About Judy Malmon, J.D.

Judy Malmon, J.D. Articles written 164

Judy Malmon has blended law and writing throughout her career. She got her J.D. from University of California, Davis and practiced elder and disability law in California and Minnesota. She honed her writing by drafting appellate decisions in a nationwide class action, writing blogs for law firms, and writing for Westlaw. She loves digging into everyday legal questions, deciphering the complexities of law, and telling personal stories.

Articles written by Judy Malmon, J.D.

The Pennsylvania Adoption Home Study Process

What do I need to know before I adopt a child?

If you’re considering adopting a child, the state of Pennsylvania wants to ensure that you will provide a safe and caring home. As an initial part of the adoption process, you’ll be required to participate in a Pennsylvania home study—a review that assesses your home environment and those who live there, and provides an opportunity for you to learn about bringing a baby or adopted child into your life. “It’s important to start from the beginning with the attorney, especially because …

What is a Public Benefit Corporation?

Maryland allows social enterprises to pursue legal designation

The phrase “social enterprise” may bring to mind a high-minded, community-oriented endeavor. Maybe one that serves a common good and uses its profitability to advance such values as empowering workers, supporting independent businesses or improving disenfranchised communities. But there is not a lot of specificity to the term in an official sense. Until recently, use of the phrase was largely a marketing and brand-building identifier rather than a term that carried any legal significance. …

How Do I Prove an Age Discrimination Lawsuit in Florida?

You have options under both federal and state law

If you’ve been laid off or given a demotion as part of a “reorganization” that seems to have targeted older employees, you may have an age discrimination claim under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), as well as state age discrimination laws. But be forewarned: age-based discrimination claims can be challenging. Employers Cannot Retaliate or Discriminate Against Employees Plenty of terminations and layoffs occur under circumstances that seem unfair, unethical, or …

College Plans That Save Headaches as Well as Money

These estate planning vehicles may help

If you’ve been living in a cave, here’s a news flash: College costs have gotten really expensive. And yet, those with a college education continue to out-earn those without a degree. If you’re saving for college expenses, there are savings and investment options to get more bang for your postsecondary buck through tax advantages, particularly if you’re able to start planning well ahead of the first day of classes.   “There are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Each family …

You Don't Have to be Buzzed to Get Busted for DUI in Utah

Utah lowered its tolerance for drinking and driving to .05 BAC

We all know that substances and driving motor vehicles don’t mix. It’s always wise to find another way home after you’ve had a few. Several states have upped the stakes for DUI in recent years, tacking on harsh first-time penalties like license suspension, stiff fines, and even jail time. Utahans are even more at risk for such penalties following a DUI arrest.  Utah’s New Legal Limit for BAC Levels In 2018, the Utah state legislature lowered the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit …

How a 529 Plan Can Maximize Savings for College

Legal advice on the little-known tax advantage

Parents know well the skyrocketing costs of a college education. While we hope a degree affords opportunity and increased income, you also don’t want to strap the kids (or yourself!) with a lifetime of debt. It’s important to start as early as possible contributing to a college savings plan that grows, tax-free. Most estate planning attorneys and financial advisors recommend a 529 plan for this education savings purpose. A “529,” also known as a Qualified Tuition Plan (QTP) is a college …

Can You Drive With an Open Container of Alcohol in Your Car?

Virginia’s open container laws aren't as clear-cut as other states'

Drinking while driving is clearly illegal. Drinking while in the comfort and safety of your home is generally legal, at least if you’re of legal drinking age. What about a situation between these two clear examples: Can you have an open container of alcohol in your car while driving? As with many legal answers, it depends on the state. In compliance with federal laws banning open containers of alcohol, most states, from New York to Texas, have enacted laws that prohibit both: The possession …

Gestational Surrogacy Laws in Illinois

The state's legally supportive stance on the family arrangement

The law of contracts is old, well-settled and staid. We rely every day on agreements and enforceable remedies when things fall apart. The rules largely track with our culturally ingrained logic measuring fair and unfair, and most contract disputes have clear answers. Most, but not all. Some types of agreements elude our fairness gauge, or make the thing explode entirely. Agreements regarding gestational surrogacy—where a woman contracts to have someone else’s baby for them—can test the …

Should I Consider a Short Sale?

This option may be a good one for a foreclosure in California, but proceed with caution

The short sale process is a settlement alternative to foreclosure. A homeowner faced with losing their property may sell the home for less than the outstanding debt owed (hence, “short”). The mortgage lender (the bank) must agree to accept the short sale price as payment of the mortgage balance. Because of the complexity of the bank’s required assessment, a short sale property can take much longer than a typical home purchase. It can yield a good deal for all concerned, but also presents …

Utah's Metabolite DUI Law Doesn't Require Impairment

It prohibits any drug byproduct in a driver's bloodstream, period

More and more states are legalizing the use of marijuana, whether recreational or medically prescribed, including several on Utah’s borderlines. With legalization has come increased concern about impairment while driving. Marijuana may be legal, but it can still compromise your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Most states now have laws that treat drug impairment similarly to alcohol when it comes to a DUI, including Utah.  Assessing Drug Impairment is Complicated Assessing …

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