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Litigation

White Law Office, Co. > Litigation

What is a Grand Jury?

In Ohio, juries are generally one of two types: Grand or Petit (from the French for small or short) Juries. Grand juries have longer terms of service and consider many cases. Petit juries all called to try only one case.  In this article, we look at the history and function of the Grand Jury. In English legal history, each county had a Grand Jury serving for a term of court (in Ohio a term of court is for 4 months). The King's Judges rode circuits throughout the counties trying to have court in each county at least once per term. Without resident judges, accused persons would often languish in jail for months. The purpose of the Grand Jury was to review the evidence against the accused to see if there was good cause to hold him (the English term is "bind him over to the Sheriff") until the Judge arrived for his trial. The trial would be conducted on the charges or Bill of Indictment issued (the English term is "handed down") by the Grand Jury. The purpose of the Grand Jury was not only to bring indictments against those who probably committed serious crimes but to protect the accused from unfounded or unjust accusations. When a Grand Jury refused to indict a person, they returned "No Bill" and the charges were dropped. The United States adopted the requirement for the Grand Jury in the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, which states: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous...

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What is the difference between a warrant and a summons?

In criminal law, there are two basic ways that a person is informed of the charges against him or her and are brought to court to answer those charges. The first way is one is familiar to anyone who has received a traffic ticket. Few people receiving a minor traffic ticket are physically arrested. Instead of arrest, the police officer issues a ticket or citation that informs the person what they are charged with and when they must appear in court to answer the charge. The portion of the ticket, usually at the bottom, is called a summons. The summons gives the name and address of the court and the initial hearing date and time for appearance. If the offense is subject to waiver, the person may plead guilty and pay the fine prior to the hearing in the summons. If the offense is not waivable, then a personal appearance in court is required. If you receive a summons and do not appear in court, you will become familiar with the second way people are bought to court on criminal charges: a warrant will be issued for your arrest. An arrest warrant is a court order for law enforcement to arrest a person and bring them before the court to answer the charge. If there is time before the court hearing, the person arrested may post a bond to ensure their appearance. For minor offenses, the amount of the bond may be set by a court-approved schedule or the court may set the...

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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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I need a divorce, but where do I start?

One of the most difficult questions that one may ask themselves is, “I need a divorce, but where do I start?” Unfortunately, this is a question that you or a loved one may be asking yourself. Here at White Law Office, Co. we strive to help individuals understand their options and bring peace of mind when facing such tough questions. When facing this tough question, the first option that we discuss with clients is one that White Law Office, Co. strongly suggests and recommends. We strongly suggest that the individuals first attempt mediation. There is an abundance of mediation services throughout the region. In an attempt to save the marriage, we strongly encourage parties to seek mediation first.  However, mediation may not be the best option for you. Depending upon your situation and the issues that you are facing, your starting point may defer. Under Ohio law, there are several options for dissolving a marriage. For instance, a divorce may not be the right choice for you or your loved one. Instead, it may be best for you or your loved one to pursue a dissolution or legal separation.   When you and your spouse cannot agree as to whether the marriage should be dissolved, and a dispute arises between the parties involving marital/ separate property or custody of the minor children, a divorce action may be appropriate. The first step in the divorce process is to draft all the necessary pleadings- including but not limited to:   1.     The Complaint for Divorce; 2.     Motion for Temporary Orders (if necessary); 3.     Required...

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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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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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