Monday, August 14, 2017

It's the Little Things

So obvious I can't see it
Once upon a time I had a laptop computer that was giving me trouble.  Seems no matter how long I had the computer plugged in, the battery wouldn't charge. Sometimes, even with a full charge (and right in the middle of a presentation), my laptop computer would just turn off.

Luckily the computer was on warranty.  So, first I had the power ports replaced, then all the ports (USB, HDMI, everything) were replaced, then they replaced the power cord, the keyboard and, the day before the warranty was to expire, they replaced the motherboard.  Nothing helped.

One day, I was in a computer repair shop.  The guy across the counter was talking to a customer who sounded like he had the same problem I did. Then the repair guy said, "Did you remove the battery and run straight off the power cord?"  

Wait.  Remove the battery?  If I remove the battery, then I can't move around.  Turns out, that was the problem.  I removed the battery and the laptop worked fine.  Problem solved.

This, of course, reminded me of a guy who came into the library a while back.  Seems he had filed his complaint, got past the summary judgment and demurrers and was flying through discovery.  When the other side (defendant) would not release documents he had requested, Guy filed a Motion to Compel Discovery and lost.  What?!? he screamed at me. How could I have lost?!??!  Stupid judges!  Stupid lawyers! Stupid "justice" system!

I asked, 
  • Did you do any research before you filed your motion?
  • Did you file a "complete" motion (notice and motion, declaration, points and authorities, order)?  
  • Did you locate case law and/or codes and include them in your points and authorities?
  • Did you Shepardize your cases and codes to see if they were still "good" law (which you/he could then cite in a motion)?"

"Shepardize?" he asked. "What does it mean to Shepardize?"  Doh!  


Turns out he had not Shepardized his research.  Had he done so, he would have found that the only case he cited in his motion had been overruled (a BIG no no to cite an overrulled case).  So, the judge and the lawyers and the "justice" system weren't stupid, he, on the other hand was,...uh....well.....

I guess the moral to this story is, if you think you've covered all your bases and still can't figure out where you went wrong, maybe it's time to call in the experts.  That's right. When next you get in a bind with all things legal, why not head on over to your local county law Library and see if we can't help you see where things went awry.