Steve Evans and Gary Dukarich are committed to providing you with high-quality, tenacious and affordable legal services in the important areas of estate litigation, intellectual property, professional malpractice, commercial law and personal injury.
Probate is the term usually used to describe the process of settling the estate and distributing the assets of a person who has died. Despite what you may have heard, “probate” is not necessarily a bad word, and it is nothing to be afraid of.
However, this area of the law encompasses more area than just a will that undergoes the probate process. It includes situations where people pass their assets upon death through a trust and other forms of gift or transfer. In fact it also includes people who are still alive but who, due to some form of mental or physical disability, may need external assistance in meeting their personal needs or in handling their property and assets. In Arizona a person who administers the assistance provided for another person’s personal needs is called a guardian, while a person who administers another person’s assets and property is called a conservator. Our estate litigation practice extends to all these areas.
Our firm usually becomes involved when litigation arises in a probate situation. Of course no one wants litigation, and it is our hope you never need our services in this area. If you are fortunate enough to avoid litigation in the probate area (and most people are), we have referrals to other lawyers who handle the more straightforward, non-litigation probate situations. We also have referrals to other lawyers and financial professionals who handle wealth management and estate planning, who can help see that your final years go smoothly and your assets go upon death to those you choose, with the fewest tax and other consequences.
Intellectual Property and Licensing
Intellectual property refers to any of the forms of protection the law offers to those who come up with ideas and information, and includes patents, trademarks, and copyright. It also extends into trade secrets and the area of business law known as “unfair competition,” and such high-tech items as Internet domain names. The ideas and information that people come up with are very often commercialized through licensing, allowing others to take these ideas and information and place them into the market. Intellectual property in its more traditional forms has always been an important part of the law, but it has really come into its own in the past few decades with the information technology explosion.
We have expertise in all forms of intellectual property protection and licensing. We practice in all these areas except applying for and obtaining (also called prosecuting) patents. In that area, we have referrals available to other legal professionals who may be able to help you.
Professional malpractice occurs when a doctor, lawyer or other professional is negligent and harms their patient or client. Much like drivers of automobiles that might injure you, many (though not all) professionals carry insurance to cover their mistakes. And just like the field of personal injury, often the victim of professional malpractice can benefit from having an advocate to help them through the complexities of dealing with an often embarrassed professional and the professional’s insurance company. These aren’t necessarily bad people, but if you have been harmed by one of them you may deserve compensation. There can also be a personal feeling that your trust has been breached, and we understand that, too. We can help you deal with all of this.
Contracts and Commercial Law
Commercial law is a very broad area of the law involving money and business activities. It has many subspecialties. We practice in selected areas of commercial law. Because this area is so broad, it isn’t practical to describe here all the aspects of commercial law that we cover. If you would like to contact us with your problem or your requirement, we can discuss whether this is an area in which we practice, or whether we may have a referral to another attorney who can assist you more cost-efficiently. One important part of commercial law involves contracts, which in recent years have come to be known almost exclusively as “agreements.” We can help with drafting and negotiating contracts, and we can also represent you in court when contracts are breached or otherwise fail.
People are injured in accidents every day. Many, many accidents involve automobiles, but an injury can happen almost anywhere and result from almost anything. Not every person who is in an accident is entitled to compensation, and the law is not a cash machine or a lottery ticket. For that matter, despite what you may have seen in lawyers’ commercials on TV, insurance companies are not necessarily evil (although a few of them can seem that way, and many of them are quirky). There are many situations where an attorney can help someone injured in an accident navigate their way through a sometimes confusing maze of issues. For example, an injured person often ends up negotiating not only with an insurance company—their own or someone else’s—but also with bill collectors from the hospitals, doctors, and medical facilities that provided sometimes extensive and expensive care due to the accident. We know what that’s all about. Our practice includes physical injury and also wrongful death. It includes trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, and alcohol-related accidents. Many cases do settle, but we are not afraid to go to court for you when that is necessary.