the customs service of the U.S. to prevent infringing of imported goods.

Understanding the distinction between a copyright and trademark is necessary. It really helps.

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Understanding property division post divorce

By: David Johnson

About the Author

David Johnson, a contributor to legal journals, offers helpful tips on the right approach to legal issues, like post divorce property division. If you are looking for a Dallas family law lawyer, He suggests you to visit http://www.dallasdivorcelawyer.com

(ArticlesBase SC #3656206)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/Understanding property division post divorce





Numerous effects of divorce are perceptible on your life. One such is the effect on your property. What happens to your property post divorce? The answer depends on the state laws that are applicable in your case. As a resident of Dallas, the Texas divorce laws would be effective for you. To understand the intricacies, get in touch with a lawyer.

Before you discuss post divorce property division with your family law lawyer, here are a few frequently asked questions that may come of help.

What is the general property division norm? Texas is a community property state (where each spouse gets 50% of the marital property); however, this rule is not exactly the same as in other US states. Texas courts have the authority to divide the property according to what fits the description of a ‘fair division’.  

What is separate property? Property that any of the spouses owns prior to the marriage, property that is a gift or inheritance qualifies as separate property. If you want to prevent these assets from division, you need to identify and prove it at court. So, if you want to keep your heirloom away from the division, discuss the procedure with your lawyer now.

Who gets the marital home? If children are present, usually the home goes to the parent with primary possession of the children. The objective is to keep the children in their home to minimize the effect of the divorce on them.  

How do you protect your credit? As per Texas laws, any creditor can initiate collection of debts of your spouse if you were a co-signer to the agreement. The legal contract between you and your spouse and the creditor does not nullify because of the divorce agreement. Therefore, it is essential to know how to protect your credit from a Dallas family law lawyer.

What happens to retirement benefits? In most cases, each spouse gets an equal share of the retirement benefits and pension plans. However, there may be a lopsided division if one spouse is more dependent on this for a secure future.

Certain factors affect the division of marital property in Texas. There are as follows:

*    Differences in age and/or health of the spouses
*    Dissimilarity in education, qualification, and so on
*    Disparity in earning capacities between the two
*    Future requirements of the spouse and children
*    Primary responsibility for raising the children

If you are filing for divorce in Dallas, be sure to talk to a family lawyer beforehand to understand its implications on your marital property.

Retrieved from “http://www.articlesbase.com/law-articles/understanding-property-division-post-divorce-3656206.html

(ArticlesBase SC #3656206)

David Johnson
About the Author:

David Johnson, a contributor to legal journals, offers helpful tips on the right approach to legal issues, like post divorce property division. If you are looking for a Dallas family law lawyer, He suggests you to visit http://www.dallasdivorcelawyer.com

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David Johnson, a contributor to legal journals, offers helpful tips on the right approach to legal issues, like post divorce property division. If you are looking for a Dallas family law lawyer, He suggests you to visit http://www.dallasdivorcelawyer.com

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Understanding Divorce and Child Support Lawyers in Tacoma

Understanding Divorce and Child Support Lawyers in Tacoma

Understanding Divorce and Child Support Lawyers in Tacoma


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Home Page > Law > Understanding Divorce and Child Support Lawyers in Tacoma

Understanding Divorce and Child Support Lawyers in Tacoma

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Understanding Divorce and Child Support Lawyers in Tacoma

By: Daniel Hirsch

About the Author

Tacoma Divorce Lawyers handling divorce and family law cases throughout Tacoma and the surrounding areas. Tacoma Child Support Lawyer and Divorce Attorney Tacoma experienced in Washington State Divorce Laws to handle the most difficult cases.

(ArticlesBase SC #997050)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/Understanding Divorce and Child Support Lawyers in Tacoma





The process of finding a divorce attorney Tacoma can be intimidating for individuals. The legal separation must be accompanied by team of Tacoma divorce lawyers on your side, protecting your individual as well as parental rights. The couple has to think a lot before filing for the process. The outcome may have greater consequences on everyone’s future. An expert advice of divorce attorney Tacoma before parting is very much appreciated. Experienced Tacoma Divorce Lawyers can be passionate about the welfare of the clients. The couple must have lived at least for 6 months in Tacoma to file the divorce case.

There are umpteen numbers of Tacoma divorce lawyers available in Tacoma, who are specialized in divorce cases and one has to be real careful while choosing Tacoma child support lawyer. It can be a daunting task to pick the best Divorce Attorney Tacoma. One major criterion to be looked upon is the experience of the Tacoma divorce lawyers. It is not advised to deal only with paralegals. You must have an attorney to attend your case and steer you in the right direction. An experienced attorney might even given expert tips before filing the procedures. Tacoma child support lawyer might suggest you to reconsider the decision to file for divorce which will pave way for re-union. The Tacoma divorce lawyers will be there for you to get the positive result in your case. The lawyer will make you understand the entire procedural details about the case.

Tacoma Child Support Lawyer is equally important as the Tacoma divorce lawyers. These cases will involve parental issues with the children. A non-custodial parent might be jailed for 6 months if they do not abide by the court verdict. The lawyers must ensure that whether the parents are unemployed, financially unstable or filing for bankruptcy, irrespective of all their problems, they must entertain their child support. It is important for the parents to be aware of the details about Tacoma child support lawyer as well as divorce attorney Tacoma.

Retrieved from “http://www.articlesbase.com/law-articles/understanding-divorce-and-child-support-lawyers-in-tacoma-997050.html

(ArticlesBase SC #997050)

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Tacoma Divorce Lawyers handling divorce and family law cases throughout Tacoma and the surrounding areas. Tacoma Child Support Lawyer and Divorce Attorney Tacoma experienced in Washington State Divorce Laws to handle the most difficult cases.

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Californian Governor Schwarzenegger Talks about the Legislation for Prescription drugs

Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke to Jay Leno, and stated that these days no 1 seriously cares about smoking a joint, with respect to the drug – cannabis. Californian Governor Signed a Cannabis Regulation Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger lately signed a legislation that does not let the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana pass as a crime, rather this legislation equates this to a visitors ticket, and the penalty of around 0 or lesser has been s…

By:
Warren Brownl
Lawl
Nov 11, 2010

Rage Against Maura Kelly Continues

Right after Maura Kelly wrote about her thoughts and opinions on the Marie Claire site, her submit has been subjected to hate messages and comments, and individuals have written to the editor-in-chief to do away with the post. But the exact people encourage freedom of speech when the impression is to their liking; that looks a small hypocritical. Maura Kelly is In opposition to Excess fat Individuals Maura Kelly experienced opinionated her take on why unwanted fat people today r…

By:
Adam Parrishl
Lawl
Nov 11, 2010

Lil Wayne in Massive Difficulty

One brush with the law is adequate to last most persons a lifetime. Then there are some of us who just can’t appear to get sufficient. Lil Wayne has been in the news for all the incorrect reasons. Most arms of the law are comparatively nicely acquainted with the world renowned rapper. He would seem to have fallen onto the wayward side. Possession and Prison Right after expenses like ownership of drugs and intoxicants in illegal containers, Lil Wayne has spent a beneficial 8 mont…

By:
Warren Brownl
Lawl
Nov 11, 2010

six hundred girls and ladies raped through mass deportation along Congo-Angola boarder

AFRICA – In excess of six hundred women of all ages were raped through an illegal immigration deportation together the Congo-Angola border. The victims, which included youthful ladies, claimed they ended up locked in confined spaces for weeks while becoming raped by security enforcers. 1 victim died as a outcome of her injuries. The United Nations is at present undergoing an investigation to figure out where exactly the women of all ages ended up being assaulted. The UN is asking…

By:
Johnny Mayol
Lawl
Nov 11, 2010

Demi Lovato in Rehab

Nobody has to contend with the pressures of fame and fortune like those who get it too early in life. History is replete with situations of celeb child actors and singers who have chosen to deal with the anxiety and fame by resorting to consuming, drug abuse, and other irresponsible behavior. Not everyone has a strong family members or faith to turn to which is very sad. Alls Not Nicely A current addition to this infamous bandwagon occurs to be Demi Lovato. This Disney singer – …

By:
Warren Brownl
Lawl
Nov 11, 2010

Five Industrial Diseases That May Lead To A Claim

An industrial disease is one that is attributable to conditions of a workplace, which means you may have the right to make a compensation claim. Here are five serious industrial diseases that you may want to speak to a solicitor about.

By:
Rob Berry-Smithl
Lawl
Nov 11, 2010

Immigrant faces custody fight in Mo court docket

JEFFERSON City, Missouri – A lady in the midst of an immigration fight is asking the Mo Supreme Court docket to give her back again custody of her child who is currently becoming used care of by adoptive father and mother. Encarnacion Bail Romero was sent to jail in 2007 soon after officials performed a sweep for illegal aliens at a poultry plant in southwest Missouri. Romero’s son, now four decades aged, was put up for adoption in 2008 and used in by Seth and Melinda Mosher. Rom…

By:
Johnny Mayol
Lawl
Nov 11, 2010

Found A Foreign Object In Food – Requirements To File A Case

Getting hurt from a foreign object in your food can be a distressing experience. Discuss with a lawyer whether you have enough grounds to file a suit or not.

By:
Daniel Williamsl
Lawl
Nov 11, 2010

Avail the Bets Plumbing Services At Affordable Prices!

Plumber Artarmon is proficient in providing a wide range of plumbing services with the latest technology and tools. If you are located at New South Wales, then they will serve you with the quality services by diagnosing the exact issues.

By:
Daniel Hirschl

Home Improvement>
Bath Showersl
Nov 10, 2010

Acquire a great lawn with Turf suppliers Sydney

Turf Sydney provides you lots of options regarding laying turf and aerating your lawn by different techniques etc. Along with adding value to your property, turf will render you with instant outcomes and has been considered as great for the environment.

By:
Daniel Hirschl

Home Improvement>
Gardeningl
Nov 01, 2010

Go for Recycled Paper Printing Australia

printer Mascot that would help you to get the work done for you in a much lesser time. You can help the world from getting destroyed in a number of different ways.

By:
Daniel Hirschl

Business>
Salesl
Oct 30, 2010

Beneficial Solicitor Services to Settle down Long term Legal Issues

If you are resided inside Manly, Australia then do not feel helpless, you can opt for an efficient solicitor service

By:
Daniel Hirschl
Lawl
Oct 18, 2010

Contact Your Nearest Manly Lawyer to obtain the effective solutions

To find a good network of drinking driving lawyers Manly, you should visit the websites which are offering the best services and ensuring hundred percent positive results

By:
Daniel Hirschl
Lawl
Oct 18, 2010

Get the best Recycled Paper Printing

Recycled Paper Printing can also be used in order to overcome the difficulties as paper is manufactured from the bamboo plant and hence the plant has to be cut off.

By:
Daniel Hirschl

Business>
Salesl
Oct 14, 2010

Finding the right Plumber Chatswood for your needs

You can also get the service of plumber Cremorne where you can expect the ultimate service without having to worry about anything. So if you have got huge amount of plumbing work then you do not have to panic as you can easily get all your work done satisfactorily.

By:
Daniel Hirschl

Home Improvement>
Bath Showersl
Oct 12, 2010

Aerate Lawn to Promote Environment friendly Turf for your home

Most of the environment friendly turf grasses arising in either heavy clay or poor soils gain greatly from the annual lawn aeration to cut down thatch buildup as well as exempting soil compaction. Along with this, the process helps in improving and rejuvenating the flow of air, water and also fertilizers to your environment friendly turf grasses.

By:
Daniel Hirschl

Home Improvement>
Gardeningl
Sep 29, 2010

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Tacoma Divorce Lawyers handling divorce and family law cases throughout Tacoma and the surrounding areas. Tacoma Child Support Lawyer and Divorce Attorney Tacoma experienced in Washington State Divorce Laws to handle the most difficult cases.

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www.garywms.com 727-466-4957 toll-free 888-572-5071 If you are looking for an experienced divorce and family law attorney, contact attorney Gary E. Williams at The Law Firm for Family Law in Clearwater, Florida.
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