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The Law and You

Legal Advice

When newspapers reported about the demise of Mark Twain, the American author and humorist quipped that “rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” More than a century later, the same could be said of the federal estate tax, which is effectively defunct for all but the richest Americans.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Military Service for Noncitizens

Persons who wish to serve in the US military and are not citizens can do so if they are lawful permanent residents (have a green card). Or can they? While the websites for the US military all claim that anyone with a green card is at least eligible to apply to join, the reality is that since October 2017, the active duty military, as well as the reserve units, cannot allow someone who is not a citizen of the US to enlist. The reason for such a policy is that Gen. Anthony Kurta, who has been nominated to be the Deputy Undersecretary of the Department of Defense, wrote memos stating that anyone who is not a citizen of the US, who wishes to enlist in the US military, must first undergo a background check before reporting for basic training. The problem with such a policy is that the US military cannot legally conduct a background check until after the person enlists and reports for duty / basic training. So, the outcome is that no one with a green card can enlist.

Friday, December 22, 2017

What is Discovery?

Discovery is a term used to describe the process that permits each party to obtain evidence related to their case. It usually takes place shortly after a plaintiff files his or her complaint. Maryland rules allow for different forms of discovery. The two most common forms of discovery are Requests for Answers to Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents.

Cancellation of Removal Part 3

If a person is battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a US citizen spouse or parent (or a spouse or parent with a green card), or is the parent of a child who was battered or subject to extreme cruelty, then they may get lawful permanent residence (“green card”) under Section 240A(b)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) through the Immigration Court. They do not need to be separated or living apart from the spouse or parent who is committing the battery or extreme cruelty in order to apply for this form of relief but they do need to have a safe address where any mailings from the court can be sent without increasing the harm and suffering. Usually, this address is the attorney who is helping them with their immigration status since proving the case is complicated.

What did Heath Ledger, Princess Diana, and the singer Prince all have in common? Each of them died with a botched estate plan– or none at all– and they cost their families a fortune in money and grief as a result. The shock of Heath Ledger’s death from a drug overdose in 2008 was compounded by the discovery that his will left nothing to his only child, Matilda. Heath had prepared his will before Matilda was born, and the Australian actor never updated the document to provide for her.

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