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Author: Jon Montagna

Hearts & Minefields

Hearts-MinefieldsEach year, February brings hearts of candy, paper and chocolate. Flower sales skyrocket, restaurants fill tables faster than they can answer phones and love is generally in the air. For many, the fourteenth of February is a time of celebration, whether of romance or the single life. For some, it’s a less-than-happy time, casting a harsh light on past decisions and mistakes.

Whatever your relationship status this year, chances are good that you’ll come close to some sort of legal love issue. Trust the experienced lawyers at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk to help guide you through the minefield of Valentine’s Day. Happy fourteenth!

A few common & complicated matters of the heart that arise on Valentine’s day:

  1. Getting engaged. This is obviously the big one, and, one would think, the least problematic. Potentially the most romantic moment of your life, and also the last uncomplicated one. If you haven’t read our post on engagement and conditional gifts from last year, take a look. You may be surprised to learn that just because the ring has been handed over on bended knee, it’s not necessarily a “done deal.”
  2. Getting divorced. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the national day of love throws into sharp relief everything that one’s partner is not, leading to quite a few divorces on the big day. Regardless of how strong your emotions this year, it’s important to remember not to say things you might regret if you do decide to file for divorce. Always consult a lawyer before making significant legal decisions. Montagna Klein Camden offers free legal consultations to all, so stop by and let us help you out.
  3. Revenge Porn. In the digital age, anything and everything can and will end up on the internet, where it lives forever. It’s no surprise that in the aftermath of many a messy breakup, personal and revealing photos are finding their way online. In a new trend dubbed “revenge porn,” exes get even by posting compromising photos of their former lovers online in a form of public humiliation. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be a victim of this illegal and offensive practice, contact the attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden for your free consultation.
  4. Digital Dating. With more and more folks turning to their smart phones to find love, it makes sense that the rules of dating would change. There are numerous apps tailored to finding romance quickly, and reviews both positive and negative. The biggest downside to dating apps is the lack of privacy. As users enter personal information in hopes of enticing a viable partner, very few consider the fact that the information is now permanently “out there.” Your data will more than likely be sold and used against you in relentless sales schemes and ads. Be cautious when sharing any information online, and contact your Montagna Klein Camden attorney if you’re concerned about your privacy.
  5. Office Romances. It makes sense, doesn’t it? You spend 40 hours a week with a group of people, you work the same hours and you presumably have the common interest of your professional industry. You’re a team, working together and supporting one another. It’s not surprising that so many folks dip into the office dating scene, nor is it surprising that it often causes problems. Employers are able to change the workplace rules about office relationships at any time, so make certain to familiarize yourself with existing policies before diving in.

We hope you feel better equipped now to deal with the legal minefield that is Valentine’s day, and that you’ll call Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk if you fall victim to one of these V-Day pitfalls. Our experienced attorneys are ready and waiting to fight for your case. Call for your free legal consultation today.

Craziest Lawsuits of 2015

Craziest Lawsuits of 2015

Montagna-Law-Police-On-Toy-BikesAs 2015 fades into the past and we settle into 2016, it becomes easier to look back with clarity. Some things that seemed routine at the time now seem brighter and special somehow; perspectives shift; things change; and some of those things that were not so funny then might make you chuckle a little now.

In this spirit, Montagna Klein Camden in downtown Norfolk, VA invites you to join us in looking back at the most ridiculous legal battles of 2015.

Craziest Lawsuits of 2015:

  1. A woman tried to pull the old “hot coffee burned me!” trick on McDonald’s, suing for $10,00. She provided photos of the 2nd degree burns her hand received when she was handed a coffee cup with an unsecured lid. As the insurance company reviewed the claims, they noticed something odd: the photograph of the woman’s hand was from a hospital’s website. They then contacted her medical provider and learned that she had not been treated for burns recently.
    -Her entire claim was fake, downloaded off the internet, proving that even in adulthood, it pays to do your homework. She was not awarded the cash, and was instead charged with 21 felonies and worker’s compensation fraud.
  2. Regardless of how you feel about the actress, most people chose to side with Mila Kunis when a childhood friend resurfaced in 2015 and promptly sued her. The Ukranian singer claimed that Kunis had stolen her pet chicken 25 years previously, and demanded $5,000 for her emotional suffering.
    -Kunis fought the charges, stating that she “would never steal someone else’s chicken!” The singer eventually dropped the charges after her therapist “taught her how to forgive.”
  3. Anheuser Busch purchased Beck’s beer in 2012, and moved production of the beverage from Germany to the United States. Unfortunately, the company neglected to disclose the fact that the German-made beer was no longer being made in Germany, and got sued by a trio of lifelong Beck’s drinkers (without receipts).
    -The Class Action lawsuit brewed up $3.5 million for the lawyers who filed the suit, while anyone claiming to have purchased Beck’s beer from 2012 – 2015 is able to receive a $50 refund.

CaptureWe hope you’ve enjoyed these silly, wacky, ridiculous lawsuits of not-so-long-ago 2015. We at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk, Virginia hope you never find yourself the target of a crazy lawsuit, but if you do, contact us.

Our Norfolk attorneys are skilled and experienced in many aspects of VA law including Personal Injury, Workers Compensation, Defense Base Act and more. Call us for a free legal consultation if you need help, and let us fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Our Law Practice Areas

Simple Overview of Practice Areas

The study of law is pretty widely known to be an area of special interest. It’s not something that folks ‘dabble’ in, it’s not something that one person can be an expert at. Attorneys attend law school for years to obtain that job title, and no attorney studies every single aspect of law. If it were easy, everyone would do it, right?

Because we know just how confusing legal terms can be, particularly for the uninitiated, we’ve compiled this list of our practice areas and explained, in simple, everyday language, what each means. We hope you find it helpful, and feel free to give us a call for a free legal consultation. Our Norfolk attorneys are ready and waiting to fight for your case.

Judges Table - Understanding the LawPersonal Injury: Personal Injury claims may include physical, mental and emotional injury, as well as damage to reputation (defamation).

This means that if you were slandered, injured in an automobile accident, during a dental or medical procedure, in an assault, by a defective product, contracted a disease, illness or were otherwise injured in any way, you may have a Personal Injury claim.

If you were injured due to the negligence of another person, don’t wait to call the professionals at Montagna Klein Camden. Time restrictions apply to Personal Injury claims, so call today.

Workers Comp: Workers Compensation cases occur when employees are injured due to circumstances of the job.

Workers’ Compensation is a type of insurance provided to those injured while working. Compensation may take the form of financial reimbursement or medical treatment. Injured workers may accept compensation from the employer, but only if the worker agrees to relinquish the right to sue the company. When this is done, certain forms of compensation are withdrawn.

If you were injured while working you should call the legal professionals of Montagna Klein Camden. Talk to someone with experience, and find out if you have a case. Our legal consultations are free, and time limits may apply to your claim. Don’t wait, call today.

Defense Base Act: The Defense Base Act (DBA) applies to longshoreman and harbor workers who are injured while on the clock, and provides medical treatment and financial compensation to defense contractors or employees outside of the United States.

Most contracts with a U.S. government agency outside of the U.S. will be covered by the DBA, military or not. The failure of any agency or company to provide DBA insurance can result in vulnerability to common law suits, in which the claimant (or his/her heirs) who file the claim do not have the burden of proof.

If you get hurt while working for a government agency, you may have a legitimate claim. Call today for your free legal consultation with Montagna Klein Camden.

Social Security & Disability: Social Security Disability provides support for individuals who cannot work due to a disability, whether physical or otherwise.

It may be temporary or permanent, depending upon the disability, but is generally required to last for a minimum of 12 months to qualify. The severity and longevity of the injury is a key factor in these types of cases.

If you or a loved one believe you qualify for Social Security Disability, please don’t suffer in silence. Call for a free consultation with the experienced lawyers of Montagna Klein Camden today.

Hearing Loss: To qualify for a Hearing Loss claim, a worker must have suffered a permanent loss of hearing in both ears, after being exposed to 90+ decibels over a period of 90 days.

Working in an exceptionally noisy environment can cause hearing loss, which may result in legal compensation. The loss of hearing is not required to be equal, but must have affected both ears to be eligible.

If you have suffered a severe loss of hearing in both ears due to your workplace environment, contact the legal offices of Montagna Klein Camden today for your free legal consultation.

Here at Montagna Klein Camden, you are our priority. We fight for you every step of the way, climbing the judicial and legislative ladders together. We care about the outcome of your case, and we care about you. Contact us today for a free consultation if you’ve been injured at work, in an automobile accident, or on a ship. We know the law, and we know how to make it work for you. Don’t wait to file your claim, call the professionals at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk, Virginia, for help and advice. You’ll be glad you did.

Holiday Survival Guide

Holiday Survival Guide

montagna-holiday-survivalLast week we discussed how company holiday parties can result in worker’s compensation cases. But outside of the office, what happens when the holidays get too rough? 80,000 people end up in the hospital each year during the holidays, and of those, 6,000 go on Christmas day.

Follow our guide for a safe, injury-free holiday, but remember: if you or someone you love IS injured during the holidays, you may have a Personal Injury case. Play it safe; call the skilled personal injury lawyers at Montagna Klein Camden Law Firm in Norfolk, VA.

Holiday Survival Guide

Decking the Halls: Many people get injured while decorating their home for the holidays. Falling from ladders is a common holiday injury; either while stringing up lights on the house or adjusting the tree topper. Always have a spotter when using ladders, and never stand on chairs when decorating. Children have a habit of swallowing the light bulbs, causing further yuletide hysteria, so keep an eye on any young tots in the vicinity.

A Full House: If you’re having house guests this year, or visiting friends or family, be alert. The clutter that stems from overnight bags and messy guests can cause injuries, too. Keep walkways clear of shoes, dirty clothes and kids’ toys, and make sure to have some nightlights in hallways near restrooms. Guests who use the bathroom in the middle of the night will thank you in the morning.

Step Up: Stairs pose a serious hazard around the holidays. A house full of clutter, pets and people, many of whom are likely partaking of some “special” eggnog, make stairs a very real danger. If you’ve had a few more drinks than usual, try to remember to take a deep breath before facing the steps. Make sure they’re clear of people and toys, and take your time. Nothing ruins a fun, festive night like a trip to the emergency room.

Stuffing Face: The holiday meal is riddled with peril, whether you’re eating or cooking. Hot, boiling water and long, sharp knives are out in abundance before dinnertime, so be cautious and move slowly in the kitchen. Always use a pot-holder to handle dishes if you’re not sure how hot they are, and keep an eye out for slippery spills. As always, when in-laws and alcohol mix, be careful with your words!

Holiday Shenanigans: In general, the holidays are more dangerous than most of us realize. Wrapping & unwrapping gifts can lead to accidents with scissors; assembling toys or furniture can often lead to bloodshed; candles left unattended or near trees pose a serious threat; as does the tree itself if not watered frequently. Even mistletoe is poisonous!

We’re not trying to scrooge up your holiday season, rather we’re hoping to prevent a messy or painful evening for you, your family and your friends. We know that even the most careful of people can’t always foresee danger. That’s why we’re here. Our experienced personal injury lawyers are ready to fight for you and your case, to get you the compensation you need to recover. Even if you’re not sure you have a case, call us for a free consultation. It’s what we’re here for.

5 Wacky Workers Comp Cases

With the holidays drawing near and the inevitable holiday party injuries looming, we thought it would be rewarding to look up the craziest worker’s compensation cases we could find, to share with you all. And if your company throws a party, keep in mind that any injuries sustained may be a potential worker’s compensation case. Merry Montagna, Hampton Roads!

  1. Montagna-BlogCompany Christmas parties can get pretty wild, but when that company is a zoo, all bets are off. When a meercat expert and a monkey handler fall for the same llama keeper, the claws really come out. This unusual love triangle took a violent turn at the holiday party, when the meercat expert attacked the monkey handler with a wine glass! Drink responsibly, folks.
  2. A woman brought her cat on an international flight…in her purse. When the feline (predictably) began to screech and meow, the flight attendants had to lock the poor creature in the bathroom. The cat lady in question became so enraged that she punched a flight attendant, who was sent to Urgent Care with a bloody nose after the plane landed. Imagine reporting that workplace injury! We have a new-found respect for flight attendants.
  3. Las Vegas, land of unnatural beauty, has more than a few odd skeletons in it’s closet. In a spa featuring Cryotherapy as an age defying treatment, one employee made a fatal mistake in deciding to try out the merchandise. She was later found inside the cryotherapy unit, frozen solid. This case has a twist: the facility in question was unable to provide proof of worker’s compensation insurance, and was ordered to close.
  4. A Circuit City employee filed for worker’s comp after failing to retrieve a bag of chips from a vending machine. Stay with us, here; the man was trying to impress a female co-worker, whose chips had gotten stuck. His attempts to shake the bag loose resulted in a broken hip, and we can only assume a pity date. The man actually won his case, on the grounds that he was injured while “coming to the aid of a co-worker.”
  5. A J.C. Penney employee was awarded compensation after tripping over her own dog, in her own house. Since she’d stored fabric samples in her garage, her home was ruled a “working environment,” and when she tripped on her way to retrieve them, she was injured while working.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our wacky worker’s compensation cases, and invite you to share any of your own on our Facebook page! If you find yourself injured in an absurd workplace situation, don’t hesitate to call the skilled professional attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden Law Firm in Norfolk, VA. We handle worker’s comp in Virginia and North Carolina, and we offer a free consultation to anyone who calls. Why wait?

Happy Thanksgiving Hampton Roads

Happy Thanksgiving, Hampton Roads –

We may have broken our own record this year!

If you’ve got enough, give a little. If you’re hungry, stop by For Kids this Thursday and have a hot meal, on us.

Happy Turkey Day!

For kids food drive volunteers and Montagna Law

 

Social media networks tree

Social Media & Your Job

493533923If you’re actively searching for a job these days, you know how tough it is out there. As more and more people are able to acquire higher education, employers are more choosy than ever. Searching for a job is full time work all by itself, so when you find an opportunity, you hold on for dear life.

But what happens when you find that dream job you’ve been searching for, and your potential employer asks for your social media credentials? (Hint: You call a Montagna Klein Camden attorney for a free legal consultation!)

You’ve probably heard about it happening, and you’ve probably had a strong opinion about it. As social media grows in reach and popularity, more and more people are considering it the best way to get to know others. But when it comes to the workplace, should business and social mix?

It’s generally a good idea to abstain from posting negative or personal comments about your work and co-workers, and it’s a personal decision whether or not you want to accept that friend request from your boss. But after a widespread movement of employers asking current and potential employees for social media log-in information, states have begun taking matters into their own hands.

Most states seem to agree that your profile is personal, and over 20 laws have been passed since 2012, regulating this issue. Virginia state law now states that:

Status: March 23, 2015; Signed by Governor. Chapter 576.
Prohibits an employer from requiring, requesting, or causing a current or prospective employee to disclose the username and password to a the current or prospective employee’s social media account; prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to add an employee, a supervisor, or an administrator to the list or contacts associated with the employee’s social media account or changing the privacy settings.”

Good to know! If you or someone you know is asked to hand over social media credentials to a current or potential employer, contact the legal professionals at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk, Virginia for your free legal consultation.

 

Im not signing anything without my lawyer

Terms & Conditions

kitty-lawyerBy now, you’ve likely accepted that social media is here to stay. You probably even spend at least a few minutes each day posting, pinning, tweeting or just scrolling through your news feed. But what happens when your account becomes entangled in some very public legal drama?

If you’ve heard the hype about Amazon’s alleged false reviews, you know that even a shopping account can land you in hot water. The online global marketplace is suing over 1,000 “John Does” for supposedly accepting money in exchange for posting fake reviews on products. These John Does are real Amazon users, breaking the terms and conditions of their Amazon accounts.

If you thought you were safe from legal consequences behind your web handle, you were wrong.

Your legal professionals at Montagna Klein Camden are here if you get caught up in a social media or eCommerce lawsuit. We’re not saying you need a lawyer to read the fine print before creating an Instagram account, but at least be aware that you are effectively signing a contract of conduct, and it’s binding.

Read the fine print. When signing up for an account like Amazon, you probably scrolled right that little tiny text box labeled Terms & Conditions, and clicked “I Accept.” When you did that, you agreed to, among other things, not post false reviews. Funny how that works, huh?

All reviews can go the same way – in the past, businesses have tried adding a clause to consumer contracts that prevent them from leaving a negative review. In some states, this has now been banned. Endorsements have their caveats, too. If you’ve been paid to endorse a product, you legally must also add a disclaimer to that effect.

If you own a business, you probably have a social account or two dedicated to promoting it. If you’re sharing contests, promotions or sweepstakes on social media, make sure it’s from a designated business account. Doing so from a personal account would violate the contract you agreed to when signing up, and could get you deleted.

Think before you tweet…and post, pin, like or share. There are consequences in the digital universe, too, and anonymity is an illusion. Call a legal professional at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk if you need a free legal consultation, and we’ll help you build your case today.

 

Funny & Unusual Laws in Virginia

Montagna-Law-Police-On-Toy-BikesWe’ve all heard a couple unusual laws – for example, you can be fined or even arrested in Washington state for “harassing Bigfoot.” As attorneys, we’ve had many moments where we wondered “why was this law even written?” Although these archaic laws are seldom enforced, they are always good for a laugh. Enjoy!

Here are the most ridiculous Virginia laws we could find:

  • Children cannot go Trick-or-Treating on Halloween (any other time of the year is apparently acceptable).
  • Citizens must honk car horns while passing other vehicles (it would be awfully noisy during summertime if this were enforced).
  • It is illegal to tickle women (lots of women WISH this law were widely known).
  • No animals may be hunted on Sundays – except raccoons – and even then, only until 2 am (naturally).

And some city’s laws were too good not to share:

Virginia Beach:

  • It is unlawful to drive by the same shop twice in 30 minutes on Atlantic Avenue at the oceanfront (admittedly sketchy but shouldn’t be illegal).
  • It is illegal to ride on the handlebars of a bike in the city (how else will you and all of your friends get to the beach on one bike?)

Norfolk:

  • It is unlawful to spit on a seagull (how else are you supposed to keep them away from your picnic lunch?)

Richmond:

  • It is illegal to flip a coin in a restaurant or cafe in order to determine who will pay for coffee (guess it’s your turn again).

Culpeper:

  • It is unlawful to wash a mule on the sidewalk in Culpeper (but my mule likes to watch the cars honk at each other during his bath!)

We hope you’ve enjoyed these silly and ridiculous laws. Should you ever be burned by a crazy-absurd law, be sure to call the professionals at Montagna Klein Camden in downtown Norfolk. We may not be able to tear down this archaic legislation but we may just be able to talk you out of a ticket for spitting on a seagull in Norfolk (which you would never do, right?)

What Lawyers Wish You Knew

Every job has it’s peaks, it’s valleys and it’s sinkholes. It’s true that the certain professions are viewed as more comfortable while others are seen as unpleasant; but each and every job has it’s recurring frustrations.

  • Retail: re-organizing the same display for the fifth time in one day.
  • Food service: explaining over and over why one item is not an equal substitution for another.

You get the idea.

Lawyers deal with the same type of irritations as you do, each and every day, just in a different setting. We don’t all fit the Hollywood ideal of a fast-driving, smooth-talking ruler of the courtroom, and we don’t try to. And so, in the spirit of the waitress who single-handedly served a table of ten only to get stiffed, and the retail employee who spent twenty minutes explaining and up-selling only to lose the commission at the last moment, we decided to vent our frustrations online.

Please check out our list of five things that attorneys and lawyers wish YOU knew about US. Enjoy!Montagna-Law-Tired-Attorney-with-Headache

      1. We don’t make the laws, guys. Just as the captain of a ship didn’t call the storm into being, so we had no control over the existence, phrasing or popular interpretation of laws. We’re just navigators, here to help you cross that sea of legalese safely.
      2. We wish the process was quicker, too. As much as we enjoy your company, we wish we could resolve your case immediately, and send everyone home early! But that’s not how it works. There are hang-ups and red tape to be dealt with, and the more people that are involved in your case, the longer the entire process will drag on. Just bear with us, we’re only trying to help.
      3. We’re not miracle workers. Despite what you see on TV and in movies, we don’t always have an ace in the hole or a trick up our sleeve. If you broke the law, and you got caught, it may not matter how good your attorney is. A photo or video, a witness, some irrefutable physical evidence: these reverberate in a courtroom, louder than any attorney’s voice. Sometimes, there is nothing we can do, but that doesn’t mean we won’t try.
      4. We don’t work for free. Would you continue to organize that display if you weren’t getting paid, or bother to smile and refill drinks if you knew for a fact that no tip was forthcoming? Law school is expensive, and practicing law is both difficult and time-consuming. Nobody wants to work for nothing: you wouldn’t do it, so don’t expect us to.
      5. You have the right to be your own attorney, but we advise against it. Let’s go back for a moment to the ship’s captain metaphor: would you try to steer a ship without any training? The longer you stay at the helm, the more imminent your crash. And when you break down and call us up, we’ll have a much larger mess to clean up than we did before. Think you’ll save money by representing yourself? Think again.

We hope you enjoyed our rant, and will think twice before trying to represent yourself. If you need legal advice, Montagna Klein Camden in downtown Norfolk is happy to offer you a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. All you have to do is call.

The National Trial Lawyers
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