Your Christmas Credit

Christmas comes but once a year…your credit card bill is monthly.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases may accrue interest before the gifts are opened.  Situations happen—medical hardships, job loss, divorce, loss of income, and Christmas—which can affect good bill-paying practices and damage your credit.  The thing is, you can fix it.  If you can talk, text, and chew gum, you can fix your credit score.   For general tips on do-it-yourself credit repair (for free), visit the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov.   And if you are looking to buy a house (even if you have just lost a house to foreclosure), there are local credit counseling programs available that review the problems on your credit report and will help you make a plan to fix those issues.  Visit the St. Johns County Housing and Community Services website at http://www.sjcfl.us (click on “Housing & Community Services”) and the St. Johns Housing Partnership website at http://sjhp.org for more information. Read More

Cyber Monday…And Beyond

Welcome to Cyber Monday. You only have 29 shopping days left till Christmas, and less than that to respond to a Foreclosure Lawsuit.  If you have been served Foreclosure Papers, you only have 20 days…that is calendar days, including Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and Festivus.   You cannot just send the Judge a holiday card and hope for a happy new year.  You have to address your situation properly if you want to influence it.  Seek competent legal counsel to review your choices and properly answer, so you can begin your journey towards the best outcome. Read More

Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day! Read More

Legal Spell

Most people do not want to have to hire a lawyer, but eye of newt and toe of frog may not be as effective as good legal counsel to assert your rights…and wool of bat can be hard to come by. Legal proceedings create an environment where tough situations can be debated.  Attorneys remove the spell of emotional distractions, so you can examine the choices and consequences available, and take the necessary steps to move forward through a problem. When better living through witchcraft does not work, sometimes you need to sue somebody.  A lawsuit is not always the answer, but it may be your last legal option. Have a safe and happy Halloween! Read More

Horror Zone

Unsupervised teenagers can wind up in court.  “We were just hanging out…” those words coming from a juvenile defendant can be as menacing as “It was a dark and stormy night.” For a scare that does not involve judges, armed bailiffs, or incarceration, check out the Horror Zone (http://www.horror-zone.net/index.html ), put on by the Sheriff’s Office of St. Johns County, located next to my office in the Lewis Point Plaza.  It is a safe place to be scared, and it beats talking to me or any defense attorney about a juvenile crime. Read More

Stern, Madoff, & Cladek – Where Are They Now?

Here are a few figures who used to make headlines (and money)…not so much anymore:  David Stern, Bernie Madoff, and Lydia Cladek.  The masks they wore to hide their fraudulent features have obscured them from public decency. If you are looking for a Halloween costume, a robo-signer festooned by David Stern is pretty scary—signing off on home foreclosures without even glancing at the files, trampling like a zombie through paperwork that would part people from their homes.  In lawsuits filed this year, Stern is the defendant against his partner firm, DJSP Enterprises, as well as against a class action brought by his former employees for lack of adequate notice when they were all fired in 2010 prior to the collapse of Stern’s business in 2011. The Bernie Madoff mask would be a fright with his trick-and-no-treat Ponzi scheme on the scale of $20 billion in fraud to investors.  Madoff is currently occupied serving his 150-year prison sentence.  Though he claimed he acted alone, his brother, Peter Madoff, plead guilty this summer to conspiracy and falsifying records in the scheme, which raises suspicion of further family involvement, including his wife, daughter, and remaining son.  Furthermore, prosecutors have dug back to the […] Read More

Celebrating My Bar Day

My view of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) used to be that first-time offenders should serve on the firing squad for the second-time offenders.  After becoming a lawyer, though, I recognize there are flaws in our system.  Law School has not made me so much a lawyer as it has helped me see things I could not see before. Currently the only way we have to encourage prevention of DUI is through enforcement of law.  The problem is that sometimes enforcement is aimed incorrectly or improperly.  Nobody wants to have to call a lawyer, but sometimes having an attorney by your side can really help. The key to a DUI defense is to get legal counsel and get it quickly because there are deadlines that have to be met in order to protect your rights.  A competent defense attorney can help you work out a proper resolution while protecting your rights.  Today is my fourth anniversary practicing law, but I am not planning to celebrate Lindsay Lohan-style. Read More

Ceremony of Remembrance in St. Augustine

The annual observance of 9/11 in St. Augustine starts at 8:30 this morning at the Main Fire Station on 101 Malaga Street.  For more information, use the following link to the City of St. Augustine website http://www.ci.st-augustine.fl.us/the-city/featured-stories-archive/CeremofRem2012.cfm. Read More

DUI & A Fine Labor Day

Some bars are better than others.  The best kind of bars are the ones where you can leave of your own freewill in a taxi. A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) involves a Fine and Labor.  For first offenders, it is a $500 minimum fine and at least 50 hours of community service (which can be translated into a dollar amount in some cases), plus an arrest record and other details.  And that is just for the first timers.  For more details on Florida DUI and Administrative Suspension Laws, go to http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/duilaws.html. Have a safe and happy Labor Day! Read More

Memorial Day

Thanks to those who have given their lives in the past so that “We The People” may carry forward the freedom and justice our country enjoys. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day. Read More