Megan’s Law – It’s Only Half The Battle

Spend some time in any PTA meeting, Mommy & Me group, or even a playdate with friends and it isn’t long before the conversation turns into a worried discussion about Megan’s Law and the sex offender information that parents can now readily access with just a few clicks of their computer mouse.

Parents everywhere are feverishly checking these websites, sometimes weekly or even daily, to see if a registered sex offender resides nearby. Unfortunately, there are a few flaws in this perceived “safety net” that well-intentioned parents should know.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE proponent of Megan’s Law and the information it provides. I strongly believe that once a sex offender has been released back into the community, the public has the absolute right to know their whereabouts.

But… focusing solely on this component of child safety can do a serious disservice to our kids, IF we stop there.

A Basic Overview of Megan’s Law

Megan’s Law is a federal law, signed on May 17, 1996 by President Bill Clinton. It is named for 7 year old Megan Nicole Kanka of Hamilton Township, New Jersey, who tragically, was sexually abused and killed in 1994 by a twice-convicted pedophile who lived across the street from her home. Unaware of his presence and criminal history, Megan’s parents, Maureen and Richard Kanka, were devastated and outraged. They established the Megan Nicole Kanka Foundation and lobbied government officials to create a law which would require all 50 states to release information regarding the presence of convicted sex offenders in our communities. In it’s most basic terms, the law mandates that the public has the right to know the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders once they have been released, and that all 50 states must make this information available to the public.

Many states have created a dedicated Megan’s Law website, to which the public can log onto through their own personal computer and research the data pertinent to their town or local community.

There are several ways you can check the Megan’s Law sex offender register in your state. In my home state of California, the website is meganslaw.ca.gov. To access the information in your state, you can visit familywatchdog.us. This website provides a free national sex offender registry link and also contains excellent safety information. You may also check your state’s Attorney General’s website, your State Police website, or visit megannicolekankafoundation.org.

Only Part of the Solution…

While Megan’s Law is an excellent awareness tool and provides vital information to the public, parents must remember that it can only do so much.

To begin with, a sex offender register is not a perfect system. In some instances, registered offenders may or may not actually be living where they are listed. Depending on which state you live in, you may even have some registered offenders whose whereabouts are not made public due to an exclusionary clause in the law. For example, some offenders fall into the “undisclosed category” – which means they areregistered with the state, but their information is not accessible on the website. According to the California Dept. of Justice, approximately 25% of registered offenders are excluded from public disclosure by law, depending on the type of crime that person has been convicted of.

More importantly, parents must remember that there are plenty of sex offenders out there who simply haven’t been caught, and therefore, are not listed on any register. As a result, we need to protect our kids from those who may be “flying under the radar” as it were.

What’s A Parent To Do?

Be a PRO-ACTIVE parent rather than a REACTIVE one. A PRO-ACTIVE parent can beat a sex offender at their own game. By now, many parents are somewhat familiar with the real statistic that 90% of child sexual abuse happens by someone the child knows, not by a stranger. Since that’s the real issue, it’s time we started looking at prevention education in a way actually protects our children.

Kids need to be taught how to recognize and defend their personal boundaries with adults they interact with. They need to understand what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior from a grown up (or even an older child), and what to do if they get a red flag or “uh-oh” feeling from someone’s improper actions.

In plain English, kids need to know what to do if “Coach Smith” tries to touch a private part of their body, or if a babysitter or relative wants to play a physical “touching game” that just feels weird or “yucky”. These are much more common scenarios than the stranger who may or may not be living down the street.

Megan’s Law is a good start in protecting our kids. Yet, it’s still only half the battle. With smart prevention education in conjunction with Megan’s Law, we can offer each other a real solution to keeping our children safe.

10 Prevention Tips for Parents

1. Don’t equate stranger with danger. Teach your child how to recognize a potentially dangerous action or situation instead. (“Thumbs up or thumbs down!”)

2. Be involved in your child’s activities. As a “visible parent”, you’ll have a better opportunity to observe how other adults interact with your child.

3. Screen caregivers and babysitters carefully. Always check references – no matter who they come recommended by.

4. Pay attention to clues and cues in other adults’ behavior around your child. A predator’s grooming tricks can be very subtle at first. For example, is there someone who continually tries to arrange “alone time” with your child, often working very hard to create the opportunity by using flattery or suggesting outings that don’t include you?

5. Listen to your child, especially if they consistently don’t want to be around a particular person, such as a babysitter, relative, or family friend. They may be sensing “a red flag” that you are unaware of.

6. Let children decide for themselves how they want to express affection. Do not force them to a hug or kiss another person if they don’t want to.

7. Spend quality time with your children. Kids who are starved for affection or attention can be vulnerable targets for a child molester or predator.

8. Be alert to anyone who insists on being physical with your child (hugging, kissing, tickling, wrestling, touching) especially when the child seems uneasy or has asked them to stop.

9. Let children know they have the right to say NO to any unwanted touches or physical attention. It’s okay to say NO even to a grownup or a bigger kid, and then immediately tell a grownup they trust (like mom or dad) as soon as they can.

10. Review and practice basic safety skills with your children often. Children need to hear the information more than just once to really understand.

Becoming an English Solicitor – The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS)

English law is held in high esteem; London is among the leading legal cities in the world; and talented and qualified lawyers continue to seek to become English solicitors.

Job prospects are decent for lawyers in the UK and by becoming an English solicitor, you increase your employability. Once qualified, you will be able to practise law cross-border, finding employment in England, Europe and further afield in countries including Australia, South Africa and Russia. In addition, you broaden your professional knowledge, understanding and experience which similarly broadens your career prospects.

As a qualified English solicitor, you will be in a stronger position to offer your existing and future clients more legal services. As well as finding employment as a solicitor in England and Wales, your wider career prospects are enhanced when you gain the QLTS. You may choose to practise law in your home jurisdiction, in which case you will benefit from an improved professional track-record and marketability. Or work as an English solicitor in London. Or perhaps even find a role in an international law firm which has a base in the EU, and live and work anywhere in the world.

Whichever career path is right for you, being an English solicitor will bring you more business and greater financial rewards. And this is enhanced by the high standard of competence associated with newly qualified solicitors of England and Wales thanks to the method of assessment – whether you choose the fast-track QLTS route or the domestic route.

Under the existing Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme, the QLTS (previously, the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test, the QLTT), international lawyers as well as barristers in England and Wales, are assessed to ensure they meet the necessary standards required to practise English law. Those admitted to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales through the QLTS have an even greater professional profile thanks to this high level of testing.

The QLTS training places international lawyers on a par with domestic lawyers, making for a more level playing field. The same standard expected of domestic lawyers is expected from overseas lawyers wanting to apply for the QLTS and lawyers who pass the QLTS have the same level of competence as lawyers qualified to practise English law through the domestic route.

Now is certainly a good time to become an English solicitor, as the financial implications of the recession start to ease and the employment markets open up once more. The QLTS offers two major improvements to candidates compared to the QLTT – there is the English language test and the removal of the experience requirement. These are both positive developments for international lawyers wanting to train as English solicitors.

As a result of these enhancements to the QLTS, more confidence is instilled in successful candidates. There is rigorous testing of all applicants’ practical skills as part of the course. This ensures no one experiences discrimination as everyone is treated the same and assessed to the same standard – although of course because the means of testing is objective, issues regarding ages and disabilities of candidates will naturally be taken into consideration. Candidates who meet the necessary standard will be admitted as a solicitor of England and Wales. Clients will therefore know that all qualified English solicitors, regardless of their route to qualification, are competent and have the professional knowledge, skills, behaviours and ethics needed to perform legal duties well.

The QLTS is an affirmative step for all international lawyers, and barristers in England and Wales, seeking to train as English solicitors. The system is fairer but equally stringent and allows only the highest calibre of lawyers to pass the QLTS assessments.

If you want to become an English solicitor, a big factor in determining whether you’ll pass your QLTS course is the course provider itself. Without excellent teaching, informative materials, a support network, and experienced staff to guide you through, passing will be more difficult. The QLTS School programme offers a dedicated approach to the QLTS assessments – and because it’s completely focused on the one test, students really benefit from an array of advice and support that is always available.

The QLTS School is committed to helping international lawyers become English solicitors. Our website has information for every stage of the process, from what you need to do to be eligible for the QLTS to applying for the course. There is advice about careers, the benefits of practising English law, and guidance for every step of the course.

With over ten years’ experience and thousands of international lawyers who have successfully qualified as English solicitors, the QLTS School has an excellent reputation and a high candidate pass rate. The QLTS course is comprehensive and convenient, and you will have all the materials you need to study – including distance learning courses, video and audio lectures, and access to the online study portal – and the freedom to study when it suits you. The study portal lets you communicate with other candidates, as well as access all the teaching tools including videos, audio and PowerPoint presentations.

Created by skilled legal professionals who have worked extensively with international lawyers and understand their needs, the QLTS School programme provides you with everything you need to pass your QLTS assessments and go on to enjoy an extensive career as an English solicitor.

Where to Find Asbestos Mesothelioma Legal Information

People today have different reasons for looking up asbestos mesothelioma legal information. Some have suspicions regarding various symptoms that they feel while others do not just have suspicions but already have confirmations. These people are often quite confused and are looking for guidance regarding the things that they should do. They see information and knowledge as the only way they can actually use. If you are one of those people, or just someone doing research, then you should know that getting accurate asbestos mesothelioma legal information is quite essential mainly because the topic is dealing with health related issues.

Here are some tips to help you out:

1) Consult a lawyer – Where else do you get asbestos mesothelioma legal information than from someone who is an expert in all manner of legalities. Of course, finding a good lawyer to get your information from can be quite hard, especially today when a lot of lawyers are looking to get some cash from asbestos litigation. By consulting a lawyer who actually has had experience handling mesothelioma cases, then you will be able to make sure that you are not be wasting your time talking to that person.

There is, however, an issue regarding how fair any sort of asbestos mesothelioma legal information that comes from any lawyer is. This is because of the fact that lawyers are always on the constant lookout for new clients. Even a simple inquiry for asbestos mesothelioma legal information may end up with you retaining that lawyer’s services simply because of the amount of marketing that he or she has placed within the information. When you get asbestos mesothelioma legal information from a lawyer, be sure to try and screen out the propaganda.

2) Go to a library – If you are still just scanning various places for asbestos mesothelioma legal information simply as an initial guide to help you decide whether to litigate or not, then the library should give you all the information that you will need. Any sort of library will surely yield some sort of asbestos mesothelioma legal information that you can use. However, if you are truly looking for in-depth studies of asbestos litigation, then you should try to look at various law libraries. By researching in a law library, you will be able to access the actual materials that some lawyers use when they are preparing for a case. However, this may also mean that you need to actually research like a lawyer and get down and dusty with the different books. Although this may seem like dreary work, the end product is definitely worth it.

3) Go to the internet – Many people today are turning to the internet for the majority of their information needs. This is because the internet may contain pages upon pages of the asbestos mesothelioma legal information that you need. However, as with consulting lawyers, this type of information can be pretty hard to verify if it is fair or not. This is mainly because a lot of people see the internet as a chance to dupe others. Some lawyers place asbestos mesothelioma legal information that helps them convince people that the only solution to their problem is litigation. Some companies under fire also use the internet to scatter false information which could deter people from pursuing any inquiries.

When you have found the asbestos mesothelioma legal information that you want, what are you to do with it? Well, as said before, people use information in different ways. However, on the off-chance that you are one of those people who are looking for asbestos mesothelioma legal information in order to help them find some sort of stability amidst the chaos of both the disease and the legal implications thereof, then you should definitely think of what to do with the information you have gathered.

The first thing that you have to think about is how the information applies to you. Which pieces of the asbestos mesothelioma legal information that you have gathered can you actually use and just how might you be able to utilize them? Knowing this will help you focus the specifics of your case if you ever choose to litigate. The next move that you need to make would be to consult a lawyer and retain his or her services. Remember to pick a good lawyer to help you with your case. Think of all the research you did as preparation. Gathering enough asbestos mesothelioma legal information can help you familiarize yourself with the various tactics that your lawyer may use and thus, make the case much easier for the both of you.

As you can see, asbestos mesothelioma legal information can be extremely helpful if you know how to handle it correctly. The key is in finding the right sort of information and actually knowing how to utilize it well.

What Is Business Law?

In today’s society, many people are starting new businesses and they need to legally register their company. If a business is not registered, the owners may be breaking the law as they would be accused of running the business illegally. When a company wants to merge with another firm, they should have a written contract which both parties need to sign. These agreements should be drafted by a business lawyer who should guide the firms during the process. Business law covers a wide branch of knowledge across a variety of disciplines.

Business law covers all aspects of trade from the registration of a business to hiring employees and selling goods across the globe. A business may need a lawyer to help with the relevant terms of agreement and sales and present them to the other parties. When a company wants to bid for tender or have a project, the lawyer needs to come up with various proposals to present to the other parties. At times, disputes arise and when there was no binding agreement, the business suffers a huge loss.

There are some companies that do not keep in mind the terms and codes of trade especially within their intentional market. Failing to comply with the law is a serious offense and the company may end up folding as a result. A company should look to hire a lawyer who is aware of the business laws set by the Department of Trade and the lawyer ought to find out how the company performs in their industry without bypassing federal laws.

Business law also covers the partnership aspect of the company. At times, the companies who want to merge but they may still want to maintain their rights and recognition within their market. A good contract should be put in place and both parties should agree to work within the laid down rules and regulations in the contract. Many partnerships have landed in court simply because some codes were not met or the other party had more benefits than the other party did. Some aspects like profits, shares, and investments need to be addressed fully before signing a partnership agreement.

Before someone starts any business, they need to know the codes, laws, and terms of reference. Business law applies to all types of businesses whether it is a corporation, a sole proprietorship, or a company. The law requires that all companies and businesses need to be registered and trade within the law. When someone trades in illegal goods, they are required by the law to stand trial. The codes of trade need to be enforced fully and that every businessman understands what they mean. Business law terms are difficult to understand hence there is sometimes a need to hire a lawyer to interpret the message and ensure that the client know what each business documents entail. At times, some businesses may want to trade with other companies and need advice from their lawyers and other business professionals on the proposed plan. Business law can also cover issues such as privacy, copyright and issues involving tax.

All in all, business law ensures that a company practices in the correct way and that the business runs smoothly and that all the parties involved in the various commerce sectors understand the codes of operation.