Effects of the BP Oil Spill

Jan 30, 2014 by

It seems that one of the effects of the BP oil spill is the inability of the judicial system to decide whether the terms of the Economic and Property Damage Class Action Settlement Agreement should be reviewed of not. BP is the principal operator of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig which exploded in April 2010, spewing millions of barrels of oil into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It has been described as the worst environmental disaster in the history of the petroleum industry.

After a panel of judges of the 5th Circuit of the Court of Appeals decided to uphold the December 2012 ruling of Judge Carl Barbier that qualifications for businesses making an oil spill economic loss claim against the settlement did not have to show causation, a different set of judges decided the opposite. Arguments and motions from the lawyers of both BP and the plaintiffs have since been filed, leaving claimants wondering just what side will prevail in the matter. Only time will tell.

A new development on the criminal side of the whole sorry mess is the upcoming trial of former BP engineer Kurt Mix. Mix was first arrested for criminal charges in April 2012, two years after the oil spill. He stands accused of two counts of obstruction of justice by intentionally deleting text and voice mail messages pertaining to estimates of the amount of oil that was at that time still spilling from the oil rig. More former BP employees are scheduled for criminal prosecution. Concealing or interfering with any sort of evidence is a crime. Depending on the severity of the obstruction, individuals may end up serving up to five years in prison for tampering or hiding evidence. Other crimes dealing with drugs may send a person to jail for 40 years if evidence has been tampered or hidden.

Despite these developments on the legal and criminal front, the adverse environmental and health effects of the BP oil spill continue to linger in the affected areas on the Gulf of Mexico for which there is no quick solution or clever argument. The best that the victims can do is to hope to get some compensation to help them get back on their feet. Legitimate claimants may get some relief by filing a claim outside the Settlement. Consult with an experienced BP oil spill attorney to more fully explore your options.

 

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Trends in Hair Coloring

Jan 28, 2014 by

About three-fourths of women in America have hair coloring treatment done at one time or another. It has become so prevalent that in 1968 the U.S. government ceased to require passport holders to put down their hair color.  For some it is a way to conceal gray hair or discoloration from other hair treatments; for others it is a fashion statement. Whatever the reason, it has been a practice that has its roots in ancient times.

Evidence of the practice of hair coloring using henna (a plant-based dye) by Egyptians to darken the hair was found by archeologists as far back as 1500 BC. Hair color has always been considered an important status in history. Red was considered to be both socially and culturally significant, while in other eras, blonde was considered de rigueur, although the color also had far from flattering implications. There is supposedly and actual study conducted with a $51,000 grant that attempted to prove whether blondes were actually dumb; results were not available. Today, the trends are far more eclectic, the choice depending more on how well it goes with the skin color than what is the most popular.

Hair color trends today still tend to be highly influenced by celebrities, however. Aside from the usual brunette, red and, blonde (platinum and “bronde” or brown blonde) that look fabulous on popular actors, two-toned coloring styles and highlights are also taking center stage. Ombré (gradients from dark to light or light to dark), dip-dyes (only the tips are colored), and balayage (naturalistic highlights) are hankered after by the typical fashionista, while bright, Kool-aid type colors in streaks and washes are sought after by the younger set.

There was a time when hair coloring agents were so strong they damaged the hair, but modern formulations are much gentler, many derived from natural ingredients. At the hands of a professional colorist, the results are trendy, healthy, and beautiful.

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Changing the Terms of Child Custody and Visitation

Jan 24, 2014 by

The divorce rate in America is the highest it has ever been and continues to grow steadily. Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage which is final once the decree goes through. However, while the marriage is over, an agreement concerning child custody and visitation is not set in stone; it is subject to changes in circumstances that may significantly impact on the best interests of the child. When this happens, it is possible to make changes to the terms of the child custody agreement even after the divorce has been finalized, until such times as the child achieves independence.

Modifications in child custody and visitation can be initiated by either parent and ideally, both should agree to reasonable changes in the original agreement so that it can be presented and approved by the court. According to the website of the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield, changes in the agreement regarding visitation could mean shorter or longer visitation periods, arrangements for holidays, or altered days of visits. If the parents cannot agree, the courts may have to be petitioned to intervene.

In most cases, a modification is requested because of a change in circumstance that has an effect on the child. This could be due to altered financial capability, health status, domestic arrangements, geographic location, or relationship states. Whenever the change of circumstance can reasonably be expected to cause some type of harm to the child, a modification in the agreement can be entertained. In most cases, the changes affect the stability of the child’s home life.

Modifications in child custody and visitation agreements are usually petitioned in the court where the original agreement was approved, although not all states require it. However, what remains constant is the need for the assistance of a child custody and visitation lawyer to protect the rights of each parent and the child during the modification process. Family law is complex, and requires the knowledge of an experienced practitioner of family law to successfully work with it to the client’s best advantage.

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