Are You a Victim of Professional Negligence?

English common law is revered because it is one of the oldest and broadest set of laws in existence today. The essence of English common law is that it is made by judges sitting in courts applying statute, and legal precedent from previous cases. In the English law of tort, professional negligence is a subset of the general rules on negligence that cover the situation in which the defendant has represented him or herself as having more than average skills and abilities i.e. a professional.

Professional negligence occurs when a professional fails to carry out his or her duties to the required standard of care for a client. This can result in a claim brought by a client, or, in certain circumstances the professional may be found to owe specific duties to third parties. The specialised set of rules encompassing how a professional should behave determines the standards against which to measure the legal quality of the services actually delivered by those who claim to be professionals. A claim in professional negligence may be based upon: a breach of a contract; or a breach of a duty of care owed in the tort of negligence; or a breach of a fiduciary duty; or a breach of a statutory duty.

When someone asks a professional for advice, he or she should expect to receive professional advice. But what if that advice causes you problems or losses? Then damages may be due. Which professionals are most often found liable?

  • Financial advisors, banks, insurance brokers and accountants – Wrong advice about your financial situation or taxes owed.
  • Engineers and architects – Bad design and construction advice.
  • Estate agents – Selling your property for too low a price.
  • Insurance brokers – Giving you the wrong insurance leaving you exposed.
  • Doctors, Dentists and other medical practitioners – Misdiagnosis and treatment.
  • Solicitors and other lawyers – Missed filings or not getting you the right compensation.
  • Surveyors – Missed defects or bad advice about key areas of the property.
  • Barristers – Poor performance in the courtroom.
  • Will writers – Mistakes or omissions in the will.

Included, but not in this list are other professional services providers who are hired to offer their expert advice. If their advice is negligent and it can be proven the client has suffered financially because of this negligent advice, the client has the right to and should make a claim because if proven accurate the claimant may receive a substantial settlement.

Professionals carry insurance for these types of claims and the insurer will most likely fight the claimant for the compensation sought. Therefore the claimant needs to hire a law firm specialising in professional negligence disputes. Dealing with a dispute will take time and demonstrating negligence (and the losses suffered) can be complicated, so well trained and experienced experts are a necessity.

If you suspect that you have not received professional level care from a professional services provider, and have been damaged financially as a result, contact a professional negligence solicitor and discuss the circumstances of your case.

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How to Pre-Screen Potential Tenants

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Renting your home or apartment is a great way to invest in your future, but you definitely need to know what you are doing. Every landlord knows the importance of carefully screening potential tenants before anything is signed.  This typically begins by requiring the interested person to complete a detailed application form which will collect the applicant’s financial and credit details, references from past and current employers and landlords, and information about things like whether the applicant smokes, owns pets, or has ever been convicted of a felony.

However, getting this information is only the beginning – in order to make sure that you are protected, you need to follow through on the process of actually checking the information you have been provided – this means calling references, reviewing credit reports and obtaining a criminal background check. This process, however important, takes time and energy.  Savvy landlords know, however, that the screening process actually begins before the application – these landlords will ask several pre-screening questions when they are first contacted by the applicant that help them to determine if it is worth the time and energy to undertake a more careful screening. Here are a few things to find out before you take the process further.

How many people/pets will be living in the property?

This preliminary question is important to ask for a few reasons.  First, there are laws in some states against renting to more than two tenants per bedroom – this is in place to prevent over-crowding situations for reasons of safety and health.  It is also relevant because more people using the space means more wear and tear on carpets, bathrooms, appliances, and so on.  In this case, you may be justified in asking for a higher rent, or to exclude utilities or apply a premium if they are included.  Similarly, if there are pets, there is reason to anticipate that damage may occur as a result, and again you may want to increase the rent or include a damage clause.  This is something that could be discussed in your first contact with the potential tenant, and this will be their opportunity to decide if they are willing to pay a higher rent.  If not, then the conversation can end there.

Will they provide references from their employer and landlord?

For obvious reasons, you want to know something about their record of employment and especially about their reliability as a tenant.  Anyone who indicates that they are not prepared to give you that information, or who has a story about why that information is not available, should be politely declined during the first conversation.

Will they allow you to check their credit report and conduct a criminal background check?

Anyone who refuses to allow you to check their background or conduct a people search on them should be immediately passed over.  Potential credit problems may have a legitimate explanation, and a credible person will be prepared to let you check and will provide an explanation that you might accept.  Similarly, a criminal background check is necessary because you as the landlord may be responsible for criminal activity on your property. Again, you should not automatically discriminate against someone with a criminal past, but you should be wary of anyone who refuses to disclose it.

With these simple questions in mind as you take phone calls from people interested in renting your house or apartment, you can focus your screening efforts on serious applicants and find the right tenants for you.

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Get Educated on the Best Paralegal Schools

What are the Best Paralegal Schools?
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If you’re shopping around for the best paralegal schools nationwide, how do you know which ones stack up to be the best?

As more people gravitate towards adding to their knowledge base in order to advance through the workforce, having as much education on your side as possible is crucial.

That said many people are holding down full-time jobs, not to mention several part-time jobs too in order to get by. In those situations, it can seem like getting more education is all but impossible. Where do you find the time? Can you afford to get the education given your income abilities? Will the education you go after now be enough in today’s demanding workplace?

In order to answer some or all of those questions, it is important that you do your research, looking for the best opportunities for you.

So, are you ready to become educated on how to locate the best paralegal school for your needs?

Do Your Research

So that you can find the best paralegal school out there, keep a few pointers in mind:

First, make sure you look for a number of schools, allowing you a solid list of candidates with which to choose from. While you may ultimately end up selecting the first school you come across, having myriad of choices will allow you more time to think through your decision.

Among the qualities you want in a paralegal school would be:

  • Best learning environment – Is the school conducive to your career needs? Does it provide you with the tools to become an outstanding paralegal when all is said and done? Will you be exposed to some fantastic coursework and some of the best professors (see more below) out there?
  • Best professors – Although you may learn a lot about the paralegal field on your own through studying and attention to detail, your professors certainly make a difference. Look for a paralegal school where your instructors are the best out there. You not only want professors with great experience as lawyers and paralegals, but also those willing to help you become a great paralegal in your own right. That means taking the time to answer your questions and encourage you to want to learn as much as possible.
  • Best accreditation possible – You want a school that is accredited, giving you some muscle when you go in for job interviews or look to move up the ladder in your current position. Be sure to go to a school that is known for producing only the best students in the best learning environments possible.

Time Management is Critical

If you are currently in the workplace, getting a paralegal degree will take both time and effort, so make sure you are able to provide both.

While the onus is on a paralegal school to provide you with a well-rounded education, it is up to you to commit 100 percent of yourself to the process.

Look to see how you will properly divide your time between your current job and studying for a paralegal degree. If you have a family, properly juggling everything can prove even more of a challenge, but it is one that will be well worth it in the end. You should discuss with your partner and children (depending on their age or ages) how they can help you to allocate time for studies etc.

Make sure you also do not take too much time away from your current job, thereby not risking losing that position while studying for a paralegal degree.

Opening the doors to a job in the legal profession isn’t always easy, but it can be very rewarding once you are firmly inside.

By taking the proper amount of time and focus on where to get your paralegal degree, you can properly position yourself in the legal field.

Once there, the sky can be the limit.

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How to get a job in the legal profession

Learning How to get a job in the legal profession will get your career off the start you want and need
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While the legal profession offers some of the best-paying jobs out there, the education required to allow applicants to even compete for these positions is rather expensive.

For most, it is necessary to take out sizable student loans in order to pay for their law degree, leaving them with a considerable debt load.

As such, there is an urgency to get a job in the legal profession that every law school graduate feels, especially in today’s job market.

Below, we will share a few tips that will help these soon-to-be law graduates get a position in the legal profession as quickly as possible.

1) Consult law-centered recruitment agencies

The first thing that you should do when you are learning how to get a job in the legal profession is to get in touch with recruitment agencies that are focused on this sector of the economy.

When you work with a specialist law recruitment agency, they are able to take the education that you have acquired over the years and match it up with a firm that is looking for someone with the abilities that you possess.

The versatility of the internet these days makes working with these companies a no-brainer, so make this the first thing you do when you are looking for your first legal gig.

2) Be open to relocating for an available position

The labor market varies greatly from one part of the country to the other, so it may be worth your while to consider relocating outside of your home region.

Furthermore, there are many excellent opportunities available overseas, so don’t discount the possibility of becoming an expat in order to give your legal career the start you are looking for.

If the state of job listings in your area is too depressing to think about, figure out which parts of your home country or the world have thriving economies, and aggressively seek out an opportunity there.

3) Always be networking

This bit of advice is applicable to most fields, but it is especially true in the highly social legal world. If you make the effort to get to know as many people as you can in your local legal community, it is inevitable that you will make good friends with more than a few of them.

Even if these people aren’t decision makers, they will be able to recommend you to their superiors when they hear about a job opening within their firms.

When it comes to hiring people, referrals are often trusted above other indicators, as people making the referrals put their personal reputation on the line when it comes to recommending qualified candidates for an open position.

By being an affable, competent person at social gatherings, you will be doing 80% of the work required in order to be viewed as a good fit for any position.

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