Sweet Home

Just as the Gator defense kept Alabama from gaining yardage in the SEC Championship game, foreclosure defense may be able to assist in loss of credit in a home foreclosure.  You are not going to win the case, but you are not going to lose as much credit as you would without a defense.  Furthermore, unlike the Florida-Alabama game, a legal defense may be able to bring about a different outcome. In court, there is a winner and there is a loser, just like a football game, but with a foreclosure defense, you may be able to achieve an alternative outcome before the foreclosure case has the chance to finish. A foreclosure defense addresses the legal aspect of the case, asking the plaintiff to prove their case, and while the plaintiff is occupied with that proof, the homeowner has the opportunity to pursue a foreclosure alternative, such as a mortgage modification or a short sale.  A foreclosure defense is not a denial of the debt, but it may be able to do something different with the way that debt is handled, something that brings a better benefit to the homeowner. “Sweet Home Alabama” is probably not the most popular song […] Read More

Face the Music – Process Servers & Local Band OE-2-KB

There is no good time to be served a lawsuit, but some moments are better than others.  You do not want to be out on a date, listening to a local band and receive service of process.  The best time to face the music starts when the process server first appears. Service of Process is personal delivery of notice that a lawsuit is filed against you, and an invitation for you to respond.  It is the court’s way of gaining jurisdiction over a matter and making sure that everyone involved is informed. While it may not be good news for you, it is better than no news.  Nobody wants a surprise lawsuit with no chance at defense.  Furthermore, the faster you address the issue, the sooner it can start to be resolved. If you owe money, probably you know it is coming.  You can control the scene by accepting Service of Process at your door, instead of at a time and place inconvenient to your schedule and dignity.  The sooner you face the music, the sooner the song can be played out, and you can avoid an awkward encounter elsewhere. For a fun way to face the music, come see […] Read More

NBD & Contract Law

Last summer the band I am in OE-2-KB (“Old Enough-2-Know Better”) played an outdoor venue on the St. Johns River.  We were worried about rain, but that was not the problem.  We just happened to be there the one night a million blind mosquitoes hatched.  It was no big deal—or in text-speak “NBD”—except we could not continue playing.  The blind mosquitoes did not bite, but I had a page of my music stuck together with dead bug bodies.  We had bugs in our music, in our mouths, and in our instruments.  Similarly, in an agreement between friends, what seems like NBD, can become a bigger deal than expected. It is no big deal…until it is.   You do not go into business with someone you think you are going to have to sue, but misunderstanding is a quick remedy to friendship, especially with a spoken contract.  If you are doing business with someone, go ahead and write it down.  Then you both have a record to refer back to, and specified remedies if there is a breach of contract. Contracts take the mystery out of a situation.  They specify an action for every event.  In other words, they are made to […] 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

Old Enough to Know Better

Are you old enough to know better? Did you do it anyway? The phrase, “old enough to know better,” applies to a lot of DUI defendants.  Just because you are old enough to know better does not mean you lack rights, however.  People can make mistakes at any age, but one bad decision does not have to necessarily lead to another. A DUI charge means you probably got caught and there is evidence against you.  It is a conviction with fingerprinting and a criminal record.  However, you do not have to put yourself in a worse position by shutting down choices.  Seek legal counsel for the best possible outcome of a bad situation.  A defense attorney can properly assert your rights and work with prosecutors to find an appropriate resolution. Old Enough-2-Know Better is the name of the band I am in with my brother, Stephen.  We are Old Enough-2-Know Better, but we enjoy playing and singing anyway!  If you would like to hear us live, we will be in Palatka tonight at the Island Restaurant at 7:30 pm. 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

McDonald’s Coffee Case – Rumors & Realities

Rumor has it that Ms. Liebeck got $2.86 million in the coffee case against McDonald’s.  That is the amount the jury awarded; however, the judge knocked it down. Ms. Liebeck had tried to settle with Mickey D’s initially for as little as $20,000; however, as settlement attempts continued to fail, the case went to trial and the jury awarded punitive damages equal to two days’ worth of coffee revenues.  However, what most people do not hear about is that the trial court reduced the punitive damages to $480,000.  Both sides appealed, and they settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, rumored less than $600,000. Just because you are awarded money in a lawsuit that does not mean the check is inked for that amount.  Huge awards do not always come out that way.  Furthermore, we may never know the difference between rumor and reality in the McDonald’s coffee case since it settled out of court.   Our band, Old Enough-2-Know Better (OE-2-KB), does a cover of “Rumor Has It.”  To view a sample, go to https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=685169851517481.  Rumor has it that is me in the background with the bass. Read More

Good, Free Resources Regarding Foreclosure

Eddie Van Halen played the guitar on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” and he did it for free.  Sometimes you get what you pay for…and sometimes you get a whole lot more.  If you need solutions to home foreclosure more than a guitar solo, then good, free, local resources include the following: St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP) SJHP is non-profit agency whose services are offered to the public regardless of income.  They work with borrowers living in million dollar homes as well as those eligible for Legal Aid.  Their HUD certified counselors are sensitive to what their clients are going through, and they are knowledgeable and experienced negotiating with lenders on a loan modification that works for everybody.  SJHP does a background check on their clients without waiting for the bank to do one.  They get good results because they do the homework ahead of time.  There is no way to predict how long a mortgage modification will take, but you have a better chance to a permanent solution with SJHP. To learn more about St. Johns Housing Partnership, contact them at (904) 819-1266 (www.sjhp.org ). Mortgage modification is a very good idea in concept.  SJHP may be able to make […] Read More