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

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


Arizona was the last of the 48 contiguous states to join the union (in 1912) and, at least in that sense, represents one of the final vestiges of the infamous "Wild West."

And even though the gunfight at the OK Corral -- located in Tombstone, Arizona -- occurred more than 130 years ago, there is still a touch of the Wild West to be found in Arizona's state laws. Whether you're heading to Arizona to watch a little Major League Baseball spring training or residing permanently in the Grand Canyon state, there are some laws you should be familiar with.

Here are 10 laws you should know if you're in Arizona:

A Florida judge granted Florida's first same-sex divorce on Wednesday, simultaneously striking down the state's refusal to recognize out-of-state gay marriages.

Heather Brassner and Megan Lade were joined in a Vermont civil union in 2002, but Brassner has tried unsuccessfully to untie the knot in Florida for the last five years. The Associated Press reports that Circuit Judge Dale Cohen dissolved Brassner and Lade's union after recognizing their marriage as legal, which required declaring that "out-of-state marriages should be recognized in Florida."

How does this gay divorce decision square with Florida's other gay marriage cases?

President Obama announced Wednesday that the United States will resume "full diplomatic relations" with Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years.

This historic agreement means that Cuba will now host a U.S. embassy in Havana, and Americans might get a chance at legally purchasing those sought-after Cuban goods (read: cigars). But it might not mean that you can go to Cuba on vacation.

So can U.S. passport holders travel to Cuba now?

Most Americans -- 56 percent -- are in favor of red-light cameras being used at intersections, according to a new survey by FindLaw.com.

The survey comes as New Jersey pulls the plug on its red-light cameras (they were turned off overnight, the Asbury Park Press reports); several other states and cities have taken or are considering similar steps. Supporters of the cameras say they are an effective tool for ticketing dangerous drivers. But opponents argue that they are merely money-makers that do little to improve safety.

The controversy also extends to the courtroom, where multiple questions have been raised about the admissibility and legality of red-light camera evidence.

Like most estate planning tools, a living trust may require revisions or amendments from time to time.

Fortunately, modifying a revocable trust is often fairly straightforward. Similar to revising a will, the exact laws for amending or revising a living trust may vary from state to state. Generally however, there are some basic guidelines for how to go about make changes to your living trust.

So how do you revise or amend a living trust? Here's some info to get you started:

December 15 is recognized as Bill of Rights Day, a time when we reflect on the ratification of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791.

The Bill of Rights contains some of our most cherished civil rights and some of the foundations of our legal system, so it only seems right to remember the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution in some fashion.

So how did Bill of Rights Day come to be recognized?

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Undertaking: a word that is both a prime example of legalese, the unique language used by those who work in the legal field, and an apt description of our continuing series, Legalese From A to Z.

Like many legal terms, undertaking has a common meaning -- "a promise or a pledge" -- as well as a more specific legal meaning. In this case, an undertaking is a cash or written promise given as security or surety bond by a party in a property action, such as an attachment.

Each week, we undertake the selection of a letter of the alphabet and break down five legal terms or phrases starting with that particular letter. This week, we take a closer look at five legal terms beginning with the letter "U":

  • Ultrahazardous activity. An ultrahazardous activity is an activity where the risk of injury cannot be eliminated, no matter how many precautions are taken. Engaging in ultrahazardous activities, such as blasting or storing hazardous chemicals, creates what is called strict liability. Strict liability allows a person injured by one engaged in ultrahazardous activity to recover for his or her injuries without having to prove negligence.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is rich with history and, befitting its revolutionary past, a number of unique state laws.

Massachusetts was the state where the Pilgrims set up their first settlement. The state also played host to the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, and the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which began the Revolutionary War.

Fortunately, things have certainly settled down a bit from those days in Massachusetts. But whether you're traveling through or looking to relocate, it's a good idea to become familiar with Massachusetts' laws. Here are 10 laws you should know if you're in Massachusetts:

Divorce: Is Mediation Right for You?

Divorce mediation can be a cheaper and overall more pleasant way to settle what is often an acrimonious and thoroughly uncomfortable situation.

Mediation is rarely forced on divorcing couples, so it is up to the splitting spouses to determine whether to go at it in court or not.

So how can you tell if divorce mediation is right for you?

Is Dual Citizenship Legal in the United States?

Many Americans are citizens of another country as well, and may be wondering if their dual citizenship is legal under U.S. law.

U.S. law doesn't address dual nationality or require a person to choose one country's citizenship over another, but the government doesn't encourage it as a matter of policy, according to the federal government's official Web portal, USA.gov.

So the short answer is that the government won't punish those who have dual citizenship. But why do people want it, and who's eligible for dual citizenship?