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Criminal Misdemeanor Law in Rhode Island (RI) – Plea Agreements – Sentencing & What is a Conviction?

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A misdemeanor is any offense punishable by up to one year in Jail. Typical misdemeanors are: driving under the influence of alcohol / drunk driving (dui / dwi), shoplifting, domestic assault, Second (2nd) offense refusal to take the breathalyzer, driving on a suspended license, writing bad checks, domestic vandalism, simple assault and battery, domestic disorderly, reckless driving, disorderly conduct, etc. There are different rules that apply to driving with suspended licenses and this article does not fully address those provisions.

If you cannot afford an attorney to represent you then you should contact the Public Defender. The Rhode Island Office of the Public Defender represents eligible clients in criminal law matters (misdemeanors / felony) for no charge. Do not use this article as a substitute for seeking independent legal advice from a lawyer.

It is a very bad idea for a person to represent themselves (pro-se) in a criminal case. Please note that this article only applies to Rhode Island misdemeanor offenses and does not apply to any other states!

At the arraignment, A person should almost always say not guilty and hire an attorney. If a person cannot afford a lawyer then the person should go to the Public Defender. After the arraignment the matter will be set for a pretrial conference a couple of weeks later. In some very limited circumstances a person can work out a plea deal at the arraignment. It is usually a very bad idea for a person to enter into a plea agreement without an attorney.

At the pretrial conference a person can change their plea after meeting with the prosecutor and or the judge and after finding out what the prosecutor is offering for a a sentence. A defendant can negotiate with the prosecutor through their lawyer. If a plea agreement cannot be worked out at the pretrial conferences the matter will be set for trial. The matter also could be scheduled for motions prior to the trial if motions are requested.

A person should never change their plea from not guilty to nolo contendere or guilty without a plea deal from the prosecutor.

In Rhode Island, a defendant can enter one of four pleas: guilty, not guilty, nolo contendere or an “alfred plea”.

Guilty and Not Guilty Pleas

The pleas of guilty and not guilty are obvious. If the plea is not guilty then the matter will be scheduled for a trial on the merits in which the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is guilty of the alleged offense. The person will be presumed innocent and it is the prosecutions burden to prove that the person is guilty. Usually, it is a very very bad idea to take a guilty plea! Guilty pleas or a finding of guilt after a trial is always a criminal conviction in Rhode Island.

Nolo Contendere Plea

Nolo contendere means a person is not contesting the charges. When a defendant takes a nolo contendere plea in Rhode island, the defendant is indicting that he does not want to contest the charges but is also essentially admitting to the charges.

What is the difference between a guilty plea and a nolo contendere plea in rhode Island? There is a huge difference! A guilty plea is always a criminal conviction under Rhode Island law. A criminal conviction has major negative implications especially when a person applies for employment. A plea of nolo contendere may not constitute a criminal conviction in Rhode Island. A plea of nolo contendere is only a conviction in Rhode Island if there is a sentence of confinement (such as the ACI or home confinement), a suspended sentence or a fine imposed.

For example, A plea of nolo contendere with a sentence of probation and a contribution to the violent crimes indemnity fund or court costs will not constitute a conviction under Rhode Island law! For example, A plea of nolo contendere with a sentence of a filing and a contribution to the violent crimes indemnity fund (vcif) will not constitute a conviction under Rhode Island law.

However, anything with a fine attached to it will be a conviction under Rhode Island law. Therefore, it is important that the defendant gets either no fine or a contribution to the victims fund or court costs rather then a fine.

All misdeameanor plea agreements in Rhode lsland should be nolo contendere with court costs or a contribution towards the victims indemnity fund rather then guilty pleas!

Alfred Pleas

Alfred Pleas are strongly disfavored by judges in Rhode Island (RI) and are difficult to get. Alfred pleas derive from a United States Supreme Court case. In an Alfred plea, a defendant will admit that the state has sufficient evidence to convict him or her if the case went to trial but will not admit to anything.

DUI / Drunk Driving charges

In Rhode Island, any plea to drunk driving, driving under the influence, DUI/ DWI is a conviction under Rhode Island law. A breathalyzer refusal plea of guilty or “admitting to sufficient facts” is not a criminal conviction because a breathalyzer refusal is a civil case.

Guilty Finding after Trial and appeals de novo

If the defendant is found guilty after trial the sentence will constitute a conviction. If a person is found guilty at trial in district court they can appeal de novo (of new) to the Superior Court and the conviction will be erased and the case will essentially start all over again in the Superior Court.

Obviously, the defendants best result is either a dismissal by the prosecution or an acquittal.

A defendant has five days to file an appeal of a guilty finding after trial or appeal a plea agreement that he / she is unhappy with. In the Superior Court appeal, the defendant has a right to a trial by jury. Whereas, in The District Court a person waives their right to a trial by jury but in exchange for their waiver of their right to a trial by jury has the right to appeal any guilty finding de novo (of new) to the Superior Court. A person charged with a misdemeanor essentially has two bites of the apple so to speak. A defendant can attempt to win at a judge decided trial in District Court and then if they lose they can do it all over again with a jury trial in Superior Court.

What is a “filing” in Rhode Island?

A one year filing is usually only offered by the prosecutor as a penalty for first time offenders. A filing is a penalty that is typically offered for first time offenders for relatively minor misdemeanors. A filing is the lowest form of penalty available and is always better than probation for an accused. A filing is when the case is put aside for a year and if the person stays out of trouble for a year then the case is eligible to be expunged and destroyed at the end of the year.

Be careful, do not forget to have your filing expunged at the end of the year! It is not automatic. A certified copy of the expungement order must also be sent to the Rhode Island Attorney General ‘s office, the Rhode Island State Police and the local police department that pursued the criminal charge. In the event that a person is found guilty after trial, a person could still be sentenced to a one year filing. However, any guilty finding after trial will constitute a conviction. A guilty finding with a penalty of a filing should be appealed to avoid a conviction.

(Expungement is a process in which a person can have certain eligible Rhode Island criminal records expunged off there record. In order to obtain an expungement of a Rhode Island criminal record a person must file a motion to expunge. I strongly advise that you contact me or another Rhode Island criminal law attorney to determine whether a criminal record can be expunged.)

If a one year filing is offered by the prosecutor / city solicitor and is accepted then the case will be “filed” for a year. This is commonly called a “filing”. If the defendant does not get arrested or get in other trouble and complies with the conditions of the filing during the one year period then the case can be easily expunged from a person’s record after the year.

What types of filing are there in Rhode Island

There are two types of filings, not guilty filings and nolo contendere filings. A not Guilty filing is when the defendant maintains his innocence and the case if filed for a year. A not guilty filing is not usually allowed by Judges in the District Court! Not Guilty filings are extremely rare in the District Court. Some judges will not allow not guilty filings as a matter of policy. Not guilty filings are very beneficial to the defendant as the best case scenario short of a dismissal or not guilty finding because if the person is accused of a new crime or violating their filing the state will need to still prove their underlying case.

A nolo contendere filing is when the defendant admits to guilt and the case is filed for a year. The vast majority of filings are nolo contedere filings! A major difference between a not guilty filing and a nolo contendere filing is when a person is violated for a not guilty filing then the state / prosecution must prove guilt at that time. Whereas, if a person is violated for a nolo contendere filing, the judge simply must impose a sentence because the person has already admitted guilt to that offense.

If the person violates his filing by not complying with the conditions of the filing then the persons filing can be revoked by the Court. If a person takes a nolo contendere filing and gets into further trouble, violates the conditions of the filing or is arrested on a new offense then the person will be hailed back into court to be sentenced on the filing. (unless the filing was a not guilty filing which means the prosecution must prove the defendants guilt) There are various conditions that can be put on a filing inluding alcohol and drug counseling, domestic violence counseling or classes, restitution, no contact with the victim and community service.

A person that has a filing is subject to being held at the aci for 10 days as a violator of his filing if he is arrested for a new offense during the filing period.

What implications are there for domestic violence offenses in Rhode Island?

If the underlying charge is for a domestic offense such as domestic assault, vandalism, or domestic disorderly conduct then the defendant will be ordered to have no contact with his wife, girlfriend or the victim as the case may be.

Upon entering a plea or being found guilty of a crime with domestic implications then the defendant will be ordered to complete a batterers intervention program which involves attending classes. The defendant can also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim if applicable and obtain substance abuse or mental health counseling. Failure to attend the Batterers classes or failure to pay restitution or failure to attend counseling could be considered a violation of probation or a filing.

If the defendant violates the no contact order then the defendant will be charged with a separate offense of violating a no contact order as well as violating the conditions of the filing or probation, as a result of the communication.

The no contact order will remain in effect while the case is pending and during the period of any penalty or sentence. The no Contact order will expire if the case is dismissed. For example, a no contact order will stay in effect until any probationary period or suspended sentence is completed.

Rhode Island Family Court restraining orders

Be careful! There may be a separate restraining order that issued from Rhode Island Family Court as a result of a complaint protection from abuse in a divorce or family law matter. The Family Court has jurisdiction to issue restraining orders for up to three (3) years. The Family Court can issue restraining orders for persons who are married, are divorced, are family members or who have children in common as well as other jurisdiction set forth in the statute. There may also be a restraining order issued by a Court of another state or another Court

Violation of Family Court Complaint protection from Abuse restraining order is a crime in itself and also may constitute a violation of probation, bail and violation of conditions of a filing.

District Court Restraining orders:

There may also be a District Court restraining order from your (ex) boyfriend or girlfriend. The District Court has jurisdiction to issue restraining orders for persons who were or are in a dating relationship or who are roommates. Violation of a District Court restraining order is also a crime in itself. Violation of a District Court restraining order is also a violation of probation and a violation of the terms of bail and a violation of the conditions of a filing.

Superior Court Restraining orders:

Violation of A Superior Court restraining order is punishable by contempt proceedings which could result in confinement. However, violation of a Superior Court restraining order is not a crime in itself. Violation of a Superior Court Restraining order could be considered a violation of bail, probation or conditions of a filing.

Issues concerning custody and visitation of children as well as divorce and family related matters:

The District Court in a criminal case cannot be involved in setting vistitation or dealing with issues concerning divorce or custody of the minor children. The Rhode Island Family Court is the proper Forum for dealing with issues related to divorce and child custody such as: child support, visitation, financial restraining orders and issues concerning marital property, marital real estate and debt.

If your spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend is preventing you from visiting or talking to your child as a result of a criminal case or no contact order then you may need to file for divorce or a separate action for custody or visitation in Family Court.

The Family Court can set visitation and child support as part of a Complaint protection from abuse restraining order. In some instances when domestic violence is alleged or there are issues concerning alcohol, drug abuse or mental health then the Family Court may order supervised visitations. These Supervised visitations my occur at the Providence Family Court or may be supervised by a third party.

No Contact Orders in Rhode Island explained

A “no contact order” means that the defendant is precluded from having any contact and or communication with the victim or the person under the protection of the no contact order. This includes but is not limited to letters, emails, text messages or messages delivered through a third party.

In other words if a person is under a no contact order and sees the victim in public they must leave the area immediately and not acknowledge the victims existence. A person cannot even say “hi” if they walk by the victim by chance on the street.

Be very careful! A person can be arrested for violating a no contact order even if the victim initiates the contact and calls the defendant. A person can be charged with breaking a no contact order even if invited by his wife to come back to the marital home.

Even if the victim tells you that the no contact order has been dropped, do not take the victims word for it. You must see the piece of paper signed by the judge dismissing the no contact order before any contact or communication is initiated. A no contact order expires when the sentence period is finished. However, be careful because there may also be a restraining order issued as a reult of a divorce or family court matter or a District Court restraining order.

A person who is on probation or a probation attached to a suspended sentence must be even more vigilante in order to not violate the no contact order. For example, a single phone call made by the defendant to a victim under the protection of a no contact order probably means a minimum of ten 10 days in jail at the ACI. We are not talking about the local town jail but the ACI.

Violation of conditions of filing

Please note, that a person who has a filing can be held for up to ten days at the ACI if arrested for a new charge / crime. A person who is on a filing must be very careful that he / she stays out of trouble.

If the person is violated from the terms and conditions of the filing then hypothetically the filing could become a conviction because that person has already admitted to the charges by pleading nolo contendere and giving up his right to contest the charges. Court costs will be imposed if there is a nolo contendere filing in a criminal case.

Probation in Rhode Island

If a person receives probation then they will need to abide by the conditions of the probation and agree to keep the peace and be of good behavior. If a person violates his/ her probation by being arrested for a new crime then the person may be held in Jail at the ACI as a probation violator. After ten days a person has the right to a hearing. At the probation violation hearing, the prosecutor must only convince the judge so that the judge belives by a perponderence of the evidence that the person violated the probation by committing the new offense. Also the person will be prosecuted for the new offense as a separate charge from violating the probation. There is a good chance that if a person is violated for his probation that the probation which was originally not a conviction will now ripen into a conviction.

A probationary period is a time of great risk for a defendant and a defendant must be careful to stay out of trouble!

A person can also be violated for his probation for various infractions that may not be criminal acts but that violate the conditions of probation such as not keeping probation informed of new addresses, leaving the state without permission, not paying court costs or restitution, not properly reporting to the probation officer, etc. When a person is under probation in Rhode Island, he or she is essentially is in a contract with the state to keep the peace, be of good behavior and comply with the conditions and rules of probation.

What is a probation with a suspended sentence in Rhode Island?

If the charges are serious or the person has a lengthy criminal record of has already been placed on probation before then in addition to the probation, the judge may attach a suspended sentence. A person who has a suspended sentence is in a period of extreme risk because a new offense could lead to substantial jail time!

A suspended sentence is always a conviction under Rhode Island law. A person with probation and a suspended sentence attached will not spend anytime in prison unless the person violates the conditions of his probation as set forth above.

The period of the suspended sentence is the most time that a person could spend in prison if the person violates the conditions of the probation or commits a new offense. If the person violates the probation, the judge could sentence the person up to the amount of time that is suspended. Please note that the person could get additional sentence and or penalties as a result of the new charge. It is in the defendants best interest to have the period of suspended sentence to be as short as possible. The suspended sentence typically is for the same amount of time as the period of probation.

Please note that if the offense is driving on a suspended license there are special rules that apply that are set forth in the statutes.

Most prosecutors and judges believe that each sentence should be more severe then the last. A person’s first minor offense is likely to lead to only a filing which is the lowest form of penalty in Rhode Island. A person usually will only be allowed one filing.

Could I be incarcerated at the aci or serve time in jail as a result of a misdemeanor charge?

Yes. A serious misdemeanor could lead to incarceration at the Adult Correctional Institution (ACI). The Vast majority of misdemeanor cases do not result in a sentence of incarceration! A habitual offender could eventually face jail time. A person convicted of a second or third offense dui / dwi faces a minimum mandatory sentence to the ACI. A person with a probation violation or suspended sentence could face incarceration depending on the circumstances. In a Misdemeanor District Court case the Court only has jurisdiction to sentence a person to a year in jail. In some instances a person might qualify for Home confinement in lieu of a sentence at the ACI.

Please be advised that there are different considerations related to Felony criminal charges which are not addressed in this article including but not limited to deferred sentences. Please consult the Rhode Island Public Defender’s website for information related to felony charges and for an explanation of a Deferred sentence.

It is important that this criminal law article be used for informational purposes only and not as a substitute for seeking legal advice from a Rhode Island lawyer.

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How to Sense Low Levels of Asbestos in Your Daily Environment

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My discovery came to me by accidentally removing an asbestos

material in my home. The resulting condition of the whole house

after this accident left me with a sore chest, dry and unbearably iching skin and eyes. My wife complained of extreme thirst and my oldest son, age 14, developed severe asthma. This

all continued for five to six months. During this time I tried

desparately to determine if we were living in an unsafe level of asbestos. The material that I had removed was tested and found to

contain 20% crysitile asbestos. Air sampling proved to be unreliable because the area had been ventilated so well. But the furnishings, carpets, walls and all other personal belongings

were covered the remnants of the demolition.Everyone wanted to play down the seriousness of the situation, but, to me it was

obviously not a healthy environment.

So, I set out to try to logically deduce, with a knowledge of the physical properties of asbestos,when I encountered the substance as I attempted to clean every surface and item in every room of the house.

That was fifteen years ago. During that time, as I learned

more about where we all encounter asbestos materials on a daily basis. I made mental notes concerning my and others’ reactions

to these encounters. Many situations have arisen ranging from

sore throats and skin conditions(acne and basil cell skin cancer) to asthma, pneumonia and death. I don’t have clinical

proof of these claims I’ve made, except to say “if it looks, walks and sounds like a duck it probably is a duck”. Many times clinical trials are verified by producing the same results in subsequent testing. Deductive reasoning can also be verified

in the same way. If the same results are observed again and again after low level exposure to these remnants then that is

proof to me.

Without writing a book, I wouldn’t have the space to detail every observation I’ve made during this period, but I can assure you that no contact with asbestos is without a possible adverse health consequence.

Asbestos is a very lightweight chrystal-like material with highly static electrical properties. It often produces a static

discharge like when one is shocked by touching the metal switch plate or door knob in their home. It often leaves a bitter-salty taste in your mouth. It can stay airborne for days at a time. It absorbs moisture and produces a very dry environment (which only makes the static electric situation worse.)

The loose material may be accidentally contacted in a number of

building types and situations.

Many buildings built before 1977 have vinyl asbestos floor tile. No one can avoid walking on this, if they enter the building. This is fine if the floor is well maintained. Look out for broken or worn and never waxed tile. This applies to any

location in the building, commercial or residential. Closets are

very seldom waxed. Items stored there will accumulate certain

amounts of this substance.

Anytime an older building is renovated the possibility exists

for a number of materials containing asbestos to be encountered.

The contractor does’t always do the right thing. In many instances it is cheaper to pay the fine if he is caught. So he just tears it out and throws it in the dumpster or hauls it to the dump himself. As a consequence, many newly renovated stores

have a certain amount of this dust on the shelves and new merchandise in the store.

There are many more instances of contact for which I don’t have the time to detail here, but basically, with the characteristics of the material, knowledge of where you may encounter the substance and many hours of observation (I’ve been in construction over thirty years), you too can make the same

deductive conclutions that I have made.

In subsequent articles I intend to go into detail on the unique physical properties of asbestos and how this promotes detection in your hair and clothes. In future articles I would also like to expand on the many other health effects I’ve noticed, such as acne, which could benefit many young adults and a number of people who continue with this complexion problem into adulthood.

For more information on this subject see these sites:

www.livingwithasbestos.com [http://www.livingwithasbestos.com]

http://ezinearticles.com/?id=25139

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What Is Stage 3 Lung Cancer Life Expectancy?

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In both the United States and the United Kingdom, lung cancer is now considered to be the leading cause of cancer related deaths among both males and females (not including skin cancer), and is also considered to be more fatal than all other known cancers due to its late stage diagnosis.

There are two different types of lung cancer. The less common and faster growing small cell lung cancer (SCLC), also known as oat cel cancer (OCC), and the slower growing non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Both types are staged (staging describes the extent or severity of a patient’s cancer) with each stage further divided into more specific stages.

Stage 3 – Lung cancer is broken down into two different stages (A & B), and has been reached when the disease has spread to either the lymph node system, or to another part of the body. This is a critical stage for any patient, as the cancer has now become life-threatening.

An important group of factors can affect stage 3 cancer sufferers considerably. Age, gender, weight, previous medical history, and general physical condition must all be taken into consideration when evaluating the prognosis of a patient. Any, or all of these are factors that may have a bearing on the eventual life expectancy of a patient.

Stage 3A – The cancer has passed the first two stages and has affected the lymph node system. The tumor may vary in size at this stage. Other parts of the body that may be affected are the main bronchus, the chest wall, the diaphragm, the pleura (membrane lining the thoracic cavity), and the membrane that surrounds the heart. At this stage there is also the possibility of lung inflammation or a complete collapse of the lung.

Stage 3B – The cancer has further spread to the opposite side of the body where it has probably affected the chest wall, the inferior cava (the vein that receives blood from lower limbs and abdominal organs and empties into the posterior part of the right atrium of the heart), the aorta (the largest artery in the human body), the diaphragm (muscular membranous partition separating the abdominal and thoracic cavities), the trachea (windpipe), sternum (breast bone), or the esophagus (the tube that carries food, liquids and saliva from the mouth to the stomach).

Stage 3 Life Expectancy

The prognosis of a stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer patient can vary considerably. As previously mentioned, age, gender, weight, previous medical history and general physical condition may all affect how a patient responds to treatment (what side-effects are experienced). Depending on these factors, a prognosis of around 15 months (stage 3A), and 13 months (stage 3B) can be expected (on average). Sadly, only around 23% of all stage 3A sufferers, and 10% of stage 3B sufferers can be expected to be alive five years after diagnosis.

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The Most Common Symptoms – Lung Cancer Detection

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In just the UK, a staggering 1 in every 14 people will suffer from lung cancer during their lifetime. Unfortunately, lung cancer does not have a great survival rate and one of the biggest reasons is because often diagnosis happens in the latter stages of the disease. This late diagnosis is largely due to a lack of awareness of the symptoms. Only 27% of patients survive for longer than a year following their diagnosis. Of those 27%, patients who are diagnosed during the early stages of lung cancer have a 43-78% chance of surviving for up to five years following their diagnosis. Whereas survival rates past a year for those who have their cancer diagnosed during the later stages can be as low as 10%.

Because of this, it is absolutely crucial that people make themselves aware of the early symptoms of lung cancer so that they can go to a doctor for an assessment and possible diagnosis as quickly as possible. You may find that when you go to the doctor’s you are simply reassured that your symptoms do not equate to cancer of the lungs. But, if you are unfortunately diagnosed, the earlier you get the diagnoses, the better. Here are some early signs of lung cancer to look out for, however these do not give a definitive answer, they are just a suggestion that you need to go to your doctor for a check-up.

Persistent coughing: Although coughing is a symptom of many illnesses (the majority of which are relatively harmless), persistent coughing may indicate a problem. If your cough has lasted for a several weeks or has worsened over time, it might be a sign of lung cancer. Also, bringing up large amounts of phlegm, especially if it contains blood, can be a prominent symptom.

Noisy breathing: If someone is making noises when they are breathing it is always a cause for concern. If someone is having difficulties breathing and/or is wheezing (stridor), it could be a sign of a chest infection, asthma or allergic reaction. However, it could also be an indication of lung cancer. Any trouble breathing should always be checked out.

Pain: In your shoulder, back and chest which isn’t caused by persistent coughing.

Tiredness: Poor lung function (which could be caused by this type of cancer) will mean that your body isn’t sending enough oxygenated blood to organs and muscles in your body. Because of this you may become extremely tired and your muscles may even begin to waste (cachexia.)

A loss in your appetite and weight loss: This isn’t just a symptom of lung cancer exclusively but is a symptom of many cancers. Professionals remain unsure of why this is the case however it is certainly one to be aware of.

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Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (Stage 2) – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Stages and Treatment

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Symptoms

Stage 2 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may be present in a sufferer for many years before it is eventually discovered. Common symptoms of the disease are a persistent cough (smoker’s cough), hemoptysis (coughing up blood [origin from the lungs or bronchial tubes]), shortness of breath, wheezing, back pains, chest pains, and recurrent bronchitis or pneumonia.

Other symptoms such as weight loss and fatigue are less common at this early stage, and are more likely to show at a later stage as the tumor has metastasized (spread) beyond the lungs.

Diagnosis

Stage 2 NSCLC means that the tumor is no longer localized just within the lungs, but that it has spread to the nearby lymph nodes.

Stages

– 1 The cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes.

– 1A (the tumor is 3 cm or less in diameter but has spread to the nearby lymph nodes).

– 1B (the tumor is larger than 3 cm in diameter, has spread to the nearby nymph nodes, and is either present in a location near to the bronchus, or the lining of the lungs).

These stages may also be described with a system called TNM (T = tumor size, N = nodes, and M = metastasis [spread of cancer]). Example:

– 1A (T1N0M0) Meaning that the tumor is less than 3 cm (T1), with spread to the nodes (N1), and no metastasis (M0).

– 1B (T2N1M0) Meaning that the tumor is greater than 3 cm (T2), with spread to the nodes (N1), and no metastasis (M0).

– 1B (T3N0M0) Meaning that the tumor is greater than 3 cm (T3), with no nodes (N0), and no metastasis (M0), but has spread to nearby areas such as the wall of the chest, or the diaphragm.

Treatment

Surgery is usually considered as the primary option for the treatment of Stage 2 lung cancer, where removal of the tumor may be done via several different techniques depending on exactly where the tumor is located. Adjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy used after surgery to kill off any remaining cancerous cells) is usually recommended by doctors at this stage.

If the lung cancer is inoperable (the tumor is in a difficult position to get at, or the patient is unable to undergo traditional surgery due to general health concerns), then radiation therapy may be considered. Radiation therapy’s are considered by many doctors as being less intrusive on a patient than traditional surgery.

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Asbestos Infection Symptoms

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The types of asbestos infection symptoms a person experiences usually depends on the developed asbestos-related diseases was. There are different types of conditions related to asbestos, asbestosis, the two are most often associated with asbestos and malignant mesothelioma. However chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has reached the epidemic proportion in the United States and it is a condition that the asbestos exposure has helped thousands of cases.

Symptoms typically include asbestosis following conditions:

• Breathing difficulties
• Chronic cough
• Chest pain
• Breathing difficulties
• Difficulty with exercise

Malignant mesothelioma usually develops in people over 65 years and is usually in the thoracic cavity, resulting in the pleura in 65 to 70 percent of cases. It can also affect the lining of the heart, pericardium, in exceptional cases.

The most common symptoms of a disease called mesothelioma include:

• Breathing difficulties
• Chest pain
• tightness in the chest
• A persistent cough
• Weight Loss
• Fatigue

The pleural effusion is also the joint development with mesothelioma. This condition is caused by excessive accumulation of fluid in the space between the lung and chest wall or diaphragm. You can be the cause of chest pain and reduced respiratory capacity.

Peritoneal mesothelioma is characterized by an abdominal swelling and pain. This symptoms can also result from the accumulation of fluid – in this case in the abdominal cavity. Thickened peritoneal tissue to an additional symptoms:

• Swelling
• Weight Loss
• Nausea
• Bowel obstruction
• Anemia
• Fever and / or night sweats

Now you understand the symptoms of asbestos infection. You should be careful before it infects you.

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What Is the Best Way to Search for a Workers Compensation Attorney?

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Looking for the right Workers’ Compensation Attorney that will be a good fit for you takes time. You should look for one that is experienced in personal injury, specifically, workers’ compensation cases. If you were injured at work, the first thing you should do is report the accident to your employer and then start looking for an attorney.

Once you have reported the accident, you should be seen by a doctor, whether it is at the hospital or in a doctor’s office. You should tell the treating doctor that you were injured at work so that it is documented. Your physician may set up a treatment plan, depending upon the extent of your injury.

Successful Search for the Workers’ Compensation Attorney:

The following guideline should help you find the right Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Massachusetts:

1. Start by calling the Massachusetts Bar Association’s toll free number and asking them for a Lawyer that specializes in Workers’ Compensation in your area.

2. You should then follow-up by searching the names provided online to determine if they concentrate their practice in workers’ compensation. If you are not satisfied with the results, then you may try conducting your own online search.

After reviewing the attorneys’ area of expertise provided by your online search, the next question you may consider is should you hire an attorney from a small or large firm?

3. There are pros and cons to hiring a small or large law firm. It is a personal choice or preference as to which size firm you would feel more comfortable with. A lot of reviews state that hiring an attorney from a small firm is more preferable as they may have more time available to spend on your case. You may also consider asking your family, friends or co-workers for a recommendation although you should confirm that the attorney’s practice specializes in workers’ compensation.

4. It will take some time reviewing the various attorney’s websites. You should also consider looking beyond the first page of your online search. It is very expensive to be listed on the first page which means that most of the names will be from very large law firms since they have an extensive advertising budget. More than likely, they will pass your case onto one of the less experienced attorneys to handle.

Therefore, considering a firm on the second or third page may get you more individualized attention with greater experience.

5. The last step would be to set up a free consultation either by phone or in person to see if they are a good fit for you and your case. You will then have enough information to make an informed decision.

Investing the time to find the right Massachusetts Workers Compensation Attorney will be worth it in the long run and may make the difference in the outcome of your case.

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How Many Different Types of Lung Cancer Are There?

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There are two main types of lung cancer that can be found in both men women. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, and Small Cell Lung Cancer, both which are unique to each other as they grow and spread within the body differently.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

NSCLC is the more common of the two lung cancers, and is attributed to about 85% of all cases found in a patient. It tends to grow and spread at a much slower pace than small cell lung cancer (SCLC), and is broken down into three main sub-types, all which have their own unique cancer cells.

1. Squamous Cell Caricinoma (epidermoid caricinoma) is attributed to about 25-30% of all cases found. It is made up from thin flat cells (similar to fish scales) that line the inside airways of the lung, and begins in the squamous cells in the centre of the lung.

2. Adenocaricinoma is attributed to about 35-40% of all cases found, mainly in smokers, although it is also found in non-smokers as well. It begins in the cells that have glandular (secretory) properties, and grows slowly in the outer-region of the lung. It is more common in women than men, and more likely to be found in a younger person. Patients with this type of cancer usually tend to have a better prognosis (life expectancy).

3. Large Cell (Undifferentiated) Caricinoma is attributed to about 10-15% of all cases found. It grows and spreads quickly as its cells multiply rapidly. When viewed under a microscope, the cells have an abnormal look to them compared to other types of cancer cells.

Adenosquamous Caricinoma and Sarcomatoid Carcinoma are also sub-types of NSCLC, although they are very rarely found in a patient.

Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)

SCLC is much less common than NSCLC, and only attributes to about 10-15% of all cases found. It tends to grow and spread much faster than other types of cancer, and is broken down into three types, each which contain different cell types.

Small Cell Caricinoma (oat cell cancer) is a highly malignant cancer that is usually found in the lung, although it can be found in other parts of the body as well, such as the cervix, prostate, and gastrointestinal tract.

Mixed Small/Large Cell Caricinoma is a rare form of lung cancer, which when diagnosed is formed from both oat cell cancer, and large cell caricinoma.

Combined Small Cell Caricinoma is diagnosed when a malignant tumor is found arising from the lung tissues, and contains both small cell caricinoma, mixed with one or more components of non-small cell caricinoma.

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What Can You Expect From a Dog Bite Settlement?

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Dog bite settlement cases can vary drastically, depending on the circumstances and situation of each individual case.

In a recently settled case in New Jersey, the victim of the dog bite received a $1.75 million dollar payout. In this case, the victim was a home health care worker providing physical therapy for a relative of the homeowners.

Without any apparent warning, the couple’s small dog suddenly bit the therapist on the hand, causing 3 deep puncture wounds to his index finger. While this may not seem like much, the injuries were indeed very serious. There were complications which resulted in significant pain, swelling, and surgeries. There was a decreased range of motion, as well. Some of the injury involved a permanent spinal cord stimulator.

A lawsuit was filed in this case, and a settlement was reached through the mediation process. As the victim was found to be on the property legally, the dog’s owners were found to be legally liable for the injuries sustained.

While every case is different, this is an extreme case, as they were significant injuries which affected the victim’s ability to work. If you have been involved in a dog bite attack, you will first off need to seek proper medical treatment and evaluation immediately. Even if the bite does not seem to be very serious, it is extremely important to have the wounds professionally treated. In this case, there were only 3 small puncture wounds, there was nothing immediately appearing that the wounds were as serious as they turned out to be.

You may be entitled to receive a settlement which would include monetary compensation for your pain and suffering, all medical expenses you have already incurred, funds to cover any future expected medical care, and lost wages due to the inability to work due to your injuries. Future medical expenses may include reconstruction or plastic surgery, physical therapy, and psychological counseling for emotional trauma.

Some cases are much smaller financially, but still have significant costs involved which you should not be responsible for paying. Your lost wages should be restored to you as well. If you were in no way negligent, or were legally on the property of the dog’s owner, you are entitled to receive proper remuneration for your injuries.

If you or a loved one have experienced injury by being bitten by a dog, you need to consult with an experienced and proven successful personal injury attorney experienced in dog bites.

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Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (Stage 1) – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Stages and Treatment

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Symptoms

Stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may be present in a sufferer without showing any signs or symptoms. It is usually diagnosed when a doctor orders a patient to take a chest X-ray which is often associated with another illness. Symptoms may include: a persistent cough (smoker’s cough), shortness of breath, wheezing, and recurrent bronchitis or pneumonia. At this early stage, other symptoms are not usually present in a sufferer.

Diagnosis

Stage 1 NSCLC is localized (contained within the lungs) and has not spread to the lymph nodes or other organs in the body.

Stages

– 1 The cancer is localized within the lungs but has not yet spread to the lymph nodes.

– 1A (the tumor is 3 cm or less in diameter).

– 1B (the tumor is between 3-5 cm in diameter).

These stages may also be described with a system called TNM (T = tumor size, N = nodes, and M = metastasis [spread of cancer]). Example:

– 1A (T1N0M0) Meaning that the tumor is less than 3 cm (T1), with no nodes (N0), and no metastasis (M0).

– 1B (T2N0M0) Meaning that the tumor is greater than 3 cm (T2), with no nodes (N0), and no metastasis (M0).

Treatment

Surgery is usually considered as the primary option for Stage 1 lung cancer treatment where removal of the tumor may be done via various different techniques. These techniques may include: segmentectomy (removal of a small segment of the lung), lobectomy (removal of the lobe of the lung), or pneumonectomy (removal of the entire lung).

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) may be used when either the location of the tumor is difficult to reach using traditional surgery, or when the general health of the patient is not at its best and considered that the patient would not be able to tolerate a full surgical procedure. VATS is also less intrusive on the patient than traditional surgery.

If the cancer is considered to be inoperable, radiation therapy may be used to treat it.

Stereotactic body radiosurgery (SBRS) is one treatment that may be considered. This is where the patient is first immobilized in a frame to stop any movement, then computer imaging techniques are used to identify precisely where the cancerous cells are. These cells are then in turn destroyed by being given high dosages of radiation.

Conventional radiation therapy’s are not usually recommended with Stage 1A lung cancer, although with Stage 1B, adjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy used after surgery to kill off any remaining cancerous cells) may be offered.

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What You May Not Know About Dog Bite Law

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If you have suffered a dog bite for any reason, especially when it has to do with someone else’s dog or negligence, you should absolutely get yourself a personal injury attorney. There is no debating the fact that in these types of cases, you truly do need great representation, as there is a high propensity of these cases which deal with a large amount of money. Furthermore, when you are dealing with dog bite injuries, there may be damage that has to be treated later on in a person’s life.

Because of this, it is absolutely imperative to get yourself a highly qualified personal injury attorney, who will be able to get you the best settlement possible. Many people tend to think that they can handle their own cases, but the reality is this is a huge mistake. You can just about guarantee that whoever’s dog it was that bit you is going to have a lawyer, who will likely bring out all of the stops possible to try and get their client off the hook.

If you do win your specific case and are awarded a settlement, it has been statistically proven that the sum of money you receive will be higher after paying your lawyer than it would have been if you are representing yourself.

There are all sorts of attorneys out there that know each and every dog bite law and defend people that have been attacked by another person’s dog and have suffered dog bite injuries. It is important to work with an attorney that truly does know each dog bite law by heart and has worked a lot of similar cases before. This will give you the highest chance of ending your case favorably, so make sure you do your research. Locating a great attorney is fairly easy online, so the best course of action is to search in your area and research the potential candidates.

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