As the real estate settlement industry hustles, and struggles, to catch up with the pace of technological advances (i.e. quicker closings, remote settlements where neither the Buyer nor the Seller attends the settlement table, etc.), one of the biggest changes is the transition from the old standard of allowing realtors to bring their business checks for the deposits, and Buyers to bring certified checks or cashier’s checks for the funds that they need to close, to requiring all parties wire their funds to the title insurance agency before closing.
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FEATURE ARTICLE – “Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock” by Thomas P. McCabe, Esquire.
STAFF SPOTLIGHT – Meet Donna E. Day, Legal Administrator
OWM FIRM NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS – Kathleen M. Martin, Esq., CELA, Thomas P. McCabe, Esq., and David A. Megay, Esq. have upcoming information sessions.
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Pennsylvania amended its Ignition Interlock law effective August 25, 2017. Part of that amendment made the Ignition Interlock (a device that is hooked up to your car that you have to breath into to demonstrate that there is no alcohol in your system in order for your car to operate) available for first-time DUI offenders with high blood alcohol levels. Further, it established a new Ignition Interlock Limited License. This new license permits individuals to operate a motor vehicle equipped with an Ignition Interlock device if certain requirements are met. The new license would have a designation on it that says, “Ignition Interlock”. …
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In Pennsylvania, if you are charged with a criminal offense, you are entitled to have a preliminary hearing within 10 days of the charges being filed.
At the preliminary hearing, the Magisterial District Judge has to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the charges to be held over to the Court of Common Pleas (trial level). The burden of proof at a preliminary hearing is on the Commonwealth (District Attorney’s Office). The prosecutor must prove the elements of the offenses to a prima facia level. Prima facia is just a legal term meaning “on the face”. The Magisterial District Judge looks at the Affidavit of Probable Cause and any additional evidence that the prosecutor presents to make a determination whether it’s more likely or not that the charges alleged occurred and, is it more likely or not that the defendant was the one who committed them. The Magisterial District Judge does not determine if the defendant is guilty or not guilty. Nor does the Magisterial District Judge determine a sentence. There are exceptions to this, such as when the defendant is only facing summary offenses, but that is a discussion for another day.
Continue reading What is a Preliminary Hearing? →
This month is the last in our Staff Spotlight Series, and we are focusing on the firm’s Legal Administrator. A Legal Administrator is the Office/Business Manager for a law firm. They wear many hats and are responsible for multiple areas of operation, including Finance and Accounting, Human Resources and Employee Benefits, Information Technology (IT), Facilities, Marketing and Business Development and General Office Services. We would like to introduce our OWM Legal Administrator, Donna E. Day. …
Continue reading Staff Spotlight: Donna E. Day – August 2018 →