US Legal, Inc. Newsletter – February 2009

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Welcome to USLegal’s February Newsletter. We have two special accomplishments from January to share with you: our new partnership with ForSaleByOwner.com, and our introduction of Group Discounts for your association, corporation or other group.

At USLegal, customer satisfaction is our greatest goal and asset. If we’ve made your legal life easier, please tell your friends and family about us. If you have a routine legal need, make us your first stop. And now, the news:

ForSaleByOwner.com Now Offering USLegal Real Estate Forms

We are very pleased to announce our new partnership with real estate mega-site ForSaleByOwner.com, one of the top-five most visited real estate web sites in the world with nearly two million visitors per month. With USLegal’s state-specific Home Sale Packages and other real estate forms available on ForSaleByOwner, both companies further the shared goal of providing low-cost solutions for home sale transactions.

Group Discounts Debuted at USLegalForms.com

Group Discounts have arrived at USLegalForms. An association, company, government agency, church group, or other organization can sign up for a group discount for all group members. Would your group benefit from access to our low cost, high quality, state-specific legal forms? For additional information, or to apply for your organization or company, contact us toll-free at 1-877-389-0141 ext 107 and ask for discount services.

Worth Repeating: USLegalForms.com BEST Legal Forms Site. Again.

For the fourth year in a row, USLegalForms.com has won the Gold Award for Online Legal Forms Service bestowed annually by independent consumer-help web site TopTenREVIEWS. USLegalForms.com received the Gold Award for ranking first among thirteen legal forms web sites examined and compared by TopTenREVIEWS.

Here’s our press release reacting to the Award.

Featured Product of the Month

Last Will and Testament

Protect your Heirs with a valid Will. Last Will and Testaments are essential for everyone. A state-specific Last Will and Testament form from USLegalForms, with instructions for people with children, without children, divorced individuals, married couples, singles, widows, widowers and others – is just a click away. Mutual Wills and Wills with trusts for minor children are also available. Go to our Last Will and Testament page to hear radio host Dave Ramsey’s recommendation.

Legal News In Brief

We track breaking legal news at the USLegal Reporter. Check in regularly to stay updated on top national legal stories. These are some of the items of interest we’ve spotted in the last month:

Justice Department Keeping Bush Secrets Under Wraps

The Justice Department has denied requests to reveal information about domestic wiretapping, data collection on travelers and U.S. citizens, and interrogation of suspected terrorists to the public. It has stated that a final decision on releasing certain information will not be made until the new administration rewrites Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guidelines. It is unclear whether the new administration’s policy for openness in government will be applied retroactively to FOIA requests that the agency already has finished processing. The Justice Department’s resistance to the release of records seems contrary to President Obama’s promise of more open government.

Senate Passes Stimulus Legislation

Late Friday evening, the US Senate passed the $787 billion economic stimulus legislation by a vote of 60-38. The bill has been sent to the President for approval. The close of voting was delayed to allow Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown to fly back from Ohio from attending his mother’s funeral.

US Court of Federal Claims Rules in Autism Case

The US Court of Federal Claims ruled today that three cases filed by families with autistic children who contended the autism was caused by the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) combination vaccine and thimerosal-containing vaccinations lacked sufficient evidence. The court originally ordered separate trials for cases brought against the US Department of Health and Human Services seeking compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program under three different liability theories. The ruling today related to the first theory that the MMR vaccines combined with the thimerosal vaccines can cause autism. Cases will continue relating to the second theory of liability that the thimerosal vaccine can cause autism on its own, while the families have dropped the cases based on the third theory of liability- that the MMR vaccine can cause autism on its own.

Court Rules California Must Release Prisoners

A federal appeals court has tentatively ruled that California must release by between 36,200 and 57,000 inmates. The three federal judges said a final population figure would be announced later and more hearings may be held before a final decision is made. The court found that that inmates were deprived of constitutional rights to adequate mental and physical health care, and that the unconstitutional conditions are due to overcrowding.

The order comes as California is dealing with a $42 billion budget deficit that is forcing the state to furlough its employees two days each month. Opponents of the release order claim that the state does not have the funds for the support programs associated with the release of such a large number of inmates, but the court claimed that reducing the number of inmates could save the state $900 million annually in prison costs. The state has said it will appeal any final prisoner release order to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Obama Inauguration Celebrated Worldwide

Festivities are scheduled in far-flung corners of the world to celebrate the first African-American President of the United States. Obama’s election has been seen by many as the ushering in of a new era of tolerance, hope, and opportunity.

In Kenya, bulls and goats have been slaughtered for feasts. Black-tie events are being held in Europe. An Irish village named Moneygall draped itself in red, white and blue bunting, due to its ties to Obama’s great-great-great grandfather Fulmouth Kearney, who emigrated to the U.S. in 1850.

Come discuss controversial legal issues of all stripes with us at the USLegal Blog. Create an account and post a comment to voice your opinion. The comments section is moderated, and a respectful environment will be maintained.

Have a Legal Question? Ask a Lawyer

If you want to find out more information about a certain area of law, consider USLegal’s Ask a Lawyer service. The service enables you to submit your question to a lawyer who will provide you with legal information.

The charge for this service is $15.95 per question.

Legal advice is not provided. If your question cannot be answered without providing legal advice, you will not be charged. In the event you desire to retain an attorney, you will be provided with sources for choosing an attorney for you to consider.

Law and Legal Definitions

Tort Reform

Tort reform has recently become a controversial issue in the legal arena. Tort reform commonly refers to laws passed on a state-by-state basis which place limits or caps on the type or amount of damages that may be awarded in personal injury lawsuits. Those who advocate tort reform argue that limitations or caps need to be placed on damages able to be recovered in lawsuits because excessive damage awards create an oppressive tax on the cost of doing business.

Advocates of tort reform attribute high costs of certain products or services to be due in part to litigation costs. Those opposed to tort reform argue that such cap or limits on damages are arbitrary and that damages need to be assessed on a case-by case basis because a blanket approach is unfair to severely injured plaintiffs. Opponents also argue that tort reform measures won’t prevent insurance rate hikes. Other issues raised in tort reform legislation include contingent fees, venue-shopping, certification of class actions, and other areas viewed as subject to abuses in the legal process.

In February 2005 Congress approved a class action reform measure. The legislation authorizes federal courts to hear class-action suits involving over $5 million and involving persons or companies from different states. The aim of the legislation is to make it more difficult for the lawsuits to be approved. The bill would also seeks to end settlements” in which plaintiffs get little but their lawyers get big fees. It would link lawyers’ fees to the amount of recovered by plaintiffs.

Read our full entry on Tort Reform.

For more legal definitions, please visit USLegal’s free online legal dictionary.

Customer Feedback

USLegal.com would like to hear from you. If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions about our products or topics you’d like for us to feature in upcoming newsletters, please email them to Bryan Lieb, U.S. Legal Staff Attorney, at bryan.lieb@uslegal.com.

U. S. Legal Forms, Inc.

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