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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Challenge to Fix, Modify, Change, or Set Aside Improper Results after RFO Hearings; Prior Errors or Other Mistakes

In most cases, clients file a Request for Order (RFO) in Family law to modify something, ask for different legal reasons, or claim that the other party is doing, did, or will continue to engage in wrongful conduct, etc. While properly done RFOs are usually not heard for longer than 20minutes at most, many pro se clients simply do not have the ability to make the proper arguments, especially when they do not know the procedure, laws, or characterization of what legal theory they are attempting to present. Typically pro se clients start arguing their positions but do not understand the legal theory supporting their claims, if they even have one; further, most judges do not spend much time on non legal arguments unless the case is so bad, it's obvious what has occurred (child beaten up, child abandoned, child left with drugs in home, or other adverse conditions not on par with proper care of kids.)
THEN IF "MEDIATION" is ordered, which it usually will be, clients do not have a clue as to how to prepare for it. During COVID, the parents usually do not even get the luxury of meeting the mediator, and only get to talk on the phone with mediator. This makes the case much more difficult unless attorney such as attorney herein, sets up a session to coach the client on how to handle mediation. Failure to prepare is a big mistake and often will result in losing whatever you are trying to get. However, if handled carefully BEFORE any type of negotiation or actual mediation is done, a client can be more adequately prepared and his or her chances can usually be bettered.

Attorney has long known this and has methods of doing this, while it cannot be guaranteed, it will obviously be better than NOT being prepared at all !!! Of the clients that attorney herein has interviewed, almost none of the clients know much about mediation at all, and are seldom adequately prepared. If the mediator does not go in your favor, the usual way of trying to change that is to set for trial. In many cases, the Judge will adopt the mediator's recommendation about 70% of the time, but if one has an opportunity to change that, it would have to be set for trial.

In attorney's estimation, a certain percentage of mediation reports are not on point, but in general, attorney does have an idea of what to expect simply because of what has occurred in the case, which judge is handling the case, and how good of a listener the client is. Clients with issues involving drugs, crime or arrest will have more trouble; also any abuse, whether domestic violence, or harassment or other chargeable offenses will hurt the case. There are MANY things that some parents do that can easily wreck a case.

HOWEVER there are also steps to overcome this if the client is determined. Attorney is very interested in difficult cases because of the challenges. Easy cases are usually fairly boring, and attorney is not that interested in boring issues to be honest. Just saying!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Attorney's Favorite Dog Holiday Video--Oldie but Goodie!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUtPKbMwnRo&eurl=http://www.borzoi.org/ https://youtu.be/zUO-rCahoU4 animals doing tricks LOL Liberals in CA have steadily eroded the animal and pet industry, claiming that no one should be able to sell animals at a profit. YET many animal rescues are able to do the same thing, especially if the animal they obtain is an expensive one, and then as a "non profit" (if they actually are one) can index everything off anyway, and that's assuming they are even compliant with the AG laws on 501(c)(3) groups, which many are not in compliance, and no one bothers to check? Why?

Because there is no law that regulates "rescues" and there is no oversight for rescues in California? Further, there is still likely no oversight for groups that claim they are non profit but actually make profits off of reselling seized pets? Let me give an example. An alleged rescue group seizes 30 dogs or puppies and uses the CA penal code to do the seizure. Likely illegally from what cases attorney has seen.

THEN these people get together and make up a story which is not actually true, and then SELL the very animals that they claim NO ONE should be allowed to sell? (They have a law passed which makes it illegal to sell an animal such as a dog or cat--- ONLY the non profit or rescues or the pound is allowed to SELL the animals?)

" On Jan. 1, 2019, California enacted a prohibition on the sales of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail stores unless the animals were acquired from a shelter or rescue group that has a cooperative agreement with a shelter, humane society or society of the prevention of cruelty to animals."

THUS this means that a "rescue" can sell at retail, any animals they supposedly obtained via some agreement with a shelter, humane society or society for prevention of cruelty to animals. This means then, IF a "rescue" "humane society" or SPCA manages to broker a deal with people just outside of San Diego, an endless stream of animals simply gets moved into California and POOF ..... we now have thousands of puppies from other states and over the border? People--this has been going on for many years!!! It has long been known that the alleged non profits simply want to PROFIT themselves without being known as sellers of animals at a profit?

In this county, do we really believe that no rescues are making bank? If you believe that then you don't know much about sales, resale, or animals as pets. The truth is, there is a shortage of available good pet stock, and the animal rights rescues purposely intend to keep it that way so that they can lure you into the poor liddle puppy dog syndrome like an idiot? Because you bought into their baloney nonsense? So much of the public have never understood this bait switch nonsense. But because we worked in the industry for years, we have long known how it works.

Forget buying an animal from a rescue unless it's a cat rescue. [Cats have very little value when it comes to obtaining a cat unless it's a very expensive breed.] Buy your own puppy from a reputable breeder that actually knows the history of their animals, knows how to take care of them, and will not give away their animals cheaply. Do not believe idiots who tell you stories about where the animals allegely come from...
For that matter, much of the Los Angeles throw away dogs from the barrios simply are likely trucked straight to Best Friends in Utah. If you didn't know anything about Best Friends, go look it up on Wikipedia. Clearly Best Friends was a CULT and they are waiting for the end time whereupon they believe they will be saved because they keep so many alsatian dogs on the property? Who in their right mind keeps 1,500 dogs out in the desert? Do the math and figure it out every month Los Angeles in the aggregate cannot get rid of the barrio dogs which come into the shelters every single solitary month. They claim to get them homes but likely--they could never prove it. Do you believe you could get homes for 600 stray dogs every 40 days? LOL Yeah, if you're on glue!

https://www.scribd.com/document/10631836/The-Process-Church-and-Alistair-Cooke-- go read at least the first 2 paragraphs and you will get the drift. They are not much different from Scientology. Probably worse. There's nothing wrong with saving animals if you actually are getting them homes. "Given the many concerns about the outcomes for people and pets, coupled with the lack of evidence to show their efficacy, Best Friends does not support mandatory spay and neuter." WELL, nearly every county in California forces mandated altering UNLESS there is a local law that states differently. ALL shelter and rescued animals are allegedly required to be ALTERED.

You show us a way that hundreds of dogs no on wants simply get new homes out of thin air?? Every month? LOL Yeah right. The Los angeles barrio/general area might have less animals but it's still hundreds every month from more than one area. No one is probably counting (even though the state could do it) but to kill an animal usually they use the blue solution which is highly regulated. If they can't kill them all then they have to get rid of them because they can't keep them there. Supposedly their "numbers" are all great because they claim to just move and truck them out. Yeah, and who is following what dogs go where? We bet no one. Let's not forget, Best Friends owns TWO JETS. They are millionaires many times over. They spent either $40,000 or more just to fly to a European country and bring back STRAY DOGS???? Now if that doesn't piss you off, you need to be more informed.

Example, Riverside, re "
Altering of animals, dogs/cats.. Exemptions. This section shall not apply to any of the following:A.A dog with a high likelihood of suffering serious bodily harm or death if spayed or neutered, due to age or infirmity. The owner or custodian must obtain written confirmation of this fact from a California licensed veterinarian. If the dog is able to be safely spayed or neutered at a later date, that date must be stated in the written confirmation; should this date be later than thirty (30) days, the owner or custodian must apply for an unaltered dog license. B.In the event that any dog follows under Section 6.08.120 A.3.A. of this chapter, a mandatory spay and neuter deposit fee of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) shall be paid before the animal is released from the shelter.C.A cat with a high likelihood of suffering serious bodily harm or death if spayed or neutered, due to age or infirmity. The owner or custodian must obtain written confirmation of this fact from a California licensed veterinarian. If the cat is able to be safely spayed or neutered at a later date, that date must be stated in the written confirmation.D.In the event any cat follows under section 6.08.120 A.3.C. of this chapter, a mandatory spay and neuter deposit fee of forty dollars ($40.00) shall be paid before the animal is released from the shelter.E.Animals owned by recognized dog or cat breeders, as defined by department of animal services policy.F.Females over the age of 10 and males over the age of 12 are exempt from the spay and neuter requirement due to the biological improbability of reproduction, however, they will be required to purchase an unaltered license.

To be frank, only in a state like liberal California could people get away with interfering with commerce, such as with raising dogs to sell? The very clear implication is that in lower income areas such as barrios of Los angeles, most of the animals are not altered. Animal control just keeps taking them to the pounds. People who actually WANT to buy a dog from a breeder will often have to search far and wide and even sometimes buy the animal from another state. Breeders of titled dogs sell their dogs for very high prices and do not have huge litters (since they are raising show dogs..)

If you doubt anything stated herein, perhaps doing your own research from NON rescues or claimed 501(c)(3) groups will shed new light on what you don't know. Most people don't know and simply do not care, or they are not smart enough to do diligent research.

--- > WARNING.........CAREFULLY NOTE-- any type of tinkering or attempt to cause cessation or otherwise interfere with this site can be plausibly considered as interfering with a legal business that may, in certain cirumstances, fall under either the CA law re illegal actions, or the Federal law regarding same. Businesses that deal with animal enterprises will likely qualify [yes, this business of doing legal work with animal issues/animal enterprises would qualify in our opinion] Consider that stealing or even just releasing minks (live animals) out of their cages caused two young men to receive 14 year federal prison sentences. It is unlikely that the federal law will be changed.

New Help for YOU-- Savings on both Legal and Paralegal Work --Automatically, Find Out How?!!

Due to the problems of Covid and some people not being able to work full time, attorney is featuring cash savings to new clients. The initial consultation is free. Cases that will require an RFO (Request for Order) or other motion which needs to be heard by Judge, will usually qualify for the cash savings, and most other motions or long cause hearings in court, including Domestic Violence and protective orders, harassment, mediation, supervised visitation, drug testing cases,and more.

Typically this may involve various motions to modify, hearings involving mediation, and requests for drug testing, supervised visitation, or other issues such as requesting spousal support or modification of same. 
We guarantee another attorney of 20+ years experience will NOT be able to meet or exceed our value. (*It is true that some attorneys will charge you $250-$300 for a consultation/then apply that toward your fees. If you would rather pay upfront unnecessarily it's up to you, for a consultation.)

In addition, if you use our paralegal services also, you will save even more. Even though attorney can or may attend all hearings it is possible via Limited scope, to not have attorney attend every hearing and only have that done when necessary. (Not every hearing requires attorney in every cases..)

While many law and motion hearings take place daily, the key to winning is to know what you are doing with the case. When you believe you do know what you are doing BUT you are not making headway with the judge, then it's usually because you are not getting the point accross clearly, judge may not like you [believe me, it does happen] or the other side has lied so much that the court might start believing the wrong party? OR possibly you did not do the documents carefully enough, or you put too much unnecessary data in the moving arguments and judge stopped reading what you wrote.

When we see cases come in, they normally have some things that should have been done differently (if you are trying to win whatever you are doing) so if no one helps you fix your error, assuming there is one, you will likely not make much progress. If there is no error but judge is actually prejudiced against you {this does happen sometimes} we would have to review the entire file to see if that is what is occurring. Most cases may not have serious errors but lack the clarity coupled with legal reasoning to make the mark.

CONTACT US TODAY TO SEE IF WE CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR CASE ---> and SAVE AT THE SAME TIME !! **Attorney can confidentally say that her cases usually do produce either a positive outcome or a win for client. It is not 100% but it is pretty close because our main purpose is to win whatever we are attempting. Our main goal is not settling unless the client wants only that.There is a big difference between settling and winning.
Clear cut cases usually mean one side has the winning side, HOWEVER-- it will depend on how long the case has been going, how bad the parties have been (or how good..), how many mistakes or errors have transpired, how many months or years has passed, how diligent each party was in the past, how bad each party was in the past, and a host of other factors. some cases are obviously much more difficult than others. Unlike some attorneys, attorney herein does not believe in settling everything, especially if something has been done which is very wrong, by the other party. IF nothing has been done which was wrong, then the case should take less time. However some clients will fight over everything, so it will depend on the client's beliefs in some respects. 

Family Law Attorney Carol Chan
  Rating  · Divorce lawyer
2485 Notre Dame Blvd #370  CHICO 95928
Closed ⋅ Opens 9AM Mon · (530) 359-8810
WEBSITE (link to Butte County Attorney site)     https://affordablefamilylawattorneychico.blogspot.com/


Friday, October 23, 2020

Winning Doesn't Matter?? Who is Kidding Whom??


People, don't fool yourselves. Some litigation doesn't require the emotional toll
as much as others do. Money issues are bad, and custody is much worse. IN fact
custody is probably the worst hands down.

The real question is, would you want to hire an attorney to  lose your case?     

Most people love to say that "family law" means there are no winners.

Attorney herein is not your run of the mill attorney...some things that other attorneys
think are critical to practicing law, really aren't all that critical.

Well, maybe the people saying that, that there are "no winners" don't win any cases,
 or feel that families all lose  everything, or something different.
 Because there is no pat set of facts that create
 winning, it's obvious that if someone needs child support and gets the order, it's a win
 because they got what they requested?  If they got nothing, they certainly can't say
 they won, in our opinion.

Image result for photos winning in court

Look at this, which we saw online:   ..."clients will want to find in an attorney, someone who is competent, communicative and diligent versus seeking out a win loss record..a win loss record is rarely a good measure in divorce and family law...."

For some attorneys, maybe claiming a win loss record may not be a good measure of anything, but after MANY years of doing these cases, attorney herein believes that if a client desires an outcome, and attorney gets that outcome, that is a win for the client.  

If the attorney just wants to settle a case, that is an outcome, possibly it could be acceptable to both sides if each had to give up something, then it's a compromise.  Whether a compromise is a loss or win is usually up to the circumstances-- if a client had to really lose a lot in order to get the compromise, but overall in the long run it would be helpful down the road, that might be sort of a win over the long haul.

But telling people that a win loss record is not a good measure of a family law attorney is not necessarily correct, since any family law attorney that consistently loses cases is likely not doing something correctly.  Family law is much more difficult than it appears, and the emotional aspects alone make most attorneys run, run, run--away!! When compounded by clients with high anxiety  and medical or mental issues, the case becomes at least twice as difficult--- if not more.....

 The high emotional toll on the parties and even the attorneys means that certain attorneys could never, and would never, never, ever want to be in family law.

It is a fact that it was due to family law related cases, where the emotions tend to run higher
 than even in criminal cases-- that California started using weapon scanning to enter courthouses.  We know of several family law attorneys that were shot by the losing spouses in family law cases?    

If clients want to win their case, it should at least be for the right reasons. Calling the right reasons is half the battle, yet some attorneys simply churn out the work to get paid, which is their reason, not necessarily the client's .. ..that's a huge difference. 

So attorney herein has no problems in stating that attorney is hired to win whatever the client wants, as long as attorney believes that under the law, that outcome is suitable. 

Attorney has had cases where the outcome is NOT suitable nor equitable, BUT the client
wants to take that choice. A bad decision, a bad choice, or a bad moment (lapse of reason) in
family law can cause clients to ignore the attorney and make poor choices. When I see a client
willing to cut their throat to end the case, I do not allow it because I know it will haunt the
client forever.

These are serious mistakes, and instead, I will have the client fire me and sign
the substitution of attorney. I will take no part in a bad, horrible decision made due to mental
anguish or the ability to do harm to him or herself.

For example: client made $25k/year and
spouse made $80k/year. The $80k spouse had spent over 100k on credit cards the other spouse
did not even know existed, putting them into bankruptcy. The family was forcing the $27k
person to take a walk-away deal with almost nothing. Attorney herein refused to do it, and would
not sign anything of the sort, regardless.  They were FAR from being poor.

In another case, the wife wanted the divorce judgment BEFORE the bankruptcy rules had changed. At that time, the bankruptcy rules were such that if a spouse got divorced, the community debt would
fall to the non filing spouse (post separation) and the filing spouse would have no debt.

That law had not been changed and I repeatedly explained to the client that if she entered the judgment, she would then end up with all of the community debt (that the husband had racked up) and with her
student debt of $70k she would end up being  a bankruptcy candidate.

She claimed she did not care, but as the judgment triggers the law, she should have cared. I told her to fire me and get another attorney so she wouldn't have to be charged for me to make a motion to get out of the case. Instead, she complained to the bar that I wouldn't file the judgment? This is how errant clients can become. If her ex filed the bankruptcy and the law hadn't changed, then she inherited the debt. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Winning in Unusual Way! from 2010, 2015, 2019, 2020 and soon 2021!

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

For whatever it's worth, attorney has encountered quite a number of cases where we were able to prevail despite the odds against us; this includes family law, criminal law, bankruptcy cases and civil cases. Perhaps in part due to attorney having a high interest in very challenging cases?.....this post has been viewed 2,305 times...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Sunday, October 11, 2020

When You Need to Win a Domestic Violence Case?!

Although not unheard of, attorney herein has not lost a domestic violence case or gone to trial and lost such a case. Only once such a case was dropped due to the both sides agreeing it was no longer needed, but in nearly every case, we usually maintain the DV for 1-3 years.
Recently in 2020, the CA legislature has passed an update to the domestic violence law, and the law will soon be in effect; not surprisingly, coercive control is specifically used to describe the type of conduct that the defendant is using against the victim or victims. Control can take many forms and will include both emotional abuse, harassment, and far more. COVID is also noted in the wording for the new update on domestic violence, since many family members simply cannot afford to flee and get new rental housing? IF you or your family is suffering and may benefit from a Domestic violence Restraining Order, or if you don't understand whether you qualify or could use this type of legal device, feel free to contact attorney herein, there is no charge for the consultation.

Saturday, October 10, 2020


Social security benefits and divorce, especially if a spouse dies, can be highly varied due to the way social security works. I have attached this link from AARP for an example https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/questions-answers/social-security-spouse-dies/ https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/questions-answers/social-security-spouse-dies/

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Divorce Cases Involving Pets, Dangerous animals, or Who Should Get the Pets and Kids?

Animals have long been favored as household pets and as utility workers for those who need farm work. But what happens when BOTH parents or former spouses, BOTH want the same pet or animal? Apparently, the CA courts have decided that divorcing people can have the same type of hearing for who gets the pet-animals as would be done during a CHILD custody case??!! To do this properly, it would be best to have an attorney that knows animal law and cases, and to have an expert testify as to the bond between the human and animal or animals. People may think this is silly, but the entire animal code in CA was patterned after the CHILD welfare code? Most people have likely not thought of this but it's true. Then entire welfare code for children is basically how activists got the animal-pet codes done?

Let's pretend the couple now getting divorced own a stable of great horses and they both want to keep the same animals. If the disagreement is bad enough, and neither party will give in, it is possible that one could try and prove that one party has a higher bond to an animal than the other party. Let's say a race horse was mostly bonded to the wife but the husband wanted the horse, even though he had little to do with the horse. According to the law set forth for custody of the pets/animals, the code tends to lean to the animal welfare/child welfare code? Therefore, what is in the animal's best interest? It may sound dumb, but that's the law right now. And if that animal or animals just happened to be a high end champion dog line, you better bet that there would be a lot of fighting?

This could happen with any community property--but if an animal was only registered to one party, I would think that the registered party, without more, might have the edge as against the non registered party. Some show dogs are so expensive and are only registered to one party--others may be registered to more than one party. Attorney has worked with show dog people for quite some time, and we all know show dog people treat the animals like kids? Or, possibly the couple owned an entire kennel dedicated to breeding, raising and selling dogs nationwide. Assuming it was community property the judge would likely either split the kennel, or allow the parties to divide it as they chose themselves.

Show dogs are very expensive so there could be disagreement on which dogs would go to whom? (Attorney has worked with show dog people, it's really different once you see how they do everything!) Attorney has also done trials involving dogs and owners, where one party claimed the other party had a dog that should be kicked out of the registration due to alleged biting? One would be surprised to see how much litigation is done with animal law cases!

Police will shoot dogs, sometimes kill them; attempt to get the pound to capture them, or because maybe the police has no familiarty with dogs, will shoot an innocent dog which is not doing anything except standing there? There is a well known published case on that where the police shot a dog or dogs owned by Hells angels in the Bay area, and the dog was not menacing anyone?



Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Mediator vs an Attorney..

 This should be quite easy to describe because basically both of these words are not usually interchangeable... Most actual mediators who are attorneys, prefer to do settlement workouts and will often operate a mediation practice whereby those wanting to work out things mutually may sometimes actually do that? 

While it is true that some cases can easily be mediated IF both parties understand what is actually going on and fully agree-- attorney herein has seen many cases where parties thought they knew what they were getting but in fact they didn't understand what they got? This is not that surprising.

Mediation for divorce can be very difficult when there are huge problems in any given area, such as psychological,mental,emotional or difficult issues involving drinking, drugs, criminal charges or civil law issues with lawsuits, inheritances, bankruptcy, faulty IRS filings,  taxes and liens, tracing of separate property, sales of property, unknown hidden assets, domestic violence restraining orders, civil lawsuits, reimbursements known and unknown, hidden assets to family and online accounts unknown; illegitimate children,and more.

Nearly all of these potential issues will typically not be mediated away for the most part.

Once domestic violence enters the picture it is possible that this will come back to haunt the one accused; Most domestic violence cases should be carefully checked for errant, wrongful or outright lies. Some parents will get children to lie or give false statements. Or it could be lying friends.

Those will be the most difficult cases in attorney's opinion. Nearly all cases in this boat will likely require litigation, if only to salvage the truth.

If you have any doubt about giving up your rights, preserving your rights, understanding your rights, it is likely a mediator may not be the best choice for you. Trying to salvage a case by agreeing to things that should not be done or required is silly. No one should force clients to do something that may not be appropriate; when it comes to litigation, sometimes we do have to make difficult decisions. But mediation does not work when both parties don't agree. And in most difficult cases, mediation is simply inappropriate. For high stake cases involving large sums of finances, and much property, it is best to normally hire attorneys that work mostly on high stake cases involving a lot of financial dealings, as they are best suited for tax purposes, and in working with tax accountants. Much of the processing is accountant related, tax related, etc.  

Sunday, October 4, 2020


CA Supreme Court Rule on "Date of Separation" Fixed by Legislature In 2015, the CA Supreme Court had ruled that "date of separation" means that there must be physical separation of the parties (meaning someone moved out...) With the economy and other factors, spouses (often women) --- do not always move out because they may not be able to afford to do so. Thus the financial aspects were not considered so much in the Supreme Court.
The Legislature was apparently bombarded with huge backlash from women's groups and other advocates, including the Family Law Bar; so upon this backlash, the Legislature enacted a new Code Section which pretty much eliminated the Supreme Court ruling. Family Code Section 70, when adopted, January 1 2017--- will provide as follows: (a) “Date of separation” means the date that a complete and final break in the marital relationship has occurred, as evidenced by both of the following: (1) The spouse has expressed his or her intent to end the marriage to the other spouse. (2) The conduct of the spouse is consistent with his or her intent to end the marriage. (b) In determining the date of separation, the court shall take into consideration all relevant evidence.(c) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to abrogate the decisions in In re Marriage of Davis (2015) 61 Cal.4th 846 and In re Marriage of Norviel (2002) 102 Cal.App.4th 1152. As you can see, this makes everything about the parties' supposed intent and their conduct up for grabs, and indeed "the court shall take into consideration all relevant evidence." Although California is supposedly a "no-fault" jurisdiction, this amendment will CAUSE nearly all behaviors and activities by spouses to be fair game in establishing their intentions about continuing or ending the marriage.
Due to financial constraints, and now, COVID, and unemployment, many couples may actually be living separate lives but still physically living in the same household out of necessity. This has always been common, particularly where one spouse did not work.

Friday, October 2, 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?

                                          (this posting has over 1,518 views...)


To many litigants representing themselves, judges may appear to overlook
what you stated, and then move ahead to not grant you what you wanted?
When we look at self represented documents, some of them are ok and some
are not so "ok"......

The fact is that judges don't have a lot of time and if what you wrote down

is not on point or does not appear to be strong, or correct, or even logical,
you may end up not winning what you wanted to get. Most attorneys know
the same laws but that isn't the real question, because two attorneys that
know the laws don't usually argue the same positions-- right?

Therefore it's how it is argued that counts-- the facts, the logic, whatever it is 

that makes it more beneficial for the kids, or for some other logical reason.
IF in fact you basically have a losing case from the start (which does happen
in some cases) then you will have more work to do. For example let's say
you beat up your own kid and you got a DV TRO filed on you. It's likely you
will not be getting physical custody?  

But eventually if you jumped through

enough hoops you would gain more visitation time, it might take a long time
but it is likely doable. If you give up automatically the you have basically 
lost.  For some parents, they are willing to do that. Others, maybe not.

Still other parents will relentlessly argue over different aspects of legal and

physical custody for years. It is amazing to see that some parents never
stop arguing over this.  Hopefully that isn't your case!!!!  If it is, you might want
to call attorney....lots of experience in that area.




Thursday, October 1, 2020

Best Attorney? What You Might Want-- Might Not Work for Your Case+ How COVID MIGHT IMPACT 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.

However, not all attorneys are the same even if we are supposed to all use California law....many attorneys are very strict with their minute by minute charges, which includes everything they do on a case. Attorney herein has never been like that, because it reminds me of working for the government, and I never liked working for the government (trust me, it was even worse than I thought it would be..)

There is no typical family law case, even if  some cases have typical issues, because each individual litigant brings both negative and positive to the table in nearly all cases. My job is to ascertain the type of individual I am dealing with so as to do the best job possible for that person, as not all people will have the same preferences in very individual situations. 
Because I have a social work background, I am familiar with most of the pitfalls involved with the demise of relationships, personality issues, husband and wife issues, children and their issues, etc.  The main difference is that my job always involves the understanding of each litigant's personal outlook and how it affects the case; I then attempt to use my experience with both litigants and past cases to devise a strategy that best suits each client. This may sound absurd, but a case can be handled in many different ways. There are some things that may never need to be done whereas in other cases nearly everything will be required. Litigation can be expensive if you are paying to litigate things that really don't require that? 

I used to work as a volunteer for the San Diego family law self help section (this is before the courts even had the SHARP type pro se help division.......) Now nearly all family law courts have some type of clerical help program, although the larger counties tend to have better programs. Because about 70% of litigants CANNOT afford attorneys, one can see that about 70% of people at least in California, do not likely understand or know their rights unless they did the research, or hired an attorney only for selected issues. (It is possible to hire attorney herein to only do certain parts of a case, this is known as limited scope and there is a court form for 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.

COVID tends to come up when one parent wants to take advantage of another parent's timeshare, visitation, vacations, and typically it will be one of the parents that is receiving the support, rather than the one paying it, who will try and use Covid as some type of excuse for not doing something, not allowing something, etc.  OR one  parent will try and claim that due to Covid, there should be no visitation, because the other parent cannot meet the devised requirements set up by the parent who has the larger timeshare.

Covid in family law is just another excuse for why parents won't let the other parent see their kid or kids, and I know it because I knew that was going to happen when Covid started...it would start to snowball and just keep going until it becomes a mammoth ball that can't be moved?? 
Knowing this, each parent who is not the one with physical custody ... must immediately start thinking about how to address all of the potential roadblocks that will be thrown your way.  If you think about every time the other parent made excuses, write it down, with the dates. Over time you will see a pattern and practice which basically will become rather obvious. What is apparent, is, will you rise to the occasion and tackle the issue or get rolled over on???? 

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 record, attorney herein has done a lot of domestic violence cases successfully.

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!

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. 


     Click ---- to read the case  [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

         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. ]


Experience in Litigation Takes Years + Results That Count

Experience in handling difficult cases can only be judged by those who have actually done such cases, and preferably, won those cases. Losing can teach us as well (although every case is not a winning case to start with) - and one may find that certain tactics don't work, but just drive up the cost of litigation to start with. 

If  so, TRUST ME, WE GET IT!!  There's two sides to every story, if not more!!
  *Before anyone gets insulted,  we are quite aware that much of family law involves FIGHTING and we mean fighting verbally, mentally, and physically!!  That's why many attorneys hate family law cases.  It's too emotional, too draining, too much drama,etc......

But the problem could be--maybe YOUR other former half--WANTS to drive up your litigation expenses so you will give up?!!

Actually, due to some attorneys who will do needless actions, this is not that uncommon.

At about $5.00 a minute, it doesn't make sense to do actions that aren't useful, BUT it happens a lot from what we have observed over the years. Custody issues tend to be the worst because any private evaluators or experts are very expensive. Very.

It makes sense that an attorney who is strategy minded, cost mindful, and fairly assertive-- can make better headway than spending time on useless things that will have no impact on the case, even if it drives up the costs for the other party.  Attorney herein is not a clerk or a clerk typist, although we do have to type. 

 An attorney understands that the legal argument can't be left out?  The best argument is not buried in 5 pages of paper. Some of the attorneys with wonderful skills will bury their arguments such that it can't be found unless one searches---that should never happen.  Arguments should not be buried. That's a wonderful way to never get your point across.

If you need an attorney who can make your points very obvious, leap from the page, and do all the talking for you in a straightforward, simple to understand format, then attorney may be a good match for your case. Plus you get the added bonus of having an attorney that is an experienced closer (as in closing sales, closing cases) which has helped attorney win cases both in civil, criminal,bankruptcy,animal law and family law.