Questions in the Law & Government category.
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May 25

Need advice about a legal issue regarding an office I rented

My friend rented an office in San Rafael, California with the understanding that the office would be air-conditioned. He has a medical condition that makes this necessary. They are not air-conditioning the office the way they promised. What legal recourse does he have? How can he find a suitable lawyer? [more inside]
posted by Surprised By Bees at 9:31 PM - 0 answers

Are you legally a landlord if you're not charging rent?

What if you have a piece of property, like a vacant lot, that homeless people live on in tents. Are you doing anything illegal by not clearing them off? Presumably you're legally liable for anything that happens on the property -- somebody gets stabbed, their relative could sue you into homelessness yourself. Is there insurance for that kind of thing? What if you had a port-a-potty or two. Or a low-key, unarmed, security guard stroll around just to discourage overt, public, crime on the property. Would you be changing your legal standing? [more inside]
posted by mrmurbles at 4:04 PM - 5 answers

Identifying state legislature swing districts

I'm interested in finding a site that lets me identify swing races for state legislatures, so that I can give those candidates my money. In essence, I'm looking for the state-by-state equivalent of swingleft.org. [more inside]
posted by chrisamiller at 3:13 PM - 2 answers

The senate is no longer congressional?

The lede of this news article about yesterday's dustup in Montana states: "The Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat was charged..." Wikipedia confirms that Montana has only one representative in the House, but they have 2 senators like everyone else and last I checked the Senate is part of the US Congress. I saw similar phrasing in a few other articles about the incident. Surely this is not correct. What gives?
posted by duoshao at 11:48 AM - 4 answers

Home-Based LA business legal or not?

We just bought a home in Los Angeles. Yay! It has a separate suite that is perfect for me to have my bodywork practice in (something like massage). But before we close escrow, how can I figure out if I can legally get a business license/insurance for it? I heard a rumor that California doesn't let you have a home-based business if you receive clients. I receive 20-40 a week, one at a time, very quietly. I tried to google it but couldn't find information specific to my area (zip code 90041). Before we close on the perfect home, can you put my fears of joblessness to rest? Thank you!
posted by andreapandrea at 6:01 AM - 6 answers

May 24

Developing new card game. Legal protections?

I'm in the process of developing a new card game. Before I actually begin selling this as a product, I'd like to be sure I understand how much and what kind of legal protections I should have in place so my/family personal assets are safe. [more inside]
posted by quantum at 4:46 PM - 7 answers

Academic/Historian Filter: How did we stop seeing each other as people?

I'm looking for a non-partisan book on the history of U.S. politics. This is a huge topic, but I'm trying to better understand how politics in the U.S. has become so divided, especially why liberals and conservatives can't seem to understand (or want to understand) each other's perspectives. The news is not helpful for this; either there's too much spin or not enough historical context. More below the fold. [more inside]
posted by onecircleaday at 8:54 AM - 12 answers

May 23

Should I apply for Hungarian citizenship?

I'm a US citizen/resident and I'm considering whether to apply for Hungarian citizenship by descent. What advantages and ramifications should I consider? [more inside]
posted by R a c h e l at 9:23 AM - 18 answers

May 20

Is BAP certification useful for avoiding slave-produced shrimp?

I see some packaged shrimp from Vietnam that is labeled with a Best Aquaculture Practices Certifcation. Is that BAP certification actually worth anything for trying to avoid shrimp brought to market by slave labor? Mother Jones was skeptical back in 2013, but I'm having trouble finding any more recent evaluations of BAP.
posted by straight at 11:28 AM - 2 answers

May 19

Legal Question about an estate deed transfer to multiple parties...

Understanding YANML or YANAL, here's the situation:
  • Mom passed away.
  • Her will gives her half of a summer cabin to my sister and I. (25% each)
  • The other half is owned by my two cousins (25% each).
  • I am the estate executor.
[more inside]
posted by ecorrocio at 1:05 PM - 9 answers

May 18

Worried about my friend's immigration status

I'm really worried for my friend. She came here as a 13 or 14 year old from Cameroon with her mother. She's 25 now. Her mother recently became a citizen. [more inside]
posted by bookman117 at 10:06 PM - 9 answers

Opening an Estate Account in California

My mother's estate did not require probate because she didn't have enough assets. But now, the bank won't let me deposit her many checks from her insurance and income tax refunds into her account. Because they are made out to The Estate. They said I need an estate account. [more inside]
posted by generic230 at 11:39 AM - 10 answers

May 17

Ordering vitamins from Canada in the USA?

Is it legal to order vitamins from Canada in the US? All I'm finding is info on importing prescription drugs from Canada for personal use (not legal, but often ignored) or on the legality of bringing vitamins/supplements to Canada from the US. [more inside]
posted by johnofjack at 4:57 PM - 7 answers

May 16

Which Half Of US Counties Have ‘No Access’ To Care?

A few years ago, it was widely reported that many US counties don't have access to mental health professionals. Which ones? [more inside]
posted by :-) at 7:07 AM - 5 answers

Why would you fix a meaningless election?

I'm the outgoing President of a small student club that is part of a small post-graduate faculty at a large University. Imagine something in the vein of "First Generation Medical Students Club" or "Korean American MBA Students Association". I recently ran an election for my replacement. One of the candidates has probably attempted to fix the election, though they were unsuccessful. What now? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 4:51 AM - 16 answers

May 15

US Impeachment Process: How Do I Work This?

What are the House rules for beginning impeachment? Legal or historical training, or government experience, might qualify you to answer. Please, no guesswork. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by j_curiouser at 10:10 PM - 9 answers

White House Oval Office conversations

When the President and a World leader sit down in the Oval Office and have a conversation, is there a record of the conversation? [more inside]
posted by rudy26 at 7:07 PM - 5 answers

Physician contract review in Wisconsin

Can anyone recommend an attorney to review a physician employment contract in Wisconsin?
posted by anonymous at 4:19 PM - 2 answers

May 14

Are the recipients of DoD/DNI contracts a matter of public record?

I'd like to learn the revenue a particular company receives from US Defense and Intelligence contracts. Is there a public record of contract awardees?
posted by Coventry at 5:07 PM - 3 answers

May 13

Should my friend accept this class action settlement?

Asking for a friend. Should my friend accept a class-action settlement, if the claim form requires him to admit wrongdoing? [more inside]
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:12 AM - 13 answers

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