5 Of the Most Common Reasons for Hiring a Private Investigator

l20Many of us are familiar with the popular fictional image of the private investigator – a sleuth that spends all night on a stakeout to catch that cheating husband or dig up information that can help law enforcement agencies. Indeed in real life, private investigators can play a valuable role for many people.

There are many different types of situation that a private investigator can help in, ranging from dealing with deeply personal issues to strictly legal ones; here are five of the most common reasons that people hire these professionals to deliver expert advice and assistance when they need it the most.

The first reason is, perhaps unsurprisingly, to investigate allegations of infidelity of a spouse or partner. Many people who have had a partner cheat on them may be aware of their other half’s odd behavior or just simply feel instinctively that something is wrong, but hiring someone to find out if there is something behind this may be the only logical step.

This can be especially important in the case where the person hiring the investigator plans to seek a divorce if their partner is being unfaithful. Evidence can often be presented when trying to get a decent settlement in a divorce due to a partnership faithful behaviour, which is why a private investigator can be a valuable ally at this difficult time.

The second common instance where many people hire these professionals is for fraud investigation services. There are a surprisingly large number of instances where this can occur, ranging from discovering that individuals claiming life insurance are really not deceased after all, or in perhaps less extreme cases where someone is claiming for an injury that they never endured.

Fraud investigation services are often hired by insurance companies that check up on claimants who have given them reason to be suspicious. Although this might seem extreme, in many cases this type of insurance fraud is actually widespread, and can cost the insurer a great deal of money, therefore pushing up insurance premiums for more honest customers.

Although it is normal procedure to let your local law enforcement service handle your criminal case, private investigators are being increasingly called upon to deal with this kind of scenario, due to the pressure that many law enforcement agencies are under.

In some developed countries, the police cannot investigate each and every case that is reported to them, leaving it up to the victim to hire outside help to assist them in finding the culprit or unearth valuable evidence. Therefore, criminal cases are a third common reason that private investigators are used.

A fourth instance when private investigative services are used is checking the background of a potential employee that a company is thinking about hiring. This can involve any thing from verifying that everything that is put on a resume is accurate, right through to checking the criminal background of a candidate for a job.
Every time a company hires a new person, they risk employing someone who is not ideal for the job. Although the interview process is invaluable, an investigator can deliver this extra assurance that the correct decision is being made.

This leads to our fifth instance where the service is used. For many people, getting married is a huge step to make, but some will hide a criminal or violent past from their partner and not disclose the truth about their life before they met their partner. For some, hiring an investigator to carry out per-marital checks can mean that the fiancé or fiancée will know the full truth abut their partner.

From fraud investigation services right through to uncovering lies told by a romantic partner or a husband, a private investigator can help individuals from all walks of life discover the whole truth about professional clients or friends and relatives. All these instances above are very common scenarios when their services can come in extremely useful.

What Is Document Review Work

l19Document review involves checking litigation, mergers, acquisitions, and government internal audit records to extract useful information, and cull irrelevant or highly confidential details to prevent their disclosure to the opposing counsel. It is a process post e-discovery which extracts useful information relevant to the case.

Even though document review has created jobs and benefited attorneys and professionals, it has agitated them over issues related to work, time, compensation, and ethics. In traditional business settings, printed documents occupy significant space, thus clogging the workflow and making the job more tedious.

Understanding e-discovery process

E-discovery is a process of extracting crucial data related to the case and disqualifying the irrelevant ones; it aids in classifying and preserving important records. Even though the e-discovery process has benefited many firms in extracting information, some firms still keep paper records and follow manual discovery process.

Document coding

Document coding follows e-discovery and involves indexing of the e-discovered information based on key details such as author data, communication date, and cc recipients. It induces quick identification of information during the document review process, thus enabling faster delivery of justice.

Document review in litigation process

Litigation process starts with the plaintiff filing a complaint with the court of law. Then, attorneys from both the parties get involved in the discovery process, extracting details about the case and the communications. A document review commences post discovery process to shortlist the documents suitable for producing in front of the opposing counsel. If a defendant or plaintiff finds that their case lacks potential, they may press for a settlement outside the court. Else they need to face court trials and wait for the law to take its own course.

Educational qualification for a reviewer

Paralegal reviewers are the people having an associate degree, degree, or no degree qualification and providing litigation support. Attorney reviewers are those having a degree in law and working on complex legal processes.

EDRM tools

Some law firms need the people with knowledge of Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) tools. Other firms do consider appointing the fresh candidates by providing training on those tools, but with less pay.

Reviewer’s challenge

A document reviewer’s work is tougher, needing to deal with the heavy work burden without incentive options. Severe competition between legal firms has led to cost cutting measures, thus increasing the burden on document review professionals to take more work than 12 hours. Harsh work environments force people to quit jobs, while a cartel of job agencies prevents them from getting hired, to warn others of leaving jobs.

Firms following traditional record keeping model face severe competition from those on technologies, as they get things done faster at lesser expenses. Many of the firms push their working staff in congested spaces to make way for confidential files.

Outsourcing as a solution

Many legal outsourcing firms leverage technology to deliver legal solutions at lesser cost, thus saving millions of dollars for clients. Despite initial resistance towards outsourcing, many big legal firms ventured to take the services of legal outsourcing service providers and achieved success. Such a measure benefits traditional firms by allowing them to shift the burden of the labor intensive tasks like document reviewing, and concentrate on core processes.

Bank Secrecy In Cyprus

l18Banking is one of the most important sectors of the economy since it influences investment and consumption. Confidentiality is a cornerstone element of an effective and efficient bank system. In Cyprus, bank secrecy is regulated by section 29 (1) of the Banking Law (66 (I)/97).

According to the provisions of section 29(1), it is prohibited for any member of administrative and management body, chief executive, director, manager, officer and employee of a bank, who has access to the records of the bank with regards to the account of any individual customer of that bank, to give, divulge, reveal or use for his/her benefit any information concerning the account of this client.

Moreover, section 29 (1) clarifies that members of administrative and management body, chief executives, directors, managers, officers and employees of a bank are not allowed to reveal or use any information regarding the accounts of bank’s clients during their employment and after the termination of their employment relationship with the bank.

Nevertheless, following the paragraph 29(2) of Law 66(I)/97, bank secrecy does not apply to some particular cases. An outstanding example of lifting bank secrecy is for public interest reasons.

Precisely, the bank secrecy is revoked if:

    • the customer or his/her personal representatives gives or give his/her or their written consent for this particular purpose;

 

    • the customer is declared bankrupt or in case the customer is a company, the company is being wound up;

 

    • legal proceedings are instituted between the bank and the customer or his/her guarantor, regarding the customer’s account;

 

    • the information is given to the police under the provisions of any law or to a public officer who is duly authorised under that law to access that information or to a court during the investigation process or prosecution of a criminal offence under any such law;

 

    • the bank has been served with a garnishee order attaching money to the account of the customer;

 

    • the information is required in the course of his/her duties by a colleague in the employment of the same bank or its holding company or the subsidiary of the bank or its holding company or an auditor or legal representative of the bank;

 

    • the information is required to assess the creditworthiness of a customer in connection with or relating to a bona fide commercial transaction or a prospective commercial transaction so long as the information required is of a general nature and is not related to the details of a customer’s account;

 

    • the provision of the information is necessary for reasons of public interest or for the protection of the interests of the bank.

 

    • the provision of information facilitates the operation of subsections 41(3) and 41(4);

 

    • the information is given according to section 74 of the Covered Bond Law;

 

    • the information is provided to the Cooperative Central Bank by a Cooperative Credit Institution connected with it under the section 25A;

 

  • the information is provided to a system or data exchange mechanism of credit institutions under this Law and directives issued according to Article 41(6);

Confidentiality consists an essential element of the bank-customer relationship. Confidence and credibility are the bases of an effective and efficient banking system. Cyprus legal system protects bank secrecy through the provisions of the Banking Law. In addition to this, breach of bank secrecy and confidentiality lead to substantial penalties. Furthermore, the same level of confidentiality applies to the relationship between the Central Bank of Cyprus and banking institutions operating in the Republic of Cyprus.

5 Questions You Have to Ask Your Lawyer

l17Quality legal representation in any court is very important and in the end, it will determine if you will get a fair hearing or not. Finding a quality lawyer is not that difficult, but with the massive number of law firms available, you may want to take a step back and analyze your options very carefully before settling on a lawyer. The following are 5 questions that can help you consider a lawyer before assigning them your case:

1. How Long Have You Been Practicing?

Experience is one of the most important factors to consider when picking a lawyer. The last thing you want is an amateur handling your case. With this in mind, knowing how long a lawyer has been practicing is very important. Preferably, you should go for an attorney that has been practicing for at least five years.

2. Have You Ever Represented A Case Similar To Mine?

It is also vital to know that the lawyer you have chosen has enough expertise to meet the demands of your case. Although sometimes it may be a little difficult to find a lawyer who has handled your type of case before, it is always a big advantage if you can.

3. How Long Do You Think This Case Will Take?

Legal battles in any situation can be costly, and you don’t really want to be involved in a protracted case for years. A good lawyer should be able to provide a rough estimate of how much time will be needed to complete the case. This will help you plan accordingly.

4. What Are Your Fees?

Different lawyers charge different fees depending on their expertise, the experience they have, and the complexity of the case at hand. However, don’t be too concerned about the legal fees. The priority should be to first of all get quality legal representation and worry about the cost later. If you can land a great lawyer at a relatively smaller fee, then you should definitely go for it.

5. What Is Your Win Ratio?

A proven track record in dealing with cases is a necessary requirement for any lawyer. A lot of people will feel safer working with an attorney who has contested and won a fair share of cases in their career. In light of this, before hiring an attorney, make sure you know how many cases in total they have represented and what percentage of that number were won or lost.

What You Should Always Do After A Car Accident

l16Being involved in a car accident often places people in state of shock. With adrenaline rushing through your body, it can be difficult to make calm and rational decisions. What you do immediately after these events have occurred, however, can have a serious impact on their outcome. Following are some of the most important steps to take for ensuring human safety and your long-term, financial well-being.

Make sure that everyone in your car is okay. Be sure to put your car in park and turn the ignition off. Minor details like these are often overlooked as the result of shock and panic, however, they are necessary for ensuring that no additional damage is done to vehicles and no further injuries are sustained.

Check on the passengers in the other car and make sure that they are in an acceptable condition as well. If emergency response services are required, contact these professionals immediately. If you are not trained in the administration of first aid, see if any passersby are willing to help.

It is important for each driver to share his or her auto insurance information. Make sure to copy down all of the relevant details before allowing anyone to exit the scene. This is true even if the accident is relatively minor and no significant physical injuries have been sustained. When discussing the accident, neither driver should admit full or partial fault. This can later be determined via individual statements, witness statements and other collected evidence.

When possible, take the time to collect the names and contact information of any direct witnesses. Their statements could prove essential in support any personal injury claim that you file. In fact, you may want to write down their statements immediately after the incident while their memories of this event is still fresh. Having them sign and date their initial statements immediately after having collected these will increase their validity and bring more weight to your case.

An official accident report should be filed by an attending officers. This should be submitted to all of the appropriate parties and copies should be retained for attachment to your claim. This way, all facts concerning this event are duly recorded and unlikely to be contested.

Take a trip to the emergency room, even if you aren’t bleeding or showing the signs of broken bones. High-impact events can cause injuries that may take days or even weeks to make themselves apart. Whiplash and other forms of joint dysfunction are incredibly common among auto accident victims. Having doctor review and document your injuries is yet another vital part of building your claim.

Competition Law and the Role of Competition Lawyers

l15Competition law is a branch of law that promotes or seeks to maintain market competition by regulating anti-competitive conduct by companies. This field of law is designed to promote free and fair competition. ‘Competition’ in simple terms means the activity or condition of striving to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others. ‘Competition’ is typically referred to a situation in the market in which firms or sellers independently strive for the buyers’ patronage in order to achieve a particular business objective. The companies and firms must refrain themselves from anti-competitive business practices. The advantages of a perfect are three fold: allocative efficiency, which ensures the effective allocation of resources, productive efficiency, which ensures that costs of production are kept at a minimum and dynamic efficiency, which promotes innovative practices.

Competition Law in India

The history of competition law in India dates back to the 1960s when the first competition law, namely the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act (MRTP) was enacted in 1969. But after the economic reforms in 1991, this legislation was found to be obsolete in view of international economic developments and in many other aspects and as a result, a new law in the form of the Competition Act, 2002 was enacted in 2003. The Competition Commission of India is the quasi judicial body established for enforcing provisions of this Act throughout India and to prevent activities that have an adverse effect on competition in India.

The various objectives of the Competition Act are:

1. To prevent practices having adverse effect on competition;

2. To promote and sustain competition in markets;

3. To protect the interests of consumers; and

4. To ensure freedom of trade carried on by other participants in markets, in India.

Role of Competition lawyers

The competition lawyers generally act on behalf of large international companies, as these organizations have the greatest ability to affect competition in the market. They also advise new entrants in the market, for example, where their access to the market may be blocked by competitors. The role of these lawyers is to respond to investigations by competition authorities, to handle court proceedings and to advice on day-to-day trading and compliance issues. They also defend companies accused of price fixing in secret cartels. The role of the competition lawyer is to use advocacy and economic evidence to show that the merger will not reduce competition. The other job duties include:

1. Merger control advice and filings;

2. Abuse of dominance investigations;

3. Cartel enquires and related litigation;

4. Analysis of commercial agreements and licensing and distribution arrangements;

5. Analysis of sector specific policies and market studies to identify competition concerns;

6. Intersection between competition law issues and intellectual property rights;

7. Competition compliance and training;

8. Counseling and providing strategies for anti-trust risk management.

Strange Legal System

l14Laws are peculiar in their own ways and for the reasons best known to the judicial system of India. The experiences faced with the real life are presented here to understand the gravity of the problems faced by the people.

In a cheque bounce case, the court postponed the hearing on several occasions for one or other reason. Each time, the banker promptly attended the case as a witness to the duel.

When a bank filed a suit for recovery of the delinquent loan, the defaulter was not summoned first, but the plaintiff was asked to give a declaration. Moreover, this hearing also took place after adjourning earlier for the reason the judge went on leave. In another incident, the hearing was deferred to another date when the witness did not turn up.

It is regrettable that the witnesses are examined as if they are involved in the offense, frauds or embezzlement. They are made to stand for hours together. Moreover, the hearings are adjourned without any valid reasons thus forcing them to attend the court on different dates, sometimes even spread over several years. Why not the court completes this in one sitting and make a video recording for future reference and deciding the case?

A premier investigation agency asked the witness (an ex-Bank manager) to come to identifying the accused whom the former, after a long wait of 8 years, apprehended and kept him under custody. When the witness recorded his statement, no coffee or tea was offered to him even for courtesy sake.

The cumbersome process of prosecuting and booking a culprit under the law is understandable by anybody. However, the examination and cross-examination of a witness can be simplified to one-sitting exercise instead of conducting for years together.

The valuable time of the witness is lost while the dispensation of vital justice gets delayed. Moreover, the expenses incurred by the witnesses to attend the court are not paid by the latter as no procedure seems to be in place. These witnesses reach the courts from far-away places by keeping aside their official and personal duties. Not only that, the cost of delayed judgment would be very high if the time value of money is considered. It’s high time, the experts and authorities concerned take appropriate measures to set right the anomalies in the system.

6 Must Have Traits of A Good Lawyer

l13Lawyers undoubtedly are one of the most prestigious professions these days and the demand for these professionals are exponentially increasing with each passing day. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone can aspire to make a name for themselves in this profession.

If you are looking to hire one of these professions, there are certain qualities which you should look forward to. These qualities are:-

    • Good communication skills: Needless to say, professionals in the legal field should be both articulate orally as well as have proper written communication skills. In order to place their argument with judges and juries, having necessary public speaking skills are imperative. In addition to this, they also should have good writing skills because they will need to prepare several legal documents from time to time. But that’s not all, in order to properly analyse and solve their client’s problems; they should also be a good listener.

 

    • Proper judgement: Every professional in this field should be able to draw conclusions on the basis of the information they have. From properly spotting loopholes in the opposition’s argument to considering judgements based on your points so that it is fortified on the court of law; they should be able to do everything.

 

    • Analytical: Practicing law isn’t easy at all because they have to absorb large quantities of information and convert it into something that’s manageable. Not all cases will be a cakewalk and there will be cases where there will be more than one definitive conclusion. These professionals should have the necessary analytical skills to decide which conclusion suits the case the best.

 

    • Research: Every professional in the legal profession should also be good researchers. From collecting detailed information about the clients to preparing legal strategies to comprehending huge data; these professionals should be equipped to deal with these things conveniently.

 

    • People skills: Law is not at all about getting great grades because, at the end of the day, it’s about how they interact with the people. They can be academically excellent but if they are not socially awkward, they won’t be able to achieve anything. The person whom you are hiring should be persuasive, personable and have the ability to gauge other’s reactions. If the matter is not concluded within the court of law, they should have the necessary skills for an outside settlement between you and the opposition.

 

  • Driven: These professionals should be driven in their pursuit of achieving their goals and solve your case no matter what. They should be 100% committed to the cause and do everything within the legal boundaries to assist you in your case.

6 Myths About UAV Laws

l12UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are one of the most highly talked about devices at the moment. They are known by many names, most commonly drones. While most people know about UAVs, there is still a major learning curve that still needs to be overcome by the public. There are certain rules and regulations for operating UAV, however, many people are not aware about these rules and are therefore misinformed. Thus, several common myths have emerged regarding UAVs and their usage.

Myth #1: The control of airspace below 400 feet is not in the hands of the FAA

Fact: All the airspace is controlled by the FAA. The FAA controls any space above the ground and this is to keep US airspace safe. This myth may have been originated due to the rule that all manned aircraft must never come down below 500 feet.

Myth #2: It is okay to operate UAS flights commercially on a private property if you are following model aircraft guidelines

Fact: In 2007, there was published a notice in PDF format that can be used as clarification on this matter. The rule says that no one can fly any unmanned aerial vehicle for commercial purposes. You need to apply for a license for it and that too is available for certain cases only. For this, your aircraft must be certified, the pilot must be licensed and you must obtain the required operation approval (Section 333 Exemption). This is important so that liability can be determined in case of an accident.

There is only one such vehicle that has been able to meet all the criteria and that too was limited to a place that is almost devoid of human inhabitation, the Arctic.

Myth #3: The commercial operations in the US are still not fully covered by law under FAA

Fact: This has no basis as all the airborne vehicles need to get some degree of clearance from the FAA. Civil users are required to obtain a certificate of experimental airworthiness for the purpose of using the airspace to conduct any kind of R&D, training and demonstration of flight. Same is the case with UAVs, which need certification before they can be used for commercial purposes.

If you operate a flying a UAV for recreational purposes it does not need any license or approval. But still there are some guidelines that a hobbyist must follow while indulging in this hobby.

However, in 2012, even those regulations were removed, making way for more freedom as far as model aircraft are concerned. It will be the rules of the community that will be required to be followed so that the hobbyist does not cause any damage to a property or a person.

Myth #4: It is not a punishable offense to operate commercial UAS operations after September 30th, 2015

Fact: September 30, 2015 was only a time limit by which the FAA was supposed to come up with a solution to make such plans that would make UAV safe for flying, but the FAA has not been able to come up with any plan of the sort. So, for the foreseeable future operating a commercial UAS without the required licensing remains a punishable offense.

Myth #5: Other countries are way ahead in giving approvals for UAVs

Fact: There is no scope of comparison between US airspace and that of other countries. The reason for this is that the US airspace has tremendous traffic and if UAVs are given permission too then there will be a lot of crowding in that very small airspace that is proving to be small even for commercial planes. UAVs cannot go unregulated, because all the pros and cons need to be evaluated along with the safety of people and their property on the ground.

Myth #6: There will be as many as 30,000 UAVs by 2030

Fact: This figure is an old one and looks like it was published without much research in some kind of haste because the currents estimation of FAA sits at an average figure of 7,500 by the year 2018. This figure has been published assuming that all the required rules and regulations are being followed. This number is not fixed though and can be updated after changes are made to the rules and regulations. However, for the time being there is no such possibility as this technology is still in its initial stages.

What Sets Great Lawyers Apart From the Rest

l11Abraham Lincoln once said that a lawyer “has a superior opportunity of being a good person. There will be business enough.” The requirements for obtaining the professional distinction have changed considerably since Lincoln’s time. While he was only required to obtain an Illinois court document vouching for his “moral character,” today’s attorneys typically undertake several years of rigorous study and must pass difficult exams to practice their skill professionally. However, Lincoln’s sentiment can serve as a grounding principle for legal professionals. Above all, lawyers must trust in the law’s ability to maintain and improve society and act as an agent for justice. That said, the modern attorney needs a very specific skill set that includes the following essential qualities.

Negotiation

The ability to negotiate is arguably the most coveted skill a litigator can possess. Crushing the competition may be the chosen approach of a business leader or athletic coach, but it’s unlikely to yield the best result in a legal dispute. A talented negotiator takes the expectations of all parties into account and positions him or herself creatively to achieve an outcome that everyone can live with.

Verbal Skills

It’s a given that studying law requires thousands of pages of reading and tons of writing, but the best lawyers are those with an exceptional command of all phases of verbal communication. Their reading comprehension must match their efficiency, meaning they can rapidly sift through a large volume of text and accurately find pertinent information. On the writing side of the equation, drafting briefs accurately and quickly requires advanced skills. Their ability to communicate with colleagues and clients clearly and concisely should not be undervalued either.

Presentation Ability

Lawyers may spend much of their time navigating briefs, documents, and correspondence behind the scenes, but truly effective ones are those who can steal the spotlight when the time comes. An attorney should be able to capture attention with both spontaneous performances and well-prepared presentations. Specifically in trial situations, facts might not speak loudly enough for themselves, and it is counsel’s job to illuminate important points through demonstration.

Logic and Analysis

Good counsel always maintains a personal distance from the situation at hand and relies on impartial judgment to find the best course of action. One cannot succeed in the legal profession without the ability to see past personal feelings and biases that can cloud logical thinking.

Passion

Though it may counter the previous statement, a passion for justice and a spirit of perseverance in the name of the client can set great lawyers apart from those just going through the motions. Practicing law is a demanding calling, and lacking an outstanding commitment to the profession can make for a mediocre attorney.