November 2013

AUTUMN CHEER

There was so much happiness from October to talk about, where to begin?  The Government shutdown, Obamacare, Rehoboth senior week parties or the Ravens’ bottoming out?  I think maybe we needed an eclipse and the return to Standard time….

1791

The 4th Amendment to our Constitution reads: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.  A couple of salient points for my readers:  if a police officer asks to search you, your home or your car, you may, in the most polite terms, say no.  If a police officer pulls you over for using your cellphone, not wearing your seatbelt, or a moving violation, unless he has reasonable suspicion of other trouble, he is not permitted to ask you if you have any contraband in your car.  A citizen has the right to resist an unlawful arrest.  Resistance includes the right to use any reasonable means, including force, to effect an escape.  Interesting, eh?  I do not advise ever resisting, take your lumps and call me, we will raise hell in the Courtroom.

 Where is That Advance Care Directive? 

Most of the time, patients who have advance directives (living will) and don’t bring them to the hospital have simply left them at home. But lawyers’ offices and safe deposit boxes are also popular locations – all of which are useless if a person cannot direct his own care, or if family members are at odds, or they are rummaging through drawers and files while the emergency room staff stands by. People with advance directives should provide copies to their primary care physicians and to the individuals named as their health care decision-makers, and keep copies on hand themselves.  You may even wish to broaden the distribution and give copies to other doctors as well – your cardiologist, your neurologist – and to additional family members or friends. The more copies there are in circulation, the better the odds that one will materialize at the hospital when you need it.

For more estate advice and to chat about beneficiary designations, give me a call.

 Bambi Beware

The confluence of mating and hunting seasons makes November the month with the most deer-vehicle collisions in our area.  Safety tips: be aware that deer tend to travel in groups; are most active in the evening between 6 to 9 p.m.; and that they are highly unpredictable, especially when caught in headlights, exposed to loud noises like horns or confused by fast-moving vehicles. Be on the lookout and slow down.

Kudos to the folks at The Baltimore Station and GBMC for all their good work in the community and a Happy Veterans Day to all our service men and women.

If you need any legal help, give me a call, send an e-mail or simply text me, 410-913-5560. Be well. John CM

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