The Do’s and Don’ts of How to Find a Great Wedding Photographer

Brought to you by: Dean Michael’s Studio

Wedding PhotographerEvery bride knows that no wedding detail matters more than her wedding photography. After the date has passed and your dress has been dry cleaned and preserved, only your photos remain as a reminder of your special day. Therefore, it is important to choose the right photographer to preserve your memories the way you want them.

With so many wedding photographers out there, how can you find the right fit for you?

Finding a Photographer – Do’s

  • DO browse portfolios and sample albums. If a certain style of photography appeals to you and you find it represented, keep that photographer in the running. Make a note of which albums and photos you like, so you can point them out to try to recreate something similar on your wedding day. Ask to see finished albums, too, so you know what to expect when you receive yours.
  • DO set up an in-person interview with the photographer. Narrowing down to one studio is a great start, but you want to be sure to meet with the actual photographer who will be spending the day with you. Your wedding photographer is more than just another guest; they will be by your side just about all day long. You need to feel comfortable with him or her adjusting your body positioning, your dress or your hair. Making sure your personalities click is worth the extra interview so you can enjoy every moment of your day.
  • DO read reviews and follow-up on friends’ recommendations. Hearing from trusted friends about photographers they used in your area is one of the best ways to find the right person. If you don’t’ have a great network of friends to reference, online wedding sites have excellent lists of professionals with candid reviews from couples who have used them.

Finding a Photographer – Don’ts

  • DON’T bow to pressure to use someone because of a personal relationship. This is YOUR wedding day, not anyone else’s. Sure, you might have a cousin who takes great shots of the ocean with his new SLR digital camera, but do you really want to take the chance? Wedding photographers understand the nuances of how wedding days run. They know how to prepare for each different photo opportunity and have experience posing people and catching candids. You want a professional.
  • DON’T fall victim to high volume. Some photographers claim to shoot hundreds of weddings per year as a way of touting their experience. While experience is definitely a positive, you don’t want to be rushed or sandwiched between two other weddings on your special day. Insist on reviewing past wedding albums for proof of experience, but don’t be fooled. More is not always better.
  • DON’T be wooed by gimmicks and crazy sales. Good wedding photography requires time, professionals with experience, and great equipment. These things cost money and don’t come cheap. Someone running crazy sales and specials may not have the best quality finished product. Scrimp and save elsewhere on things like favors, flowers, hair and make-up. A great photographer can make understated look elegant, but a lousy photographer can make timeless look tacky. Of course, you should take advantage of options like a price break for a Friday or Sunday versus a Saturday, but keep quality over cost in your list of priorities.
  • DON’T choose solely based on venue lists. Most wedding venues will offer a list of professionals that have worked with them before. Whether it’s a florist, caterer or photographer, most venues charge a fee to be included on such a list. Know the difference between true reviews and paid advertisements.

IVC Filter Information

ivc filter informationRetrievable IVC Filters have been used as medical devices to prevent pulmonary embolus since their FDA approval in 2003. When a patient is at risk for a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot in the lung, and blood thinners and anti-coagulants have failed, his or her doctor may recommend a preventative measure known as insertion of an IVC Filter.

An IVC Filter is a medical device that is inserted into the Inferior Vena Cava of a patient in order to catch and trap a blood clot to prevent it from traveling into the lungs. There are two Vena Cava in the human body, which are large veins that carry blood into the heart. The Superior Vena Cava (SVC) feeds the heart from the upper body, including the head and upper body. The Inferior Vena Cava, known as the IVC, is the large, tube-like blood vessel that pumps blood up from the legs and lower torso into the chambers of the heart.

When a patient is at high risk for blood clots, especially the deep clots found in the legs, this could lead to a dangerous clot and blockage in the lungs known as pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be life-threatening. By placing an IVC Filter into the Inferior Vena Cava, any blood clots traveling up the body would become lodged in the filter, preventing their movement into the lungs.

Doctors now insert IVC Filters into the body via a small catheter or flexible tube instead of requiring surgery for insertion. The most common point of insertion is through the femoral vein, a large blood vessel in the groin. The IVC filter will be placed into the end of the catheter, and the catheter will be inserted. Doctors will use either X-rays or ultrasound technology to see the catheter as they guide it to your IVC. Once the right location in the blood vessel is reached, they will attach the filter to the walls of your IVC, and then begin withdrawing the catheter.

Depending on your risk factors, the type of IVC filter device used, and your medical history, the IVC filter will stay in your body between three to six months. Some IVC filters have been removed after a year, but that is not recommended as the prolonged use can cause the filters to be more deeply imbedded and therefore more difficult to remove. It is typically the removal, or complications involving removal that can lead to problems with IVC Filters in patients.

If a filter is not removed in time, it could lead to various medical complications, including the filter becoming dislodged and migrating to other areas of the body, or parts of the filter breaking off, or even tearing the tissue of the blood vessels. Doctors should help their patients understand the importance of coming back for IVC filter removal after the risk of PE has passed.

There have been cases where the IVC filter device either malfunctioned or broke apart before the patient was due for retrieval. In other cases, the filter dislodged itself and travelled along the blood vessels, causing problems in the heart or lungs. Some of these cases have resulted in lawsuits against the medical manufacturers of the IVC filters.

It is important to understand all of the risks associated with having an IVC filter inserted, including knowing the manufacturer and model name and number of your IVC filter device. An IVC Filter Lawyer can help you find out if your IVC filter complications may make you eligible for compensation. Contact one of our experienced medical device attorneys today for more information and to review your case.

Outlandish Personal Injury Claims

When accidents happen that are not the fault of the victim, we are grateful for the hard working personal injury lawyers out there to fight for justice and protection. Unfortunately, many personal injury lawyers bear the brunt of jests and jeers over their profession due our increasingly litigious society. Accusations of frivolous lawsuits follow both lawyer and the victims they represent.

However, even these attorneys have a sense of humor and share the public’s disbelief over some of the most outlandish personal injury claims that are brought to court. Because of the increasing tendency to cry foul over what used to be chalked up as minor accidents, we now have more examples of just how crazy some of our populace can be. Enjoy some of the following examples of the most bizarre personal injury lawsuits we found.

McDonald’s Hot Coffee

Perhaps the most well-known successful claims among this group is the catalyst for the “Caution: Contents Are HOT” warning we now see on coffee cup lids. In 1994, a New Mexico woman sued and won a lawsuit against McDonald’s fast food chain because she suffered burns after spilling hot coffee in her lap. After refusing to settle for $20,000 out of court, McDonald’s lost the suit and had to pay out over $2 Million in damages.

PETA Protests NJ Deer Hunting, then Kills a Deer and Sues NJ for Overpopulation

After a 2001 anti-hunting protest in New Jersey, members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) drove away from the protest site and collided with a deer, killing the animal. They threatened to sue the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife for their mismanagement of the deer population, but the claim was never brought to court.

Teens Sued for Surprising Neighbor with Cookies

Two Colorado teens decided to bake cookies for some of their rural neighbors and deliver them anonymously to their doorsteps as a kind gesture. Instead of going to a dance in town, they stayed home to bake and wrap the sweet surprises, along with a heart-shaped note to “Have a great night.” Around 10:30pm, they knocked on the door of the plaintiff to drop off the cookies, then dashed away so they wouldn’t ruin the surprise. The resident, 49 year old Wanita Young, claims that she was terrified of the shadowy figures lurking around her door and sued them for causing an anxiety attack. The judge ordered the girls to pay Young $900 in damages as a result. However, after the lawsuit went public, many people sent well-wishes and money to help the girls pay their fine, and to encourage them to continue to do good deeds.

Haunted House Was Too Scary

In 1999, a woman tried to sue Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida for causing “psychological trauma” after her visit to the theme park. She claimed that the Haunted House of Horror was too scary and should pay her for damages. The suit was thrown out based on the fact that being scared by a haunted house was not a legitimate personal injury claim.

Weatherman Sued for Inaccurate Forecast

In Israel, a woman sued a local television station because the weatherman had forecast a nice day, but it ended up raining instead. The woman claims she wasn’t dressed properly as a result of the forecast and got sick with the flu causing her to miss work and spend money on medication. Amazingly, she won the case and was awarded $1000 from the station.

Man Sues Fear Factor for Nausea

A man tried to sue the television show, Fear Factor, for making him feel nauseous and dizzy, causing him to fall and get a concussion. He claimed that watching contestants eat bugs made him feel so sick, that he tried to get up and run away from his television, but stumbled and bumped his head on the way out. The case was dismissed with court members wondering why he didn’t just turn off the TV or close his eyes.

Suicide Attempt Gone Wrong Ends in Lawsuit

A woman in New York City tried to commit suicide by lying down on the subway train tracks. Her wish to die, however, went unfulfilled. She lived, but was seriously injured. She surprisingly won her lawsuit against the State of New York and was awarded damages in the amount of $14.1 Million.

It seems that no matter what your injury you may be eligible for compensation. If you’ve been injured contact Keefe Bartels to see if you have a valid claim.

What Types of Elevators Are There?

elevator types

There are many different types of elevators available. it can be confusing to know which is best for your building. Before deciding which way you want to go, it’s helpful to understand the varied functions and basic mechanics of each type of elevator. At Liberty Elevator, we specialize in multiple types of both hydraulic and traction elevators.

Hydraulic Elevators

The majority of passenger elevators in smaller buildings are hydraulic elevators. Hydraulic elevators tend to be less expensive to install than traction elevators, which increases their popularity. All hydraulic elevators operate using a piston system to raise the cab from the bottom, pushing up to different levels, guided by rails. Hydraulic elevators can typically travel 2-8 stories high, and move at a top speed of about 200 feet per minute. The machine room for hydraulic elevators needs to be located on the bottom floor of the building, near the elevator.

Hydraulic Roped elevators use both a piston and rope system to raise and lower the cab. The addition of the rope or cable allows the elevator to rise to a higher distance. The ropes will raise the platform using a cantilevered system by pulling up and over the top of the elevator, passing over a hydraulic jack. Since the cables travel up the back side of the cab, only a front-entry door system is possible with a hydraulic roped elevator.

Traction Elevators – Geared and Gearless

Traction elevators, also known as pull elevators, work on a system of ropes and pulleys, which pull the elevator using an overhead motor and counterweight. These kinds of elevators use less expensive motors and require less energy to run than hydraulic elevators. Traction elevators move at much higher speeds than hydraulic elevators.

Standard geared traction elevators use a geared motor at the top of the shaft. The motor turns the gears, which lift the ropes, raising the elevator platform and lowering the counterweight. The top speed of a geared traction elevator is about 500 feet per minute.

Gearless traction elevators move on the same principal, but are driven by a gearless wheel at the top of the control system. The wheel is attached directly to the motor in a gearless system. These elevators can travel much faster, with top speeds at close to 2000 feet per minute. Traction elevators, due to their efficiency and speed, are ideally suited for high-rise applications.

Severance Pay Questions You Should Always Ask

Severance QuestionsLayoffs are a significant concern, given the current economy and sheer number of unemployed workers across the U.S. It’s no wonder that severance pay is a widely discussed topic and questions surrounding the do’s and don’ts of severance pay and employee rights to severance pay are numerous. Let’s start by defining severance pay, which is the specific amount of money an employee would receive after being laid off or agreeing to voluntary early retirement. Because severance pay issues are complex and unique to each situation, let’s take a look at a few severance pay questions you should always ask.

I have been laid off from my job; am I entitled to severance pay?

Businesses are not required under employment law to offer you severance (with exceptions in some cases, which we will discuss below); however, your employer may decide to offer severance pay if it wishes to maintain a quality reputation and relationship with its employees, as well as to remain in good graces with the public and its employees it lays off. Be aware, however, that a company may also offer severance pay as a negotiation tool, potentially swaying you to give up your legal rights.

Cases where employees are legally entitled to severance pay include cases where your employment contract specifically states you are entitled to it, your company policy stipulates a severance pay, or your company institutes a massive layoff without supplying a 60-day notice (required under the WARN act).

I am entitled to severance pay, but how is my severance calculated?

Many companies include a formula for determining your severance package in their policies and procedures handbook; however, if this is not the case, then there are several factors which are considered when arriving at a severance package, including:

  • Your position within the company, such as executive level or management level, etc.;
  • The longevity of your career with the company;
  • The size of your company;
  • Whether or not severance pay is pre-established in your employment contract.

To be noted, your severance package is generally negotiable to some degree, so do not rush to sign the severance package offer without fully reviewing the offer and negotiating to the fullest extent.

Severance is always cash, right?

Severance is not always cash. Sometimes a severance package may include the company extending health benefits for an extended period of time following the layoff or include life insurance, career coaching, or outplacement services to aid in securing another employment opportunity. While severance pay does come in the form of some type of cash payment in many instances, this is not always the case.

What else should I know when considering severance pay?

To be considered when discussing a severance package:

  • Severance packages will affect your ability to claim unemployment insurance;
  • Severance packages can affect your tax liability;
  • Severance packages can negate your legal rights if not fully vetted by your or with an employment lawyer;
  • Severance can ease the transitional time period from being laid off until finding new employment.

For assistance with anything to do with your severance package, contact a severance lawyers who offers both a flat-fee review and negotiation services.

Am I In An Abusive Relationship?

Abusive RelationshipRelationships are tough. Making them last is work. But, it’s important to know the difference between working at a healthy relationship versus an unhealthy one. Despite its constant media attention, with movies like Fear and Sleeping with the Enemy, abusive relationships are still common occurrence. So how do you know when your partner is being abusive?

Types of Abuse

Let’s first take a look at the different types of abuse that can exist. Typically, when people address abusive relationships or domestic violence, physical abuse is what comes to mind. Slapping, punching, kicking, throwing things, choking, using unnecessary force, and even threats of bodily harm are all considered forms of physical abuse. However, a person in a relationship may endure other types of abuse such as verbal, emotional, mental, sexual, and even economic abuse. Threatening language, yelling, verbal intimidation, teasing, and criticism are ways that an individual may verbally abuse his or her partner. Meanwhile, public embarrassment, possessiveness, constant monitoring, and demeaning comments or behavior constitutes emotional abuse.

If your partner manipulates you, lies to you, or blames you for their own behaviors, you may be experiencing mental abuse in your relationship. Sexual abuse in a relationship may involve using physical force, verbal pressure, or making an individual do anything sexual in nature that he or she does not want to do. And finally, controlling the financial freedom of a partner by forcing them to quit a job, limiting their access to money, or preventing their professional advancement can be considered economic abuse.

Unhealthy and Dangerous

Abuse, in any form, is a serious matter that can escalate into a situation that is dangerous. It is important to recognize the signs and understand that there is a problem, so that you can take the proper steps to protect yourself. Below are some of the common signs of abusive relationships.

  • Your partner shows a strong need for your relationship to become serious early on.
  • Your partner admits to previous abusive behaviors in past relationships.
  • Your partner displays sudden mood swings, from happy to angry, maybe even involving cruelty.
  • Your partner exhibits possessiveness, jealousy, and/or controlling behaviors.
  • Your partner attempts to isolate you from friends and family.
  • Your partner blames others. Mistakes are not your partner’s fault. Your partner feels a certain way because of what you or someone else has done.
  • Your partner embarrasses and/or criticizes you, possibly even calling you degrading names.
  • Your partner threatens violence.

Heed The Warning Signs

Are these signs familiar? If so, you may be the victim of an abusive relationship. The first step in dealing with an abusive relationship is to plan for your own safety and the safety of your loved ones. Having an emergency bag packed and ready for you to leave should an abusive situation break out, as well as memorizing emergency numbers and talking to others that you trust about the problem, are all key steps in the planning process. The next time that the abuse occurs, leave and find a safe location. If you’ve been physically harmed contact local police and seek medical attention. Contacting your local domestic abuse hotline or participating in your county’s domestic violence program can also help you seek professional support. From there a knowledgeable and experienced domestic violence attorney can work with you to decide how to pursue legal actions. You may decide to press criminal charges, depending on the extent of your abuse, or you may opt to file for a restraining order in civil court. Either way, a lawyer will know the best course of action for your personal situation.

In New Jersey, contact The Law Office of Jonathan Marshall, a lawyer to learn how we can help you if you’ve been the victim of domestic violence or subjected to abuse. You don’t have to be a victim.

How Much Do New Jersey Wedding DJs Really Cost?

Wedding DJ PricesWe all know weddings, in general, cost a pretty penny…or several thousand – but what about the entertainment side of the coin? How much is wedding entertainment worth to you? Obviously, there are varying degrees of answers for this question, so we’ll start at the bottom and take a ride to the top to determine how much wedding DJ’s in New Jersey really cost.

Cost: $0 – …

Let’s start with a DIY (do it yourself) bride and groom to be; who are probably thinking they can whip out a stereo or blast their favorite iPhone wedding playlist – and in all reality, they can! Ah, but at what cost? In order to DJ your own wedding using an iPod, you’ll still probably need to rent an amplification system with speakers in order to make the music loud enough for the reception party. So, the DIYers may make out cheap on the DJ-side of wedding life, but ‘cheap’ is…well, the right word to use. After all, can you really put a price on the entertainment of your wedding guests?

Cost: $200-$400

If your budget for wedding entertainment is in this range, chances are, you’ve hired a friend or a “hobby” DJ. All the while thinking you’re getting a really great deal and saving tons of money, you’re really playing a game of Russian roulette. More often than not, wedding DJ’s that fall into this range generally have a unique persona – maybe overly enjoying the open bar or finding their attention divided between being a ‘good’ DJ and romancing the ladies.

Cost: $400-$600

Wedding packages or budgets in this range can filter into two categories:

  1. The length of entertainment time is shortened and the ‘extras’ are non-existent in an effort to keep to the budget;
  2. You’ve settled for a substandard wedding DJ in light of your budget.

In either case, you can expect your wedding entertainment to be adequate, but you might want to rule out a mind-blowing experience.

Cost: $600-900

Now, you’re moving up in the world. While still on the lower end of price points for wedding DJ packages in New Jersey, this budget range usually involves quality DJs and adequate entertainment time and music selection. With this budget, you can expect a few ‘extras’ to be thrown in by the DJ company. Although still not a premier experience, wedding DJ packages in this range leave the guests with a memorable time.

Cost: $900 and Up

Here’s where the party really starts hopping. If you want to leave your guests with unforgettable memories of your wedding, spending over $1,000 on your DJ service or wedding entertainment service is a given. With this budget, you can expect your DJs to pull out all the stops with tons of ‘extras,’ high quality equipment, an expansive music selection, experienced DJs and hours of entertainment time.

Understanding Statute of Limitations

Statute of LimitationsEach state in the U.S. has its own laws governing civil statutes of limitations. These are specific time limits for filing civil actions in court. With certain exceptions, if your state’s statutory period expires, you lose the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages for a civil wrong.

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit varies from one year (Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee) to six years (Maine, Minnesota and North Dakota). However, the specifics of the claims often mean you have different time limits in the same state. For example, in Minnesota, you have six years to file a personal injury suit which alleges negligent conduct, but if the injury is a result of intentional misconduct, you must file your suit within two years. The statute of limitations for different types of civil actions, such as medical malpractice, product liability claims often vary within the same state.

Discovery Rule

An injured party is not always aware of their injury right away, or of the cause. The discovery rule allows you to file a suit within a reasonable period of time after you become aware of your injury, though this rule doesn’t apply to all civil injuries. Statutes governing time limits are typically very distinct, with specific stipulations. In Colorado, you must file your medical malpractice lawsuit within two years from the date that your injury was either actually discovered, or should have been, but it may not be more than three years from the act which gave rise to your injury.

Tolling of Statute of Limitations

Tolling means a statute has stopped running for a length of time. This could be due your age if you were a minor when you were injured, or mental incompetence. Some states make a distinction between notice and filing of a civil action lawsuit. Ohio requires that you provide notice to the defendant within one year of the act that resulted in your medical malpractice injury. You may then file your lawsuit 180 days after you give this notice. You “toll” the statute of limitations by 180 days via service of the notice.

Statute of Repose

A Statute of Repose limits when you may file a claim regardless of when the injury occurs. These affect products liability claims in personal injury cases. North Dakota provides for the commencement of a civil product liability action up to 10 years after you initially purchase the product, but the statute of repose limits you to 11 years after the product was manufactured.

If you’ve been injured, talk to an attorney who practices injury law to learn exactly how much time you have to file a claim. If you’re in the Tri-State area contact a Jersey City personal injury lawyer to help expedite your claim and get you the compensation you deserve.

15 Drunk Driving Facts

Drunk Driving FactsDrunk driving laws vary state to state. Here are a look at some facts about New Jersey.

Fact: If you are convicted for a DUI in New Jersey, you will face stiff penalties and fines, including the possibility of jail time, license suspension, ignition interlock device, surcharges, community service, and IDRC classes.

Fact: You can fight DUI charges and win your DUI case in court. There are many defenses and strategies an experienced attorney can employ to win your DUI case in the New Jersey court system. You do not have to accept or plead guilty to the DUI conviction.

Fact: To be found guilty of a DUI, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must be 0.08% or higher and the arresting officer must show probable cause for pulling you over, as well as demonstrate that proper protocol was followed.

Fact: Standardized field sobriety tests are not considered ‘solid’ or ‘reliable’ evidence and can be challenged in court. These tests only have a 65-68% accuracy rate in healthy individuals.

Fact: Reciting the alphabet, finger-to-nose testing, and counting backwards are not standardized field sobriety tests. These tests are not considered to be valid proof of driving under the influence in New Jersey and can be excluded as evidence in your case by a skilled DUI attorney.

Fact: The violation of your driver’s rights is a valid argument and defense in a DUI case and can lead to dismissing DUI charges altogether.

Fact: So long as no lines were crossed, weaving in your own lane is not considered probable cause and is not illegal in New Jersey.

Fact: The breathalyzer test must be administered following strict protocol. Failure to follow protocol or administer correctly can lead to full dismissal of all DUI charges.

Fact: The New Jersey officer must keep you under a 20 minute observation before conducting a breath test.

Fact: The New Jersey officer must read you New Jersey’s Implied Consent Warning prior to administering the breathalyzer.

Fact: Cough drops, asthma inhalers, finger nail polish, and paint can all affect the results of your breath test.

Fact: New Jersey State is required to resolve your case within 60 days of arrest.

Fact: You cannot be forced against your will to give urine or blood samples.

Fact: In the state of New Jersey, you can be charged with refusal to submit to breath testing.

Fact: The Alcotest machine is not unequivocal and results can be challenged.

If you’ve been charged with drunk driving contact a DWI Attorney to help challenge the state’s case against you.

Jennifer Hudson Before and After Story

Pregnancy weight can be hard to lose. You have the demands of being a new mother, such as late night feedings, plenty of cuddling, and of course a constant lack of sleep. All of this can make it difficult to prioritize your own health and fitness. However, if you’re looking to lose that stubborn baby weight, take a cue from renowned singer and actress – Jennifer Hudson.

In 2009, shortly following the birth of her first child, Jennifer Hudson decided to embark on a weight loss journey. Resisting the numerous diet fads available in Hollywood, Hudson focused on a healthy diet. Instead of eliminating foods entirely or using a strict regimen, she made portion sizes and moderation the key to her weight loss success.

Jennifer Hudson weight lossJennifer’s triumphant 80 pound weight loss can be attributed to the Weight Watchers PointsPlus Program. The plan is based on a points system, where each food is given a point value based on its nutritional content – carbohydrates, fats, protein, and fiber. As a WW member, you are allotted a number of points each day depending on your gender, age, weight, and height. Basically, this is the same concept as counting calories, but it takes into account nutritional value of food in a simple way. This encourages people to eat healthy options instead of empty calories.

Jennifer Hudson Before and After Story keys in on healthy food choices, controlling portion sizes, and allowing yourself indulgences in moderation which are key to weight loss and a permanent lifestyle change. Jennifer Hudson’s body transformation from a size 16 to a 6 has been documented by tabloids and health magazines worldwide. Hudson’s success was so inspiring that she’s become a spokesmodel for the company. You can easily follow Jennifer Hudson’s diet plan by joining a Weight Watchers near you or online.

Click here to learn more about the Jennifer Hudson Weight Loss Story.