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Civil Law

White Law Office, Co. > Civil Law

Protecting Your Rights Amidst the Mohican Greenway Corridor

Landowners in the Mohican Valley, Loudonville, Brinkhaven, and Greer areas may be affected by a potential new trail system that is currently being evaluated. This trail is slated to follow Wally Road and would affect parts of Ashland, Knox, and Holmes counties. A new trail is concerning for local landowners. Many of us are asking what rights we have when faced with a public trail system going through our property. If we have a property with a river running through, such as the Mohican River, what are our rights concerning the waterways and access to our land? The idea of increased traffic flow down a river that cuts through the private property can be alarming, as well. What follows are several situations where the public's enjoyment of land could affect and intersect with private property. Right-of-Ways for County Roads: One way that a trail could impact landowner's property is through already-existing roads. Trail systems can widen or alter the route of local roads. Ohio Revised Code Section 5553.03 requires county roads to be at least 30 feet wide, although they can be as narrow as twenty feet if certain conditions are met. The right-of-way of a township road includes both the road surface itself and as much of the land adjacent to the road as is necessary for the safe and efficient use of the road for actual travel and for incidental uses, which could include being broadened to add a bike trail or sidewalks. Roads can also be vacated and turned...

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Social Media and the Law

We are in a social media-driven day and age. On average, internet users spend about 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social networking platforms. Saima Salim, How much time do you spend on social media? Research says 142 minutes per day. With such a significant amount of time spent on these sites, it is wise to be aware of some of the legal issues you could face. There are many aspects where social media and the law collide. Privacy First of all, consider the privacy of the information you post online (or the lack thereof). How often do you put something online and consider whether you would want a judge or prosecutor to view the evidence? Courts are seeing social media used in cases more and more often, especially in divorce cases. If you post something online, it is very possible that it can be used against you in court. Social media sites are built to collect data from you. That is one of their primary goals. They are fueled by companies who advertise to your specific needs and wants. They use a multitude of tricks to get you to give them information, and anyone – including the government – can be collecting this data from you. As the ABA eloquently put it, "In Europe, Canada, and other countries across the world, protection of each citizen's private information is considered to be a human right, secured by statute and enforced by the government and private causes of action. In...

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Finding the Right Fit When Searching for a Lawyer

Lawyers have solutions that can be close to “one size fits all” for simple matters, those solutions are only for the most basic of situations.Every nuance and detail of your situation, no matter how small you might think it is, can cause the recommended solution for your problem to change.This, among other reasons, is why it is so hard to compare attorneys based on price point. Some attorneys will attempt to shoehorn you into a solution that may not be the best for your situation, but it is “low cost.”We have witnessed this when so-called “Trust Mills” come through town.They charge a set price, and they have never met anyone who doesn’t need a Trust.The thing is, we have met plenty of people that didn’t need a Trust.The Trust was overkill for their situation, not set up correctly, and in the end a waste of their money. Legal services should be like a good pair of shoes.They should fit well and last a long time, or at least until your situation changes and you need a different pair.One size fits all solutions in legal services are like one size fits all clothing—they are made in bulk, out of the cheapest material, all to benefit the manufacturer.Yes, it is cheap, but it wasn’t made with you in mind.Having a custom-tailored solution takes time and getting to know you as a person.Sure, at the end of the day, it may be more expensive, but it fits you and won’t wear out too quickly. So if...

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Parental Equal Rights

Equal rights have always been a hot-button issue for Americans. Equal protection of the law, enshrined in the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, is the bedrock for the enforcement of equal rights. There are misunderstandings about whether separated parents have equal rights to their children in divorce. Fathers who feel that mothers are given preference in custody decisions are balanced by mothers who feel that they are at an economic disadvantage if the father is the greater wage earner. It is important to know that in Ohio separated parents start at a point of equality when it comes to making decisions on who the children live with. This policy is found in Ohio Revised Code Section 3109.03 which states: "When husband and wife are living separate and apart from each other, or are divorced, and the question as to the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of their children and the place of residence and legal custodian of their children are brought before a court of competent jurisdiction, they shall stand upon an equality as to the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of their children and the place of residence and legal custodian of their children, so far as parenthood is involved." This is an all too often neglected statute in divorce litigation. Good lawyers are aware of this policy and know how to use it to obtain the best results for their clients. Thomas D. White Senior Partner ...

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5 Questions to Ask When Looking for an Attorney

Finding an attorney adds stress to an already stressful situation. So, when you realize you need an attorney how can you be sure that you find the right one? 1. Does the attorney have a reputation for being able to handle your kind of matter? The single greatest factor in most people’s search for an attorney is personal recommendations. Ask your friends, family, neighbors, pastor, or other service providers who they recommend. Then ask them why they recommend that attorney. Is it because they got the job done quickly? Did the attorney keep them informed? What exactly was it that made them recommend that attorney to you. After looking for personal recommendations, search out the attorney on the internet and on social media. What are other people saying about the attorney? Do they advertise the kind of work you need? Have they written articles on the work you need? Using a combination of personal recommendations and online reviews can help lead you to an attorney that may fit your needs. 2. Does the attorney listen to your situation before recommending a solution? Once you are found an attorney you need to meet with them. This is usually in person, but it can also be done over the phone or via video chat. When you are meeting with the attorney the first time, who is doing most of the talking? That first meeting should start with you doing most of the talking and the attorney asking questions. Every situation is unique, and if the attorney doesn’t take time to...

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Protecting the Family [Tree] Farm: Part 2 (For Future Generations)

My last post mentioned some ways to protect your tree farm from misuse or abuse when logging or selling the timber off your property. But what will become of your tree farm in the future? What if you want to preserve it as a tree farm for future generations? If you have family that will carry on the legacy, a simple Will could be sufficient to keep the property in the family. If, however, you don't have family who wants to preserve the property, or you want to make sure property remains forested long after you and your family are gone, you may be interested in a conservation easement. A conservation easement basically preserves the land as it's being used, whether for typical agricultural products (corn, wheat, soy, etc.) or as a tree farm. You would be giving an organization, such as a land trust or conservancy, the right to permanently enforce the easement on the land – to use the property only for the stated purposes. In Ohio, if you want to receive compensation for having a conservation easement on your land, you could do this through a grant from the Clean Ohio Fund's Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP). In that case, your land would have to meet certain requirements, such as having a minimum of 40 acres, it must contain a restriction against subdividing parcels in the future, and for forested land, it has to have a written Forest Management Plan in place. If you aren't concerned with...

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Embezzlement: How to Catch A Thief (Part 1)

If you are a business owner, how do you know if the person in charge of the books is not skimming off the top? What checks and balances do you have in place to ensure more than one person is looking at the financials? It should be an area that business owners review regularly but often times it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of the business. Things like the bank reconciliation statements and cash flow statements get put on the back burner for review at a later date. So what exactly is embezzlement? Embezzlement is the act of withholding assets for the purpose of conversion of such assets, by one or more persons to whom the assets were entrusted, either to be held or to be used for specific purposes. Embezzlement is a type of financial fraud. It's an employee who has taken it upon themselves to dictate how company money is spent and who feels a sense of entitlement. It's an abuse of power and the trust that the employee has been given. Let's start looking at ways to mitigate the chances of an employee embezzling money and look at potential red-flags. There are various studies done on an annual basis to determine the effects of embezzlement. One of the main things business owners can do to prevent embezzlement is getting to know their employees and looking for different characteristics as described below. The 2018 Hiscox Embezzlement Study states that...

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