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A small, quickly growing portion of my law practice involves helping people obtain unemployment benefits or defending employers who are seeking to avoid paying benefits. In these tough economic times, it may be the difference in losing your home or not. I have a tougher time understanding why employers fight so hard, but when an employee is physically molesting your customers and you fire them, it may be difficult to deal with the idea of paying them a salary for the next year.

Despite the reason you may find yourself dealing with unemployment benefits, knowing the unemployment laws and the rules of procedure can be the difference in obtaining benefits or not. Most people mistakenly think the employers have the advantage because they think the department of labor will just believe what the employer says. NOT TRUE. The unemployment laws are actually written to benefit the employee! And it is the burden of the employer to prove their case, not on the employee. And more times than not, the employer will either not be prepared for the hearing with witnesses and evidence of misconduct; will not have proper people available from the company; will not know the law; or will simply not fight the case once a lawyer is involved.

In these tough times, know your rights, hire an attorney, get the benefits you deserve. It may be the difference…

“A mistaken identity arrest occurs almost every day, said policing experts and officials at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.”

One lady in Colorado was discussed in this CNN report from February 2010.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/15/colorado.mistaken.identity.arrest/index.html

Well, simply put, you can get charged and even convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) without having a drop of alcohol in your system. And even worse, you may not even realize that the prescription medication is causing the same type of side effects that police commonly confuse with being under the influence of alcohol. And if you take your medication and have a glass of wine with dinner, you may be in for a rude awakening.

Almost everyone reading this has taken prescription medication. All medication directs the manner it should be taken, however often times people do not realize the true side effects of the medication. Also, some medications cause different side effects when mixed with other medications. Things like glassy eyes, slurred speech, unsteadiness on feet, and other side effects are common buzz words for police when they think someone is under the influence. People taking pain killers like lortab driving around “under the unfluence” completely unaware of risks. Although these are narcotics and most doctors advise you to stay off the road when taking them, other medications for things like blood pressure and anxiety are not so obvious. And when confronted by a police officer whose job is to seek out people driving under the influence, one can quickly find themselves in the cross hairs of a DUI taskforce cop following a pen and walking a line.

Folks, I have represented several people charged with DUI who did not take a sip of alcohol. Don’t let it happen to you.

This is a Shelby County Case that was reported by the TN Supreme Court at http://www.tncourts.gov/OPINIONS/TSC/sc1qtr2010.shtml

State of Tennessee v. Tommy HolmesShelby County– Supreme Court granted permission to appeal in this case to address whether the trial court erred in ruling that an indigent defendant forfeited his right to counsel at trial by telling his appointed lawyer, “I know how to get rid of you,” and, at a subsequent meeting, physically assaulting his lawyer by striking the lawyer«s eyeglasses with his finger. The defendant was tried by a jury pro se and convicted of aggravated rape. Supreme Court held that, under the facts and circumstances of this case, the trial court committed reversible error in ruling that the defendant had forfeited his right to appointed counsel at trial. While the defendant«s physical attack on his lawyer was serious misconduct, it did not rise to the level of “extremely serious misconduct” sufficient to warrant an immediate forfeiture. State v. Carruthers, 35 S.W.3d516, 548 (Tenn. 2000). Because the defendant was erroneously denied his fundamental constitutional right to counsel, we must reverse his conviction and remand this matter for appointment of new counsel and a new trial. The judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals is reversed.

I want you to think about your seatbelt for one minute. Clearly it could save your life, but it could also help you avoid a DUI. One thing I want everyone to be aware of are the police officers looking for people without their seatbelt after hours. Although it is very unlikely that you would ever be pulled over for “driving without your seatbelt” during the daytime, it is the perfect tool for police officers to begin their DUI investigation of people driving after hours. If you are pulled over and have not had anything to drink, the officer will likely give you a warning and send you on your way. If you smell like alcohol or have the typical indicators of intoxication, you could be looking at a charge of DUI and a night in jail.

Simply put: Wear your seatbelts! This simple two second action could help you avoid a DUI. It could also save your life!

Your friend and attorney, 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) are both parts of your motor vehicle insurance policy and protect you and your passengers if you are hit by an uninsured or under insured driver. For example, let«s say you and your family are involved in a car wreck and the other driver is at fault. If you, or your family suffer personal injuries, or your vehicle is damaged, the other driver may not have sufficient insurance to cover the damages. If the at fault driver does not have any insurance at all, you may have no ability to recover these damages. Even worse, if you do not have health insurance or owe more on your car than it is worth, you may be in serious financial trouble.

Having sufficient uninsured motorist coverage is a way to protect you and your family from having this happen to you! Here is what you need to do. First, pull out the declaration page of your Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy and make sure you have UM/UIM coverage. Call your agent and get as much UM/UIM coverage as you can. It is cheap and worth every penny!

Joey Fuson, Esq.

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