KLEIN, TOMB & EBERLY SECURE 1.2 MILLION DOLLAR JUDGMENT IN LAND FRAUD CASE IN GUERNSEY COUNTY, OHIO

July 1, 2014 Troy, OH – Klein, Tomb & Eberly, a law firm with offices in Troy and Vandalia, Ohio secured a judgment of $1,206,100 against Michael “Mick” Maag in a land fraud case.  In a judgment entered in Guernsey County Common Pleas Court, the Court found Defendant Maag to have breached fiduciary duty intentionally misrepresenting the value of land in Guernsey.  The dispute centered on Mr. Maag’s representations to the Plaintiff, the land at issue (approximately 184 acres) was to be sold as pasturage while purposely withholding information regarding the gas and oil development taking place in the region preceding the sale.  While employed as the Plaintiff’s real estate agent, he advised Plaintiff to accept an offer to purchase the land far below actual value.  Klein, Tomb & Eberly on behalf of their client alleged Maag failed to disclose to the Plaintiff his relationship with the buyer, current market demand due to oil, gas and mineral sales/leases among other lesser breaches of fiduciary duties while holding himself out as an expert in land development in the region.

The attorneys at Klein, Tomb & Eberly were pleased with the outcome.  Attorney Jeremy Tomb who served as lead counsel in the litigation stated, “After lengthy litigation, we feel a sense of completeness finally securing this judgment against Mr. Maag.”  Claims against another Co-Defendant were settled prior to any adjudication.

Klein, Tomb & Eberly has over 50 years of combined years of legal experience and can be found online at www.helpinohio.com or by calling 937-339-3939.  Mr. Maag has filed an appeal through his attorney Carol Jackson. 


 
 
Attorney Ben Eberly was recently named an Ohio Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.  Attorney Eberly was three times named a Rising Star while practicing in Pennsylvania and the award has now followed him to Ohio, after returning to the Miami Valley to practice law.  Attorney Eberly who grew up in Piqua and graduated from Tippecanoe High School has been energized by his return to Miami County.  "It has been exciting to work at a smaller firm which has allowed time to really get to know my clients and know their stories" Eberly remarked. 

Ben proudly serves clients in a wide array of legal areas including Social Security Disability, Workers' Compensation, Personal Injury, Domestic Relations and Criminal law.  Attorney Eberly has successfully represented clients in Miami, Shelby, Darke, Montgomery, Greene, Allen, Auglaize, Mercer, Logan, Champaign and Clark Counties.  Ben is also an active participant in community affairs as member of both the Tipp City Rotary Club and Tipp Monroe Optimist Club.

Attorney Eberly is a partner at Klein, Tomb and Eberly, LLP a full service law firm with offices located in Troy and Vandalia.  Ben is available at 937-339-3939 or can be contacted through the firm's website at www.helpinohio.com.
 
 
A question I am asked frequently about Social Security Disability benefits...is what role if any, will mental illness play in the decision?  As usual there is not one simple answer, but mental illness will be considered in all claims for Social Security Disability benefits.  Social Security has published guidelines for the consideration of mental illness which includes consideration for depression, schizophrenic and psychotic disorders, anxiety related disorders, personality disorders and other mental health diagnoses.
What will be important is not just the diagnosis but also the treatment received and how your mental health condition affects your ability to work or participate in substantial gainful activity.
With over ten years of helping individuals with their Social Security Disability claims do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of Klein, Tomb & Eberly at 937-339-3939 concerning your claim.  We have two locations in Vandalia and Troy and appointments are usually available with 24 hours of your call.
 
 
In Ohio, if you are of legal drinking age (21 years old) the legal limit is .08.  In Ohio, penalties associated with OVI escalate depending on your history (prior OVI) and your BAC at the time of the arrest.  Ohio has what is commonly referred to as a "high test" enhancer regarding an individual's BAC level at the time of the test.  Per Ohio statute, the high test is triggered by a test which is equal to or greater than .17.  Ohio also has a different penalty structure for individuals who refuse the chemical test (refusal of breathalyzer) which is a common question concerning a traffic stop, "should I take the breathalyzer?"

In Ohio, if you are under the age of 21 the legal standard is .02.  If you are under 21 and test over .08 the adult standard and penalties will apply.

If you have been arrested and charged with OVI (DUI) the experienced criminal defense team at Klein, Tomb & Eberly can help.  We have two offices located in Troy and Vandalia and routinely assist clients in Troy, Vandalia, Piqua, Sidney, Tipp City, Huber Heights and the surrounding communities.  Each county including Montgomery, Miami, Shelby, Darke, Auglaize and Clark handle OVI in their own way and it is important to be familar with those procedures.  Klein, Tomb & Eberly are available at 937-339-3939 or at www.helpinohio.com.  Appointments are usually available within 24 hours of your call.
 
 
If you believe that your medical condition prevents you from participating in substantial gainful activity often referred to as "SGA" by the Social Security Administration (SSA) the next logical question is how do I apply for Social Security Disability benefits?  The answer is simple, there are a number of ways to apply for Social Security benefits.  An applicant may apply by phone, online or in person at their local Social Security office.  The Social Security Adminisration recommends when you apply you be able to provide names, addresses, phone numbers or doctors, caseworkers, hospitals and/or clinics which have provided care for you.  Names and dosages of medication.  Medical records concerning your condition.  Lab and/or test results.  Work history and summary.  Your most recent tax information (tax return).  Additionally, the Social Security Administration will want information concerning your spouse, if applicable.

According to the Social Security Administration and application takes 3 to 5 months to process, but typically the waiting period is 60 to 90 days.

If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits (SSD and/or SSI) you may benefit from contacting an attorney with Social Security experience.  Attorney Benjamin Eberly has been helping Social Security applicants obtain benefits for over 10 years.  Klein, Tomb and Eberly have two locations in Troy and Vandalia to serve Troy, Vandalia, Dayton, Piqua, Sidney, Tipp City, Huber Heights, Greenville, Springfield, Lima and surrounding communities.  Klein, Tomb & Eberly can be reached at 937-339-3939 or find them on the web at http://www.helpinohio.com . Your first consultation concerning Social Security matters is always FREE! 
 
 
DIVISION OF MARITAL PROPERTY & DEBT IN A DIVORCE

In a divorce, marital property is divided between the spouses.  The first consideration is to identify marital property, as opposed to non-marital property (which is not divided).  Marital property consists of real estate, bank accounts, pensions, household furnishings, investments and any other assets acquired during the marriage.  Marital property does not include one spouse’s inheritance, gifts to that spouse or compensation for one spouse’s injuries.  Marital debts are defined in the same way and must be divided in the divorce decree, usually without regard to differences in incomes between the parties.  The presumption is that the marital property and debt is to be divided equally but that can be adjusted.  Car loans are assigned to whichever spouse receives the car, for example.  However, it usually does not matter to the divorce court that a credit card used in the marriage was only signed by one of the spouses or that medical bills are only in the name of one of the spouses.

Often, the most complex issue is what to do about the marital residence and the mortgage loan that goes with it.  The parties or the court can decide to sell it and the consequences of sale divided equally.  Otherwise, one of the spouses can keep the house by becoming solely responsible for the mortgage debt and, if there’s any equity in the property, pay one-half of the equity to
the other spouse.

Another difficult issue is dividing pensions before they go into ‘pay-out’ status due to retirement.  The divorce court can issue a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) binding upon the pension administrator to divide the pension (or as much of it as was earned during the marriage) in half so that each spouse is entitled, upon retirement to a portion of the pension.  If each spouse has
a pension, they can be offset and only the difference is divided in the QDRO.

Knowing these and other guidelines, helps divorcing spouses to reach a settlement sooner and avoids lengthy divorce trials.  Experienced divorce lawyers are familiar with these guidelines and assist their clients to reach a divorce settlement without a trial.

If you have questions or need representation regarding a divorce, please contact our office at 937.339.3939.  Appointments are usually available within 24 hours of your call.

 
 
IS ALIMONY AN ISSUE IN YOUR DIVORCE?

Alimony is officially referred to as‘spousal support.’  Spousal support is paid for sustenance and for support of a spouse or former
spouse.  Spousal support (otherwise known as alimony) is usually not awarded in divorces involving short-term marriages (less than five years).  During the divorce process, however, courts may award temporary spousal support until the divorce becomes final, even in short-term marriages.

Alimony obligations which extend beyond the final divorce hearing are likely to occur where the marriage lasted more than five years
and one of the spouses earns significantly more income than the other spouse.

The amount and duration of these alimony obligations are left to the discretion of the divorce judge who is guided by the Ohio Revised Code statute 3105.18.  This statute lists 13 factors for the divorce court to consider (in addition to any other factor that the divorce court finds to be fair and relevant).  These factors include:

 · the income of the parties
·  the relative earning abilities and education of the parties
·  the ages and physical, mental, emotional conditions of the parties
·  the retirement benefits available
·  whether one spouse is a stay-at-home parent
·  the job opportunities lost to one of the parties due to the marriage
·  job training needs of one of the parties
·  assets and debts of each of the parties

Spousal support obligations once awarded, normally terminate upon the death of either party or upon the recipient’s re-marriage or cohabitation with a significant other. 

If you have questions concerning divorce or spousal support, Klein, Tomb & Eberly have two convenient locations in Troy and Vandalia.  Klein, Tomb & Eberly can be reached at 937.339.3939 and appointments are usually available within 24 hours of your call.
 
 
Our blog has tried to answer several fundamental questions each of the attorneys at Klein, Tomb and Eberly get on a routine basis.  A question which comes up over and over again in Workers Compensation is "when do I get paid?" of course, assuming you are missing work due to your injury.

As usual, Ohio does not give you a simple answer.  First, an injured worker and their physician (doctor) must fill out a C-84 form for the Ohio BWC.  The BWC describes the C-84 as "C-84 - Request for Temporary Total Compensation: Injured workers and their  physicians must use this form to initiate or extend payment of temporary total disability benefits. The injured worker provides information about employment and benefits received during the time of disability. The physician provides information about the condition, physical restrictions, objective and subjective  findings, maximum medical improvement, vocational rehabilitation and
the dates  of disability being certified, including an estimated or actual return-to-work  date. This form advises both the injured worker and the physician of the  penalties associated with workers’ compensation fraud."

Is that all?  No, of course not.  An injured worker must first miss 7 days of work due to the injury sustained in the course and scope of employment.  If you have missed more than seven days of work due to your work injury and have the C-84 forms properly executed you may begin receiving Temporary Total Compensation per the Ohio BWC guidelines.

If you have been injured at work and have additional questions regarding your Workers' Compensation rights, Klein, Tomb & Eberly have two convenient locations in Troy and Vandalia.  If you can't make it there...call us and we will make arrangements to come and see you.  Klein, Tomb & Eberly can be reached at 937.339.3939 and appointments are usually available within 24 hours of your call.




 
 
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE AND A DISSOLUTION

All my clients ask me about the difference between an uncontested divorce and a dissolution.  So here’s my opinion:

Dissolutions require the two spouses to reach a complete agreement on the assets, debts, spousal support, custody and visitation issues arising from their marriage.  The agreement must be in writing and signed before a dissolution petition is filed with the court.  Within two months after filing, both have to appear before the judge and verify their agreement.  No witnesses or proof of fault are
necessary.

Uncontested divorces can be handled the same way (with an agreement up front) at the same cost and just as quickly.  However, only one spouse and a witness has to show up in court.  This is an advantage because it can be inconvenient or unpleasant for one of the spouses to come to court.

If you need legal advice regarding dissolutions and/or divorces please contact our office at 937.339.3939.  Appointments are usually available within 24 hours of your call.
 
 
Many Workers' Compensation clients often ask me, "do I have to see a company doctor?".  The answer is "NO".  Of course, just like everything else in Ohio Workers' Compensation there are things you should be aware of when attempting to see a doctor of your choosing for your Workers Compensation claim.
1. First, be sure the physician (doctor) you would like to see is Work Comp certified.  In Ohio, a medical provider must be certified by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.  Most physicians' offices will simply tell you if you call, but if you are having trouble the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) website has a list of current providers who are BWC certified.
2. Be sure the doctor is willing to participate in your claim.  Many physicians are BWC certified but are not willing to participate in the BWC system or are unwilling to be an Injured Workers' Physician of Record.
3. Even if you have begun your treatment with a physician (doctor) chosen by your Employer, you still have a right to change your physician (doctor)

If you have been injured at work, Klein, Tomb & Eberly have two convenient locations in Troy and Vandalia.  If you can't make it there...call us and we will make arrangements to come and see you.  Klein, Tomb & Eberly can be reached at 937.339.3939 and
appointments are usually available within 24 hours of your call.