Tuesday, February 22, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

The Top 5 Legal Principles for Everyday Life

This week's Tops should help you with at least a baseline understanding of some very important legal matters, and give you a head start where you might need one:



1. Have a Will
Everyone should have a will.  Regardless of your millions or thousands, it is important to give resolution for your belongings when you move on to a better place.  A will makes things easier for your loved ones, and if necessary the courts, to deal with.  Better yet, if you can have your accounts and belongings testate, i.e. having the names of beneficiaries on them during life, you'll be in the best shape.  Got more questions?  Just ask!

2. Protect your craft
Are you artistic in any way?  Fashion designer?  Musician?  Author?  Any of these talents, and more suggest you should be protecting the art which is your valuable lifeline.  Registering your writings and videos with copyright is the least you can do to ensure no one is infringing on your creation.  If you are using your talents in commerce, and have a logo or signature mark for your brand/products, you should register your trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office.  This protection will be essential if you ever find your goods making money for other people!  

3. Know general principles of crime
Some people like to live on the edge.  If this is you, you might want to be familiar with the criminal offenses of your state, and know, taking certain steps can still cause you trouble.  Legally, there are some crimes which don't even need to be completed for you to be charged and sentenced.  Obviously B.A.F.F.L.E.D. is not endorsing a life of crime by any means.  However, you need to know the generalities of criminal law in your area, to be sure you are not as close to the edge as you think.  Sorry folks, but ignorance of the law is ultimately never a defense.  

4. Know what harm really is
Do you think you have a law suit?  Or do you just hope you do?   Knowing whether or not you are actually a potential plaintiff is important.  Of course simply asking a lawyer, or asking B.A.F.F.L.E.D. will clarify things for you.  Harm is legally defined as physical or psychological injury or damage.  This definition is broad, but when really looking at the circumstance, detecting harm can become clearer.  So before running up to the courthouse, make sure your harm is real.

5. Understand your Constitutional protection
In some way or another, we are pretty much all covered under the U.S. Constitution's section on equal protection.  This clause prevents discrimination based on national origin, race, gender, and other particulars.  In a nutshell, we're all covered.  Despite specific provisions for racial groups and women, the general provisions have something for everyone in some way.  These protections cannot get you into exclusive private organizations, but they are here to guard your everyday public services.  



Hopefully these tips will be helpful.  Again, if you have more questions....just ask!

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