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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

Busking is Legal in Downtown Denver

Know your rights as a street musician

When You Hit the Jackpot, So Does the IRS

The tax implications when you win and lose gambling in Vegas

Gun Trusts Allow You to Legally Pass Down Your Firearms

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

Debt Collectors Won't Stop Calling Me

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

How to Defend Your Credit Score and Future

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

Conservatorships Aim to Protect California's Homeless and Addicts

A law change allows other options than involuntarily committing them

How to Fight Overseas Cybersquatters

Don’t let international companies cherry pick upon your success

Can I Perform a Citizen’s Arrest in Ohio?

There can be many risks and drawbacks involved

How Do Mistrials Work?

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

Why Would You Need an Agriculture Attorney?

They may save farmers money, time and worries

An Intellectual Property Lawyer May Save Your Idea

When inventors should call one, and what to avoid beforehand

Your Benefits Package May Be Out of Date

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

A Doctor?s Toolkit for Medical Malpractice Defense

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

When You Need an Employee Benefits Attorney

Reach out to prevent harm at your Illinois company

Why More Companies Are Offering Transgender Benefits

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

When Do I Need an Employment Attorney?

Illinois business owners should be proactive

Protecting Your Business from Social Media Dangers

An employment attorney can help before issues arise in Illinois

Looking to Start a Business? Call a Lawyer

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

What to Do If Your Child is Arrested or Charged in Illinois

Diversionary options to protect a juvenile’s criminal record

What is an Inclusion Rider?

And can they change the entertainment industries?

Can I Evict My Tenant in Colorado?

What landlords need to know about the eviction process in Colorado

Is a Contract with a Computer Program Enforceable?

Contracting with artificial intelligence in Pennsylvania

Police Can Search Your Phone in Minnesota

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

Can You Sue The Farmer Next Door?

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

Can a Parent Be Charged with Kidnapping?

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

Can I Put a Stop to My Hoarder Neighbor?

The process of evaluating and taking legal action in Texas

In Minnesota Is Graffiti Art or Illegal?

Minnesotans should think twice before that inspiration gets out of hand

The Ins and Outs of Disturbing the Peace in Minnesota

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

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

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

Considerations With Physician-Aided Suicide in Montana

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

Who Pays for Nursing Care When Medicaid Won't?

The loophole in Montana law that is closing critical access facilities

How to Start Your Own Sports Betting Facility

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

Protection for Domestic Abuse Victims in Texas

The Address Confidentiality Program may help

Faking a Service Animal Status is Illegal

States like Minnesota now have penalties for it

Can My Tenant Land Me in Jail?

What Minnesota landlords need to look out for

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

My Dog Bit Someone. Am I at Fault?

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

The Heavy Legal Regulations of University Secret Societies

In North Carolina, skull and bones groups are more regulated than you may think

What to Do If Your Scholarship Is in Jeopardy

Don’t panic and consider finding legal help

Is Your Product's Endorser in Trouble?

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

Five Ways to Ensure Your Business Contest is Legal

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

Can Police Commandeer My Car to Help in a Chase?

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

Filing for Commercial Bankruptcy in Colorado

You can’t control the economy

Lava Disaster Claims and Homeowner's Insurance in Hawaii

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

Assisted Suicide and the Law in Colorado

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

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status as a Step to Citizenship

If you’re seeking protection, you may qualify

Trade Dress Law and the Hidden Protections It Provides

Don’t let interlopers in Minnesota steal your image

I Got Injured in an Amusement Park Accident. Can I Sue?

How California views liability and assumption of risk

Get Buff, Not Burned: The Protections in Gym Waivers

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

Do I Need a Tax Attorney in New Jersey?

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

Looking to Capitalize on Tax Reforms?

You may want to speak with a New Jersey attorney first

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

The law and consequences if you’re under the influence

How to Solve a Contract Dispute Quickly and Cheaply

Consider alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation in California

What to Do When Mobile Apps Breach Customer Data

How California businesses and consumers can protect their information

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

Workplace Harassment in the MeToo Era

How to pursue a sexual harassment claim in Wisconsin

Can Workers Sue for Theft of Wages in Wisconsin?

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

4 Defenses to Void or Invalidate a Contract

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

Trouble With Business Taxes? An Attorney Can Help

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

Can I Get a Drunk Driving Charge on a Bicycle?

Beers and Bikes: DUI Laws in Georgia

Check Your Brand Before Brewing

Don’t get soused in Oregon

How Do I Name My Beer?

Craft brewery branding rights in Oregon

The Defenses for Prostitution and Solicitation in Nevada

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

Can I Be Legally Forced to Accept Medical Treatment?

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

A Presidential Pardon Primer

How do I get a pardon from the president?

When Can You Save a Pet Locked in a Car?

And what are the consequences of doing so Oregon?

What is Adverse Possession?

And how can it affect me in Colorado?

Business Owners: Environmental Lawsuits May Sink You

An environmental lawyer may save your Wisconsin business

When Should I Call an Environmental Lawyer?

How do I pursue an environmental action in Wisconsin?

Negotiating Employment Contracts in Georgia

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

Starting a Small Business in Minnesota

The legal pitfalls to avoid

Minnesota Newlyweds: Beware!

Estate planning should be a part of your wedding plans

Is a Trademark Worth the Cost?

When to register a trademark or service mark in Pennsylvania

Did My Doctor Make a Mistake?

When to pursue a medical malpractice claim in Minnesota

The Contracts Involved in Book Publishing

Legal advice on becoming a published author in Washington state

Sentencing Hearing Primer in Minnesota

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

Don't Let Your Face Be Stolen

You have the right to control your likeness in Washington

Biking Under the Influence in Minneapolis

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

How to Legally Protect Your Artistic Creation

Copyright protections in Washington state

Creating a Family Trust or LLC in West Virginia

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

Suing for Sexual Abuse in Missouri

How to seek justice and stop future sexual assault

Offshore Tax-Penalty Forgiveness Program Closes in 2018

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

What You Can Do If You Have a Defective Tree Stand

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

What Happens If My Rifle Misfires?

How and when Missourians can sue a gun manufacturer

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

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

What Does 'Plead the Fifth' Mean?

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

3 Legal Issues Stemming from Postpartum Depression

Detentions, criminal acts and employment insurance in Illinois

Can the Government Buy My Property?

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

Getting an Unflattering Internet Post Taken Down

Working with sites and posters to remove defamatory information online

Slip-and-Fall Injury Claims Made Easier in Massachusetts

Don’t let your case for injury recovery slide by

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

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

The Process to Report Police Misconduct

The paths to take, or perhaps reconsider, in Minnesota

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

The process to seek justice in Minnesota courts

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

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

Can My Boss Fire Me for Being Pregnant?

The legal protections for pregnant employees in Minnesota

Are DNA Testing Companies Selling My Genetic Information?

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

How To Lose Your Gun Rights in Maryland

Maryland’s laws are among the strictest for gun owners in the nation

California's Law on Pets Left in Hot Cars

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

When to Use Non-Disclosures for Your Business

Protecting your competitive edge through NDAs in Maryland

Who Gets the Ring When the Engagement’s Off?

How gifts are distributed, should breakups happen in Ohio

When Beneficiaries Attack: Illinois' Slayer Statute

When foul play is suspected, loved ones have the state law on their side

Legal Resurrection If You're Declared Dead in Ohio

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

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

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

Fencing Off Your Neighbors Can Be Illegal

When neighborly disputes build into malicious fences in Indiana

Can Emojis Be Deemed Sexual Harassment?

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

How to Legally Separate a Parent and Child

The laws and procedures to emancipate minor children in California

When Are Pay Bonuses Not Discretionary?

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

How Emojis May Get You in Legal Trouble

Think twice about texting that winky face in California

Taking Noise Nuisances Into Your Own Hands

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

What Attorney-Client Privilege Means in Kentucky

The attorney-client relationship consists of confidential communications

How to Deal With Stolen Mail Packages

Legal tips to fight back against Minnesota porch pirates

Mediation: An Alternative to Heading to Court

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

The Path to Legal Surrogacy in Minnesota

What families should consider before building their numbers through surrogacy

Water Theft in the World of Weed

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

Five Ways to Reduce Jail Time in Michigan

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

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

An injury attorney can help with your beef. Literally

Felons in Florida Can't Vote

But that may be changing

The Shocking State of Securities Fraud

And how to avoid being a Ponzi scheme victim

What You Need to Expunge Your Criminal Record in Minnesota

How to erase a criminal history and improve background checks

When ADA Accommodations Collide

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

Tennessee Tries to Stop Animal Abusers in Their Tracks

The state legislature created a registry to inform its citizens and protect its animal residents

Attractive Nuisances: Shocking Liabilities for Homeowners

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

Successfully Navigating Probation in Michigan

What happens if I violate the terms of probation?

Who Pays for a Riot?

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

A Power of Attorney Primer

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

Legal Tips for Safe Injection Facilities in Philadelphia

Medical professionals and opioid users need to know the dangers

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

The Growing Concerns of Marijuana Producers

The future of pot’s intellectual property rights in California

Sick and Safe Time in Minnesota

How employers can comply with the law

Beware of Rent Control Coming to Northern California

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

Wage Theft in Minnesota

A glaring problem, and a solution

Abused and Forgotten: Elder Abuse in Minnesota

How to overcome the backlog and successfully seek justice

Autonomous Vehicle Crashes: Who is to Blame?

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

It's Illegal to Drink and Drone

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

Challenging the Baltimore Curfew

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

When Fake Online Profiles Ruin Lives

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

Can You Sue for Contracting an STD?

Georgia has created safety nets for its health crisis victims

How Bail Bonds Work in Maryland

Explaining the lender systems for posting bail and getting out of jail

Smart Speakers and the Violation of Our Civil Rights

Privacy rights in the age of automation and convenience

How Arraignments and Bond Hearings Work in Michigan

The first steps in the criminal justice system in Michigan

Gym Waivers and the Law

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

Planning Your Pet's Future

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

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