Category Las Vegas Family Law

Injured in an Automobile Accident?

Injured in an Automobile Accident?

 

What Should you do Immediately After?

Unfortunately, accidents happen. They come in all shapes and sizes. But, do you know what to do if you are injured by someone else in an auto accident? Were you the driver? Were you a passenger? Were you commuting in a Lyft or Uber rideshare? Believe it or not, many people do not know what to do immediately after an auto accident because they have just endured a traumatic event to no fault of their own.

There was a time not long ago when the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, would not respond to specific auto accidents. That law, however, was changed and Metro is again responding to all accidents.

If you are involved in an auto accident, you should first immediately call 911, especially if you are injured. Accept medical attention if you are injured. Make a police report as soon as possible. The police report is used to gather information about the accident itself, it may contain witness statements, pictures, the police officers account of what he/she believed happened leading up to the accident. Second, police reports are not always accurate, so it is important that after you contact Metro or your local police department, you contact an attorney.

Time is critical right after an accident. If possible, take as many pictures of the accident and the people involved. It is critical to your health should you be seriously injured; and, it is also critical to the value of your case. Going to the emergency room and/or a quick service medical facility is helpful, but it is not the end of treatment. Actually, it is just the beginning. A victim of an automobile accident must seek the proper medical care, whether that be through chiropractic work, pain management, surgery, etc. Your attorney should provide you with a list of medical providers to choose from.

Third, you must maintain the treatment plan. Failure to follow the treatment plan could lead to massive loss of value in a personal injury case. If you cannot get a ride to treatment, find one. If you are forced to miss a treatment day in a given week, make up the treatment in that same week.

Lastly, you must maintain contact with your attorney throughout treatment. Ensure that all documents are being sent from the provider to your counsel, verify that the treatment has a course (i.e. end goal and/or date), and always double check that major medical procedures are approved by your attorney before they are performed.

What is a Fiduciary Duty?

What is a Fiduciary Duty?

 

You may have heard that a lawyer has a fiduciary duty to his or her client, but what is that? A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care one person owes to another. A person with a fiduciary duty to another is expected to practice the highest level of duty and should allow no conflicts of interests to interfere with that duty.

A lawyer’s fiduciary duty means that the lawyer must consider his client’s interests before his own. Other than a fee paid by his client, a lawyer should not otherwise profit from his representation of his client. The client is usually in a position of vulnerability or reliance on the lawyer and the lawyer may not take advantage of that position.

Contact vegaswestattorneys.com for all of your legal needs.

Joe Ricco Receives AV Rating

Vegas West Attorneys is proud to announce that Joseph W. Ricco has been awarded with an “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell. AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment voted on by Mr. Riccio’s peers and is a testament ranking him at the highest level of professional excellence. Mr. Riccio joined Vegas West Attorneys in 2016 and practices in primarily in family law, criminal law and personal injury.

Child Support Awards to Increase July 1, 2017

Every July, the presumptive amounts of child support awards increase based on the Consumer Price Index.  This year, the increase is modest, but the new presumptions are as follows:

 

$0 – $4,235.00 per month…….…………………….$681.00

$4,236.00 – $6,351.00 per month………………….$749.00

$6,352.00 – $8,467.00 per month………………….$820.00

$10,586.00 – $12,701 per month…………………..$886.00

$12,702.00 – $14,816.00 per month………..……..$995.00

$14,817.00 – no limit…………….……………….$1,092.00

Nevada law provides that every parent is entitled to an automatic review of his or her child support obligation at least every three years.  If you believe that you are entitled to an increase or decrease in your child support obligation, make an appointment with one of the family law lawyers at Vegas West Attorneys.

Attorney Carli L. Sansone was recently published in the May 2017 edition of Nevada Lawyer Magazine

Attorney Carli L. Sansone Publishes Article in Nevada Lawyer

Vegas West Attorneys is proud to announce that an article written by Attorney Carli L. Sansone was recently published in the May 2017 edition of Nevada Lawyer Magazine. The article discusses the possible risks and benefits that might occur when lawyers bring their dogs to work.

Follow the link to view the article:

https://www.nvbar.org/wp-content/uploads/NevadaLawyer_May2017_BackStory.pdf

Five Thing You Should Know About Recreational Marijuana in Las Vegas

FIVE THINGS ABOUT RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA YOU WANT TO KNOW BUT ARE AFRAID TO ASK

 

On November 8, 2016, Nevada legalized recreational marijuana to the celebration of a great many folks. But as some partygoers in Elko found out on New Year’s Eve 2016, marijuana does not flow as freely as booze even in states which have legalized it.  

Here are five questions you might want to be answered before you roll your next fatty.

Is it really legal? The answer to this question is yes and no.  Yes, Nevada has legalized marijuana for recreational use for those over the age of 21 beginning the first of this year. Nevada’s law, however, does not change marijuana’s Schedule 1 classification under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Any possession, cultivation, or use of marijuana is still a federal crime.  The reason that people can freely smoke pot in states such as Colorado, and now Nevada, is that the federal government has selectively chosen how it enforces its laws regarding marijuana. Outside of certain “enforcement priorities,” the Obama Administration has relied on states and local law enforcement agencies to address marijuana activity through enforcement of their own narcotics laws. Just beware, this hands-off approach to the Controlled Substances Act can change at the whim of a new administration.

How much can I possess? Keeping in mind that possession of any pot is a crime under federal law, Nevada permits you to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana or up to 1/8 of an ounce of marijuana concentrates such as oils and wax.

Where can I smoke it? Just because pot is legal, does not mean that you can smoke it everywhere.  If you plan on lighting up at your next tailgate party, make sure to do it inside the truck when it isn’t moving.  The law prohibits consuming marijuana in a public place, in a retail marijuana store, or in a moving vehicle.  A public place is “an area to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted regardless of age.”  This includes bars, casinos, and even hookah lounges.

Can I grow my own? Yes, and, then, probably not.  It is now legal in Nevada for adults to cultivate not more than six marijuana plants for personal use. The weed must be grown on property that you own or occupy and in an area that is locked and not visible from a public place.  The catch — and this is a big catch — is that you must not live within 25 miles of a retail marijuana store.  When such stores finally open in a few months, the law will prevent Nevada’s urban population — over 80% of the state — from growing its own pot.  Oh, and in case you are wondering unless you are a licensed marijuana dispensary, you cannot sell what you grow.  To do so would be a felony.

Should I smoke pot?  Just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t mean you should.  Although the concept of marijuana as a gateway drug has pretty much been debunked, marijuana still carries a “high potential” for abuse and can result in psychological dependence.  Studies in 2012 showed that around 4.3 million individuals meet the diagnostic criteria for marijuana dependence.  

Tax Exemptions of Children After A Las Vegas Divorce

Tax Exemptions of Children After a Las Vegas Divorce

Part One

Are you the non-custodial parent and entitled to claim one or more of your children for the child tax credit, exemptions, and other tax purposes? Did you know that even with a Court Order as a part of your divorce or custody matter, that the IRS might reject your trying to use that entitlement if the other party elects to make the claim despite giving it to you? In simple terms, that is because Federal Law preempts State Law, and the IRS operates under Federal Jurisdiction and will follow the Tax Code regardless of your agreement or Court Order. The IRS will look to the guidelines as set forth in the Tax Code and give the claim to the person who meets those guidelines. And, this can occur, even after you’ve taken the benefit, resulting in the IRS asking you for a refund, perhaps of money that you already spent.

So, what is a person to do if they don’t meet the tax code guidelines but by agreement, often a compromise that is negotiated, the other party releases their rights to the child tax benefits and gives them to you. The issue can be complicated and the remedy often means going back to Court, but there is a much simpler solution.

The simple solution: Have the other party, the party with primary physical custody, or who has the child more than 50% of the time (even a joint physical custodian often has less than 50% of the time) sign IRS Form 8332. Form 8332 is to provide an approved release of one’s tax benefit entitlement and give it to the other party who would not be entitled to the benefit pursuant to the tax code guidelines. Form 8332 is named “Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent”. The name says it all. The form can be used to get the custodial parent to release for just one year (part 1) or for multiple years (part 2). But, be aware, that the custodial parent can always revoke their release (part 3), but that revocation would not take effect until the tax year after the calendar year in which the release was initially given. Thus, best practice would be to have the custodial parent sign form 8332 each year that you, the non-custodial parent intends to take the benefit.

What is “Discovery” in a Court Case?

“Discovery” in the context of litigation is simply a means of obtaining information from the opposing party, or a third party, for purposes of the litigation. A brief explanation of the most frequently used discovery tools follows:

Interrogatories: Interrogatories are written questions sent to the opposing party. Each interrogatory must be answered in writing, under oath, within 30 days, absent an extension. Each party is limited to 40 interrogatories. Interrogatories are most effective for acquiring narrowly tailored information, to include things like the locations of financial accounts and the basic identification of other assets and debts.

Request for Documents: Any party may serve on any other party a request to inspect and copy any documents within the control of the party. The request must be satisfied within 30 days. Document production is often the most critical component in properly identifying and confirming the information relating to the litigation.

Subpoenas: Subpoenas may be used to obtain documents from a third party, including corporations, or to require the taking of oral testimony from non-party witnesses at a deposition.

Request for Admissions: A party may serve upon any other party a written request that the other party admit the truth of any relevant matters. The admissions (or denials, as applicable) must be made, in writing and under oath, within 30 days. Such requests are frequently used to settle factual issues that are not the subject of reasonable dispute, thereby avoiding the need to prove those facts in the divorce case.

Depositions: The attorneys involved in a case have the right to take oral depositions. Depositions are designed to give the parties an opportunity to see how a person will testify to particular matters and observe his or her demeanor. Short of proceeding to trial, it is the only opportunity that an attorney representing one party has to question the opposing party without many restrictions. Depositions are taken under oath, just as in a courtroom in front of a judge, and the penalty for perjury is the same in a deposition as it is in a courtroom. Depositions are routinely used to find out information, and to verify previously obtained information. Depositions are generally the most expensive form of discovery.

Most of the information obtained during discovery can be used during trial. It is important that as a litigant you review all documents that you provide during discovery, the opposing party produces during discovery, or that are produced through a third party.

What is Community Waste?

When community property is lost, expended or destroyed through the intentional misconduct of one spouse,” this may be considered marital misconduct and if “compelling,” may be a reason for the family court to make an unequal disposition of community property.” Examples of such conduct may include unauthorized gifts, gambling losses and intentional or negligent destruction of community property. Once an allegation of waste has been made in a divorce case and there is evidence of a missing or damaged asset, the spouse accused of wasting the asset has the burden of proving what happened to the community property or how its loss was legitimate.

What Are The Differences Between Legal And Physical Custody In Las Vegas, Nevada?

Joint legal custody involves the mutual rights and responsibilities of parents for major decisions regarding their child’s education, medical care and emotional and physical welfare. Physical custody is with whom and when the child resides.

Virtually every parent receives joint legal custody. Until recently, the Family Court frequently awarded one parent primary physical custody and awarded the “visiting” parent “reasonable visitation.” The trend, however, is not awarding parents joint legal and joint physical custody.

As a practical matter, except for three issues, the designation or label, of physical custody is meaningless. The only three areas where the label of physical custody has any significance are:

1. The standard for a subsequent change of custody;

2. The method in which child support is calculated; and

3. The standard for a proposed relocation with a child outside of Clark County.

Parents should generally focus on what time share is in the best interests of their children and not the “label.” At the same time, however, parents should also understand that the custodial label could have a significant impact on their legal status for the duration of their child’s minority.

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