Monday, June 18, 2018

Be a Leader

True leaders beget more leaders
Do you people even read my blog?  Looking at how many followers I have (all of 7), you'd think that no one pays any attention to the scripture falling from my fingertips.

Actually, I was thinking about my seven faithful followers just the other day when an older, seasoned attorney came into my law library.

Seems attorney was dealing with a settlement in a family law case. As he walked up to me, he handed me a dozen copies of various posts from my blog (Legal Research is Easy) and said, "I have scoured your blog and not once have you posted anything relating to QDROs."

For those not in the know, a QDRO (or "Qualified Domestic Relations Order") works as a settlement order in a divorce case dividing retirement or pension plans by recognizing marital ownership by both parties (husband and wife).  So, when the pension is ready to be distributed, both husband and wife get their marital share.  It's a bit more complicated than that but that's about the gist of things.

Anyway, I ask seasoned attorney...by the by, do you follow my blog?  No he did not.  He was referred to my blog by a lawyer friend who read my blog (and who was also not a follower of my blog). 

Huh. What are the odds that there are people out in blogland that religiously read (and scour) my blog for things they can use in real life but that don't actually follow my blog?  Guess I'm doing something right?!

Anyway, seeking to rectify the issue at hand, I lead seasoned attorney to resources that could help him draft a QDRO, such as:
Yep, you never know when what you do is going to help someone.  Good thing there is a blog (like Legal Research Is Easy) that is updated (at least) weekly to help people find what they need when they're in a bind. 

So, you all keep reading and I'll keep posting these words of wisdom and you all have a great rest of the day/week/month/year!

Monday, June 11, 2018

You gotta keep 'em separated

the last straw
In today's news is the story about a woman who got gored (as in killed) by a bison in Yellowstone National Park.  How in blazes did someone get killed by a typically docile animal?  

Well, she walked right up next to it.  She got inside its "safe zone," irritating the poor animal to no end and it did the only thing it could do - shake it's head (and, subsequently, tore the woman from crotch to nose).

Ouch!

You know, if people were a bit more considerate of other animals (humans and otherwise), maybe there wouldn't be so many problems in the world.

Take, for instance the couple that came into the library the other day.  Seems couple has a neighbor who has a dog.  Every day for the last 3 years, neighbor walked dog over to couples front lawn, had the dog do its dooty on couple's lawn, doesn't pick-up said dooty, and goes back to her house.  

She could have done it on her lawn but being the raging hag (and a bad neighbor) that she was, she chose to irritate her neighbors.  That's "chose" as in what a b***h!

As you can imagine, couple became increasingly aggitated and no matter how many times they called the police, the police always said, "We're sorry but this is a civil matter.  We don't get involved in civil matters."  They tried calling city hall, they called county code enforcement - dang but they tried calling everyone and not one single county or city department would help.  

Typical government.  You know, I'll bet if couple was a cop, or a member of the city council, or they could prove neighbor voted for Trump or something, there'd be some action against neighbor.  I'm just saying.

Anyway, one day, husband has had it and as dog is doing its thing, husband pops dog - mid-dooty - with his .22 rifle.  Neighbor flips out and calls the cops.  Cops come, arrest husband and charge him with (among other things) a violation of California Penal Code 597.

The problem husband was now dealing with is that if convicted of Penal Code 597 as a misdemeanor, he could be looking at up to one year in prison and a maximum $20,000 fine.  If convicted as a felony, the penalty is up to 3 years in prison and the $20,000 maximum fine - all because of an inconsiderate neighbor.

Anyway, at wits end, couple is in front of me asking what they can do.

First thing they can do is hire an attorney.  As it turned out while they were relating their story of woe, a criminal attorney was standing not 10 feet away - so they got his card (and scheduled an appointment).

Second thing they can do is get educated on what they're dealing with.  So, I suggested they take a look at:


Sometimes you can't win for losing.  Good thing there are county law libraries (and, by extension, county law Librarians) waiting to help you get to your zen state of mind.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Word of the Month for June 2018: Respondeat Superior

just another crazy bitch
Have you ever run into someone who was looking for a lawsuit?  I'm betting you have but just didn't know it.

Here's a tip: they are critical of everything and hang on your every word. Heck, they might even write down everything you say (and hold it against you later).

Such was the scenario I had the other day. Lady comes in hotter than Arizona asphalt in August. Seems Lady's neighbor has a wiener dog that barks "all the time; day and night."  

At wits end, Lady is mad as Hades, isn't going to take it anymore, and is looking to exact some righteous retribution against neighbor.  

Right off the bat, I start thinking out loud and she starts writing down what I'm saying and demands I slow down. "Repeat what you just said," she screeched.  

While most things that come out of my mouth is pure scripture, I'm not about to repeat anything that can be used against me and so I said I can't remember (which is kinda true; I mean, who really pays attention to what they say when they're thinking out loud?).  Regardless, Lady flips out and demands to see my boss. 

Of course, this brings us to our word of the month: RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR.  According to Black's Law Dictionary, RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR
is Latin for "let the superior make answer."  It is the doctrine holding an employer or principal liable for the employee's or agent's wrongful acts committed within the scope of the employment or agency (also termed master-servant rule).
Turned out boss wasn't around and Lady wants to file a complaint against me (well, my employer, anyway) because I can't remember what I just said.  So, to recap, she wants me to help her find resources to sue her neighbor AND resources to sue my employer.  That's like digging a grave so you can lay down in it.  

Well, what would you do?  Well, I dug a grave and dutiful Librarian that I am, suggested she first take a look at:
to work up a complaint against neighbor and the dog.  Then I suggested she take a look at 
to work up a complaint against my employer - because that's how I roll. I help everyone regardless of their level of sanity.

Heck, she doesn't have a chance against neighbor NOR does she have a chance against me.  So, what do you think Lady's gonna do when she unloads on the judge when said judge grants a demurrer in both actions?  

Yeah, those are going to be some hairy fireworks.

Monday, May 28, 2018

This is the guy you want on your team

Beware of the guy with one lawsuit
As a law Librarian, I deal in problems and am a purveyor of solutions.  If you've got a problem, I know where you can go to solve it.  

Small claims? I know four resources that can help you. Bankruptcy?  Pick your chapter and I've got answers. RICO, unlawful detainer, criminal, appeals (civil OR criminal), military justice, estate planning, family law, tax, federal, UCC, real property (commercial or otherwise), contracts, personal injury.  Whatever you need, answers I've got.

So, the other day, a newly minted attorney came into my law library hoping I was all I was hyped up to be.  Turns out he had just accepted a rather messy case.  I mean, it was one of those cases that if he won, it would put him on the map.  If he lost, well....

So, being newly minted and not knowing the ways of the legal world, I introduced him to the world of Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) and showed him all the great things they offered like:
Then I suggested newly minted take a look at the myriad of case and trial prep materials, like
Then I suggested he take a look at some of foundational resources like
Finally, I suggested he take a look at resources that would help when he won his case, like:
and off newly minted attorney went with a gleam in his eye and an understanding that if ever he needed answers, his local county law library (and, by association, his local county law Librarian) was the place to be.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Bait and Switch

Bait and switch
The wife's birthday is coming up and I'm thinking that maybe we head off to Las Vegas to take in a show, have a fun buffet dinner, do a little sightseeing, some nookie...  It's all good.

So, I'm logging onto the website to book a room.  I find a FANTASTIC deal at a posh resort.  I click accept, accept, accept, got to the page that added all the fees annnnnnnnnnnd when I found out that with the added fees and taxes that the fantastic deal at the posh resort wasn't as fantastic as I thought.  In fact, the added fees darn near doubled the initial price.

Yeah, thanks but no thanks.  Dang but I don't know how Vegas stays in business what with all the bait and switches going on.

Imagine if something like this happened in the legal realm.  Take, for example, the lawyer who came into my library the other day.  He had been working to settle a long standing breach of contract case.  

Opposing counsel had originally sent an offer of settlement, lawyer countered with his own proposal and after weeks of negotiations they finally arrived at a figure their clients could both live with.  All that was left was drafting the language in the settlement agreement.

Months of negotiation later and lawyer and opposing counsel were still struggling to get the best language (for their client) in the agreement.  Lawyer would draft an agreement, opposing would oppose and counter with something else.  Back and forth, forth and back.

FINALLY, lawyer and opposing arrive at a final document.  Lawyer shoots off the final agreement to opposing counsel.  Opposing counsel gets his client to sign and date and he sends the signed agreement to lawyer for his client's signature and date.  

Just before lawyer's client signs, lawyer looks through the agreement one last time and notices that opposing counsel unilaterally changed a key provision in the agreement (making the agreement not so much agreeable as it now favored opposing's client in a big way).

Lawyer is livid.  He shot off a "professional" email to opposing counsel stating that they are now opting to go through binding arbitration and lawyer is now wanting information on the how of alternative dispute resolution.

Man, that really sucks!  Reminds me of the time I was offered a great deal in Vegas and then found that that great deal wasn't so great after all.  Well, with lawyer standing in front of me, I suggest he take a look at:
and off lawyer went to plan his revenge, er...case.

Have you ever been double-crossed and are so mad you can't see straight?  Well, head straight on over to your local county law library and we'll help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.