viernes, 12 de diciembre de 2014

Legal issues

Laws are spider webs through wich the big flies pass and the little one get caught

Honoré de Balzac

Legal isssues

All in our life is surrounded by the legal issues. See the example:

You need to know this terms and what is their meaning. Read the following article and then look for the meaning of the bold words

Basic legal vocabulary

A legal process starts when a person or organization sues another because of some harm that they have caused you. If the case is taken to trial, there is a plaintiff and a defendant. If the defendant can’t afford to pay a lawyer, they can get a public defender. Once in court, the prosecutor and the advocate or defence attorney start a cross-examination in order to discover if the witnesses have been telling the truth. After the jury’s decision, the judge sentences the defendant. Sometimes, the defendant is released on bail if they pay a sum of money to the law court. However, if they don’t agree with the sentence they can appeal to a higher court. If the defendant gets a prison sentence, after a few years they can be released on parole before their period in prison is finished.

Legal Issues in Business: What You Should Know

No matter who you are, you will make mistakes at some point in your business life. Unfortunately the law is not very forgiving - ignorance is not a defence. In this section, we have compiled some of the common legal pitfalls to watch out for when setting up your own business.


A partnership is formed when two or more parties form to start a business, sharing the workload and investing capital to get things going. It is always wise to have a written partnership agreement and get it checked by a solicitor. If you do not have a proper agreement and it all goes wrong, the partnership will be covered by the Partnership Act, whose provisions may not always seem fair.

On the contrary, by setting up your business as an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) rather than a sole proprietorship, you will remove some of the burden for legal mistakes off of you personally and onto the business.

While you, as the business owner, will still be responsible for illegal practices, operating under an LLC will remove your personal finances from the equation should any legal action be brought against the business by a customer or vendor.If you operate as a sole proprietorship, everything you own, including your home and personal savings, can be seized should you lose a lawsuit. If you operate as an LLC, only business assets are subject.

While these legal issues in business can seem overwhelming, it's not as difficult to navigate as you may think. Just be thoughtful about your decisions, do the necessary research and hire a lawyer when you aren't sure about something.

The saying "better safe than sorry" definitely applies to laws that govern your small business.

Clarify Relationships

You can find yourself in a partnership without realising it, for example, if you run a business with somebody but don't employ them, this often happens with husbands and wives or other family members. In a partnership, each partner is responsible for business debts incurred by other partners and there is no limit to their liability.

Put Everything in Writing

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have everything in writing. If things go wrong you have no legal standing without some form of documentation (which includes all correspondence), contracts are the basis of all business relationships. A contract will include four key components: Consideration, an obligation to pay or a promise to provide something in return for something of value. Certainty, the contract must clearly state what is expected of all parties. The intention to be legally bound and an offer and an acceptance. However, contracts can be oral and it isn't always clear when one has been made.

Confirm every agreement in writing so everyone knows where they stand. What is the brief? Who will pay? When? How much? Are expenses included? What are the acceptance criteria? Who will own copyright? It is important that all aspects are covered and that there are no grey areas.

Make Sure all Employees Have a Contract

It is very important to have a contract of employment in place from day one for all employees. Make sure that all new employees are entitled to work in this country, or you could face heavy  penalties. The contracts act to protect both parties.

Know your Employment Laws

Employment laws in this country are very precise on what you can and cannot do. Before you fire someone, make them redundant or change their terms and conditions of employment, take legal advice. If you don't, you could find yourself open to claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination or breach of contract. Also warn employees that discrimination, sexual harassment and other illegal acts will not be tolerated.

The Importance of Health & Safety

If you fail to carry out your health and safety obligations you may face prosecution, your insurance premiums may rise and you may find difficulty in obtaining insurance altogether. In the worst cases your business may be closed until you adhere to the Health & Safety laws.

Make Sure you are Insured

Insurance is vital from a financial viewpoint. There are also legal requirements for employer's and public liability insurance. If you sell products, product liability insurance will protect you if someone injured by a defect in your product successfully sues you.

Are you Covered?

Many people find it hard to imagine that work they have done will result in a claim for hundreds of thousands of pounds. However, most people only contribute a link in a chain, so the effects of a mistake can be out of all proportion to their individual contribution. If you offer services or advice you must get adequate professional indemnity insurance. Indemnity cover is needed for years after the work has been done, because it has to cover when the claim is made. Failure to do this will leave you open to claims that may make you bankrupt!

Terms and Conditions

If you don't spell out in black and white your terms and conditions of trade (T&Cs) you are giving you customers the licence to pay you when they feel like it. And if they go into liquidation before paying you, you may not be able to reclaim your goods if you do not have a Retention of Title clause in your Terms & Condition’s.

Read the Small Print

Read all loan and overdraft agreements carefully to ensure you understand what you are letting yourself in for. Be very wary of signing personal guarantees. Banks often seek to over secure' their lending. Once you have signed any paperwork you will be legally bound to any terms and conditions that are set out in the small print, no matter how unreasonable they may be. It is imperative that you read all small print before signing anything.

Finally, be careful when signing lease agreements, especially for property. Even if you move and sell the lease on, you could find yourself liable if the next person defaults. Check whether you will be liable to repair and improve the property under the terms of your lease.

Avoiding these common legal pitfalls will help ensure that smooth running of your business and will also prevent you from receiving any unwelcome fines.

Text adapted from:

Listen the following videos about legal vocabulary:

More about legal issues

Contemporary life is played out in an everyday world that is, in fact, flooded with law. Everyday problems concerning, for example, housing, relationships, consumer transactions, employment, accidents, personal finance and government payments are frequently nested in legal rights and obligations. Hence, the importance of having, at least, a general idea of some legal vocabulary.

While civil law involves problems that impact on people's everyday lives like debts, unpaid fines, discrimination, tenancy issues, disputes and more, criminal law practice involves assisting people charged with criminal offences appearing before courts.

The table below gives the names of some types of crimes together with their associated verbs and the name of the person who commits the crimes.

Murder            Killing someone     Murderer Murder
Shoplifting   Stealing something from a shop Shoplifter Shoplift
Burglary    Stealing from someone’s home Burglar Burgle
Kidnapping   Taking a person hostage in Kidnapper Kidnap
   exchange for money
Discrimination    Unfair treatment on grounds of sex, Discriminate
  race or nationality (against)
Embezzlement  Stealing money that is in your Embezzle Embezzler
  care or belongs to an organization
  that you work for
Harassment   Making a person feel anxious and Harass
  unhappy (sometimes for sexual
  reasons, sometimes to get a debt
Money   Moving money obtained illegally Money Launder money
  so that its origin cannot be traced launderer

Blackmail   Threatening to make a dark secret Blackmailer Blackmail
  public in order to get money someboy
Assault Physical attack on another person Attacker Assault
Mugging Attacking someone, often on the Mugger Mug
street, generally to get money

Now, here are some more useful verbs connected with crime and law. Note that many of
them have particular prepositions associated with them.

• To commit a crime or an offence: to do something illegal
• To accuse someone of a crime: to say someone is guilty
• To defend/prosecute someone in court: to argue for or against someone in a trial
• To sentence someone to a punishment: what the judge does after a verdict of guilty
• To acquit an accused person of a charge: to decide in court that someone is not guilty
(the opposite of to convict someone)
• To fine someone a sum of money: to punish someone by making them pay
• To send someone to prison: to punish someone by putting them in prison
• To release someone from prison/jail: to set someone free after a prison sentence

Also, make sure you know the difference between the verbs: steal and rob. The object of the
verb ‘steal’ is the thing which is taken away, e.g. they stole my bike, whereas the object of
the verb ‘rob’ is the person or place from which things are stolen, e.g. I was robbed last night.
A masked man robbed the bank. Remember that ‘steal’ is irregular: steal, stole, stolen.

Do any comment about this topic? If you want we start a discussion

In the course I have found a text about legal issues.

I think that the laws are the same for rich and poor. The problem is when, for instance, Spanish government decides to apply some advantages in some important political case like of the ex president of Balear islands; Jaume Matas, who was condemned to pass 6 years in prison. A few days after that he had entered in prison, the Spanish Government applied him some advantages like not sleep in the prison.

Political decisions as this provokes that people think  that laws are applied in different senses in rich or poor. However, the differences aren't in the law, if not in the government decisions.

The corruption is one of the most important problems of our political. While, the society had the money (thank to the construction) anyone said anything about this corruption (even the journalists). But, when the crisis arrives, society irritates it with this corrupted politicians and it decides to publish a lot of cases about corruption. I think, that this situation is the only positive face of the crisis.

When we are speaking about corrupt politicians, I think that if they are condemned by a judge, they should pass their complete sentence in the prison. Maybe, only in this cases, they will become an exemples for other politicians who thought to become corrupt.

If I was lawyer, maybe I would defend a client who I consider guilty because I think that although to be guilty, our system permits them to have a defense.

As a journalist I have done different trials. I think that it's interesting because you can know the different opinions about the same case.

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