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Matthew David Keenan
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Matthew Keenan’s Answers

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  • How obtainable is it to get permission from the court to send my son to boarding school? What similar cases can I reference?

    I'm divorced, I have full custody of my eight-year-old son, the father has visitation rights (Every other weekend and occasional holidays). After extensive research, I'm certain boarding school will be in my child's best interest. His father is ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Hi--

    This answer is more of a domestic relations issue. Therefore, I do recommend that you consult with an attorney who specializes in that area. Please also be aware that a prolonged legal battle could prove terribly expensive. Quite often, some sort of a sensible compromise is the best decision for everyone, Best wishes, Matt Keenan

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  • Does making a slut list in HighSchool and NOT distributing it around school constitute sexual harassement & a 10 day suspension?

    My daughter made a slut list w/ 3 other girls. This list was Never posted or distributed around school. One girl on the list found out and one other girl NOT my daughter got into a fight with her. When the principle found out he handed out 10 d...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Hi--

    I would proceed with great caution here. You will need to examine any and all applicable school rules, but bear in mind that most schools give tremendous discretion to the dean in matters of discipline. Furthermore, schools are very sensitive to this sort of conduct now.

    The lack of distribution does mitigate in favor of your daughter, but that begs the question of just how this list's existence was discovered. You need to speak to your daughter about this situation, as well as the fight that your referenced. The school may be over-reacting, but it sounds like a complicated situation. I strongly advise you to find a school law attorney in Phoenix if you have further issues of this sort. Best wishes, Matt Keenan

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  • Refunds for services?

    I registered for a course at a University and paid its fees. At the time of registering i signed an agreement which said that "I cannot ask for a refund in ANY CASE no matter what happens". Later, the University informed me that they will not be o...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Hi-- Interesting issue. The exact terms of the contract are still a bit vague. While the overall impact of the school's decision is certainly unfair, you may not be legally entitled to a refund. My recommendation is to contact an attorney in the county and examine this as a contractual matter.

    Frequently, if all else fails, the school may make a settlement offer to avoid the potential costs of litigation. That said, many schools have a somewhat predatory attitude about billing students, and the specific terms you noted seem slightly awry to me. You should definitely consult with a local attorney before continuing to deal with the school. Best wishes, Matt Keenan

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  • First offense, DUI and a life was taken, how much time will i have to do?

    this is my first offense, DUI and a life was taken how much time will i have to do?

    Matthew’s Answer

    First of all, cease making any comments to anybody about what happened and contact a qualified attorney. This is a very serious situation and there may be potential defenses, At the very least, you will want to get all the mitigation that you can if you are found guilty and sentenced.

    The sentence itself will vary based on numerous factors. To put it mildly, however, you are at risk of receiving a sentence of at least ten years in prison, quite possibly much more than that. Get an attorney immediately and do not discuss these matters with anyone else.

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  • If I own 2 homes in 2 seperate school districts and pay taxes on both, which district do I choose? Does it matter which I claim?

    I am paying mortagage on one and acquired another home that I spend alot of time at after my mother passed away. I 1/2 occupy both and pay taxes on both so I do not know which district my children are legally bound to. I do not want to be breaking...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Resideny for school districts is a thorny topic, and the case law varies considerably from state to state. As a general matter, the place of principle residence is controlling. That said, merely owning a property and spending a substantial amount of time residing there is not an automatic solution,

    I stgrongly recommend that you contact an attorney in your state for a more complete and pertinent answer. Should the district contact you with questions, you should not respond in detail before speaking to counsel. Districts spend a huge amount of money for each student and fight more stridently than you might expect. Best wishes, Matt Keenan

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  • How can i study to be a lawyer as a kid?

    i would probably be best at a prosecuter. i dont know exactly what they do but anything where you fight in court for the rights of others is what i want to do!

    Matthew’s Answer

    My advice is to read as much as you can. NOT just what they make you read in school. A good rule of thumb is also that you should try to read books that are written at least fifty years ago a lot of the time--if it still holds up after many years, there's a better chance you're not going to be wasting your time. Find topics that interest you, and by all means do not overdo it with law. Being an attorney is more about thinking a certain way than just memorizing laws. You should also study a language now, since it gets a lot harder to learn as you get older. When in doubt, just try to learn two new words every day. Also study the way that the meanings of words shifts around. Think of this--do "okay" and "yes" have the same meaning?

    And meet a few prosecutors. They are often more helpful than you would think.

    Overall, I think that being a good reader and a hard worker is more important than doing well in school. You have a lot of school to get through, all the same.

    Best wishes, Matt Keenan

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  • I am in F1visa and attended a full time student last semester in IL but I got a F which automaticaly change my status to part

    time so the school sent a letter to appeal but later they denied to our appeal when we appealed. so look like I20 to be terminated or terminated arlready. If I enrolled in another school as full time and get I20 this coming semester (spring), I ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    As an immediate problem, you need to have the advice of a local immigration attorney before you get to the school issues. Genrally, schools are very reasonable about these things, but you referenced some sort of an appeal, and there isn't enough here to give you more specific advice.

    Call somebody in the area for advice on the issue of your status and the other issues may resolve in time. Best wishes, Matt Keenan

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  • Are criminal justice courses on line through Phoenix University a good choice or do you prefer classroom classes?

    I would like to become a paralegal or work for child protective services, are criminal justice courses the only way or are there other areas that I should explore to be employable?

    Matthew’s Answer

    My suggestion is to look for people in these fields in the Richmond area and see how they got to where they are today. Classes in a classroom are always preferable, but I think the key here is to identify just what you want to do and how to get in. Generally, the more connections you have, the better off you will be.

    When all else fails, call around to a few attorneys and see if there are openings. The job market is rough everywhere, but this is not an impossible task. Best wishes, Matt Keenan

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  • Questioning a 9yr old child

    Dear Sir, My question is regarding my 9 yr old son. There was an allegation made by a parent against my son. The parent went to the school office and said that his Kindergarten son had heard that my son had a knife in the bus. The principal calle...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Administrators have a great deal of discretion when allegations of children with weapons arise. That said, it is not unusual for adminstrators to exceed their authority. Given the propensity of young people to respond unreliably to leading questions, it is fortunate that things have not spun completely out of control. If you do have complaints, I recommend that you start by writing a relatively brief and specific letter to the principal, and then consider further action.

    When in doubt, always document in writing.

    I recommend that you speak to an attorney in Washington, D.C., regarding this issue. You need to advocate for your child but you should avoid inflaming the situation. Best wishes, MDK

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  • Illness prevented me from my career, is there anything I can do about my student loans?

    I was eighteen when it happened. I was going to school to become an aviation mechanic and sometime in the middle of the course, I started getting a lot of horrible symptoms. I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and it had attacked man...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Hi--

    The first issue is to sort out exactly who provided the student loans. Some organizations are more reasonable (and patient) than others.

    Generally, contracts are binding. That said, there may well be room for negotiation. You do not want to have serious credits problems if you can avoid it, and the schools understand that hitting you there is often their best collection strategy.

    See if you can explain the situation to the agency in question. Start by writing down what happened and offer to provide documentation of your medical history. You may be able to resolve this, though probably not without some repayment. Best wishes, Matt Keenan

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