Real estate law is one area of the law where certainty is critical. However, the law is not given to certainty as it can involve a host of complicated issues: title disputes over who really owns the land, property boundaries, encroachments, easements and right-of-ways over land, and zoning problems. Other times, issues can crop up over whether the construction of a building was defective, whether there are liens on the land and whether fraud has been committed in the acquisition of a loan. In still other situations, issues can involved the rights of a real estate agent on commission or whether there has been a breach of contract.
Probate is a process that is designed to enable the proper transfer of a decedent's estate to the rightful beneficiaries.
If a person dies with a will ("testate"), the probate court will determine if the will is valid, hear any objections to the will, order that creditors be paid, and supervise the process to ensure that the property is distributed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the will.
If a person dies without a will ("intestate"), the probate court will appoint a person to receive all claims against the estate, to pay creditors, and to distribute all remaining property in accordance with the laws of intestacy. The major difference between dying testate and dying intestate is that an intestate estate is distributed to the beneficiaries in accordance with the distribution plan established by state law; a testate estate is distributed in accordance with the instructions provided by the decedent in his or her will.
Probate is necessary not only to facilitate distribution of property from the will (if there is a will), but to allow objections to the will by other parties. Objections can be raised for a variety of reasons: the possibility that the decedent was not of sound mind when the will was made; the possibility that another will was made at a later date; or the possibility that the will was forged or the the decedent's decision was improperly influenced.
Personal injury law is an area of law designed to protect those harmed by the negligence, recklessness, malpractice, or inaction of others. Also called tort law, personal injury law encompasses a full range of claims from wrongful death, auto accidents, and medical malpractice to defective drugs and product liability. Each victim can file a personal injury claim for physical injury, emotional injury, and for property damages. In some cases, such as those involving medical malpractice or wrongful death, the family of the injured or deceased can file suit on behalf of its loved one.
Those who file personal injury claims may be eligible to receive damages, namely financial compensation for their loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanent disability, and other resulting injuries.
Oil and gas law in the United States is the branch of law that pertains to the acquisition of and ownership rights in oil and gas both under the soil before discovery and after its capture. Oil and gas law is generally regulated by the individual states through statutes and common law. Some federal law and constitutional law applies. The law governing oil and gas ownership in the United States differs greatly from many European laws because oil and gas on land are commonly owned privately in America as opposed to being owned by the government in many European countries.
Water law is the field of law dealing with the ownership, control, and use of water as a resource. In the United States, there are complex legal systems for allocating water rights that vary by region. The Eastern states (all those east of Texas, except for Mississippi) follow the riparian doctrine, which permits anyone whose land has frontage on a body of water to use water from it. Most Western states, which are naturally drier, generally follow the prior appropriation doctrine, which gives a water right to whoever first puts water to beneficial use.
Family law is an area of law that deals with family-related issues and domestic relations including, marriage, civil unions, divorce, spousal abuse, child custody and visitation, property distribution, alimony, child support, adoption, paternity, guardianship, and elder law issues. These issues can be very difficult and emotional. It's important that you have a trusted source of information so that you know your rights and the best options for your family.
Estate planning arranges for the transfer of an individual's estate at the time of death. Estate planning benefits both those with large estates and those with modest assets. Creating an estate plan ensures that all property will be distributed according to the personal wishes of the deceased and that those who are to benefit from the estate will receive the largest distribution possible with a minimum amount of delay. In addition to providing financial security, estate planning encourages individuals to make important decisions, such as appointing guardians for minor children, choosing healthcare preferences, and securing funeral arrangements.
A number of tools may be utilized to ensure the best possible distribution of assets. The basic instruments used in estate planning are wills, trusts, healthcare directives, and powers of attorney. The attorneys at Bell & Boyd, PLLC can create a comprehensive estate plan to meet your needs and effectuate your wishes, both during your life and at the time of your passing.
Workers' Compensation is an area of the law that covers workplace injuries. In Arkansas, if you are injured on the job while performing services for the employer, then you are entitled to certain benefits, including medical treatment, prescriptions, indemnity (lost wages, permanent impairment), vocational rehabilitation, and travel expense. Whether you are an employee or an employer, this is a unique and complicated area of the law. To protect your family, or your company, you need competent advice and direction on workers' compensation claims and issues. Bell & Boyd is one of few firms in South Arkansas that can offer experience and dedication to your workers' compensation needs.
A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises between parties that the law will enforce. Contract law is based on the Latin phrase pacta sunt servanda (pacts must be kept). Breach of contract is recognized by the law, and remedies for breach of contract can be provided. substantial portion of our practice is dedicated to litigation, which encompasses a wide variety of subjects.
A substantial portion of our practice is dedicated to litigation, which encompasses a wide variety of subjects. The United States has a common law adversarial system for resolving disputes with specific rules of civil procedure dictating what happens when a civil lawsuit is filed. This process, called litigation, can be long, difficult, and expensive. Most civil suits are resolved by settlement, arbitration, or mediation and do not go to trial.
A lawsuit begins when a plaintiff files a complaint which sets forth the legal and factual reasons for the dispute, as well as the remedies the plaintiff seeks to recover from one or more defendants. The defendant may respond by filing an answer with the court. The answer usually denies the plaintiff's allegations and sets forth the defendant's defenses.
Once the complaint and answer have been filed, the next phase of litigation is discovery. In order to prepare for trial, the parties participate in discovery, which is an ordered exchange of evidence and statements between the parties. The purpose of discovery is to avoid surprise at trial and to clarify the legal and factual issues of the case. Litigants often reach a settlement during the discovery phase, especially as the costs of litigation mount.
A trial is an event in which parties to a dispute obtain resolution by presenting evidence and legal arguments in a court before a judge or a jury. The judge or jury will hear testimony, view evidence, and make decisions to resolve the dispute. After the judge or jury hears all the evidence, they will arrive at a decision regarding the individual claims set forth in the case. If the judge or jury finds for the plaintiff, it may then decide the appropriate remedy or remedies, depending on the law applied.
After a final decision has been made, either party or both may appeal from the judgment if they are unhappy with it. The case will then go to an appellate court. The appellate court will may refuse to hear the case, affirm the judgment, reverse the judgment, or vacate and remand the case, sending the lawsuit back to the trial court to address an unresolved issue.
Bell & Boyd, PLLC engages in civil litigation in both state and federal courts and maintains a robust and diverse transactional practice in the areas of contracts, corporate and business law, estate planning and probate, property law, and personal injury law. In addition, the Firm accepts matters in family law.
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To be successful, every business needs three things: a good idea, a solid business plan, and an experienced, responsive attorney. If you have the idea and a vision for your future, the attorneys at Bell & Boyd, PLLC can help you build a strong legal framework that will protect your interests today and in the years to come.
At Bell & Boyd, PLLC, our attorneys help launch new businesses of all types and sizes. We prepare the documents that your business needs in order to hit the ground running. In addition, our attorneys can help you plan for the day when you may want to leave the business through business succession planning or business dissolution.
The attorneys at Bell & Boyd, PLLC advise closely-held businesses as well as publicly-traded corporations in a wide variety of areas, including drafting and reviewing various types of business and commercial contracts, such as leases, sales agreements, and non-compete agreements, as well as handling all the legal matters related to the acquisition of or sale of a business.
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