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Zachary Louisiana Legal Blog

Oil and gas law: What is the rule of capture?

Those who own land in Louisiana that sits above gas and oil stores have the property rights to those valuable resources. This is pretty basic property law. However, oil and gas laws do not necessarily abide by basic property laws. According to oil and gas laws, it is possible to claim the property rights to these stores if one's well draws them up from neighboring land. How does this work?

Oil and gas are known to move underground. So, it is not out of the question that one might drill a well on one's own property, and it may pull these resources from a neighbor. Some would argue that this is stealing personal property, and at some point, that may have been the case, but now it just is not so.

Prevent probate issues by giving away your stuff before you die

Stuff. It is collected and carried around over the course of one's life. There are certain items that may have special significance to some family members. It is these items that may cause issues during the probate process as one's loved ones may fight about who gets to keep what. Louisiana residents may be able to prevent problems during the probate process by divvying up assets while they are still living and putting together an estate plan.

Most people in the United States die without having wills in place, but why? They think them unnecessary, they do not want to think about their own mortality, or they think they cannot afford to get one. Passing on without a will, without leaving instructions for who is to receive what, can put a real strain on one's family. Creating an estate plan and updating it as needed is always advised and can result in assets being distributed to beneficiaries in accordance with one's wishes. Unfortunately, estate litigation is still a possibility even with a solid estate plan in place.

Louisiana criminal defense: 2 facing DWI and other charges

Louisiana police recently arrested two individuals for allegedly driving while impaired. They are both facing a number of charges. If convicted, the consequences may be significant. Both of these individuals would likely fair better in their legal proceedings if they have an experienced criminal defense attorney on their side.

According to a recent report, in a 24 hour period from May 6 to May 7, police in Baton Rouge arrested two women -- ages 38 and 42 -- for suspected DWI. In regard to the 38-year-old, this is said to be her fourth DWI offense. She was also cited for driver's license and auto insurance violations. As a documented repeat offender, the consequences tied to a conviction for this most recent offense could result in serious jail time, fines and a number of other consequences. With the assistance of legal counsel, she may be able to seek case dismissal, charge reduction or take any steps necessary to achieve the best outcome possible under the circumstances.

Talk to your kids about the dangers of opioid abuse

It’s likely you’ve heard of fentanyl by now. You may have seen it mentioned in the news in high-profile overdose cases, but don’t have to be a celebrity to locate these drugs. Synthetic opioids killed more people in 2017 than any other opioid and opioid overdoses increased among those 25 years old and younger by 12.4 percent that year.

This epidemic is something you should know of if you’ve recently sent your son or daughter off to college. Being able to grasp the magnitude of the problem and recognizing the signs of abuse are key to survival. The difference could be life or death.

Are hands-free cell phone systems safer for driving?

Making a phone call while you are stuck in traffic usually seems harmless. It’s a lot better than texting, and your car is barely moving as it is. If you have your phone hooked up to your car, it might feel even safer since you don’t have to hold your phone up to your ear.

Talking to your friends and family without lifting a finger is very convenient. But is it legal—and more importantly, safe—to have a phone conversation on the road?

After a car accident, won't insurance take care of me?

Auto collisions that result in injury or serious loss happen every day in the state of Louisiana. You, like many other people, probably believe that insurance will take care of you if you are ever involved in a car accident. The truth is, insurance providers will do everything in their power to pay you as little as possible.

After a car accident, you will do what you have always been taught to do -- file a claim with your or the other party's insurance provider. Your car will either be repaired or declared a total loss. When it comes to covering any of your medical expenses, you might receive compensation for initial care but little or nothing after that.

Louisiana family law: The 3 types of parental alienation

Not all divorce cases are amicable. Some spouses fight about everything during divorce proceedings and sometimes for years after the fact -- particularly if children are involved. One way some people try to punish their former spouses is by turning their children against them. This is called parental alienation, and sadly, it is commonly seen in Louisiana family law cases.

According to mental health specialists, there are actually three different types of parental alienation -- obsessive, naive and active. Obsessive alienation involves manipulating a child into wanting to discontinue his or her relationship with the other parent. Most young children do not understand when they are being manipulated; rather, they simply want to believe what their parent is telling them. For example, if dad says, in a compassionate way, mom is unstable and may hurt them, the child may want to believe that and will choose not to be around mom anymore.

Not happy with your child custody arrangement?

Getting through the divorce process is difficult. Living with some of the terms after the fact can be even harder for individuals in Louisiana. Child custody, for example, is one of those things with which you may struggle. Maybe the initial order felt fine at the time, but now it is not working, or maybe you were not happy with your current arrangement from the get-go and have been on a mission to change it ever since. No matter why you want your child custody terms adjusted, legal counsel can assist you in taking the steps necessary to seek the desired changes.

There are two ways to achieve a custody modification in the state of Louisiana. First, the courts would like to see parents work out a new arrangement on their own -- if at all possible. If parents cannot agree on new terms, the matter can be taken to court for review.

Louisiana probate: The good and bad of a DIY will

Most adults in the state of Louisiana -- in the United States, really -- do not have estate plans in place. They do not even have basic wills in place. Without proper planning, probate may be a nightmare for one's family. One does not have to look too hard to find do-it-yourself wills and estate planning products online. Such products are tempting because they are usually cheap, but will a DIY will hold up when it matters, though?

The good thing about DIY wills is that they are inexpensive, quick to make and give people some sort of plan. That is where the good ends. If one has few assets and no special concerns, a DIY may be sufficient. For most people, though, it likely is not.

Louisiana criminal defense: Charged with a hate crime?

Just like employers can get into a lot of trouble for discriminating against employees or allowing discrimination and harassment in the workplace, the average Joe can get into a lot of trouble for purposely discriminating against anyone at any time. Hate crimes are commonly seen in the state of Louisiana and elsewhere. Those accused of these crimes may face some serious consequences if they are convicted. A criminal defense attorney may be able to assist anyone facing hate crime charges with navigating court proceedings and doing all that is necessary to seek favorable outcomes.

What exactly is a hate crime? This is any harmful act committed against a person based on his or her gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability -- among various other things. The state of Louisiana also prohibits attacks on individuals who are employed as firefighters, police officers and emergency medical responders.

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