Cheeky Quotes

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Going down

Some people drown in water - others in information
I see it almost everyday.  People coming into the law library DESPERATE for legal help. They're so desperate that they'll listen to anyone who wears a tie or gives them the time of day.  Take, for instance, the guy who was here the other day.  Seems guy had to file a complaint.  The judge tells him that even if the defendant never answers that his complaint, the complaint is so screwed up (i.e. full of errors) that there is no way he'll grant a default judgment.  Judge suggests he go to the law library and get help to file a motion to amend his complaint.

Days later, guy girds up his loins and makes the trek to the county law library where he finds me and I show him California Forms of Pleading and Practice as it relates to Amended and Supplemental Pleadings.  Guy finds the motion to amend his complaint and he's off and running.  NOT FIVE MINUTES pass and I see guy yakking with a legal assistant (i.e. not a paralegal) who was trolling for clients.  Guy dumps the motion stuff (i.e. the stuff the judge told him to get).

Bottom line, I guess the old adage that if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there applies.  If you don't know where to go, or what to get, know that your local county law librarian does - because we do this legal stuff all day, day after day, day in and day out so that when you need to know what we know we know where to go and how to get you there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Can't please everyone

Not all judges get it wrong
It's taken a while but over the years, I have developed a low opinion of judges.  Not the person, per se, but the position. See, too often I hear about cases where we the people decided what we the people have decided and then some judge with a political agenda comes along and says we the people don't know well enough than to get out of our own way and then with a swoop of a pen the judge negates the will of we the people.

Imagine, then, when a judge comes along and actually does their job (i.e follow the law and not make law).  I'm talking about the case of Cabading v. California Baptist University, RIC1302245 (Riverside Super Ct. Filed Feb 25, 2013).  Seems a transgender personage filed a suit against Cal Baptist for expelling him/her after Cal Baptist found out they were a transgender person.  To be clear, Cal Baptist didn't expel him/her because he/her was transgender - but because him/her lied on his/her application.  Him/her said the expulsion was discriminatory and Cal Baptist said no it wasn't.  Enter the Riverside County Superior Court.  

What the court said is that while Cal Baptist did discriminate against him/her, it can continue to do so because it is a private institution.  Wait, what?!  Yeah - the judge said that a private institution doesn't have to go against it's beliefs when doing what it does.  

What this all boils down to is that Cal Baptist is a private, religious based institution and has a set of rules in place which (among other rules) say that a person must be a Him or a Her.  Him/Her lied on the application saying that Him was a him (or Her was a her).  So, if you don't want to follow the rules Cal Baptist has set up for its students, don't go to school at Cal Baptist - go to school someplace else.

And see, there's the rub: when him/her filled out the application for admittance, he/she KNEW he/she didn't know if he was a he (or she was a she) and thus misled Cal Baptist as to the person's status (in violation of the rules of student conduct).  What this appears to be, then, is an attempt to further a political agenda and circumvent the rules of Cal Baptist with the intention to file a lawsuit against Cal Baptist for believing what it believed - not to just go to school to get an education.  

I'm just saying that if him/her were honest about their intent, they would have come forward at the get go and let Cal Baptist know what it was up against and let the university make the determination whether it was a problem.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Beware the vent

Stop with the yelling
Ever had one of those days when you just wanted to scream at someone?  Maybe you got cut off on the freeway.  Maybe someone flipped you the bird.  Maybe a bunch of kids are skateboarding outside your office window.  Maybe you bought something and it came all broken up. 

I feel your pain because that's what happened to me.  I bought a nativity scene made out of olive wood as a Christmas present for the wife.  Seems the people who packed and shipped didn't know what they were doing and it came all broken up.  A couple weeks later I got a request to submit a review.  I reviewed them but because it wasn't a glowing review they asked that I remove my review.  I didn't and haven't heard nary a word since.

Turns out I'm one of the lucky ones.  Seems there are a number of companies on the hunt for people who give negative reviews on products.  Remember the KlearGear fiasco a while back?  And then there was the Hadeed Carpet Cleaning matter where Yelp! was ordered to release the names of 5 anonymous person who submitted negative reviews.

It is because of these and other potential lawsuits against consumers that AB2365 was introduced by Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles).  AB2365 is designed to protect consumers from companies that don't like a persons' review.  As per the bill, companies cannot go after any person unless a person has waived his/her rights (to be sued) and such waiver was made knowing, voluntary, and intelligent."   In this case, the waiver would probably be attached to the tiny wording people are supposed to read just as they click "OK" when they buy something.  The problem is that how many people actually read that tiny boilerplate language before clicking "OK" when buying something?  I did - once (sucked 25 minutes out of my life).

Bottom line, if companies don't want a bad review, then maybe they should sell better products, provide "better" customer service, or just grow thicker skin.  That way, when a negative review comes along, it won't sting so much when people tell you, "You Suck!"

Monday, August 4, 2014

The rock is rolling

Union Labor thugs
A while back, the place where I work got a visit from a union rep.  Seems a person on our staff wanted to be represented by the union (SEIU) so the union rep got to work for that person.  After a while (don't know how it all happened) union rep announces that everyone on staff should be a union member and start paying union dues (in this case, 1.5% your annual salary).  Basically, what the union was doing was creating a unilateral contract and then insisting that I pay for services for which I never contracted.  Union says you don't have to be a member if you don't want to be a member, but even if you aren't a union member, everyone MUST pay "something" (in this case, 1.5% of your annual salary).

I was one of the ones who did not want to join the union and was vocal about it.  I suspect unions have their place.  Management wants people to work for less money and workers typically want to get paid for doing as little as possible.  I get it - the perpetual push me, pull you syndrome.  The problem is where the union tells me that after 10 years working somewhere that now I must pay to continue to work here.  Really pissed me off.  So I voted against the agency shop thing and it was (thankfully) defeated.

The reason I'm writing this post is to shout a congratulatory pat-on-the-back to Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.  Seems Gov. Walker had been in a fight with the teacher's union and on July 31, he finally won when the Wisconsin Supreme Court handed the union it's head on a silver platter in Madison Teachers, Inc. v. WalkerBasically, the Court prohibited public unions from bargaining on issues other than base wages; prohibited municipalities from deducting union dues from the paychecks of public employees; imposed annual re-certification requirements for unions; and prohibited any union agreement that would require employees who are not members of a union from having to pay union dues (this last one is HUGE).

My problem is that I picture union bosses like those in On the Waterfront starring Marlon Brando where they had the power to say who worked and who didn't.  I think if the union had come in to my workplace and said, if you don't want to be a member, you don't have to pay dues - they would have had a better reception.  

Instead, SEIU came in all heavy handed and with a bully club said pay us because we're the big, bad union and even though you never said you wanted us to help you, we're going to shove ourselves down your throat and you're going to pay us your hard earned cash every day for the rest of your life.  Well, to that (and to the union bosses) I say, Nuts!  When the every-day working man starts driving around in stretch limousines, wearing floor length fur coats, and eating caviar (not that I would, but...), I'll consider joining the ranks.  Until then...

Anyway, congratulations Gov. Walker - you've made my day.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Word of the Month for August 2014

That's Accord as in contract (not as in car)
I have little kids and as most kids are wont to do, they get stuck on a favorite movie that they want to watch over and over and over.  The movie last month was Pirates of the Caribbean starring Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush.  Once or twice is ok but 20? In a week?!?!  Alright, I'm sick of the flick - but not so sick of it to not notice the legalistics of the movie.  Remember those scenes where after a short discussion on what one party wants, Mr. Rush says with a flourish, "Then, we have an Accord" and then launches off and does what he wanted to do anyway because the other party did not specifically outline every specific detail of their intent in their "agreement."  Remember that part?  Well, I do - because I've seen it over and over and over and it all brings us to our word of the month:  ACCORD.

According to Black's Law Dictionary, an ACCORD is an amicable arrangement between parties, especially between peoples or nations.  The performance (of the ACCORD) becomes what is known as a satisfaction.  In layman's terms, an ACCORD is a fancy way of saying "contract."

Still a bit fuzzy on the concept?  How's about an example.  Say the neighborhood bully is picking on you and you want them to leave you alone.  You go to the Bully and say, "Bully - I want you to stop pushing me down whenever you come by me or else I will sue you."  Bully says, "Is that all?"  You say, "Yes" and the Bully says, "Then we have an accord."  The Bully walks past you and burns down your house because you didn't say they couldn't (i.e. it wasn't part of the ACCORD).  Those are the little details we were talking about that should probably not be left out of the original agreement.

Need to read up on ACCORD?  Might I suggest you hoof it over to your local county law library and look at:
The more you know about business, the less people can take advantage of you.  So head on over to your local county law library so next time you talk to the Bully, you won't be taken to the cleaners.