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Florida Reaches Settlement with Prison Whistleblowers

Published July 3, 2017 in LAW - 0 Comments

After three years of investigation and deliberations, the state of Florida has finally reached a settlement agreement worth $800,000 with three prison investigators. The settlement will finally clear the name of the state prison system after whistleblowers Doug Glisson, Aubrey Land, and John Ulm came forward with evidence that an inmate had been gassed to death by prison guards. The department claimed Randall Jordan-Aparo died from “natural causes”, but investigations painted a much different picture. The inmate’s family is now pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court.

While the prison agency refused to admit to any allegations, it did ultimately agree to pay the whistleblowers a settlement, drop internal investigations against them, and provide compensation for lost wages related to demotion. In return, the whistleblowers agreed to leave the agency. The three men had faced a long and arduous battle, where they were refused whistleblower protection and even faced internal investigations on made up charges. Glisson said the prison paid the settlement to keep the whistleblowers quiet, effectively doing damage control. “They really didn’t want this to go to a jury trial,” he said.

On the same day that the settlement was filed, there was nearly a riot at the Franklin Correctional Prison. This marked the fourth quelled riot this year. It’s evidence of a growing problem in the prison system. According to insiders, the prisons are grossly understaffed, putting everyone at serious risk.

While the settlement may bring an end to three years of drama, it doesn’t offer any long-term solutions for a broken prison system. In fact, attorneys said that most of the legal headache could have been avoided completely if the agency would have just stopped retaliation measures towards Glisson, Land, and Ulm last year. The officers had offered to drop charges if the state would agree to find them different jobs in other state agencies and remove them from investigations, however the agency wouldn’t relent. In an effort to help the whistleblowers, the attorneys even offered to waive the fees except for actual costs, estimated at around $25,000, but the Florida agency refused.

“Hopefully, this settlement will bring an end to three years of pain and frustration for the whistleblowers involved in this case,” said personal injury attorney Christopher Ligori of Tampa. “It’s always difficult to speak out when you see a state agency making an error, but the bravery of whistleblowers keeps the prisons accountable for providing proper care to inmates.”

The family of Randall Jordan-Aparo is still grasping for answers and they hope to get justice for their loved one through a recently filed lawsuit. After reports that the inmate died gasping in an isolation cell, wearing nothing but white boxer shorts and clinging to a paperback Bible, the family is angry. Reports show that guards fired nine separate blasts of poison gas into the inmate’s cell, effectively torturing him until his last breath. Actions like this is unacceptable in the Florida prison system and it’s important that officials take action on a federal level to hold the prison accountable for its actions.


Florida Pharmacy Faces Lawsuit Over Prescription Pill Death

Published June 3, 2017 in Pharmacy Legal - 0 Comments

Steven Porter was just 34 years old when he died from an overdose on hydrocodone and Xanax in March 2011. Porter’s mother, Karen Oleckna, blames the Dayton Discount Pharmacy for her son’s death, claiming that their negligence in refilling his prescriptions for painkillers is directly responsible for the fatal overdose. Oleckna has filed a lawsuit against the pharmacy and its owner, Manish Patel.

According to the nine-page court document, Oleckna said the Daytona Discount Pharmacy refilled at least 30 prescriptions for her son within two years. However, the pharmacy should have realized that the earlier prescriptions should not have been used up at the time of refill. When the case was first filed, a circuit court judge immediately dismissed it, claiming the pharmacy had no responsibility for Porter’s overdose or the way he used his prescriptions. The judge said the pharmacy was only responsible for filling prescriptions so long as they were “valid and lawful.

Oleckna took her case to the appellate court in Daytona Beach where the ruling was later overturned. The three-judges in the appeals court wrote that the pharmacist is responsible for using care when filling a prescription and this extends past simply filling a written doctor’s order to disburse medication. The appeals court stated that a prudent pharmacist does require a “degree of care” in filling prescriptions, giving merit to Oleckna’s claims. With the recent court decision, Oleckna’s lawsuit can now go to trial.

In today’s changing healthcare industry, pharmacies face increasing liability for these types of potential drug abuse situations. Laws can vary by state, but the threat of negligence is real to pharmacies across the entire nation. Negligence in a pharmacy is incredibly dangerous, but the growing demand and fast-paced work environment in most modern pharmacies make errors more and more likely. Even small mistakes can be serious and life threatening, especially with numerous drug interactions and allergies that can vary from patient to patient.

Fortunately, most prescription errors are caught in time, but when errors do occur, it can be disastrous for both the patient and the pharmacist. For instance, a Canadian woman actually died after she was prescribed 1 mg tablets of blood thinners and her pharmacist accidentally gave her 4 mg tablets instead.

“Pharmacy negligence cases tend to be complicated and difficult,” said Tampa attorney Christopher Ligori. “We are definitely seeing more and more of these types of lawsuits as prescription errors impact more people, but it poses a whole new range of challenges for attorneys as they learn the best methods to prosecute these types of cases.”

For Karen Oleckna, no lawsuit can ever bring back her son, but she hopes that it can bring awareness to this troubling problem. If the pharmacist had just noticed how often her son was refilling prescriptions for pain killers, he could have perhaps intervened and refused to give the dangerous medications to her son that ultimately cost him his lift in a fatal overdose.



Fatal Wrong Way Bridge Crash Leaves Community Devastated

Published April 28, 2017 in Lawyer - 0 Comments

A wrong-way collision led to the death of a 29-year-old Florida woman on Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The crash is still under investigation, but there are reports that the deceased woman was driving in the wrong direction for nearly two miles before the accident.

Florida Highway Patrol is currently evaluating video footage that reportedly shows Shontel Nicole Chase driving on the wrong side of Interstate 275 and passing by a toll plaza in route to St. Petersburg. The woman’s car slammed into a pick-up truck around 3:40 AM. Jon Allen Mitchell was driving the truck and attempted to swerve right to avoid hitting Chase, but the vehicles collided head-on. Emergency responders pronounced Chase dead on the scene. Mitchell is in critical condition.

When Debra Chase first received news of her daughter’s death, she was completely inconsolable. Her fiancé, Clay Lavoie, told reporters that his future step-daughter had been facing a bright future after going through a difficult season of financial problems. “She had finally gotten on her own two feet,” Lavoie said. “She had gone through some hard times in the past. She just got her car paid off.”

Chase was working at Tim’s Barber Shop as a hairstylist before her death. Her family said she had planned to go out with a co-worker that night, but they were unsure why she would have been in Manatee County. Lavoie speculated that she may have gotten confused when she pulled onto the interstate from a rest stop. “It’s confusing down there even during the day.”

Prior to the fatal accident, Chase had racked up six driving citations. In early 2010, she was charged with driving under the influence and completed substance abuse counseling. Officials are still investigating what happened in the hours leading up to the crash and they have not said whether alcohol was involved.

The local community is grieving the loss of Chase, particularly those she knew from her time at Gulf High School and Tampa’s Paul Mitchell School. She had a very close relationship with her mother and she loved to spoil her dog named Wally. In just four months of working in the barber shop, she had made many friends. Manager Melinda Schneider said, “We lost a family member today.”

Tampa personal injury attorney Marc Yonker expressed his condolences to Chase’s family. “This is a tragic accident for our community and we are deeply sorry for the friends and family who obviously cared deeply for Shontel Chase.” As an attorney who frequently deals with the aftermath of major collisions, Yonker knows the heartache of auto accidents well. “There’s no way to prepare yourself for that level of grief. Each time I sit with a new family that has suffered a wrongful death due to an auto collision, it’s a fresh reminder that every day is a gift that we should not take for granted.”

Officials hope to retrace Chase’s last few hours to determine what caused her to drive on the wrong side of the interstate. Hopefully new information will at least offer some kind of explanation for the family who is left with many unanswered questions.

7 Questions You Should Ask Your Lawyer

Published April 3, 2017 in Questions - 0 Comments

When you are searching for a lawyer, you should do it the right way. interview them, ask them these questions that I have put together. They will cover all the basic information that you must know about him before you hire him.

For How Long He Practiced Law?

This should definitely be one of the first questions that you must ask a lawyer. Law practicing is very important if you are searching for an experienced lawyer. It also depends on your case, sometimes lawyers with low experience cannot handle certain cases.

What Type of Cases Does He handle?

Not every legal case is the same and they all require a specific lawyer. For example, you cannot expect a tax lawyer like me to handle a criminal case as good as a criminal lawyer. So, ask him in what area or field did he specialized in. Sometimes even the lawyers will tell your that they might not be the best option for your case.

What Is their Typical Client?

This is a very overlooked question that people often forget to ask because they don’t think it will matter. However, it can be a great deal it the lawyer that you want to hire is only worked with big corporations. He doesn’t have the experience needed to represent you as an individual.

Ask Him About Track Record

The track record is the record of the cases he was working on in the past. This information is important because you will find out whether he has had any similar cases to your case. If he has, that means that he has, even more, experience with that type of case. If he never had any similar case, then you might reconsider your decision and find another lawyer that is more experienced in that field. Also feel free to ask him how many of those cases he won or lost. That can also be a great indicator whether he is good or not.

How Much He Charges?

I have realized that some people are afraid to ask a lawyer at the start how much does he charges his services. However, it is important for you to know because you don’t want later on to find out that you cannot afford him. That will only lead to serious problems. Also ask how does the payment go, what are your payment options.

How Can You Contact and Communicate with Him?

As I have mentioned this before, communication between lawyer and client is very important. Therefore, you should know beforehand how can you reach him for any information. Ask him will he report back to you when something happens with your case or you have to call him.

What is a Possible Outcome of Your Case

How to Talk with Your Lawyer

Published April 3, 2017 in How to Talk - 0 Comments

Many people that I have been working with throughout these many years didn’t know exactly how to communicate and talk with me. I found that very interesting and when that happened to me few times, I asked those clients what is the problem. I clearly saw that they didn’t feel comfortable talking with me. When I learned, what were the problems that kept them from opening up, I started to implement that with all of my clients. Now, I don’t have any client that doesn’t know how to talk with me. I decided to help out everyone, by giving advice on how to properly talk with a lawyer.

Get Organized

Before you even hire a lawyer, you have to have a clear story of your situation that you are dealing with. Otherwise, the lawyer cannot help you because he will have a hard time understanding all the details about your situation. Try and write down everything that is important for your case, then read it out loud, make some changes and present that to your lawyer. Sort out all the information, don’t wait for your lawyer to do it for you because you are more familiar with that and you will do it much faster.

Pay Attention to Details

When it comes to any legal issue, details are very important. You must remember everything that is in your case. Even if you think something is irrelevant, you must tell your lawyer. Usually, people are wrong and they keep out some important detail because they thought it was not necessary. Tell him everything, let him decide whether it is important or not. If you provide him with extremally detailed story and information, you will see that he will be happy because you will make his job much easier.

Be Honest!

This is the simplest advice I can give to you if you want to have a good and successful communication with your lawyer. There is no need for you to lie to your lawyer because he is on your side, he will do anything to make you look innocent. Even if the information is very sensitive to you, you must tell him, don’t worry about him telling that to someone else because he cannot share private evidence with anyone unless you give him the right. If you want to get the best outcome of that case, make sure that you are 100% honest with your lawyer.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask

The second biggest mistake clients make other than lying to their lawyers is that they don’t ask questions when they are confused about something. You should not be afraid to ask your lawyer anything, especially if something about the case is not clear to you. You are involved in that case, and you must be well informed about every step that your lawyer does. If he tells you he will do something and you don’t understand what he said, you must ask him before he does it.

How to Tell if a Your Lawyer is Bad

Published April 3, 2017 in Lawyer - 0 Comments

A common problem that people when they are dealing with legal issues, that they hire a very bad or inexperienced lawyer. However, there is a difference between bad and inexperienced, the inexperienced ones will try their hardest to help you but they won’t succeed, but the bad ones will not even show the slightest effort. Trust me, I have seen some bad lawyers throughout my career, and the interesting thing that I realized that their client doesn’t think that their lawyer is bad. That’s why I decided to make this article about some of the signs that indicate your lawyer is bad.

Bad Communication

One of the few things that a client has to have with his lawyer is a good and healthy communication. If you want him to help you, you must tell him everything that he asks you. However, I have seen throughout my career some cases where clients were angry at their lawyer because they would not communicate with them whenever they wanted. The respond of those bad lawyers was that they will communicate when he thinks it is time. If you had experience with such lawyer, I recommend that you immediately find a new one because a lawyer should always be there for his clients. If he is not able to answer his phone right away, he should call you immediately when he has time on his hands.

Not Time for You

This is another clear indicator that your lawyer is bad. If you cannot make an appointment with your lawyer, that means that he has already a lot of other cases he is working on. In these situations, is better to find some other lawyer. Because even if he finds some time for you, it will be hurried and you will not be able to discuss all the important information.

Befriended with the Opposing Lawyer

It is very common for lawyers to know each other, however, there is a line that should never be crossed. Two lawyers should never become friends because that will influence their cases if they ever work against each other. If you see that your lawyer is a friend of the opposing lawyer, find some other because their friendship can jeopardize your case. So, it is very important that you do your research about a lawyer before you hire him.

You Didn’t Receive Money

This doesn’t happen often, but it can and when it does, you will know that he is bad because most likely he ran with your money that legally belongs to you. In some cases, clients don’t even realize that they can potentially earn money from a case. Some lawyers try to keep that information a secret so their client won’t ask for it. That way they can take all that money for themselves without you even knowing. To avoid such thing, ask him about everything that is involved in your case, and ask if there is any possibility of making money. If you somehow end up with no money, the best thing I can recommend to you is to sue him or report.

Top 4 Reasons to Become a Lawyer

Published April 3, 2017 in Reasons - 0 Comments

If you are considering to pursue a lawyer career then I have only two words for you, DO IT! To become a lawyer was the best thing that happened to me. I’m sure that it was one of the best choices that I made in my life. Therefore, I want to encourage more people that are interested in legal things and law to execute their dream and become a lawyer. If you need some motivation and encouragement to push you to become a lawyer read through these few reasons why you should become a lawyer.

The Earning Potential

As you might know, lawyers are considered to be one of the most paid jobs in the whole legal industry. Usually, attorneys earn much more money than the national average. However, the earning that you get can vary only on one thing and that is your reputation. If you are one of the top lawyers in that field of law, you have the potential to earn more than a million dollars per year. However, to become the top lawyer in your working field, you have to have a lot of experience sometimes even a decade, and you must put in a lot of effort and time. In the end, it will all pay off when you will be making millions per year.

Chance to Help Others

Lawyers are in a unique position, they have the power to help out other people, businesses or some organizations. There have been many cases where the lawyer saved his client from a bad punishment he didn’t deserve. It is common to have innocent people in the courtroom, but to prove their innocent, the lawyer must be extremally good. The pure feeling of helping other people was one of the major things that encouraged me to pursue my career.

Work Environment

If you decide to become a lawyer, you don’t need to stress about the environment on your work because you have two options. You can either choose to work alone which gives you the option to personalize the working environment how you like, or you can work for a law firm or even government where you will be most likely provided with a private office. Those offices will be designed by your wishes because it will be only yours. Furthermore, these law firms and the government will provide additional perks such as gym membership or some really top seats on a sporting occasion.


Yes, you heard me right, lawyers have an extremally flexible working time. Usually, people that don’t know anything about lawyers think that they are working all day long. However, that is not the truth, lawyers have to power to personally customize their hours at work. For example, if you don’t have a lot of clients, you will most likely have a lot of free time on your hands. So, if you need some time off from the office, you simply don’t take any clients and you won’t have anything to do.

Some of The Most Common Specializations of Law

Published April 3, 2017 in Specializations of Law - 0 Comments

It is not required or expected from anyone to know all specializations of law, even from students that want to study in a law school. Furthermore, the hardest decision for students is to pick which field of law they want to practice in a law school. However, if you want to go and study law, you might find helpful the information I will give you now about all the types and specializations of law. Remember I didn’t list all the specializations of law, only the most common ones.

Business (corporate) Law

The business law means that you will be studying all the legal aspects of the management of business or organizations. This field of law is dealing with all the legal issues of a business such as internal reorganization, patents, acquisitions and more.

Criminal Law

This field of the law is dealing with clients that are considered criminals and for one person to become a criminal, he has to do something that is illegal. Precisely the lawyers that are representing people that were mixed in illegal things are called criminal defense lawyers. Their job is to represent their clients, teach them about their rights and responsibilities.

Family Law

This field is focusing only on legal relations between two or more individuals. More precisely focusing on family issues such as adoption, divorce, or child welfare. As I have mentioned this before in the short article about me, I have tried myself out in few other fields of law other than just the tax field. The family law was the first that I have tried out. That is because the practice of family lawyers was always my second pick from all fields of law.

Tax Law

This is most likely the most dynamic law field of all. It is dealing with a very important thing that is concerning everyone and that is Tax. There are a lot of mysteries about tax and a lot of people think that is a very boring area of the law. However, to know every part of the tax law, lawyers must study this field for a very long period of time. I’m talking now from my personal experience as a tax lawyer. I knew from the start when I was going into the tax law that it was a very complicated field, but that didn’t scare me away. That was just only a motivation to try even harder to succeed.

4 Types of Law That You Must Know About

Published April 3, 2017 in Types of Law - 0 Comments

When it comes to law, we can split it into multiple types, depending on what it is based on. You first must know that every law must have a purpose and a method on which is executed. For example, we wouldn’t be able to have laws for the criminal justice system if we that part of the law didn’t have some methods. However, if we would need to split the law depending on the type, I would do it in four types. I personally think that for types are more than enough to fully cover all aspects of the law. Here are my four types:

  • Common
  • Criminal
  • Civil
  • Administrative

Common Law

This type of the law is judge-made which means that it is not adopted by written laws. Every state and country have different laws, something that you do in one country might not be legal in the other. For example, in some countries cannabis is legalized and you can legally buy marijuana in that country, however, if you visit some other country most likely if you buy marijuana you will be breaking the law. This was just the most basic example I could have given you, so you would understand what am I talking about. There are plenty more laws that can be different depending on what country you are in.

Criminal Law

This type of the law is dealing with the people that have broken the law somehow.  Only the state or a state prosecutor can start a criminal case. The criminal law works on a very simple principle, depending on how severe a crime is the more severe the sentence will be. That means that if someone does a very severe crime he will be sentenced for a much longer period of time. The punishments for the criminal charges are the most severe ones, they cannot be compared to the civil ones.

Civil Law

This type of the law doesn’t have to be started by the state it is made for individuals that didn’t break the law with some criminal act. Depending on what the person is convicted for he will be punished for them. But the evidence must be very strong in order to prove that the person is guilty.

Administrative Law

This type of law includes regulations and various rules that are imposed by some government agencies. Everything that you have purchased in your life was regulated by some federal administrative agency.

What Happens When You Don’t Pay Taxes for Few Years

Published April 3, 2017 in Taxes - 0 Comments

There are a lot of reasons why people tend not to pay their taxes. Some of them think that they don’t owe anything or that the return that they will receive will not be worth. Whatever the reason for not paying taxes, the penalties for failing to pay taxes on time can be very serious. There are a lot of consequences and they are depending on what few things such as:

Failure to File a Penalty

When you get a penalty for something, you will be given a deadline that you must respect. Otherwise, if you don’t file your penalty on time, you will only receive even more penalties, this time for not filing them on time. In most states, the penalty for missing the deadline is 5% of that unpaid tax and you will have to pay that 5% for each month that you have missed the deadline.

Failure to Pay Penalty

You can get a penalty for not paying on time. However, this penalty is much cheaper than the failure to file a penalty, usually around .5% of the unpaid taxes that you have missed for each month.  This type of penalty will not pass the 25% limit of unpaid taxes. If you receive a letter that says you have received some kind of an extension to pay or file your penalty that doesn’t mean you don’t need to pay them, that means only that you have been given some extra time. I as a lawyer suggest that you take that extra time and gather the money that you need and pay the penalties. That is because after that extension time is up, and you don’t pay them you will receive only more penalties for not paying on time.

Back Taxes

If you have a tax liability but you are not paying your taxes, you can expect that the IRS will be contacting you and asking you to pay all of your debts. Also, you will be charged for not paying taxes for that period of time.


Going to prison is a possibility if you don’t pay any of your taxes for several years. For more information about going to prison for not paying taxes, I suggest that you ask your lawyer. However, there are plenty of ways you can avoid prison such as paying those unpaid taxes. For example, I as a part tax lawyer would be able to help you out in this situation.