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Rushing to Shop For Christmas Online? Beware Legal Pitfalls

With just days before Christmas, 'tis the season for last-minute holiday shopping. But if you're planning to make up for procrastination by clicking online, you may want to pay closer attention to the fine print. A new Internet shopping survey found that more than half of U.S. consumers say they quickly read, skim, or just plain ignore online legal agreements. You know what we're talking about: Those dense paragraphs and annoying pop-ups that contain so much fine print, most people just scroll to the end and click "Agree."  Only 19% of consumers say they read every word, the survey found. Another...

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What Can Child Support Be Used For?

Divorce can rattle even the most secure parents. It can also leave those parents who don't have physical custody worried about how their ex-spouse is taking care of their children and spending their child support. This leaves many individuals with one lingering question on their mind: what is child support used for? In a previous blog post, we discussed how one of Kanye West's lyrics from his 2005 hit Gold Digger depicted a woman using child support payments for liposuction. Of course, Kanye's example may be on the extreme side. Child support generally only covers expenses incurred when taking care of...

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Is Pizza a Vegetable?

Many parents encourage their children to eat their vegetables - but they usually don't mean "eat some pizza." Pizza as a vegetable has long been a mainstay in student meals. And now, Congress might soon be blocking new USDA standards for federally-funded school lunches that would have encouraged what many consider healthier choices - and eliminated pizza's classification as a veggie. This move comes after Congress decided to propose legislation that eliminates funding for the new standards in an effort to reduce costs. On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to pass the bill. It will go onto the Senate for approval. If...

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Weed, the People: America is Embracing Marijuana

Support for legalizing marijuana is growing, if recent statistics are any indication. According to a survey conducted by Gallup, 50% of Americans say that marijuana should be legal. This is up from 46% last year. And, historical trends show that in 1969 only 12% of Americans favored legalizing marijuana. What else do Americans think about marijuana? Marijuana support highest among younger Americans: 62% of 18 to 29-year-olds favored legalization. Only 31% of those older than 65 approved. Support is also divided amongst political lines. Democrats and independent voters are more likely than Republicans to support legalization. Liberals are twice as more likely...

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Ten (10) Best States for Getting a Divorce

Divorce is in the air. Or not. But if you happen to be contemplating one, you probably want to know which is the best state for divorce. There is no overall "best" place to get a divorce--it all depends on you. For instance, those divorcing cheaters can avoid alimony if they file in Georgia. And only some states split assets 50/50, so stay-at-home parents have a tough decision to make. Nonetheless, Bloomberg has ranked all 50 states from best to worst. They contemplated wait times, separation periods, residency requirements and fees. These are their top 10. 1. New Hampshire. Oddly enough, the state...

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Court Rules Using Cell Phone While at Red Light is a Violation

Calif. Court of Appeal recently ruled that a driver observed using their cell phone in their car as they paused at a red traffic light violated Vehicle Code Sec. 23123, which states that persons shall not drive on public roadways using a wireless telephone unless the phone is configured for hands-free listening and talking, and used in that manner while driving.     This update brought to you by the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Stearman in Fullerton, Orange County, CA. Always a FREE initial consultation at (714) 871-7778. View our websites at www.Stearmanlaw.com and www.MyOCFamilyLawyer.com...

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Police May Be Able to Secretly Monitor Your Phone

Cell phone tracking, a method more prevalent than GPS and wiretaps, sometimes doesn't require authorities to take out a search warrant. This means that in some cases, individuals don't even know their cell phone has been tracked until location evidence is lodged against them during a criminal trial. Some might wonder if this is even legal in the first place. Cell phone tracing has become a mainstay in law enforcement authorities' tool belt, but the legality of their use without a warrant is unclear. Whether or not search warrants are needed depend on what jurisdiction you live in. In some jurisdictions like New...

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Daughter Removed Over $5 Safeway ‘Sandwich Theft’

Be careful what you take- A Hawaii couple was shopping in a local grocery store when the wife, Nicole Leszczynski, felt faint. She was 30 weeks pregnant, so she and her husband decided to munch on two $5 sandwiches while shopping. Except during the course of their trip, they forgot to pay for their impromptu meal. The couple was arrested for the sandwich theft and their 3-year-old daughter was taken away from them by Child Protective Services. The simple errand officially turned into a nightmare. Granted, their daughter was returned 18 hours later, Leszczynski and her husband were both appalled that they...

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Are Oral Contracts Enforceable?

Despite popular belief, oral contracts are enforceable. They usually are not in your best interests, and end in a "he said, she said" battle. But as long as there is enough evidence, a court will enforce an oral agreement. However, there is one particular exception to this rule, and it's called the Statute of Frauds. The centuries-old law is designed to prevent deceitful conduct when contracts have high stakes or long durations. As adopted in most states, the Statute requires a written contract in the following situations: Real estate sales Real estate leases lasting longer than one year Transfers of property at the...

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I Quit. When Do I Get My Final Paycheck?

So, you and your last employer have split ways. You're absolutely over. Except for one little thing. He won't give you your final paycheck! Sadly, this is not that uncommon. Employment situations can end badly - it happens. Employers are often unaware of laws that govern final pay.  If you find yourself waiting payment on hours you've worked, consider utilizing the following information. Whether you quit or are fired, you must be paid for all hours worked. When you are paid is generally governed by state law. There is no federal regulation that requires employers to pay you immediately. California requires fired employees...

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