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


Is California Going to Tax Your Texts?

The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) wants to tax text messages in order to subsidize programs that make phone service accessible to the underserved. But the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) may have just blocked that possibility by reclassifying text messaging as information services rather than communication services. This reclassification may not seem like a big deal to the general public, but it could delay, and potentially eliminate, the possibility of the California Text Tax, which is set for a vote on January 10, 2019.

The holidays are coming up. (And so is flu season.) You might have some unused vacation days that will expire. You may have a new family member on the way, or you might just have a case of the Mondays. There are quite a few reasons you might need some time away from work, so when is it too late to ask your boss for that time off?

Most employers are free to set their own policies when it comes to time off requests, but here are some general rules, depending on the type of time off you're requesting.

If Border Agent Searched Your Phone, U.S. May Still Have Your Info

You may have had your phone unsuspectedly searched by federal agents when coming into America. And the data on your phone may have been downloaded to scan for national security information. Odds are high no incriminating data was found on your phone. But as it turns out, odds aren't so high that the border patrol deleted this data upon realizing you aren't a security risk.

Feds Argue Kids Don't Need Lawyers in Immigration Court

A baby in a basket is clearly capable of representing oneself in immigration court.

At least, that's the view of Justice Department attorneys arguing against providing any immigrant free legal counsel during immigration, asylum, or deportation proceedings.

Unless you follow all the latest tech news, you may not have heard of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. Heck, you might not even know how to pronounce the company's name. (It's wah-way.) But what started out as a foreign company specializing in building telephone and data networks abroad, has branched into smartphone sales, rivaling Apple and Samsung in sheer volume.

For a moment, it looked like Huawei was on the verge of an American breakthrough, bringing their coolest phones to the U.S., but privacy and national security concerns have scuttled those efforts. So, are Huawei phones illegal in this country?

Can a Parent Get Out of Jury Duty to Take Care of Kids?

Almost every parent has faced the logistical horror of receiving a jury summons. Whether you are a stay-at-home parent of infants or a double-income parent of middle school children, the thought of getting to the courthouse by 8:30 a.m., potentially for weeks on end, is enough to give you an ulcer. Can a parent get out of jury duty to take care of children? The answer depends on your local jurisdiction, and some are more lenient than others.

Yesterday was Human Rights Day, and although our remembrance is a little late, it did serve as a reminder to how far human rights have come in the past 70 years, and how much of the progress has been made in the courtroom.

While the work is far from done and we still have far to go to ensure equal rights for all human beings, here are five cases decided or laws passed in recent years that advance that goal:

How to Make Beneficiary Designations Without a Will

When people hear the word "beneficiary," they immediately think Last Will and Testament. Though wills certainly are a popular way to designate beneficiaries, there are two others to keep in mind, and they are free. So if you are one of those people with annual checklists, keep these in mind when considering designating beneficiaries.

One of the misconceptions concerning the First Amendment is that its free speech protections protect any speech at all. Not quite. There are all kinds of restrictions on speech and expression, from bans on nudity and obscenity to prohibitions on hate speech and incitement of violence. And, in many cases, advocating or instigating illegal behavior is illegal as well.

But even exceptions to rules have exceptions themselves, as the Ninth Circuit ruled when it struck down a federal statute banning speech that encouraged a person to violate immigration laws. The problem wasn't so much that it prohibited speech that promoted law-breaking, but that the statute, as written, was "unconstitutionally overbroad." Here's what that means.

Seasons change. People change. And circumstances change. And what worked previously may not work so well anymore. That can apply to anything in life, from our job or place to live to a marriage or child custody arrangement. But some changes aren't so easy to make.

So, if it's time to change a child custody agreement or modify a custody order, when is it too late?