About Benjy Schirm, J.D.

Benjy Schirm, J.D.
Benjy Schirm, J.D. Articles written 147

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, J.D.

How Emojis May Get You in Legal Trouble

Think twice about texting that winky face in California

In today’s fast-moving world, we want to say whatever we can as fast as we can. This means we often employ truncated spellings of words and entire phrases, as well as the use of emojis—those pictures of emotions and objects found on nearly every device and social media platform. “Emojis are interesting because context creates the message,” says Santa Monica attorney Jon Pfeiffer. “The ways in which you communicate with your friends may have different meanings to someone outside of …

Taking Noise Nuisances Into Your Own Hands

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

You’ve just settled down for a long winter’s nap, when out on your lawn there arose such a clatter. You sprang from your bed to see what was the matter; when what to your wondering eyes did appear, but a neighbor having a rager in full camo gear. Noise disruption is a serious issue for some. Beyond being annoying, it can deprive you of sleep, impact loss of hearing, increase stress levels and has even been linked to heart disease. As your blood pressure continues to rise in accordance with …

What Attorney-Client Privilege Means in Kentucky

The attorney-client relationship consists of confidential communications

Being charged with a crime is incredibly stressful, and it’s hard to know who to trust when it comes to legal advice. Most of the people a defendant encounters after being arrested are not looking out for their best interests. But a defense attorney, and their legal services, can be the exception. Christie A. Moore is one such lawyer—at Dentons Bingham Greenebaum in Louisville—who handles white collar criminal matters, sometimes for clients from abroad. “There are some specific concerns …

How to Deal With Stolen Mail Packages

Legal tips to fight back against Minnesota porch pirates

With the rise in online shopping—and thus package deliveries—there has been a rise in package theft from people’s front porches. In 2016 alone, there were 25.9 million packages reported as delivered and stolen. So, legally speaking, what are the rights of a customer who is receiving a package from a delivery company? Whose responsibility is it to ensure full delivery, and who pays for a stolen package and missing mail? What Is the Law? There are various options of liability when one is …

Mediation: An Alternative to Heading to Court

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

Words matter. What we say to one another can provoke anger, and the situation can soon become unmanageable. Figuring out divorce, end-of-life, or parenting issues can draw up the most intense emotions from even the most placid of people. This is where mediators come in—skilled professionals in collaborative law. “As a mediator, you have to be comfortable with people’s conflict. Sitting in the fires of conflict, we are able to get everything on the table. We follow people’s conversations …

The Path to Legal Surrogacy in Minnesota

What families should consider before building their numbers through surrogacy

Nearly 20 percent of married women in the United States ages 15 to 49 have difficulty getting or staying pregnant, according to the CDC. Infertility may be due to biological issues on behalf of the male or female. For couples wishing to have families, these statistics are hardly a comfort. For a growing number of families in the United States, infertility is being combatted with surrogacy laws. But if you choose the surrogacy journey, consider what the law has to say about it. What Do the …

Water Theft in the World of Weed

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

The amount of water used to grow a single marijuana plant varies with each grower, but a large growing operation can use a substantial amount. As more farmers enter the marketplace, that means more water use. In many places in the United States, you have a right to use all the gallons of water you would like as it passes through your property. In Oregon, however, this isn’t the case. What Water Supply Laws Are in Place in Oregon? Oregon’s water ownership laws operate under a system called …

4 Ways to Reduce Jail Time in Michigan

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

The most common question asked by a defendant before a trial is, “How much time am I looking at?” The potential length of a sentence can often dictate the next course of action, including a plea deal. Being aware of the processes used to determine jail time can help you make a more informed decision on whether the deal is worth pursuing. Sentencing Guidelines The Michigan sentencing guidelines generally give a person an idea of what they face in the criminal justice system. Each crime has a …

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

A Georgia personal injury attorney can help with your beef. Literally.

Every once in a while you see it in your timeline or on the news: Someone has found an atrocious substance in their food. Some of these objects have included mice, human fingers and condoms. It leads to wonder what laws are in place to protect these consumers. What Are the Laws in Georgia? If you are injured by a foreign body in your food, whether due to the faults of a food manufacturer or from the food preparers, you may be able to recover for your injuries. Successful suits have occurred …

Felons in Florida Can't Vote

But that may be changing

More than six million Americans are not allowed to vote because they have felony convictions. Many convicted felons have successfully served their sentences and completed any probation and parole requirements. Yet, they are not allowed the basic rights of citizenship in the United States—the right to vote. Why? The Florida Constitution allows the governor to grant or deny clemency to Floridians wishing to restore their civil rights. The law in Florida currently states, “When a person is …

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