Real ID

May 24

We had a recent inquiry about Real ID. The issue was the spelling of the client’s name on the birth certificate does not match the spelling that has been used for the client’s life. Client was concerned about how to get Real ID because of the different spellings. Another complicating fact is that the client was born in a different state. We suggested to the client that she officially change her name to the spelling that she has used all of her life. With the court order she can go to DMV and show the progression from the name on her birth certificate to the name she has always used. When obtaining your Real ID you can use a passport instead of a birth certificate.

Using Trusts for Estate Planning

Apr 29

Using Trusts for Estate Planning purposes is a popular thing to do. Trusts can be as simple or as complex as a person wants. The most common use for a trust is to avoid probate to transfer cars, houses, and other assets that are titled to their heirs after their death. A related reason for trusts is to give bequests after  heirs reach a certain age. Another reason we suggest trusts to our clients if if our clients have children who will never be able to care for themselves, such as disabled children. Many governmental benefits are tied to the assets available to or under the control of the person receiving the benefits. Putting the assets in a spend thrift trust puts the assets out of the control and ownership of the person yet available for their benefit without threatening governmental benefits. If you have questions about trusts, please contact us.

Custody Modification

Apr 22

Many times parents want to modify custody and will file a motion for custody modification. will go back to court for custody modification.  Recently the Nevada Court of Appeals in the matter of Umderwood v. Underwood again reinforced the requirement that a court must issue findings of fact and conclusions of law when modifying child custody. They also reiterated that in a custody modification the court first determines the actual time share and then uses the appropriate test. Simply put they will always consider the best interest of the child. The court also made an interesting use of terminology. The court now wants to use the term “Parenting Time” instead of “visitation” when discussing the time that the non-custodial parent has with the child.

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in Orders

Apr 04

The Nevada Court of Appeals just handed down a decision overturning a district court decision and sent it back for findings of fact and conclusions of law to support the lower court’s decision. When the court makes a final decision it must also includes findings of fact which are then applied to its conclusions of law. This is how an appellate court can determine the lower court’s basis for its decision. When there are no findings of fact or conclusions of law the appellate court doesn’t know what the lower court based its decision on and thus sends the decision back to the lower court with instructions to make findings of fact and conclusions of law so that the decision can be properly reviewed.

However, this does not happen all the time. I had a case before the Nevada Supreme Court last year and I made the argument that the case needed to be remanded because there was no findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Supreme Court held that they could look at the record and determine the court’s reasoning. Who am I to argue with the Nevada Supreme Court?

Product Liability and Medical Device

Jan 25

One area of law that has seen growth is product liability and specifically hip replacement issues. There are two reasons for product liability 1) design defect and 2) manufacturing defect. In order to prevail on a product liability case the Plaintiff has to show that the product was defective and the injury occurred because of the defect. Proving a product is defective can be difficult. One generally needs experts to prove this. However, if a product has been recalled, it is easier to prove a defect. The FDA’s website has information on medical devices that have been recalled. The FDA publishes an Enforcement Report on a weekly basis. If a product has been recalled that is a good place to start research.

We currently have a product liability case involving a medical device that was recalled after it was implanted in our client. If you have any questions about product liability please do not hesitate to contact us.

Credit Report

Dec 30

We have gotten some calls recently about issues with credit history. Some folks have discovered judgments on their credit history and others have discovered different people on their credit report and thus been the victims of identity theft.

When people discover judgments there are a few things we can do about them. When clients come in we will ask them several questions such as are they the proper defendant, did they know about the law suit, were they served, this judgment among others. Their answers will help us decide what our client’s options are concerning the underlying judgment and how to deal with the credit reporting agencies.

When people find some one else listed on their credit report we will ask the client questions such as do they know the other person, when did they first learn of the other person, what steps have they taken to correct their credit history among others. Again the client’s answers will help us decide how to deal with the person who should not be on the credit report, the entity making the report and the credit reporting agencies, including Equifax.

The initial document we need is a copy of the client’s recent credit report. That will help us determine what steps are needed to begin correcting the client’s credit history.

Drone Registration

Dec 15

The FAA has come up with new regulations regarding drone registration. The FAA now requires that drones between .5 and 55 pounds be registered starting December 21, 2015. Drones purchased after December 21, 2015 will have to be registered before they can be operated. Drones purchased before December 21, 2015 will have until February 29, 2016 to be registered. This is the link to the FAA website to register drones starting on December 21, 2015.

Failure to register an airplane or drone can result in a civil penalty of up to $27,500. The criminal penalty is up to 3 years in prison or a $250,000.00 fine. This is imposed by the federal government not the state.

Remember that drones cannot be operated within 5 miles of an airport. That covers most of the Las Vegas Valley. However, there is an RC Airplane operation by the Silver Bowl where a person can legally fly RC airplanes and drones.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Can a person get a downward deviation of child support?

Dec 08

The Nevada Court of Appeals recently issued an unpublished decision in they held that the court needs to show how a modification of child support is in the child’s best interest. The court based this language on Rivero v. Rivero. Rivero. 

In Rivero the Nevada Supreme Court held that any modification of child support must be in the child’s best interest. Clearly it is always in the child’s best interest for the custodial parent to get more child support and not in the child’s best interest for the custodial parent to get less child support. However, under our statutes, the person paying child support is entitled to a downward deviation for any number of factors such as reduced income, other child support obligations, cost of medical insurance, cost of transportation, etc. There is statutory guidance in determining what is in the best interest of the child regarding custody but no such statutory guidance for modification of child support.

I don’t know if a person can get a downward deviation of child support. It is easy to argue that less money in the household is not in the child’s best interest. I do have some ideas though of how to argue that less money is in the child’s best interest. Only time and the courts will tell if my arguments are valid.

 

Change of Custody

Nov 25

Change of Custody: There was a recent case out of the Nevada Court of Appeals in which the court found a change of circumstances in the parent’s life constituted a change of circumstances affecting the child’s welfare. While cases from the Nevada Court of Appeals issued before January 1, 2016 cannot be used as precedence, they do offer an insight into the thinking of the Court. Here, the court found a change in circumstances as the custodial parent was having regular run ins with the law and had allowed others to move into the house did affect the welfare of the children. The seminal case involving changing primary physical custody in Nevada, Ellis v. Carucci involved a child’s grades going from As and Bs to Cs and Ds. When a parent wants to change the primary physical custody arrangements anything that affects the child’s welfare can and should be examined. A change in the custodial parent’s life is fair game as the parent’s life greatly affects the child’s life. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Inheriting a Mortgage

Nov 09

Inheriting a Mortgage

There was a recent article in Fox News about inheriting  a mortgage.  This is a common issue which we have previously dealt with. Each situation is unique. There are several questions to be answered: what do the survivors want, is there a will, is there more than one person on the mortgage, do the survivors want to keep the house and payoff the mortgage, are the mortgage payments behind, is there more equity than debt in the house, is there a reverse mortgage in place?

The most important question to be asked is what does the survivor(s) want? If they want to sell the house and pull out the equity then depending on how the house is titled, trust vs. personally, the house is sold either regularly or through the probate court. If the survivor(s) want to keep the house then the trust deed needs to be examined, the status or the mortgage needs to be determined and based on the answers to the questions listed above, a course of action can be laid out to keep the house.

When  homeowners takes out a mortgage they sign a trust deed. In Nevada if the payments are not made the lender can foreclose on the mortgage pursuant to NRS 107 et seq. In Nevada we have what are called “non-judicial” foreclosures. This means court intervention is not needed to foreclose on a property so long as the legal requirements are met.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.