Thursday, September 26, 2019

"Supervised Visitation"... and Does It Work?

From what attorney has seen in cases involving supervised visits, some parents do quite well and others fail to even do the supervised visits?  In some cases this is a problem but in other cases we have seen judges ignore non compliance and just keep the case moving along?

In many cases, supervised visits go along with Domestic violence and TRO cases...if one party is not represented, that party usually does not fare so well (because attorney on other side will represent the opposite client, while unrepresented client will become understandably unhappy...)

Domestic violence is one of the worst type of cases to work on due to the high stakes involved, the emotional aspects, and the common failure of some judges to believe what actually happened?
Attorney has been involved in plenty of DV TRO cases.  They are all different, some are more difficult than others, especially if one parent takes the kids and leaves the state. That already happened in several cases attorney had, and Judge ordered the parent who took the kid to return the child to the county immediately.


 Unfortunately, those without representation often do not do that well since they are fighting against an attorney--however, if the non represented client can hire an attorney on Limited Scope basis--ONLY for one aspect of the case, it is possible that client can make headway in the issue that really requires legal help.  It would depend on how long such issue will take to resolve for most part.

If you believe you have an issue that would benefit from Limited Scope Representation, please do call and inquire; there is no charge on consultation.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

New 2019..Fed TSA Updates Marijuana-Don't Ignore Law and Lose Custody

According to the TSA.gov site, the "medical marijuana" section now states that hemp derived CDB products/medications or those approved by FDA, are legal as long as it's produced according to the regs defined by law under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

 Supposedly medications which qualify can be inside checked and carry on luggage, with special instructions. The TSA says that possession of MJ and certain cannabis infused products (including SOME CBD oil products, still remain illegal under federal law. )

Purportedly the TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of the law which would include possession of MJ and certain cannabis infused products. * https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/medical-marijuana   It's clear as mud, maybe!!

Disabilities and Medical Conditions

To ensure your security, all travelers are required to undergo screening at the checkpoint. You or your traveling companion may consult the TSA officer about the best way to relieve any concerns during the screening process. You may provide the officer with the TSA notification card or other medical documentation to describe your condition. If you have other questions or concerns about traveling with a disability please contact passenger support.
You are required to undergo screening at the checkpoint by technology or a pat-down. If your TSA Pre® designation has been verified at a participating airport, you do not need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts, or light jackets during the screening process. However, if you are required to undergo additional screening for any reason, a pat-down may be required, which includes the removal of items such as shoes, belts, or light jackets. Also, TSA officers may swab your hands, mobility aids, equipment and other external medical devices to test for explosives using explosives trace detection technology.
Travelers with disabilities with TSA Pre® on their boarding passes will receive TSA Pre® on-person screening when screened in a standard lane for any reason. This may happen when the TSA Pre® lane is closed, for example. Carry-on baggage and other accessible property will undergo standard screening in standard lanes, including removal of laptops, 3-1-1- liquids, and CPAP/BPAP equipment. (There is more on the actual website...)

Attorney has been through many airports and is usually held aside and must go through some nonsense about 40% of the time. Then after so many trips up and back to San Diego, the hold-asides became less frequent.

SO, how might this related to YOUR case, or family members? Well, obviously if no one knows what the TSA rules are, and you are the current custodial parent, and you get arrested in the TSA line and they take your kid, does that sound like something you want to happen???? 

And that was because you did not follow the rule, or didn't know the rule?  Very easy to see the other parent running to court to get rid of your current visitation????   This could easily happen, unfortunately....................................

The Transportation Security Administration has updated the “What Can I Bring” section of its online regulations to reflect news of an FDA-approved epilepsy medication containing CBD oil.

Also, supposedly TSA security officers don't search for MJ or illegal drugs, BUT if an illegal substance IS discovered during security screening, they will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.

Before flying anywhere, make sure to look up the TSA rules currently in place. Those people who do the TSA jobs at the airport, are not exactly always friendly.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Why Attorneys Talk about Social Media Evidence

Talking to Clients About Social Media Posts
(from blogs.findlaw.com)
The American Bar Association has issued 12 ethical rules for lawyers, dealing with social media. These include:
  • You should tell your clients about the privacy settings on various social media platforms and how to make them as private as possible.
  • You cannot tell clients to destroy existing relevant posts, just like you can’t tell a client to destroy any other existing relevant evidence.
  • Relatedly, you must inform the client of the potential negative consequences (if they do destroy existing evidence on social media...)
  • You cannot contact or communicate with your clients through social media.
  • You cannot contact potential witnesses on social media through pretext.
Failing to follow these rules can leave you, and your clients, at risk. And if you tell your clients to “clean up” their social media without providing specific directions, in writing, “spoliation sanctions” won’t be such a fun phrase to say anymore......
This type of information above, just shows that attorneys must be diligent about social media, and preferably, should ensure that clients understand that posting on social media (which of course, include Facebook) can have some pretty bad fallout, especially if there has to be an investigation into posts that had key evidentiary value, and then were found to have been removed?    
 Most clients do not understand the required steps required in order to introduce evidence of texting , for example;  how judges want such data to be arranged, shown or displayed in court; emails have a slightly easier time; posts that are regularly taken down by the website or host can prove to be more expensive when attempting to show time frames. Most of online data these days is subject to current discovery rules and because new platforms can often change quickly, the cost to resurrect such data can possibly be both high in cost and time.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cheating Spouses Caught due to Syncing of Devices?!! True.....

When clients keep using the "SYNC" capabilities, knowingly (or un-knowingly) whether on their phone, tablets, computers, etc.-- it is just a matter of time that will prove that having everything SYNCED to each other's devices-- IS A SUPER, SUPER BAD, BAD, BAD, IDEA????  We have seen more than several cases  in different counties, where an ex spouse somehow got the former spouse's data (text/photos/etc.) "synced" to a personal tablet or equivalent; and other cases where the "sexting" between phones was also "synced" to a personal device, and then printed out for the COURT????  Possibly by the attorney?  

Unfortunately, this type of case can become very expensive, and difficult due to the forensics, data preservation, correct tracing, and then, if needed, the forensic testimony of an expert?  It would depend on facts of the case, as some judges will not admit evidence unless every single iota of law has been qualified, and in data issues, this can be burdensome due to new discovery rules on data/transmission of data. Further, the time it would take will increase, thus expenses are increased to the client.

In  these types of cases, one  spouse or former parter either found out about the other partner's  new  interest, or was able to obtain the personal text between the new interest and former spouse.  This is exactly what you do NOT want to happen?  Whether or not the data was of personal or sexual or other personal data or photos--this is NOT what we want to see in court cases involving divorce? and  purposely PUBLISHING this personal data might be grounds for both a civil or personal cause of action under the law?  Depending on the severity, it is possible this would amount to sancionable conduct? 

Current case law indicates that this is not something you want to get into trouble for??? We know, as we have seen more than several of these things keep happening!!!  In fact, such facts were the basic ground for invasion of privacy in a domestic violence case? [The only reason we dropped the DV was because the client agreed to do it; otherwise, it was a perfectly valid DV case based upon strong facts.] 

Legally, we don't like to see these actions happen, but they are becoming more and more apparent. Such illegal actions can not only ruin one's reputation, it can cause job loss, intimidation, harsh reaction that would never have arisen, creating intimidation and loss of privacy, lost work hours, and much more, including personal injury.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Dissomaster- Determine Your Support or use DCSS Calculator Online

Image result for photos paying child support


This program  is not free to use, you have to pay a fee.....   Attorney does use this service  to have support calculated and finds that it is just as accurate as the Dissomaster done in the Courtroom.

  We have found it to be as reliable as the court calculates it, so therefore, it's worth it to have it done, because we feel it saves time and money. 

OR-- You can go online to the CA DCSS calculator: https://childsupport.ca.gov/calculate-child-support/ 

 [This is free to use and will generally be in the ballpark if you know the data needed and IF you actually calculate it correctly.................] 

.....AND-- here is the PDF with instructions just in case you want to read it and use it:  https://childsupport.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/252/Misc./Calculator-User-Guide-1.pdf

The Dissomaster program itself,  is an expensive program that many attorneys pay for yearly. Attorney only works part time and has no need to spend funds for the Dissomaster program on a weekly or daily basis, so even if you are doing your own case, this service (the fee based calculator) can still help you and normally they allow you to have X number of revisions within a certain time frame.

There is only so much one can do when it comes to calculating support. A self employed parent may end up paying less support due to the way the taxes are calculated. However, one should consult a tax professional ahead of time to figure out if your own business can help you save on taxes or support!]  If in fact, you have a former spouse that is hiding income, you will have your work cut out for you. That is never an easy job.

Some cases cannot be won no matter what, whereas other cases can be, but they will take time. Still other cases involve so much past garbage, that the garbage has to be reduced to get a good result.
Having done this type of work for so long, attorney understands what people want. And most of them want to win the case, while others just want some changes.

Knowing the Dissomaster down to a science is not actually required, if you can pay someone to do it correctly? Just sayin'!!!

Drugs-- Hard Drugs, Alcohol, Abuse, Violence + More; Is it Enough to LOSE Your Kids?

WELL................maybe it is and maybe it isn't? Or are drugs even necessary?
And why would we say that? Many cases that have nothing to do with illegal, criminal, or bad conduct go through courts every day. And many cases don't involve kids, protective services, counselors, supervisors, foster parents, or anything related to children. But many cases in fact, do involve these elements or people.

In part, because it  might be determined by who you are, and who the other parent is; and it might be that the other parent is actually not such a great parent, but you are better at parenting; yet, somehow, your kids end up in foster care, in CPS court, or something else where you are separated from them; that perhaps you even have an attorney but can't win no matter what is done; or maybe the other parent has NO attorney, but wins in front of judge despite not following the law, the rules, or even the orders?  http://sacramentocountyfamilycourtnews.blogspot.com/p/temporary-judges.html

If you have such a case,  maybe  this scenario isn't so uncommon locally. It may not be that way in different counties, but we are talking about this county.
We only know this because even if it's not our case, my case, or even your case, it happens. 
So what does that mean as far as what you are trying to do? Good question. You might start looking at the Sacramento courts in Family law, where trouble has been in place for many years; a group started involving a journalist and others, where they got together to start documenting what was happening in family law cases. It appears that due to the overwhelming number of pro se litigants representing themselves (over 75% of cases), the people following the issues seemingly decided to tell the rest of the world what was happening online. http://sacramentocountyfamilycourtnews.blogspot.com/p/temporary-judges.html

This apparently led to documentaries and people who know others (like reporters, journalists, group leaders, and other affected people who found the law and legal system was not working correctly) and they started to keep track of what they believed to be wrongdoing. Mind you, this is not criminal law, but family law courts in Sacramento.

If you are having issues with your case, perhaps you can ask your friends and families to review the same link which is above several times........maybe you will (or won't) find similarities? Maybe you may have to think outside the box for answers. We don't have a solution, but if there is an issue and enough people keep seeing it over, and over, and over, maybe..........???

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


Attorney herein has seen PLENTY of bad, bad cases, BUT some are far worse than others.................

Some of the worse cases include:

Clients never making it clear to Judge, the actual facts?

Clients ignoring the facts, and focusing on things that are of no value?

Clients ignoring good advice, and instead, listening to friends who know nothing?

Clients who post photos of themselves drunk?

Clients who put their dirty laundry out there on "FACEBOOK" ?? (Really, really DUMB!!...,.)

Clients who lie, cheat, steal and make up crap to others to ignore the truth???

Clients who refuse to admit they have mental issues, and pretend they are always right???
Clients who have domestic violence (by spouse or partner) but ignore it,
and think it will GO AWAY????

Clients who pretend they know what is goin on, but in fact are burying their heads in
the sand???

Clients that know the other parent is abusive---- but claim they are "OKAY"

Clients who have had domestic violence cases, but want to go back to the guy or gal??

Let's face it.IF ANY OF THE ABOVE APPLY TO Y-O-U,.........you need help.

You cannot get help unless you try and ask for it...and with domestic violence, I recommend going to Catalyst first......

Monday, September 2, 2019

Prepare for MANY PGE Power Shut-OFFS !!!

If you haven't lived with 'no' power before, let me tell you---I have done it in the past [YES during the winter!!!]  for almost 5 straight months, so I know what it is like!!

I therefore, feel qualified to at least tell y'all what can be expected, and I do not mean turning on a generator all the time. Oh sure, we had one, and even had a special box put in just for the generator to run the well.  However,  even if you don't have a well, you will at least need a few things to be organized, as I predict PGE will routinely shut off the power this year and next, any time they want to do so.....

So-- what are the basics of living with no power?

First--- if you have a regular job and are not dependent on lighting everything,  or well water, then that's less work.

But if you only need "lighting" and you have a source that can (a) either charge power or (b) can charge power from your car, then you can get either an inverter for the car, or something more expensive that will store power enough for small lighting. For example, I just bought several lamps or lanterns that can be charged via USB...it may take up- to 4 hours, but you will likely have 4hr of lighting, depending on the lumens used........... OR, you can just buy a lantern that uses fuel (like for camping...........)

 You can also buy various lights and lanterns that work with batteries,  of course.   I also recommend getting a camping stove which uses propane as they are widely available. In fact, if the weather isn't bad, you can sleep outside if you have a tent, pop up canopy or whatever. You could also actually live inside a Rubbermaid shed outside, just to see if you could do it? (True test of someone who can live outside but not necessarily in tent??!! LOL)

If you want to have your own coffee early in the morning, you can heat in on the stove mentioned, or be forced to buy drive through coffee....I will just drink the coffee without heating it. Heating is not required for me!!!  and I don't really patronize Starbucks.  Just Sayin'.........

IF the power is out long enough, and you need to use a computer for any length of time, you may need to get a power supply device which has stored power via batteries (for lack of better description)....these can run $500-$5k so you will need to decide what is right for you.  Additionally, I recommend the inverter for your car, just in case, so you can charge smaller things.  Of course, you can always go to Starbucks and use WIFI.

Or you can really prepare and look at this rack mount:

I was forced to sue PGE when they cut the power off illegally, this is how I know exactly what they will do, even when a bill is disputed and illegal.
 Especially in rural areas, PGE has no qualms about simply cutting your power even if they never sent you a bill? I know, because I sued PGE for it.

Most people have never lived without electricity for 4-5 months. I must admit-- I have done it. I only used the computer once a week. Did most things once a week. Did buy an actual generator which PGE had to pay for (since forced to sue PGE..) SO-- let's just say I am more than qualified to say what it is like to use a generator once a week.

If you are not a rural type person, and you are spoiled and a yuppy type, you probably won't like living without power at all.  You will probably be spending scads of money on gasoline, or you have already invested  in an automatic generator for your house.  If I was working 8hr per day in some job I might have had to buy that. But I am not working that much and would not buy it because I would not need it to survive.

IF you have scads of money and tons of food in freezers---you better get a generator that will be on constantly, or stop buying so much expensive food. Most of the food will be lost if the power is out for 3 days.  My prediction is that PGE intends to shut off all power whenever it believes it can do so.

And I do not expect to see PGE stop  doing it at all.  NOT in foreseeable future.


JUST WAIT......................YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING YET..................