Divorce

Divorce

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Winning in Unusual Way! from 2015


In another instance of trial, 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 and offered a combo 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 by a former wife against former husband and girlfriend, the husband  had already been convicted of homicide (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 civil case. 

Normally the civil case has much less 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.

In a very unusual scenario, attorney was substituted into a case with a client who did not reside locally;  a hearing on an issue 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 issue. Attorney went forward on the issue, with no witness or client. Using only cross examination, Attorney actually won the trial--much to surprise of  witnesses present and including opposing counsel.

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 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 settle or result in what the client wanted.

Friday, October 25, 2019

THE PGE MINDSET FOR WILDFIREZ, YES, FIREZ!

..PGE SAYS SHUTOFFS ONLY IN SELECT AREAS ???




Can You Lose Custody Due to Bipolar,Drugs, Arrests, Domestic Violence, or Even Lies??

First... we should remember that there is both legal custody and physical custody. Many parents are concerned over physical custody as it is tied into child support; and many parents are concerned about legal custody, because shared legal custody is often given, unless one parent has shown he or she has issues in that area; CA law favors joint legal/physical if agreed upon, but the court has wide discretion for parenting and will consider the child or children's best interest.

Legal custody basically involves the health, welfare, education and safety issues involving raising of children. Attorney has seen many parents lose legal custody [prior to consulting attorney herein] due to very poor decisions made with kids (i.e. drunk driving, drug history, domestic violence, criminal actions, harming of kids, abandoning kids, etc.) As an example of "joint legal custody" in a form (by the CA Judicial Council, and used by all CA courts, see form FL341(E) online..)

 It is potentially possible that one parent can poison the relationship between a parent and child to extent that the Court might have to award the other child to the other parent to prevent the same parental alienation from happening?

Family Code 3042 goes over a child's preference of where to live (one parent or another) and generally,  gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or handicap supposedly are irrelevant to custody of children. If this was your partner being arrested, consider the difficulty at trial as to whether or not it would make a difference to your case?



So when your mediation results in a recommendation you do not like or want, did the mediator make informed decisions or did he or she ignore you and just listen to the other parent? It is very common to find out after the mediation that neither parent really understood what happened in the mediation itself. Not all mediators do the actual mediations exactly alike.

Attorney has found that many clients do not do well in mediation because they do not understand why they need to even go to mediation. Then they just blurt out anything they want to, may express high anger or no patience, and basically do not present well to the person that will decide their fate with the kids?

When considering whether one can lose custody to any of the named things listed in the title for this post, attorney has indeed seen parents lose custody for those things, in combination with many other things, most of which were negative. Negative things (smoking inside, falling asleep drunk, letting kids wander alone outside in front yard, giving kids alcohol or drugs, leaving kids alone home, allowing large animals with kids unsupervised, putting older kids in charge of younger kids while older kid is playing video games entire time, letting kids be truant, failing to take kids to doctor, ignoring kids' homework, etc.)

The reason that gender, race, religion and sexual orientation or handicap are not relevant to custody is because those items are already under Federal law protections, so it would be discriminatory. Note however, that if a parent was trying to get away with something by claiming it fell under one of those categories but in reality, it did NOT, that would be a different story.)

If you are facing mediation and need help, contact attorney.


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

SPOUSAL SUPPORT AND WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS




CALIFORNIA SPOUSAL SUPPORT FACTORS

(This is from one of my other blogs, law is all online)

Many clients do not understand the rules re spousal support. Some believe they will never get anything, and some believe they are entitled to everything?!
When it comes to spousal support, ---it's usually the husband having to support the wife in most cases, but not all.  The Court (and you) should consider all of the following circumstances according to FC4320:

The extent to which each party's earning capacity is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into account FC4320(a)(1),(2)


The extent to which the supported party's present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to the family


The extent to which the supported spouse contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position or a license by the supporting spouse FC4320(b)


The supporting spouse's ability to pay, taking into account his or her earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living FC4320(c)


The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage FC4320(d)


The obligations and assets of each party, including separate property FC4320(e)


The duration of the marriage FC4320(f)


The supported spouse's ability to be employed without interfering with the interests of any dependent children who are in his or her custody FC4320(g)


The parties' age and health FC4320(h)


Documented evidence of any domestic violence, including consideration of emotional disteess from domestic violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party, and consideration of any history of violence by the supported party against the supporting party FC4320(i)


The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party FC4320(j)


The balance of the hardships to each party FC4320(k)


The goal that the supported spouse shall be self supporting within a reasonable period of time FC4320l


The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse and the reduction or elimination of any award to an abusive spouse under FC4325 [FC4320(m)]


Any other factors that you determine are just and equitable FC4320(n)


Note: "any other factors" kind of leaves the door wide open if you ask me?!

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The Dad's Car !


The Mom's Car?
Related image

*Let's say this:  If  YOU   get a particular reaction just out of  looking at pictures 
of  two different  cars, 
imagine what could be done with court exhibits at trial??

Litigation involving spousal support can be affected by how your attorney sets up the case. Some attorneys simply do not exert a lot of effort and will just want to settle the case, the better attorney will realize all of the data in the case can make a HUGE difference, and that settling the case may not actually be helpful strategy wise?  (If you do not understand this, don't worry.)
Using all of the above factors, attorney can assess the potential liability, the possible outcomes, and the known propensity of various judges to determine the strategy needed for best outcome.

Attorney herein has strategy tactics, and uses them,  in order to obtain superior results. Provable at that!  Difficult fact patterns call for those who can think outside the box!

If you need an affordable attorney, please consider that it's better to get more than you paid for, than to pay too much-- and still lose your case!

Why Attorneys Will Have to Change Due to A.I. Use Replacing Workers?


The article below was not written by me--but I agree with this article, and have long known that technology and AI (aritficial intelligence) --will end up cutting down the dredge work!  I have emphasized some of HIS sentences---because most people will not read the entire article.

But as can be seen, he is saying that the monopoly on legal knowledge will have decreased...so, essentially new attorney hires will not be getting jobs based so much on former grades, but on their skills with people, and solution based orientation, etc.

Those types of skills which are inherent to the sales profession and customer service will be increasingly used, in part due to the social media aspects and online data.

As the writer states, attorneys will need to focus on human skills. [Hint: attorney herein has long been an attorney with a social work degree, high degree of human awareness and compassion, and knowing how people think; additionally, attorney understands the process of motivation and how things get done..] AND there is a site online, Learned Hands, that allows people to interact with legal questions from "clients" online, in order to strengthen the legal issue spotting.

See https://learnedhands.law.stanford.edu/  (yeah, I have worked on it as to issue spotting here and there, it's interesting, if you like this type of thing....it's pretty much focusing on ability to spot issues within a legal topic, and obviously not every issue is actually a legal issue for that topic itself. There are other people doing it also, so people try and get points. It does not involve money or contests.)

ARTICLE BELOW WRITTEN BY JAAP BOSMAN




WE NEED LAWYERS WITH DIFFERENT SKILLS

Once both clients and law firms start to realize that the value is in creation, and once technology will be able to handle most of the production—that will be pretty soon—the role of lawyers will be significantly different from today. Today, law firms have substantial leverage and have based their business on a small army of associates who are performing boring tasks at substantial hourly rates.
These lawyers today do need only to be diligent, precise and have a good knowledge of the law and legal procedures. Not rocket science, they just do what needs to be done, producing and processing document after document. This is exactly what universities train lawyers to do.
In the near future, once creation becomes the core of the value added by lawyers and law firms, we will need a different kind of lawyer. There will be less need for old-fashioned lawyers. The monopoly on legal knowledge has been lost, and the production work will have little or no value. To survive, lawyers will need to be smart, streetwise, business-savvy, creative, pragmatic, solution-oriented, and have excellent people skills and so on. We will no longer be looking for diligent students with above-average academic grades. The legal industry will need lawyers with an entirely new set of skills. 
None of these skills are currently considered at universities and law colleges.
To remain in business and meet the clients’ demand for better value, lawyers will need to focus on human skills. For me, this paints a picture of an inspiring future in which being a lawyer will be more fun than ever before in the last decades. Finding the right talent, and training and educating today’s lawyers, will take time. Those who want to be successful tomorrow have little time to waste.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

How Long Does It Take to Succeed at Family Law Litigation?

Good question........what attorney has seen in the past, from being in both larger cities, and Federal Courts, is that Family law court is not like most court cases, where the focus is often on difficult civil law issues, litigation problems, and witnesses, or criminal courts, where it's all about the drama usually, or people taking pleas. So, the number of years might indicate knowledge of the law, but might not necessarily win your case, since Family law is one of the fields where things are not that concrete.

Family law is definitely not for many attorneys, as sometimes just the knowledge of family law court will make many attorneys RUN!!! Many attorneys are not suited for Jerry Springer soap opera type things, or for a lot of emotional and often agitated combative litigants.  Much of the fighting in hallways at the Sacramento downtown courthouse formerly, was not due to criminal cases, but rather, to Family law cases.

Much of the data that goes into family law cases will revolve around the claimed actions, or non actions of the parties. For example, shared legal and joint physical custody--there are laws on these subjects obviously, but the law alone is usually not going to make or break many cases. Judges are able to make huge decisions based upon their own personal application of what is or is not in the best interests of the "child" and sometimes, this can go horribly wrong, as most people know.

So then, how many years of litigating in this type of arena would end up being so helpful to clients?  The years of courtroom experience is one thing, but the types of cases seen can really make a difference. Endless routine child support hearings does very little to teach one knowledge about custody except to extent that it points out issues in how support is tied to visitation percentages. On the other hand, handling many contested custody cases can start to become boring, if there are no different facts involved.

The most interesting cases with unique issues will usually prove to be the best teaching experience; and after being in large cities with many cases, one will have seen plenty of differing scenarios. (Attorney herein has done family law, criminal law, bankruptcy, civil cases, animal law cases and federal court cases- mostly on constitutional law issues.)

If an attorney is only in the game to earn a buck, he or she might not really care what type of cases they have. Some will always be more interesting than others. However, an attorney that really wants to win a case for clients might prefer certain types of cases over others. Attorney herein personally is not into running child support cases and arguing over timeshare. It gets done, but it is just one of those tasks that goes with the territory. Going to DCSS hearings is like pulling teeth. Not interesting.

Becoming adept at Family law usually requires an attorney that can easily talk to people, and not talk down to them. Judging clients is also not a good trait, but being responsive to how the client feels is required, and that is where many attorneys may not really think too hard, because they don't need to, or have too many clients. Or, maybe the attorney is making so much income he or she doesn't really care? You wouldn't be the first one to notice it.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

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 in CA 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, are 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 which 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.