How Do I Identify a Phishing Scam? »
Phishing scams are getting more sophisticated, but there are ways to tell before you click that link.
Phishing scams are getting more sophisticated, but there are ways to tell before you click that link.
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
As in a court case, the process of mediation provides a method of conflict resolution. However, it is much more informal and does …
I am very pleased with the outcome and the length of time Mr. Gutin spent dealing with my case. He was often after regular business hours . He would respond to emails late at night and early in the morning, which I found to be very helpful . He was very open and honest. I never felt that he was just out to get me to spend more money then I really needed too!
DUI case. Attorney was unprepared for actual court date. In my opinion, he made a error due to ommission in plea negotitations. The firm then totally ignored my three subsequent e-mails asking what happened and what, if anything, could be done.
Amended Birth Record/ Adult AdoptionMr. Gutin (Harvey), assisted me with my adult adoption and the amending of my birth record. He was very diligent and kept me informed of the steps required. Very professional and knowledgeable, I'd seem his services again if/when needed. Thanks Harley.
I have used Harley in all of my cases since December of 2011. He has been a great lawyer that has taken much of his time and went above and beyond what he was required to do. He has been very helpful, understanding and knowledgeable in all of my situations. Which has been quite a few in a very short time span which you are about to learn. Mind you, before all of this madness I didn’t even have so much as a seatbelt ticket and I was twenty six.In December of 2011 I was arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct. I didn’t know anything about the law or any attorneys. I didn’t know who to ask so I decided to ask my bails bondsman. He recommended Harley and said that he had used him in the past and didn’t know anyone better. So I decided to call him, little did I know this was going to be one of the only smart decisions that I was going to make over the next fifteen months. I went to Harley’s office and he sat with me and explained that our best option was to ask for the diversion program. Which is a program that first time offenders can go through that requires you to complete a year of supervision and in return they will drop your charges. We went to court and that is exactly what I received.In February of 2012 I drank again and caught another battery on a law enforcement officer and a DUI. Harley recommended that I plea guilty and that I would most likely get a year of probation. This is the bare minimum for a DUI alone. Before we could even get to court and ask for this I was arrested again for criminal mischief. He got that thrown out of court. So sentencing came and I received exactly what he said I would. One year of probation with the option of early termination.March of 2013 was the big one. I was on a binge and I was arrested for my third battery on a law enforcement officer, violation of probation, and resisting an officer with violence. Harley had heard that I had been arrested and came to my aid yet again. The state offered eighteen months and was not going to let off. The law enforcement officer I hit recommended prison. Harley said that we had two options. We could accept the deal or we could plea to the judge. He recommended that I plea to the judge and ask for community control. We went to court and I spoke to the judge about everything that I had done and everything that I was going to do. I begged for one more opportunity. Harley told the judge “I know she can do this.” I will never forget those words. He was in my corner when everything and everyone most certainly weren’t. Our wish was granted. I was sentenced to two years community control followed by two years’ probation and all of my charges were adjudication withheld. This means that I am charged but I am not convicted. I successfully completed one year and Harley filed a motion to have the order modified to probation. I now have almost completed one of the three years of probation that I must complete. He also got thirteen charges dismissed out of court that the state tried to tack on during all of my endeavors. When it was all over and done I spent thirty nine days in jail waiting for a court date. Since all of this Harley still continues to support me to this day. He has represented me in my injunction case against my abuser, paternity establishment, and has help set up a parenting plan. I have full custody of my children, full time job, been sober for twenty one months, and will soon be working as a substance abuse peer specialist. None of this would have been possible if Harley had not stood by me and fought for me each and every time.
Harley and Steven and their staff have helped me through some tough tough fights and we WON everytime.I highly recommend them. Fair prices and compassionate.==AWESOME. Thanks again
Harley Gutin and Stephen Wolverton represented me in a Florida RICO prosecution. The jury acquitted me on both counts (racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering RICO) on January 17, 2003, following a two week trial in Orange County, Florida.Harley Gutin and Stephen Wolverton both zealously fought in my defense before we ever made it to trial. No discovery was handed over voluntarily and state witnesses dodged depositions as if they were ordered to by agents or prosecutors and told that there wouldn't be a trial at all. Every party involved expected guilty pleas, with the exception of my wonderful defense attorneys.When it came time for trial Stephen Wolverton represented me in the courtroom and Harley Gutin worked behind the scenes. I truly owe both my life and no words that I state here could possibly express my thoughts. Harley Gutin and his partner Stephen Wolverton are the very best!
Ms. Waxman recently helped me prepare my Trust Agreement and other legal documents that my family will need after I have passed away. It was a pleasure to work with someone who could guide me through this process and explain my options in a manner that helped me to make all the right decisions.
I've known Ms. Waxman for many years and she has helped me with several civil matters. She is very helpful and VERY knowledgeable! I couldn't have had a better experience!
"Ms. Waxman has been very helpful to my family and myself on several occasions, assisting my mother with her will and trust, writing a will and trust for my husband, daughter and myself. In all cases, Ms. Waxman has been competent, thoughtful, an excellent communicator giving good practical advice along with being compassionate and sensitive to our needs.I would seek Ms. Waxman's legal advice and help again in the future if needed."Janice Smith
I’ve consulted Carol on numerous occasions regarding legal matters and each time she has given me the needed information, path forward, or peace of mind that I needed. When you need counsel or representation that is effective, efficient and tactfully tenacious, Carol Waxman is the clear choice. Her legal acumen, combined with her compassionate personality, makes Carol someone that you want to have in your corner. And if the matter is out of her realm of expertise, then she will gladly refer you to someone that will be a good fit for the situation. She’s the total package!
There has perhaps never been a better tool for do-it-yourself home handymen than the internet. With detailed instructions and videos explaining how to perform a number of common maintenance and renovation tasks around a house, an untrained homeowner might be surprised at how much he or she can accomplish with a quick search online. But even with all of this information, there are still many jobs that lie far outside the scope of most DIY enthusiasts. General contractors are there to fill in this gap.
A general contractor specializes in seeing a home remodel or repair project through from start to finish. To do this, the contractor works with the client - whether they are a homeowner or business - to nail down the scope of the work. Then he or she will turn to one or more subcontractors for specific tasks, like equipment operation, design, electrical work or whatever else is needed.
In essence, general contractors could be thought of as middlemen between a homeowner or business owner and any number of specialists. To get their money's worth, many assume they should just "cut out the middleman" and hire specialists directly, but this often proves more difficult in practice. General contractors won't be completing an entire project by themselves, but should have a long list of dependable experts who can work together and accomplish any task. They might also serve as the manager on the site of a construction project, overseeing workers and providing guidance and assistance when needed. For larger projects, though, the contractor might only handle administrative matters and employ a foreman or other professional for on-site supervision.
There are many general contractors who also specialize in certain tasks themselves. There is usually at least one general contractor on hand to organize the construction of an entire home, for example. But general contractors could also help a homeowner add an additional bedroom, build an in-ground pool or complete a major landscaping project. They could also work with a business to add or improve office space, whether that means making more room or converting a commercial building from a nail salon to a restaurant. Basically, if it's a job that involves building or repairing, a general contractor probably knows how to get it done.
No matter what the exact job may be, a contractor will probably need to accomplish several other essential tasks in pursuit of the ultimate goal, which may include:
Every general contractor performing any kind of work on a project must be licensed to do so in their state. The guidelines for the specifics on licensing vary from state to state. Some states might only require registration of contractors, which is different from licensing. Registration typically means that there must be a written record of what work is being performed and by whom, but it does not guarantee professional knowledge. Licensing, on the other hand, involves an examination process to assess professional competence.
Whether your state requires licensing or registration of contractors, there should be a record of most professionals willing to complete certain projects in your area. Check your state or county website for more information. In states that require licensing, every licensed contractor's contact information is available online or from another public source.
Not every project needs to be completed by a licensed or registered contractor. If it's just a minor job that won't take more than a day or two, and will cost less than a few hundred dollars, it's likely not necessary to find a licensed or registered contractor. However, anything bigger or more expensive, or a project involving plumbing or electrical work, needs to be completed by a licensed or registered professional.
General contractors also must be covered by an insurance policy. This should include liability coverage for any property damage that could be inflicted in the course of a job. It should also include a worker's compensation policy in case anyone is injured on the job. Before hiring a contractor for anything, ask for written proof of this insurance to see exactly what is covered.
A number of trade associations for contractors in the U.S. exist. Some of the biggest include:
Most trade associations for general contractors will provide references for anyone looking to hire a contractor for a specific project. They may also provide a number of benefits for their members, including assistance with licensing, training, insurance and business development.
No matter what you need accomplished, you want to choose a contractor who can get the job done right at a reasonable price. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure you find a trustworthy general contractor.
The first, and perhaps most reliable, way to find a general contractor is to ask friends and family members for a recommendation. If you know anyone who has had major work done on their home, particularly if it's a similar job, ask them who they hired and if they were pleased with the result. You could also ask neighbors about who they've hired if you notice work being done on their house. Many remodeling contractors post signs in front of homes to advertise their services. As a general rule, it's rarely a good idea to hire a contractor who solicits work by going door to door.
If you are considering hiring a contractor without a personal recommendation, ask the contractor for references from past clients, and do as much background research on them as possible. Look for any complaints (or compliments) online to get a better idea of their track record. There are a number of websites specializing in connecting contractors with people or businesses who need work done. These sites may also allow past clients to submit their own reviews of the contractor.
Before hiring a contractor, make sure you are both in agreement on the project's budget. It's normal for most contractors to charge clients a premium not only for the labor expenses and zoning expertise, but for acquiring the materials as well. Be as clear and concise as possible regarding what you'll be purchasing yourself and what you will be paying the contractor to complete. Homeowners may be able to find a better deal on raw materials when they purchase these directly, but they first need to be sure they aren't buying the wrong things.
Don't forget to discuss how the project will be finalized and what will be done about cleanup. Plans for how the work site will be cleaned at the end of each day as well as at the conclusion of work need to be put in writing. An experienced general contractor should make every effort to keep the workspace clean and prevent dirtying or damaging any other area. Even so, talk with the contractor about the daily schedule, the logistics of transporting workers and equipment, and how cleanup will be handled.
As previously mentioned, you need to make sure to follow any state and local regulations regarding construction work, which includes hiring a licensed or registered general contractor. Ask the contractor for proof of their certification before signing anything, as well as their proof of insurance. You should also check your homeowners insurance policy to see if they offer coverage for contracted work. You may want to call your insurance provider and ask for more details on what your plan will and won't cover.
Perhaps the best way to feel safe about a contractor and the work being done is to hire a contractor you trust. This is why relying on personal references from friends and family is so important, and will often provide a great deal of peace of mind. If you aren't able to obtain a reference, work to conduct extensive research on the contractor as well as the work you are hiring them to perform. This should bring everyone's expectations into alignment and result in a safe work environment.
Before any money changes hands, there should be a contract to sign. Make sure the specifics of the work to be done and all costs are listed in the contract, right down to the most precise details. If you forget to have something included in the contract after signing it, there's rarely a chance of recourse.
Once the specifics of the job are nailed down, be sure to discuss the payment schedule with the contractor. This is important because paying too much up front offers the homeowner minimal leverage if the quality of work does not meet expectations or contractual specifications. Try to establish a reasonable pay schedule with the contractor, such as paying 10 percent of the total cost for each 10 percent of the work that is completed. It's a good idea to include this payment plan in the contract as well.
Finally, look into getting a lien release signed before work begins. If there is ever a dispute regarding payment over the course of the project, a contractor or subcontractor could place a payment claim, or lien, on your property. This can trigger a long legal process that may be frustrating. To avoid this, ask the contractor to sign a lien release, which is a legal agreement that states that any payment accepted is final. This can come in handy if a contractor has his or her own payment issues with their subcontractors. Signing a lien release form certifies that any payment made by a client to the contractor is enough to pay for any goods or services rendered. A lien dispute could also be prevented by performing due diligence prior to picking a contractor, as any contractor with good credit and a long track record of satisfied clients should have no trouble paying for materials and labor once all contract conditions have been met.
Once work is underway, it's never a bad idea to check up on the progress of the job, either by staying in touch with the contractor over the phone or visiting the site in person. If you work with a trustworthy professional, it's probably best to keep your distance and allow everyone to stay busy. If you want to keep an eye on things, make sure workers wear the right safety gear and that everything looks to be moving along according to schedule. Finally, once work is finished and you are satisfied, be sure to thank your contractor and tell friends or family members about your experience.