Happy Holidays

Have safe and happy holidays! Read More

Happy Bill of Rights Day

Two hundred and twenty-four years ago the Bill of Rights was ratified on this day.  The Bill of Rights is made up of those first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, granting things like freedom of speech, jury trial, protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and many other useful rights.  These rights have been around awhile now and they may seem intuitive today, but the history of the Bill of Rights was anything but straightforward. Ironically the Bill of Rights was never actually a “Bill” in Congress.  It got called that because England had passed a “Bill of Rights” a hundred years earlier.  Some felt these rights should have been included in the Constitution.  Others did not think we needed this Bill of Rights at all because states would have their own bill of rights.  Originally there were seventeen amendments, but the Senate rejected some and combined others.  Furthermore, some states did not accept the Bill of Rights right away.  Massachusetts did not get around to ratifying the Bill of Rights until 1939 (two years before President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be “Bill of Rights Day”). Today we celebrate the Bill of Rights, but every day […] Read More

Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day! Read More

Christmas Countdown & Court Deadlines

Today is Thursday, November 19; you have 36 shopping days left until Christmas.  If you have been served a home Foreclosure Summons, you have even fewer days than that to respond, and if you have been served a Three-Day Notice to Pay or Quit at your rental unit, you have even less time. Once you receive a Foreclosure Summons, you only have 20 days to file a response or you could be defaulted in the case.  Note:  those are 20 calendar days as the crow flies, not around weekends and holidays.  The clock is ticking through Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and Festivus. By contrast, Landlord-Tenant Law works off the courthouse calendar, not Wal-Mart hours.  Landlord notices come in increments of less than ten days.  Because that is such a short amount of time, the court does not count holidays or weekends to allow the tenant time to get things done.  Plus it is harder for a tenant to pay a landlord on holidays and weekends when banks are closed.  Thus in renter eviction, holidays and weekends do not count in notices. Regardless of how many shopping days you have left, if you received a Foreclosure Summons or Three-Day Notice, the clock […] Read More

Evicting Dr. Frankenstein

Dr. Frankenstein was a terrible tenant.  There were strange smells, late night excavations, and complaints from undertakers about missing corpses.  Furthermore, Dr. Frankenstein never paid his rent.  His landlord was fed up and wanted Dr. Frankenstein out. What the landlord did not know was that Dr. Frankenstein was conducting his greatest experiment, a matter of life and death!  Dr. Frankenstein was building a superhuman with the legs of a running back, the arms of a weightlifter, and the head of a law professor.  Just at the moment when Dr. Frankenstein was going to unite the various body parts with a surge of electrical current, the landlord shut the power off. However, also at that moment a storm was approaching.  Dr. Frankenstein hoisted the lifeless collection of body parts to the highest point of his rental property, and then tied a kite to his creation. Sure enough—SHAAA-ZAMMO! Lightning struck with ten thousand times the voltage that would have come from  Dr. Frankenstein’s washer/dryer outlet, and behold…the creature came to life!  With superhuman strength and the madness only possessed by law professors and judges who’ve sat on the bench too long, the creature took off in a rampage, destroying everything in its […] Read More

Squatters Rights in Dracula’s Castle

Once upon a time just before dawn, Dracula stretched into his coffin for a long nap.  Exhausted from flapping as a bat, he was ready for an extended rest, undisturbed by a steak plunged in his heart, or gunfire with silver ammo, and certainly he wanted no part of smelly garlic.  He closed the lid to his coffin and went fast to sleep. On Halloween, a Pirate knocked at Dracula’s castle door.  “Trick or treat?” said the Pirate, but there was no answer.  The Pirate knocked again, louder this time, but again there was no answer.  After the third time, the Pirate let himself in to look for candy. He opened the door to Dracula’s castle and what he found was a bounty of grandiose treasure—lavishly appointed, the luxurious layout held spectacular views in all directions.  Why would anyone ever want to leave? thought the Pirate, though indeed no one seemed to be at home, and given the state of the cobwebs, no one had been there in quite some time.  So the Pirate wholesale moved in.  He started paying the utilities and got the tax bill put in his name. This went on for seven years, until one night […] Read More

Happy Birthday…To Me!

Not everyone would want to be in court on their birthday, or dealing with serious legal matters.  Not everyone is me. Probably the judges are not going to throw me a party today, or rule in my favor just because it is my birthday, but I enjoy being an attorney and having the education and knowledge to help people through a legal problem. Not everyone would want to be onstage playing and singing, but I enjoy that too.  My brother, Stephen, and I are in a band called Old Enough-2-Know Better, and we play tonight at Gypsy Cab’s Corner Bar starting at 7:00 p.m.  You are welcome to come join the party.   Read More

Happy Labor Day…And 450th

In 1894 Grover Cleveland signed the bill for Labor Day and we have been celebrating with a day off the first Monday in September ever since.  In 1565 Pedro Menendez founded the City of St. Augustine and somebody has claimed homestead here ever since. Happy Labor Day to the United States, and Happy 450th to the City of St. Augustine.    Read More

Happy Birthday USA

The first 4th of July fireworks were set off in 1777 in Philadelphia and in Boston.  They have been trending ever since.  Pioneers in the West took it up a notch and used dynamite.  Finally “safe and sane” vocabulary was introduced into Independence Day celebrations in the early 1900’s, when the American Medical Association began tracking holiday casualties.  Today that translates into the promotion of sports, games, contests, and musical performances—all of which will be part of the St. Augustine South 4th of July Festival, including the band I play in, OE-2-KB (Old Enough-2-Know Better) performing live.  The Festival is from 4:00 p.m. till fireworks on July 4, just north of the Doug Crane Boat Ramp (1039 Shore Drive, St. Augustine). Have a safe and happy 4th of July! Read More

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day!   Read More