Law Offices of James Flexer May/June 2017

MAY/JUNE 2017

FLEXER LAW THE FLEXER FILES • (615) 255-2893 • FlexerLaw.com

THANKFUL FOR OUR COMMUNITY

Approximately 100 new people are moving to Nashville every day, according to an article inThe Tennessean last year. My hometown has grown leaps and bounds since I started practicing law here in 1981. Middle Tennessee is a great place to live, and now it seems the secret is out!

We think it’s important to give back to the community. Everyone who works as part of Flexer Law has a big heart and cares about helping others. We offer many free resources for those in the community who have legal questions. In the past year, we have released two books. “Tennessee Personal Injury”is a book that is designed to guide you, step by step, through the legal process if you’re injured here in Tennessee.“Tennessee Motorcycle Handbook”is our latest release, written by attorneys Steve Karr and Jeff Levine, withmotorcycle riders inmind. This book goes over how to select the right motorcycle for you, what kind of safety equipment you should have, and how to navigate the law if you’re pulled over or in an accident while riding. These books are available to our community, free of charge, by calling our office or visiting our website. We also continue to offer our free books on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy as well as other resources on our website: flexerlaw. com/resources. Our attorneys have been guests at seminars held at the UnitedWay andTennessee State University this spring. We have even started hosting seminars at our office, with the added bonus of delicious refreshments! Of course, our one-on-one consultations at the office with an attorney are always free. We give all of this information freely because we know that people want to understand their options and legal rights before making a big decision. If you have an idea for a resource that would be helpful in your community, let us know. We always love hearing from you! James Flexer

We are always on a quest to reach out to people in our community and let them know about the legal services we offer, like help with bankruptcy, divorce and custody, personal injury, and Social Security disability claims. Youmay even have seen our new commercials onTV in the last fewmonths.

However, we can’t go without thanking our best local source of referrals: YOU! We greatly appreciate all the times you have recommended Flexer Law to friends, family, and co-workers who need legal help. By spreading the word, you help people in your community find friendly, local attorneys who will work hard for them.

Have you been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault?You could have inside information to help you understand how a personal injury case works, from start to finish. If you’ve been injured in an accident, this is a MUST-READ!We’d like to offer this book as a COMPLIMENTARY GIFT to our clients and their friends and family. Visit our website at flexerlaw.com/TNinjurybook or call us at (615) 255-2893 to request your free copy today!

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3 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN HIRING A DIVORCE ATTORNEY By LewisWilliams

Filing for divorce can be an intensely personal and emotional process. Finding the right attorney to represent you in your divorce case can be a daunting task. How can you find someone who will represent you well and be the right fit for you?

attorney have open right now? How long has the attorney been practicing in your county’s court? How well does the attorney know the judge? If your case has special circumstances, like you cannot locate your spouse or you own a business together, has the attorney handled cases like yours before? 3) You want someone who is going to be honest with you and not just tell you what you want to hear. No one has a perfect case. Ask your potential attorney, “What do you like about my case? What do you dislike about it?” Keep in mind, almost no one gets everything they want in a divorce. Property division has to be equitable. Equitable means fair, but does not necessarily mean equal. For example, when dividing property, if the court finds that one individual contributed more, that individual may be awarded a different proportion of the property. If an attorney tells you, “You’re going to get everything,” that’s a red flag. Many attorneys offer a free consultation or have information on their website. Don’t feel obligated to go with the first person you talk to, and don’t be afraid to contact multiple attorneys until you find one that is the right fit for you and your case.

1) Look for an attorney who is well-respected in the legal community, both by other attorneys and the judges in your county. Ask other attorneys for a recommendation. I would recommend going to a domestic docket in Davidson County Circuit Court (or Chancery Court in other surrounding counties). In Davidson County, these dockets are held every Friday, and it’s a great way to observe how other attorneys do in court. Watch how well the attorneys know the facts of the case, whether or not they’re prepared and on time, and what their demeanor is like in court. 2) Find someone who is experienced. This should be a question you ask when doing your research. You don’t want your divorce case to be the very first one your attorney handles. How long has the attorney been practicing? How many divorce cases does the

IRS DEBT AND CHAPTER 7 I OWE THE IRS. CAN TAXES BE DISCHARGED IN CHAP ER 7 BANKRUPTCY?

By Lori Lott Szathmary

Whether your IRS debt will be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends upon when that tax debt was incurred. Taxes come due the following April after the year that they were incurred. For example, a 2016 tax debt comes due in April,

2017. If the tax came due in the last three years, then the tax becomes priority debt and is not dischargeable by the bankruptcy. Please note that if you obtained an extension or if you did not file your taxes timely, then this three-year rule may not apply. In addition, if the government does an audit and assesses taxes within 240 days of you filing for bankruptcy, this will mean it is non-dischargeable as well. You also cannot discharge a federal tax lien or a tax debt that was incurred through fraud or willful tax evasion.

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MOTORCYCLE SAFETY CHECKLIST By Jeff Levine and Steve Karr Before you take your  Check your front

suspension. With the front brake engaged, bounce the front end by pushing your weight down on the handlebars. It should resist and return smoothly. Inspect the front forks for signs of leaking fluid, as this can indicate worn seals, resulting in improper and dangerous handling.  Be sure your chain is properly adjusted and that the sprockets are not worn or damaged.  Ensure your side stand operates smoothly and the spring holds.  Test your kill switch. Just about every modern bike will have a switch that will shut off the ignition system, stopping the engine. The best way to ensure it functions properly is to use it every time you turn off the bike rather than relying on the key. In the event of a throttle failure, this is the safety device that allows you to shut down the bike without having to remove your hands from the handlebars. Of course, you should always make sure your motorcycle gets regular maintenance. Check your owner’s manual for a maintenance schedule and follow your manufacturer’s instruction as to all maintenance and safety checks. For more safety tips and information about motorcycle law in Tennessee, visit TNmotorcyclehandbook.com or call us at 615- 255-2893 to request your free copy of our latest book, “ Tennessee Motorcycle Handbook . ”

motorcycle on the road, highway, or interstate, you should always do a pre-ride inspection. This only takes a few minutes and can be the best way to protect against an accident or injury.

Always check the following when preparing to ride:  Check tire pressure and wheels. Improper pressure can lead to unanticipated handling difficulties.  Make sure your front and rear brake are firm and hold the motorcycle when applied.  Your clutch and throttle should always operate smoothly. The throttle should snap back to fully closed when released, and the clutch should feel tight and operate smoothly.  Make sure the horn works.  Make sure your mirrors are clean and properly adjusted.  Check your headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and hand signals.  Check the oil and transmission fluid levels as well as brake fluid and coolant levels. Low fluid levels can lead to catastrophic failures that can cause the rear wheel to lock up. Oil could be released, which can coat the rear tire. Improper oil and fluid levels can cause a number of other problems that can make a day go from good to bad in a heartbeat.  If your bike is equipped with a fuel petcock (a shutoff valve ), make sure it is open before starting your bike.

3 GENIUS SUMMER LIFE HACKS STAY COOL THIS S M ER WITH THESE THREE EASY TIPS: N S U R H

1. Keep your ice cream soft and

2. Avoid messy popsicle drips! Cut a slit in the bottom of a cupcake holder and poke the popsicle stick through the opening. It will catch the drips, keeping your kids’ hands (and everything else around them) clean!

3. Keep your steering wheel cool! When you park, turn the steering wheel as far as you can. This way, when you get back in, you can turn the wheel back and drive with your hands on the part that stayed out of the sun.

ready to scoop and serve! Just put the entire ice cream container in a gallon-size freezer bag and zip it closed before storing. This way, it stays soft and easy to serve; plus, you avoid freezer burn.

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We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

INSIDE Thankful for Our Community 3 Things to Consider When Hiring a Divorce Attorney IRS Debt and Chapter 7

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Motorcycle Safety Checklist 3 Genius Summer Life Hacks

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In the Community Attorney Summer Reading Picks

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IN THE COMMUNITY On Saturday, July 15, attorneys Jeff Levine and Steve Karr will be at McKay’s Books inWest Nashville giving away free copies of our books, “Tennessee Personal Injury”and“Tennessee Motorcycle Handbook.”Stop by to say hello and add these two books to your personal library.

ATTORNEY SUMMER READING PICKS

James Flexer’s Recommendation: “Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South”by Andrew Maraniss

PerryWallace of Peal High School in Nashville was the first African-American to play a major sport in the Southeastern Conference at Vanderbilt. Not only is his story fascinating, this book is also a history lesson on Nashville. (Also available in a young reader’s edition on Amazon.com.)

When: Saturday, July 15, 1–3 p.m.

Where: McKay’s Books, 636 Old Hickory Blvd., Nashville, Tennessee, 37209

Jeff Levine’s Recommendation: “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig. This is a great philosophical book and should be on every reading list. Steve Karr’s Recommendation: “SecondDegree” by Alan Turk. This book was written by a retired Nashville lawyer and is a fictionalized account based on an actual murder that happened in Franklin, Tennessee. It’s only available on Amazon.combut is worth the read!

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