Suits Happen

My band, OE-2-KB (Old Enough-2-Know Better) does a Weird Al Yankovic song called “I’ll Sue Ya.” (I sing it.)  “I’ll Sue Ya” is not on our playlist, but we do it by request…sometimes that is how lawsuits happen. For $400 anybody can sue anybody for anything (just about).  Just because you get sued is not necessarily a bad reflection on you; it could be the stupidity of the plaintiff.  However, whether or not the plaintiff is stupid (or lying), legal representation can help you present your case for the best possible outcome. Competent legal representation can help defend against stupidity, ignorance, and dishonesty.  Despite the invalidity of the case, a good legal defense can help you assert your rights properly.   Read More

The Judge’s Pants

For $400 anybody can sue anybody for anything (just about)…that does not mean you should.  One judge lost his pants in a lawsuit against his dry cleaner. Ever wonder why judges wear robes? Pearson v. Chung is the cautionary fail of an Administrative Law Judge who sued his dry cleaner for $67 million over a lost pair of pants.  He later reduced the suit to $54 million, asking for $500,000 in attorney’s fees, $2 million for “discomfort, inconvenience, and mental distress,” and $51.5 million to help other dissatisfied customers sue area businesses. He lost. Not only did the court rule against Judge Pearson, he was not recommended for a ten-year term as an Administrative Law Judge partly because his “pants suit” demonstrated a lack of “judicial temperament.” Meanwhile, though the dry cleaner won the suit, they lost their dry cleaning store.  They would up in the fund-raising business to cover legal costs in excess of $80,000, not to mention time away from work. Litigation is fun, but it is costly, and sometimes if you win you lose.  Seek competent legal counsel before you decide to pull $400 out of your pocket to sue someone.   Read More

With Prejudice & Without

Having a case dismissed ‘with prejudice’ is not necessarily a racial slur.  Having a case dismissed ‘without  prejudice’ does not necessarily mean the fight is over… ‘without prejudice’ means the plaintiff can re-file a suit on the same claim against you. So you get your credit card debt case dismissed.  Good for you, but if it were dismissed without prejudice, it can come back to haunt you.  The debt collector can re-file the lawsuit, which costs him money, but offers him the opportunity to be better organized to pursue the matter.  That is bad news for you, but gives you time to get your finances in better order. From the consumer’s side, the case dismissed with prejudice is preferable, but even if it is dismissed without prejudice, while you wait for the plaintiff to re-file, you have time to save money, get a better job, or win the lottery to be ready to face the court again…and if the debt collector does not re-file, then you have built a stronger financial outlook.   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

Legal Problems Big & Little

Forty-four cents is not a bad deal.  If you can solve a problem with a postage stamp, that is a lot less expensive than delivery by Process Server. Sometimes that is all it takes—something simple like a letter or just to have an attorney show up—to stop the necessity for further action.  If you start with the simple attempts you may be able to avoid the more complicated (and expensive) tries. In some legal problems, the earlier you address the matter properly, the more choices you have available to you.  Often the longer you wait, the larger the problem becomes, the fewer options you have to resolve it, and the more it is going to cost you.  If you seek legal counsel early on, you may be able to aim towards a better case scenario (rather than the most expensive outcome). A letter is a lot cheaper than a lawsuit.  You may want to talk to an attorney to try to “stamp out” a problem before it becomes part of a legal procedure. Read More