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Monday
Dec032012

Push For Ban of Short-Term Home Rentals in California, With Judge Eugene Hyman

Some home owners in upscale areas of California, such as Dana Point, are disgraced and outraged that some of their neighbors are renting out rooms or homes on a short-term basis.
Retired Superior Court Judge of Santa Clara, California, Eugene Hyman says that the concern is if a community is trying to stop this, are they in essence enacting a prohibition that would be referred to as a taking, that may be preventing the homeowner from enjoying their residence and restricting it significantly, in which it then becomes a taking, in which the residence is entitled to compensation.Source: www.familylawchannel.com
Hyman says that those opposing these short-term rentals want environmental reports, as there will be more car trips and more noisy parties.  He adds that the home owner will have to comply with respect to inspections, as there will be safety inspections.
Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.
Monday
Dec032012

San Francisco Bans Public Nudity, Featuring Judge Eugene Hyman

In the city of San Francisco, California, public nudity during parades and events was a common sight and for the ultra-liberal city, this type of public nudity has been allowed.  It seems, however, that some public nudity has gotten too blatant and the city has now put a new ordinance into law banning public nudity.

Eugene Hyman, retired Superior Court Judge of Santa Clara, California believes that this new ordinance is not a violation of free speech, which suggests that you're performing art, participating in a protest or are involved in a process where one is expressing themselves.  Additionally, he says that this new ordinance is not indecent exposure, which requires that one is doing something with a sexual intent, vs. just sitting or standing there naked, which, in of itself, is not indecent exposure.Source: www.familylawchannel.com

According to Hyman, this ordinance  is a peace disturbance kind of ordinance.  In his view, San Francisco has reacted properly in that in some communities, it would be the possibility of jail first time out but San Francisco has said fines for the first two offenses and then only after the third, you have the possibility of receiving a correctional or custodial sentence.  A lot of people don't realize that violations of local ordinances are criminal and punitive in nature, says Hyman and that depending upon the ordinance, it can involved possible incarceration.  

San Francisco has decided that public nudity is not a good thing, with concerns about public safety, public health and public peace and therefore, has enacted this ordinance.  "People will be appealing this based on free speech but I don't think it will win," says Hyman.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.

Monday
Dec032012

Texas Man Receives Ninth DUI But Will He Receive Life In Prison?, Featuring Judge Eugene Hyman

After a Texas man receives his ninth DUI, he faces the possibility of a life in prison sentence.  Retired Superior Court Judge of Santa Clara, California Eugene Hyman says that given the fact that this man had nine prior DUI's, it's reasonable to assume he'll go to prison.  The question is, he adds, is whether a life sentence is likely to happen and if so, if it's considered cruel and unusual punishment.

Having priors enhances the case from a misdemeanor to a felony, says Hyman, who believes the media is hyping that he has already received a life sentence, which is misleading.  To clarify, he says he's received a sentence that's "possibly" a life sentence, in which case, he can be paroled in as soon as five years.Source: video.foxnews.com

Under the federal standards for cruel and unusual punishment, being paroled after five years is probably not cruel and unusual punishment, says Hyman, especially given his nine prior DUI's.  If he were to actually get a life sentence, the question then is raised whether it would be cruel and unusual punishment, notes Hyman, and that under the U.S. Supreme Court decisions, it probably would be cruel and unusual punishment, especially since these are non-violent offenses.Source: familylawchannel.com

Hyman says that it is important to see how he behaves in prison, in terms of the possibility of him getting paroled.  "The tone of the media seems to be emphasizing he'll be spending the rest of his life in prison and that is not the case," adds Hyman.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com.  He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.

Tuesday
Nov272012

Boy Scout Abuse Litigation, With Attorney Christopher Hurley of Hurley, McKenna & Mertz in Chicago

Christopher Hurley, attorney with Hurley, McKenna and Mertz in Chicago got involved in sexual abuse litigation through nursing homes, where victims surface at a rather alarming rate.  He found that pedophiles like to go to institutions where they know their victims will have a hard time fighting them off.Source: www.hurley-law.com

Hurley says most people remember when abuse allegations started with the clergy, a phenomenon which had led the church to protecting itself ahead of its victims.  Now, with the boy scouts, it continues with supposedly responsible adults, in positions of authority, who find out about these crimes and instinctively protect their institution.  "Their first instinct is to protect the institution, rather than help the child and this is an instinct that has to change," says Hurley.

There is an instinctive shame and fear that is experienced by the child, says Hurley, adding that the pedophile uses that to their advantage to make it difficult for the child to come forward.  Hurley finds that for the victims that do speak up, they feel better afterwards, while some victims find it more difficult to come forward.  At Hurley, McKenna and Mertz, names can be kept confidential should the victims prefer.

For more information, visit Hurley, McKenna and Mertz at www.hurley-law.com.  Christopher Hurley spoke with The Legal Broadcast Network during this interview, which provides online, on-demand legal video content.

Tuesday
Nov272012

Gift & Estate Tax Perks Gone in 2013, With Tax Attorney Robert Wood, of Wood, LLP in San Francisco

Between now and December 31, 2012, during life or death, you can give away up to $5 million per person or $10 million per couple without paying tax.  In 2013, the gift and estate tax rules are changing and are going back to what we had before, possibly a $1 million exemption, says Robert Wood, tax attorney with Wood, LLP in San Francisco.

Wood says it makes economic sense to do the tax efficient thing and give away the $5 million in real estate to your children but he questions if the $5 million exemption might not be available next year also.  On any gift tax, it doesn't have to be absolute, Wood notes, adding that it can be done in trust so your children don't squander the money.Source: www.woodllp.com

Along with most people, Wood thinks it is unlikely that the $5 million exemption will stick because it is tough for democrats to allow for such a high amount and that it is more likely to be $3.5 million.  There is also the argument that the gift tax amount should be lower than the estate tax, says Wood.

The bottom line, according to Wood, is people should be thinking about it and talking with their estate planners, so "they can have an informed dialogue before the end of the year."

Attorney Robert Wood, of Wood, LLP in San Francisco is a featured commentator with The Tax Law Channel, part of The Legal Broadcast Network and more information on his Forbes.com article about gift and estate taxes can be found here.