Help! My Attorney is on Vacation.

As a busy attorney for many years, I realize the necessity of going on vacation and getting away from the grind. I firmly believe that this time away allows me to rejuvenate and recommit to the practice and makes me a better attorney.

Unfortunately, this is little solace to those clients that need answers NOW. Having practiced for over 25 years, I have taken many steps to assure that the clients’ needs are being met and that the wheels of justice continue to turn.

Planning for a vacation, here are steps I’ve taken:

  1. Advise clients. I do not keep it a secret that I’m going out of town. This allows most clients, judges and opposing counsel to set realistic expectations.
  2. Have office staff available. My paralegal, Emily, does most of my scheduling anyway and has a general knowledge of most of my cases. As such, she is more often available during my trips.
  3. Have other attorneys available for emergencies. I have spoken to my partner, Kris Nevels, as well as a few other local attorneys who can cover in case of emergencies. For example, no one plans to get arrested for DUI and have court in 2 days. If that happens, plead NOT GUILTY and wait for return. Alternatively, call the office and we will do our best to have someone present for your arraignment.
  4. Plan down time both before and after vacation. This allows for clients in crisis or with emergencies to schedule in a timely manner.
  5. Allow minimal communication. Even when leaving the country, I schedule 15-30 minutes 2-3x/week to communicate with the office. While this is not ideal, it is similar to times when I am in the middle of trial. It allows my paralegal to prioritize and get answers to crises.

Another key to getting away is getting another professional do handle all of the planning and preparations. Julie@islandgirlvacations is exceptional at travel planning and finding the best deals. Full disclosure: she’s also my wife.

If you have questions or concerns or need legal assistance, contact Michael Bouldin by filling out the contact information, call 859-581-6456 (581-MIKE) or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com. Of course, you can also contact Emily@bouldinlawfirm.com for scheduling.

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What To Do If You Cannot Get Ahold of Your Attorney

Attorneys are notoriously difficult to get in touch with and the successful and busy ones even more so. So here is a list of dos and don’ts if you are having difficulty.

Do:

1. Be patient. This sounds simple but calling 3-5 times does not make the return call any quicker. From the attorney point of view, if everyone called 5 times, it would take five times as long to return everyone’s call.

2. Schedule. It may be difficult to get a hold of the attorney, but generally you can speak with a secretary, receptionist or paralegal. Tell that person that you are having difficulty and need to schedule a meeting or phone consultation. Once you are on the book, your chances are probably near 100% that the conversation can occur.

3. Ask the Paralegal. Similar to #2, the paralegal for the attorney often has great insight into your case and can answer most questions. Sure, some are better saved for the attorney, but others can be answered, handled and even resolved by the paralegal and often at a greatly reduced fee.

4. Discuss with the attorney their caseload and how they prioritize. If I explain that I’ll get to your post decree issue later, that a client is facing 20 years in prison this week, most clients can and do understand.

Don’ts:

A. Do not call repeatedly and leave multiple messages. This ties up the time available to return calls.

B. Do not call another attorney seeking free advice. The attorney handling your case knows about your case. If you seek free advice, you often get what you pay for.

C. Do not immediately change attorneys and give up. You chose this attorney because of their skill, experience among other things. If you want a new attorney who will text you back and immediately take all calls, then hire that attorney from the onset. If you want an attorney with a track record and busy clientele, you may have to occasionally wait.

If problems persist, discuss your concerns and set out expectations of both the attorney and the client. Most often, a compromise can be reached where the client knows that their problems are being addressed and concerns are handled in a timely and efficient manner.

If you are a client, call Emily at 859-581-6453 to schedule. If you need legal advice and do not have an attorney, contact Mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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What Does a DUI Cost?

I am often asked, What is the cost of a DUI? The answer is not simple. According to national surveys, the cost of a DUI typically exceed $10,000. The question remains as to what does that cost involve.

A defendant should expect to pay $2,500-$5,000 for an experienced DUI/criminal defense attorney to represent on a first offense DUI charge. The cost may vary depending on the complexity of the case, whether it is a negotiated plea, suppression hearing, bench trial or a jury trial. The cost often also increases if it is a second, third or greater offense.

Other costs which should be considered in Kentucky. A typical assessment for DUI includes a drug & alcohol assessment and is $60. Once assessed, a standard 20 hour class will meet 10 times and costs $25/session.

If convicted, you will lose your license for 30-120 days and face mandatory costs, fees and court costs. The fine for a DUI, 1st offense, will range from $200-500. There is a mandatory DUI service fee in addition to court costs. The total for a minimum ($200) fine will be about $750. If you wish to obtain an ignition interlock device to continue full driving privileges, you will spend an additional $600.

The above examples are for Northern Kentucky. Each state has different mandatory fines as well as court costs. Kentucky charges $40 for reinstatement, while many states vary from $100-1500 for license reinstatement. None of this includes the increase in automobile insurance which is sure to follow a conviction.

If you have been charged with DUI, you should hire an experienced DUI attorney that regularly practices in your county of arrest. The attorney can guide you through the process and give you advice on how to best proceed. This may include a plea, but should include why a plea deal may be better and the consequences of a suppression hearing or trial of the matter.

For consultation in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email info@bouldinlawfirm.com.

Selected by SuperLawyers for criminal defense in state of Kentucky.
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Estate Planning & Wills

When people think of estate planning they often think that is only for rich people that need an elaborate plan. While there are those people that need financial, tax planning, succession as well as legal advice, many need simple documents such as a will, power of attorney, health care POA and possible a trust.

Most also incorrectly believe that the state will handle things the way you envision. The laws of probate when a person dies without a will vary widely from state to state and often are not what most people think will happen. For example, in Kentucky, if a person dies without a will, the order of heirs is as follows: (1) their children; (2) their parents; (3) their siblings; then (4) spouse.

While there are certain allowances for spouses, often the bulk of an estate will pass to children in favor of a spouse. This can lead to financially devastating and unintended consequences. Additionally, the estate plan should include discussion of beneficiaries of life insurance and retirement assets as well as documents for living will/health care and power of attorney (POA).

If you need a simple will or complex estate plan, contact a legal professional. We will begin with a questionnaire to get started. In Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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Attorney Referrals

Most all attorneys have both a client base as well as a specialty area of practice. When a client comes to you and needs help, it is important to figure out how to best assist. With 25 years experience and nod of respect from SuperLawyers, a large part of my practice comes from attorney referrals.

My main areas of practice are divorce and criminal defense, including DUI. As such, much of my DUI practice comes as referrals from other attorneys. I will not steal your client. Since the attorney already has the relationship with the client, I generally continue to utilize their assistance, especially with client communication, as much or as little as the attorney wants to remain involved.

I have seen many family law attorneys make the mistake of trying to help their client by “handling” their DUI. Often they give poor advice and do not explore how to potentially win the case or when to take a plea. Moreover, they do not know the difference between a good or bad plea deal.

The best advice is to let me help solve your client’s problem. If you email me at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com, I will call or text back to discuss the urgency and temporary advice. I can meet with the client alone or with the other attorney to make for a seamless transition and assure the client that they have the best possible representation.

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What To Do If Served Divorce Papers

I’m often asked what to do if you are served divorce papers. First, READ all of the documents fully and don’t panic. The summons that accompanied the divorce papers will set forth some obligations, for example you will have 20-30 days to file a response.

Use that time wisely. Talk to trusted friends and others that have gone through the process. Call and speak to the attorneys that those trusted friends have referred to you. After talking to a couple of attorneys, schedule and appointment with at least one of them to discuss representation.

Note: many divorce attorneys do not do free consultations. That is OK – you get what you pay for. Most of the top attorneys do not have the time, nor do they need to offer free consultations. Invest some time and money in yourself and your future.

A response to a Petition for Dissolution is relatively simple and straightforward. The responding party generally answers each allegation, most of which are admitted. Since most Petitions ask for custody and division of property, an answer/response should suggest your request for relief. An attorney can typically prepare and file a Response within 24 hours of undertaking representation.

DON’TS:

  1. Do not let the time lapse. A default judgment can be taken against you if you do not respond to the Petition. Even if you cannot afford an attorney, hand write your response and file it with the court.
  2. Do not believe everything your spouse says. Every attorney has horror stories of the spouse that said, “you don’t have to respond” only to get a default judgement; or “I only want joint custody” only to go to court without the other party and get a judge of sole custody.
  3. Don’t stick your head in the sand. This case is not going away. Speak to a professional who is trained and regularly handles this type of case.
  4. Don’t assume the worst. Often the initial filing overstates the case. Many cases do resolve with joint custody and without payment of the other’s legal fees, despite an initial filing requesting something different.

If you have been served, contact a local family law/divorce attorney who regularly practices in the county of filing. For consultation in Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties, contact Michael Bouldin by following link or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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Divorce and Collaborative Law

Having practiced divorce law for 25 years, there is a better way to divorce. The Collaborative Process has assisted thousands of parties throughout the nation in settling their cases with class and dignity through cooperative decision making and in confidential setting.

I have been a member of the Collaborative Law group in Northern Kentucky for over 10 years and have participated in many cases as counselor in both Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. Collaborative training teaches problem solving techniques and methods to resolve differences, in both straightforward and difficult cases.

Collaborative dissolution allows the parties to set their own schedules, set their own goals and objectives and to try to achieve those goals through discussion, negotiation and the use of other professionals.

For more information regarding collaborative law, see our group’s website at this LINK. for consultation regarding divorce/dissolution, call a collaborative attorney and schedule today. For consultation, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email info@bouldinlawfirm.com or follow this link for information.

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DUI Day! Welcome to Black Friday!

Every year there are more DUI charges on the Wednesday before and the Friday following Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. Hiring a good DUI attorney is the most important thing you can do following an arrest. Many people believe that New Years Eve would be the busiest day, however that day is reserved for professionals and most people have a plan prior to the beginning of the evening.

Wednesday before Thanksgiving, however, is generally last minute plans and over-imbibing. Many students come home for the first time since leaving for college. They see their old friends and have a newfound love for beer. Bars, pubs and restaurants run specials all night because most of them are closed on Thursday.

Having practiced law for 25 years, I have run a similar post many times. It almost always generates a few leads and at least one or two new clients. Of course, DUI and OVI charges occur throughout the year. If you were charged with DUI this week(end), get an experienced attorney to help you through the process. An attorney will discuss your chances of an acquittal as well as guide you through the process. This may include hardship license, Ignition Interlock or avoidance of incarceration. See also what to do if you get arrested.

For consultation in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE (859-581-6453) or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com. Contact form LINK.

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JUUL Litigation Attorney

If you have been injured by the use of JUUL vaping products, you need to hire an attorney. In Kentucky and Ohio, contact Michael W. Bouldin and get yourself included in the federal class action litigation.

Injuries may include medical visits, asthma, problems breathing, hospitalization or death. If you have a child who has problems relating to vaping JUUL, you can file on their behalf.

If a settlement is reached or if litigation results in a plaintiff verdict, the class members will be compensated. Compensation will likely be based on the severity of the injury, but damages have yet to be determined.

There are currently lawsuits pending in both Ohio and Kentucky and they have been combined with federal class action in California. IT IS NOT TOO LATE! Call or email or fill out the contact information below. An attorney will be in touch with you very soon!

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What Is a DUI Aggravator?

Kentucky law allows enhancement of a DUI charge if there are one one of 6 aggravators. If a person pleads or is found guilty of a DUI, their sentence is enhanced (made worse) if any of these aggravators exist. On a first offense, an aggravating circumstance mandates 4 days in jail. On subsequent offense, the aggravator doubles the minimum jail sentence.

The basic aggravators are listed in KRS 189A.010, as follows: (11)

  • (a) Operating a motor vehicle in excess of thirty (30) miles per hour above the speed limit;
  • (b) Operating a motor vehicle in the wrong direction on a limited access highway;
  • (c) Operating a motor vehicle that causes an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury as defined in KRS 500.080 ;
  • (d) Operating a motor vehicle while the alcohol concentration in the operator’s blood or breath is 0.15 or more as measured by a test or tests of a sample of the operator’s blood or breath taken within two (2) hours of cessation of operation of the motor vehicle;
  • (e) Refusing to submit to any test or tests of one’s blood, breath, or urine requested by an officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person was operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle in violation of subsection (1) of this section;  and
  • (f) Operating a motor vehicle that is transporting a passenger under the age of twelve (12) years old.

It should be noted, that if there is a death or serious physical injury as in subsection (c), most police and prosecutors will also file additional charges. These are often FELONY charges and require additional legal work. Additionally, KRS 189A.010(11)(e) should not apply if the person is charged with a first offense dui. This is because the first offense apply to those aggravators that occur while driving the vehicle.

Most importantly, an attorney can work to try to dismiss the aggravator when entering a plea and/or discuss alternatives to incarceration.

If you have been charged with DUI or any other motor vehicle offense, you should discuss your case with an experienced criminal/DUI defense attorney. For consultation and representation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 )581-MIKE.

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