Reasons to Hire a Family Attorney

There are many family issues that arise where the assistance of a family attorney must be bought. This is why it is wise for those having a case handled through the Maryland court system to hire a local Maryland family attorney. There are many attorneys that have plenty of in-depth knowledge and experience to help settle issues such as divorce or child support, but hiring a local attorney has its own advantages. An effective Maryland family attorney licensed by the State Bar can handle their case in an efficient manner. Below are several reasons to hire a Maryland family attorney.

State Law
When hiring a Maryland family lawyer, a client can rest assured their attorney will have an extensive knowledge of any state and local laws that apply to the case being handled. All states across the entire nation have different laws. Many of the laws are similar, but they do have differences that should always be noticed when taken into a courtroom.

Knowledge
Any attorney who does not regularly practice law within Maryland, especially in the exclusively busy jurisdictions of Montgomery and Prince George's counties, will not have the knowledge needed to effectively handle a domestic court case; however, a local specialist will have the experience needed to prove he can be of the utmost value when handling a case involving dispute, custody, visitation, adoption and similar issues in the State of Maryland.

Familiarity
Maryland family attorneys can also prove valuable when they are familiar with local judges, other lawyers and courthouse personnel. This often makes it easier for them to handle negotiations with familiar faces and focus on aspects that certain judges deem more important than others. All local processes differ throughout the country, but a professional professional increments the chance of a client winning a case because of their comfortableness within local courtrooms and familiarity with the nuances of filing procedures and guidelines.

Local Juries
When there are jurives involved within a court case, it is essential to hire a professional that frequently encounters local residents, because they can help decipher the attributions of local jurors. Understanding the local sentiment of a jury can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing a case. A local attorney uses their understanding of current events, local attitudes and biases to their advantage when moving a case in the right direction.

Contact
Hiring an area attorney also makes it easy for a client to stay in contact with their family lawyer. This adds extra peace of mind when involved within a sensitive and personal court case. When meeting in person, it is less time consuming and more convenient, saving the client money and time as well.

Selecting A Custom Home Builder

Finding a Maryland Custom Home Builder can be very exciting, very rewarding and VERY nerve racking if the proper “Due Diligence” is not exercised.

Beware of the BAITERS!

What is a BAITERS?

A “Baiter” is a Builder that will quote a ridiculously low price per square foot dollar amount. The low price per square foot grabs your attention. The tactic / ploy then entices you to contact the Custom Builder. It is when you start “peeling back the onion” that you start to realize that the ridiculously low price per square foot number didn’t include everything (site work, all permits, etc…) and is being quoted with low grade / sub standard materials.

What are the “Make Sure” things to do when selecting a Maryland Custom Home Builder?

1) Make Sure that the price quoted by ANY Maryland Custom Home Builder is ALL inclusive. This includes, but is not limited to, ALL of the permits, ALL of the necessary site work (driveway, excavations, septic, etc…) and ALL of the necessary hookups (water & sewer, well & septic, gas & electric). NO surprises later, when it’s too late. If you are not a handyman you will want the Custom Home Building process to be completely “Turn-Key”.

2) Make Sure that you compare “Apples to Apples” when comparing materials used by any Maryland New Home Builder. The use of 2×4 construction versus 2×6 construction, Formica Countertops versus Granite Counter tops, Single Hung windows versus Double Hung Windows, Brick versus Vinyl Siding, Grades of Cabinets, Grades of Carpet, Grades of Appliances, the list can go on and on… The best thing to do is run a computer spreadsheet comparing the included specifications of one perspective Custom Home Builder to another Custom Home Builder.

3) Make Sure that you visit a couple of Custom Homes that are under construction to check out “Build Quality” and actual materials used. If you see a subcontractor / vendor onsite, don’t take up an inordinate amount of time (they are working) but ask them, “Do you like working for this particular Custom Builder?” If there are any payment problems or if it is a poorly run jobsite you maybe surprised at the candid answers you will receive. Notice the condition of the job site. Is it sloppy or messy? This may be an indication of a “I don’t care” attitude.

4) Make Sure there is a communication process in place during construction. EVERY week you should be informed of what events are scheduled on your home for that particular week. Pictures, emails, phone calls, etc… are all excellent tools for a Maryland Custom Home Builder to stay in touch with their client.

5) Make Sure that ANY builder you are considering has EXCELLENT customer references. Contact several references and ask them about their overall experience with the Custom Builder. If people weren’t happy with their experience – they will tell you.

6) Make Sure you check for any lien or judgment history against the Maryland Custom Builder you are considering. In Maryland, for example, there is the Maryland Judiciary Site http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiry-index.jsp. Here you can check for outstanding liens, judgments, lawsuits, etc… against all builders you are considering. Keep in mind, legitimate disputes happen in business. What you want to look for is a pattern. It could very well give good insight on the health of the company. Check with local licensing requirements for a Home Builder. Custom Home Builders In Maryland have to be registered with the state of Maryland’s Home Builder Registration Unit. (1-877-259-4525 http://www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder )

A Custom Home can be the largest financial decision in your life.

If the proper “Due Diligence” is performed upfront, it can also be one of the most rewarding decisions in your life!

The Eastern Shore of Maryland – Small Water Oriented Towns Steeped in Chesapeake Bay History

The state of Maryland is divided in half by the Chesapeake Bay. Before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was built in 1952, the Eastern shore was physically and socially removed from the Western Shore. While the state capital, Annapolis, and Baltimore, a shipping and industrial town are located on the Western Shore, the Eastern Shore was compromised of small towns, farms, and water oriented communities. In the late 1800's steam boats brought some tourists to the Eastern Shore to escape the heat of urban areas.

The building of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge increased tourism and historically swelled the population of that formerly removed section of Maryland. While things have changed dramatically, there are still remnants of the old fashioned charm of the Eastern Shore, much of which can be found along Route 33, just west of Easton.

Saint Michael's is just such a place. Once, a thriving ship building and waterman's' town, St. Michael's today has retained its quaint historical atmosphere. On weekends, the main street is busy with tourists, shopping at the boutiques, galleries, antique shops, and craft stores.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, open since 1965, draws visitors interested in a peek at history. Featuring both indoor and outdoor displays, old boats, a lighthouse, and several outbuildings, the Chesapeake Maritime Museum holds festivals centered around the area's history, commerce, and fishing. In September, the museum holds its annual Mid-Atlantic Small Crafts Festival, drawing people who enjoy skiffs, canoes, and kayaks for workshops and demonstrations.

The community also draws boats with its marina, and offers boat charters for a ride on the Bay or a day of fishing.

Cyclists enjoy the area for its level roads, which, once past St. George. Michael's, are reliably quiet.

Keep traveling west on Route 33, past St. Michael's to the public boat ramp at Claiborne. You will not find much to do in Claiborne and therein lies its appeal. A small town of a very few homes, Claiborne is named for the man responsible for the first naval battle in North America. Having established himself as a tobacco farmer and trapper in the early 1600's, William Claiborne strongly opposed to being included in the new territory of Maryland, drawing the ire of Maryland's first governor, Leonard Calvert.

Route 33 ends at Tilghman's Island, an attractive water oriented community on the Chesapeake Bay. Here, you will find farms, a marina, and beautiful older homes. Do not worry about crowds on Tilghmans' Island. A slow drive along its streets is a pleasure when you see the historic homes and excellent water views. Tilghman's Island ends at Black Walnut Point, a wonderful spot for fishing, bird watching, and dramatic Chesapeake Bay sunsets.

Ocean City, Maryland – Fun All Year Round

Ocean City, Maryland is an excellent East Coast beach – ten miles of clean, white sand set on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Sinepuxent Bay. Summer water temperatures rise to a comfortable 70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, thanks to the Gulf Stream Current which runs north, just off-shore. Waves break between three to six feet high; perfect for body surfing, bogey boarding, or just having a great time.

Ocean City has been a prime tourist destination ever since the Atlantic Hotel first opened its doors on July 4, 1875. The two and a half mile boardwalk offers amusement parks, shops, and typical boardwalk fare at the south end. The north end provides a lovely place to stroll past hotels and motels as you listen to the sound of the surf.

Ocean City has come a long way since the Atlantic Hotel opened. Now, folks visit all year around. The weather and water make for great beach days up into October, minus the summer crowds. And weekends are filled with special events and festivals. Winter offers brisk, refreshing salt air and is a great time for birdwatching. And in Spring, you can welcome the return of great weather while enjoying an upsurge in more festivals and events.

One of my favorite places for fun in Ocean City is Trimper’s Rides whose indoor vintage amusement part has provided fun for the whole family for 100 years. The capstone of Trimper’s is the1902 Hershell-Spellman Carousel with its beautifully restored, hand-painted menagerie. You can ride on a goat, giraffe, lion, rooster, horses or one of the artistically decorated chariots. The miniature Ferris Wheel and kiddie carousel date from the 1920’s.

Marty’s Playland is another place to visit. Play vintage ski-ball or drop a dime into one of the one hundred year old claw machines at Diggerville. Marty’s also includes contemporary arcade games.

The fishing is great in Ocean City, both onshore and offshore.

There are lots of cool things to do in Ocean City. Fly a kite, play miniature golf, build a sand castle, rent a kayak, or visit nearby Assateague National Seashore.

On Independence Day, Ocean City features two fabulous fireworks displays – one at the south end of the boardwalk, and the other at Northside Park on 127th Street.

Food venues run from funky outdoor picnic tables to fine dining; popular bars with live music, and several restaurants with bay views, where you can watch the sunset while you enjoy Maryland’s famous seafood.

Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury law, also known as "tort law," includes physical and emotional injuries caused by various reasons such as slips and falls, road accidents, use of defective products, defamation, medical malpractice and animal bites.

Sometimes the injuries can be minor or can be healed with time. Such victims do not have to go to court to receive compensation, and the party that caused the injuries offers compensation. However, some personal injuries may have grave consequences and affect a victim forever. If a personal injury has occurred in Maryland, it is advisable for the victim to hire a reputed lawyer. It is important to know the statute of limitations in Maryland to know the permitted time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Good personal injury lawyers can offer guidance to victims to decide the course of action. They protect the rights of their clients, and ensure that they receive the maximum compensation from the defenders and the insurance companies. Experienced personal injury lawyers have adequate expertise in dealing with insurance companies.

The procedure of personal injury lawsuits may vary according to the type of personal injury. Medical malpractice lawyers have a good understanding of medical terminology. They often consult medical experts to determine if the victims have valid grounds for filing a claim. According to personal injury law, individuals who are substantially exposed to hazardous waste can also file for compensation if they suffer from some sort of disorder or illness resulting from it.

As the personal injury lawssuits vary importantly, it is recommended to hire a lawyer who has represented similar types of personal injury cases. There are lawyers who are specialized in specific areas of personal injury law.

Lawyers and reputed law firms usually offer free preliminary consultation. They assess the cases of victims and advise them accordingly. All personal injury lawyers usually charge on a contingency fee basis.

Responding to Foreclosure – Maryland Offers Homeowners Legal Defenses to Delay Or Stop Foreclosure

With the rising tide of mortgage foreclosure actions, Maryland has implemented new legal protections for homeowners. The laws are intended to: (a) protect homeowners who have been fraudulently induced to enter into high-interest loans; and (b) provide homeowners with information about alternatives to foreclosure and the importance of filing an answer if they are served with a foreclosure complaint.

The most recent legal protections went into effect in April, 2008. Among other protections, the new laws: (a) mandate that lenders provide the homeowner with a written notice of intent to foreclose at least 45 days prior to filing a foreclosure action in court; (b) require that lenders wait until 90 days after a default in payment before commencing a foreclosure case; (c) require that the foreclosure court papers be personally served upon the borrower; (d) require lenders to publish a notice of sale in a newspaper at least three times before the foreclosure sale can take place; and (e) give homeowners the opportunity to pay overdue payments up until one day prior to the scheduled auction.

The goal is to ensure that homeowners are given increased time to explore alternatives to foreclosure. In responding to foreclosure complaints, homeowners should ascertain whether their lender complied with the new procedural requirements. Where the required notices were not properly served, a homeowner should specifically raise the lender’s noncompliance with the law as an affirmative defense in their answer to the foreclosure complaint. By asserting the newly available affirmative defenses, homeowners may be able to delay foreclosure and motivate lenders to provide non-foreclosure options, such as short sales and loan modification.

Previously, in 2005, the Maryland legislature passed legislation requiring lenders to provide specific notice to homeowners regarding their rights in foreclosure actions. This law took effect on May 26, 2005 and, among other things, requires that foreclosure notices contain specific warnings and information.

Like other states, Maryland experienced record numbers of foreclosures in 2009. Prince George’s County and Baltimore County have experienced the highest number of foreclosures overall. However, the increase in foreclosure rates has affected every part of the state. Statewide, foreclosure filings in August, 2009 were up by more than 70% as compared to August, 2008. These grim statistics reflect the increase in unemployment, large number of high-interest mortgages, and crumbling property values. Even the most desperate homeowners should file answers when served with foreclosure complaints. Homeowners who answer foreclosure complaints are generally able to slow the foreclosure process. In many instances, homeowners who have filed answers to foreclosure complaints have found that their lenders are more willing to consider various options, including loan modifications and short sales, that were not made available previously.

Foreclosure answer forms are available for download, and are relatively easy to complete and file with the court. A foreclosure answer need not be lengthy or complex. The principal purpose is to concisely deny those allegations in the complaint that are false, and to set forth any affirmative defenses which may be applicable. In foreclosure cases, answers often contain the following affirmative defenses: (a) the mortgage was entered into fraudulently or in violation of the Truth in Lending Act; (b) the lender failed to comply with applicable notice periods; and (c) the lender failed to personally serve the foreclosure summons and complaint. These are just some of the affirmative defenses to foreclosure that a homeowner should consider asserting in their answer form.

Maryland Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Lines Of Credit (HELOCs)

Homeowners in Maryland have experienced astronomical appreciations in their home values ​​in the past 10 years. Some homes have traditionally doubled their values, giving homeowners substantial equity in their homes.

Homeowners are taking advantage of the equity in their homes to start home improvement projects / repairs, consolidate various debts to pay off credit card bills, student loans, medical bills, auto loans, etc.

If you live in Maryland and need a refinance loan, the key to finding the best loan product is to shop around for the lowest interest rates, available on the market. In addition, ensure that you have a basic understanding of the type of loan that you want and also have enough knowledget to understand the terms of your loan.

What Type of Loan Do You Want?

Do you want an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) or a fixed rate mortgage (15 year, 20 year or 30 year)? Which option makes sense for your situation?

Popular to contradict belief, no one choice is better than the other – it all depends on your situation. If you plan to stay in your home for only two or three years, and want to have the lowest possible mortgage rate, an adjustable mortgage loan, may be right for you. On the other hand, if you plan to stay in your home for a long time, a fixed rate mortgage will be your best bet.

Shopping Around For A Mortgage Loan

This kind of shopping does not require you to spend any money. A reputable loan service, can offer loan quotes at no charge. This allows you to compare interest rates offered by various lenders and banks. You may be surprised at the variations in loan quotes. Take advantage of this service.

Once you get your loan quotes, ensure that you understand all facets of the loan, including any prepayment penalties, any adjustment of the loan term, points, etc.

How to Find Cheap Maryland Auto Insurance Rates

Maryland requires more auto insurance than many other states and is in the top ten for cost of promotions. This combination makes finding low cost Maryland auto insurance options even more important and this guide is here to help.

The following list of 3 points is designed to educate and inform you. As you read these ideas, hopefully you will find some ideas to help you reduce your auto insurance premiums. Read on to find some quick and easy ways to find cheap Maryland auto insurance rates.

1. Think About Yourself

Is it possible for you to participate in a car pool? Insurance companies may offer discounts to customers who are carpooling. You would be using your vehicle less often thus reducing your risk for accidents.

Is it possible for you to use public transportation to get to work? If you can use public transportation, you would be able to change your driving purpose from "business" to "pleasure" and reduce your average yearly mileage. Both of these will save you on your promotions.

Are you a careful driver? Most major insurance companies offer discounts to drivers with a safe driving record. It is well worth your efforts to slow down and drive carefully.

2. Think About Your Car

What kind of car do you drive? Driving an older, less desirable car can reduce your risk of theft as well as lower the need for collision insurance. If you are considering purchasing a new car, researching before you buy can save you hundreds of dollars per year on your promotions. Flashy cars have a higher theft risk and then pay higher insurance premiums.

What safety features does your car have? Safety features that reduce the risk of theft such as car alarms and automatic locks may lower your insurance costs. Safety features such as anti-lock brakes and airbags that are designed to protect the driver and passengers will also help reduce costs. You can even receive discounts for safety features such as daytime running lights that reduce the chance of being in a collision.

3. Think About Your Insurance

Who insures your car? If you have more than one vehicle, you will want to consider having them insured together under the same policy. This will allow you to take advantage of multi-vehicle discounts. If you can consolidate your homeowners or renters insurance with the same company as your auto insurance, you will be eligible for even more discounts.

Compare Cheap Car Insurance Quotes Online

One way to save yourself some time (and money) shopping for MD car insurance rates is to search online and compare quotes. Be sure that whatever you do compare quotes from at least 5 different companies.

University of Maryland Terrapins Mascot Explained

The Maryland Terrapins is the common name associated with the University of Maryland campus located in College Park, Maryland. While many similar collegiate programs have mascots and nicknames that reference fast and strong creatures like bears and tigers the University of Maryland has college sports fans scratching their heads as a to why a big time college athletic program would liken their squads to the qualities of turtles.

The specific turtle that the University of Maryland boasts as its proud mascot is known as the diamondback terrapin. While this particular species occupations the many swamps along coastal Massachusetts down through Florida they are especially plentiful in the Maryland area. So abundant is this particular turtle in Maryland that back in the 1700s slaves living in the area are on record as having revolted in part due to the mundane nature of their meals which consistently were made up of the prolific turtle on a daily basis. Interestingly, Maryland turtle soup would eventually grow to be known as a delicacy in upscale restaurants in places like New York City – a strange turn of events for a food once sadly thought to be barely usable slaves.

The year was 1932 when the Terrapin became the official mascot at the University of Maryland, College Park. The mascot before the Terrapin was something called "The Old Liners." Eventual University of Maryland President Curley Byrd proposed the idea of ​​the diamondback terrapin as the school's new mascot while serving as the Vice President of the university. After successfully coaching the University of Maryland varsity football team to a winning record over twenty three seasons as their head coach Mr. Byrd became the school's president in July of 1835 – three years after recommending the nickname change that remains in place to this day.

The diamondback terrapins have an unquestionably unique relationship with human beings. In addition to strangely being recognized by the state of Maryland as legally being the official state reptile the turtles have even disrupted aviation, an equally surprising circumstance. As recently as July, 2009 in a post Sully Sullenberger (Sully famously landed a plane stricken by geese in the Hudson river) world flights at New York City airport JFK were delayed for over an hour when close to eighty diamondback terrapins swamped the runway in what was believed to be an egg laying excursion by the female turtles on the runway.

At first glance most casual fans find the ending mascot that former University of Maryland President and head football coach Curley Bird selected to be a bit odd to say the least. When interested individuals dig deeper into the Maryland culture and uniqueness of the diamondback terrapin most people agree that the students and faculty at the University of Maryland have good reason to frequently shout their rallying cry, "fear the turtle."

How To Buy MAIF Insurance in Maryland

In most states, drivers operating motor vehicles are required by law to have proof of standard vehicle liability coverage before they are legally allowed to drive. Private insurance companies, however, are not required by the same token to grant coverage to all individuals. Where then, do drivers who have records too damaged for any insurance company to grant coverage turn?

Most states handle this problem by randomly assigning uninsurable motorists to an insurance carrier in their particular state. Individuals who have been randomly assigned must pay much higher rates than a regular driver would pay. This also puts the insurers in the position of being required to protect drivers who they originally denied coverage for. In Maryland though, those drivers deemed "at-risk" can turn to the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund.

Created in 1972, MAIF is a state operated insurance pool limited to Maryland residents who have been denied coverage by at least two private insurers or who have had their current policy annulled. MAIF policy holders who remain accident-free for three consecutive years are required to withdraw from the program and automatically become ineligible for its benefits without the policyholder is again denied coverage from at least two private insurance carriers. In this situation, policyholders are allowed to reapply for MAIF coverage.

A significant difference in MAIF and other insurance policies is that MAIF can not be sold on an installment plan. MAIF policyholders must either pay in full upfront or utilize a third-party policy premium finance company. Over 1,500 private insurance agents are authorized to sell MAIF policies, making it available available to all residents of Maryland. As long as they meet the straightforward qualifications, an individual's place of residence should not keep them from obtaining coverage.

MAIF, depending on its rate structure for revenue, is a self-sufficient entity. It offers many different levels of liability (the amount of damage covered for in case of an accident). In Maryland, the minimum level of liability coverage is "30/60/15". This translates to $ 30,000 covering bodily injury per person, $ 60,000 covering bodily injury in total, and $ 15,000 covering total property damage. This is the cheapest option under the MAIF umbrella, but individuals can pay higher premiums to have higher coverage (up to "100/300/100").

The Uninsured Division, a separate program managed by MAIF, was created by statute to pay claims to Maryland residents injured in a car accident who have no other source of recovery or collectible insurance. This program protects those who do not own a vehicle that could provide them with coverage or live with a relative that might have a policy that could provide them with coverage. This coverage is only applicable in instances where both the vehicle they were riding in and the vehicle that caused the accident did not have some type of insurance. Also, in order to be a valid claim, the driver must be "negligent-free" meaning they did not contribute to the damages in any way.

For the best rates on MAIF and all other insurance needs (Life, Auto, Home and Business), individuals should contact Kushner Insurance Group at (866)421-9544 or visit their website http://kushnerinsurancegroup.com/index.php to request a free, online quote.