Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas from the Law Office of Marcie Baker!


This holiday season we are so thankful for our clients, families, professional connections, and friends old and new.

Whether you stayed in Florida or traveled to spend the holidays with family, we wish you a safe return home and a wonderful day filled with many blessings and love.

Whether you celebrate or not, we sincerely hope that all of you enjoy the rest of 2021 and look forward to the blessings, new beginnings, and opportunities that 2022 will bring.

From all of us at the Law Office of Marcie Baker, Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Lessons Learned from Filing for Bankruptcy

            Many people are often embarrassed to admit they have filed for bankruptcy. Others feel like a complete failure, believing that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. While bankruptcy can certainly be an extremely stressful time in your life, I wanted to take the time today to share how it is not the end of the world, and happens to more people than you think – even famous celebrities. The lessons learned from their filings can help you see your bankruptcy filing from a different perspective.

            There are many notable people who have filed for bankruptcy. I’d like to share a few with you, and the lessons that they learned, and how they can be applicable to your situation.

  • Walt Disney

Prior to the creation of Walt Disney World and its many affiliates, Walt Disney’s first animation studio failed and the financial backer went broke. After filing for bankruptcy, Disney would go on to create the global brand we all know and love today.

  •   Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy twice. After having to file her second bankruptcy 12 years after the first, she learned that planning for the bad times when things were good would benefit her, and her label in the long run. It is always smart to have some savings set aside should any emergencies or hard times occur.

  • Milton Hershey

Hershey’s candy bars that we know so well and eat so many of would never have existed if Milton Hershey had given up when the going got tough. He had not one, not two, but four failed candy companies before filing for bankruptcy and using his fresh start to establish the now successful Hershey’s Food Corporation.

  • Henry John Heinz

Henry John Heinz established a successful condiment company that helps add flavor to many of the food items we indulge in. However, when poor harvest conditions occurred and his company was overwhelmed, Heinz had to file for bankruptcy. He used his fresh start by introducing a new, and now beloved condiment, ketchup. What would we put on our fries if he had just thrown the towel in and given up?

  •  Sam Walton

Did you know that Sam Walton is the founder of the largest company in the world? Walmart would have never existed if Walton had given up after his first store, Ben Franklin, went under causing him to file for bankruptcy. Instead, he took this opportunity to build the largest retail chain and go on to become the largest employer in the world. The road was not easy, but through perseverance Walton would create a company that is known globally.

The main takeaway? Don’t give up on yourself. See this time as a fresh start for you, and like the many celebrities above, use it as a chance to rebuild or explore a new venture – you never know what could happen!

At the end of the day, bankruptcy is not as scary as it seems. You may feel anxious, uncertain, and upset, but it is important to remember that you are not alone, and when you work with Marcie Baker she will guide you every step of the way. We will strive to provide the best assistance that we can for your case to make sure an outcome that is favorable for everyone can be achieved.

***This blog is meant to be informational only. None of the facts or stories stated above constitute legal advice and I have attributed the proper sources for the facts stated. Should you have any questions regarding filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, please do not hesitate to contact Marcie Baker to schedule your free consultation


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Equitable Distribution vs. Child Support

            I’d like to once again delve into the various aspects of divorce and family law. Getting a divorce does not just result in the separation of you and your spouse, but also means your assets, property, and time spent with children is divided. However, many people confuse equitable distribution and child support, so I wanted to take the time to devote a blog post to explain what each of them are.

            Equitable distribution is the action where a court divides marital assets according to “statutory guidelines that are designed to produce a fair but not necessarily equal division of the property.” There are many reasons that it may not be necessarily equal, and this will be determined by when the property was acquired, the financial means of each party, and what kind of assets are being discussed.

            There are many factors that courts use to determine what assets are equitable and how they should be divided between the spouses. Here are just a few of them:

  • Duration of the marriage 
  • Age, health, and needs of each spouse
  • The amount contributed by each spouse to the marital property in question
  •  The present and future financial needs and liabilities of each spouse
  •  Which spouse has primary custody of any minor children

While a court has the ability to divide the assets between the spouses, this can also be done in a collaborative setting to allow each spouse to compromise and find a solution that is agreeable to both parties. Then, if the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the issue may proceed to trial, where a Judge will divide the assets in question.

            Child support is defined under Florida Child Support law. Child support is, “a court-ordered obligation of the financial support for the care, maintenance, training, and education of a child.” Florida state statutes and Florida Child Support Guidelines help determine what amount spouses pay towards child support.  The amount varies based on the parties’ income and the number of children. You can see those guidelines here.  With certain limitations, Judges cannot make huge adjustments to statutorily required child support payments.

            Child support is meant to cover many aspects of a child’s life to ensure that they are still being provided an adequate standard of living. For example, here are some items that child support payments may be used for:

  •     Medical costs
  • Educational expenses
  •  Food and clothing
  • Hobbies, activities, and entertainment

Each situation will be different, and the guidelines will be adjusted in each case. Even if it has been determined that the children will spend equal amounts of time with each parent, child support will still have to be calculated, though there are unique circumstances where this may not be the case.

            I hope that this post offers helpful information and helps clear up any confusion you may have about the many aspects of divorce. Marcie would love to meet with you to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have. Schedule your free consultation today!

***This blog pose is for informational purposes only. In no way does it constitute legal advice pertaining to family law and divorces. Should you need to discuss your case with an attorney, please fill out our contact form to schedule your free consultation with Marcie Baker.


Thursday, December 9, 2021

A Brief History of Workers’ Compensation


         As our world revolutionizes and the workplace continues to change, especially in the last two years, the area of Workers’ Compensation must also change and recognize protections for employers as well as employees. While the idea of having a system such as this in place makes sense, did you know that the idea of a workers’ comp. system has been around for thousands of years?

            Before the concept ever made it to America, its development began in Ancient Sumer (now present-day Iraq). In early work comp. law, it was established that there was certain compensation for specific body parts. For example, losing a finger such as a thumb was equivalent to losing half the value of a finger.

            Ancient civilizations such as the Greek and Chinese would then develop this idea and proceed to create compensation schedules and again, specific body parts determined what the injured worker was entitled to, and how much.

Surprisingly, modern day workers’ compensation law developed in Prussia in the 1800’s. In the height of the socialist movement, protection for workers was one of the top priorities of this time. This led to the establishment of Workers’ insurance to provide a safety net for those who had been temporarily or permanently injured while on the job. More benefits were given to those workers who continued to work on a modified basis, or those who had the best chance of recovery and returning fully to the workplace.

            Many countries, including the United States, would take this model from Prussia and develop it into a framework that worked for each country and employment system. However, progress in the United States was slow. It was not until the publishing of the novel The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, which detailed the horrifying conditions of working in a Chicago slaughterhouse, that workers’ compensation in the United States began to change.

            Wisconsin was the first state to pass a workers’ compensation law in 1911. It would take almost 40 years for every state in the United States to pass work comp. laws, with the final being Mississippi in 1948.  Florida developed its first workers’ compensation law in 1935.  There have been many changes in Florida’s work. comp. laws over the years, with the last major revisions being made in 2003. 

            Since then, and as the United States has continued to develop and revolutionize, workers’ comp. has adapted and grown to accommodate the ever-changing workplace and needs of employees and employers. The creation of Social Security Disability Insurance and the Americans with Disabilities Act has also helped guide regulations and laws addressing workplace safety and accommodations.

            Today, workers’ compensation serves as a safety net to protect employees from risking their health for their jobs as well as protecting employers from the high cost of tort litigation for on-the-job injuries. Far from the days of merely compensating an employee based on the limb they lost, workers’ comp. now covers medical needs, missed wages, as well as many other work-related issues.

            If you have suffered a work-related injury and would like to speak with an attorney about your claim, please fill out our contact form below, we would love to schedule a free consultation for you!

**This blog serves informational purposes only and material within the post does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions or a workers’ comp. claim, please fill out our contact form below to schedule a free consultation with Marcie Baker.


Thursday, December 2, 2021

Who are Paralegals and What do they do?

            Brandy is our fantastic Florida Registered Paralegal (FPL) here at the Law Firm of Marcie Baker. She is Marcie’s right-hand woman and keeps the office organized as well as assists in client matters and keeping everything up-to-date. I honestly do not know how she does it all, but she makes sure that no task is left unfinished. When I worked at a larger firm in 2019, I served five paralegals who also assisted with similar tasks, but each had anywhere from 8-13 attorneys that they were answering to.

            So what exactly is a paralegal? According to the American Bar Association a paralegal is, “a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”

            Paralegals have a variety of duties, and their workload can also depend on what kind of firm they work at and how many attorneys they are serving. At our office, Brandy serves as a paralegal in the areas of Workers’ Comp., Family Law, and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the areas of our practice.

            What does it take to become a paralegal? Paralegals must first complete a formal paralegal education program. Programs can range anywhere from 2-4 years, and specific requirements depend on the law firm that you are hoping to work in. While in the program, future paralegals can participate in internships and on-the-job training to gain the appropriate legal experience. After completing the program paralegals can seek employment where they interned at, or look for a position at a firm with a type of law that they are interested in. Ultimately the choice is up to them and what works best for them at that point in their lives.

    To become a Florida Registered Paralegal like Brandy, you have to:

  • Be a legal adult (18+)
  • Have a Bachelor's Degree or an Associates Degree PLUS experience
  • Pay a fee and renew your registration prior to its expiration every year, as well as complete an annual 30 years of continuing education.

            So what are the differences between a lawyer and a paralegal? Well, for starters, paralegals are trained so that they can practice in the legal profession and a lawyer is licensed to practice law. Lawyers must take and pass the bar exam, whereas paralegals just need to meet each state’s legal requirements, if there are any. Even though a lawyer may assign work to a paralegal, the lawyer is still responsible for making sure that work is done correctly and ethically. Paralegals cannot give legal advice, but there still is supervised work that they can do. Some of work that paralegals can do under the supervision of lawyers is:

-          Research case law and make recommendations to lawyers

-          Prepare documents to be filed with the court

-          Preparing petitions or appeals for family court

Paralegals are extremely important to the success and organization of law firms. Despite the fact that they often work behind the scenes and their names aren’t on the side of the firm’s building, their work makes an impact and many lawyers would be lost without them. We are so thankful to have Brandy and for all of the amazing work that she does!

***This blog is meant to serve informational purposes only. Nothing within this post constitutes legal advice. Should you need to speak with an attorney please fill out our contact form below to schedule your free consultation.


How to Become a Paralegal in Florida, Paralegal Requirements FL (

Time to Say Goodbye

Happy Thursday, all! Enjoy this upcoming long weekend and the unofficial start to summer! Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and to...