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Going for work accident compensation certainly needs proper legal consultation

The earning has become everyone’s need in this age as there is a lot of requirement for money at every walk of life. It has become very hard to meet the everyday needs very comprehensively if someone fails to particularly earn certain amount of the cash. The needs and wants are two different things but it is very evident that one has to meet one’s needs at every cost. The needs cannot just be met in any case without particularly working or offering your own services. The employment is one of those things that are particularly required to make handsome amount of the earnings. The skilful people offer to very well and skillfully work at the various organizations while the organizations used to employ people in order to get their jobs done. The employee and employer are always depending upon each others offers in order to get their jobs done comprehensively. The employer gets its jobs done while the employee gets the compensation for the work being done by him or her. The employee offers it’s all and physically involve in all the sorts of operation in the employers’ organization. It is therefore responsibility of the particular employer to manage the work place in a way that must not really pose any threats to the employees. Taking care of the electric circuits and providing the employees the very protective wear are one of the basic things to very well consider at the work place. The employer takes the overall responsibility of everything regarding the work place safety but accidents at work still took place very often. In cases of unfortunate accidents in the work place in the Leeds area, accident claims Leeds is something that you should be very well aware about.

The accident at work does not always happen because the employer has not done the sufficient work to particularly ensure the overall employee safety. But an employee’s negligence or the carelessness at work, one can also lead to some personal harm as well. It happens many times that the employees do not take the precautionary measures and that’s what leads to the detrimental circumstances. The employees comprise of the human recourse of an organization and none of the efficient organizations like to see their employee fall ill. But there are also some employers who take damn care about the health of their employees. They do not care about their employees’ health and fitness and often ignore the caring factor which leads to tremendous employees’ dissatisfaction. The employees are not provided the safe environment and the risk of receiving the injury keeps lurking behind the employees all the time during work. It not only retards their performance but also probably harms many employees as well. The employees are not supposed to go for the compensation in former described case but in latter case it is the legal right of the employees to ask their employer for the right compensation claims Leeds. The work accident compensation claims remains the only source of the recovery for the employees who hardly meet their needs at the work place. The accident at the work claims remain the only source of the recovery for such employees who have very well received any injury at work due to employers’ negligence. Accidents at work in Leeds are very common and thus the Leeds law allows the employee to claim for the right accident compensation claims in case the employer is responsible for the accident.

Should We Use A Mediator In Our Divorce?

How To Know If Mediation Is Right For You

When a divorce seems imminent, you and your spouse are faced with an important and often difficult decision: how do we proceed?

Do you hire a lawyer or invest in a do-it-yourself divorce form? How can you make this as painless as possible?

If this sounds familiar, then a divorce mediator just might be right for you.

Mediating your divorce allows you and your partner to consult with an unbiased third-party to help work out the details of the split. The “unbiased” part is important because it ensures that both you and your partner are getting a fair deal.

This often generates a feeling a cooperation between the parties and makes the divorce negotiations much less stressful on everyone involved.

Mediation also removes the emotional need to prove fault as you’re no longer there to “win” the case. Instead, you’re both looking to dissolve your marriage in a relatively amicable manner. This is a great benefit if you tend to shy away from confrontation as traditional divorce proceedings can quickly get very ugly very fast.

To decide if mediation is the right step for you, you’ll need to talk to your spouse openly and honestly. If both of you are in agreement about the divorce, mediation could easily be the obvious next step.

If, however, one of you feels resentful or betrayed, you may need to discuss the matter further to see if you can reach an agreement. Mediation is not binding, so, in order to really get your money’s worth, you’ll need to both agree to set your differences aside in favor of mapping out a fair arrangement.

Mediators are typically counselors, therapists, attorneys or former judges with extensive experience in family law so they are knowledgable about court proceedings as well as the specific laws of your state. Locating a good mediator is often as easy as asking your divorce attorney or contacting the Court Clerk’s office to see if they have a list of approved mediators they can recommend. You may also want to check out the MyFamilyLaw Yellow Pages for additional mediator listings.

Mediators can tackle all aspects of divorce including child custody, spousal supportand property distribution. Once an agreement has been reached, it can be submitted to the court for approval and, assuming that the judge agrees that your settlement is fair, your divorce would then be on its way to becoming final.

To get the most from the mediation process, you may want to spend a little time meeting with a few different mediators to find one that matches your personalities as closely as possible. This isn’t to say that a mediator will agree with everything you or your partner say but you should feel that your mediator has both of your best interests (and those of your children) at heart during the proceedings.

This part of the process is important since having the right mediator can mean the difference between achieving an amicable divorce and heading off to court to fight it out.

To learn more, you may enjoy this book on mediation and collaborative divorce.

Attorney-Client Retainer Agreements

Understanding Your Contract With Your Attorney

When you choose to hire an attorney, most will ask you to sign a contract known as an Attorney-Client Retainer Agreement. What’s the point of this agreement and, more importantly, how does it affect you?

The main purpose of an attorney-client agreement is to outline the relationship between you (the client) and the attorney – primarily, how the client will be billed for what services.

In general, billing can occur in a number of ways – hourly, contingent, flat fee or a mix of these methods. Flat fees are obviously the easiest to interpret since you’ll know up front what most of your costs will be. Flat fees are typically found in uncontested divorce cases where the attorney can clearly define what tasks and services he or she will perform.

Contingent implies that charges or fees will be billed only under certain circumstances or when a particular event occurs. For example, the attorney-client retainer could state that 10% of your settlement will be due and payable to the firm. If there’s no settlement in your favor, there would be no 10% to pay. For the most part, contingent billing is considered to be unethical in divorce cases but are often seen in alimony cases or matters concerning unpaid child support.

Hourly billing can easily be the most expensive since you have limited control over the number of hours that are spent on your case. In addition, the method used to break down time increments can vary from firm to firm.

For example, many attorneys bill in tenths of an hour (.10) which is the equivalent of six minutes however some lawyers may bill in fourths, such as .25, .50, .75 and 1.0. What this means for you is that a two-minute phone call can either be billed as one-tenth of an hour (6 minutes) or one-fourth of an hour (.25) which can make a difference in your overall bill.

All agreements cover the basics such as charges for photocopies, telephone conversations and the like (all of which you will be charged for) and they will (or should) also spell out any additional charges that might accrue and any minimum billing requirements that might be in place. These agreements should also cover an ancillary charges such as mileage, parking and mailing fees. Domestic phone calls are billed by the hour for example, however any long distance fees will be added to the bill on top of the amount charged for the attorney’s time.

When an Attorney-Client Retainer Agreement is signed, the client (that’s you) is required to place an agreed upon amount called a “retainer” into an escrow account of sorts as payment for upcoming bills. This ensures that the bills will be paid and when the retainer amount runs low, you’ll be required to add additional funds to continue the attorney-client relationship.

To make sure you fully understand the agreement you’re about to sign, you’ll want to read it thoroughly and ask questions if you don’t understand any portion of the contract. Most attorneys will be happy to give you time to read through the agreement and are equally as happy to answer any questions you might have.

If they’re not, keep looking.

Visit our directory of legal professionals to find the right attorney for you.

Finding Family Law & Divorce Help

Tips to Help You Make the Right Move

Ready to take the next step? If you’re considering hiring an attorney to handle your legal issue, there are some things you should know.

Most attorneys practice in one area of law or another, so it makes sense to hire counsel that has experience with your particular concerns. If you can work with a specialist in your area of concern, you should. For example, if you expect to have to negotiate custody of your children in a divorce, you should look for a family law attorney who specializes in child custody cases.

Also, since family law varies from state to state, and can often vary from county to county, it is usually a good idea to retain an attorney who is familiar with the courts in your county.

There are a number of other things that you can look for when evaluating a family law attorney, but with so many lawyers to choose from, how do you know where to start? This Legal Help section is designed to put you on the right track. These links should assist you in your search.

Legal Help References:

Do I Need a Lawyer to Get Divorced?

Understanding Your Options In A Divorce

Contrary to popular opinion, there is no law that says you must have an attorney to get adivorce. In fact, with all of the do-it-yourself divorce forms now on the market, it’s sometimes quite easy to handle your own divorce from start to finish, without ever consulting a lawyer.

That said, the divorce process can be complicated at times and there are situations in which consulting a divorce lawyer is a good idea. You should base your decision on the complexity of your individual case and your level of comfort.

Uncontested divorces, for example, that involve no children and very little community propertyare fairly simple to dissolve and you may decide that you are comfortable with filing this action yourself.

On the other hand, a couple that has been married for 20 years, have children, a marital home,pension plans, joint checking accounts or credit cards and the like may find that drafting their own divorce paperwork and handling the property distribution is far too complicated. Regardless of how long you’ve been married, there may also be complicatedtax issues to consider as well.

Your decision may also depend on whether or not the divorce is contested. When both parties agree to divorce, they may be able to reach an amicable settlement on their own. However, when one of the parties chooses to fight for custody, spousal support or other assets, it is typically wise to hire an attorney to handle your case.

If you do decide to file your own divorce, many states have taken steps to simplify the process and offer virtual “self-serve” centers to help you handle your own legal affairs. Arizona, for example, provides downloadable forms as well as an online interactive program to help you complete the necessary forms for legal separation, divorce and other family law actions.

For more on handling your own divorce, you may find this book on dividing your assets to be helpful as well as this book that explains how to protect your financial interests.

COMPANY MANAGEMENT

A company being an artificial person cannot manage its own affairs and that the articles of association of every registered company have provisions regarding the delegation of powers pertaining to the company’s management. Since companies do not have a physical existence, no soul nor a body of its own, it cannot act by itself, but rather through human beings who act as agents, that is, directors.

Table A, Article 80 provides that “the business of the company shall be managed by the directors”.

 DIRECTORS

“The directors are a body to whom is delegated the duty of managing the general affairs of the company.  A corporate body can only act through agents and it is of course the duty of those agents so to act best to promote the interest of the corporation whose affairs they are conducting”.

Directors are said to be the brain of the company and occupies a pivotal position in the structure of the company, and since the directors are the brains of the company; it is only when the brain functions that the corporation is said to function.

Board of Directors is given the powers to manage and run the company. Cap. 486 together with the articles bestows powers to directors to manage.  Members have no right to interfere with such management; infact if members interfere; the directors have a right to bring an action against the members to restrain them.

The directors have an express right to manage the company, but if the management want to interfere with the Board, then they have to convene an extra ordinary general meeting and alter the constitution of the company to allow them interfere.

“If you want to interfere in the management of the company’s affairs, convene a general meeting and alter the company’s constitution by passing a resolution obliging the directors to act the way you want”.

Case Law: Automatic Sef Syndicate Ltd vs. Cunningham (1906)

By its articles of association, the general management and control of the company was vested in the directors, subject to regulations as might from time to time be made by extra ordinary resolutions. In particular, the articles of association conferred on the directors the power to sell or otherwise deal with any property of the company on such terms as they may consider fit.  The members at a general meeting passed an ordinary resolution forcing the directors to sell certain property of the company on certain terms.  The directors refused to the effect that it was directive and therefore declined to sell.

It was held that the company’s constitution conferred upon directors the general powers to manage the company, and in particular to decide when to sell the property of the company and on what terms.

Notwithstanding the fact that powers to manage the company have been given to the directors, the members have a right to intervene and take away such management: –

(a)        Where the directors are improperly using the name of the co. in litigation.

(b)        If the B.O.D. itself cannot function due to one reason or another the members may intervene.

There were two members who were also directors of the company. A conflict arose which rendered them impossible to even communicate face to face and the only communication was by way of memos.  One member went to court petitioning for winding up under the clause “just and equitable”.  The court agreed with the application, but it was observed that:-

“If it had been possible to have separate members from these two, the court have ordered that they take up the management until a new team comes in”.

In another instance, (Foster vs. Foster), there was a disagreement and as a result there was a deadlock in voting.  The court said that under those circumstances where the directors are unable to exercise powers conferred upon them by the company’s articles, the company/members in a general meeting would take over the management and appoint a new team.

(c)        Where the directors have acted ultra vires the powers granted to them or the company itself: – The management can ratify that which the directors did in excess of their powers. For example, if the articles might have conferred upon them some powers but they have exceeded the powers; in that eventuality, the management can take away those powers.

Secondly, the company did not have the kind of powers the directors exercised, and therefore did not give them powers.  In this case the members can intervene and remove those directors.

Meaning of a Director

Under Section 2 of the Act, “A director, includes any person occupying the position of director by whatever name called”.

“A director may be identified by the functions the person performs even though he may be named differently, for example, Jaduong, Munene and so on.

A director may therefore be defined as, “a person having control over the direction, conduct, management or superintendence of the affairs of a company”.

What is the position of a person occupying the position of a director but is not duly appointed, is he still a director?

A person, who acts as a director performs the functions of a director although not duly appointed and occupies the position of a director, is a director. This is supported by the phrase “by whatever name called”.  This does not limit the meaning. Infact it extends its meaning to include a person who performs the functions as a director though called by another name.

Section 181 also supports the above case in that if a person is not validly appointed as a director, but acts as one and the appointment is later on discovered to be defective, anything that he has done is valid notwithstanding an irregularity in appointment of such a person.

APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTORS

Section 177 provides that every company shall have at lest two directors while every private companies and every other company registered before 1962 shall have at least one director.

Under Table A, Article 75, the actual number of the directors would initially be decided upon by the subscribers of the memorandum (promoters) and until so determined, all of them shall be the first directors.

Table A, Article 94 empowers the company from time to time by ordinary resolution to increase or reduce the number of its directors.

The following are the various stages of appointment of directors:-

(a)  The first directors of the company.

(b)  Subsequent appointment of directors.

(c) Appointment to fill a vacancy.

(d) Appointment of alternate director.

(e)  Appointment of Managing Director.

(a)  First Directors

Article 75 provides that the names of the first directors shall be decided in writing by the subscribers of the memorandum of association or a majority of them.

They are usually appointed by promoters of company and normally their names are indicated in the articles of association.

If promoters do not appoint the first director, then the tradition has been to follow the provision in the Articles 75 of Table A, that is, people who subscribe to the memorandum of association will become and be regarded as the first directors, until proper appointment is done.  They shall hold office until the directors are appointed at Annual General Meeting.

The articles may also provide that both the number and the names of the first directors shall be determined in writing by the subscribers to memorandum.

(b)  Subsequent Directors

The subsequent directors are appointed by the members in general meeting beginning from the first annual general meeting at which all the first directors retire from office and the members are given the first opportunity to elect directors of their own choice. The retiring directors are however eligible for election under Article 91.

At the second annual general meeting, one third of the directors are to retire from office, the ones to retire being the ones who have been longest in office since their last election.

As between persons who became directors on the same day, those to retire shall be agreed upon amongst themselves otherwise it shall be determined by lot.  One third of the board shall thereafter retire by rotation annually.

(c)  Casual Appointment/vacancy

Articles 95 permits the aboard of directors to fill a vacancy in the board or to get an additional director to join the board for practical reasons provided that the appointment does not cause the number of directors to exceed the limit imposed by the articles.  The person appointed this way will hold office until the next annual general meeting.  He will then be eligible for re-election, but his appointment will not be taken into account when deciding on the directors who shall retire from office.

(d)   Alternate Directors

An alternate director is one appointed by another director to temporarily represent him during his absence or inability in the Board of Directors.  This power can be exercised only if it is permitted in the articles of association. The common law rule “delegatus non potest delegare”, states that a director has no authority to appoint an alternate director.

However where the article of association is silent about the appointment of alternate director, a director can still appoint an alternate director.

When a director appoints an alternate director, he may indicate the powers which such an alternate director may exercise on his behalf and those which he may not, for example, he may participate in Board meetings and sign documents but not more than that.

He cannot hold office for a period longer than that permissible to the original director in whose place he has been appointed.

The alternate director may be another director or an outsider.  If he is a director, he would have the vote of the absentee in addition to his own vote.

(e)    The Managing Director

A Managing Director is part of the subsequent directors.  It is governed by company practice because it is always a company’s affair.  The Act itself does not contain direct provisions on the appointment of a Managing Director. It is found in the articles of association, not the Act.

A Managing Director who by virtue of agreement with the company, or of a resolution passed by the company in a general meeting, or by virtue of its memorandum or articles, is entrusted with substantial powers of management.

A director so appointed shall not whilst holding that office be subject to retirement by rotation but his appointment shall be automatically terminated if he ceases due to any cause, to be a director.

A Managing Director like any director can be removed at any time from office by a general meeting irrespective of the fact that this duration of his appointment is not yet over.  But where his services have been terminated in breach of his terms, he is entitled to claim compensation.

Managing Director receives compensation as may be determine by directors.

RESTRICTION ON APPOINTMENT

There are various restrictions which the Act imposes on appointment of directors and these restrictions must be fulfilled for one to be appointed as director.

(1)        Appointment by Articles

Section 182(1) states that a person shall not be capable of being appointed director of a company by the articles unless, before registration of the articles, he has signed and delivered to the registrar for registration a consent in wanting to act as a director and either: –

(a)     signed the memorandum for a number of shares not less than his qualification shares, or

(b)    taken from the company and paid or agreed to pay for his qualification shares

(c)     Signed and delivered to the registrar for the registration, an undertaking in writing to take from the company and pay for his qualification shares.

These provisions do not apply to: –

(a)    A company without share capital.

(b)    A private company.

(c)    A company which was a private company before becoming a public company.

(2)        Qualification Shares

Under Section 183 (1), it shall be the duty of every director who is by the articles of the company required to hold a specified share qualification and who is not qualified to obtain his qualification within 2 months after his appointment or within the shorter time as fixed by the articles.

Section 183(3) provides that the director shall vacate office if he fails to obtain his share qualification or ceases to hold the required number of shares

Case: R vs. Camps (1962) Court of Appeal for E.A.

The respondent, in his capacity as a director of a company, had been charged with several offences under the companies Act.  Although the directors of the company had under article 96 of the company’s articles of association duly appointed him to be the director and he had acted as such, he never acquired the required share qualification but in a statutory return, subsequent to his appointment, he was shown as a director which was fixed at one fully paid up share in his own right.

Article 87 which agrees with the terms of section 183(1) of the Act provided that the office of the director shall be vacated if a director ceased to hold the number of shares required to qualify him for office or fails to acquire the same within 2 months after his appointment.

The court held that as the respondent had never possessed or acquired his qualifying share, his appointment was invalid and that there were no cases for him to answer.

It was also held that the respondent was never even a de facto director and that in any event a de facto director was not criminally liable as a director under the Company’s Act.

Against that decision, the Attorney General appealed to the High Court and the case was dismissed but on further appeal, the High Court held that: –

(i)                 The word “director” in the Company’s Act includes a de facto director.

(ii)               The respondent was duly and validly appointed a de jure director but he ceased to be a de jure director two months later as he failed to acquire his share qualification within that time.

(iii)             If the respondent acted as a director after the expiration of two months from his appointment, he was then a de facto director and he was a director for the purpose of those sections of the Company’s Act which it was alleged he had contravened.

“Appeal allowed, acquittal set aside”.

Therefore if a director does not vacate office but continues to act as a director, he ceases to be a de jure director and becomes a de facto director.  Under Section 183(4), a de facto director is incapable of being reappointed director of the company until he has obtained his qualification shares and under Section 183(5), he is liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred shilling for everyday that he acts as a director of the company.

(3)        Age Limit

Section 186 provides that no person shall be capable of being appointed a director if at the time of his appointment: –

(a)    He has not attained the age of 21.

(b)    He has attained the age of 70.

This provision does not apply if the company’s articles provide otherwise or a special notice of the resolution was given to the company.

Section 142 defines “special notice” as a notice given to the company not less than 28 days before the meeting at which the relevant resolutions are to be moved.

(4)        Undischarged Bankrupts

Section 188 provides that if a person who has been declared bankrupt or insolvent by a competent court and who has not received his discharge, acts as a director of any company, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding Sh. 10,000 or both.

(5)        Fraudulent Persons

Section 189(1) empowers the court to make an order restraining a person from being appointed, or act as a company’s director for a period not exceeding 5 years if: –

(a)    The person is convicted of any offence in connection with the promotion, formation or management of the company, or

(b)    in course of winding up, it appears that the person had been guilty of fraudulent trading.

(6)        Individual Voting

Section 184(1) provides that the appointment of directors of a company which is not a private company is to be voted on individually, unless a motion for the appointment of the two or more persons as directors by a single resolution was agreed upon by the meeting without any vote against it.

A resolution moved in contravention of this provision is void under Section 184(2) even if no objection is moved.  The aim of this provision is to prevent a company’s members being virtually forced to vote for directors who they do not want.

QUALIFICATIONS OF A DIRECTOR

There is no requirement in the Act that a director must hold shares, but more frequently, the articles provides that no person shall act as a director unless he holds certain number of shares or stock.

If the articles of association contain a provision that the qualification of a director shall be holding a specified number of shares, then Section 183 provides that:-

(i)      Each director must acquire and retain such qualification shares within two months after his appointment or such a shorter time as may be fixed by Articles.

(ii)    The warrant payable to bearer will not count for the purpose of qualification shares.

(iii)  If he fails to acquire qualification shares within 2 months he automatically ceases to be a director.

(iv)  He cannot be reappointed director unless he has obtained his qualification shares.

(v)    If he acts as a director after expiry of 2 months without taking qualification shares, he is liable to a fine up to Sh. 100 for everyday until he stops acting.

Retirement Age

Every director is required to retire from office shortly after 70 years and no one should be reappointed after that age-but this does not apply where the appointment is made or approved in Annual General Meeting after a special notice has been given.

It does not apply to private companies unless they are subsidiaries of public company.  The act also fixes the minimum age and states that no person is capable of being appointed as a director if at the time of his appointment, he has not reached or attained the age of 21.

Bankruptcy also disqualifies any person from holding office as a director.

Effects of Disqualification

Whether a director holds qualification shares or not, the company will be bound to third parties for the acts of such directors until the effect in appointment or qualification is disclosed.

POSITION OF DIRECTORS

(a)        Directors as agents

The directors are elected representatives of shareholders.  They are in the eyes of law agents of the company and the general principles of agency regulate in most cases, the relationship between the company and its directors.

The directors are more than agents- they have in certain matters, independent powers.  They are not bound to consult shareholders in all maters.  Power vested with directors, they and they alone can exercise these powers.

(b)       Directors are not personally liable as agents

Where the directors of a company act on its behalf, they are personally liable for contracts which they make provided they act within the scope of their authority and they do not make contracts in their personal names.

It was held that “whenever an agent is liable, directors would be liable, where the principal would be liable; the liability is the liability of the company”.

The directors are personally liable when:-

(i)                 The contract is in their names

(ii)               They use the company name incorrectly e.g. by omitting the words Ltd & Plv. Ltd.

(iii)             The contract is signed in such a way that it is not clear whether it is the agent or principal who signed it.

(iv)             They exceed the powers given to them by memorandum and articles of association.

(c)        Directors as Employees

Although directors are agents of the company, they are not employees or servants of the company for being entitled to privileges and benefits which are granted under the company’s Act to employees but there is nothing to prevent a director from being a servant of the company under a special contract of service, which he may enter into with the company.

Palmer’s statement gives an insight into this matter. He states that, “Directors are not as such employees of the company or employed by the company nor they are servants of the company or members of its staff.  A director can, however hold salaried employment or an office in addition to that of his directorship which may for this purpose make him an employee or servant and in such a case, he would enjoy any right given to employees as such but his directorship and his rights through that directorship are quite separate from his rights as employee”.

(d)       Directors as Trustees

Directors are treated as trustees of the company’s property and money and of the powers entrusted to them.

Directors are the trustees of the company’s money and property in the sense that they must account for all the company’s money and property to refund to the company any of its money or property which have been impropriety paid, that is, not to pay dividends out of capital. Company property includes confidential information and beneficial contracts meant for the company.

The following points in regard to confidential information are worth noting:-

(i)                 The information itself must be confidential- nothing public.

(ii)               The information must have been communicated to the directors or it has reached them in circumstances obliging them to treat it as confidential.

(iii)             The directors must have made an unauthorized use of that information, for example, converting it to their own use.

The court went a length to explain and define the scope of directors’ duties with emphasis on the protection of company’s property:-

(i)                 A director as a fiduciary is under an obligation not to profit himself personally from the property of the company.  More so in a situation where his interest is likely to conflict with those of the company to which he is appointed a director.

(ii)               Directors as fiduciaries, if they use the property of the company thereby making profits, must be honest enough to account for this profit to the company.

“Men who assume the complete control of the company’s business must remember that they are bound to protect the property of the company.  They are not at liberty to sacrifice the interests which they are bound to protect, and while ostensibly acting for the company, divert in their own favor business which should properly belong to the company they represent”.

Incase director s are guilty of a distinct breach of duty of which they took to secure the contract which was meant for the company, whatever benefit they must have obtained must be regarded as being held by them on behalf of the company.

Directors are however not trustees in the real sense of the word because they are not vested with the ownership of the company’s property.  It is only as regards some of their obligations to the company and certain powers that they are regarded as trustees of the company.

The directors are really only quasi trustees because:

(i)                 They are not vested with the ownership of the company’s property.

(ii)               Their functions are not the same as those of trustees.

(iii)             Their duties of care are not as onerous as those of trustees.

True position of directors according to Jessel, M.R. in Forest of Dean Coal Mining Company, observed that, “Directors have sometimes been called as trustees or commercial trustees and sometimes they have been called managing partners, it does not matters much what you call them so long as you understand what their real position is, which is that they are really commercial men managing a trading concern for the benefits of themselves and of all the shareholders.  They stand in a fiduciary position towards the company in respect of their powers and capital under their control”.

DIRECTORS REMUNERATION

For technical reasons the directors are not regarded as employees of the company of which they are directors.  They therefore have no right to be paid their services unless there is a provision for payment in the articles.

Table A, Article 76 provides that “remuneration of the directors shall from time to time be determined by the company in general meeting”.

Provided the resolution has been passed, the remuneration is payable whether profits are earned or not.

The remuneration payable to the directors of a company is determined by the articles of the company or by a resolution passed by the company in general meeting.

The directors have no right to be paid for their services and cannot pay themselves or each other or make presents to themselves out of the company’s assets unless authorized to do so by the instrument in writing, for example, articles or by shareholders at a properly convened meeting.

If directors are not entitled to remuneration and they pay themselves remuneration out of company’s funds, they may be compelled to restore it even though they acted in good faith and honestly believe that the payment was permissible.

Directors may be paid traveling, hotel and other expenses properly incurred by them in attending company’s business.  In the absence of such a provision, a salaried director is not entitled to expenses incurred by him as they are usually covered by his remuneration.

The remuneration payable to director is a debt from the company, and a director may sue the company for non-payment.

Incase of absence or inadequacy of profits, it can be paid out of profits with approval of the company.

Powers of Directors

The powers of directors are usually set out in the articles, and quite frequently there is a clause entrusting the management of the company’s affairs in the hands of directors and possess the following powers which enables them to carry out their functions:-

(a)    To enter into contracts on behalf of the company.

(b)   To engage or dismiss employees.

The directors’ powers may be restricted by the articles, for instance, some certain acts shall not be done by them unless they first obtain the sanction of the company in general meeting.

Where such provisions exist in the articles, failure to obtain the sanction may render the company not bound by the acts and the directors then become personally liable to the third parties.

If a director has an interest in any contract which is being considered by the company he must usually declare his interest when the contract is being discussed.

A director is said to have declared his interest not when he states that he has an interest but when he states what his interests are.

The disclosure should be made at the time the contract in question comes before the Board of Directors for discussion.

Disclosure is only valid if it is made to sufficient number of directors who are themselves not interested in the contract.  In a case of three directors, if two are interested and declare to one who is not, it is invalid.  This is because the directors who are interested are incapable of voting in the issue and since they are a majority, there is no quorum to which the disclosure is made. Quorum in this case means sufficient number of directors who are not interested in the contract.

Legal effect for directors for non-disclosure of interest

The consequences are two fold:-

(i)                 Statutory consequences.

(ii)               Common Law consequences.

At common law, the contract itself becomes avoidable at the option of the company, that is, the company can decide to continue with the contract or not or repudiate.  If the director in question has made secret profits on that contract, he must refund the same to the company.

In statutory consequences under Section 200(4), such directors shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh. 2,000.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS

A company may appoint one or some of its employees to its board of directors.  Such appointment is primarily intended to provide employees with a forum where they can express their views on the company’s operations, programmes or policies.  Employees who are appointed are usually called “associate directors”.

CORPORATE DIRECTOR

Although the statutory restrictions on appointment of directors tend to suggest that only a natural person can be appointed as director, in practice it is not so.  Holding companies appoint themselves directors of subsidiary companies with a view to securing and maintaining complete control of the subsidiaries. This has been made possible by the fact that there is no provision in the Act which prohibits the practice.

The body corporate would appoint a natural person whom it has formally authorized to attend board meetings on its behalf.

DISQUALIFICATION OF DIRECTORS

Table A, Article 88 provides that the office of director shall be vacated if the director: –

(i)      He has ceased to be a director by virtue of Section 183, that is, he has failed to     take-up prescribed shares within two months of his appointment or under Section 186 which lays down the minimum and the max age for directors.

(ii)       He becomes bankrupt.

(iii)             He becomes prohibited from being a director by reason of any order made

under Section 189 (restraining fraudulent persons from managing a company).

(iv)             He becomes of unsound mind

(v)               He resigns his office by notice in writing to the company.

(vi)             He is absent without permission for more than 6 months from meetings of directors held during that period.

Regarding resignation, it was held in Premier Cinema Co. vs. Ennion that a verbal notice of resignation which is given to and is acceptable by the general meeting is effective and cannot be withdrawn. This is because the general meeting would be deemed to have amended the company’s articles by deleting the words “in writing”.  But if an oral notice of resignation is given to and accepted by the board of directors, it would be invalid since the directors cannot legally alter the company’s articles of association.

Regarding absence from board meetings, it should be noted that it does not say that the director in question shall vacate office if he “absents himself”. Such would disqualify the director if the absence in question was voluntary.  The office would be termed vacated if the director has not been in office even if on medical grounds as per McConnell’s claim.

A person may also cease to be a director for other reasons as follows: –

(i)   Death.

(ii)  Retirement by rotation under articles.

(iii) Dissolution of the company.

VACATION/REMOVAL OF DIRECTOR

A director may leave office either by vacation or by removal.

(a)        Vacation

This is the voluntary quitting by a director.  It can happen any time during the directors tenure of office for any reason such as ill health, age, agreement with the Board of Directors, bankruptcy, ceases to hold qualification shares, of unsound mind, is convicted by the court of an offence involving moral turpitude absents himself from meetings, restrained by the court from being a director and so on.

(b)       Removal of Directors

Removal means being forced to quit the position of a director. A director can be removed by:-

(i)         Operation of law

(ii)        Company itself

If a director is in breach of his statutory qualification, the consequence is that the law operates immediately to remove him. Secondly, when the company goes into liquidation, the directors ceases to hold office.

Section 185(1) provides that a company may by ordinary resolution remove a director before expiration of his period of office, not withstanding anything in the articles or in any agreement between him and the company. A company may remove a director by ordinary resolution after giving a notice.

 

It is vital to note that Section 185 requires that the company observe the rules of natural justice which insists that a man shall not be condemned unheard. The company must send a copy to the director concerned who is entitled to speak in his defence.

A removed director may claim compensation for the loss of office.

Compensation for Removal

Section 185(6) provides that nothing in the section shall be taken as depriving a removed director of compensation or damages payable to him in respect of termination of his appointment as a director.

This provision would enable a managing director to sue the company for damages for wrongful dismissal if the effect of his removal as a director was to prematurely terminate his appointment and was inconsistent with the contract.

COMPENSATION FOR LOSS OF OFFICE

(a)     Section 192(1) makes it unlawful for a company to make to a director any payment by way of compensation for loss of office, or consideration for or in connection with his retirement unless the particulars of the proposed payment are disclosed to the members and approved by the company in a general meeting.  This is necessary because the directors when negotiating the terms of the proposed settlement would be dealing with one of their own and might as a consequence give inadequate consideration to the interests of the company.

(b)     Section 193 provides that it shall not be lawful to transfer any part of the undertaking or property for the purpose of making any payment to a director by way of compensation for loss of office or on retirement unless particulars are disclosed to the members of the company and approved by the company in a general meeting.

(c)     If a payment is made to a director as compensation for loss of office or on his retirement, he must take reasonable steps to ensure that the particulars of the proposed payment are included in or sent with any notice of the offer given to the share holders. If this is not done, the director holds the payment on trust for the persons who have sold their shares as a result of the offer.

(d)    Section 194 imposes a duty on directors to disclose payments for loss of office, made in connection with transfer of shares in a company. This section provides that such payment should be proposed with a transfer as a result of:-

(i)    An offer made to the general body of shareholders.

(ii)  An offer made by or on behalf of some other body corporate with a view to the company becoming its subsidiary or a subsidiary of its holding company.

(iii)An offer made by or on behalf of an individual with a view to his   obtaining the right to exercise or control of not less than 1/3rd of the voting powers at the general meeting.

Loans to Directors

Section 191(1) renders unlawful any loan made by a company to a director.  It is also unlawful for the company to guarantee or secure a loan given to a director by any other person. These restrictions do not apply to:-

(i)       A private company, or

(ii)      A subsidiary company whose director is its holding company or

(i)          Payments made to a director to meet expenses incurred or to be incurred for the      purpose of the company, or to enable him to perform his duties, or

(ii)        A loan by a money lending company of a bank in ordinary course of business.

Loans to them must be disclosed in the account laid before the general meeting.

DUTIES OF DIRECTORS

The duties of director are usually considered under two broad categories, namely: –

(i)                 Duties of care, skills and diligence.

(ii)               Fiduciary duties.

(1)        Duty of Care, Skill and Diligence

Directors should carry out their duties with reasonable care and exercise such degree of skill and diligence as is reasonably expected of persons of their knowledge and status. The directors are not liable for mere errors of judgment.

Case Law: Brazilian Rubber Plantation Estates Ltd (1911)  

In this case, the directors of the company decided that the company should invest in some rubber estates in Brazil.  They accordingly issued a prospectus inviting members of the public to come forward and subscribe for the shares and debentures of the company, the purpose of invitation being to raise money from the subscription in order to finance the rubber estate project.

In the prospectus they declared to the prospective investors that the project in question for which subscription were being invited was viable or had potential success. Soon after subscription the project turned out to be a failure and the company was wound up.

The subscribers brought an action against the directors for inserting a misleading/false statement in the prospectus upon which they had relied or acted upon to their detriment.  In their defense, the directors claimed that they had acted in good faith.

It was held that the directors were not liable because they had made an error of judgment about viability of the project and in making the judgment, they had applied the care and skill that men of experience were expected to apply.

Where a director makes an error of judgment, he will be absolved from any liability so long as the judgment he made or decision he took and considering all surrounding circumstances came from past experiences and knowledge which he had; but if a director fails to exercise due care expected of him in the exercise of his duties, he is guilty of negligence.

Standard of Care

The standard of care, skill and diligence depends upon the nature of the company’s business and the circumstances of the case.

The standard of care depends upon:-

(i)  The type and nature of work.

(ii)  Division of powers between directors and other officers.

(iii) General usages and customs in that type of business.

(iv)  Whether directors work gratuitously or remuneratively.

Case Law:  City Equitable Fire Insurance Co. Ltd

The directors of insurance company left the management of the company’s affairs almost entirely in the hands of B, the managing director.  Owing to B’s fraud, a large amount of company’s assets disappeared.  B and the firm in which he was a partner had taken a huge loan from the company and the cash at the bank or in hand included £7,300 in the hands of the company’s stockbrokers, in which B was a partner. The directors never inquired as to how these items were made up.

It was held that the directors were negligent, though the articles protected them from liability.

Romer therefore observed that “in ascertaining the duties of a director, it is necessary to consider the nature of the company’s business and the manner in which the work of the company carried out amongst the directors and other company officials”.

In Dovey vs. Cory, a director was held not liable for negligence merely because he had failed to verify false information regarding the company’s accounts which he had been given by the company’s manager and managing director.

The court stated, “The business cannot be carried on upon principles of mistrust.  Men in responsible positions must be trusted by those above them, as well as by those below them until there is reason to distrust them.  We agree that care and prudence do not involve distrust”.

(2)        Fiduciary Duties

As fiduciaries, the directors must: –

(a)    Exercise their powers honestly and bonafide for the benefit of the company as a whole.  But if for example the power to issue further shares is exercised by the directors, not for the benefit of the company but simply and solely for their personal aggrandizement and to the detrimental of the company, the court will interfere and prevent the directors from doing so.

(ii)  Not to place themselves in a position in which there is a conflict between their duties      to the company and their personal interests.  They must not make any secret profit out of their position and if they do, they have to account for it to the company.

Case Law:  Cook vs. Deek (1916)

Three directors of a company obtained a contract in their own names, under the circumstances which made it breach of trust by them, and constituted themselves trustees of the contract of the company.  By their votes as holders of ¾th of the shares, they induced the company to pass a resolution declaring that it had no interest in the contract.

It was held the directors were liable to account to the company for the profit they made on the contract as in equity, it belonged to the company.

Case Law: Regal Hastings Ltd vs. Guilliver (1942)

  1. Co. Ltd owned one cinema and wanted to buy two others with a view to selling the three together.  It formed a subsidiary company to buy the two cinemas.  It was however unable to provide the necessary finances.  As such, its directors themselves subscribed for some of the shares in the subsidiary company. The cinemas were acquired and the shares in R Co. Ltd and the subsidiary sold at a profit.

It was held that the directors must account to R. Co. Ltd for the profit they made because it was through the knowledge and opportunity they gained as directors of R.Co. Ltd, that they were able to obtain the shares.

Case Law: Burland vs. Earle (1902)

Burland, a director of a company, bought a property for £21,564 at a public auction.  He subsequently sold it to the company for £60,000.  The shareholders brought an action against Burland for restoring the profit made by him out of resale of the property to the company.

It was held that Burland was not liable to pay to the company the profit made by him because there was no evidence whatsoever of any mandate to Burland to purchase on behalf of the company, or that he was in any sense a trustee for the company of the purchased property.

But where a director is under mandate to purchase some property for the company, he is in a sense a trustee for the company of the purchased property.  If he purchases the property in his own name and then sells it to the company at a higher price thus making a profit, he is liable to account to the company the profit earned.

(3)        Duty of Disclosure

Except with the consent of Board of Directors, a director or his relative or any firm in which he is a member or a director, shall not enter into any contract with the company for the sale, purchase or supply of goods.  Even in case of urgent necessity contracts, consent must be obtained.  It is the duty of the director to disclose to the Board the nature of his interest in any contract or arrangement entered into

(4)        Duty to act honestly

A director must not act in manner trying to make personal gain out of a transaction in the name of the company.

(5)        Meetings of the Board

A director is not bound to attend all meetings, but he should obviously attend as many as possible.

(6)        Delegation of Authority

A director has duty not to delegate his functions except to the extent authorized by the act or the constitution of the company.

Can a director be liable for the mistakes of his colleagues?

A director absented himself from Board meetings for 20 years and during this period, his colleagues paid dividends out of capital.  The shareholders brought an action against this particular director arguing that by absenting himself, he was acting negligently because had he been attending the meetings, he would have discovered that dividends were being paid out of capital.

It was held that this director was not negligent in absenting himself unless there were circumstances warranting non-abstention.

Exceptions to this Rule

Whether a director must attend a Board meeting or not is a question of fact.  His compulsory attendance depends on the exigencies of the company’s life.  If he is a member of committee of the Board, he must attend or is reasonable expected to attend meetings of that committee to deliberate on issues at hand because by being placed in that committee, his input is considered important.

If a director is so expected to attend but he fails, then such a director is negligent.

Can a director be allowed to delegate?

The directors are bound by the principle “delegates no potest delegata”, that is, a delegate cannot sub-delegate- even then, the exigencies of business allow a director at times to delegate his duties, though he cannot delegate all his duties.

However, at times a director can rely on other officers in the company to perform those duties.  He shall not be held negligent in such cases once he is satisfied that the various officers of the company are manning those duties property, and he shall not be held liable for negligence in such cases.

INSIDER DEALING

Insider dealing is understood to cover situations where a person buys or sells securities when he is in possession of confidential information which affects the value of those securities.  Furthermore the confidential information in question will generally be in his possession because of some connection which he has with the company whose securities are to be dealt in.  He may be a director or a professional advisor.

Section 33 of Capital Markets Authority Act (Cap 485 A) prohibits insider dealing.  The objective of this prohibition is to promote and facilitate the development of an orderly, fair and efficient capital market in Kenya.

The section imposes criminal penalties and gives statutory right to an aggrieved shareholder to claim compensation if he suffers loss from the transaction, under Section 34(3).  If the person guilty under Section 33 profited from the offence, but those harmed cannot practically determine the compensation payable, it shall be made to Investor Compensation Fund established under Section 18(1) of the Act.

Section 33(9) provides that a person is connected with a company if he occupies a position that may reasonable be expected to give him access to “price sensitive information” by virtue of:-

(i)               Any professional or business relationship existing between himself and that body corporate, or

(ii)              His being an officer or a substantial shareholder in that body corporate, or in a related body corporate.

Section 33(5) prohibits “a connected person” from communicating that information to any other person whom he knows or has reason to believe, will make use of the said information to deal in listed securities.

The object of Section 33(5) is to prevent a connected person from “tipping” another person with the intention that the person “tipped” shall deal or cause another person to deal in the relevant securities.

Section 33(12) provides that any person in contravention of Section 33 shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh. 500,000 or Sh. 1,500,000 for a body corporate.  These fines are to be doubled on any subsequent conviction.

LIABILITY OF DIRECTORS

(1)        Liability to Outsiders

Directors are not personally liable to outsiders if they act within the scope and powers vested in them.  The general rule is that wherever an agent is liable, those directors would be liable, but where liability would attach to the principal only, the liability is the liability of the company.

The directors would be personally liable to third parties in the following cases:-

(i)         They contract with outsiders in their own personal capacity.

(ii)        They contract as agents of undisclosed principal.

(iii)       When the company is ultra vires the company.

In default of statutory duties, directors shall be personally liable to third in the following cases:-

(i)         Misstatement in prospectus

(ii)        Irregular allotment

(iii)        Failure to repay application money if the minimum subscription is not subscribed.

(2)        Liability to the Company

The directors shall be liable to the company in the following cases:-

(i)        Where they have acted ultra vires the company, for example, they have applied the funds of the company to objects not specified in the memorandum or when they pay dividends out of capital.

(ii)       When they have acted negligently –negligence may give rise to liability, there need not be fraud.

            (iii)       Where there is a breach of trust resulting in a loss to the company, they are bound to make good the loss.

            (iv)       Misfeance: – Willful misconduct or willful negligence.

(3)        Criminal Liabilities

The act provides penalties by way of fine or imprisonment particularly when directors omit to comply with or contravene certain provisions of the Act.

– See more at: http://www.kenyalawresourcecenter.org/2011/07/company-directors.html#sthash.KFQRdCE1.dpuf

What Is “Burden Of Proof”?

Basics of the U.S. Legal System, in Family Law

In any type of legal action, including family law matters, a burden of proof must be met in order to “win” a case. In the U.S., there are three basic standards of proof:

  • Beyond A Reasonable Doubt – This is the highest level of proof required under the law and is the standard used in criminal trials. Beyond a reasonable doubt requires that the prosecution must present a evidence that leaves the judge or jury with no reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt. Reasonable doubt is generally defined as doubt that would cause a normally reasonable and prudent person to hesitate or second-guess a guilty verdict. This standard is not used in family law matters like divorce or custody. It is used in related criminal actions which might be separately filed – things like domestic assaultcriminal non-support or parental kidnapping cases.
  • Clear and Convincing Evidence – This standard is used only in certain civil matters, such as termination of parental rights and actions alleging fraud. Although not as high a standard as “beyond a reasonable doubt”, clear and convincing evidence is theoretically more proof than “preponderance of the evidence”. To prove a case at this standard, the plaintiff must show enough convincing evidence that the jury or judge believes it to be true. There may still be “reasonable doubt”, but not enough to overshadow a high probability that the defendant is at fault.
  • Preponderance of the Evidence – This is the lowest standard of proof used in the U.S. To prove something by a preponderance of the evidence, the plaintiff must convince the jury or judge that there is more than a 50% probability that they are telling the truth. Preponderance of the evidence is the standard used in most civil cases, including divorce and post-divorce motions to modify custody or support .

In most civil cases, it is the plaintiff’s job to prove his point – that is, the person bringing the action must prove their story. In criminal cases, the defendant is not required to present a defense if the plaintiff cannot meet the standard of proof, thus the phrase “innocent until proven guilty”.

In family court, however, there is no “innocence or guilt” and both parties typically present their cases before any ruling is made. Typically, the two sides will present contradicting positions on a matter like property distribution, alimony or child custody. The judge then must decide how to render a fair judgment in the circumstances.

There are, however, some exceptions to this scenario:

Sometimes, a defendant will admit to the behavior or actions alleged but contend that the actions were justifiable. This is known as an affirmative defense. The most common courthouse example of this would be a defendant who claimed self-defense in a murder trial but there are other examples as well. A defendant/respondent being sued for divorce on the grounds of abandonment, for instance, could justify leaving the marriage if the other spouse was abusive. This would be considered an affirmative defense and it would be up to the defending spouse to prove the allegation of abuse.

There are instances in family court in which one side must “prove” something in the traditional sense too. If a father files a motion to modify custody several years after the divorce, the law will require him to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that there are such changed circumstances that a modification of custody is in the child’s best interests. If he cannot prove the change of circumstances, his motion will be denied.

What is the Difference Between Civil and Criminal Litigation?

Understanding the Basics of the U.S. Legal System

“Litigation” is essentially another word for lawsuit and there are two basic categories of lawsuits in the United States: civil and criminal.

“Civil litigation” refers to suits involving private citizens, be it individuals, businesses or organizations who seek some sort of remedy or relief from another party. Although this “remedy” is most often in the form of monetary damages, it can also include a court order that directs the losing party to perform in a certain way or provide a particular service or benefit. Contract disputes, personal injury claims and petitions for divorce all fall within the category of civil law.

In civil actions, the standard of proof is usually a “preponderance of the evidence” although there are a few types of civil suits that will rely on a slightly higher standard of proof known as “clear and convincing evidence”. Parties to civil lawsuits are typically referred to as Plaintiff (the person bringing the suit) and Defendant (the person being sued). In family court, however, these terms are interchangeable with Petitioner and Respondent, respectively.

It is also possible to bring third parties into an existing suit through “cross-claims”. This is most often seen in personal injury suits, however, third-parties can be brought into certain family law actions as well, such as in a disputed paternity case.

A criminal case, on the other hand, deals with crimes against society or “the people”. These actions are brought by the government on behalf of its citizens (through a district attorney or prosecutor) to punish a person or organization for committing a criminal act. If found guilty, the accused (also known as the Defendant) is said to have been “convicted” and punishment can include monetary fines, restitution, supervised probation or rehabilitation as well as prison or jail time and, in some states, execution.

The standard of proof in a criminal case is “beyond a reasonable doubt”, the highest legal standard in the United States. Unlike civil cases, third parties cannot just be “brought” into the action through a cross-claim. Instead, if it becomes apparent that another party should be charged with the crime or even a related crime, a new case will be filed.

Both civil and criminal litigation have procedural rules which must be followed and which vary from state to state. Hiring an experienced attorney is the best way to make sure that your case is handled according to those rules.

How Do I File For A Divorce?

The Basics of Beginning Divorce Proceedings

While state laws vary with regards to residency requirements and legal grounds for divorce, all states require a Petition for Divorce to be filed in order to instigate divorce proceedings.

This Petition is a legal form that names the parties, identifies the court and jurisdiction and outlines the cause of action. In addition, the Petition for Divorce will usually also include a generic request for relief that defines the property distribution, child custody, child supportand/or alimony requested by the filing party.

If you and your spouse have agreed to the divorce, this request for relief could simply refer to an attached custody and financial agreement that you and your spouse have drafted together.

Both parties must have notice of the proceedings so, your spouse must then be “served”, which amounts to receiving official notice that a Petition for Divorce has been filed.

If you are handling your own divorce (without an attorney), you will also be required to handle the process serving of your spouse. This can be accomplished in one of two ways: you can serve your spouse personally and obtain their signature confirming service or you can hire a process server to handle this piece of your divorce for you.

If you are unable to locate your spouse, you may be able to accomplish legal service through “public notice”. See our article to learn more about filing for divorce when your spouse is missing.

Before you can file your Petition however, you’ll have to do some research to be sure that you meet those residency requirements we mentioned earlier. This particular requirement varies widely and can range from simply being a resident at the time of filing to having lived in the state and county at least one year prior to the date of filing, so you’ll need to check the laws of your state to be sure.

During your research, you’ll also want to make note of the acceptable grounds for divorce in your state so that you can tailor your Petition to match. Some states, for example, offer both at-fault and no-fault grounds while some states allow only no-fault petitions. Understanding the difference as well as the requirements for your state are important aspects of filing for divorce.

There a number of do-it-yourself divorce forms that can be very useful when you want to handle it on your own or “pro se” – but these forms are generally only useful in an “uncontested” divorce (where the parties are in agreement about key aspects of the divorce, and where there is little marital property to be considered). Because of the amount of research and paperwork involved, many people opt to hire a divorce attorney to handle these matters.

To learn more, read our article outlining the divorce process step-by-step.

Finding the Best Divorce Lawyer

Make an Informed Decision

Hiring a divorce attorney is a process that many of us are not entirely comfortable with – people often don’t know what qualifications to look for. But by some estimates about 30% of us will need a lawyer at some time in our lives. About the best information many people have to go on is a recommendation from a friend, or referral from an acquaintance. But retaining legal counsel is a process that warrants some extra diligence on your part. Here are some tips to help you find the best divorce attorney for you:

Create a list:

You could open the phone book to ‘divorce lawyers’ and throw a dart to see which ad it hits. But there is a better way. If you feel comfortable asking friends to recommend a divorce lawyer that may be a good place to start. You can also check any one of the major law firm directories on the web (two of them are Find Law and Martindale Hubbell), although you should note that those directories will list any divorce attorney (regardless of qualifications). Also see: Certified divorce law specialists.

Narrow the list:

Next you should turn your list into a “short list” of lawyers who are actually worth interviewing.

  • Make sure you only consider family law attorneys who practice in the county where you live. The intricacies of family law can vary significantly from county to county.
  • Check credentials of the remaining candidates in your “short list.”
    • First and foremost you should ensure that the divorce attorneys on your list are in good standing with your state bar.
    • While there is no single label that universally identifies good divorce lawyers, a generally accepted benchmark is the Martindale Hubbell peer review rating. Attorneys only qualify for this rating after they have been admitted to the bar for five years or more.
    • Super Lawyers also assembles peer-ranked lists of attorneys, organized by geography and practice area.
    • Another credential that may be worth looking for is a Family Law Specialization Certification. There are many fine divorce lawyers who are not Certified Family Law Specialists, but if you feel you have a complex case – and don’t mind possibly paying a premium – you may consider including one or more Certified Family Law Specialists in your short list (read more about legal specialization).

Meet face-to-face:

Once you have narrowed the field to a manageable number of candidates, schedule in-person meetings with each of the divorce lawyers on your list. Be aware of the responsiveness of each firm or attorney to your meeting request. You want to be sure that the family law attorney you ultimately retain is able to devote an adequate amount of time to your case; if it takes 3 business days or more to get a call back it may be an indication that they are too busy to give your case the attention it deserves. When you do finally begin to meet with your short-list candidates, ask about their experience with cases like yours. For example, if you expect a contentious custody battle, ask them to talk about their experience with such cases. Finally, do realize that the attorney you interview may not be the one who is actually assigned to your case. Ask which associate will be working on your case, and meet that individual as well. He or she will likely be your day-to-day point of contact and it is important that you feel comfortable working with him/her.

The process of hiring a divorce lawyer is one that, depending on the complexity of your case, may justify a little extra homework up front. The final decision may be a subjective one, but take the time to create a qualified list of candidates and have a better chance of finding the best divorce attorney for you.

Importance of Lawyers and Law Firms in today’s World

Whenever we think about a lawyer, the first thing that comes to our mind is a courtroom with a handcuffed criminal and a person in black coat arguing for him, or, that of an old man following a lawyer with the documents of his ancestral properties. Because in old days the lawyer’s profession was associated with criminal cases and some civil suites mainly related to ancestral properties. But, as a new business culture developed by the arrival of multinational companies and the new style of business introduced by many Indian corporate houses, the importance of lawyers has increased in the society. top law firms have started concentrating more on legal matters related to the corporate affairs. A new generation of corporate law firms has started to get established. They are not just dealing with the cases, but also help the corporate in drafting various agreements, getting registrations etc too. Almost all corporate houses have various such commercial law firms in their list and they are maintaining a contract with these firms. This contract will enable them to get their service at any point of time and in turn it will benefit the lawyers to have a regular job. Some companies have appointed lawyers exclusively for taking care of their legal needs. Such lawyers are in the payroll of the company as permanent employees and enjoying a good remuneration.

Along with the changes happened in all sectors, the law firms in india too undergone a lot of changes. The green paper files tagged with red tags, clerks who sit in front of the typewriting machine etc have become extinct. The new generation Lawyers are taking the help of the modern technologies to make their job easier. More and more lawyers turned to specializations such as company law, commercial procedures, and international trade processes etc. These are the area where there is a great demand for lawyers. Their duty is not to argue in any courts, but to supervise the legal matters of the company in various areas. The stage has come where the help of a lawyer is necessary for doing business in India. As the demand for lawyers increased top law firms started wooing brilliant young lawyers into their fold. It has changed the old concept of junior lawyers who used to follow the senior with the bundles of files and will not do anything independently. This is another change happened in the law firms of India.

Nowadays the corporate law firms are changed their style to match with the international style as more and more multinational companies have started appointing these types of commercial law firms as their lawyers. Law services are highly in demand not only corporate sectors but in our general life also. Law firms offers all legal services, dispute resolution, litigation, merger acquisition, ipr legal practice, public private partnership and all law legal services. This trend will continue for a long time as any big corporate house need the help of lawyers for doing business in India in the prevailing situation.

When Searching For A Chicago Divorce Law Firm

There are a multitude of Chicago divorce law firms willing to help you with your case.  Deciding on the right one for your particular situation can be daunting but there are some things you can do to help you choose the one you feel would be the best for you.

 

  1. Use the Internet to look at one of the many lawyer search services.  Most of the search services are sorted by specialty and by location though there are others where you post the specifics of your case and attorneys that are interested will post their offers for you to consider.
  2. Use your state’s free lawyer referral service.  Lawyers who practice law in each state will belong to the state Bar Association that is a subsidiary of the American Bar Association.  The lawyer referral service will ask you a few questions about the type of attorney you want as well as their specialization and then it will give you a list of potential attorneys for your case.  In addition, they will set up an initial consultation with you and generally offer a voucher for a free half hour consultation.
  3. Look at advertisements in the Yellow Pages, newspaper etc.
  4. Get referrals from friends or family members whose opinions you trust.  If they have had a good or bad experience with a divorce attorney they will tell you so you will know who to avoid or get in contact with.
  5. Get recommendations from your employer’s in house or contract attorney or from co-workers.  Sometimes some employers offer a prepaid legal program as part of your employee’s benefits so this can also be used as a referral source.

Once you have chosen a Chicago divorce law firm to handle your case you must be clear with the attorney about what your expectations are.  Some questions that you will need to have answers for so you will know what to tell your attorney is:

 

  1. Decide if you want the lawyer to consult with you occasionally, quite often or totally run the case.
  2. Do you prefer to protect your financial interests or is maintaining a relationship with your children the priority.
  3. Is joint custody something you would consider?
  4. Do you have to go to court for dispute resolution or would you consider arbitration or mediation as an alternative?
  5. After the divorce will you move out of the area or stay where you are?

 

Knowing the answers to the questions and discussing them with your lawyer will help him or her meet your expectations. Contact the attorneys at Pintar Albiston LLP to learn more.

Law Society: Pick up ‘pamphlet of rights’ to get it right

WHEN giving your statement to the police in investigations, if you have any defence that shows you are innocent, you should tell the police and make sure this is written in your statement.
Otherwise, if this is raised for the first time only in court, the judge may not believe it.
This is one of nearly 30 examples on a new four-page pamphlet given out to help the public better understand their rights in the course of a criminal investigation, search or prosecution.
It also includes details of legal aid and pro bono services.
The “pamphlet of rights” is an initiative led by the Law Society of Singapore, which worked with the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Home Affairs, with the Law Ministry’s support, to produce it.
The idea was mooted in 2012 by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon when he was attorney-general.
After about three years of preparation, some 100,000 pamphlets in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil are now being distributed to police centres and police posts as well as all 107 community clubs and centres.
Members of the public can pick them up for free.
It is also available at the Law Society’s Pro Bono Services Office at the State Courts.
Mr Wendell Wong, chairman of the Law Society’s Criminal Practice Committee, told The Straits Times that the pamphlet is the first of its kind here and is targeted not just at the accused, but also others such as witnesses.
“You can find this information about rights in various statutes, case precedents, law textbooks, but we thought that the public need to have it distilled in a simple, easy-to-understand format,” said Mr Wong, who is also the director of dispute resolution at law firm Drew and Napier.
“This enhances access to information, thereby enhancing access to justice in Singapore… but it is not a substitute for legal advice,” he said.
The challenge was to decide what to put in, and to put it down in simple language, he added
Law Minister K. Shanmugam had said in Parliament last month that the pamphlet will raise awareness of the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, which provides legal help to those unable to afford a lawyer.

Said Mr Sunil Sudheesan, acting president of the Association of Criminal Lawyers of Singapore: “The protection under the Criminal Procedure Code is essentially available to only those who know the law…

“It might be idealistic, but hopefully one day all suspects will be given a copy of the pamphlet at the point of arrest.”
Mr Jabez Tan, 41, who was in and out of drug rehabilitation centre and jail for 13 years for drugs and gang-related activities, believes that knowing such information would be helpful.
Mr Tan, now the founder of pork rib soup eatery Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh, said: “When I was arrested, I didn’t know what to say or what not to say. Sometimes you may say the wrong things and get yourself into more trouble.”

 

South Africa: Law society wants LLB revamp

I’ve posted a few articles about the state of non-education in South Africa today and if anything sums it up it’s this article. The Law Society of SA have found that law graduates can’t read, count or reason and they are calling for the degree to be redesigned. The ANC have managed to produce these sterling results in just 18 years of governing the country. Prior to that, during Apartheid, Blacks received a very high standard of education known as Bantu education. It produced many Black intellectuals, Nelson Mandela (the terrorist) being one of them. He qualified as a lawyer under the system and there are many other examples of Blacks with internationally recognised degrees doing very well for themselves. Today it’s a different story with an education system in shambles. Students leaving school only need to achieve a 30% pass rate to finish Matric (Year 12). That means they need to know less than one-third of their work, and that doesn’t say much as the school system has been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator which means the level is sub-standard to begin with. No wonder they can’t read, count, let alone reason. On top of all this, the ANC has imposed Affirmative Action on  university enrollments and Blacks get picked first, whether they are clever enough or not. All other races have to meet exceptionally high entry standards compared to the Black entry levels and many able-minds are turned away. Today they sit with graduates unable to do the basics. So, one has to ask why the ANC has destroyed education in South Africa. Are they that incompetent, or is there a another reason? Is it because they want a dumbed down society so that they can rule forever? Why, yes, yes it is. You see, communists aren’t that stupid. They know exactly what they’re doing. They hide behind their stumbling African accents to fool people into thinking they’re stupid and easily manipulated, when they’re actually quite clever. As communists know, a dumb population is a gullible population and what better voters to have than the gullible voting for you? South Africa is rich in mineral resources and the ANC is creaming off enough money from that industry to keep them financially comfortable for many years. They simply don’t care about their fellow man. They can blame their perceived ‘failures’ on White people or Apartheid until Jesus comes, and anytime another political party becomes a threat the ANC will start another Black civil war to keep their people in line. No, the ANC is not stupid. You only have to look at how efficient and successful the South African Revenue Service is (Tax collection) to know that the ANC can govern better if they wanted to, but they only want to govern properly where they benefit financially. Other than that, the ANC is quite happy to sit back and eat caviar as the country turns to ruins.

Johannesburg – The Law Society of SA wants the current four-year LLB degree redesigned as a post-graduate qualification, after complaints that some law graduates cannot read, count, or reason, the Sunday Independent reports.

The society resolved to recommend the LLB be redesigned as a five-year post graduate qualification.
“We often find the students have problems with analysis and critical thinking,” Law Society director of legal education Nic Swart was reported as saying.
“In some cases they can’t analyse facts and some graduates cannot research properly.”
A survey by PPS found that only 31% of 500 attorneys believed the current LLB degree prepared students for the legal world, the weekly reported.

Personal Injury Law Firms in the Northeast

Looking for the best personal injury lawyers in the Northeast? We hope to help you with this big decision. When you’ve been seriously injured, you might not have the time or energy needed to sort through all of the different firms or meet individually with the lawyers. Let us guide you. We understand how much is at stake when you’ve been hurt in a car accident or through some type of negligence.

The following is our list of the Top 5 personal injury law firms in the Northeast. The firms we have listed here have qualities that regular people need if they are a victim of someone’s negligence. The Top 5 attorneys don’t represent insurance companies or big corporations. They help out regular folks.

1.   Law Offices of James Morris – Serving the Buffalo, N.Y., area, including Western and Upstate New York, the attorneys at this law firm roll up their sleeves and get the job done. They have obtained six- and seven-figure settlements in a variety of personal injury cases, including auto accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall and wrongful death cases. Attorney James Morris was selected by the prestigious group Super Lawyers as one of New York State’s best lawyers in 2009 and 2010. Website: http://www.jamesmorrislaw.com/. Office address:  Law Offices of James Morris, 1015 Liberty Building, 424 Main Street, Buffalo, New York 14202. Phone number: (716) 855-1118, or toll free at (800) 477-9044.

2. Flager & Yockey – This law firm represents personal injury victims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They are an all-around excellent law firm with a state-of-the art computer software system that gives them an edge in a fast-paced world. You can’t go wrong with Flager & Yockey if you need top legal assistance for any type of personal injury case or product liability case. Website: http://www.flageryockey.com. Office address: Flager & Yockey, One Northbrook Corporate Center, 1210 Northbrook Drive, Ste. 280, Trevose, PA 19053. Phone number: 1-888-470-1099, or (215) 953-5200.

3. Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone – Based in Massachusetts, the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone lives up to its motto: “We Mean Business.” Their attorneys are skilled at helping people injured in auto and truck accidents as well as those harmed by medical malpractice or dangerous drugs. If you were injured in Massachusetts but live out of state, this law firm can help you get justice. Website: http://www.marksalomone.com. Main office address: Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone, 175 State Street, Suite 200, Springfield, MA 01103. Phone number: 1-800-WIN-WIN-1

4. Metzger Wickersham – For people living in Central Pennsylvania, Metzger Wickersham is the go-to law firm if you’ve sustained a personal injury or need help with a Social Security Disability claim. Metzger Wickersham has been serving clients since the year Grover Cleveland was elected president – 1888. Not only are they one of the most established law firms in Central Pennsylvania, but they also have an impressive track record when it comes to winning cases for clients. Website: http://www.mwke.com. Main office address: Metzger Wickersham, 3211 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. Phone number: 1-800-946-9461

5. Mike Slocumb Law Firm – The Mike Slocumb Law Firm covers a big territory, representing clients in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, as well as Alabama and Georgia. While they are spread out, the attorneys have a keen understanding of the needs of their clients. They are prepared to take on big cases and small cases, from slip and fall accidents to cases involving defective medical devices. They have a long list of successful verdicts and settlements totaling more than $40 million. Website: http://www.slocumblaw.com. Washington, D.C., office address: Mike Slocumb Law Firm, 777 6th Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20004. Phone number: 1-334-741-4110, or toll free at 1-800-HURTLINE.

Benefits of working in a large law firm

As a young lawyer, or a lawyer considering a change in employer, an important question to consider is ‘what type of law firm do I want to work for?’ With so many options available, it can be a daunting decision. While entering a large law firm can be overwhelming, there are benefits to working for an established and well regarded firm.

Whether you’re looking for Singapore or Sydney legal jobs, consider the benefits of working in a large law firm when making your decision.

Possibility for career progression. Large law firms often have well established hierarchies and clearly set paths for promotion. At a large law firm, you may start in an entry level position, but promotions are usually internal and the possibility for career progression is high.

Contacts and networking opportunities. Large law firms foster an environment that is conducive to many ‘meet and greet’ opportunities, which gives their staff access to a wide variety of lawyers and industry professionals. Working for a large law firm – particularly when starting out – is a good way to build relationships with a number of other lawyers in the industry. As with many other job sectors, it can be who you know – not what you know – that propels your career.

Training programs for graduates. Large law firms often have well-established, well-structured and well-oiled training programs to help new lawyers make an easy transition into full time work. These programs often involve mentors and continued growth and learning opportunities.
Global scale. For lawyers who have their sights set on an international career, large law firms are often global in scale and thus offer the opportunity for internal relocation. For those who are currently looking for London legal jobs, for example, but are interested in working in Hong Kong legal jobs at some point, they should direct their job search at firms which have offices in both locations.

Pro-Bono initiatives. Due to the size and influence of a number of large law firms, they are often involved and committed to a certain number of pro-bono cases and other community initiatives. Working with a large law firm allows a lawyer to participate in such programs.

If you’re considering a change in employers or are deciding which law firms to apply to as a graduate, there are lots factors to take into account. The size of the law firm is one of the most important considerations.

Is a large law firm suited to you?

Testosterone Therapy Lawsuit & Mesothelioma Law Firm

It has become an all too common fact that product liability and dangerous products have almost developed into a way of life. The weekly news reports rarely go by without alarming headlines of a death or injury related to a product now being recalled or highly promoted pharmaceutical drugs now shown to have disastrous side effects.

The National Cancer Institute recently, “… found that men over the age of 65, as well as patients younger than 65 with a history of heart disease, had twice the rate of heart attacks in the three months after beginning testosterone therapy lawsuit when compared to the year prior to treatment.”

The National Cancer Institute and The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) have both released studies showing a substantial risk increase of heart attack, stroke, and death for men using “Low-T” therapy drugs.

Reports show that testosterone therapy will be a $5 Billion Industry by 2017. Why is that important to know? This is a standard practice for the major pharmaceutical companies who make billions on a specific drug without conducting proper research. Once they have made their money, they set aside a few hundred million for lawsuits. They take a small “slap on the wrist” and when all is said and done, they have still profited Billions of dollars with a “minimal payout” to sick and dying patients. To them it’s “Good Business,” but to you or your loved one, it’s pain, suffering and even death! The Zabriskie Law Firm Salt Lake City, UT anticipates filing hundreds of lawsuits on behalf of suffering patients who were injured while using testosterone therapy drugs.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Lawyer Information Salt Lake City, Utah

Mesothelioma is a type of CANCER that occurs in the mesothelium. This is a thin membrane encompassing your body’s internal organs and cavities. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to Asbestos! Not anymore, thank Heavens… in 1989 the laws changed for using asbestos… however, the reason you are still hearing about it is because it can take decades to manifest the symptoms.
The time to take action is now, and by waiting to seek help from an attorney you are hurting your chances for receiving justice. The other side has attorneys trying to secure the most unfavorable result for you. You need a legal advocate who will fight tirelessly to defend your rights. Here at mesothelioma law firm we never underestimate the serious nature of your case, and we have a proven history of success with negotiations and trial. In order to protect your legal rights, please fill out and submit the case evaluation form on this page. Our skilled team of attorneys will carefully review and assess your situation in order to provide you with the reliable help you need. We have achieved over 400 trial victories and are prepared to stand up for your rights.

It is our belief that anyone who has been harmed or seriously injured due to product liability based on a defective design or an inadequate label or warning may have a case to look into. Our firm urges anyone who believes they have the grounds for filing a product liability or dangerous products suit to contact one of our lawyers without delay. This includes clients facing a DePuy hip implant lawsuit. We have years of experience and know-how in aggressively pursuing all types of claims. Let us answer your questions and provide you with first rate legal counsel in working out how to strategize the most effective defense suited to your claim for damages and losses.

How Your Legal Firm can Avail of Insurance Leads?

In today’s competitive market, it is somewhat challenging for legal experts to reach out to the qualified clients through traditional way. Though they might get succeeded in finding their clients, but chances are not promising as the traditional technique is no longer a relevant method to find the qualified leads within stipulated time frame. In such circumstances, they need to go through the most accurate way to find their solutions. These days, the technique to generate legal leads is helping so many companies to reach out their clients.

Due to increasing cases of social security disability, so many relevant legal experts are in search of qualified leads so that they can outperform their counterparts in the market. With accurate mechanism to identify your clients, the professionals are making use of high-end tools while refining the categories of clients.

When it comes to generating leads for a particular service, the professionals target only those who are seeking the services for their needs. The professionals utilize very advanced mechanism to find the qualified leads and send them to the relevant legal firms.

The term disability is termed as any physical impairment that doesn’t allow the victims to continue their job. For such conditions, the social security authority provides disability benefits to the impaired people so that they can live rest of their life with financial independency. Though the term is complex and very vast to detail, but it must be remembered that so many qualified people are denied due to improper application or lacking documents. And they rush to the market in search of an experienced attorney.

When identifying disability insurance leads for several legal firms, the professionals catch them through either digital footprints or direct communication.

If you have a pool of genuine leads who are genuinely looking for a legal assistance, your business can surely run with increased revenues. You don’t need to employ additional staffs to find the clients. On the other hand, you can also save on the cost incurred by using resources in course of finding your clients.

Apart from it you don’t need to be worried about the quality of social security disability lead as your select professionals are highly expert in generating leads through the advanced mechanism.

So, it is important to find the most experienced and reliable service provider who can provide the most promising leads for your business. Before selecting a particular service provider, check all the key aspects carefully.

The Law Society

 

LONDON —  Islamic law is to be effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first time under guidelines for lawyers on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills.

Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, lawyers will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether.

The documents, which would be recognised by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock — and even those who have been adopted — from being counted as legitimate heirs.

Anyone married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession under Sharia principles, which recognise only Muslim weddings for inheritance purposes.

Nicholas Fluck, president of The Law Society, said the guidance would promote “good practice” in applying Islamic principles in the British legal system. Some lawyers, however, described the guidance as “astonishing”, while campaigners warned it represented a major step on the road to a “parallel legal system” for Britain’s Muslim communities.

Baroness Cox, who is leading a Parliamentary campaign to protect women from religiously sanctioned discrimination, including from unofficial Sharia courts in Britain, said it was a “deeply disturbing” development and pledged to raise it with ministers.

“This violates everything that we stand for,” she said. “It would make the Suffragettes turn in their graves.”

[ more … ]

Read original post here: British law society’s move to allow Islamic ‘Sharia compliant’ wills called ‘deeply disturbing’

This content-post is archived for backup and to keep archived records of any news Islam Ahmadiyya. The views expressed by the author and source of this news archive do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Ahmadiyya Times.

New California Employment Laws

Among the new employment laws in California for 2012 are:

  • Employers are now generally prohibited from using consumer credit reports to screen candidates for employment. Exceptions exists for employees with access to trade secrets or $10,000+ of cash of the employer, or to confidential information or $10,000+ of cash of others, executive employees, etc.
  • Genetric discrimination is now prohibited.
  • Upon hire, an employer must now provide the employee with a written notice specifying certain information about the employer and the employee’s job, including workers’ compensation insurance carrier information.
  • Penalties for wilfully misclassifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees are increased (a new civil penalty of $5,000 to $15,000 per violation is added to existing penalties).
  • The minimimum salary for exempt computer professionals increases, as does the minimum hourly rate for physicians paid hourly.
  • Employers covered by the pregnancy disability leave law must maintain and pay for group health insurance during the leave, up to 4 months in a 12-month period.
  • Moving in the opposite direction from much of the nation, California now prohibits state and local governments in most instances from requiring employers to use the federal E-Verifysystem to ensure candidates are legally permitted to work in the United States. (Effective today, Georgia, Lousiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina joined a minority of other states already mandating the use of E-Verify. While other states were cracking down on illegal immigrants, California has now enacted the Dream Act, allowing in-state tuition to some illegal immigrants.) California employers may voluntarily choose to use E-verify, however, and must do so if it’s a condition of federal law or the receipt of federal funds. The new law appeared to be aimed at a number of conservative-leaning Califoria cities who had already, or who were considering passing, local mandatory E-Verify laws.
  • San Francisco becomes the first city in the nation mandating a minimum wage greater than $10 per hour. While the wage rate is new, the law was actually passed years ago, but requires adjustements each year to keep pace with inflation. The minimum wage for most California cities without a higher local rate remains at $8.00 per hour for 2012.
  • As is common, some required work place posters have been updated.

How To Get The Best Law Firm Campaign Slogans & Taglines

Law firm branding is one of the single most competitive categories in all of marketing. With the stakes so high, law firms need to use every advantage in the book to swoop up the best clients. One of the most effective ways firms can stand out is through catchy campaign slogans. Law firm ad slogans and taglines can be tricky however. Bar restrictions often limit what you can say and larger firms often have a hard time agreeing on which of their potential campaign slogans is best for them. The result is often a compromise that leads to bland, generic, never effective law firm marketing slogans and advertising taglines such as “Experience You Can Trust” or “Serving Our Community Since 1989.”

Wake me up. I fell asleep after the first two words!

Catchy slogans, be they law firm advertising slogans for billboards or law firm taglines to compliment your logo, should always offer a point of differentiation and have that point of differentiation delivered in a memorable way. There’s a great advertising slogan for a personal injury attorney who represents injured cyclists in Florida. His slogan is your race to compensation begins here. It’s different. It speaks to his target audience – cyclists. Another solo personal injury attorney in Florida doesn’t have a niche like targeting cyclists so he’s competing with much larger firms head on. The point of differentiation he wants to get across is that his small size allows him to get more involved in his clients’ cases when large firms mainly have clients interact with paralegals secretaries. He rotates three campaign slogans in his law firm billboard advertising. They are…

A Law Firm, Not A Law Factory.

Personal Injury Handled Personally.

And…This Isn’t The Only Time You’ll See Me.

The last of his three ad taglines features a warm portrait photo. “This Isn’t The Only Time You’ll See Me” works well in contrast to “big firm” lawyers who are known for appearing in ads but but seldom appear in actual client meetings.

So how do you get great law firm ad slogans, law firm campaign slogans or law firm taglines that demonstrate your differentiation in a clever way? Don’t try and do it yourself! The attorney who tries to come up with his or her own slogan, like the attorney who tries self representation, also has a fool for a client. So here are some routes you can take.

One option is starting a contest for potential law firm advertising slogans on a professional slogan generator site like Slogan Slingers. You put up a cash prize and professional slogan writers start submitting ad agency quality marketing slogans, often within 24 hours. You determine the prize amount – anywhere from $200 – $999. When you select your favorite entry, the winning slogan or advertising tagline writer gets the cash and you get the rights to the slogan/tagline. Slogan writers from the U.S., Australia, England and beyond can all compete.

Your other option is to hire an advertising agency with particular expertise with law firm advertising slogans. While you’ll get far fewer options than a contest slogan site like Slogan Slingers and the price will be more, you might prefer the full service approach.

A law firm advertising tagline can be one of the best investments you can make in your practice. So don’t be guilty of letting this critical marketing opportunity pass you by