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Attorney C. Chan, Esq. Affordable Family Law,Strategy-Driven, 4.7/5 Ratings! Free Consultation, Butte county Family Law Attorney C. Chan 530.359-8810

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Winning in Unusual Way! from 2010, 2015, 2019, 2020

Winning in Unusual Ways! from 2010, 2015, 2019 etc.

For whatever it's worth, attorney has encountered quite a number of cases where we were able to prevail despite the odds against us; this includes family law, criminal law, bankruptcy cases and civil cases. Perhaps in part due to attorney having a high interest in very challenging cases?.....this post has been viewed 1,681 times...

While most attorneys tend to pride themselves on knowing the law, our job is to either know it or look it up correctly, as laws change all the time. Therefore, spotting issues will require knowing the law but that's just the beginning. If the law is on your side, it shouldn't be that difficult right?
It's the cases where maybe the law isn't exactly on your side, or could be, or there are circumstances and other facts or excuses which can create a different outcome? How does attorney know this? Because it's been seen plenty of times! (Listed here are just several examples but we have more than this..)

In another instance of trial (family law), after cross examining the other party, the opposing counsel suddenly called a recess.

       After 7 years of never being able to get a dime out of the ex, who had already filed bankruptcy, my client, having previously used 3 different lawyers, [w/o a good result],  ended up contacting attorney herein --- for trial.
      The opposing attorney stopped the trial after attorney herein--- spotted a bankruptcy fraud during the trial, based upon the husband's testimony;  and husband's attorney offered a combo to wife,  of about $23,000 combined cash/property $100,000, and attorney fees of $6,000. This likely meant that if they had NOT stopped the trial, my client would had gotten spousal, but we would have had to chase him forever across the USA to get it. Client elected to take the offer. Because attorney herein cornered the ex spouse on the stand for what appeared to be potential bankruptcy fraud, the rest is history......

       In another instance, a civil case trial by a former wife against former husband and girlfriend, the husband  had already been convicted in a widely publicized case of homicide in Sacramento (and was on appeal, he lost); the case then went to jury on issue on civil liability as to both husband and girlfriend.
      ...Keeping in mind husband was already convicted of first degree murder, the jury decided that husband was only 60% at fault in the civil case. I represented the husband who was already in prison, (and had not represented him during the criminal trial in Sacramento, where he used a public defender...)

      Normally the civil case has a lower burden of proof, so finding the husband only 60% and not 100% evidently meant, jury wanted to punish the girlfriend because they took 40% and assigned it-- NOT-- to the husband. This verdict was reported in Verdict Search, a national reporting source for large verdicts nationwide. Counsel representing the girlfriend was from insurance defense firm.

Currently, the former wife has not been able to collect much on the verdict [of millions] after paying fees/costs and it is anticipated she will not be able to collect in the future. Very interesting case, which also involved animals (pet dogs) owned by the husband/son. Son was stabbed when father went to check on condition of dogs; father claims son ran into the knife by lunging forward.

     Family law and motion--Mediation Report....  Typically, a parent that has had a Domestic Violence TRO filed against her/or her, will not get custody of a child. Client had the DV lowered to just a no negative conduct order, so there was no DV against him. The mediation report was issued about five months after there was no DV, and amazingly, thanks to the parent (my client) keeping super good notes and data, coupled with the bad evidence of the other parent, my client obtained full physical and legal custody!!! He was also allowed to retake possession of the house.  It was the most amazing report in favor of the client. The person benefiting from this is obviously the child!!!

     In a very unusual scenario, attorney was substituted into a case with a client who did not reside locally;  a hearing on an issue Request for Order (presumed to be law and motion).... was set for a date only several days away, at which time attorney believed the hearing could be continued. It seems the hearing was in fact --- a trial (according to Judge) -- and the client was not present and Judge did not want to continue the case.  Attorney went forward on the issue, with no witness or client.
    Using only cross examination, with 4 witnesses, Attorney actually won the trial--much to surprise of  witnesses present and including opposing counsel, who was shocked.......... 


This is very uncommon, but imagine how your case might work out if attorney can do this, without even having a client or a witness?

Attorney thinks it's fair to say, you would be in fairly good hands. Especially if other attorneys have failed in the past on your case.

Note: All of these scenarios are actual cases but by no means are such outcomes considered standard. Each case has different facts and various laws which will apply; each case can vary tremendously, and attorney is not representing that such outcomes are common. However, attorney does have a very high percent of cases that prevail, settle or result in what the client wanted.


 It's true, some people believe that due to their circumstances, they can just give away certain things or provisions, and not look back.  Arrears on back support at 10% compounded daily will triple in about 7 years? That is the formula used by California, hence the term dadbeat dads? Arrears is how the state makes most of their money involved with child support, in a very complicated program they designed long ago. If all the parents paid the support and there were no arrears, there would not be the compounding at 10% daily.

NOW let's just look at a few that probably happen more than not---

Giving up spousal support because you don't want it (This can be and is a huge error)

Giving up legal custody of kids because kids don't like you (Also a big mistake)

Shacking up with girlfriend so you don't need to work  (May not work as well as you think)

Using family's money and inheritance so you don't work  (LOL shows you are somewhat lazy)

As can be seen, much of the above involves the belief that one is insulated either from paying something or that one is not close to the kids to care enough about a relationship. When you have no visitation it means you pay more support.

If you don't live anywhere near the kids, it's going to always be a problem unless you had made an agreement or the court ordered one.  If you shack up with your girlfriend there's the issue or how much income of yours (subject to proof) is going to support the girlfriend and not the kids? Child support usually doesn't count the income of a new spouse.  I personally have little faith in the DCSS hearings on support, and generally, I do not do those hearings. However many attorneys will do them, but going there is awful in my opinion. (Handling support in a normal court on support is not the same as DCSS hearings.) The person handling DCSS hearings in Butte is NOT a judge and is only a commissioner. There is a huge difference.  (shown below, excerpt from article by retired Judge)

How does the court determine income in order to calculate child support?

Each parent's net disposable income is used to calculate child support. To figure out net disposable income, the court will first determine gross annual income, subtract certain deductions, and divide that by 12 for the monthly amount.

For the purposes of child support, gross income includes:

  • income from all sources including salary and wages, bonuses, commissions, rental income, dividends, interest, pensions, annuities, royalties, trust income, disability insurance benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, social security benefits, and spousal support received from a person who is not the other parent in the child support action;
  • income from ownership of a business; and
  • employment or self-employment benefits, if the court finds it appropriate to consider these benefits.

Gross income does not include need-based public assistance benefits (such as CalWORKS, General Assistance, or Supplemental Security Income) or child support for children from another relationship that one parent actually receives.

After computing the gross income, the court will deduct the following to determine net income:

  • state and federal tax obligations
  • mandatory union dues, if required as a condition of employment
  • necessary job-related expenses
  • health insurance premiums, and
  • hardships such as extraordinary health expenses, uninsured catastrophic losses, and basic living expenses for children from other relationships.


SOME people who have not experienced an invasion of privacy do not understand what a breach of privacy might be, and if so, they may not likely understand their own personal rights?   

Most people own a computer or cell phone or tablet or some electronic device these days, and without knowing what a privacy breach is, you could be in for some really bad news. Usually because once your privacy has been breached, it cannot exactly be "un-breached?"

  Especially during COVID, I believe the courts will not

 take kindly to a breach of any fiduciary duties at all?

 There are actually many things that can constitute an invasion of privacy, you may want to look at the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation)  

Some of these  issues could  become problems in custody, visitation, divorce, community property issues and far, far more. Spouses spying on each other is not that uncommon. so if you are going to get a divorce or are in the middle of one, you should be more careful.  Attorney has seen one spouse simply close all joint credit cards without any notice to spouse, leaving the spouse both stranded, and unable to even buy food or gasoline?

Never leave or lend your phone or computer, tablet or any other electronic device which could be synced to the spouse or anyone you believe will or could spy on you. If you do not understand what syncing means you can go look it up.  It is a fact that far too many people sync all their data, which can have a very bad result down the line if problems come up, especially if it's all personal data and not business data.

Attorney never recommends syncing anything to be honest, that is strictly personal.  One does not need to use that just because you "can" do it. Even if you do trust a spouse 100%, with texts, email, or even encrypted data; I don't even believe a spouse should know every password to everything.... all data can be examined by an expert (if your spouse went that far, as in example of female who won the lotto and hid it from the husband....)... this is an older information piece, but if you're not running a business, I believe it's still worthy to consider......

 IF you have a very jealous spouse, you should probably have a mechanic scan your vehicle for a tracking device--I know of two cases where this was done and two devices were, in fact, found on vehicles.

Learn the signs of how a spy app (stalkerware) could already BE on your phone or other electronic devices. (Attorney has a separate post on this on this same blog....) NEVER sync anything to any computer, tablet, or any other device. It may save some time, but you don't need to be lazy. If your ex takes all your data, you will not have access to it and will lose all the passwords most likely. 

I always recommend that each spouse have a backup account/password and that your data is not stored ONLY on a joint account.  I have seen spouses lose all their email and computer access because of over-sharing of accounts; then it becomes both tedious and expensive because you must spend hours opening new accounts, and start all over again? 

Married spouses with separate accounts that were opened during marriage usually means there is a fiduciary duty to know what each other is doing with community funds.

 Let's say wife inherited 100k and opened her own separate account; as long as nothing that went into that 100k account was community, but only wife's separate property funds went into the account, the tracing of that account should prove that wife owns all of it. But if wife took funds she earned in her job, like 10k, and put it into the account, a problem is created because now community money was added to a separate property account?  This should always be avoided (so you don't create more tracing problems at divorce time!)

I have had cases where this happened during the client's time living in two separate counties, and it quickly became a nightmare. It is to be avoided if at all possible.

In fact, as I mentioned on another post, I had a client that already had all the text messages from all their phones (some kind of family plan arrangement) and in fact, the client found the sex texting of spouse with another person?  Yes, they did get a divorce, no surprise there?

Make sure you already have copies of the tax returns because if he/she filed changed tax returns and you never saw the real tax returns you can be in big trouble (not that you did anything wrong) but you can order the last returns from the IRS for almost free anyway.

IF you are in charge of the phone bill, or home phone bills, or credit cards, you may have to look carefully at what is being purchased. Many spouses never even look at the bills and just pay them?  I have known of several cases where the husband was not only conducting long distance affairs, he had at least one illegitimate kid from some gal in another city and by time the wife figured it out, the kid was not that young anymore?

If you don't know what bitcoin is, I suggest you go look it up. It is very difficult to find evidence of it but if you find it, it would likely be in the computer data the spouse owns. If your spouse guards the computer as if he/she is very afraid of something, it's fairly likely something is being hidden.

[*Attorney has access to people who know Bitcoin pretty well]

 If your spouse loves to go to casinos, the casinos always send out tax information on winnings. There is a famous case from California on this issue where the wife won a huge amount on the CA lotto and never told the husband, she then later divorced the husband and he found out about the lotto accidentally; subsequently, he went to court to remedy this using the fact that ex wife used subterfuge to conceal the winnings won during marriage. 

The court then awarded the entire amount to the husband because non disclosure like this is illegal?  California law provides there is a fiduciary duty between spouses, thus if one party finds out about hidden assets, the game is on!  Also, most judges in family law tend not to like cheating spouses? 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020


all-- everyone using these apps should use every precaution possible. It is difficult to tell what fallout may transpire during COVID times, the Presidential election, and etc.

Usually, "when in doubt, do without" is a safe bet.  The last thing you need right now is to have your phone, computer or other devices to be affected by some wayward electronic nonsense.

These days, with COVID changing everything, it is predicted that regardless of who wins the election, things are going to be drastically changing and that COVID will never be going away in six months.

In fact, it may never go away.


Bankruptcy and Divorce..should You File Now??

Attorney wrote about this over 4 years ago. NOW due to COVID, so many legal changes have transpired, if in fact you are considering filing bankruptcy, please make sure that you hire an attorney who has done bankruptcy cases for many years. Bankruptcy is very complicated and attorney herein has done her share of bankruptcy cases for clients in the past. 

For Butte county residents, the filing venue for bankruptcy cases is in Eastern District Federal Bankruptcy Court located in Sacramento.  (Attorney has been signed into Eastern District BK Court for many years, but does not currently work on bankruptcy cases at this time.)

Bankruptcy is VERY VERY complicated, but the system involves a lot of form filling out to test for whether you do or do not qualify, and whether there are impediments to even filing (you may not qualify, plus new rules due to COVID have impacted nearly all courts, regardless of venue.)

Attorney is very familiar with WHICH document processing entities are known to be proficient in Sacramento for filing Chapter 7.  They are not all the same! This corporation typically knows bankruptcy very well judging from its past performance (former clients have used this company..)

Today is: Thursday, September 17, 2020. Bankruptcy Petition Forms Package.
If you are filing for bankruptcy without the help of an attorney, this booklet tells ...