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

Some Things You Can Fix…Some You Cannot

Sometimes there are no great solutions.  Sometimes “solutions” do not work.  However, competent legal counsel can help reveal options open to you and help you pursue them.  And sometimes just knowing what could happen next in the legal process can help you prepare and deal with outcomes as they occur. Talking to an attorney does not have to be a frightening experience, or an expensive one.  Many attorneys offer free consultations (which you can find out with a phone call to their office) or you may be eligible for Legal Aid (depending on your income level). If you think you cannot afford an attorney in a civil case, contact your local Legal Aid office.  Even if you do not qualify for Legal Aid, they have a lot of pamphlets you may find helpful.  You can visit their office at 222 San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine, or call to make an appointment at (904) 827-9921.  The Legal Aid website is http://www.jaxlegalaid.org/home.html.   Read More

Happy Bar-Day to Me!

I have been practicing law for six years as of September 27th.  I enjoy being an attorney and having the education and knowledge to help people through a legal problem.  If I say so myself:  Happy Bar-Day to Me! If I had never been Barred, well then what would I do? If I had never been Barred, well then what would I be? I might be a title agent, Or a toad in a tree, I might be a doorknob, Or working for Stephen, I might be a bag full of regret getting even. Or worse than all that…Why I might be a WASN’T! A Wasn’t has no fun at all.  No, he doesn’t. A Wasn’t just isn’t…with no Notice of Appearance. But I…I AM I!  Without presence of malfeasance! Today I am I!  That is truer than a lie! There is no one living who is me-er than I! I am lucky to be what I am! Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or a ham Or a dusty old jar of David Stern’s jam! I am an attorney!  That’s a great thing to be! If I say so myself, HAPPY BAR-DAY TO ME! Read More

‘Shark’ Dressed Man

This is my birthday week, and I get to do a couple of my favorite things:  practice law and play music. Probably the judges are not going to throw me a party, and they are not going to rule in my favor just because it is my birthday.  That is okay.  The best present from the legal system is for it to work like it is supposed to with everybody following the same rules, the fair chance for both sides to be heard, and a decision to be made (even if I lose).  The thing I like about being an attorney is helping people, and I am glad to have the education and knowledge to do so. In addition to being an attorney, I am also a musician in a band called Old Enough-2-Know Better (OE-2-KB).  We have a lot of fun and I enjoy playing live for an audience; I even sneak in a little ZZ Top sometimes.  If you would like to see OE-2-KB, we will be at Gypsy Cab’s Corner Bar on Wednesday, September 17 at 7:30 pm, and at the Island Restaurant in Palatka September 19 also at 7:30 pm.  For more information about the band, […] Read More

Times Change…So Do Laws

Students used to drive their trucks to school with the gun rack in the back and the gun in the rack when I was in high school.  Times have changed, and our attitudes about certain things have changed also.  Our laws evolve to reflect those changes. There are a number of good reasons for you to have an attorney for a legal matter.  An up-to-date knowledge of the law (and responsibility towards it) is another good reason to seek competent legal counsel.  Your attorney can help make you aware of the law and any recent changes to it. Read More

Shark Week

Lawyers are a special class.  Legal work often falls between death and taxes, aligning lawyers with the inevitable and overpriced, and so lawyers enjoy such titles as “weasel” or “shark” or “blood sucking attorney.”  Those terms can make for humorous attorney jokes, and sometimes we deserve some of that reputation.  However, when you are in trouble, whether it is civil or criminal, you want the best weasel or shark or blood sucking attorney you can find to obtain the best result possible under the circumstances. I enjoy being an attorney.  I enjoy helping people, and I am glad to have the education and knowledge to do so.  Law School has not made me so much a lawyer as it has helped me see things I could not see before. Read More

The Three D’s & Our Public Defenders

Attorneys deal in the three D’s—Debt, Death, and Divorce.  Generally those are not happy circumstances and so lawyers enjoy such titles as “weasel” or “shark” or “blood sucking attorney.”  Those terms can make for humorous attorney jokes, and sometimes we deserve some of that reputation.  However, when you are in trouble, whether it is civil or criminal, you want the best weasel or shark or blood sucking attorney you can find to obtain the best result possible under the circumstances.  Our Public Defenders are not the least of these. Legal Counsel is so necessary in a criminal case that if a defendant cannot afford counsel, the State provides counsel without fee.  Contrary to what some people believe, attorneys working in the Public Defenders office are not attorneys who received bad grades in law school or could not find jobs elsewhere.  They are some of the best public servants we have.  They cannot pick and chose their cases.  They take all qualified applicants regardless of the charge or defendant.  They are also in Court working criminal cases with the State Attorney’s office almost every day.   Read More

Deals & Disasters in Distressed Real Estate

Distressed real estate is trending—properties raked with pockmarks of missed mortgage payments, taken over by banks and sold at the foreclosure steps, or slipped into short sales. There are deals to be had, but just because the price is right does not necessarily mean the deal is.  Financial disasters come cheap too. You may want to bring an attorney along to make sure you get what you think you are getting.  Typically an attorney represents the person writing the check to that attorney.  To ensure your rights and interests are represented, BYOL (Bring Your Own Lawyer)—someone who understands the process and the terms and can explain them to you, and who legally act on your behalf. Remember, just because a deal is risky does not mean you should necessarily not take it, but you should be aware of what the risks are.   Read More

Cost of a Contract

What does a lawsuit cost?  Money.  No job too small, no fee too big.  Often it is cheaper to hire an attorney to review a contract before it is signed than to represent you in a lawsuit after the ink is dry. According to the Statute of Frauds, certain contracts must be in writing.  Those include:  real estate contracts, any contract that cannot be performed within one year, a lease of more than a year, if you take someone else’s debt, and for a sale of goods for more than $500. If you do not understand the terms of a contract, find an attorney who does, and who can explain them to you.  Do not just rely on the other party’s lawyer, but get your own legal counsel who only represents your interest. You cannot assume things are right.  If you want to protect yourself, you have to take care of business.  Sometimes that means hiring your own lawyer. Read More

The Air of an Attorney

Sometimes you just need an attorney to show up.  Not every case is resolved in a court battle.  Some conflicts get resolved as soon as a guy in a suit shows up…and before any paperwork is filed.  Tomorrow I will be showing up on the radio—Newstalk 1240 AM WFOY—from 8 to 9 in the morning. Tune in for a discussion of legal matters and real estate-related issues.  There are no legal fees, and you can listen for free on the radio or live at http://www.1240news.com. Read More