Super Bowl 50: If You Are Going Don’t Get Taken Too!

Sunday, February 7th is Super Bowl Sunday….the 50th installment of what has grown to a virtual American holiday.  Some have advocated the day after should be an official holiday while others (including myself) have suggested the game should be moved to Saturday so the weary partiers and fans will have a day of rest and recuperation before returning to work.  But alas the game must go on and Sunday is the big day.

Most people will be watching the game at home or at viewing parties or other places outside of the stadium.  For a fortunate few who will actually be in the stadium, game day will be an experience of a lifetime.  Some of you are trying to get tickets and make arrangements to be on hand for what appears to be an epic battle between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos.  A few tips for those of you who are working on ticket, travel, and game arrangements:

  • Read all contracts carefully before signing
  • Beware of ticket fraud
  • Book everything on a credit card—-not a debit card.  Credit cards afford you the power to dispute charges and some protection against fraud
  • If you are using a travel agent or booking agent check them out via the Better Business Bureau, references, etc.
  • Ask as many questions as you need to before committing your money and making final decisions

I lack the time or money or need to attend the game.  Perhaps things would be different if my Pittsburgh Steelers were playing but that is definitely not the case.  More power to those of you who will be attending the game or going to Santa Clara to participate in some of the annual NFL Experience events. Wherever you may be on Super Sunday I hope you enjoy the game and an opportunity to spend some good times with family and/or good friends.

Consumers v Dealer and Previous Owner: Who Wins?

Car (and other vehicle) buyers beware.  Do your homework before buying and be thoughtful of the claims you bring and entities you sue if something goes wrong.  In a recent North Carolina Court of Appeals case, Sain v. Adams Auto Group, husband and wife consumers sued the dealership from which they purchased a vehicle after learning the vehicle had been involved in a wreck and had Case report--Court of Appealssustained frame damage.  The consumers also sued the previous owner of the vehicle, Capital One Auto Finance, who sold the vehicle to the dealership at an auction.  Claims asserted in the lawsuit included Continue reading

A Consumer’s Guide to Paying for College

Despite some people and organizations maligning the college education, it still holds tremendous value and necessity for many potential students.  College is a prerequisite to graduate and professional school.  Life as a college student provides the opportunity for maturity, initiative, social skills, and other vital life skills.

Obviously one key question nowadays is how to cover the cost of college.  There are millions of dollars of scholarships and aid that are available but what if your child is unable to obtain enough money to cover the cost of a college education?  Loans are the next option but there are a plethora of types and programs so how does one navigate these waters?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has guides, tips, calculators, and other resources for paying for college.  Read all scholarship and loan agreements carefully and ask questions before signing on the dotted line.  Given that college loans usually are not dischargeable in bankruptcy it makes sense to look before one leaps.  If you have problems with college loans or creditors collecting on college loans you should consult an experienced legal professional for assistance.

Taxing Decision: Who Should Do Your Taxes?

Some of you have already filed your taxes in anticipation of a healthy refund check.  A large refund, however, is not a windfall of “found money” as it is instead some of your own money being returned to you after providing an interest-free loan to the government. tax refund season!But this is a topic for discussion on another day.  Today we discuss how to decide who will do your taxes.

For those of you who are do-it-yourselfers the question is already answered.  For the rest of you I refer you to a blog post I wrote some time ago which I hope will assist you in making the decision.  Whatever you choose I wish you the best in successfully navigating this tax season and moving onto better things.

Celebrating 10 and 20: Thanks for Your Support!

This month marks 10 years since I opened my own practice, the O’Neal Law Office.  It has been quite the venture and adventure so far.  I have had the opportunity to help many people, travel many places, meet and mentor and be mentored, etc.

Thank you to my clients, past and current…

Thank you to my mentors and mentees for inspiring me and helping me be what I am today….

Thank you to my wonderful family for all your referrals, opportunities to help, and overall support….

Thank you to my classmates from high school, college, and law school for allowing me to assist you and providing me with a myriad of connections and resources

Thank you to my colleagues and members of the Bar—even outside of North Carolina—for keeping me on my toes and helping me learn what I need to be a credit to our noble profession

As to the 20, that relates to my 20th year as an attorney.  That celebration occurs in August of this year.  More on that later…in the meantime I again extend many, many “thank yous “to all of you and for those of you in the midst of Winter Storm Jonas please be safe and warm.

How to Avoid a Snow Job After the Snow

Bad weather is in the forecast…or on the way….or coming down as you read this post.  I sincerely hope you get to and from safely and Does your repair need fixing?without incident.  If, however, you are involved in a collision and your vehicle is damaged be sure to get up to speed on how to protect yourself from vehicle repair problems.  Know your rights and call a lawyer if you have questions or need help.  Stay safe and warm.

Start Strong: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year’s Day to you!  You have been blessed and fortunate enough to see another new year.  Take a moment to reflect on how you can make this year great.  To help you in this effort see this post for several helpful links and resources.  And if you have particular questions or a need for legal assistance please contact me at your convenience.

Best wishes to you and look to chat again with you later this year.




Call On Me If…

Note that I am on a bit of a hiatus as you read this message.  Trying to enjoy some downtime with my family and friends and looking to do a bit of travel.  By way of a reminder…

Call on me:  if you get a traffic ticket during the holidays…if you have an accident….if you have problems with a used car you purchased  (preferably with a warranty; not a vehicle service contract)…if debt collectors are harassing you…and if you otherwise need legal help on certain civil cases.  And if you are not sure if you need a lawyer perhaps it is best to call on me or someone else before taking a leap on your own.

Happy holidays and here’s hoping you enjoy good times with good people.

Seasons Greetings

As I prepare to gather today with members of my family for another holiday occasion I thank each of you who have made this year one to remember.  Thank you for your calls, referrals, support, assistance, and other acts of kindness and trust.  I do not take these things  Season's Greetings!lightly and I consider myself quite blessed to have the opportunity to share some of my time, talents, and resources with you.

For the next few days I will be taking some needed downtime to reflect on the year that is drawing to an end and focus on the start of a new year which will bring new opportunities for us all.  I submit you should spend quality time with those you love and who love you back.

I hope to see and otherwise be in contact with many of you in the days, weeks, and months ahead.  Until then I wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season.

Travel Tips That Work For Non-Lawyers Too

Recently I was reading the Internet and ran across a great short article with five simple travel tips that apply to anyone braving the planes, trains, automobiles, and other modes of travel this holiday season.  As always share this post if you find it helpful.  Happy reading and sharing.



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