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Legal Notions: Blog of the Attorneys of Brown, Paindiris & Scott

Gov. Lamont's Recreational Marijuana Bill: How Does it Protect CT Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs?

Governor Lamont's recently proposed bill seeks to legalize recreational sale and use of cannabis by adults, among other things. The 108-page bill was referred to the CT legislature's judiciary committee on February 6, 2020. As it currently stands, the recreational cannabis legalization provisions in the bill become effective July 1, 2022. The delay is intended, in part, to allow time for a soon to be formed "Cannabis Equity Commission" to make recommendations to the state legislature and the Department of Consumer Protection regarding the bill and regulations that must follow.

THE RIGHT LAWYERS CAN HELP COUPLES DIVORCE PEACEFULLY

The family lawyers at Brown, Paindiris & Scott offer Collaborative divorces as an alternative to hostile and dysfunctional processes typically experienced through court system divorces.

A Collaborative divorce avoids the one-size-fits-all and often devastating consequences of a court battle by bringing couples to the table with attorneys, mental health professionals, child specialists, and financial experts.

5 Considerations If Your Marriage Is Over

As the economy slowly begins to reopen and the quarantine eases, many couples counselors and family attorneys are anticipating a rise in the number of divorces. The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced families to shelter at home, causing many couples to realize that they cannot continue in their present relationship. People are reflecting on their lives and relationships and making changes. (For options on separating see Attorney Ron Scott's blog regarding divorce processes.) Even though Connecticut courts are operating only on a limited basis, here are five considerations for those contemplating divorce now or in the future: 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Basics

There are multiple Chapters of the U.S Bankruptcy Code under which a debtor may file. The most advantageous of those is Chapter 7, which provides for a "fresh start" and can potentially wipe out all the debtor's unsecured debt without the debtor having to pay any additional money to his or her creditors.

Are Non-Disparagement Orders Constitutional?

The Massachusetts Supreme Court recently ruled that non-disparagement orders in family court cases are a violation of a parent's free speech rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. A non-disparagement clause in divorce and custody orders prohibits one parent from speaking negatively about the other parent in the presence of children or on social media. Although the Massachusetts Court noted the importance of protecting a child from the emotional and psychological harm that could result from one parent's use of vulgar or disparaging words about the other, it held that merely reciting that interest is not enough to satisfy the heavy burden of justifying a prior restraint on speech. In addition, concern about potential harm that could occur if the child were to discover the speech in the future was speculative.

Rules of the Road For Ride-sharing Services

Many of us who have had an opportunity to use Uber or Lyft have found the experience to be a positive one. Nevertheless, accidents do happen and when a ride-sharing service is involved the insurance protection may be complicated. As a preliminary matter, if you are a customer of a ride-sharing service, you would expect that the corporate insurance policy should cover you as a passenger. Afterall, common carriers owe the highest duty of care to the public. While ultimately this will be the case, when an accident occurs the police report will typically reference the personal insurance of the driver and not the applicable Uber or Lyft policy. Therefore, it can be challenging to determine what coverage will take care of any injuries or damages that you may sustain. Additionally, Uber and Lyft drivers themselves may have difficulty with coverage issues if they are injured as a result of another person's negligence. When a ride-sharing service is involved you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Please contact attorney Bruce Newman at 860-583-5200 if you have any questions concerning an injury or accident which may have occurred using Uber or Lyft. 

Marriott Hotels Data Breach

Marriott hotels has disclosed that there has been a serious data breach affecting 5.2 million guests of the hotel. It is unclear at the present time whether or not payment information has been stolen but certainly other personal identifying information such as dates of birth, addresses, etc. have been compromised. 

Affordable Divorce: A Tale of Three Processes

Contributed by Ronald Scott. John and Mary have been married for 15 years, and both have good jobs. They have 2 great kids, ages 8 and 13. Their finances are typical for a middle class family; a home with some equity, retirement accounts, some credit card debt, car loans. They have started to put away some money for the kids' college education. But as happens in about 50 percent of the marriages, they find themselves divorcing. Facing that decision, both are worried about their lives ahead. What will things be like for their children? Will they have enough money to survive? What will their relationship with each other be like? What will the divorcing process do to them? Facing not only the end of their marriage, but the start of their new lives, John and Mary face an initial decision of what process to resolve their marital issues: Mediation, Litigation or Collaboration.

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