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Are You Waiving Your Rights by Signing a Contract?

Image of a contractAt first glance, the terms of the contract seem straightforward. The clauses therein make perfect sense, and, because you want to do the deal, you do not question their inclusion in the agreement. While the underlying agreement or contract may seem straightforward, you need to do a thorough evaluation to make sure you aren’t waiving your legal rights by signing the contract.

Because contract law “charges” you with what you signed whether you read it or not, we suggest reviewing the contract with an understanding of the rights you are waiving and the potential consequence forfeiting those rights can cause in the event of a legal dispute. Once waived, you can not ask the court to reinstate those rights unless it is a clear violation of your right to due process.

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Can I Avoid Legal Debt Collection by Making Payments?

Photo of a dollar bill to represent Avoid Legal Debt CollectionSome people believe if they make payment on bills placed for collection they will avoid legal debt collection. Further, the payor believes that their decision to pay amounts at their discretion prevents the creditor from moving forward in the collection process and going “legal.”

Does paying down a debt mean you get to enjoy “safe harbor” from a creditor’s collection efforts? The answer is mostly no. Creditors and their agents do not have to accept installment payments toward a debt.

The creditor (or their agent) and the debtor or the party paying on their behalf must agree to the terms of the payout and or settlement of the debt. A delinquent client can not merely begin sending installment payments to a creditor and claim to have a binding agreement with the creditor to resolve the debt. As with any agreement, there must be a “ meeting of the minds” in order for the agreement to be binding. The parties must agree on the terms, which ideally should be in writing.

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Wondering What to Wear to Your Virtual Court Appearance?

Photo of a person on a video call to represent What to Wear to Your Virtual Court AppearanceWondering what to wear to your virtual court appearance? It seems some people might have forgotten what counts as appropriate court attire, prompting New York courts to remind defendants — and all court participants — to dress and act appropriately during virtual court appearances and hearings.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has required all courts across New York State to innovate and adapt in order to continue to provide the effective and efficient administration of justice and access to justice for all court users,” says a memorandum sent out on March 18.

As a result of the pandemic, courts across the state use Microsoft Teams to hold court sessions virtually. However, as the memorandum points out, despite being virtual, “appropriate decorum/etiquette is a necessity” while courts are in session. Court participants should dress in appropriate attire and display an appropriate and professional background, “as if you were appearing in-person in court.”

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