Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Best Attorney? What You Want May or May Not Work for Your Case

The correct word is probably more like "appropriate", since each case has the claimed facts, and each side has some type of emotional deal that goes with it.

Family law attorneys may focus on divorces, but child custody does not require a divorce in the first place?  Whether married or unmarried, the issue of kids is common, and the issues involving kids is also commonly a point of problematic issues.

While many attorneys can handle custody issues, and financial issues, and legal issues, there really is not one type of person,  attorney wise, that will be the best fit for all clients. Having knowledge of procedure in family law is a given, but pretty much the way family law attorneys handle divorces and cases can vary.  Some may like to focus on mediation and settlement, and that's pretty much what they do.

It does not take a litigator to focus on settlement. It does not take a real fighter to focus on mediation.

So for those who wish to settle everything, and they can actually agree to work out something, that's great. Should they have to pay $3k, $5k; or even $60k, $200k, or close, to work it out? Maybe, if there are serious numbers in the portfolio, many issues with properties, and tax issues. Or large businesses and valuations (let's say a dentist wants to sell the practice; or doctor wants to divide the practice,etc.) Would that require an attorney or a tax person? Could be both but seems more like tax to me.....

However, for the not so rich  people who don't get along and couldn't work out a plan if you paid both of them, and for any couple that has long been fighting about various issues, of which money might only be one small issue, it may not be the mediator type attorney that can work anything out.
In many cases, clients will not back down for varying reasons, and some of those reasons are definitely valid? and why not? Maybe they are actually being ripped off? Maybe one party has no parenting skills whatsoever? Maybe one parent is on drugs?

What attorney commonly sees, is that one parent is really off base in his or her attitude toward the kids, or whatever they are fighting about, and the other parent will not give in-- and often times, rightly so...  On the other hand, sometimes one person is dead set on some type of action he or she wants, and will not let that go (say, one wants to keep a house but the other wants it..) Or, commonly seen, is that one parent is the better caretaker of kids but is always working, leaving the not so good parent taking care of the kids--but doing a terrible job?

Then there could be domestic violence issues and not any money issues? OR one or both parents have their own issues inherent to their personalities, and that will fuel more fighting.

For the most part, the non financial workouts are often much more difficult emotionally, and the financial ones can be maddening rather than depressing.  You don't usually need litigation for financial workouts if people can agree upon numbers or certain assets. Sometimes there will be fighting because no one will agree on actual numbers, thus there is no agreement on who gets what.

There could be deceit or huge discrepancies used in the financial holdings, in which case tracing would be used and investigators or CPAs if needed. Litigation might have to be used if there is fraud or something close. It could be that spousal support would be an issue as one side claims he/she doesn't make the amount the other side claims?     

Normally -- fraud doesn't just get mediated away? There is a lot written in the family code concerning finances because historically, some people have chosen to try and swindle the spouse; therefore, litigation is usually required. Large dealership sales, acquisitions and larger transfers can be very big litigation issues, especially if they were done without oversight.

As for the children and custody fights, sometimes both parents have some fairly common beliefs and not every parent is wrong. Sometimes a mediator can decide what is in the best interest of the kids, but other times we have seen some decisions that are not exactly what we would call fair...

It might be when some people look for attorneys, they really want a fighter and not a weak advocate. It is true that some attorneys are not able to actually litigate because they really have little skill at trial advocacy. Others may have better skills at settling issues, because they can find some common ground to parcel out to each side.  In choosing an advocate, each client probably needs to feel confident to some degree, that whatever type of action they are trying to get--that the attorney can actually do that action for them.  

The best way for an attorney to find out whether they are suited to a case is to ask a lot of specific questions.  It takes more time, but in the long run it will help the client, and the attorney can better perform the duties required. Hopefully that would lead to success for the client's case!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Pro Se Family Law Case of the Century-- Court Finds for Husband

In this case the trial court had ordered $9,000 in attorney's fees to a wife during a divorce case, citing disparity in the wife's gross income as a court clerk of $5,135/mo and that of her husband, who grossed $8,333/mo. as a law librarian. 

When the husband appealed the fee order, he pointed out that not only was his income not substantially greater so as to support such a large attorney fee award, but that he has significant costs and expenses including child support and spousal support, after which he was not left with enough income to pay attorneys fees.

Past cases have clearly emphasized that the court should consider need and ability to pay, but this case is unique in that the court specifically considered the husband's actual expenses and also considered his hefty child and spousal support obligations in determining that it was unfair to make him pay attorneys fees under these circumstances.
If your spouse is requesting that you pay his or her attorneys fees, you should definitely cite this case and argue the same logic, that after you are ordered to pay child support and spousal support that you just don't have money to meet your monthly budget --- and then pay your spouse's attorneys fees on top of all that. 

                         [full text]

Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3, California.

ALAN S., JR., Petitioner, v. The SUPERIOR COURT of Orange County, Respondent; Mary T., Real Party in Interest.

No. G041034.

    Decided: March 18, 2009

Click either to read the case. You will almost never find a case like this.
It's almost enough to make one cry in realizing sometimes there is Justice in this world today but it doesn't come easy..... and NOTE-- the Husband was making over $8,000 a month (which in Los Angeles area, doesn't go too far. ]


Parents, Marijuana Use and Custody in California

Could you lose custody of your children due to smoking marijuana?

Most county employed mediators have standard provisions that parents should adhere from smoking in presence of children, or sometimes even when the kids are under the control of that specific parent. Further, even if smoking is allowed in certain areas, many mediators don't want kids near second hand smoke, period. EVEN if it's inside the house in another room...EVEN if it's anywhere near where the kids might be, play, or access? Like outside?

The "smoking" will generally cover most forms of tobacco and possibly edibles.... (cigar, cigarette, vape, medical MJ, etc...)  And many times, smoking by third parties in the home may not be a good idea due to secondhand smoke. VAPING is almost worst because it is becoming well known, that the nicotine involved, is fused with scents (i.e. cherry,etc) that the teens are running to buy/try?   https://vaping360.com/how-old-to-vape/

In Butte County, a jury has previously returned a guilty verdict over an issue of whether medical marijuana is a defense (to child endangerment charges)--- the long contested case of  Daisy Bram, where allegedly, the lesser count of misdemeanor child endangerment was found (as opposed to child endangerment likely to cause great bodily harm)... Judge Glusman ruled that no valid evidence was presented as to the certified use of medicinal marijuana and thus it was not available as a defense. Ms. Bram was not represented by counsel, which obviously hindered her defense.


Child Endangerment in California...

Under Penal Code section 273a  there is a possibility of criminal prosecution whenever a child is under your care or custody and you:
  • Willfully permit the child to suffer;
  • Inflict unjustifiable physical or mental pain upon any child; or
  • Willfully endanger the health of a child.
If the prosecuting agency in your county believes that you are “endangering the health of your child” by smoking marijuana or growing it in a home where your children reside, you may face criminal charges....

These charges may be filed as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Of course, if the court order stated that any type of smoking or use of same is not allowed while child is under your care, a violation might be a contempt charge potentially, if the other spouse or another was to bring that claim forward?
If convicted of felony child endangerment, you could be sentenced to up to six years in prison and ordered to pay a maximum $10,000 fine. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail, up to a $1,000 fine, or both.

Why is Alcohol Allowed But Not MJ?

Generally, no courts like the idea of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, edibles, cigarettes, cigars, etc. when it comes to kids. Although there are tons of rules regarding drunk driving, there are not tons of rules for intoxication at home due to getting high on drugs, including legal marijuana and the like. While the hearsay out there is that MJ will be used, consumed and grown by large business, including beer companies, and that the feds will be changing those laws, it is a possibility, but we wouldn't bet your life on it happening super soon. The banks and other super duty corporations always want to benefit themselves first. BUT if they manage to do it, we can be assured that they will have already thought of safer ways to tone down common marijuana so that it would be as common as alcohol, and treated closer to the way alcohol is regulated.  OTOH, the presence of nicotine in the vaping formulas which are targeting teens (and apparently succeeding)-- is something that relies on curiosity and being popular, because "everyone" is trying it. However one is supposed to be 21 to be "vaping"....well, we are sure that plenty of people are ignoring that there law?? LOL
Parents that are smoking or vaping, your kids are watching you.

Note:  //The courts generally do not favor the smoking of MJ, even if it is medically prescribed. People with chronic anxiety often resort to marijuana use, or prescription meds. The meds only do so much, the overly anxious client will still be overly anxious, but somewhat better than with no meds at all.//

Friday, September 14, 2018

Spousal Support-- Too Much or Too LIttle?

Ar you paying too much or conversely, receiving too little?

Attorney has not lost many of these types of cases involving spousal support.
To best of attorney's knowledge, she may have lost one. But not usually.
It is imperative that planning take place, preferably long before you need it.
Of course, many people have not planned anything at all. Ever.

Spousal support and legal fees toward obtaining and enforcing support/arrears
are not wiped out by bankruptcy generally. Also any bankruptcy filed during
a divorce can be dangerous; it is best to get both the divorce/bankruptcy attorneys
advice before proceeding, especially if your divorce is ongoing; bankruptcy errors
are expensive to remedy.


Are you certain you have a valid marriage--CA does not recognize
common law

Do you have instead, a domestic partnership?

How long were you married?

How long were you separated when your divorce was filed?

How much time went by without any support?

How long has the ex worked? What type of work/pay?

Did spouse stay home entire time of marriage, and not work? Why?

Did spouse live with a boyfriend/romantic relationship partner?

Did spouse pay his/her own bills?

Did spouse move out or did you move out?

Was one spouse far more educated than the other?

Was one spouse always rich from date of marriage?

Was one spouse in possession of inheritance money during marriage?

Was either party divorced and then got married again? Do you have
the final judgment? Were you married/divorced from same spouse and
then got married again?

Was there an agreement to pay the spouse in lieu of spousal?
Was there an agreement to give the spouse some form of property
  in exchange for doing away with spousal?

Is there any type of military compensation being paid to one spouse?
Is that spouse retired?
Is there a personal injury award, workers comp, or other legal
  claim out there that the spouse has, but not filed yet?
Is there a chance the spouse bet on a winning lotto but has kept the
  win itself hidden to you? (don't laugh, there is an actual case on this)

Do you know what credit cards your spouse has? Have you ever
checked to be sure? Have you checked your own credit to make sure?

Do you have joint savings, checking, or other assets where the spouse
could have sold it off without you knowing?  Have you checked?


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Winning v. Settling ... What is the Difference?

In family law, it's often stated there are no winners?

...  HOWEVER when it is YOUR case in family law, do you WANT to be the loser?

Probably not.

Therefore it makes sense that "settling" a case involves some concessions, right? Well, conceding something that is not important, doesn't amount to much simply because it doesn't matter so much. So we are left with either wanting to win something key, and important in most cases?
Attorney herein doesn't believe that any parent should just give up on something
 important, if in fact it is rationale and not errant, unproductive, or just plain crazy.

 Winning rationally is not problematic.

What is problematic is when entrenched parents simply insist on something that is not key, or they are very selfish and small minded, or they are possibly narcissistic and possibly bi polar.

In the last case, if either parent has mental issues [which is more common that you know] involving anxiety, OCD and the like, we will find issues that may not be actual issues, but will appear to the parent focusing on "it", to be an issue that expands or blows up out of control. Winning at all costs is not usually what should be done..in cases like these.

High conflict cases are usually entrenched parents
 that have issues of their own
OR they had issues before, 
OR they make mountains out of molehills 
until it is way, way, way out of control...

Parents that spend $25k or $125k on obtaining custody may or may not be justified. Some parents are only fighting over custody to save money in support, but others may be doing it to gain a "one up" on the other parent.

And some attorneys will keep the case going because the fighting is paying them more money, and attorney herein has seen other attorneys file MANY meritless motions simply to apparently get paid more, and instead of explaining to their client the truth, the attorney gets paid and the client doesn't get any relief obviously.  How does attorney know this?  Because attorney herein has witnessed it, it's that simple.

 Attorney's goal is  to get the client what the client deserves and each case is different.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Former Client on National Geographic+ Current Client..Singer Jack Russell

Yes, Jack is one of my clients..........I can feel for the guy after the horrific fire in 2003....

Jack Russell is the original singer of the band Great White (80's metal) and is now the singer of his band, Jack Russell's Great White...due to the lawsuit settlement, Jack took the Jack Russell's Great White name for his band, and the other band is named Great White.  The very sad fire that happened in 2003 in Rhode Island took a horrible toll on Jack's band, the audience, and the relatives and friends that were all there.  A memorial setting has now been erected where the nightclub used to be.

Unfortunately, some people who don't understand the truth of how things work legally, feel that Jack is responsible for the fire; but Jack is the singer? Do we really believe that if any band was in any venue (even a huge stadium) and that something went wrong, we would blame the SINGER(s)??

That's pure nonsense.

Legal fact patterns require understanding the law. The official fire report that was published indicated negligence with the the club owners and the band's manager--not anyone else. A fire suppression system was not in place (but should have been) and the foam used in the building was also not legal due to its flammability. How would a singer know any of this?

 He/or she as a "singer"  would not know, and would never be expected to know that. Which is why Jack Russell was not charged with a crime.   Why didn't the local fire inspector know anything about the foam?  These types of questions indicate, and the fire report proves, the exits and safety routes were improper also, and that people were blocked from trying to get out? Essentially the flammability level of the foam was so high that it only took about four seconds to start igniting. No members of the band were found to be at fault legally.

The manager (who is not a member of the band) and the club owners were found liable, and after it was all said and done, according to online research, many corporations (Home depot, Anheuser Busch,etc) donated MILLIONS to the victims/families. Estimates seem to indicate it was over $120 million years ago.   No one talks about this, but research does have its points. Nevertheless,  Rhode Island Survivors and victims' relatives have now been offered a total of nearly $175 million from the governments and a variety of companies sued over the fire [this was noted in 2008.]

Had this happened in California, attorney believes the government local fire inspectors would not be immune and a tort claim could be filed. Municipal immunity and governmental tort immunity is a complicated subject which arises when individuals want to sue a governmental entity. Surprisingly, there are quite a few situations in animal law cases involving governmental immunity. This link explains 42 USC 1983 claims  http://www.constitution.org/brief/forsythe_42-1983.htm  

YES, this is about constitutional law......


As of September 2008, at least $115 million in settlement agreements had been paid, or offered, to the victims or their families by various defendants:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Station_nightclub_fire
  • In September 2008, The Jack Russell Tour Group Inc. offered $1 million in a settlement to survivors and victim's relatives,[32] the maximum allowed under the band's insurance plan.[33]
  • Club owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian have offered to settle for $813,000,[34] which is to be covered by their insurance plan due to the pair having bankruptcy protection from lawsuits.[34]
  • The State of Rhode Island and the town of West Warwick agreed to pay $10 million as settlement.[35]
  • Sealed Air Corporation agreed to pay $25 million as settlement. Sealed Air made soundproofing foam installed in the club.[36]
  • In February 2008, Providence television station WPRI-TV made an out-of-court settlement of $30 million as a result of the claim that their video journalist was said to be obstructing escape and not sufficiently helping people exit.[37]
  • In March 2008, JBL Speakers settled out of court for $815,000. JBL was accused of using flammable foam inside their speakers. The company denied any wrongdoing.[38]
  • Anheuser-Busch has offered $5 million.[39] McLaughlin & Moran, Anheuser-Busch's distributor, has offered $16 million.[39]
  • Home Depot and Polar Industries, Inc. (a Connecticut-based insulation company), made a settlement offer of $5 million.[40]
  • Providence radio station WHJY-FM promoted the show, which was emcee'd by its DJ, Mike "The Doctor" Gonsalves (who was one of the casualties that night). Clear Channel Broadcasting, WHYJ's parent company, paid a settlement of $22 million in February 2008.[41]
There are other named defendants who have not yet made a settlement offer, including American Foam Corporation, who sold the insulation to the Station Nightclub.

Here is one of the videos from National Geographic showing attorney's  former family law client working to pull burls out. Al works locally and also travels to pull in different areas. A good burl
can be worth many thousands. Usually the burls Al pulls end up on high end vehicles,
vessels, and planes. High end veneer is pricey and highly coveted in industries catering
to the rich and famous, or just people wanting high end furniture.


What is An Affordable Attorney?

Original Post August 2017

"Affordable attorney" -- for divorce, custody, restraining orders, paternity and division of property--  is probably something that most people believe, doesn't really exist.
In a way, that could be correct, as most attorneys charge quite a bit when the hourly rate is considered.

Many attorneys do charge for consultations, but some do not. Most attorneys with many years of experience do charge for consults.  The real question is, how many clients can really afford an attorney without going broke?  It is this attorney's experience that many clients will expend as much as possible and then find they are broke and haven't achieved the result they wanted.

Further, this attorney has found that in nearly all cases where an opposing attorney represents the other side, this attorney's [the attorney who wrote this post] client's fees, are about  40-50% less than the opposing side, if not higher. Thus the opposing side's fees could be $5,000, but my client's fees would be about 50% less.

There are almost NO attorneys that do not charge by the hour.  Thus in order to charge a client less,
the attorney must either charge less per hour, or not charge the client for work done.

If a client has paid less for legal work,  BUT END UP GETTING THE RESULT YOU WANTED-- then you have gained  not only monetary savings, but have experienced what is like to have an attorney that actually cares about the client!!
Most attorneys are in this field for the money, and not necessarily  to produce a result; that is the opinion of attorney herein based upon years of watching the billing of other attorneys.

If you want actual, true value, and want to get more than you pay for, then I could possibly be a good match for your case.   I do not play games, and call them as I see them;  I am usually correct. This may result, at times, in other people or even attorneys, becoming irate under pressure.

This is nothing new to attorney herein.... 
in fact, one attorney (in court hearing)
 actually had the nerve to claim out loud-- that attorney herein
 'did not know family law' -- which is very untrue--
whereupon Judge then decided to award my client
 spousal support for 1/2 of the length of the marriage?  

We didn't expect to obtain any spousal support, as the ex had filed a DV TRO against my client, which ex's attorney just kept pushing forward (for a year, mind you) and never set a trial date.... BUT this then caused ex's  attorney to run back to his office and send attorney herein a nasty email claiming they were going to stop making 1/2 of the house payment, and evict my client? Which all went against the agreement that the other attorney himself actually devised?????Hello??!!~!

Call (530) 359 8810 to see if I am right!!!  As a dedicated litigator, I do not lose very often. Get results now!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Thank You all for Your Trust!!!

Attorney would like to thank all of the many people  who inquire about possible representation....  , unique fact pattern, or cross over issues, or some other complicated situations in the case (possibly involving breach of fiduciary duty, criminal issues, emergency ex parte, bankruptcy filing or other areas of law...)  usually take time to assess properly...so if I have not been able to answer your inquiry, I apologize !

Image result for pic of trial attorney using exhibit

 I use a computer tracking system that logs calls with times and dates but if no message is left, I usually do not call the number back due to time restraints.
But, for example, if someone referred a case to me, I usually would like to know who that person was so I could thank that person?  and I normally ask clients how they found me (online, friend, etc.) 

I am grateful for the opportunity to provide services to clients, and I seldom go on vacations. The last time I went to the movies was in 1998?  Apparently I am too happy working, especially after a caller told me that some law firm in another county recommended me and I don't know that law firm?  LOL  It really doesn't matter, my job is to provide service to others !


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Is Your Family LegaI Issue Listed Below?

Although the Jerry Springer show on TV  is exaggerated, it pretty much sums up the general family law nature of the bad cases that we will see.

https://tinyurl.com/ydg6z52f    (to view business with reviews/other posts)


           If your issue is not listed below, call 

                     Attorney C. Chan                                      ….  (530) 359-8810


Community Property that Spouse Claims isn’t Community
Contempt of court- Can you get a free attorney?

Credits:  Do you have any coming to you or will you Pay Out?
Child Support — who really gets screwed over?

Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
Child Illegally moved out of the state?

DCSS (Dept. Child Support Services) When is it a good idea?
Denied Visitation?

Supervised Visits Required?
DNA Testing–Should you bother and is there a good reason?

Division of Business Assets or Business
Division of Non-Listed Property that One Spouse Lied About

Divorce on Paper
Divorce with Property Issues

Domestic Violence, Including TRO DV or CPO or Criminal issues
Ex Parte Restraining Orders –Do you need or should you get?

Fathers Who are Getting Shafted or Run Over
Fathers who are doing OK but Mother claims not the case
Fighting Over Visitation–percentages and calculation

Forensics–Do you need an actual expert on the business?
Forensic Accounting–Do you need it because your spouse has lied?

Guardianship [Attorney does not do dependency or guardianship cases]

Imputing Income when You don’t even have a job
Income–Do you have a regular wage or self employed–does it matter?

Legal and Physical Custody–Do I really need to know?
Military Problems Including Orders, Not Paying, Arrears

Mothers Who are Overbearing..or Fathers!
Mothers Who Do Too Little but Claim They are Wonderful, but Are not! 
Fathers who claim they do Everything but the kids are ruined?

Medical conditions of one parent– does it mean you can’t have visitation?

Medical Issues– is your child already a special needs child?

Move Away and Why You Might and Might Not Win–advance preparation required

Medications–can you alone force kids to NOT take them?
Mediation  (good, bad, ugly) a lot of it is ugly—yes

Parentage– When is it too late once you are on the hook as the Presumed Father?

Parents on Drugs- Illegal Drugs–or even legal drugs
Parents with  Over Consumption of Alcohol

Parents driving the kids while drinking heavily
Parent(s) passed out in public place, CPS takes kids

Parents on Anti-anxiety Drugs, Marijuana, or Others–Can it affect YOUR timeshare?

Parents with Criminal record charges, arrests, DV TRO backgrounds?
Personal Property– Was it already yours but spouse says NO?
Private Mediation--Is it worth it?

New Boyfriend or Girlfriend Issues
Ongoing spousal support vs temporary—big difference!!

Failing to plan for spousal support ramifications in future
Parental Alienation over Kids, new wife issues

Paying for Kids that are not Your kids?
Real Estate Separate Property When Under Water—-HUGE ISSUE !!!!

School issues—bullying, intimidation, physical harm

Teacher at grade school– issues with proper teacher conduct
Separate Property– Is it Really Separate or is it just Commingled?

Spousal support –are you entitled?
Title to Property–is it Disputed, Proven, or Subject to Division?

Timeshare– Do you really Want more time, or just want to pay Less?

Unsafe Daycare
Visitation–do you need more time or less?

Welfare– Does the other parent get it and how it affects your payments?

Working Under the Table– Can you prove it?
Winning your case—– Do you want to and why?

Win Your Case

To win each case, each set of facts will be different in nearly every case, however the laws that apply will likely be the same ones, since most of what we do is governed by the CA Family Code and other codes that could come up (drugs, animals, criminals,driving,stalking,etc.) 
Attorney has been involved over the years with family law cases in large cities, even when working part time. There is very little that attorney has not seen; she has been on TV, in newspapers, and in the news years ago for different cases. Most people want an affordable attorney, which is hard to find. Ms. Chan is likely the most affordable in the county, with the highest win rate, especially in the law and motion hearings and the domestic violence cases.
Many cases in family law whether they are in Northern Cal or Southern Cal, should be reasonably the same, the local courts may have their own local rules but basically the CA Family Law Code statewide does apply. Generally, law and motion calendars are about 15-20 minutes and then in some counties long cause case cases are considered “trial.” Trial can be half a day, full day, or many days....

The Beginning of the End

It’s Never Easy…………….

We saw the above quote thrown in with a bunch of quotes by women who advertise for divorce parties, divorce cakes, and the like. But unfortunately, it is obvious that the quote was likely written by a male and not a female?


.....UNFORTUNATELY FROM  ATTORNEY'S EXPERIENCE, IT'S NOT THAT FAR OFF, ESPECIALLY IF WE ARE WORKING WITH ANXIETY PRONE PEOPLE....... and yes, such anxiety can arise from most family law issues....

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What Not to Do in Court or at Hearings and Trial

1. Don't roll your eyes, or make faces or start talking out of turn. If you are on the stand as a witness, answer the question keeping in mind the process your attorney explained to you beforehand. Blurting out harmful things can ruin a case. 
2. Don't  keep referring to your child as “my” son or “my” daughter. It usually takes two to make a child, and possibly one to wreck the child.
3. Do not hide embarrassing or foolish acts that the other side will use against you, whether it's on Facebook, Internet, or spouse's friends know already..tell attorney beforehand, just in case..

4. Don’t bring your entire extended family and ten of your closest friends to your divorce hearing. This is not a circus!  (Circuses are fading since animal activists want no animals to perform, not even in movies or rodeos!)
5. Don’t wear inappropriate clothing such as see-thru blouses, short skirts,nightclub wear, low cut blouse or shirt, sandals or flip flops, Ugg boots, beachwear, dresses that belong at a party, big over the top jewelry, super heavy eye makeup or glitter, neon colors, super spiked party heels, bra straps showing through shirt or tank tops, super ratted hair that makes you look like TV girls, pink, green or blue hair, or rainbow hair (dyed or woven in), ripped jeans,or weirdo outfits that anyone knows is not kosher for courtrooms! Conservative clothing/colors are safe. If in doubt ask your attorney.  It's safer to look like a conservative Mom from the 1950's if need be. Just don't wear the 1950's costume or Judge will think you are on drugs.
  NO, NO, NO!!!!
NO, NO, NO...!!!

6. Do not make up crap that never happened or that you never told your attorney and expect your attorney to defend it?  E.V.E.R. Tell your attorney ahead of time!!
7. Don’t show hostility or open anger at opposing counsel. Ignore him or her; if necessary, write small note to your own attorney if it's a lie you're mad about. Opposing counsel already knows you hate him or her.
8. Don’t have your cell phone "ON". Ever!
9. In a child custody/or visitation issue , don’t keep talking about “your” needs and “your” desires. You will appear overly selfish and controlling. Even if you are selfish and controlling, you don't have to tell others!
10. Don’t tell long stories, or mention long incidents that are not at issue. If you have such a long issue, attorney must know ahead of time to gauge how long trial will take.
11. Preferably, do not wear colors that are known colors for certain gangs in your area. Ask your friends if you do not know what this means. We tend to see this issue in the juvenile courts but not always.
PS-- even if you don't HAVE an attorney, all of these above will apply. If you have some common sense and are not on drugs which are mind altering, and you are not on disability, most people can follow the above advice.
If all else fails, at least read what this guy wrote..it makes sense and it might just bring you down to earth... https://markmanson.net/stupid-things  Attorney herein actually thinks that it would help people in general --if they thought long enough to try it out.  Social media can be damaging to children. That has already been proven.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Do You Want to Win Your Case? Should You Hire a Litigator? Do You Care?

What Type of Attorney do You Really Need? Do You Want to Win? You Don't Care?

Do you have a case where you want to win, or need to win your case?
Do you have the winning facts?  Do you know what law would or would not support your position? Do you want or need an actual litigator for your case?

Hiring an advocate (attorney litigator) is not the same as hiring collaborative attorneys. Also, mediating* a case with only one attorney means ...The mediator helps people talk the issues through, supposedly helping to "settle" the dispute themselves. In this attorney's opinion, it would not be recommended in most cases, because typically the overbearing spouse simply bulldozes the other spouse.

*[Mediation for visitation is not the same thing as mediation of an entire divorce case. Mediation for visitation/custody is required by law when there is no agreement.]

There are many pitfalls that can arise in divorce; many of them involve financial transactions that one spouse had no knowledge of; assets that one spouse did not know about; children that were conceived outside the marriage and spouse never knew other spouse was paying; secret business dealings that was predicated on all cash; illegal actions by one spouse implicating the other spouse who had no knowledge; large debts racked up by one spouse, without the other spouse even knowing such debt existed; one spouse signing the other spouse's name for a credit card, then ruining the other spouse's credit.... NONE of these things, in this attorney's opinion, should be addressed in either mediation or collaborative law scenario.
That is because there was a huge breach of fiduciary duty that has serious consequences to the guilty spouse. That should be done in court since the guilty spouse should have to pay for wrongdoing. (Of course if you are too afraid because your spouse might try and kill you then you better go get help right away.)

Especially if you have issues in the 3 lines below, which happened BEFORE the case finalized---- you should never hire anyone except an advocate litigator. Aggressive at that. Plus, there are huge time barriers to trying to set aside any of this!

Fraud, Duress
Mistake, Coercion,
Failure to Exchange Declarations (Assets Debts)
We live in a society where people often want what they want, and when clients hire attorneys to get something done, especially in family law, it's often because one SIDE tried to take advantage of the other side.  If you have a family law case where both of you AGREE on everything then of course you don't really need an attorney, except perhaps to create a settlement agreement.

HOWEVER, the vast majority of most divorces and break ups, is because the couple cannot agree on a lot of things, including (just an example....) post judgment orders.........

How to raise the kids-- too lenient?  too strict?
How to spend income from employment or inheritance
How to train kids  to have moral values
How to get along with other family members that don't live with you
How to avoid too much tv, too much bad influence, too much Facebook?
What to do with a lazy spouse that refuses to help out--with anything?
What to do with spouse that is either dangerous, aggressive, drinks too much
How to get out of supervised visits?? You have an ex spouse also?
Spouse drinks, smokes, gambles, does drugs, shops too much? Hoarding?
Spouse AND kids do nothing but stay on Facebook and phone 24/7??
Your kids are not only lazy, they are spoiled rotten and you blame the spouse?
Your spouse is bipolar and can't be controlled?

Of all the problems attorney has seen over several decades, the problems around children tend to generate the worst issues, followed by physical harm, financial issues, and alcohol or drug use.

And remarkably, attorney has seen clients REFUSE to take what he/she is entitled to, and then SETTLE a case by using an attorney who ONLY settles cases--- in other words, the attorney is not a litigator. That is absurd.  

If you are entitled to something, why would you pay someone to settle a case when you could have settled it without help????   Collaborative law and mediation means if you don't settle the case using whomever you hired, those attorneys cannot represent you in court anyway.

You THEN have to hire new attorneys!!   While mediation and collaborative may be good for some cases (which means you are settling case by paying people to settle it without court)-- it is essentially negotiation. Judges are not involved. If you work something out and then don't like it later--- what you have is a problem.
              Some of the down sides of  collaborative law (which includes hiring people like accountants and other experts) and makes it costly:

The Expense; Impact of termination and cost of new counsel; No advocacy for one or both parties; directed conversation between parties, power imbalances, difficult issues might remain secret (such as domestic violence, addictions, drugs, gambling, infidelities,etc.); Possible inadequate information collection, potentially less support for views of children.
Basically, in mediation there is no advocate for YOU.  In collaborative law, BOTH sides work on issues, but NO ONE is an advocate for YOUR side.  The collaborative view is to work out issues, not really take sides as an advocate----a true advocate is there to represent YOU, not the spouse.

This is part of the reason that most people in a divorce WANT an advocate, and need a litigator --- because they are being taken advantage of, steamrolled, or being misled or manipulated.