Why You Want a Lawyer When You Buy a Home

connecticut real estate attorneyIf you’ve ever attended a real estate closing, you know the amount of paperwork can be overwhelming. If you haven’t yet had the privilege of buying property, you can expect to get writer’s cramp as you sign your name again and again, sometimes to indicate a promise (such as to make your mortgage payments) and other times to acknowledge that you read a certain document making you aware of your rights and responsibilities as a new owner.

Before you grumble about the unnecessary paperwork, realize that trees have given their lives in order to protect your future.

Conducting Title Searches

Your attorney will perform something called a title search on your behalf. Let’s face it, when you’re looking at that new house, you’re envisioning happy family gatherings in a pool, quiet evenings watching the sun set over the back yard, and snug Sunday afternoons as your favorite football team wins game after game.

Your lawyer, meanwhile, is looking through the real estate records to ensure that these dreams can come true.

For example, if the gas company has a legal right of way across your backyard, then you may not be able to put in that pool you want to fill with children, cousins, and friends.

Knowing these things in advance helps you avoid nightmares when all you want is to make your dreams come true.

Clearing Up Complications

Your attorney is there to help you make decisions. You may chose to walk away from a potential sale or go ahead with the lawyer’s help to clear up a situation.

In addition to title searches, your law firm can coordinate the many, details that accompany a real estate sale. If the previous homeowners have left oil in the tank or paid the taxes through to next year, you’ll need to reimburse them for these unused expenses when you accept the keys.

Your head will be spinning as you face the daunting task of moving and an attorney who has your back can get ahead of the details for you, explain the process, and let you concentrate on the fun of buying a new home.

Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, P.C. works in both residential and commercial real estate. We are there to make your home and business dreams come true.

Should you choose a general or specialized law firm?

bookcase-lawfirmLaw firms of today are often specialized, providing their clients with expertise in one area of the legal profession. That’s fine if all you ever need is one type of legal help. Most of us will need a combination of legal services throughout our lives and there is something to be said for hiring a law firm that our parents and grandparents would recognize.

A general practice law firm can help clients through many life events, such as the more joyous occasions like buying a home or the less pleasant situations like a DUI.

Just because a general practice law firm does it all does not mean that the services are any less effective than those offered by a specialized firm. In the old days, there might have been one attorney to do all the work but, today, a general practice law firm can consist of several lawyers, each bringing unique experiences.

This group can usually take care of the legal needs of individuals, families, and small businesses—trusts, estate planning, wills, business law, probate, criminal defense, DUI defense, personal injury, worker’s compensation, divorce, social security disability, residential and commercial real estate, and more.

There are advantages to having a law firm that can offer you quality legal advice in many aspects of life.

For example, perhaps you need to address a zoning law that will help you set up your own business. A few years later, you need to hire more employees and develop a business plan. As your shop enjoys fantastic success, you decide to create a franchise. Meanwhile, you’ve met the right person and want to marry, buy a house, and settle down.

These are happy events and a general practice law firm can be the one number you dial when you need to realize your dreams or defend yourself when something bad happens, such as a suit brought by an employee. You want to surround yourself with people you trust when you need help during both good times and bad. Specialized law firms are great but you’ll need to rebuild that level of trust, not to mention find the right firm, each time you face a new life event.

Sometimes, life surprises us. You might be in the middle of a divorce when someone dials the police for a domestic dispute. If you are represented by one firm, the attorney handling your divorce can easily update the attorney dealing with the criminal court case and help you to resolve both quickly and with less emotional pain and financial cost.

Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, P.C. was founded in 1907 and maintains the tradition of a general practice law firm but offers specialized services from highly experienced and educated attorneys. We’d love to discuss with you how we can be your legal ally throughout all of life’s events.

Demystifying Living Wills and Powers of Attorney

POAThere may come a time in your life when you cannot advocate on your own behalf because of physical or mental restrictions. While it’s not pleasant to think about such a possibility, there is a way to prepare and get peace of mind. You can create a series of legal documents that express your wishes so that you have a measure of control over your future.

Living Wills

A living will or advance healthcare directive describes how you want your doctors to treat you. Medical advances have meant great improvements in our health and ability to live longer; there are also more cases in which a person can be kept alive by artificial means, including feeding tubes and mechanical respiration.

There are some emotional or religious impacts to this kind of treatment and, of course, there are financial implications as well. By writing down your preferences in this area, you can relieve your family of several burdens. They will not be forced to guess at your intentions and they can feel confident about your wishes to spend money on such treatment. Without that information, they may be forced to deal with guilt, crippling medical bills, or gut wrenching decisions about your health.

In other cases, a stranger may make decisions for you. Without a written directive and no way to elicit a response from you, a judge may enforce state law to determine your health care decisions. Those choices may, or may not, be what you want for yourself.

Power of Attorney

This document can seem scary because it gives some of your authority to another person. The designated man or woman can act on your behalf in private affairs, business, or other legal matters. However, if there comes a time when you cannot act on your behalf, there are likely to be financial issues that complicate your life and the lives of those who care about you.

The good news is that having a Power of Attorney actually reinforces your independence. You can chose exactly the authority you want to share, and with whom, using a legal tool called a durable power of attorney.

Appointment of a Health Care Agent

There are several factors than can render you unable to discuss your condition with your doctor—age, disease, accident, or even anesthesia during a medical procedure. You can elect a person to speak on your behalf when you are unable to do so by appointing a health care agent. Without an agent in place, doctors and hospital staff may be prohibited by law from discussing your care or condition with anyone, including your loved ones.

A power of attorney can work with a living will and the appointment of a health care agent to increase the control you have over your decisions, who acts on your behalf, and what will happen to you.

Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, P.C. is available to answer your questions about these kinds of documents and match your needs to the right legal tools.

Why Hire a Connecticut Lawyer?

Some people have a misconception that courts operate slightly differently, based on location. The truth is, case law and statutes are the same in all of the courts within Connecticut. Laws can vary from state to state; New York, Massachusetts or Rhode Island laws are different than Connecticut laws.

That is why attorneys will indicate the states where they are allowed to practice. Without studying the particular laws of a state and passing the bar there, an attorney is not qualified to offer advice to a client. You should always make sure your lawyer is able to practice law in the state where your case will be heard because you want the best legal counsel possible.

Back to our original myth, a good legal argument in the New Britain/Bristol area is also a good argument in Enfield, Waterbury, Meriden or Bridgeport court. The statutes that govern a case in Bantam are the same statutes that would govern in Hartford, New London or Manchester.

This is why it is possible for a legal firm to have statewide law practice. Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, P.C. is based in Bristol, which is part of the New Britain jurisdiction. There is a satellite office in West Hartford and we frequently find ourselves in the court houses of Hartford, Litchfield, New Haven, Tolland and even New London counties. Our clients are often from Southington, Farmington, Naugatuck, Burlington, Avon, Thomaston, Wolcott, or Plymouth.

One of the benefits of an attorney that practices in a wide geographic location is the opportunity to get to know the lawyers, prosecutors, judges and courthouse staff in all Connecticut courts. While the legal system is fair and favoritism is not a factor, there is an advantage to familiarity. Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, P.C. can obtain positive results for our clients because we are all working with the Connecticut laws as our opponents but we feel we have home court advantage… no pun intended.

So if you are in New Britain, Bristol or West Hartford; Simsbury or Newington; Plainville or Meriden; Glastonbury or Watertown call an experienced Connecticut attorney to help you with your Connecticut legal issue. Call Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, P.C.

The Truth about Social Security Disability

A disability is a drag on your resources at a time when those resources are lean. You will need more energy to perform tasks and more money to pay for medical expenses when you feel physically weak and cannot earn your paycheck. Social Security Disability was established to address this problem. However, this very important tool is often underutilized.


People who are eligible for Social Security Disability are those who have worked to pay into the system. Any other stories you may have heard are simply not true. There will always be those who want to find a quick buck but it can never be overstated: only those who paid into the system can receive Social Security benefits. No one is getting “free” money from this system.

Another emotional hurdle is the switch in personal identity from an independent, productive person to someone who needs to accept help. However, admitting that there is a significant change in lifestyle is the first step in reshaping a better future. The money from Social Security Disability affords medical care and avoids bad credit. There is hope and comfort when bills are paid and you can accomplish more when you take better care of yourself with the right medical attention.

Pride shouldn’t stop you from receiving what you need; pride should be what you feel as you life a full life.

Red Tape

The application process has become complex because the federal government put safeguards into place to prevent abuse of the Social Security Disability system.

Given the complexity of the system, the timeframe associated with an application is measured in months or longer. It can’t be said enough: Social Security benefits are not a cash machine. If you are in a tight spot, do yourself a favor and seek assistance sooner than later. You can receive cash claims and/or medical benefits but only if you are an active participant in the medical and legal process put in place to help you.

Getting Started

Talk to your doctor about your physical limitations and be as open as you can to hearing what may be some hard truths. If you’ve literally worked yourself to the bone and can no longer perform the tasks you used to do as a productive member of society, it’s important to put aside your fears and ask the questions to get an accurate and complete picture of your condition.

Once you have the medical side of the equation, you can begin to work on the legal side. The terminology is use differently by doctors and lawyers; both professions are there to help you. How they do it can be complex. A lawyer will work with you to determine if the medical information forms the basis for a legal case and explain your eligibility for benefits.

The lawyers of Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, P.C. are here to detangle the red tape and treat you with respect as you deal with a situation that can be very difficult emotionally, physically, and financially. The fee for our services is capped by federal statues at $6,000 or 25% of an award and we do not get paid if you are denied benefits. As a comprehensive legal firm, we can also deal with the other issues that often accompany a disability and Social Security claim.

We understand the challenge of keeping your dignity in the face of life’s changing circumstances and we are happy to show you how we can help. We are top-notch attorneys who have spent the past 100 years as proud members of the hard working Bristol community.

Keep Calm and Call an Attorney

When the police knock on your door and want to ask you questions about a criminal act, what should you do?

Keep Calm and Call an Attorney

There is NO obligation or requirement to speak with law enforcement agents. None! They can be very persuasive or friendly. They may cajole and press or may even be aggressive to the point where you feel threatened. Officers have their own style and approach. Regardless of their style, your response should ALWAYS be the same — Keep Calm and Lawyer Up.

Officers who ask questions are looking for information. There are really only two reasons for doing this. One, they already have enough information to arrest you and they want you to provide the cherry on top of their investigative cake. Do not give them that cherry! During an interview, you may get the impression that you can persuade the officers to change their minds and not arrest you. You cannot. If they already have enough information to arrest you, they will arrest you. You will not talk them out of this course of action. Therefore, Keep Calm and Lawyer Up.

The second reason that officers ask questions is that they do not yet have enough information to arrest you. By talking to them, you may give them more information that officers can use to build a case against you. Do not give them the extra information that can and will be used against you! Instead, Keep Calm and Lawyer Up.

Politely but insistently, explain you want to talk to a lawyer BEFORE talking to them or answering ANY questions. Call a lawyer immediately and do not talk to ANYONE until after you get sound legal advice from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

When the police knock on the door and want to question you about a crime the only thing you need to remember is, Keep Calm and Lawyer Up.

Call Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, PC if you need legal advice and relax.

What is a personal injury case?

Personal Injury (PI) cases include car accidents, dog bites, slips and falls, and motorcycle accidents.  There are specific criteria that define such cases and determine how such a case should proceed, if at all.

The injury must result through a negligent act.  It’s natural to have an emotional reaction when hurt and blame is often a part of that reaction.  The law is clear to distinguish between responsibility and feelings to protect everyone involved, including the injured party.  Therefore, the negligent act is defined as a breach of duty, whether the duty was to do something or not to do something.  Also, the injury must be to a person and not just to property.

For legal purposes, the injury must be measurable in terms of compensation.  The victim may have lost income, incurred treatment expenses or out of pocket expenses or pain and suffering as a result of the breach of duty or negligence of another.  All of these factors are considered when determining the compensation due to the victim when the injury is serious or lasts long enough to warrant payment.

As the saying goes, it’s not possible to get blood from a stone.  Therefore, good attorneys usually pursue payment through insurance policies that cover negligent acts.

Many PI cases are sensationalized in the press and it is common for people unfamiliar with the procedure of these types of cases to consider the value of such a case as random and large jackpots.  The reality is that PI cases are judged carefully by the nature and extent of the injury, paired with the negligent party’s ability to pay.

It cannot be overstated that the description of the injury is an important factor in valuing a case and, while it may seem frustrating to wait for a resolution, it is important to allow enough time to pass so that the victim can receive medical treatment.  How much treatment is based on individual experience but usually this means enough time and medical attention to reach “maximum medical improvement.”  This can take approximately a year and, including the time to move through the legal process, PI cases are resolved in one to three years.  Some cases can last much longer before a satisfactory resolution.

If you have been injured by the negligent act of another person, you may have a personal injury case. Call the personal injury lawyers at Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, PC for your free consultation.

The Legal Facts About DUI/DWI

Sobriety-CheckpointMyths are everywhere in our society. They can be fun but, when it comes to legal matters, you should never rely on what someone says unless that person is a qualified attorney.

Take the matter of driving under the influence. That’s a good example of how a sensitive, complex, and frankly scary situation attracts a lot of misinformation. Many people like to believe certain things about what happens if you are charged with DUI or DWI. That may be comforting on some emotional level but you really should know the legal facts in case you or someone you care about is involved in this scenario.

One of the more prevalent myths is that you won’t be charged with a DUI if the car isn’t actually moving.The legal definition of operating a car while under the influence is satisfied if the keys are in the ignition. There is no requirement that the vehicle be in motion or physically positioned on a state or public roadway.

Don’t think that you can avoid trouble by writing your own definition of substance, either. Under the influence can be under the influence of any substance legal or illegal that negatively effects operation of a motor vehicle.

One penalty associated with the charge of driving while intoxicated is the Department of Motor Vehicle suspending your privilege to drive a motor vehicle in Connecticut. The length of suspension depends on the blood alcohol level relative to the legal limit and the number of previous offenses. These DMV suspensions may take effect regardless of the outcome of the charges in criminal court.

For a first time arrest the suspension is 90 days if the BAC is under .15 but is 120 days if the BAC is above .15.

If the operator refuses to take a chemical analysis test and therefore there is no BAC available, the suspension is six months.

Loss of driving privilege is a very serious matter because it means more than just convenience. Most of us cannot earn a living unless we can drive to work and some of us drive for a living. There are ways that a work/school permit can mitigate the impact of a suspension but multiple offenders can face license suspensions of 10 months or more, without the benefit of a work/school permit.

Another penalty associated with the charge of Driving While Intoxicated is a possible jail sentence. A person arrested for the first time for DUI should be eligible for the Alcohol Education Program. If the program is successfully completed, the charges are fully dismissed. Commercial Drivers License holders are not eligible for the AEP.

A first conviction for DUI, typically a second DUI arrest with in 10 year period, leads to a one year loss of driving privilege, up to 6 months in jail, 18 months of probation and a mandatory $500 fine.

A second conviction for DUI is a felony. There is a three-year loss of driving privilege, up to two years in jail; a $1000 to $4000 mandatory fine, a requirement of 100 hours of community service and a period of probation.

A third conviction for DUI carries a fine of $2000 to $8000 fine, up to three years in jail with one year mandatory, a requirement of 100 hours community service, a period of probation and a lifetime loss of license.

Bottom line, don’t drink and drive. However, if you find yourself or someone you care about in that situation, get solid legal advice from a trusted, experienced source such as Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, P.C.

Posted In: DUI

28th Annual Humanitarian Awards

William J. Tracy Jr. will be honored by the Bristol Boys & Girls Club and Family Center at their 28th AnnualHumanitarian Awards Dinner on October 11, 2012. The Humanitarian Award is given annually to a person or persons who have been active in community groups for years, often working in quiet ways and volunteering many hours of service to the community.

Bill currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Main Street Community Foundation, Inc., having joined the board in 1999. He is a director and past president of the Harwinton Land Conservation Trust, Inc. and a member of the Make A Mark Regional 10 Enrichment Fund Advisory Committee. He also assists the Bristol Special Olympics Cycling Team. Bill has been active in the Chamber of Commerce, having served as the president of the Plymouth Chamber and as a member of the Land Use & Infrastructure committee of the Bristol Chamber. For a number of years, Bill and his family were cast members in the annual haunted hayride fundraisers for Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, Inc. He is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and served in the association’s House of Delegates. He is a corporator of the Bristol Hospital.

Bill has been active in the Town of Harwinton. He is frequently called on as a Town Meeting Moderator, was chairman of the planning commission for 10 years and has chaired or served on a variety of ad-hoc committees. When his children were young, Bill was involved in the Harwinton Youth Sports Association coaching a number of youth sports. He has served Region 10 School District as a moderator of the annual budget meeting and has chaired Charter Revision Commissions in both Bristol and Plymouth. Bill and his wife Kim and their daughters Meghan and Caitlin reside in Harwinton.

Bill practices primarily in the area of estate planning and probate law, real estate and land use law and civil litigation. Bill has practiced with the firm since 1979. He is a graduate of Middlebury College and the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College. He is admitted to practice before the Connecticut courts, the United States District Court and Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Patrick J. Cooney

Car Crash in Western Connecticut

Were you involved in a car crash in West Hartford Connecticut? Has a Connecticut truck collision or motorcycle wreck impacted your life and the lives of your family members?
The personal injury lawyers at the Bristol law firm of Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, P.C. provide aggressive representation for accident injury victims of Connecticut car crashes, as well as trucking accidents and motorcycle collisions.

We Believe We Are Your Best Choice to Handle Your Accident Claim

We Focus Our Practice on Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
Our practice is focused on assisting motor vehicle accident victims in their quest to obtain maximum compensation. We are committed to help you through aggressive representation. We fight insurance companies for you.
At Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, P.C. , we understand that this may be your only chance to obtain fair and just compensation for your injuries or loss, whether you suffer a soft tissue injury or a catastrophic injury, we zealously fight to protect your interests.
We represent locals and tourists who are injured in any motor vehicle accident, including:
• Car Crashes
• Rear End Collisions
• Truck Accidents
• Motorcycle Accidents
For questions about Connecticut motor vehicle accident laws or to discuss your car, truck or motorcycle accident claim with an experienced attorney, please schedule a free confidential consultation by calling us at (860) 589-4343.