This is the blog of Gary E. Southworth, Attorney at Law.

Here, we share our thoughts on topics of interest to our clients. Please comment on any blog post you find interesting, and check back often for updates.

Attorneys’ Fees

Responsible, ethical attorneys encourage their clients to discuss their concerns about fees and costs. When it is not possible to quote an exact fee or determine the costs of a case, attorneys usually attempt to estimate such amounts as accurately as circumstances permit and will explain how fees are calculated for all services as well as work out a fee payment schedule.

Continue Reading

Process for Evaluating Maritime Law Cases:

Maritime law, particularly the Jones Act, provides offshore workers and vessel crew persons a means by which to file claims against employers for injuries sustained on the job. The Jones Act applies to most persons employed offshore on vessels, barges, jackup and semi-submersible drilling rigs, crew and supply vessels and most all vessels servicing the offshore oil exploration industry, including aircraft.

Continue Reading

Stolen Valor

The Stolen Valor Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2006. The law is designed to discourage persons from claiming and wearing unauthorized U.S. Military honors and decorations. It encompasses and broadens the provisions of existing Federal law regarding the unauthorized wearing of the Congressional Medal of Honor by prohibiting the unauthorized manufacture, sale or claim of right to all U.S. Military medals and decorations. It is now a federal misdemeanor to make false claims of valor, service or status in the U.S. Military.

Continue Reading

African-American and Political Correctness

A client recently remarked to me that he thought it was “illegal” to use the term negro, especially in reference to the President. I explained to him that it might be politically incorrect but it is certainly not illegal. That exchange led me to wonder why being called an African-American has become a racial description. Polish-Americans, Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans are not racial identities but rather geographical descriptions. So why now is it that some Americans feel that blacks must be referred to as African-American? Has political correctness brought us to the point we cannot even use geography to identify our heritages? Are we captive to political correctness in all matters? I cannot buy into that reasoning.

Continue Reading

Broken Immigration

My youngest son graduated from the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba, Australia where he met his future wife. Before they were married she came to the United States but was required to have a paid, return airfare passage and could only stay six months before being required to leave the country according to U.S. Immigration law. And before she could enter the United States permanently she had to jump through a multitude of bureaucratic hoops. It took more than two years to obtain permanent residence status and then more to become a citizen. She is a teacher, as is my son, and a productive, valued citizen paying taxes.

Continue Reading