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

Nobody really wants to file for bankruptcy. But being in financial dire straits can be a truly frightening experience for anyone, and one to be avoided at all costs. Many people who might qualify for bankruptcy try to put off filing for as long as possible, perhaps out of an innate optimism about their financial future or due to the stigma attached to declaring bankruptcy.

But putting off bankruptcy may actually be more fiscally risky than filing, so when is it too late for you to file for bankruptcy?

Who's on the Hook When Public Officials Settle Lawsuits?

It seems like every other week we hear about a new scandal coming out of Congress. Whether it's another sordid affair, allegations of sexual harassment, or an abrupt and mysterious resignation, Congressional headlines are reading like trashy, unoriginal bedside novels these days.

But there are victims to these stories -- usually more than we know given the prevalence of nondisclosure agreements and confidentiality clauses. And although some victims do finally receive some sort of compensation, it begs the question, "Who actually pays for these lawsuit settlements?" In many cases, you do. But that could be changing.

Although the U.S. department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement was only created in 2003, it feels like it's been around forever. Perhaps that's due to its impact on immigrants and their families. ICE has stepped up its detention and deportation efforts over the past couple years, with immigration arrests rising 30 percent in 2017 over the previous year. Those arrests have occurred at courthouses, schools, and even hospitals.

And there has been no shortage of stories involving people, including sheriff's officers and even school principals, threatening to call ICE on people they think may be illegal immigrants. So, what should you do if someone threatens to call ICE on you or or someone you know?

Judge Invalidates California Life-Ending Drug Law

Whether it's euthanasia, abortion, or the death penalty, life-and-death issues are highly controversial and hotly debated. Talking heads rankle over the issues and politicians use them as rallying devices. In an ongoing debate out of California, an end-of-life law seems to be meeting its own end as a judge has ruled it was unconstitutionally approved by lawmakers.

Back in December, the Federal Communications Commission voted to roll back Obama-era net neutrality rules that prohibited internet service providers from charging internet users different prices based on the user, content, website, platform, application, or method of communication.

But yesterday the Senate pushed back, voting 52-47 to reinstate net neutrality protections. The vote may be cosmetic -- the House is unlikely to take similar action and the FCC could move ahead with its repeal anyway. So, what does this mean in the meantime?

As temperatures rise, so do the cons. Scam artists often turn up the heat on unsuspecting marks, like homeowners, the elderly, and even high-schoolers, during the summer. So it's important to know the kind of rip-offs that are going on to avoid becoming another victim. 

Here are five of the top summer scams:

Restraining orders and protective orders can apply to several different situations, from criminal domestic violence and stalking charges to civil lawsuits. And there are a variety of distinct types of orders and conditions they may contain.

But how long do you have after a crime, domestic incident, or lawsuit to file for a restraining order? Here's a look.

Border Agents Need Good Reason to Search Your Phone, Court Rules

We're all used to taking off our shoes, belts, jackets, and watches when we go through an airport. And we expect random car searches at the border. But what about your electronic devices? Do you have to hand your phone over to TSA agents and let them do any type of search they want? One federal appeals court says no, border agents need a good reason to conduct certain types of searches your phone.

In many instances of domestic violence, the police are notified immediately. Some states even have preferred or mandatory arrest policies that direct officers to make an arrest during a domestic violence situation. But in many other cases, domestic violence, assault, or abuse can go unreported for weeks, months, or even years.

Victims may not feel safe enough to report domestic violence until much later. But if they wait too long, do they lose the opportunity to report domestic violence, either by filing a police report or a civil lawsuit?

Trying to sort out domestic violence incidents can be notoriously tricky. Tensions are high (sometimes literally, involving drugs or alcohol), facts are few, and stories often conflict.

Rather than ask patrol officers to become Sherlock Holmes, many jurisdictions allowed "dual arrests" in incidents of domestic assault, where officers arrested both the perpetrator and the victim. But the Connecticut Legislature just passed a bill aimed at ending victims of domestic violence being arrested along with their abusers.