Monthly Archives: October 2011

How to Find the Right Lawyer

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When shopping for services, the best way to find a good provider is to ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations. “Say, Bob, do you know a good plumber?” works well for services that many people use. But what do you do when you need a service that many of your friends and acquaintances haven’t used? For example, a lawyer.

If no one you know can recommend a lawyer – or recommend one for your particular legal issue – you’ll need to find one on your own. Fortunately, there is an organization that can help you choose: your local bar association. … Read More

What is the “assessed value” of your home?

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As you know, real estate values have declined in recent years. Are you wondering about the value of the homes in your neighborhood? One way to check the value of your property or the property down the street is to review the “assessed value.”  Although the assessed value of property is not the same as the appraised value or market value, it can be useful for comparison purposes.

All states have a system for establishing the value of land and buildings referred to as the “assessed value.” The “assessed value” is used for the purpose of calculating property taxes. Property … Read More

What’s in a Name?

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What’s in a name? Quite a bit, considering the number of people who legally change their names in the United States each year. Many choose to change their names after a marriage or divorce; still others decide to do so because they simply do not like the name their parents gave them at birth.

Once the decision to change their name is made many people are at a loss for how to get started. Although details of the requirements for a legal name change vary by state, in general the procedure is much the same. In fact, the common law Read More

EPA Launches New Mapping Tool

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently launched a new mapping tool in its Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database. In an effort to improve transparency, the EPA and State Enforcement Actions Map will provide the public with access to EPA and state compliance and enforcement information for more than 800,000 regulated facilities nationwide. Most of the data will be refreshed monthly to include up to date information about the enforcement actions taken to address water, air, and hazardous waste law violations.

The ECHO website allows users to search for permit, inspection, violation, enforcement action, informal enforcement action, … Read More