Saturday, September 21, 2013

You just never know

you just never knowI can't count the number of times people have come up to me claiming that never in their wildest dreams would they ever imagine they'd find themselves in a law library.  Just the other day a little old lady came into our library.  Seems her homeowner's association had contracted with a guy to do some work.  Work completed and contractor paid, contractor came back wanting MORE money.  When the association rebuffed him, he filed suit for his MORE money and the judge dismissed the case.

That's where things get interesting.  See, contractor knew he didn't have a case but he was...well, he wanted MORE money.  So, what he did was hire another attorney who proceeded to file the same lawsuit against each and every homeowner.  FORGET that the initial contract was between contractor and association.  FORGET that none of the individual homeowners were a party to the initial contract.  Enter little old lady - she's one of the homeowners who got sued and she's desparate for help and in her deparation she tells me:
  • that she's never been sued before; 
  • that she's never needed to do legal research; 
  • that she's never been in a courtroom; 
  • that never in her wildest dreams would she have ever thought she would have need of a law library 
One of the reasons I got into law and librarianship was because I got tired of seeing the little guy get smushed.  So, I guided little old lady over to California Civil Practice: Procedure (West), California Civil Procedure Before Trial (CEB) and American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms (West), opened the books to the chapters she needed (as they related to responding to a contracts, common counts, and demurrer).  Notwithstanding little old lady's unfamiliarity with law and legal things, she was able to locate the information she needed and was out the door in little under an hour.  Yep, she was just that slick.

It makes my insides all warm inside when I'm able to help someone and uplift the downtrodden.  Even if you don't think you'll never need a law library OR will ever need to do legal research OR that you'll ever be sued OR can ever see yourself inside a courtroom, know that your local county law Librarian(s) will be waiting to help you when you do/are/am in need of a little legal research guidance.