Saturday, May 23, 2020

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?

*People must care because about 2,499 people have read this post*

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)-or-
  when exchanged, i.e.--have false, misleading or improper numbers, values, dates..

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
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?
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 is or was a mediator, --- in other words, the attorney is not acting as a litigator for the client?

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.

You don't have to believe attorney, look at one of my other sites for example, where it is stated in plain English, by the mediator--  that making the decisions with a mediator is not the fault of the mediator, and the mediator is quoted...

                        "The role of the mediator is to assist the participants reach an agreement. 
 It is not the mediator's role to give legal advice or to assure
 that the agreement is fair or equitable to either party.  
There may well be unintended consequences resulting in one or more
 of the participants suffering "buyers remorse", but they made the decision
  to accept the terms  and entered into the agreement, not the mediator..."

 Note--again, the "mediation" we are speaking of, is NOT the family law mediation process that the COURTS do, for contested custody.
       Private mediation means both parties choose to use one mediator to arrive at some agreement, and because a mediator does not dispense legal advice the way a legal advocate would do--as in actual litigation--where each party is represented by their own separate attorney-- the "mediator" himself or herself--- is only assisting both parties to REACH an agreement.
Carefully NOTE-- the mediator does not need to assure either party that the agreement is fair or equitable to either party.   LOL-- that's fine if you don't care what you are getting, or you don't know your rights and you don't care about about that either??

       Unfortunately---if you do this and then realize you lost out on something because you did NOT know your rights at all---then guess what??? You are in trouble, most likely.
*** I  can almost guarantee that this blog has more information in Northern CA than majority of  family law sites.  Attorney typically will write, argue, and inform... and help people, the purpose of the writing is to hopefully enlighten--so that you can make better decisions. 
                      
                         


Tuesday, May 19, 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?

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--- spotten 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.



Friday, May 15, 2020

Why Pay to Settle When You can Win?

Originally published March 2016 by attorney

https://buttecountyfamilylawlawyer.blogspot.com/2016/11/why-pay-to-settle-cases-when-you-can-win.html

In the above post from another blog site done in the past, I clearly explain how some cases get "settled" due to family pressure and a very unethical/mean spouse who simply took advantage of the other spouse. I personally will never, ever represent a client into doing that which was done in the specific case detailed, because it is inherently wrong, unfair, and not ethical in my opinion. I had the client fire me because I would not engage in a division which was in my opinion, basically illegal.

If you read the link, you will understand there is a HUGE, HUGE-- difference in the way attorneys handle their clients. I do not believe it is ethical to allow a client to engage in what was done (but the next attorney  was gung ho to settle the case with the poor client as the definitive loser overall financially? That won't happen on my watch.)


Any spouse making $27k/year while other spouse is at $80k a year, should not be bailing out of the marriage and taking nothing, especially when the $80k/year spouse had over $100k of debt accrued without the spouse even knowing about it? That forced the family into bankruptcy.  Attorney herein will definitely litigate on most issues and maybe even settle cases, BUT will not allow a client such as in this case, to lose almost everything, because it is inherently wrong. It's true, attorneys are allowed to let clients hang themselves if they choose to do so financially--but when this type of situation happens, attorney will not do anything of the sort. I will choose to be fired because I do not believe it is a good practice to allow clients on their own accord, while under huge pressure, to cave in and then regret it later.  And I am certain this client will regret it later.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Did You Lose Your Case Because You Didn't Make the Right Arguments?


A common complaint by those representing themselves,

 is that Judge.... "Ignored"  what they said?

                                                                 


Judges only have so much time to listen to clients that are representing themselves, since apparently 
about 70-75% of pro se litigants are obviously representing themselves, and judges become weary of
non-arguments, facts that are not facts, and allegations without proof?

The most common thing we see that pro se litigants do, is they do not make clear arguments, even if
they are allegedly factual.  They tend to rant and rave about what they don't like when instead, they
need to get facts established that will either justify their own actions, prove the other actions are not
correct, or some combination thereof.

Of course, litigants representing themselves may not know the law, but they know that someone else
has done something wrong. Well, that's a start. Judge knows the law obviously, so telling judge the law
as a self represented litigants is not what will make you win, most likely.

Self represented litigants can improve their facts and data by hiring a paralegal service which is 
supervised by an attorney, so that Judge can quickly understand the points and data they are trying
to get noticed.  Burying the data is almost sure to not get you any points.

If you need help with paralegal services, contact us as we may be able to help you. We have helped
many litigants in this way, and usually with better results. We offer this service due to number of 
documents that we have seen which caused clients to lose their motions.  Most motions can be
improved upon, and attorney is very good at clarifying, or simplifying arguments.


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(530)  497-0777*

[ If you do not get someone at this # then
please call 530 359 8810--thank you! ]



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Parents, Marijuana Use and Custody in California

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

[This post has over 1,851 views so apparently parents are concerned!]




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?  **Note: in one mediation case, a mediator told a client that because MJ smoking is legal, to drop the issue...quite frankly, the actual smoking or use of the drug (even where legal) is not necessarily proper inside, where kids are, or in cars and other certain places? or where kids have any type of respiratory issue/other ailments? In any event, despite the mediator, it is NOT a good idea for MJ to be used around kids, period. Don't care if it's legal.

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.

http://reason.com/blog/2014/03/07/daisy-bram-a-witness-in-federal-case-aga

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.//
NOTE: JUST BECAUSE MARIJUANA HAS BEEN LEGALIZED TO SOME EXTENT, DOES NOT MEAN THAT OTHER MEANS OF USING MJ ARE LEGAL; FOR EXAMPLE, "SHATTER" IS NOT LEGAL? Using a huge commercial sized bong to ingest shatter is not legal? and certainly doing it with minor children in home is simply insane?  It becomes expensive to prove that one parent is an addict, especially on drugs which can be legal. Obviously that is due to fact that the parent who formerly witnessed such actions, is not living in home where it is presently being done?

https://www.childrenscolorado.org/conditions-and-advice/marijuana-what-parents-need-to-know/safety/  [Extremely informative...]  *Includes Signs of Accidental Exposure to Edibles

https://buttecountyfamilylawlawyer.blogspot.com/  Another site by attorney C. Chan


What Type of Attorney do You Really Need? Do You Want to Win? You Don't Care ... Affordable Family Law Cases, Is it Possible? Our NEW Maverick Paralegal ...


Mar 7, 2018 - Aug 1, 2007 - Chico, California attorney Carolyn J. Chan. ... District Court Currently work with two non profit groups: P.I.E.C.E.S. of Butte County, ...
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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Originally Posted  Saturday, November 30, 2019


NEW 2020 LAWS, Including Guns/Domestic Violence, Childhood Sexual assault, Domestic violence SOL

The law expands who can petition a judge to confiscate someone’s weapons if they believe that person may be violent. Existing law allows police, immediate family members and roommates to request a restraining order. The updated law allows employers, coworkers and teachers to be able to do so. The law goes into effect Sept. 1, 2020.

The law gives victims of childhood sexual abuse until age 40, or five years from discovery of the abuse, to file civil lawsuits. The previous limit had been 26, or within three years from discovery of the abuse. It also suspends the statute of limitations for three years -- beginning Jan. 1, 2020 -- giving victims of all ages time to bring lawsuits if they wish.

SB 273 - Domestic violence statute of limitations
The law extends the statute of limitations to report domestic violence to law enforcement from one year to five years.
The change would apply to domestic violence that happens on or after Jan. 1, 2020. It also applies to crimes for which the statute of limitations was in effect before Jan. 1, 2020, and had not run out. The law also requires more training for law enforcement on de-escalation techniques and interviewing victims in a different place from the suspect.

The law gives heterosexual couples an alternative to marriage. It expands the option of a domestic partnership from same-sex couples to heterosexual couples. California law treats domestic partners and married people the same for tax purposes. But federal law does not recognize domestic partners. That could let some couples avoid the federal "marriage penalty," which is a higher tax resulting from when two people marry who have the same income.

Gig economy workersAB 5 requires independent or contract workers to be considered employees and not independent workers if the employer controls the work, if the work is part of the company's core business, or if the employer directs the worker in their job.       

May 2018: California Supreme Court Decides Workers Are Presumed Employees

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLPMay 25, 2018
........A recent headline in the Los Angeles Times declared: “California’s top court makes it more difficult for employers to classify workers as independent contractors.” The headline is ironic in that the Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court (decided April 30, 2018) said it was setting a rule that would make classification decisions easier.    
But if by “more difficult” the Times meant “nearly impossible” to classify a worker as anything other  than an employee, as least for wages, then the headline makes a good point......