How To Choose An Adoption Attorney Road Accident Compensation Ftc Names Dirty Dozen Email Scams

No matter where you are in the adoption process, whether you have just started your Home Study or have already connected with a Birthparent, choosing an attorney to help you through the process is one of the most important choices you will have to make. I have worked in adoptions for over nine years and I want to stress to you that choosing an attorney that specializes in adoptions or has significant adoption experience is highly important. Although as an agency we do a lot of the legal work ourselves with our own attorney, we also conduct Home Studies for couples who are doing independent adoptions, meaning they are going through an attorney rather than an agency.

Most of the mix-ups and botched adoptions we see are typically associated with attorneys that do not practice adoption law or who know very little about adoption law.

When choosing an attorney to use in an independent adoption, I always recommend choosing one that is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (also known as AAAA or Quad A Attorneys). Adoption law is typically state specific except for a few federal laws, so you want an adoption attorney that is well versed in the adoption laws of your state. Things get even more complicated if Birthparents live in one state and the adoptive family lives in another. This is called an interstate adoption. Not only are you dealing with the laws in each state, but you are also dealing with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, a Federal law that regulates children being placed for adoption in a different state than where they were born. The adoption disruptions that we see played out in the media typically happen because something was not done legally the way it was supposed to be done. For this reason it is imperative that you use an attorney that knows the adoption laws for your state.

I teach monthly adoption seminars, which include a section on adoption law. During this session I always share the example of how both the lawyer and judge in a rural county in my state did not do things correctly, which ended in an adoption disruption. In this case the adoption was finalized in Juvenile Court, which cannot happen in my state as adoptions are finalized in Chancery or Fourth Circuit Court. But, even worse, the Birthmother never signed a Surrender to surrender her parental rights. You cannot finalize an adoption if one or both of the Birthparents still have parental rights to the child. Since her parental rights were still in place, when she went to the court five years later the adoption was overturned and her daughter was returned to her.

The purpose of sharing this story is not to scare prospective adoptive parents. I share it to educate them and to reinforce the importance of using an attorney who just practices adoption law or one who has done adoptions in their practice for at least five years. By doing adoptions for five years I don’t mean two or three adoptions over the past five years. I mean someone who does them on a regular basis. Even if you know a lawyer who is a good friend or one who is doing the adoption just to help you, if they do not know adoption law they could end up hurting the adoption in the end.

Even if there is not a AAAA Attorney in your area, you should contact the AAAA Attorney that practices closest to you. They might travel to you or they could recommend someone in your area that knows adoption law. For instance, the AAAA Attorney that my agency uses along with most other agencies and adoptive families in the area has a list of attorneys that she contacts for adoptions in counties that are about two hours or more from her. If she is not busy, she will travel, but because she has such a good reputation she usually stays busy and she often refers families who live further away to other attorneys. She also will tell you which attorney to not use if she knows an attorney who has repeatedly done adoptions not according to the law, which is important information for adoptive families to have.

If you are beginning to search for an attorney to help with your adoption, the first thing you should do is to see if there is a AAAA Attorney in your area. You should always check their credentials and talk to families who have used them. It is also good to talk with other adoptive parents to see which attorneys they used and to find out if they had positive or negative experiences. The way an attorney handles or mishandles an adoption can literally make or break it. This is not a chance that you want to take when it comes to your family. You need to choose an attorney that will follow adoption law correctly and one that will make sure that the needs of everyone involved in the adoption process are met.

Before making a road accident compensation claim, there are special issues which may affect liability.

Council Immunity: This states that a victims injury may limit an injury victim’s ability to sue when the driver of the vehicle that causes an accident is a council employee who is working at the time of the accident, or where the accident involves a council-owned vehicle in view of a road accident compensation claim.

Owner Liability: This states that even if a vehicle is borrowed to a third party, if an accident ensues, the owner may be jointly liable for damages caused by the third parties fault.

Company / Employer Liability: This states that here an employee is driving a vehicle “on the job”, or within the course and scope of employment, the employer can be jointly liable for injuries caused by the employee’s negligent driving conduct.

Mobile Phone Usage: Mobile phone usage whilst driving is banned in the UK. Employers may want to consider the following best practice guidelines. Mobile phones should be switched to voicemail when the user is driving. Emergency calls only should be made / received when on the move

Employees should be encouraged to only make or receive calls – even with a hands-free kit – when they are safely parked away from the road. Any accident caused in this way will affect any road accident compensation claim .

Insurance Cover

The insurance problems car accident victims have with insurance coverage typically fall into three categories:

Uninsured Driver – Unfortunately there are a growing number of people who are driving without any car insurance, an MOT and in some cases a driving license. In the UK, there is an organisation called the MIB (no they don’t wear black suits) which stands for the “Motor Insurers Bureau” who deal with paying out claims against uninsured drivers. This was set up to offer victims of uninsured drivers a way to gain a Aroad accident compensation claim that could then be reclaimed from the uninsured.

Underinsured Driver – Underinsured Motorist coverage is the term used when the other vehicle’s policy limit is inadequate to pay for all your damages.

Provided you have a Standard Policy, your own insurance company may pay for damages to your vehicle caused by; any person or organization who did not have liability insurance at the time of the accident. Any person or organization who had adequate liability insurance coverage at the time of the accident, but for some reason, the company writing the insurance denies that their policy provides coverage for the loss. Any person or organization who did not carry enough insurance to pay for your damages in full. If you only have a Basic Policy, you do not have any protection if your vehicle is damaged by either an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Insurance Company Bad Faith – Anxiety and distress are natural emotions caused when an insurance company refuses to pay. In many circumstances there may be a legitimate reason for the insurer not paying, but there have also been a number of cases where the insurance company’s refusal has been considered unreasonable, unfair and in ‘bad faith’. In legal terms, the insurance company has acted in breach of contract.


If you need advice or would just like to speak to someone, please don’t hesitate to give Claims Master Group a call on 08000 71 22 71.

The Personal Injury, Accident Claim, No Win No Fee, Road Accident Compensation specialists.

The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for issuing and enforcing rules for consumer issues on the Internet. As part of this process, the FTC has published a list of the 12 scams you are most likely to receive as email.

The Dirty Dozen Scams

The “dirty dozen” are:

1. Business opportunities

These business opportunities make it sound easy to start a business that will bring lots of income without much work or cash outlay. The solicitations trumpet unbelievable earnings claims $1,000 a day or more without doing any work. Many business opportunity solicitations claim to offer a way to make money in an Internet-related business. Short on details but long on promises, these messages usually offer a telephone number to call for more information. In many cases, you’ll be told to leave your name and telephone number so that a salesperson can call you back with the sales pitch.

The scam: Many of these are illegal pyramid schemes masquerading as legitimate opportunities to earn money.

2. Bulk email

Bulk email solicitations offer to sell you lists of email addresses, by the millions, to which you can send your own bulk solicitations. Some offer software that automates the sending of email messages to thousands or millions of recipients. Others offer the service of sending bulk email solicitations on your behalf. Some of these offers say, or imply, that you can make a lot of money using this marketing method.

The problem: Sending bulk email violates the terms of service of most Internet service providers. If you use one of the automated email programs, your ISP may shut you down. In addition, inserting a false return address into your solicitations, as some of the automated programs allow you to do, may land you in legal hot water with the owner of the address’s domain name. There are also very strict rules, known as the CAN-SPAM Act, regulating bulk email marketing.

3. Chain letters

You’re asked to send a small amount of money ($5 to $20) to each of four or five names on a list, replace one of the names on the list with your own, and then forward the revised message via bulk email. The letter may claim that the scheme is legal, that it’s been reviewed or approved by the government; or it may refer to sections of U.S. law that legitimize the scheme.

The scam: Chain letters are almost always illegal and nearly all of the people who participate lose their money. The fact that a “product” such as a report on how to make money fast may be changing hands in the transaction does not change the legality of these schemes.

4. Work-at-home schemes

Envelope-stuffing solicitations promise steady income for minimal labor-for example, you’ll earn $2 each time you fold a brochure and seal it in an envelope. Craft assembly work schemes often require an investment of hundreds of dollars in equipment or supplies, and many hours of your time producing goods for a company that has promised to buy them.

The scam: You’ll pay a small fee to get started in the envelope-stuffing business. Then, you’ll learn that the email sender never had real employment to offer. Instead, you’ll get instructions on how to send the same envelope-stuffing ad on your own. If you earn any money, it will be from others who fall for the scheme you’re perpetuating.

5. Health and diet scams

Pills that let you lose weight without exercising or changing your diet, herbal formulas that liquefy your fat cells so that they are absorbed by your body, and cures for impotence and hair loss are among the scams flooding email boxes.

The scam: These gimmicks don’t work. The fact is that successful weight loss requires a reduction in calories and an increase in physical activity. Beware of case histories from “cured” consumers claiming amazing results and testimonials from “famous” medical experts you’ve never heard of.

6. Effortless income

The trendiest get-rich-quick schemes offer unlimited profits exchanging money on world currency markets; newsletters describing a variety of easy-money opportunities; the perfect sales letter; and the secret to making $4,000 in one day.

The scam: If these systems worked, wouldn’t everyone be using them? The thought of easy money may be appealing, but success generally requires hard work.

7. Free goods

Some email messages offer valuable goods-for example, computers, other electronic items, and long-distance phone cards-for free. You’re asked to pay a fee to join a club, then told that to earn the offered goods, you have to bring in a certain number of participants. You’re paying for the right to earn income by recruiting other participants, but your payoff is in goods, not money.

The scam: Most of these messages are covering up pyramid schemes, operations that inevitably collapse. The payoff goes to the promoters and little or none to you.

8. Investment opportunities

Investment schemes promise outrageously high rates of return with no risk. Many are Ponzi schemes, in which early investors are paid off with money contributed by later investors. This makes the early investors believe that the system actually works, and encourages them to invest even more.

The scam: Ponzi schemes eventually collapse because there isn’t enough money coming in to continue simulating earnings. Other schemes are a good investment for the promoters, but no for participants.

9. Cable descrambler kits

For a small sum of money, you can buy a kit to assemble a cable descrambler that supposedly allows you to receive cable television transmissions without paying any subscription fee.

The scam: The device that you build probably won’t work. Most of the cable TV systems in the U.S. use technology that these devices can’t crack. What’s more, even if it worked, stealing service from a cable television company is illegal.

10. Guaranteed loans or credit, on easy terms

Some email messages offer home-equity loans that don’t require equity in your home. Usually, these are said to be offered by offshore banks. Sometimes they are combined with pyramid schemes, which offer you an opportunity to make money by attracting new participants to the scheme.

The scams: The home equity loans turn out to be useless lists of lenders who will turn you down. The promised credit cards never come through, and the pyramid schemes always collapse.

11. Credit repair

Credit repair scams offer to erase accurate negative information from your credit file so you can qualify for a credit card, auto loan, home mortgage, or a job.

The scam: The scam artists who promote these services can’t deliver. Only time, a deliberate effort, and a personal debt repayment plan will improve your credit. The companies that advertise credit repair services appeal to consumers with poor credit histories. Not only can’t they provide you with a clean credit record, but they also may be encouraging you to violate federal law. If you follow their advice by lying on a loan or credit application, misrepresenting your Social Security number, or getting an Employer Identification Number under false pretenses, you will be committing fraud.

12. Vacation prize promotions

Electronic certificates congratulating you on “winning” a fabulous vacation for a very attractive price are among the scams arriving in your email. Some say you have been “specially selected” for this opportunity.

The scam: Most unsolicited commercial email goes to thousands or millions of recipients at a time. Often, the cruise ship you’re booked on may look more like a tug boat. The hotel accommodations likely are shabby, and you may be required to pay more for an upgrade. Scheduling the vacation at the time you want it also may require an additional fee.

Don’t check your common sense at the door simply because you are surfing the web. If it seems to good to be true, it is. Don’t fall victim to these scams.

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