In Print and Kindle Creating the Declaration Of Independence

A Will Alone Does Not Avoid Probate, A Living Trust Can Help

There are many reasons to have a will, but avoiding probate is not among them. Other tools such as a living trust can help achieve that goal. There are legal documents and procedures beyond having a valid Last Will & Testament that constitute “estate planning”.  A person’s “estate” is his/her “net worth” at any moment. […]

Eighth Amendment: Banning Cruel and Unusual Punishment

The Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights.  Along with the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments it recognizes procedural rights for persons accused of crimes.  The purpose of these procedural rights is to protect an individual’s inalienable natural right to liberty.  When originally ratified in 1791, the Bill of […]

The Seventh Amendment: Right to a Jury in Federal Civil Trials

The Founding Fathers had a healthy fear of government power. They relied upon citizen juries to check that power. The suspension of jury trials was one of Declaration of Independence grievances against King George.  The Constitution’s 7th Amendment reflects colonial history and beliefs. John Adams described the place of the jury in the system of […]

The Exclusionary Rule in US Criminal Trials

Part of the Bill of Rights, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits government searches or seizures without a warrant issued by a disinterested magistrate. The Fourth Amendment protects the right to have government stay out of a person’s home and property without prior approval by a judge. If the judge has found […]

Constitutional Question Resolved For a Pay Raise

On April 4, 1841 William Henry Harrison became the first United States president to die in office. The Constitution did not address critical questions regarding succession and the status of Harrison’s Vice-President, John Tyler.  Tyler would act to resolve one of the issues, apparently for personal, not constitutional reasons. Lack of Constitutional Clarity The Constitution’s […]

Expunging & Sealing Florida Criminal Records

It is difficult to get a job in today’s economy, especially for an individual with a criminal record. For those with a criminal history in Florida[1] there is a process for some individuals to clean their records. For eligible individuals there are 2 potential outcomes for clearing a Florida criminal history. One is for the […]

Consider the Association When Buying a Condo

The buyer in a real estate transaction certainly is advised to do their “due diligence” in making the decision to complete a purchase.  Due diligence is the process of systematically researching and verifying all information needed to make an informed buying decision.  For the purchase of a residential condominium this includes researching the Condominium Association, […]

The Fifth Amendment Guarantee Against Double Jeopardy

The US Constitution‘s Fifth Amendment requires government procedures to protect the natural, inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness recognized in the Declaration of Independence. Among these protections is a limit on multiple prosecutions based upon the same alleged conduct.  This limitation is commonly referred to as a protection from “double jeopardy”. The Double […]

The Fifth Amendment’s Grand Jury: A Proud & Lost Protection of Liberty

The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights mandates government procedures to protect the natural, inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness recognized in the Declaration of Independence. The amendment contains five protections for these natural rights. The Fifth Amendment’s first protection requires the federal government to use a grand jury to […]

The Fifth Amendment: Procedural Protections for Natural Rights

The First United States Congress proposed 12 amendments to the Constitution in 1789. The states ratified ten of the proposed amendments: The Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment contains five procedural rights. If the government seeks to take someone’s life, liberty or property it must follow the Fifth Amendment’s rules. The Fifth Amendment “No person […]