Landlords, Tenants, and Lease Agreements

Lease AgreementLandlord and Tenant disputes are hardly rare in the legal system, and many times the issues are the result of a poorly drafted lease agreement in which the tenant or landlord did not know their rights and responsibilities.

Language in a lease agreement is of the utmost importance. One of the best examples of this is the word “bi-monthly.” The word means both twice a month and once every-other month; this is a big difference, and this ambiguity is completely unacceptable in a contract.

Tenants should be weary when entering into a lease agreement, especially for a commercial property where the result of negligence can be much more severe. Landlords should have attorneys who draw up the lease agreements, and the attorneys draft these documents to benefit their client. Many of the tenant’s rights and landlord’s responsibilities are purposely left out because some tenants will not correctly review the agreement. Having an attorney review the document will benefit you in the long run.

If you are thinking about signing a lease agreement or any other type of contract, contact a Florida Real Estate attorney to review the contract before you sign.

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Patents and the America Invents Act

Invention, patent raceOn March 16, 2013, the America Invents Act (AIA) will go into effect.

The main change in this act is that right to patent an invention will go from a “first to invent” rule to a “first to file” rule. This means that the first person who files for the patent will be entitled to receive it, rather than the first person to invent it. The hope is that this will phase out interference proceedings used to resolve disputes regarding who first invented a technology.

The other part of the patent process this act will affect is referred to as prior art. Prior art is any information about the invention disclosed to the public prior to the application date. The rule under the AIA is that a person shall be entitled to a patent unless:

  1. The claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or
  2. The claimed invention was described in a patent issued under Section 151 or in an application for patent published or deemed published under Section 122(b) in which the patent or application, as the case may be, names another inventor and was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.

Unlike some stricter first-to-file systems, the AIA will continue to permit some exceptions to what constitutes prior art for a one-year grace period. For example, an inventor’s own public disclosures within a year of the effective filing date does not constitute prior art under the AIA.

The best way to ensure that you receive a patent is to file the application as soon as possible and to file multiple provisional applications to ensure you receive the earliest filing date.


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Turkish Professionals Discuss Trade Agreement with US

Turkey Trade AgreementAs the United States and the European Union continue talks of a free-trade agreement, Turkish professionals are debating how this agreement can increase trade between Turkey and the US in a way that benefits Turkey.

There has been a swift, noticeable increase in trade volume between the US and Turkey over the last 10 years, Turkish American Business Association (TABA/AmCham) President Ekim Alptekin said. However, Turkey’s imports from the US, amounting to $14 billion, and their exports to the US, amounting to $5.6 billion, are not enough trade between the two countries. Alptekin said it is important for Turkey to improve commercial relations with the US because their trade with Europe is declining.

Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) Vice President Ahmet Ciğer noted that under the free-trade agreement, Turkey would be subject to the same rules as Europe while importing goods from the US, but the US could impose extra tariffs on exported goods from Turkey. “However,” Ciğer said, “since trade relations between the US and Turkey are not at the desired level, the damage would not be that fatal.”

For the past two years, the US was ranked Turkey’s fifth largest trading partner, and Turkey was the 32nd largest goods trading partner for the US in 2011. The top exports from Turkey to the US are vehicles, machinery, iron and steel, and the top imports from the US to Turkey are aircrafts, iron and steel, oil, and machinery.

The two countries also have other shared business ideas. US firms are investing in Turkey because they consider it a springboard to Middle Eastern, and regional markets of the Caucasus and Central Asia, and there is a growing interest from Turkish infrastructures and energy companies to join the U.S. market.

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Holographic Wills: A Bad Idea

Handwritten willA holographic will, or handwritten will, is valid in Florida only if it meets specific requirements set forth by law. These requirements include that the will meets specific execution standards, is properly witnessed, and names beneficiaries. If the document does not meet these standards, the will cannot be used in the probate process, giving the power of the estate to the courts and making the process all the more difficult.

A holographic will should only be used in extreme situations, such as if the person does not have a will and has to have immediate surgery.

The best thing to do is to draft and update your will far before anything happens to you. If you have any assets of value, you need to draft a will, regardless of your age. You want to make sure that if something happens to you, your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are not stuck with a lengthy, painful probate process.

Your will should include monetary assets, no matter how minute, physical assets, such as a boat or house, non-physical assets, such as intellectual property, and digital assets, such as an EBay or online gaming account.

If you do not have a will or estate plan, you should contact an estate-planning attorney. It is never too early or too late to draft a will, that is, until you are deceased.

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Civil Litigation Suit at St. Joseph’s London hospital

freeimage-3991272In 2008, St. Joseph’s London hospital was named one of the top 100 cardiac hospitals in the country by Thompson Reuters, but that reputation has quickly taken a turn for the worse. Nearly 400 people are suing St. Joseph’s London hospital in Kentucky, and 11 of their cardiologists, claiming the hospital conspired to perform unnecessary cardiac procedures.

After suffering through at least 24 heart procedures over 20 years at St. Joseph’s, Edward Marshall, a disabled former meat cutter and one of the plaintiffs in the suit, decided enough was enough. He went to see a specialist in Lexington, Dr. Michael R. Jones, who told Marshall that his most recent procedure was unnecessary because the blockage was too small. Further investigation found that these unnecessary procedures had been performed on many of the other patients at St. Joseph’s.

In addition to the alleged harm caused to all of these patients, perhaps the most detrimental is the decreasing amount of trust that people can place in doctors today. We expect that after all of their training, we should be able to trust our doctors. Unfortunately, in today’s world, this is not the case.

The suit alleges that two patients died, others will be required to take dangerous blood-thinning medications for life, and the patients are at risk of other potentially fatal complications. The hospital is currently under investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office.

If you have doubts about a diagnoses or procedure your doctor wants to perform, get a second opinion. If you have already had an unnecessary procedure, you should contact an attorney immediately to find out your rights.

Source: Courier Journal

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