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About Benjy Schirm

Benjy Schirm is a storyteller, writer and advocate. He attended the University of Iowa as an undergrad, worked as a theater artist, and went on to earn a J.D. from Western Michigan University so he could take his storytelling from the stage to the courtroom. He has contributed to legal publications in Minnesota, and is a North Star Lawyer, full-time public defender serving Rice County, and on the 4th District Ethics Committee as an investigator.

Articles Written by Benjy Schirm

What Happens If My Rifle Misfires?

How and when Missourians can sue a gun manufacturer

What You Can Do If You Have a Faulty Tree Stand

Injuries due to falling from a tree stand is more common than you may think

Suing for Sexual Abuse in Missouri

How to seek justice and stop future abuse

When Should I Call an Environmental Lawyer?

How do I pursue an environmental action in Wisconsin?

Business Owners: Environmental Lawsuits May Sink You

An environmental lawyer may save your Wisconsin business

Can Workers Sue for Theft of Wages in Wisconsin?

How to pursue a suit against an employer when banding together is difficult

Workplace Harassment in the MeToo Era

How to pursue a sexual harassment claim in Wisconsin

You Don't Have to Be Moving to Get a DUI in Alabama

The law and consequences if you’re under the influence

Attractive Nuisances: Shocking Liabilities for Homeowners

If a child gets hurt playing on your property, you could be responsible for their injuries

When ADA Accommodations Collide

What can employers do when two employee requirements conflict with each other?

It Wasn’t My Fault: The Snow Caused My Car Accident!

New Englanders may still be partially at fault for crashes in bad weather

Slip-and-Fall Injury Claims Made Easier in Massachusetts

Don’t let your case for injury recovery slide by

Can I Be Legally Forced to Accept Medical Treatment?

Courts can force minors to undergo medical procedures, but not adults

5 Ways to Ensure Your Business Contest is Legal

Challenge your marketing department’s sweepstakes ideas to be above board in Rhode Island

Smart Speakers and the Violation of Our Civil Rights

Privacy rights in the age of automation and convenience

The Shocking State of Securities Fraud

And how to avoid being a Ponzi scheme victim

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status as a Step to Citizenship

If you’re seeking protection, you may qualify

Won the Lottery? Call a Lawyer

What you should do if you’re one of the lucky few to win big

Why Would You Need an Agriculture Attorney?

They may save farmers money, time and worries

How to Fight Overseas Cybersquatters

Don’t let international companies cherry pick upon your success

How Arraignments and Bond Hearings Work

The first steps in the criminal justice system in Michigan

Successfully Navigating Probation in Michigan

What happens if I violate my requirements?

Five Ways to Reduce Jail Time in Michigan

Ways to lessen the burden of a criminal offense and sweeten a plea deal

Protection for Domestic Abuse Victims in Texas

The Address Confidentiality Program may help

Can I Put a Stop to My Hoarder Neighbor?

The process of evaluating and taking legal action in Texas

Are DNA Testing Companies Selling My Genetic Information?

Probably not, but read the terms if you’re concerned about your privacy

Water Theft in the World of Weed

Legal Oregon marijuana growers may be violating a long-standing water law

You’ve Invented Something

Protect it with Oregon’s patent process

When Can You Save a Pet Locked in a Car?

And what are the consequences of doing so Oregon?

How Do I Name My Beer?

Craft brewery branding rights in Oregon

Check Your Brand Before Brewing

Don’t get soused in Oregon

Beware of Rent Control Coming to Northern California

Rather than raising rent, landlords would be better off with a more cooperative approach

If a Tree Falls in Minnesota and No One is There

Insurance companies will make a sound, assuming it hit someone’s property

Can Police Seize My Property?

Civil forfeiture law in Minnesota

Wage Theft in Minnesota

A glaring problem, and a solution

Sick and Safe Time in Minnesota

How employers can comply with the law

Abused and Forgotten: Elder Abuse in Minnesota

How to overcome the backlog and successfully seek justice

Expunging Your Criminal Past in Minnesota

What you need to do to have a charge removed from your record

The Path to Legal Surrogacy in Minnesota

What families should consider before building their numbers through surrogacy

How to Deal With Stolen Mail Packages

Legal tips to fight back against Minnesota porch pirates

Can My Boss Fire Me for Being Pregnant?

The legal protections for pregnant employees in Minnesota

Why Police Misconduct Cases Often Don’t Make it to Trial

The process to seek justice in Minnesota courts

The Process to Report Police Misconduct

The paths to take, or perhaps reconsider, in Minnesota

Biking and Boozing in Minneapolis

Minnesota DWI laws don’t apply to bikes, but there are still repercussions

Sentencing Hearing Primer in Minnesota

What a defendant needs to know for the conclusion of court proceedings

Did My Doctor Make a Mistake?

When to pursue a medical malpractice claim in Minneapolis

Minnesota Newlyweds: Beware!

Estate planning should be a part of your wedding plans

Starting a Small Business in Minnesota

The legal pitfalls to avoid

When Are Bonuses Not Discretionary?

What to do if you’ve got unpaid, earned bonuses in Minnesota

4 Defenses to Void or Invalidate a Contract

How the law can help you get out of a contract in Minnesota

Trade Dress Law and the Hidden Protections It Provides

Don’t let interlopers in Minnesota steal your image

Kids Have the Right to Their Own Custody Lawyers

Children over 10 have the right to counsel and a say in child custody matters in Minnesota

Can My Tenant Land Me in Jail?

What Minnesota landlords need to look out for

Faking a Service Animal Status is Illegal

States like Minnesota now have penalties for it

The Ins and Outs of Disturbing the Peace in Minnesota

How to seek penalties against a neighbor or defend your rights at home

Is Graffiti Art or Illegal?

Minnesotans should think twice before that inspiration gets out of hand

Police Can Search Your Phone in Minnesota

What the law says in regard to cellphones and your privacy rights

Gun Trusts Allow You to Legally Pass Down Your Firearms

The mechanism protects you, your family and beneficiaries from breaking federal law

Lava Disaster Claims and Homeowner’s Insurance in Hawaii

Don’t just melt if your claim is denied; a lawyer can help

Autonomous Car Crashes: Who is to Blame?

For now, it’s humans; but it may soon be the car manufacturers

Felons in Florida Can't Vote

But that may be changing

What Does ‘Plead the Fifth’ Mean?

A constitutional primer if you’re in the position to submit to questioning

Do I Need a Tax Attorney When I Have an Accountant?

What Floridians should do when they’re at odds with the IRS

Offshore Tax-Penalty Forgiveness Program Closes in 2018

What if citizens outside the U.S. haven’t filed their taxes?

How to Legally Protect Your Artistic Creation

Copyright protections in Washington state

Don't Let Your Face Be Stolen

You have the right to control your likeness in Washington

The Contracts Involved in Book Publishing

Legal advice on becoming a published author in Washington state

How Do Mistrials Work?

In Florida, throwing out a case can happen in one motion

The Defenses for Prostitution and Solicitation in Nevada

Don’t get caught with your pants down, legally speaking

Who Pays for Nursing Care When Medicaid Won't?

The loophole in Montana law that is closing critical access facilities

Considerations With Physician-Aided Suicide in Montana

The difficulties and how to navigate them for patients as well as physicians

When You Hit the Jackpot, So Does the IRS

The tax implications when you win and lose gambling in Vegas

Who Pays for a Riot?

Tips for property owners when fans and demonstrators turn destructive in Pennsylvania

Legal Tips for Safe Injection Facilities in Philadelphia

Medical professionals and opioid users need to know the dangers

Mediation: An Alternative to Heading to Court

A more collaborative, and often cheaper, way to resolve legal conflicts

Is a Trademark Worth the Cost?

When to register a trademark or service mark in Pennsylvania

Is a Contract with a Computer Program Enforceable?

Contracting with artificial intelligence in Pennsylvania

How to Avoid Rent-to-Own Schemes in South Carolina

The ways to enter these kinds of contracts and avoid predatory landlords

Can Emojis Be Deemed Sexual Harassment?

Texting eggplants and winky faces might land you in trouble at work

Can the Government Buy My Property?

Yes, and here’s what to know about eminent domain in Arizona

A Presidential Pardon Primer

How do I get a pardon from the president?

Can You Sue The Farmer Next Door?

What happens when an Arizona farmer doesn't want to sell their farm?

Creating a Family Trust or LLC in West Virginia

How to protect a family’s land interests and ensure they’re properly passed down

Gym Waivers and the Law

Who wins in the pound-for-pound legal battle with our favorite New Year’s resolution?

What is Adverse Possession?

And how can it affect me in Colorado?

Assisted Suicide and the Law in Colorado

A legal overview for preparing to choose the end of your life

Filing for Commercial Bankruptcy in Colorado

You can’t control the economy

Busking is Legal in Downtown Denver

Know your rights as a street musician

It's Illegal to Drink and Drone

Under New Jersey law, you could face six months in jail

Trouble With Business Taxes? An Attorney Can Help

New Jersey businesses can rely on them for the most up-to-date compliance knowledge

Looking to Capitalize on Tax Reforms?

You may want to speak with a New Jersey attorney first

Do I Need a Tax Attorney in New Jersey?

What business owners, and others, need to know about when to call a tax lawyer

Can You Sue for Contracting an STD?

Georgia has created safety nets for its health crisis victims

A Power of Attorney Primer

Who needs one, what needs to be in it, and what if I already have one in Georgia?

What to Do If You Find a Foreign Object in Your Food

An injury attorney can help with your beef. Literally

What’s a Subpoena, and Why Have I Been Served?

What to know and do if you’re given a subpoena in Georgia

Negotiating Employment Contracts in Georgia

Wage-and-hour lawsuits may be a thing of the past

Can I Get a Drunk Driving on a Bicycle?

Beers and Bikes: DUI Laws in Georgia

What to Do If Your Scholarship is in Jeopardy

Don’t panic and consider finding legal help

Fencing Off Your Neighbors Can Be Illegal

When neighborly disputes build into malicious fences in Indiana

When Fake Online Profiles Ruin Lives

What can be done when you’re a victim of Catfishing in California?

The Growing Concerns of Marijuana Producers

The future of pot’s intellectual property rights in California

Taking Noise Nuisances Into Your Own Hands

How to deal with noisy neighbors in California when reason and police intervention aren’t …

How Emojis May Get You in Legal Trouble

Think twice about texting that winky face in California

How to Legally Separate a Parent and Child

The laws and procedures to emancipate a minor in California

California's Law on Pets Left in Hot Cars

The consequences of a pet owner, and the protections for the pet rescuer

Can I Sue a Studio If It Steals My Idea?

How to wage a legal battle over theft of ideas during a Hollywood movie pitch

What to Do When Mobile Apps Breach Customer Data

How California businesses and consumers can protect their information

How to Solve a Contract Dispute Quickly and Cheaply

Consider alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation in California

Get Buff, Not Burned: The Protections in Gym Waivers

What a California health club should include in a release to protect itself

I Got Injured at an Amusement Park. Can I Sue?

How California views liability and assumption of risk

Can Police Commandeer My Car to Help in a Chase?

What to do if the movie trope becomes your reality in California

Is Your Product's Endorser in Trouble?

Disgrace coverage and other things to consider before a celebrity endorsement in California

My Dog Bit Someone. Am I at Fault?

California’s liability rules and what you can do about it

How to Start Your Own Sports Betting Facility

Wait for the states to pass legislation, then call a lawyer

What is an Inclusion Rider?

And can they change the entertainment industries?

Conservatorships Aim to Protect California's Homeless and Addicts

A law change allows other options than involuntarily committing them

You Aren't Alone: The Class Action Path for Sexual Misconduct

Another legal avenue in the civil court system for survivors of sexual abuse and harassment

When Beneficiaries Attack

When foul play is suspected in Illinois, loved ones have the “slayer statute” on their …

3 Legal Issues Stemming from Postpartum Depression

Detentions, criminal acts and employment insurance in Illinois

Secret Societies Must Be Lawful

In North Carolina, they are more regulated than you may think

Can a Parent Be Charged with Kidnapping?

Yes, and it’s most common among divorced families in North Carolina

What to Do If Your Child is Arrested or Charged

Diversionary options to protect a juvenile’s criminal record in Illinois

Looking to Start a Business? Call a Lawyer

They can help with structure options, contracts, and more in Illinois

Protecting Your Business from Social Media Dangers

An employment attorney can help before issues arise in Illinois

When Do I Need an Employment Attorney?

Illinois business owners should be proactive

Why More Companies Are Offering Transgender Benefits

It’s not required by law, but forward-thinking businesses are doing it anyway

When You Need an Employee Benefits Attorney

Reach out to prevent harm at your Illinois company

A Doctor’s Toolkit for Medical Malpractice Defense

What should a physician do if a complaint is filed against them?

Your Benefits Package May Be Out of Date

Changes in employment benefits law that Illinois business owners need to know

An Intellectual Property Lawyer May Save Your Idea

When inventors should call one, and what to avoid beforehand

How to Defend Your Credit Score and Future

Check in periodically, and call a lawyer if something seems fishy

Debt Collectors Won’t Stop Calling Me

What to do in Illinois if your phone won’t stop ringing

How Bail Bonds Work in Maryland

An explanation of the lender systems involved in getting out of jail

Challenging the Baltimore Curfew

The city has the strictest curfew laws in the country. Here’s what you should know

Five Things to Look Out for in a Non-Disclosure Agreement

What to be wary of when a Maryland employer hands it to you

When to Use Non-Disclosures for Your Business

Protecting your competitive edge through NDAs in Maryland

How to Lose Your Gun Rights in Maryland

Maryland’s laws are among the strictest in the nation

What Attorney-Client Privilege Means in Kentucky

Will what I say to my lawyer stay between us?

Legal Resurrection If You're Declared Dead in Ohio

What do you do when a clerical error “kills” you?

Who Gets the Ring When the Engagement’s Off?

How gifts are distributed, should breakups happen in Ohio

Getting an Unflattering Internet Post Taken Down

Working with sites and posters to remove defamatory information online

Can I Perform a Citizen’s Arrest in Ohio?

There can be many risks and drawbacks involved

Planning Your Pet's Future

How to create a trust or estate plan for your pet in Minnesota

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