Wednesday, June 21, 2017

3 Common Misconceptions About Criminal Defense

As Americans, we have a basic responsibility not to harm one another. We also all have a fundamental right to be treated fairly and justly even if we do inflict harm on others or perform other illegal activity. Criminal defense is the branch of law dedicated specifically to ensuring that those who break the law are given fair treatment. Despite its importance, the field of criminal law is commonly misrepresented and misunderstood. This week, our criminal defense attorney in Lake Ozark MO is here to shed some light on a few lesser-known aspects of criminal defense.



TV Doesn't Know Everything

Before we look at some of the specific aspects of criminal defense that most people are not familiar with, we want to take a moment to acknowledge where this lack of accurate familiarity and education comes from: the media. The legal arena is an extremely popular subject for TV shows, movies, and other forms of entertainment. For the sake of making their stories more intriguing, it is not uncommon for directors, producers, and actors to overplay, misrepresent, or distort the way something would occur in real life. 

Unfortunately, laypeople watching these movies, TV shows, etc have no way of knowing which aspects of the legal arena are represented accurately and which ones are distorted. As a result, many laypeople are not only uneducated about the way legal proceedings are typically handled - they may be unknowingly misinformed by their favorite sources of entertainment.

3 Things Some People Don't Know About Criminal Defense

Whether as a result of direct misinformation from the media or a general lack of education, there are many things people get wrong about the world of criminal defense. Here is a quick look at the the truth behind some common misconceptions about criminal defense.

1. Trials Take Hours Upon Hours Of Preparation
The image of an attorney calmly and casually strolling into court on the day of a trial may be a popular one, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. Criminal trials require hours and hours of intense preparation. Experienced attorneys dig through the facts again and again, examining the evidence and looking at all the details from every possible angle. We memorize everything we can about the case, and we make lists of questions we intend to ask witnesses. In short, we do everything we can to make sure we can present the evidence in favor of our client's position.

2. Good Attorneys Do Not Hide Or Tamper With Evidence
While we do our best to present the evidence in a light that favors our client's position, it is important to note that a good, trustworthy criminal defense attorney does not in any way tamper with or hide the evidence that is presented. The media likes to portray shady situations wherein attorneys and clients try to mask certain pieces of evidence. However, any criminal attorney worth his salt won't have to resort to such a poor, dishonest practice. We acknowledge and respect all evidence brought to the table - and we examine it further to see if there is perhaps a different perspective or interpretation that deserves attention.

3. All Attorneys Are Not Created Equal
Finally, it is important to recognize that your experience with one attorney will likely be drastically different than your experience with another. Like professionals in all industries, some attorneys are significantly more skilled and experienced than their peers. Building a successful case requires a great deal of attention to detail, and effectively navigating the rigors of litigation demands skill and prowess. When selecting an attorney to represent you, take the time to learn his history. If you aren't impressed with his track record, don't be afraid to look elsewhere for the representation you need.

Gibbons Law Firm Is Here For You

With a proven track record in criminal defense at the Lake of the Ozarks, the team at Gibbons Law Firm has the experience and skill you need to defend your rights. If you are facing criminal charges and looking for a criminal defense attorney in Mid-Missouri, we hope you'll consider scheduling an initial consultation with our firm.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.




Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

5 Things Employers Need To Know About Workplace Privacy Laws

As a business owner, you are likely well aware that the success of your company will largely depend on the quality of your employees. Their conduct both on and off the clock will impact multiple aspects of your business, including customer satisfaction, the quality of your product/services, and your company's overall reputation.


With so much at stake, the urge to monitor your employees' behavior is natural and expected. However, employees have a basic rights to personal privacy that you, as the employer, must respect. Violating these rights not only reflects poorly on you as an employer/business owner - it may also result in legal consequences. This week, our employment attorney in Lake Ozark, MO is here to help you understand some general guidelines about workplace privacy laws.

Things Employers Need To Know About Workplace Privacy

1. If You Own It, You Can Search It.
As an employer, you rarely (if ever) have the right to search your employees' personal belongings or devices. However, if your company owns the items in question, you have a right to search it if you believe you may find evidence that your employee is violating the law or your company's policies. Cars, laptops, phones, and other electronic devices are examples of items that you may be able to search.

2. You Can Listen In, But Not In Secret.
Employees are generally not allowed to take extended personal calls on office phone lines, for obvious reasons. Supervisors are typically allowed to monitor corporate calls to ensure that employees are handling client calls appropriately and that they aren't violating the company's rules about personal phone calls. However, it is wise to make sure that your employees know that you may choose to listen in on phone calls occasionally. Having new hires sign a waiver expressing this understanding may be a smart practice.

3. You Can Monitor Employees' Web Usage.
If your employees waste hours per week (or per day) browsing the web in ways that aren't related to work, they're not only hurting your company's overall productivity - they are essentially stealing from you by taking payment for time that was not spent working. Understandably, you may wish to monitor and, if necessary, restrict your employees' web usage while on company premises. Social media sites and sites containing adult content are common examples of websites that employers may choose to block. Generally speaking, blocking these sites from your employees' individual browsers or from your company's entire internet network is within your rights.

4. Off The Clock Is Out Of Your Jurisdiction.
Employees are crucial to the life of your business, but they are entitled to lives of their own as well. What your employees choose to do when they are not on the clock is their own business. You are not allowed to monitor their web activity, texts, or phone calls when they are off the clock, for example, nor are you allowed to track where they go or whom they spend time with. 

5. It's Better To Be Better Safe Than Sorry.
As a general rule, you are welcome to closely monitor employees while they are on the clock, on company premises, or using the company's belongings. However, when they are on their own time or using their own items, it is best to give their privacy a wide berth. 

If you have questions about whether or not certain searches or monitoring efforts are within your legal rights, don't hesitate to reach out to our employment lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks. We can evaluate your specific situation to determine the best course of action. It is better to be proactive than to risk violating privacy laws!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Divorce: 4 Do's & 4 Don'ts

Divorce is one of the most challenging, emotional, and stressful processes anyone can undertake. No matter how you and/or your spouse came to the decision that divorce was necessary, you can expect to face frustrations, arguments, and strong emotions during the process.


However, there are certain things you can do that may help simplify the process. Today, our divorce lawyer in Camden County, MO is here to look at some of the things you can do to ease the divorce process, as well as some behaviors and actions that should be avoided.

When navigating a divorce, DO...
  • Cooperate as much as possible. There's no need to make things harder on yourselves by arguing over unimportant details.
  • Fully disclose your assets and property. If the court discovers that you have hidden assets, they may start the entire process over again from the beginning (and you may face consequences for your actions). 
  • Support your children's continued relationship with your spouse. You may have chosen to separate from your spouse, but your children haven't necessarily come to the same decision. Don't make things harder on your little ones by demanding that they pick sides.
  • Ask your attorney to clarify anything you don't understand. Your attorney works for you. If you have questions or concerns at any point in the process, don't hesitate to address them with your lawyer.

When navigating a divorce, DON'T...
  • Hide (or hide your children) from your spouse. If you disappear prior to filing for divorce (or at some point during the divorce proceedings), your spouse may hire law enforcement to track you down. This type of disappearance may hurt your case during a custody battle. (The possible exception to this rule is if you believe you or your children are endangered by your spouse. If this situation applies to you, contact our attorney immediately to determine your best option.)
  • Make big life changes until your divorce is finalized. It is impossible to predict exactly how long divorce proceedings will take. Don't make any commitments to begin a new job or move to a different area until after the process is finalized.
  • Violate temporary custody agreements. If you violate temporary custody orders, the court may give primary custody privileges to your spouse.
  • Use your children as leverage. Custody and visitation rights are their own issues. You cannot leverage time with the children as a way to manipulate your spouse. Not only will it not get you the results you want - it may result in your own custody privileges being result.

Contact Us If You Need Representation

Divorce can be a challenging process, but having an experienced Lake of the Ozarks divorce lawyer on your side can make the process much easier. If you are in the middle of (or think you may soon face) a divorce, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our law firm in Lake Ozark, MO

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Safely Sharing The Road With Diesels: 5 Tips

Diesels are the largest vehicles with which we share the road. Due to their immense size, semi-trucks can cause serious damage to other vehicles and the people who occupy them in the event of an accident. Each professional truck driver is required to maintain strict safety requirements so as not to unnecessarily endanger other travelers (or themselves). However, they aren't the only ones who can and should take safety precautions. Here are a few general tips to help you safely share the road with tractor trailers, courtesy of our personal injury attorney in Lake Ozark, MO.


1. Avoid Their Blind Spots.

Because of their massive boxy shapes, tractor trailers are hard for truck drivers to see around. There are multiple blind spots around semi-trucks that are difficult or impossible for truckers to see. As you probably expect, the left-hand side is a large blind spot for truckers - if you pass them, do so swiftly so as to avoid spending as little time as possible in this blind spot.

However, the left-hand side isn't the only blind spot for truck drivers. It is also impossible for them to see cars that may be immediately in front of their cabs or directly behind their trailers. For your safety, it is best to avoid traveling in close proximity to tractor trailers at all times.

2. Give Them Plenty Of Room.

Blind spots aren't the only reason to avoid traveling too closely to semis. Due to their immense size, it is simply impossible for them to maneuver as quickly or as precisely as ordinary cars. It takes much longer for semis to slow down, and they must make much wider turns. In order to allow them space to maneuver and give all drivers time to react to the others' movements, it is best to leave more room between your vehicle and semi-trucks.

3. Stay Away From Trucks When They're Turning Or Changing Lanes.

It is always a good rule of thumb to leave plenty of space between your vehicle and semi-trucks, but sometimes you must come close to them (such as when you pass them in the other lane). If you must drive alongside a diesel, it is essential that you do so only when they are planing on staying in their lane. Watch closely for turn signals or brake lights or driving behavior indicating that the trucker is planning on turning or changing lanes. 

4. Drive Predictably.

Hopefully, truck drivers will see you as you approach their trucks. Though they will not be able to see you once you enter into their blind spots as you pass them, they should know that you are there. In order to minimize the chances of a collision, it is crucial that you drive smoothly and predictably when in proximity to diesels. Don't slow down, change lanes, or speed up until you are back within their lines of sight.

5. Assume They Don't See You.

In the event that there is a collision, the size of the diesel will work in its favor - chances are good that your injuries and the damage to your car will be much more severe than the damages/injuries the truckers sustain. When sharing the road with tractor trailers, it is always better to be safe than sorry - stay alert, be proactive, and assume that the truck driver cannot see your vehicle. 

Contact Us If You Need Representation

Even with the best prevention strategies, accidents sometimes still occur. If the worst should happen and you or a loved one is injured in an accident with a tractor trailer, we encourage you to seek representation from our experienced Lake of the Ozarks personal injury attorney.

To learn more about our personal injury services in Mid-Missouri or to schedule you free consultation with Gibbons Law Firm, visit our website at www.RGibbonsLawFirm.com.




Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Remembering The True Purpose Of Memorial Day - 7 Historical Facts

We know Memorial Day Weekend as a time for grilling with friends, spending time with extended family members, and enjoying some long-awaited fun in the sun. However, the holiday of Memorial Day does not come from such festive beginnings. As you celebrate Memorial Day this year, we hope you'll take a moment to join our Lake of the Ozarks law firm as we remember the true purpose of this federal holiday.


Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day set aside to recognize, honor, and remember the brave soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our great country. Every year, hundreds (if not thousands) of men and women lose their lives in the line of duty. Memorial Day is supposed to be a day when the rest of us pay tribute to their great sacrifice and celebrate their legacy.

Historical Facts About Memorial Day

As we remember the true purpose of Memorial Day, Gibbons Law Firm has compiled a few interesting historical facts about the beginnings of this special holiday.
  1. The first Memorial Day observations in the United States were held in the South, recognizing Confederate soldiers who had lost their lives in the civil war.
  2. In 1873, New York became the first state to officially recognize Memorial Day as a legal holiday.
  3. Memorial Day was first called "Decoration Day," as it was a day for friends and family members to decorate the graves of their fallen loved ones.
  4. Many southern states still have a day set aside to honor those who died in the Civil War, known as Confederate Memorial Day.
  5. Memorial Day was originally observed on May 30th every year, regardless of the day of the week. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 moved Memorial Day to the last Monday of May. Some veteran organizations are concerned that having Memorial Day be a three-day weekend every year pulls focus away from the holiday's true focus, so they are lobbying to reinstate May 30th as the annual observation date.
  6. Traditionally, the American Flag is supposed to be hung at half-mast until noon on Memorial Day, at which time it is supposed to be raised to the top of the pole.
  7. 3:00 PM on Memorial Day is designated as a time of national local remembrance - all Americans are encouraged to pause their festivities for a moment at 3:00 PM (in their respective time zones) to remember the true purpose of Memorial Day.

Happy Memorial Day From Gibbons Law Firm

There is nothing wrong with celebrating Memorial Weekends as the unofficial kick-off to the summer season, but it's important to honor those who sacrificed everything so that we may continue to live in the land of the free. We owe these brave men and women an enormous debt of gratitude.

On behalf of the team at our general practice law firm in Mid-Missouri, we extended our deepest gratitude to our fallen soldiers. You are not forgotten.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

4 Things You Didn't Know About Custody Disputes

Almost without exception, custody disputes are the most stressful aspect of contested divorces. With both parents wanting to remain actively involved in their children's lives, the debate over how custody should be divided is often heated. In order to improve your chances of being awarded custody of your children, it is important that you educate yourself on the various important aspects of custody disputes. Our Lake of the Ozarks divorce attorney is here to help by shedding some light on some of these aspects.


4 Things You Didn't Know About Custody Disputes

1. The Court Only Cares About The Children's Best Interests.
Here's the bottom line: when the court awards custody, they do so in the way they believe will account for the children's best interests. Modern courts recognize the important roles both parents play, so whenever possible they will likely try to divide custody (or at least award ample visitation time) so that the children can spend plenty of time with each parent. However, if the court determines that one parent is unable to provide for the children's best interests, their custody or visitation rights may be severely limited.

2. Your Career May Impact Your Ability To Gain Custody.
Raising children requires a significant investment of time, energy, and devotion. Children need almost constant interaction with and attention from their parents in order to thrive. If your career demands that you travel frequently or work incredibly long hours, the court may choose to limit your custody based on the fact that you will not be able to be physically present with your children as much as they need you to be.

3. You Have To Be Cordial With Your Spouse.
Since you're getting divorced, it is probably safe to assume that you and your spouse are not on the best of terms at the moment. Nevertheless, it is imperative that you remain as cordial and cooperative as possible. As stated earlier, the court is trying to decide which parent will be able to provide for the children's best interests. If you routinely started heated arguments with your spouse (or other adults), the court may assume that it's only a matter of time before you turn that wrath towards your children.

4. Your Behavior Matters... A Lot.
You're probably aware that the way you interact with your children will influence your chances of being awarded custody, but as we just discussed, it is imperative that you avoid unnecessary arguments with your spouse and other adults. It is also critical that you exhibit responsible behavior in other aspects of your life; if you drink heavily, abuse substances, overly engross yourself in work, rush straight into a new relationship, or exhibit types reckless behavior, the court may deem you unfit to provide for your children's best interests.

Contact Our Firm For Assistance

If you are preparing for (or in the middle of) a battle for custody of your children, it is important that you secure representation from an experienced divorce attorney in Lake Ozark, MO. Your divorce attorney will be able to coach you through the process, shedding light on the strategies that may improve your chances of being awarded custody and which tactics may do more harm than good.

If you are looking for a divorce lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we hope you'll consider Gibbons Law Firm. Call us at 573-348-2211 to schedule your initial consultation.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.




Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Understanding The Statute Of Limitations

The legal field is governed by strict deadlines. In order for your case to reach a successful outcome, you must work with your Lake of the Ozarks attorney to ensure that all details are attended to and that all paperwork is filed within the appropriate time constraints.


While the deadlines that punctuate the individual lifespan of a case are important, they are not the only ones that demand attention. There is one overarching deadline that must be met above all else - the one officially known as "the statute of limitations."

Quick Overview Of The Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a statute that dictates the time frame in which a legal claim may be pursued. It doesn't matter how convincing a claim may be - if the statute of limitation has expired and it is raised as a defense to a claim, the claim will be dismissed as being time barred.

4 Things To Know About The Statute Of Limitations

Here are a few general points about the statute of limitations it is important to be aware of:
  1. The time limit varies from case to case. The length of the statute of limitations depends on the branch of law (criminal law, personal injury, debt collections, etc) as well as the specific type of case (worker's compensation, car accident, etc).
  2. The time limit varies by state. Each state has its own rules regarding the statute of limitations. If you have moved to Missouri relatively recently, don't make the mistake of assuming that the time limit here will be the same as the state you lived in previously.
  3. It's not always obvious when the clock will start running. The "Discovery of Harm" rule dictates that the countdown on the statute of limitations will not begin until the damage is - or should have been - identified. A person’s damage is capable of being discovered when a reasonable person would have been put on notice that an injury or damage may have occurred and would have taken steps to discover the extent of the damage. For example, let's suppose that you are in a car accident. Immediately following the accident you assume you escaped without injury, but a couple of months later you discover that the recurrent neck pain you are now experiencing is a result of the whiplash you suffered during the accident. In this scenario, your statute of limitations would not begin counting down until you discovered (or should have discovered) the true cause of your neck pain.
  4. Some cases are exempt from the statute of limitations. While most types of cases are governed by their respective statutes of limitations, some types of crime - specifically, most types of felonies - are exempt. Someone accused of kidnapping, treason, fraud, or manslaughter, for example, may always be tried for his crimes.

Questions? Contact Gibbons Law Firm.

If you are faced with a legal situation, it is imperative that you take action before the statute of limitations expires. Our attorney in Lake Ozark MO can help you examine the specific details of your situation so that you can determine how long the statute of limitations is for your case and at what point the clock started running. 

Don't risk your case becoming void because too much time has passed! Contact Gibbons Law Firm to schedule your initial consultation today.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.




Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.