Making Money From Your Mineral Rights

People who are lucky enough to own land containing valuable mineral deposits should always consult with a mineral rights broker before making any decisions about selling their mineral rights. That’s a lot of times to say the word “mineral,” but it’s true. Much like any other kind of auction, the first bid is going to be low. People who own mineral rights may be easily swept off their feet by the first offer that comes their way, but more likely than not, that offer is significantly less than what they could get elsewhere.

In Texas, the mineral estate and surface estate are understood to be two separate things. This means that while most of the time, the owners of the surface estate (the land that you can see) also own the mineral estate (the mineral deposits under the land), the mineral estate can be sold or rented separately from the surface estate. This has the tendency to lead to conflict and confusion over who actually owns what and who has access to the mineral estate.

When it’s really confusing, a lawyer who specializes in mineral, oil, and gas rights is usually required to help sort out the situation. Complicated mineral estate situations can end up in court, and the party that comes out victorious may need further help if they’re looking to sell or lease their newly won mineral rights. 

Austin-based mineral rights brokers at this firm say that many of their clients come to them after they’ve already been made an offer for their mineral rights. These people are looking for guidance on what to do, and their first question is always “how much are my mineral rights worth?” The answer to that question is dependent, of course, on how much people are willing to pay. 

In 2019, someone could make a lot of money selling their mineral rights, and they could make it quickly. However, that might not always be the case. It is likely a good idea to sell while the market is hot instead of waiting for it to get even better, because it might never improve to the levels you want it to be at? No one knows for sure what will happen in a few years or even a few months’ time, so if you need cash soon, and you’re sitting on a valuable mineral estate, you may want to consider selling. 

The emergence of cleaner, renewable sources of fuel and energy are likely to push nonrenewable coal and oil out of the picture at some point in the near future, meaning that the price of mineral rights will decrease. Because of this, it’s better to sell soon while there’s a competitive market than to wait and miss out on making bank.

What to Do If You’re Pulled Over

The past few years have seen an increase in coverage of police misconduct. These range from unarmed killings to planting evidence on dead bodies. While this isn’t to say that all cops are even most cops are bad, it certainly makes sense that a lot of us get nervous whenever we’re pulled over!

Routine traffic stops are meant to be quick and easy. Still, I find myself clenching onto my steering wheel whenever I wait for the cop to approach my car! Of course, I had to think of a mental checklist of things I could do to make the stop end as smoothly as possible. Here are just a few of the things I do to put my mind at ease.

Have everything neatly organized

Any tensions that exist are only going to intensify if the cop has to wait for you to search around for your license and registration. Having these documents in your glove compartment means that you won’t waste the cop’s time by fumbling around for something that is buried in your floorboard.

Narrate everything that you’re doing

A miscommunication between a cop and a driver can be – and has been – fatal. If you’re reaching for a document or pulling out your wallet, make sure the officer knows what you are doing. It assures them that you’re not doing anything risky, and can help you in court if the officer tries to say he felt threatened.

Stay calm

It’s totally normal to be scared, but we all act a little odd when we’re nervous. If you’re a nervous talker, you may end up digging yourself into a deeper hole when dealing with a cop. Take a deep breath and don’t give any information that may be irrelevant.

Nerves also make us look suspicious. Our body language looks pretty similar when we’re nervous or guilty. We may have jerky movements, tight grips on our steering wheel, or we may even start sweating!

If a cop thinks you “look guilty,” he may take this as a sign to further search your car, even if you haven’t done anything wrong. This is a major hassle for both parties that’s often more trouble than it is worth. If they do decide to search your car, remain calm and don’t let your nerves take over while you’re waiting.

Record everything

In most states, it’s your right to have a recording of any and all interactions that may take place between you and a cop. A phone recording can be useful, but it can often be pulled out after any issue has started. Dashcams are great because they are constantly rolling and don’t require anyone to hold them- perfect for someone who is in a conversation with a cop.

If you need evidence in court for any reason, a dashcam can do wonders. The lawyers at Evans Moore, LLC would agree that you should use any evidence you have to defend yourself in legal situations. When the time comes, a recording of the incident may make or break your case.

The Ins and Outs of Embezzlement Litigation

This spring, one of my closest friends is studying for the exams to become a Certified Public Accountant, and we often go to coffee shops together for him to study and for me to read. We often take chat breaks, and I talk about my book while he talks about what he’s learning. Recently, we had a lengthy discussion about fraud and the role of an auditor in detecting fraud. Apparently, embezzlement is a big issue when employees have access to the assets of the business they work for. I did not really understand what embezzlement is, so I decided to do some research. During my research, I found the website for Bruno Law Offices, which specializes in defending people that are accused of embezzlement. There was quite a bit of interesting information regarding the litigation of these cases.

Embezzlement is a criminal offense, and it is more complex than just stealing money from your employer. Embezzlement happens when a person that is responsible for another person’s property uses that property for personal gain, and it’s not necessarily the same as theft. To embezzle, you need to be a custodian of assets, which means that you are not the owner of the assets but you have legal access to the asset and are trusted with the assets control. Often the offender has a fiduciary responsibility to the owner, and pre-meditation must exist for embezzlement to be prosecuted. It cannot be accidental. The property does not have to be tangible to be embezzled, either. Intangible property like trademarks or securities can be wrongfully acquired or used by a custodian to commit embezzlement.

Typically, sentencing for embezzlement depends on the value of the assets embezzled before being caught. The value of the property can change the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the type of property embezzled. If you steal less than five hundred dollars, the punishment is less than a year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines, but if you embezzle over a million dollars, it becomes a felony and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. There are additional consequences that are not inflicted by the courts that include the damage to a person’s reputation and their ability to be hired in the future.

Luckily for the accused, there are a variety of defenses that lawyers can use to defend their clients from embezzlement charges. An insufficient evidence defense can cause the charges to be dropped. Also, if you are pressured to commit a crime because of perceived harm, you can use the duress defense and transfer the blame to another party. If the accused is bated into committing embezzlement by the government or law enforcement, a lawyer can use the entrapment defense to absolve their victim of the wrongdoing. There are several other complicated defenses that lawyers can use to defend their clients that are charged with embezzlement. Since embezzlement is a criminal offense, the burden of proof is on the prosecution, so if any of these defense prevent the prosecution from proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you can avoid punishment for embezzlement.

Investigating Everything Your Dentist Is Putting In Your Mouth

I tend to zone out a bit in the dental chair. Unless there’s serious work being done, it’s mostly just a matter of passing the time. Once I’ve read all the posters on the wall and the ceiling and thought through every movie I’ve seen recently, I still often have a bit of time to kill. With my mouth open, there’s little chance of a decent conversation, so I often get to thinking about those tools that end up in my mouth, cleaning and fixing my teeth.

What are those things?

Thankfully, I didn’t have to spend much time researching the answer. Babylon Dental Care did it for me.

A lot of the tools are as obvious as you think. There’s the suction device to clean out saliva and spray water. There’s the mouth mirror to give the dentist a better view of what’s going on in there at every angle. There’s the lead smock you wear when getting X-Rays, which helps you avoid too much radiation.

Then there are a whole set of tools that do the actual scraping and cleaning for you. Those include a whole series of probes, scalers, and curettes, which get used for different purposes depending on what’s going on with your tooth.

Once you get beyond the basic cleaning, though, it gets more interesting. You may get a mold of your teeth that provides the dentist with an accurate cast of your teeth so they can see exactly what’s going on. Serious dental work will include a syringe and local anesthetic to numb you and help you avoid pain.

Then you have drills that can remove decay and a spoon excavator that can remove soft decay. Finally, you might see a burnisher, which will remove scratches to your tooth.

Really, that’s about it. The thing is, even knowing the names and general purposes of all those objects doesn’t quite tell you how to use them. But, I suppose that’s why you need a quality dental education to take care of someone’s teeth.

Still, it’s interesting to have a little insight into the tools and the purposes of those tools while you’re sitting in that chair next time. It might allow you to pay more attention to what your dental assistant or dentist is doing. In my experience, it made the time go by faster because I was much more engaged, thinking about the choices my dentist was making and how they were using the tools I now recognized.

It’s fascinating, and it almost makes me want to really dig into dental work to get a more profound understanding of what those tools are capable of. Almost. I think I’ll probably let the professionals handle the really complicated stuff. For now, I’ll just stick to what I know and get back to reading the posters in the room.

Fire Hazards That May Spell Disaster for Your Home

Residential fires are the worst. They put your house at risk of damages and your loved ones at risk of injuries and deaths – all of which have their own financial and personal difficulty equivalents. You may have a sound insurance policy, but according to the website of K2 Consulting & Services, LLC, there are instances where insurance companies don’t really give the full amount you deserve, so you are never fully financially secured by your insurance.

In other words, preventing house fires is still better than being negligent and relying solely on your insurance policy. To prevent house fires, the first things you should know are the hazards that can result into fires.


Appliances, especially those that involve fire and heat like kitchenware, are some of the leading causes of house fires. This is especially true when negligence has been involved. For example, a resident can leave the stove open or a manufacturer can put a defective product into the market.

Combustible Materials

Items that may catch fire are particularly dangerous when they are near fire or heat sources, such as the appliances mentioned earlier. In the kitchen, these materials may include mittens and even rags. In other parts of the house, it can range from curtains and mattresses to piles of papers and even leaves from indoor plants.


Electronic devices make your house vulnerable to fires, and these electronic devices are not limited to house appliances, as they may also include equipment such as desktops, laptops, tablets, printers, and even mobile phones. Those with power supplies and batteries are particularly hazardous.

Fire Sources

Some of the most obvious causes of fires are direct fire sources, such as candles, stoves, and even lighters and matches. Usually, house fires from direct fire sources occur because of negligence as well, like when candles are left unattended or children are unsupervised and playing with fire.

Wiring Systems

If direct fire sources are the most obvious, wiring problems are perhaps the least. This is because they are not always directly associated with fire, even though in their own ways they can actually be a fire source. Faulty wiring systems, and even overloaded extension cords and defective wires from appliances, can result into the most devastating house fires.

Injuries and Deaths during Car Accidents: Not Just Statistical Data

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Companies conducted a study, the result of which shows that teen drivers are four times more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than adults. The reasons, however, are not due to poor weather condition, drowsy driving, vehicle malfunction or aggressive driving. Of the more than 800 accidents analyzed, three critical teen driver errors were revealed:

  • Not enough road scanning. One very important ability that experienced drivers have developed overtime is keen observation of their vehicle’s surroundings (sides and the road ahead) instead of just the very few meters of road fronting their car’s hood. This is one skill that will help and allow teen drivers to detect and respond to possible hazards up ahead.
  • Driving too fast for road conditions. Rather than driving at controllable speed, many teen drivers prefer faster driving, which greatly reduces their capability to successfully navigate a curve or respond to other motorists.
  • Driving distractions. Though getting distracted while behind the wheel is a common fault among all drivers, teens, obviously, are still the kind of drivers who get distracted more easily. Eating, grooming, adjusting or operating an electronic device, talking with friends, turning the radio’s volume to full blast and, worst, texting or talking with someone using a cell phone, are just some of the very common distractions teens are often guilty of.

Some other errors committed by young drivers include failure to use signal lights, tailgating, not slowing down or stopping when making a turn, improperly overtaking another vehicle, making sudden lane changes, beating the red light (according to the National Safety Council, this is the fourth most common type of driver error that results in accidents), and failure to use the seat belt, a car safety feature that has saved thousands of lives in the past.

Driver error, which includes all forms of distracted driving, is always an act of negligence; thus, it is a totally preventable thing. About 81% of all car accidents, which number to more than five million every year, is due to driver negligence – a fault that legally requires a liable party to compensate his/her victim.

It would seem that many drivers see car accidents, injuries and deaths as mere statistical data. They may probably never really realize the tragic effects of these accidents on victims’ lives until they become the victims themselves. Negligence, no matter who commits it or where it is committed, can always be a source of danger. If one cannot respect others’ lives, then what right does he/she have to ask or demand respect from others?

A webpage with address,, says, “you can only control your own driving behavior; there is not much you can do to control what others do out there on the road. Careless, reckless, and negligent drivers abound. Some fail to keep their attention focused on the road and become distracted, while others get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, disregard traffic laws, or run red lights and stop signs. Others drive too fast or too aggressively, or fail to adjust their driving for road or weather conditions. As a result, some unlucky drivers and their passengers, in spite of responsible, focused, and skillful driving, find their lives in turmoil, their bodies broken, and their finances in a shambles, all because of another’s wrongdoing.”

How to Prevent Drowning Accidents

Beach resorts and swimming pools are fun places, especially during the summer and people are trying to beat the heat. That includes people who don’t know how to swim, children, elderly people, and others who can be very vulnerable to drowning.

When negligent actions result in harmful consequences, the affected parties can take legal action. But you don’t want the financial and time costs of all the legal stuff, so the best way to avoid them is to prevent drowning accidents outright.

You can do this by first knowing the common causes of drowning accidents and how to prevent them.

Alcohol or drug use

Alcohol and drugs have physical and mental effects to us, particularly in terms of comprehension and coordination. You don’t want to lose these things while on your swimming vacation, as they might be the ones that prevent accidents such as drowning. The easy solution to avoid this problem is by not taking alcohol, drugs, or any substance that may impair you in any way.

Lack of barriers

Barriers, fences, and other obstructions are necessary to make pools not very accessible, especially to those who cannot help themselves. Attorney Ali Mokaram advises that children and other vulnerable members of society may be victims of drowning if they do not have supervision and fall into swimming pools without barriers.

Lack of supervision

Water, especially if it is deeper than the person’s height, may be very dangerous, especially to those who do not know how to swim. That is why there should always be eyes on the pool. You never know when someone is going to be a victim of a drowning accident. Having lifeguards and adults with swimming skills in the swimming area is a good idea.

Lack of swimming skills

The best way to counter drowning is knowing how to swim. It doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of drowning, but it significantly reduces the risk. If you are a parent of a young child, having swimming and other life-saving skills such as CPR can be very helpful.

Unexpected circumstances

Even though you know how to swim, there may be unexpected events that may put you and your love ones at risk of drowning, like boat accidents and seizures. Some of these events may be preventable by following safety procedures, but in unavoidable circumstances, it is important not to panic, wear safety gear such as life jackets, and get help as fast as possible.

Swimming and other recreational activities in the water are supposed to be fun, not tragic. So make sure that you know all the risks involved and how you can counter or prevent them before going all in.

Child Car Seat Defects

When buying a new car, it is advised that a customer asks what safety features his/her choice car is equipped with, besides the mandated seat belt, airbag and child safety seat. These three are crash-safety devices and manufacturers have long been required by the federal government to make sure that cars are equipped with these features which are meant to keep vehicle occupants from sustaining serious or fatal injuries during crashes.

A car that has a defective design or part is always a threat, first to the safety of its driver and occupants and, second to everyone else on the road. Unfortunately, despite the minimum performance requirements for car parts that are laid down by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) duty to ensure that car manufacturers comply with federal standards on vehicle safety and excellence, and car manufacturers’ legal duty to make sure that every unit of vehicle that leaves their plant is safe and can keep drivers and occupants safe, so many cars with defects continue to be sold and purchased by unsuspecting buyers. Due to the threats presented by these defects, recalls have been ordered by the NHTSA since 1966 which affected more than 390 million mopeds, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, buses, trucks and cars; 66 million pieces of motor vehicle parts; 46 million tires; and, 42 million child safety seats.

In 2013 alone, NHTSA records show 22 million vehicles recalled by more than 10 car manufacturers due to defective parts; these specifically included seat belts, tires, steering wheel, brake pads, wipers, child seats and air bags that deploy despite the vehicle not crashing; there was also a case in which gas leaked from the engine, increasing risk of fire. These 22 million vehicle recalls in 2013 was still lower, however, compared to 30.8 million recalls made by NHTSA in 2004.

One specific car part that can probably cause the worst harm, if defective, is child car-seat. In 2003, after receiving 2,700 reports of malfunctioning car seats and more than 200 reports of related injuries, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) decided on recalling four million infant car seats/carriers: the defect was on the product’s handles, which could fail to properly lock or break during ordinary use. In 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 602 children aged 12 or below died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes,while more than 121,350 were injured.

While child car seats have generally saved millions of infants from injury or death, some have actually been causes of injuries and/or death too. This, according to Chicago auto accident attorneys, is because car defects aren’t detected until the time of a crash, allowing for a greater risk of an unanticipated, life-threatening injury. The presence of defects, however, only means that a manufacturer has failed to uphold the safety regulations aimed at protecting consumers. This renders him/her liable for the harm that results from his/her defective product.

The family of a child, who is injured because of a defective child safety seat, may grounds for a product liability claim. Filing a claim, however, more so, proving that the injury was due to a defective part is not easy. This will definitely require expert opinion from forensics scientists, mechanical experts and a highly-skilled attorney to prove that the family has a valid product liability claim.

Sexual Crimes through the Web

The Internet: no doubt it has made every bit of information readily available and messaging in an instant, no matter in which part of the globe a person may be located. Simple clicks of buttons will enable anyone to gather any type of information or, connect with a friend or a kin; these are a couple of the web’s positive uses. On the downside, however, the Internet has made it fast and too easy to execute offensive or criminal activities; hack into private government or personal records; and commit cyber fraud, cyber-based terrorism, computer intrusions, espionage, and even Internet sex crimes.

These may be less serious offenses compared to the other sexual criminal acts, but Internet sex crimes, nonetheless, have become an alarming concern to governments around the globe due to the very damaging effects these cause in those affected plus the ease with which perpetrators accomplish their offensive and destructive wrongdoings.

Through wired or wireless access to networks, sexual offenders are able to quickly create and disseminate different forms of sexually offensive and abusive materials and sexually-tainted messages, such as photos depicting child pornography and solicitation efforts, which often lead to contact offenses, like sexual assault or rape.

A global, multi-disciplinary organization, called the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), which is committed to helping stop sexual abuse, says that the most common forms of Internet sex offenses include trading and posting on-line of child pornography and sexual chats with children, adolescents or any vulnerable persons. The offender, who is an adult, first convinces their victim to produce or view pornographic images and then convinces them to meet face-to-face (for the committance of the crime). What is alarming about the whole thing is the fact that many teenagers do meet with their future offender more than once, describing such meetings as romantic occasions even.

Equally disturbing are data from the US Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), which says that:

– Many teenagers and young adults have willingly shared online with others their naked pictures, some have sent their naked photos through text messaging or through “sexting”;

– Many of those who end up as victims of Internet sex crimes openly talk about sexual topics even with people they do not know while displaying sexually provocative photos/videos online;

– A large number of teenagers and young adults are open to, and have actually participated in, sexting (or the sending of sexually explicit messages, usually with images, from one mobile phone to another).

As explained by the Nashville sexual offense attorneys at Horst Law, the state defines indecent exposure as the intentional exposure of a person’s genitalia or butt to another person or exposing unwilling bystanders to any manner of sexual contact occurring between two or more participants. However, in order for this law to come into effect, the alleged incident must have occurred in a public place, the private property of a non-participant, or must have been easily visible from a private premise. Furthermore, the prosecution will need to demonstrate that a suspect could have reasonably expected that one of the above actions would be seen by another person, and that these actions would either offend any reasonable person or were for the sole purpose of gratifying the defendant’s sexual appetite.

Suing A Nursing Home For Negligence

When loved ones or relatives sends an elderly to a nursing home facility, there is an assumption that the senior citizen will be taken cared of and provided the care they require for their age. However, as Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC reveals, nursing homes end up abusing or neglecting their loved ones. When there are obvious signs of negligence, abuse, or neglect by these facilities, the loved ones of the elderly can sue them for nursing home negligence.

So what are the grounds for filing a nursing home negligence lawsuit? There is a plethora of causes that can make nursing homes liable for negligence. Here are some examples:

  • Failure to maintain the safety and being hazard-free of the facility. It is the responsibility of the nursing home facility to ensure that their residents are safe and free from any hazards such as slip and fall accidents.
  • Negligent hiring. The nursing home facility can be liable for negligence if they hire an employee who ends up neglecting, abusing, or intentionally harming a patient. The lack of training and supervision of the employee can be a contributing factor to this.
  • Failure to maintain sufficient health and safety measures. This includes maintaining cleanliness and sanitation in the rooms and common areas.
  • Lack of adequate medical treatment. Aside from negligence, the nursing home facility can also be liable for medical malpractice. This happens when there is sub-standard medical care resulting to harm for the resident.

Nursing home facilities that accept Medicare are bound to Federal Regulations in terms of standard of care. Regulations require facilities to provide the following guarantees:

  • An environment that is hazard-free as much as possible
  • Adequate supervision and assistance devices to avoid accidents

The challenge with proving nursing home negligence is that it is not always obvious what went wrong and who is legally liable for any injuries. At the same time, the evidence available is often incomplete and self-serving on the part of the facility. This is where having an experienced attorney can come in handy.