The Downside to Walking

Now that it’s starting to heat up, a lot of people are ditching their cars and opting to walk instead. They save money on gas and improve their health- talk about killing two birds with one stone! And if that wasn’t enough reason to walk, there’s something about spending the day outside that just feels good. A day in the sun helps everyone get those feel-good vitamins that they weren’t getting in the cold winter months.

With all of these benefits of going for a walk, it seems like there’s no potential downside to taking a stroll. And for the most part, that’s true. Most of us would be hard-pressed to think of a good argument against living pedestrian life. However, pedestrian-related accidents are something that everyone should be aware of.

There are a lot of reasons that drivers can collide with a pedestrian. Distracted driving is probably one of the biggest causes. In the split-second that the driver takes to adjust their radio, a pedestrian has stepped out onto the road. Even if the driver slams on the brakes, they will still likely strike the person walking.

If the driver is distracted enough they might not realize that they’re speeding, making the crash all the more severe. Drunk driving can also impair judgment and coordination, slowing the driver’s reaction time so much that the pedestrian has no chances of staying safe.

In rural areas, the crosswalks and traffic signals often go years without getting the proper upgrades needed to be safe enough for pedestrians. Outdated technology can make a driver think that it safe to turn despite the person walking already being at the crosswalk. Consider a left turn. Most drivers keep an eye out for oncoming traffic while failing to consider a pedestrian crossing the street that they are turning onto, making a collision more likely to occur.

A collision between a car and a pedestrian is almost always deadlier for the pedestrian. The sheer force of the impact is bound to cause major trauma to the victim. If they survive, they will have injuries that are costly and will need a long time to recover. A distracted driver who caused the accident should be the one held liable for these damages, not the victim.

A Greenville personal injury law firm, Hammack Law Firm, believes in holding those at fault for the accident accountable for their actions. When a victim of a pedestrian accident receives the settlements that they deserve, they will be able to make a speedy recovery at little to no cost to them.

If your attempt at spending a nice day outside goes horribly wrong, make sure to fight for justice. One bad accident shouldn’t keep you inside any longer than absolutely necessary. Don’t let someone else’s lack of awareness ruin your summer- contact an attorney that will help you seek the damages that you deserve so you can have as much fun in the sun as possible.

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Keep or Sell Mineral Rights?

J. Paul Getty once said that the meek will inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights. He was talking about how you have to be bold and willing to take lots of risks to achieve mineral rights. It seems like keeping mineral rights takes more and more guts every year. As globalization continues to occur at faster rates and more and more countries are developing, the oil market is becoming more unpredictable than ever. A neighbor of mine came into a large plot of land in west Texas after his grandfather passed away. He was unsure if he wanted to hold onto the mineral rights that came with the land. We discussed the issue at hand for a long time and searched the web to see if there were any services that helped with that sort of thing. We found out about The Mineral Auction. They help people looking to sell mineral rights find a buyer and get the best price for their land. Their brokers allow you to get a fair evaluation of your land so that you and potential buyers know what you’re getting into. If you aren’t sure of how much your land is worth, you may be contacted by a buyer that tries to get you to take a bad deal. Because most of us don’t have the technical knowledge to evaluate land, a private buyer may try to convince you that your land is worth far less than it actually is. Brokers like The Mineral Auction help to prevent these swindlers from succeeding.

Owning mineral rights in the Permian Basin is risky business these days. One day your land could be valued at millions of dollars, and the next it could be valued for pennies on the dollar. It’s just the nature of the business as oil companies change their extraction plans with the economy. My neighbor and I discussed how land was a good investment, but putting the money into a stock portfolio or other real estate may be a safer option. When you sell mineral rights, you can take the money from those rights and invest them into several different things rather than having all of your capital tied up into just one thing. With the money, my neighbor could turn to a financial advisor that manages some of the money in a portfolio. This sort of investment is never going to increase or decrease exponentially overnight. It’s more likely to steadily increase over the course of a 15-20 year period. This is a great option for my neighbor who is looking to pay for his children’s college and retire in his sixties. He is also considering putting some of the money into other property ownership. He may buy a home and rent it out to the college kids that move into our town from year to year. With a house, he can make money from the rent. Also, if the house appreciates in value, he can sell the property at a profit later on. It’s a win-win situation. This is why we think diversification is probably a better option than holding onto mineral rights in this unpredictable economy.

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Everything You Need to Know About the H-1B Visa

You may already know that the maximum number of H-1B recipients has been met for the fiscal year 2019. As you work with a visa attorney, it is normal to have more questions than answers at first. Here are some things that we know right now:

Common Denials

If you have plans to work in the United States, you may need to rethink your strategy. Some occupations have more success with the H-1B visa process than others, and it’s important to know the likelihood of your visa being granted. These occupations have been repeatedly denied for several years:

  • Marketing Manager – The Occupational Outlook Handbook does not require a degree of any kind to fulfill this position, making it difficult to be approved.
  • Business Development Manager – Market research analysts have been increasingly more challenging to attain visas for, and this occupation is very similar.
  • Legal Technical Writer – This position is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to gain entry into the United States, and that includes extensions. Another problem for applicants is that the Occupational Outlook Handbook does not require a degree.
  • Computer Programmer – The USCIS has deemed that a bachelor’s degree is not required for this position, making it very difficult to be accepted.
  • Financial Analyst – Even though this position requires a degree, it may not be a special occupation if the industry you are applying to work with does not require a degree.
  • Sales – This position has never had much success with the H-1B visa application process. It may be best to revisit your job description and try a different angle.
  • The Arts – Besides fashion design and graphic design, the USCIS does not typically grant visas on these grounds.

Alternative Visas

If you were not selected in the H-1B visa lottery or if your chances of approval are low, there are other options to stay and work in the country.

  • O-1 Visa – Also known as the “Extraordinary Ability” visa, this visa can be awarded to aliens with considerable talents in the sciences, education, business, athletics, and the arts. This visa allows aliens to live and work for up to three years in the United States, especially if they may have received national or international recognition for their talents. This visa is ideal for individuals who hold at least a master’s degree and have started their own business, designed a new patent, or are considered a leading expert in their field.
  • TN Visa – The TN visa allows certain professions on the NAFTA list to be performed in the United States by Canadian and Mexican nationals. This visa expires after three years, but visa holders have the opportunity to apply for single year periods after that.
  • E-3 Visa – Australian nationals may travel to the United States to work on special jobs as long as the have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. These candidates must work in a STEM occupational field in order to apply. The initial visa will last two years, and extensions can be granted for two year at a time.



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When does a lawyer need a lawyer? This Chicago attorney needs one…

Some of us have a thing for instant gratification. We love purchases, acquiring belongings, and buying things that make us and others happy. An attorney in Chicago was caught stealing recently and had to plead guilty to theft and fraud after it was found that he was spending up to $30,000 a month of money that wasn’t his, according to a recent news story. 

According to The Chicago Tribune,   a guilty plea was offered by the Chicago attorney for taking over $800,000 from clients  in order to fund his lavish lifestyle. The Wheaton estate lawyer admitted he had a spending problem and took more than $800,000 from his clients to fund his lifestyle which included spending about $30,000 in home and renovation expenses. This is according to what prosecutors said in a hearing in which the defendant, Robert Beck pled guilty to theft. 

If he did not enter the guilty plea, the defendant could have served up to 15 years, but other charges were dropped in exchange for his plea, and sentencing will begin on October 26th. Beck lost his ability to practice estate law, of course, and he found himself in need of a good criminal defense lawyer.

The State Attorney’s assistant Diane Michalak provided a narrative of his crime at the hearing. Beck had a case filed in 2015 after another attorney commented on how Beck might have been using his client’s funds. The investigators discovered that Beck was scheming with his clients’ money to hide what he was stealing. When interviewed, Beck admitted to using the funds in an incorrect manner without approval and committed the crime because his wife and him having a spending problem. Beck spent $30,000 before they discovered that he was paying off monthly car loans, purchase new furniture, remodeling his home, and pay off his boat. The majority of the money was given to him to build trusts and he assumed he could take advantage of the elderly. The theft began in 2011 when Beck processed a trust account for a woman who happened to die within the same year. He started making personal checks out of her account and putting them into his account. Over 18 months, he took over $189,000. They began spending $18,000 in 2011 and that figure increased to $29,000 by early 2014.

Theft and fraud are often crimes of convenience, in which an individual who has access (in this case, to people’s estate funds) chooses to steal for themselves. Beck stole from others to fund a lavish lifestyle, and he admitted to his crime. Whenever a person is accused of a crime like theft, it is important for them to consult with a criminal defense lawyer to discuss their legal options. In this case, a plea deal may have helped reduce certain charges against the defendant. An experienced criminal defense attorney can review the facts of the case and determine what the right course of action may be. You may wish to strike a deal with the prosecutor, or you may wish to take the case to trial and try to have the charges against you dropped altogether. It is also wise to know the penal code for your particular state, so you know what charges may be filed against you. I live in Texas, so a quick search revealed theft and fraud lawyers near me (I really liked the website of this theft and fraud lawyer in my town), who I would definitely turn to if I were accused of a crime like Beck was.

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Invest in what will Keep Your facility Clean and with Good Breathable Air

Keeping smoke out of welders’ breathing zone and making sure that the whole facility is free of welding fumes is a vital responsibility of manufacturers and plant owners. Manufacturers know that weld fumes threaten workers’ health and raise many other serious concerns, regardless of the operation performed – manual or robotic welding. If weld fumes are not captured, then the health of all workers (in the entire facility) can be put to risk.

Weld fumes contain toxic metals particulates. These less than a micrometer in diameter particulates are released into the air when welding wires get subjected to extreme heat and can be easily inhaled and absorbed into the body. Additionally, hexavalent chromium particulates, which are toxic, can travel in these fumes and cause different types of serious health problems, including cancer. The absence of a comprehensive weld fume control system will not only put the health of workers in an entire facility at risk, but may also be considered a violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) “General Duty Clause.” This directive requires manufacturers to provide a safe and healthy workplace and, with regard to welding facilities, to adhere to air contaminant requirements, one of which is to maintain the presence of specific toxic substances, like manganese and hexavalent chromium, within permissible exposure levels (PELs).

Industrial welding dust filtration and control, as explained in the website of RoboVent, may be effectively and efficiently accomplished thru the installation of a weld fume ventilation system for any of the following purposes:

  • Manual Welding Source Capture. Source capture is a proven way to reduce weld fumes in manual welding operations. Collecting fumes at the point of welding ensures a more efficient means of capture and a higher degree of safety for workers.
  • Manual Welding Ambient Systems. Ambient solutions for manual welding stations capture weld fumes from the environment, improving the air for workers and the entire facility.
  • Portable Weld Fume Smoke Extraction. These self-contained systems enable workers to capture weld fumes from any location. When production lines or welding cells must remain flexible, these systems safeguard workers, no matter the situation.
  • Robotic Welding. RoboVent offers multiple systems for addressing the special concerns of robotic welding. Cutting-edge collectors provide workers and facilities the highest levels of protection possible.

Manufacturers who are concerned about productivity and who make the safety of their workers top priority should never think twice investing in what will keep their facility clean and with good breathable air.


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