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Lawyers: Are They Contractors or Employees?

Most people don’t know whether to classify lawyers as contractors or employees. In certain instances, the distinction is quite clear. For example, when a lawyer is hired for consulting services and paid a flat fee or contingent fee, then it is obviously an independent contract engagement. The distinction between a contracted lawyer and one that is engaged as an employee counts a lot in matters to do with taxation.

A lawyer that independently offers his/ her services on a contractual basis is exposed to the following benefits:

· No income tax is withheld.

· No employment taxes are levied.

· No agency liability is incurred for acts committed by employees of the law firm; the employer is exempted from any liability arising out of his or her employees’ legal malpractice.

· There are no Federal or State laws imposed to discriminate against the lawyer and protect employees only.

· There are no retirement, pension, fringe benefits, and such related systems.

Given the disadvantages that accompany employee lawyers, many people question why they even seek formal employment in the first place. In most instances, it is not a matter of choice.

For all intents and purposes, all state organizations and related agencies/ agents, assume all people working in a firm to be employees unless proven otherwise. This statement holds true for the IRS, state labor commissioner, employment development department, insurance companies, and the unemployment insurance authority.

There are various screening tests that can be done in order to identify the employment status of a worker. Most of the tests center on the level of control exercised over the worker. With cases of fraud on the rise, the IRS is doing everything in its wake to ensure that lawyers become liable for their taxation dues. The IRS is doing this by actively cooperating with different State departments and Federal agencies.

Lawyers are usually prime targets in this IRS venture and in certain instances, they get caught. There are precedent laws, developed over time, to bring out the distinction between a contractual engagement and a formal employee engagement.

When in catch 22 situations, most lawyers invoke Section 530 relief. This provision is a get-out-of-jail- free card that can be used when issues to do with employment tax liabilities pop up. However, for Section 530 relief to apply, there are certain requirements that the lawyer must have fulfilled:

· Consistent treatment of workers as independent contractors.

· Filing all forms 1099 for the workers.

· Have sufficient reason for not engaging the workers as employees. The degree of reasonableness is tied to judicial precedents, IRS rulings, past IRS audits, or a long – standing practice adopted by a significant portion of the relevant industry.

In order to successfully win a legal dispute touching on employment status, a practicing law firm must issue good and clear work contracts and be consistent in all it work ventures. This is the only sure way of avoiding income tax problems with the IRS.

Importance of Having a Qualified DUI Lawyer in San Diego to Handle Your DUI Case

United states traffic regulators charge thousands of individuals with “driving under the influence” (DUI) on an annual basis. In California, for example, their Highway Patrol reported 95 DUI arrest cases over the July 4th weekend of 2011 in San Diego alone. This is a little more than 2010’s 86. Over the 2011 Labor Day weekend break, San Diego traffic regulators reported 84 arrests, 12 points greater than the previous year’s 72. Throughout California, the Labor Day weekend break wrapped up with 1,399 arrests, somewhat up from 2010’s 1,360. Of these DUI instances, there have been 16 deaths, five more than the year before.

If there’s a fortunate note about this increasing statistic, it could probably be the bigger requirement for a DUI lawyer in San Diego. Don’t get it wrong but with San Diego’s yearly average of 15,000 DUI courtroom cases, the assistance of DUI attorneys have given accused people with the required representation.

Whether you are acquainted with these occurrences or not, you have to know your rights when in a scenario dealing with the police. You must learn what you’re required to undertake and when you can decline. You need to know whom to contact in case there is an arrest. Whether you’re feeling in the wrong or not, you should make contact with a qualified DUI lawyer in San Diego.

If a traffic enforcer asks you to have a breathalyzer and you feel confident that you’re not “under the influence” or perhaps under the legal alcohol limit, go ahead and take test. If, alternatively, you’re feeling that you’re close or slightly above the limit, you might refuse to accept the test. A trained DUI lawyer in San Diego knows that you have the right to decline such sobriety checks. This rejection, however, may lead to suspicion from the people in authority, therefore, you’ll still require legal guidance.

You will need to remain silent whenever you refuse to make use of a breathalyzer or some other types of sobriety test. Take into account also that you’re not required to provide more than basic information. As well, you’re not required to prove that you’re legally responsible for the vehicle you are driving. Contact your DUI attorney right away. It will be helpful if the legal professional is there in the course of discussion with the traffic law enforcers.

An excellent DUI lawyer is aware of what steps you should take immediately. Most of the states have due dates for procedures on such cases. You need to meet these due dates, or else you may lose your driving license or even access to your personal vehicle.

It’s easy to understand that you don’t mean to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, because your safety is also at risk. Mistakes, nevertheless, come to pass as nobody is perfect. Understanding such eventualities, you have to know what you should do. While you may have doubts with the quality of a breathalyzer as well as the accuracy of other sobriety tests, you should relax when you refuse to take them. Getting a connection with an experienced DUI lawyer in San Diego helps a lot.

Whether you need a service of a DUI, a federal or a criminal lawyer, San Diego law firms are usually more than happy to provide support. Visit reputable law firm internet sites and start your search for an experienced lawyer.

Finding the Best Birth Injury Lawyer For Your Case

Though the birth of a baby is one of the most joyous events of a parent’s life, of every 1,000 babies delivered in the U.S., five experience birth injuries. These injuries can result when a baby does not have enough oxygen during labor, or when a doctor uses medical devices improperly. When this happens, a competent birth injury attorney can help you seek redress.

Before a birth injury attorney accepts a case, he or she must know if birth complications were caused by birth injury, or if they were the result of a birth defect that occurred prior to delivery. Birth defects occur during the pregnancy as a result of a genetic defect, disease, or even drug use by the mother.

Birth injuries occur during labor and delivery. They may be caused by a doctor’s action, such as not ensuring the baby has adequate oxygen during delivery, or misusing forceps. Birth injuries can cause cerebral palsy, or severe head trauma. It is vital for a birth injury attorney to know if a child’s condition is the result of a birth defect or a birth injury.

Finding a competent birth injury lawyer is crucial when seeking redress for preventable birth injuries. If you don’t know a good birth injury lawyer personally, you can contact the American Bar Association for a referral list of suitable attorneys in your area. Or you can visit the ABA website and follow the “Find Legal Help” icon.

Another first step would be to ask people whose opinion you trust. If you know someone who has had experience dealing with a birth injury attorney, you can find out the outcome of the case, and something about how the attorney handled the case, and whether the attorney was easy or difficult to work with.

If you have worked with an attorney in some other capacity, such as a divorce or bankruptcy, and if you were pleased with his or her representation, ask that lawyer if he or she knows a good birth injury lawyer. Chances are they know more than one competent birth injury attorney from either law school or from other court cases.

Once you have a few names and numbers of reputable birth injury lawyers, set up appointments with them. During your meeting, ask the attorney if he or she has dealt with a situation like yours, how the case turned out, and how difficult he thinks your case will be to win. Birth injury attorneys sometimes need to research the case further before answering, however.

Ask yourself what your gut feeling is about this birth injury attorney. Do you get along well? Does he or she listen respectfully? Is this someone you feel like you spend the necessary time with preparing a case? Most likely, your case will be settled through negotiation and not through the courts, so you want a competent negotiator.

Ask up front about fees. Will you need to pay the birth injury attorney a retainer fee? Will he or she consent to be paid from the settlement if a settlement is likely? Read any fee agreement carefully and make sure you understand it before signing. Hiring a birth injury lawyer is a big step, and you want to be informed right from the beginning.

Ask for regular updates on your case. Birth injury attorneys may be working on numerous cases at any one time, and may also be constrained by the person on the other side of the lawsuit. For example, your attorney may have to wait for the hospital to finish its internal investigation process. Be patient, but be informed.