Courtroom Experience

The St. Johns County courtrooms are getting updated—huge TV sets are being installed.  With A/C, big TVs, and plenty of seating, the question is, which courtroom do you want for the Super Bowl? Not every person’s experience in court is as grand as a Super Bowl party.  While the courtrooms are physically comfortable, they can be an intimidating scene.  There are some very serious people who look like they know what they are doing, and there is a guy with a gun. You might not be up for this.  While you have the right to represent yourself in court, you may want to seek competent legal counsel before going in front of that big screen TV and the Judge. Attorneys remove the emotion so their clients can take the necessary steps to move through a legal problem.  A lawyer can reframe the situation into business terms to help you look at the possible choices and consequences.  Furthermore, the more you know about the legal process, the less stress you have about the unknown. 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, […] Read More

Super Bowl & the Hardest Hit Fund

About 14 million people nationwide will call in a ‘Super Bowl sick day’ today.  Even St. Johns County schools have made it a holiday.  But if you are already unemployed and struggling to pay your mortgage, you have a much bigger hangover.  For Florida residents who are unemployed or underemployed, the Hardest Hit Fund may be the headache medicine for their mortgage. The Hardest Hit Fund was an allocation of Federal money given to five states (Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, and Nevada) that had experienced excessive housing market depreciation.  The funds are designated to assist in foreclosure prevention, and targeted at those workers who are unemployed, underemployed, just returning to work, or recovering from underemployment.  The Hardest Hit Fund started in April 2011 statewide in Florida.  It offers foreclosure prevention through two programs: 1. Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMAP) will provide up to 12 months of payments (with a cap of $24,000) to the mortgage lender to assist unemployed or underemployed borrowers with their first mortgage until they can resume full payments on their own. In addition, up to $18,000 can be paid to help satisfy all or some of any past due amounts owed; this assistance will be paid […] Read More

Truth in Advertising

Super Bowl ads cost $4 million per 30-second spot and reached roughly a third of the US population last night.  The loosening of advertising regulations for Florida lawyers, however, came too late for the big game this year. The Florida Bar had petitioned for changes back in July 2011, but the Florida Supreme Court did not issue their decision until January 31, 2013, allowing attorneys to characterize the quality of legal services offered with information about past results.  Attorney advertising, however, must be objectively verifiable.  I cannot necessarily just claim to be “successful,” but I can give numbers of acquittals on criminal cases. I have missed the Super Bowl this year, but as the 49ers are saying:  “There’s always next year!”   Read More