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Scott L. Machanic

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Personal Injury, Business, Real Estate, Estate Planning
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Mr. Machanic has extensive experience in trial and appellate litigation. He has handled a wide range of business, bankruptcy, real estate, personal in... (more)

Steven Hale Grindle

Real Estate, Wills & Probate, Estate Planning, Family Law
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Albert S. Robinson

Real Estate, Government, Wills & Probate, Estate Planning
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Sherman H. Starr

Real Estate, Estate Planning, Family Law, Business Organization
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Jennifer M. Lo

Real Estate, Estate Planning, Estate, Family Law
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Stephen E. Dawley

Commercial Real Estate, Conveyancing, DUI-DWI, Divorce
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Joseph T. Flanagan

Construction Contracts, Construction Liens, Garnishment, Litigation
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Linda R Taffet

Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Real Estate
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Richard J. DeAngelis

Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate, Residential Real Estate
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Philip C. Jack

Real Estate, Estate, Business
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LEGAL TERMS

INVITEE

A business guest, or someone who enters property held open to members of the public, such as a visitor to a museum. Property owners must protect invitees from d... (more...)
A business guest, or someone who enters property held open to members of the public, such as a visitor to a museum. Property owners must protect invitees from dangers on the property. In an example of the perversion of legalese, social guests that you invite into your home are called 'licensees.'

ESCHEAT

The forfeit of all property to the state when a person dies without heirs.

EASEMENT

A right to use another person's real estate for a specific purpose. The most common type of easement is the right to travel over another person's land, known as... (more...)
A right to use another person's real estate for a specific purpose. The most common type of easement is the right to travel over another person's land, known as a right of way. In addition, property owners commonly grant easements for the placement of utility poles, utility trenches, water lines or sewer lines. The owner of property that is subject to an easement is said to be 'burdened' with the easement, because he or she is not allowed to interfere with its use. For example, if the deed to John's property permits Sue to travel across John's main road to reach her own home, John cannot do anything to block the road. On the other hand, Sue cannot do anything that exceeds the scope of her easement, such as widening the roadway.

SHORT SALE (OF HOUSE)

A sale of a house in which the proceeds fall short of what the owner still owes on the mortgage. Many lenders will agree to accept the proceeds of a short sale ... (more...)
A sale of a house in which the proceeds fall short of what the owner still owes on the mortgage. Many lenders will agree to accept the proceeds of a short sale and forgive the rest of what is owed on the mortgage when the owner cannot make the mortgage payments. By accepting a short sale, the lender can avoid a lengthy and costly foreclosure, and the owner is able to pay off the loan for less than what he owes. See also deed in lieu (or foreclosure).

USE TAX

A tax imposed by a state to compensate for the sales tax lost when an item is purchased outside of the state, but is used within the state. For example, you buy... (more...)
A tax imposed by a state to compensate for the sales tax lost when an item is purchased outside of the state, but is used within the state. For example, you buy your car in a state that has no sales tax, but you live across the border in a state that does have a sales tax. When you bring your car home and register it in your state, the state taxing authority will bill you for the sales tax it would have collected had you bought the car within the state.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

The legally prescribed time limit in which a lawsuit must be filed. Statutes of limitation differ depending on the type of legal claim, and often the state. For... (more...)
The legally prescribed time limit in which a lawsuit must be filed. Statutes of limitation differ depending on the type of legal claim, and often the state. For example, many states require that a personal injury lawsuit be filed within one year from the date of injury -- or in some instances, from the date when it should reasonably have been discovered -- but some allow two years. Similarly, claims based on a written contract must be filed in court within four years from the date the contract was broken in some states and five years in others. Statute of limitations rules apply to cases filed in all courts, including federal court.

EXPRESS WARRANTY

A guarantee about the quality of goods or services made by a seller, such as 'This item is guaranteed against defects in construction for one year.' Most expres... (more...)
A guarantee about the quality of goods or services made by a seller, such as 'This item is guaranteed against defects in construction for one year.' Most express warranties come directly from the manufacturer or are included in the sales contract. If you want to hold the seller to an oral guarantee, it's best to get it in writing or have witnesses to the guarantee so that it doesn't come down to your word against the seller's if a problem arises.

IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE (INS)

Formerly, the federal agency in the Department of Justice that administered and enforced immigration and naturalization laws. In 2003, however, the INS official... (more...)
Formerly, the federal agency in the Department of Justice that administered and enforced immigration and naturalization laws. In 2003, however, the INS officially ceased to exist, and its functions were taken over by various branches of the Department of Homeland Security, as follows:The new Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) handles immigration benefits, such as applications for asylum, work permits, green cards, and citizenship. The new Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) handles enforcement of the immigration laws within the U.S. borders. The new Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) handles U.S. border enforcement (including the land borders, airports, and seaports).

BASIS

For income and capital gains tax purposes, the value that is used to determine profit or loss when property is sold. Often the basis is what you paid for the pr... (more...)
For income and capital gains tax purposes, the value that is used to determine profit or loss when property is sold. Often the basis is what you paid for the property, 'adjusted' to reflect improvements made or damage incurred while you own the property. See stepped-up basis, carryover basis.