Netflix’s New Release Sheds Light on Family Lawyers


According to reviewers, “Marriage”, Netflix’s new release is one of the most authentic movies about divorce ever made. The characters are compelling, complex and layered. Their interactions feel real, the story is relatable, but above all, the movie shows the general audience a glimpse into family law and what it means for the entire family when a couple, especially one with kids – or in this case, a child – decides to get a divorce. What begins as a right for their belongings will ultimately turn into a fight for their child and the movie shows the various methods or sly tactics that one might employ in order to get the judge to be in favour of one or the other.

Family law practitioners are no doubt all too familiar with the setting: a couple who still has feelings for one another but has built up years of resentment or developed a lack of gratitude, leading one or both parties to feel underappreciated and are no longer invested in the marriage. The problem with having attorneys representing one another is that, while many couples still hope for an amicable divorce and a great friendship, too many attorneys will attempt to get their clients on board with their strategies because they aren’t marriage or relationship counsellors who want the two of you to have a peaceful parting – they are in the business of winning and therefore there are certain litigation tactics that deepen the gulf between the couple and make irreparable damages to their relationship, as was with the case of the two main characters, played by Adam Driver (Charlie) and Scarlett Johanssan (Nicole).

The premise is easy enough to understand, Charlie is a director and Nicole is an actress who gave up many opportunities to further her career in order to support Charlie’s. This sacrifice ultimately led her to feeling lost and lacking a life of her own, forever living in Charlie’s shadow, despite the fact that she is also interested in being a director. Even as their relationship falls apart, we can see how Scarlett’s character cares for Charlie and persuades him to give her his criticism of her as an actress before heading to bed as she knows that he wouldn’t be able to sleep otherwise. Despite having such deep concern for one another, they are unable to focus on their objectives during litigation meetings, and often go off track, with the attorneys picking up on details that one or the other had missed.

For instance, the fact that the couple stayed in New York initially, where Charlie has a theatre, but the legal battle took place in Los Angeles, much to the chagrin of Charlie’s attorney. The attorney claims that his wife has played against him by moving to Los Angeles with his son and serving him the divorce papers in Los Angeles. In the eyes of the court, they would be highly unwilling to relocate a child and would therefore hand custodial rights to the wife, unless Charlie is able to prove that they are New York based. However, according to true professionals in the industry, this part of the movie is factually incorrect. Charlie letting his wife and son move to California was not the biggest mistake he could make because they have not lived there for more than six months and therefore New York, under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, would have had the superior claim and Charlie did not have to surrender his work to move to Los Angeles for his child.

Much of the battle between the attorneys is perpetuated by the couple’s own emotional grief and baggage. Unable to be objective, they often resort to low blows and use personal information against one another, such as how much one drinks (and therefore an ineffectual parent) or the like. According to the show, “you know what they say, criminal attorneys see bad people at their best and divorce lawyers see good people at their worst”, a principle that is shared by family attorneys all over the world. It is unfortunately, a practice of many attorneys is to get the best deal for their clients, whether their clients want it or not. We can see this when Nicole’s attorney got the custody breakdown to be 55/45, not because it was what Nicole wanted but because “I just didn’t want him to be able to say he got 50/50, bragging to his friends.”

Divorce litigation is an ugly scenario that people don’t want others to witness. That’s probably why prenuptials are gaining popularity, in an attempt to avoid the whole legality issue. The couple in the movie originally wanted to skip having legal proceedings but due to the advice of friends, Nicole decided to hire one which ended up burning through the money that they had initially saved for their son’s college fund and this is the reality of divorce. While many will say they want to part amicably or do what’s best for their children, at the end of the day, they will be using up the assets meant for their children and end up with an even more broken relationship.

The Widespread Housing Crisis in California and Assembly Bill 1482


The constantly rising prices in home rentals and properties in California has prevailed since the 1970s during which a number of constraints were placed on new home development by means of court ruling and progressive legislation. The California Environment Quality Act, which was enacted in 1970, is one of the Acts that greatly affect housing development, requiring state and local authorities to consider the probable negative effects of housing development projects on the environment, while deciding whether to grant approval, without needing to take into account the subsequent benefits that the projects will yield. 

In 1971, the California Legislature passed regulations dictating that a city’s zoning and subdivision approval must be aligned with an adopted general plan. After 1971, the general plan was considered to be the constitution for future development with the California government controlling the use of land instead of allowing the citizens to meet their own housing needs. This caused the housing prices to double. In addition, the Federal Endangered Species Act, enforced in 1973, has caused the removal of millions of acres of land nationally from the available land of evolving metropolitan areas, restricting housing development and significantly driving up the prices of land. This continual introduction of land use and development regulations resulted in the occurrence of a situation in which homebuilding has been unable to keep up with housing demand, creating a housing shortage, which in turn has been driving property prices and rent to the extent that California is now one of the USA’s least affordable housing markets.

The increase in property rent in California is due to the state having a large number of people who have opted to rent houses instead of becoming a homeowner themselves. The homeownership rate in the state was equal to the national rate from 1950 into the 1960s. However, by 2005, the state’s homeownership rate was 13.3 percent below the recorded national average rate, and in the second quarter of 2018, the rate was 54.3 percent, which was 10 percent below the national average rate. As late as 1970, the median single-family home price in the state was very close to the national average. Due to the regulatory constraints, the median home prices started to exceed the national average. In late 2018, the median home price in the state was $535,000 and the national average was found to be only $275,000.

California is ranked first among the states in terms of poverty, which is due to the perpetual high costs of housing. In addition, housing affordability has also been a problem in the state when incomes are compared to housing costs. These housing costs are shelter costs, including house rents and mortgage repayments. Renters in the state are more likely to struggle more in comparison with homeowners with and without mortgages. A research conducted in 2017 showed that 82.3 percent of the renters, 54.1 percent of the homeowners with mortgages and 25.6 percent of the homeowners without mortgages were cost-burdened. Those who couldn’t bear the costs of housing were forced to live on the streets. Currently, there are approximately 130,000 homeless people in California, and more than 47 percent of the total homeless people in the nation live in the state.

To control this widespread housing crisis, a rent control bill, known as Assembly Bill 1482, will be enacted by the California government to control housing rent within the next few weeks, although the government has yet to make any major regulatory reforms to increase the supply of housing. After the enactment, the government will regulate housing rent by limiting the increase of rent by the property owners. Property owners will only be able to increase their rental by 5 percent every year, plus the local inflation rates.

However, there has been a discussion regarding the effectiveness of the bill once it is enacted. Based on a recent study that examined the results of rent control regulations, rent control reduces the supply and mobility of rental housing. A reduction in rental housing supply will likely drive up the market rent, doing the opposite of what the regulations were intended for. It has been suggested that the California government should instead reform the relevant development regulations, making changes to the land use laws by eliminating unnecessary restrictions.

Taking into consideration such housing crisis with no end in sight, homeowners in California should have wills written up to ensure that their residential properties will be correctly passed down to their heirs. In California, the assets of a person who has died without a will in place will either end up with the State or get distributed contrary to the person’s wishes. Therefore, homeowners should engage estate probate lawyers to have their wills written according to the laws. On the other hand. the state government should come up with a better solution that actually considers the root of the crisis instead of just reducing the extent of the consequences. 

Law Industry Revolutionised in the Face of Technological Advancement


Now that we live in the humble (but nonetheless immensely impressive) beginnings of the digital era, it is undeniably clear that every aspect of modern life has been transformed in some way. Digitalisation and technological advancement form the basic framework that practically every aspect of modern life functions and thrives upon. Take law, for example. This is an industry that has always been driven by data, but now it is also an industry that is driven by the technological advancements that procure and elevate that data to new, more efficient heights. Being such a data-driven industry from the onset, law has continued to evolve and expand with the times with relative ease. Now, the current iteration of the global legal industry is more efficient than ever, and it is largely thanks to the ongoing technological advancements that continue to shake up the industry and propel it to the next big thing. Further, the advancement show no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Legal technologies are becoming more and more advanced every other day, and this is a process that, like it or not, is not likely to slow its pace any time soon. Technological innovation in the legal sector is something that has always been an inevitability. Going forward, it is a motion that will only continue to become more and more exciting and innovative. Already this is an industry that has been transformed in all the best ways through technological association and digital enhancement, and there is nowhere to go but up from here on out. Regardless of which party it is that is in question in the law industry, it is safe to say that they have been impacted by the rise of technological advancement in one way or another (and sometimes even in multiple ways). The modern faculty of law is the way it is because of these modern innovations, and they are just now kicking into high gear. This means that the best is certainly yet to come.

Whether you are an individual seeking out an accredited personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, or a lawyer working to increase efficiency in your office environment, or anything in between, technological advancement has come a long way in redefining how the worldwide law industry is perceived and how it operates from the inside out. Automation has changed the convenience and efficiency of which the law industry operates from the inside out. Technological enhancement has transformed the processes and systems tenfold. Ongoing advancements in law technology have seen the rise of enhanced criminal and victim profiling – a technological revolution that has fundamentally changed the way that crimes are solved, forever. On and on the list goes, and it will continue to build going into the future. Today, there is a lot to be said about the incredible movements in law at the hands of technology. Tomorrow, there is much hope and promise in regards as to where this technology will take the industry next, and what is possible in the future of the law industry.

Most interestingly, is that these advancements have not always been met with the utmost excitement and positivity. In fact, many technological advancements in the law industry were, to begin with, highly criticised. Many believed that these innovations were nothing more than passing trends, that they would disappear as the days went on. But as time went on, and these technological innovations proved themselves to be immensely valuable time and again, it became strikingly clear that not only were they not going anywhere, but that they were only going to become more pronounced as time went on. Law is one of the most profoundly impacted industries in the wake of technological advancement today. It is also one of the most data-driven, which means that every single technological (or otherwise) innovation is designed to elevate the nature of law both fundamentally and on the surface level, every single time and with each new iteration.

We live in a modern era that is paved to the edges with digitalisation and technological advancement. Every possible aspect of life as we know it has been fundamentally transformed from the inside out – many are still being transformed to this day, and will continue to be going forward for the foreseeable future. The law industry, for example, has always been a data driven sector, but in the face of rising tides of technological advancement, it has become clearer and clearer over time that these ongoing innovations are just becoming stronger. Technological advancement has done a world of good for the international legal sector, and it continues to do so. Through enhancements in legal technologies, automation, heightened criminal and victim screening, advanced programs and systems, and stronger efficiency across the board (among many others) have become central innovations. Today, the legal industry is more capable than ever. Tomorrow, it will become more so than ever.

Better Education is the Key to Our Digital Defense Problem

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The past several years have brought many changes to the educational and political landscape, but none are potentially so severe and world-changing as the comeback of internet espionage and digital warfare.

The vulnerabilities faced in today’s cybersecurity

Just within the past five years, cyber-attacks have had a massive impact on international and local affairs, including everything from independent hackers demanding ransoms from entire cities for the return of their municipal data to governments attacking other governments, spreading propaganda, and stealing political information through the use of phishing attacks and the like. It’s an uncomfortable truth but increasing amounts of almost cold-war style proxy battles are being fought in the digital realm, and many are beginning to agree that the solution lies within the hands of higher education institutions.

Education rushing to fill the gap calling for professionals

Many are already beginning to respond to the growing need for trained and educated cyber security professionals, offering cyber security courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Many experts and educational professionals are arguing that the only way to bolster national security in the digital realm is to focus more intensely on training and education, starting from the youngest ages possible.

For instance, in the United Kingdom, experts are talking about a proverbial “army of cyber kids,” thanks to a newly formed national program that intends to find and recruit young talent for the purpose of training these kids to be cyber security experts. Children are recruited around the ages of 14 to 18, then trained in a series of programs and educated about the possibilities of future employment in the field of cyber security. The aim is to build up a force of educated young people who can enter the field and bolster the industry, which at the moment is lacking in both quality and quantity of workers. 

The criticism faced by academic institutions

The focus on education has its detractors, however. Despite the fact that the number of jobs in the cyber security industry with no employees to fill them is expected to reach close to 2 million within the next few years, critics of the proposed expansions in the educational system to cater to cyber security needs point out that the overwhelming majority of current cyber security experts are, in fact, self taught. However, whether this is a result of a lack of opportunities for formal schooling in the discipline or for some other reason are still unclear. In any case, even the most fervent opposition presented by these critics is rather timid when all things are considered, and even they admit that a stronger focus on educational curricula focusing on cyber security would be beneficial for everyone.

Security risks start from the education system

In the meantime, the arguments for strengthening and funding a dedicated cyber security curriculum, along with attacks on various entities both public and private, have been increasing. Ironically, the education sector itself is a particularly vulnerable target for aspiring hackers looking for treasure troves of data to sell on the open market. The reasons are fairly simple: universities and colleges tend to have fairly relaxed cyber security protocols compared with similar targets like government institutions and hospitals, and universities store an incredible amount of data about their students, from social security numbers to home addresses, phone numbers, payment information, and even medical records obtained through the university clinics that are so common on today’s campuses. In 2014 alone, almost one million individual records were stolen from hacked university databases.

The value of data continues to fuel the hacking problem

Student information isn’t the only thing of value that can be obtained through hacks like these. The Equifax breach comes immediately to mind, whereby millions of Americans’ personal information was stolen and is likely still floating around, being sold back and forth. Universities are a massive target, however, and the more money there is in the university system, the more potential hackers stand to gain. Universities field millions of hacking attempts on a weekly basis, and potential targets (other than confidential student information) could range from test and homework answers to potentially sensitive research information.

Since the revelations that Russia had interfered in an election in the United States by providing hacked emails to a pseudo-journalism outlet called wikileaks, cyber security has become a much bigger focus of educational spending and discussions, while politicians grill the leaders of the tech industry on what they see as their role in the defense (or lack thereof) of critical institutions and demographics in the population. The hacked emails were obtained via phishing attacks that exploited human, rather than technical, weaknesses, impersonating official correspondence and tricking the target into clicking a link leading to malicious code.

It’s for that reason that many experts are targeting people who do not intend to be experts in the field, trying to form a base of general educational curricula that can be delivered as more of a life skill or as part of a continuing education program than a higher-level graduate or undergraduate degree focus.

California Proposes New Law That Could Prevent EMTs From Helping In Wildfire Disasters


On March 21, 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards’ Board (OSHSB) granted petition 573 in part to propose new regulations to protect outdoor workers from breathing the toxic air from wildfire smoke. On May 8, 2019, an advisory meeting was held to gather input on the development of this emergency rule-making proposal.

The proposed legislation contains multiple requirements. The main ones call for employers to measure air quality before and throughout each shift, and they establish a system to communicate hazards to all workers.

The full text of the proposal details a complex procedure for monitoring and controlling the air quality, which includes moving workers around, increasing rest times to lower heart rates, and providing work areas that have filtered air.

On the surface, the proposal sounds reasonable and even necessary. Wildfire smoke contains vapors, gases, and solid and liquid particles that include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and fine particulate matter.

Small particles of less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest risk to human health since they penetrate deeply into the lungs and enter the bloodstream. Studies have indicated that breathing wildfire smoke is heavily associated with respiratory morbidity and the development of asthma and COPD.

Protecting outdoor workers from wildfire smoke is clearly necessary. However, the way the legislation has been written is causing concern among hospitals.

Hospitals want the proposal reworded

According to the response filed by the California Hospital Association, the proposed law, as currently written, would impede a hospital’s ability to care for patients in emergency situations. The regulation exempts “emergency response personnel performing lifesaving emergency rescue and evacuation”; however, the legislation suggests that health-care workers that evacuate patients in an emergency qualify as “outdoor workers.

As long as health-care workers evacuating patients are regarded as “outdoor workers,” they would be subject to the regulations, which would make it all but impossible for them to do their job. The CHA argues this premise is flawed and should be corrected to reflect the perspective that hospital workers in an evacuation scenario qualify as “emergency response personnel.”

The CHA also explained in its statement that hospitals have respiratory protection plans in place already and are required to have N95 respirators available. Anyone required to work outside will be offered appropriate protection.

Protection is also supplied to people inside a hospital to a degree, in the form of air filtration systems. Wind can blow wildfire smoke for miles, so a quality air filtration system and a filter with a high MERV rating are the best indoor protection for people who don’t have a respirator.

An air filtration system can only help to a limited degree, however. Heavy smoke can overwhelm the effectiveness of even the best system.

Hospital patients don’t have access to respirators, so if smoke becomes too intense, they will be compelled to evacuate the building.

Contaminated air is a big deal

The push for extra protection for outdoor workers is understandable, considering the dangers of contaminated air. Wildfire smoke increases the risk of mortality from lung cancer, ischemic heart disease, and cardiovascular disease.

Firefighters are at high risk for all these diseases. Some of the toxic ingredients in wildfire smoke include:

  • Aldehydes (volatile organic compounds). These compounds irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. They cause lung inflammation, cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Formaldehyde is an example of an aldehyde.
  • Sulfur Dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is an irritant to the eyes, skin, and upper respiratory tract, and can cause bronchoconstriction. When combined with water vapor, sulfur dioxide forms sulfuric acid.
  • Carbon monoxide. When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it displaces oxygen by attaching to red blood cells. The blood cells have less capacity to carry oxygen, which can lead to hypoxia. The work firefighters perform creates an increase in respiratory rates, which raises the amount of carbon monoxide they inhale.
    A four-year study done by the U.S. Forest Service’s National Technology and Development Program measured carbon monoxide levels along with levels of particulate matter. Researchers found carbon monoxide to be an indicator that other irritants and toxins are present. In the study, as carbon monoxide levels rose, so did the levels of other toxins.
  • Acrolein. Breathing in acrolein increases the possibility of respiratory infections and irritates the nose, lung, and throat. It can cause chronic respiratory irritation, and prolonged exposure can damage the proper functioning of the lungs.
  • Benzene. Benzene isn’t deadly, but it causes headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and irritates the respiratory tract. Prolonged exposure limits the body’s ability to repair DNA.
  • Crystalline silica. Although classified as a carcinogen by OSHA, inhalation of crystalline silica can cause silicosis — a noncancerous lung disease.

We can minimize the risk of smoke inhalation, but elimination is impossible

As long as wildfires occur, we can’t eliminate the inhalation of smoke for outdoor workers and firefighters. People may move to regions that are less affected by smoke, but firefighters and outdoor workers have to face it.

One would hope California legislators will take the input from the CHA under advisement, and alter the wording to allow hospital workers to be classified as emergency personnel during an evacuation. The bill is currently in the Senate, and it shouldn’t be long before it gets voted on.

Why Everyone Should Be Actively Making Use of Cybersecurity Efforts

The world that we live in is positively immersed in and surrounded by digitalisation and technological advancement. We have created this world to be exactly what we intended it to be, and so it is. There is practically nothing that exists in this modern world that would, if we did not want it to be here. We are the masters of our universe, and it is something that becomes more and more important to take effective control of as time goes on. Widespread technological influence and digitalisation are innovations that have effectively propelled our world right into the digital era that we are now so inherently familiar with. The more that technologies become available to us, the more we are inclined to make use of them, to the point of no return sometimes. Further, the more time that we spend online, the more information we are offloading into the digital landscape, and that can be a security problem. Today, it is more important than ever to actively and consistently safeguard one’s privacy and security online.

Cybersecurity is more important a fundamental pillar of society than it has ever been. When people hear this, they generally disregard it, saying that they know how to protect themselves and that they always have. Others simply ignore the advice. But the people who are aware and willing to ensure their own protection and preservation in this digital age and beyond, are the ones who are truly protected – and who are the smartest for having had the forethought to do so. Consider the number of times a day that you log into your usual websites, or even visit the worldwide web. Now consider how long you spend online. And finally, think about how often you are entering letters and numbers off the keyboard on your device. Over time, all these sessions browsing online, all these seldom-considered typed movements in the digital landscape, accumulate to create a wealth of information that sits online and becomes more at-risk the longer and more expansive it becomes.

There are various cybersecurity networks that an individual or a business can use to safeguard themselves against online threats. A VPN (virtual private network), for example, is an effective way to essentially create a cloak of invisibility around one’s activity and roaming online. Similarly, anti-malware software works its magic by creating a virtual barrier of sorts around your device to protect it and alert you when threats and risks present themselves on your device. On and on the elevations go. Cybersecurity is more instrumental than ever, because we are spending more time than ever online. The reality is that cybersecurity is just as important for individuals as it is for entire industries, if not more so. Individuals have just as much to lose (if not more, arguably) than whole companies. Cybersecurity is so important, because without it there is no barrier, no cloak of invisibility, to secure privacy and protection online and for the party involved in the online activity. We simply cannot afford to be casual about cybersecurity anymore, the risks are too great now. In fact, they have been for a while.

Ensuring one’s privacy and security in the online stratosphere becomes more and more important the more often that they spend time online, because the nature of supply and demand is that the more information there is out there, the higher the potential risk of privacy and security threats effectively becoming disruptions. Sometimes, these disruptions are relatively harmless, but there are instances (and unfortunately, they are instances that are becoming more and more common as time goes on) where online threats become dangerous, threatening and stealing and all other manner of negative responses. The simple fact is that not everyone in the world is decent and kind and good, and the continuous advancement and expansion of the online stratosphere means that there is more opportunity than ever for undesirable parties to take advantage of the ever-growing wealth of information available online. Cybersecurity is no longer a niche bonus, but a necessity for everyone that spends time online.

We live in a world of our own creation. This is a world that is inherently immersed in feats of digitalisation and rapid technological advancement. It is an intriguing era, and one that we are all positively immersed in. The digital age is well and truly here, with technological innovations like the worldwide web and social media driving the era ever-forward. In a world where the average individual spends more time than ever online, it is more important than ever that we all take a step back and actively and consistently pursue cybersecurity measures. Never has there been an era that is as digitally immersive or entirely encapsulating, as this, here, today. In times past, people have not spent nearly enough time seriously considering the impact that their approach to their own privacy and security has on their own privacy and security. Therefore, cybersecurity measures are so fundamentally important, and why they will continue to be so moving forward. This is the digital age, and we must do our part to ensure our own protection and preservation here and now, and going into the future.

What’s Next: Future of Law


Law has been intertwined with the evolution of human civilization and social history, with the ancient Egyptian law dating as far back as 3000 BC. English law, which has been a precursor to much of modern jurisprudence, originated much later in the 10th century and has done well. But the legal services industry is in the throes of a profound transformation today. Various factors are propelling this growth, including a new global perspective, advances in computing and changing lawyer-client dynamics.

We are living in a global world. Tom Friedman had published ‘The World is Flat’ in 2005, which stated emphatically that globalization was ‘the next big thing.’ The legal space has not been left untouched by the wave of globalization as law firms have moved legal and countless other jobs across oceans. Globalization has swept the legal space within a short span of time due to the mushrooming of internet, automation of legal processes and developments in data security. As law firms expand their footprints worldwide, globalization will continue to reshape the legal landscape in coming years.

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) marks a paradigm shift in the delivery of legal services. The work of attorneys and other legal professionals is being transferred to external vendors within the country of establishment and overseas as legal firms rush to minimize costs and enhance productivity. LPO firms will continue to grow in the foreseeable future as companies gain confidence regarding lingering confidentiality and security issues.

A multi-generational workforce is an unprecedented reality in today’s work environment. Four generations are working in unison, encompassing traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. Many law firms are experiencing a generation gap of more than 50 years as attorneys and paralegals are working beyond their retirement age and a new generation of legal professionals is taking baby steps in the profession. Four generations employed under the same roof present new dynamics and challenges galore. In a related development, the millennial generation has surpassed the boomers and Gen X to emerge as the largest clientele today. The millennial generation is constituted of people born between 1980 and 2000 and estimates suggest that by 2020, millennials will possess spending power nearing $2 trillion.

Virtualization is turning into a norm in the legal space. Virtual law firms have a miniscule physical office and their legal team operates either from home or a virtual law office situated anywhere in the world, thanks to ubiquitous mobile devices and secure cloud-based technologies. Team members often work on a freelance basis and retain a major proportion of their earnings, unlike the traditional legal firms. This alternative method of legal practice leads to decent cost-reduction and healthy work/life balance.

Online communities play a vital role in nourishing the professional lives of attorneys today, helping them to mentor each other and potential clients. For example, car accident lawyers can use the online community platform to guide people about insurance matters. Social media is playing a pivotal role in binding online communities and transforming the practice of law. Social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, are changing the process of recruitment, job search and client interaction in the legal profession. These social media are also doubling up as marketing tools, helping the legal professionals to accomplish branding, advertising and marketing goals. They are also playing a crucial role in customer/client relationship management

The golden age of the legal entrepreneur is here, thanks to convergence of globalization and technology. Advances such as cloud computing, smart phones and social media have redefined professions across the world, and the legal career is no different. An agile workforce, mainstreaming of gig economy and greater human-computers collaboration have been a fertile ground for the birth and nurturing of law firms and legal operations. There is a spurt in lawsuits due to greater awareness of legal rights and grievance redressal mechanisms. No-fee deals between attorneys and clients are enabling low-income claimants to approach courts for resolving conflicts and claiming compensation. A stream of LPOs and other legal service delivery companies have arisen in response to the rising demand for legal services.

Lawyers are losing their sole monopoly on law, thanks to the arrival of alternative legal service delivery models. Clients are seeking legal assistance from non-legal professionals such as paralegal technicians, offshore legal vendors, legal document preparers and virtual assistants. This alternative model would not dent the professional space at the top as the best legal brains will continue to be in demand and command premium professional fees.

Change is a good thing. Legal firms that embrace the rapidly changing environment of rising competition, technological advances and changing sociological dynamics, will face the future with confidence. Legal professionals will have an opportunity to live fuller and balanced lives, working from remote locations, rendering part-time services and taking career breaks as per personal needs and priorities. The new legal environment would also empower the citizens to take control of their legal matters and provide affordable legal services to disadvantaged segment of the population.

The Over 80 Rule: Understanding What the Law Says


If an individual chooses to consume an alcoholic beverage, but still has to drive afterward, it is important that they remain cognizant of the legal limit, which is 80mg.  Driving while under the influence is an incredibly serious and important matter. Due to the grave implications that driving under the influence of alcohol can bring, it is necessary to be aware of the over 80 rule.

Alcohol consumption affects others differently depending on their weight and whether they are male or female. When referencing a standard drink, there are three different types to acknowledge. Firstly, a 12 oz. beer constitutes as one drink, secondly, a glass of wine at 5 oz. is considered to be one drink, and thirdly, a drink containing 1.5 oz. of liquor is recognized as one drink.

These volumes of alcohol may affect people differently depending on their size and whether or not they are male or female. Although individuals may be affected more greatly if they are female and smaller, that does not mean that 80mg of alcohol shows up in the bloodstream as a lesser amount if you are a large male. Therefore, no matter your size or gender, it becomes pertinent to adhere to the 80mg of alcohol rule.

Alcohol primarily impairs judgement. Even though a person may feel as though they have built up a tolerance to alcohol and therefore the over 80 rule does not necessarily apply to them, or it can be applied more loosely, that also is not the case. Tolerance to an alcoholic substance does not change the amount of alcohol found within a person’s blood. Regardless of a person’s tolerance, 80mg of alcohol translates to a Blood Alcohol Concentration (or BAC) of 0.08, which puts an individual over the legal limit. If someone has a BAC of 0.05 to 0.08, this area is called the “warn range.” The warn range can still put a person in a situation where they may be reprimanded with serious consequences.

Driving under the influence does not only apply to driving a car. In fact, a person can receive a DUI while operating a vehicle, a motorboat, a snowmobile, a ski-doo, or an off-road vehicle. Often times, people will assume that just because they are not driving a vehicle that they are exempt from being charged with a DUI by the police. However, it is just as important for an individual to adhere to the over 80 rule whether they are driving a car or even a ski-doo. No matter what you are driving, the police are able to pull you over and conduct a series of sobriety tests in order to ascertain a person’s level of intoxication.

If a policeman or policewoman believes that a certain individual is overly intoxicated, there are a series of steps that they must complete. In fact, they are more likely to choose to conduct a sobriety test if a person has been charged with a DUI in the past, if they are able to smell alcohol on a person or their vehicle, if a officer notices an open container of alcohol within the vehicle, or that the officer believes the individual was driving dangerously or erratically.

If they concerned about any of the reasons above, they must first bring the suspect to the police station in order to conduct a sobriety test. This test includes two different breathalyzer tests, each 15 minutes apart from one another. Although an individual does have the right to refuse a breathalyzer, if one does not blow hard enough in order to “trick” the test and blow a lower BAC, or if a police officer believes the suspect is avoiding taking the test in order to increase time and decrease their BAC, they can be charged with a failure to comply.

In order to avoid receiving a DUI, it is important to always apply the over 80 rules. But, sometimes, mistakes can be made and a “driving under the influence” sentence can be given. So, what happens if a person receives a DUI? It is important to find legal representation so that a person is able to exercise all of their legal options. A DUI attorney has the experience to discuss legal options, request additional evidence, and negotiate with the prosecution. Therefore, it becomes almost essential to employ a defense attorney.

Often times, a defense attorney will provide a free consultation in order to assess the situation and provide a cost estimate for their legal services. Although a DUI can seem incredibly overwhelming and almost the end of the world, that is not the case. In fact, there are some instances in which a criminal record can be completely avoided. If not, roughly  2% of DUI cases actually go to trial. This is often due to the fact that a plea bargain is made by the defense and prosecution. Even though receiving a DUI can be daunting and even upsetting, employing a defense attorney will provide a large leg up when tackling a driving under the influence charge.