Law and Daily Life - FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Law & Daily Life - The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog


What Is Rent Control?

In order to prevent the cost of rental housing from skyrocketing, local governments may institute rent control regulations.

Without rent control, rental prices in some cities can be, as former New York City mayoral candidate Jimmy McMillan eloquently put it, "too damn high." Though as it turns out, McMillan's rent was actually pretty low: He was recently evicted from an East Village apartment he was renting for well under the market rate, thanks in part to New York City's rules for rental units. (McMillan also maintains another apartment in Brooklyn which he reportedly occupies rent-free in exchange for performing maintenance.)

So what is rent control, and what does it actually do?

How many Americans support laws that limit cellphone use while driving? According to a new FindLaw.com survey, it depends on what kinds of limits you're talking about.

Half of those surveyed (50 percent) said they support laws that require hands-free cellphone use while driving, while 42 percent said they support a complete ban on drivers' cellphone use. Just 8 percent said they didn't support any limits at all.

Regardless of your feelings on the issue, laws restricting cellphone use while driving are in effect from coast to coast. Here are three facts you may not know:

Determining whether you're working as an employee or an independent contractor is about a lot more than just knowing what to call yourself.

Although independent contractors and employees may often perform similar types of work, even working side by side, there are a number of legal differences between the two. How you're classified can have a profound effect on employment benefits, taxes, and legal liability issues.

How can you tell whether you're an employee or an independent contractor?

Top 3 Everyday Legal Questions From FindLaw Answers: January 2015

You've got questions... we've got answers. If you have not yet asked or answered a question in FindLaw's Answers community, what are you waiting for? This amazing free resource supports a dynamic community of legal consumers and attorneys helping each other out. Simple as that.

We see a lot of great questions in our Answers community every day. Here's a look at the Top 3 recent questions from our various boards:

1. Both my parents passed away without a will. There is a family cabin (not worth very much money) that I would like to have and my sister does not want. How do I go about doing that?

This is a great question; issues with wills, inheritances, and general estate planning are popular on our boards. In this instance, the individual is actually dealing with two issues: what happens to his parents' estate because they died without a will, and how to get his sister to disclaim her inheritance.

Online bullying, also called cyberbullying, has become a widespread issue. As you may recall, a FindLaw survey in 2014 found that nearly one in 12 children had been the victim of online bullying.

What can parents do about this? One Minnesota dad whose daughter was being bullied over Snapchat talked to the bullies' father, filed a police report, and then fought back by posting the bullies' (and their father's) messages on YouTube, reports Minnesota Public Radio. Publicity following the release of the video spurred the child's school to launch an investigation and also led the father of the alleged bullies to lose his job.

If your child is being bullied online, how and to whom should you report it? Here are a few tips you may want to consider:

When a child is born to a married couple, the husband is generally presumed to have paternity rights as the child's father.

But what about a child born to unmarried parents? Establishing a child's maternity is generally fairly straightforward (for hopefully obvious reasons). Paternity, on the other hand, may in some circumstances require legal action.

Why is paternity important, and how do unmarried fathers go about establishing it?

As the cold weather continues through the remainder of winter and into spring, most pet owners likely don't need to be compelled to bring their animals in from the cold.

But what about those who choose to leave pets outside, even in extreme cold weather? Besides being hazardous to your pet's health or even potentially fatal, depending on where you live, leaving an animal outside in cold weather could actually result in criminal penalties including fines and jail time. In other areas, however, animal owners are free to leave pets outside no matter how cold it gets.

What are some examples of cold-weather pet laws across the United States?

Before Missouri was admitted as the 24th state in 1821, it was part of the much larger Missouri Territory. This was the name given to the Louisiana Purchase to avoid confusion following the admission of Louisiana as a state in 1812.

However, Missouri is still part of a no-less-confusing quirk of U.S. geography: Kansas City is mostly in Missouri and not, as one might expect, in Kansas. Missouri's other major metropolitan area, St. Louis, is known for its Gateway Arch, but has recently made headlines for the shooting of an unarmed teenager by a police officer in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb.

What about Missouri's legal system? Here are 10 laws you should know if you're in Missouri:

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a case that could decide whether the U.S. Constitution requires states to allow or recognize gay marriage.

The Court's announcement Friday comes after it declined to hear appeals of a ruling that legalized gay marriage in five states in October, reports USA Today. In this case, the petitioners are challenging a November ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld same-sex marriage bans in four states: Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

What do you need to know about this potentially landmark Supreme Court case? Here are answers to three important questions:

An unwed, pregnant Virginia woman was fired from her job at a church daycare after failing to marry her live-in fiance.

Apryl Kellam said she received a phone call Monday informing her that she was being fired for violating church policy, Richmond's WTVR-TV reports. Church officials had reportedly warned Kellam for several months that she needed to marry her fiance and father of her unborn child, James Coalson, in order to comply with the church's moral code of conduct for employees. Kellam and Coalson live together and both have children from prior relationships.

The couple said they are considering legal action against the church. Do they have a case?