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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 26, 2016 – The U.S. government announced plans to eliminate $7.7 billion in student loan debt for around 400,000 severely disabled individuals. According to the Department of Education, Americans who are “totally and permanently disabled” have no obligation to repay their federal student loans. In 2012 the government moved toward simplifying the loan forgiveness process by allowing disabled individuals use their Social Security designation to get a discharge. However, student activists claim many Americans are unaware of the benefit or have encountered difficulties with submitting paperwork. As a result, some borrowers’ disability checks have been […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) May 23, 2016 – It can be challenging to find tax-advantaged ways to save for retirement when an individual is highly compensated. Under the general rule, workers can save $18,000 annually in pre-tax income in a 401(k) plan. However, if the worker earns over $120,000 annually, owns in excess of a five percent interest in an employer’s company, or is among the employees who earn the top 20 percent of income at the firm, the IRS considers such a worker to be a highly compensated employee (HCE). The contributions made by an HCE can […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 12, 2016 – Chipotle has faced a number of lawsuits relating to food borne illnesses as a result of exposure to Norovirus. This latest suit is for wrongful termination, discrimination, assault, sexual harassment and retaliation. Plaintiff Ariana Castaneda filed her lawsuit seeking medical expenses, lost wages and benefits after she was allegedly sexually harassed and wrongfully terminated from her job as lead kitchen worker. Her suit named four Chipotle managers as the instigators of the harassment. Castaneda worked for Chipotle from December 2013 until February 2016 when she was fired. Castaneda’s first work shirt […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 6, 2016 – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that all travelers entering the United States from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program would be required to have an electronic passport, known as an e-Passport. An e-Passport includes an electronic chip that contains the traveler’s biographical information, which DHS said is a security enhancement and protection against identity theft. The new requirement took effect April 1 and affects travelers from 38 countries. “The requirement that Visa Waiver applicants now must use an e-Passport is a reasonable balance to facilitate added protection against […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 4, 2016 – April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and experts say that driving while distracted is a major cause of car accidents in Florida and throughout the country. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, there were nearly 46,000 crashes caused by distracted driving in the state last year. “There are far too many accidents caused by distracted driving,” said Jason Chalik, a Florida car accident attorney with Chalik & Chalik Law Offices. “Anyone who is injured or loses a loved one in a car accident through the fault of another driver should consult […]


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Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 29, 2016 – Austin and other large Texas cities could use this kind of partnership to assist those injured in boating accidents. Boating is a favorite pastime in Texas, with many lakes, rivers and other bodies of water beckoning to boat enthusiasts. Not everyone follows safe boating practices and some personal watercraft owners boat while under the influence. Boating under the influence is a recipe for an accident resulting in serious injuries or death. EMTs/first responders have to know precisely what to do when they arrive at the scene of a boating accident, and […]


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Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 28, 2016 – During the renovations to Texas A & M’s Kyle Field, a young man met his untimely death. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Angel Garcia fell to his death in 2013 when a piece of concrete, weighing 3,000 pounds, toppled his Caterpillar loader down four stories. The wrongful death lawsuit names Manhattan and Vaughn construction companies and Lindamood and Texas Cutting and Coring, alleging they were negligent by allowing such a massive overload on the Caterpillar. The suit seeks $100 million in damages, alleging he was not properly trained to […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) April 20, 2016 – Yet another university professor has resigned following an investigation revealing he violated the University of Chicago’s sexual misconduct policy. A recent media exposure in Chicago by the Times revealed that 43-year-old molecular biologist Jason Lieb, who had been hired away from Princeton University, hurriedly resigned from his position after an investigation uncovered details indicating he violated the University of Chicago’s sexual misconduct policy. Sexual harassment of any type is not being as readily tolerated at educational institutions across the nation. A spate of revelations about the dismal handling such complaints received […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 19, 2016 – Many estate plans fail to consider the fate of items that do not necessarily have great monetary value, but have much sentimental value to the heirs. Such was the case in the estate of comedian Robin Williams, whose children and third wife were fighting in court over possession of specific sentimental items, such as the tuxedo he wore at his wedding. Mr. Williams bequeathed to his three children the clothing, jewelry and personal items he had accumulated prior to his third marriage, and that appears to include his tuxedo. However, […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 18, 2016 – Those who have recently divorced are advised to review their estate plans and update them to reflect any changes they wish to make. If they have children, then one objective is to preserve any assets for their heirs in light of the divorce. While a will allows the grantor to avoid probate, and many assets may have been distributed in the form of gifts, there may be some remaining assets. The will may not identify each remaining asset that the grantor owns. The residuary describes a clause in a will that […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) April 17, 2016 – Karen Gauen, high school principal, alleges the Highland Community Unit School District No. 5 discriminated against her by paying her far less wages than less-qualified male counterparts. The lawsuit alleges sexual discrimination in that the school district paid principal Gauen a base salary of at least $25,000 more a year than she received. It is further alleged that the predecessor has far less experience as an educator and does not hold the qualifications Gauen does: national board certification, two master’s degrees and a doctorate in educational administration. The statement further alleges […]


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Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 13, 2016 – Title lenders are coming under fire from the federal government and ordinary Florida citizens. The lenders issue loans to individuals using titles to the borrowers’ automobiles as collateral. Despite existing state law limiting certain controversial practices, the companies remain under scrutiny for what some call predatory lending. Federal regulators may weigh in on the matter soon, and at least one Florida couple is suing one of the state’s biggest lenders. Reggie Osenton, a Tampa bankruptcy attorney, strongly cautions against borrowers turning to title lenders. “Even the best of these lenders have […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 11, 2016 – The majority of people who remarry possess little or no knowledge about the legal and estate planning concerns that are relevant to a new marriage. They do not plan, and as a result, there can be much conflict and disorder in later years. Most individuals do not comprehend that marriage grants the new spouse considerable rights. In addition, they are unfamiliar with spousal elective shares, and have not thought about the effects of the remarriage after their death. People who are contemplating remarriage are advised to consult an attorney in order […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 8, 2016 – A U.S. postal worker from Tampa, Florida, has been charged with stealing Social Security benefit checks valued at more than $2 million from the mail. The man was identified on March 18 as 47-year-old Stacy Darnell Mitchell. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mitchell could face a maximum of 15 years in federal prison. He was charged with theft of government property and theft of mail. “Investigators have done well to find the alleged perpetrator of the crime,” said David W. Magann, a prominent attorney in Tampa, Florida, whose firm specializes […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 8, 2016 – There has been an alarming increase in pedestrian deaths from car accidents across the United States, and Florida is estimated to have the highest rate of such deaths in the nation, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. Based on preliminary data, the safety association estimates a 10 percent increase from 2014 to 2015 in the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide. Florida is estimated to have the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the country. “Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable in car accidents, and collisions […]


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Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 6, 2016 – A Travis County jury found that a manager in the city of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department was unlawfully retaliated against after she complained that she experienced discrimination because of her gender and national origin. However, the jury rejected her claims that she was denied a raise and a promotion because of discrimination. Mapi Vigil, who is from Nicaragua, has worked for the city of Austin for over 20 years and currently supervises about 30 staff members as a managing engineer. The jury awarded her $751,000, but the amount she will receive […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 5, 2016 – A significant part of an estate plan can be the designation of a person’s IRA beneficiary. If an IRA account owner does not name a beneficiary, their heirs could be required to pay more income and estate tax than necessary following their death. It is recommended that an account owner modify IRA beneficiary designations to suit their objectives. Usually, people name their spouses, children or grandchildren as beneficiaries. Another possibility is to designate a trust, a charity, or a group of persons, trusts or charities. Following the account owner’s death, […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) March 31, 2016 – Some retirees and former employees have received offers from their employers to accept a lump-sum payment of their pension. This is an offer that they must consider very carefully because it will entail a loss of income for the rest of their life, and they will be in charge of managing their own investments and ensuring that the funds last through retirement. The IRS and Treasury made an announcement in July 2015 that they would forbid companies from offering lump-sum payments to retirees who were already getting a monthly pension. […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 17, 2016 – After an increase in hit-and-run car accidents in 2014, preliminary statistics indicate that another spike in hit-and-runs took place in 2015, with more than 90,000 such accidents occurring. “Drivers need to realize that if they leave the scene of an accident, they are not only committing a crime, they may also be putting an injured person’s life at risk by delaying the emergency response,” said Jason Chalik, a Florida car accident attorney with Chalik & Chalik Law Offices. “When a crash takes place, it’s important to stay at the scene, call […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 11, 2016 – On January 13, 2016, bipartisan members of Congress introduced a bill to address inequities arising out of a recent amendment to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) that affects certain persons with dual nationalities. “In less than one month from passage of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 in late December 2015, bipartisan legislation has been introduced to eliminate clear discrimination against certain dual nationals of visa waiver countries and of Iraq, Iran, Syria and the Sudan,” said Stewart Rabinowitz, a Dallas immigration attorney with Rabinowitz […]


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