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Figured this was the place to post and Woz-relevant. I got called in for jury duty yesterday, and wound up, after waiting all day, to be the in the preliminary jury selection for a multi-count, multi-person child sex abuse case. I somehow managed to claim hardship and not have to serve due to prior and ongoing matters I'll refrain from discussing. But they said the case would go to November. Does that sound in any way right? Sounded like my year was gone with this case, not to mention any hope I had of happiness. Anyway, it was a not guilty plea, which I found interesting, too. I figured most people plead those things out these days. Anyway, just a little legal anecdote from the other side.

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3 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Figured this was the place to post and Woz-relevant. I got called in for jury duty yesterday, and wound up, after waiting all day, to be the in the preliminary jury selection for a multi-count, multi-person child sex abuse case. I somehow managed to claim hardship and not have to serve due to prior and ongoing matters I'll refrain from discussing. But they said the case would go to November. Does that sound in any way right? Sounded like my year was gone with this case, not to mention any hope I had of happiness. Anyway, it was a not guilty plea, which I found interesting, too. I figured most people plead those things out these days. Anyway, just a little legal anecdote from the other side.

November means a 2-3 week trial (most courts only have trial 4 days a week to allow 1 day for a motion calendar).   That's not that long for a multi-party case with multiple claims.   Most of my cases, which are semi-complex civil issues, last 4-6 weeks.

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1 hour ago, -fish- said:

November means a 2-3 week trial (most courts only have trial 4 days a week to allow 1 day for a motion calendar).   That's not that long for a multi-party case with multiple claims.   Most of my cases, which are semi-complex civil issues, last 4-6 weeks.

Yeah, I thought that seemed brief. They did not meet Friday, as you said. Anyway, it was a long day yesterday. I can't imagine what it is like for others involved. My adrenaline upon hearing the charges went into overdrive. Scary, serious stuff.

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4 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Yeah, I thought that seemed brief. They did not meet Friday, as you said. Anyway, it was a long day yesterday. I can't imagine what it is like for others involved. My adrenaline upon hearing the charges went into overdrive. Scary, serious stuff.

Don't know how Woz and others that do criminal stuff can compartmentalize that stuff.   Every once in a while a judge will squeeze in a civil motion during a criminal trial and we'll walk into a courtroom with exhibits strewn all over...things that as a father of a daughter I'd rather never see.   Makes my stomach turn, and makes me grateful that all I do is move a bunch of money from insurance companies to people with whom I have no emotional investment.  

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On 10/11/2019 at 8:00 PM, -fish- said:

Settled a case recently through mediation and entered into an enforceable agreement signed by the lawyers for the parties (but not the parties), with terms that included a final settlement to be drafted, and if there is some dispute the mediator arbitrates and makes final decisions as to the terms.   The mediation agreement included all of the material terms.   This happens all the time and is governed by a Civil Rule, and only once have I seen someone have to go to arbitration, and that was on an ambiguous term.

Other side sent over a ridiculous proposed agreement that doesn't resemble the settlement and has pages and pages of just extraneous information, including outright lies.   They have no explanation as to why they think any of the material terms of the settlement should be changed. We now have to arbitrate this with the mediator and have him make final determinations as to what the terms will be.   On a Saturday.  I hate these guys.

I had one of those!  Then the other side's guy stopped paying, we eventually moved to dismiss for failure to prosecute and it was granted.

I hated that guy, too.

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I am acting COO/CFO for a small company based in Silicon Valley.  The CEO hired an independent contractor without board approval (I am also on the board) and signed a performance based contract worth about 2% of the company.  There are three levels of performance each worth 1/3 of the contract.  The first vests with the company getting sold and the other two work off of that.  The IC wrote an amendment to the contract removing all performance metrics and simply granting him the options.  The CEO had someone sign it without reading it yesterday.  I got hold of it today and informed the CEO what he had signed and he was pissed.  I got the IC on the phone and he confirmed that he amended the contract without talking to the CEO and I told him calmly but very firmly that he needed to send me a new amendment with the original performance metrics.  He balked once and then caved.  Shame on us for signing a contract without reading it but he played very dirty pool.

 

Edited to clarify

Edited by chet
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2 hours ago, chet said:

I am acting COO/CFO for a small company based in Silicon Valley.  The CEO hired an independent contractor without board approval (I am also on the board) and signed a performance based contract worth about 2% of the company.  There are three levels of performance each worth 1/3 of the contract.  The first vests with the company getting sold and the other two work off of that.  He wrote an amendment to the contract removing all performance metrics and simply granting him the options.  The CEO had someone sign it without reading it yesterday.  I got hold of it today and informed the CEO what he had signed and he was pissed.  I got the IC on the phone and he confirmed that he amended the contract without talking to the CEO and I told him calmly but very firmly that he needed to send me a new amendment with the original performance metrics.  He balked once and then caved.  Shame on us for signing a contract without reading it but he played very dirty pool.

Your CEO sounds like an idiot.

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36 minutes ago, FBG26 said:

I've got a phone screening interview for an in-house patent role next week! Haven't interviewed in a number of years, so I'm excited but also nervous. 

Good luck.   Phone screening sounds great.   No need for pants.

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20 hours ago, chet said:

I am acting COO/CFO for a small company based in Silicon Valley.  The CEO hired an independent contractor without board approval (I am also on the board) and signed a performance based contract worth about 2% of the company.  There are three levels of performance each worth 1/3 of the contract.  The first vests with the company getting sold and the other two work off of that.  The IC wrote an amendment to the contract removing all performance metrics and simply granting him the options.  The CEO had someone sign it without reading it yesterday.  I got hold of it today and informed the CEO what he had signed and he was pissed.  I got the IC on the phone and he confirmed that he amended the contract without talking to the CEO and I told him calmly but very firmly that he needed to send me a new amendment with the original performance metrics.  He balked once and then caved.  Shame on us for signing a contract without reading it but he played very dirty pool.

 

Edited to clarify

Board could always limit his authority to sign things like this (require two signatures, etc.).  

Edited by Redwes25
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18 hours ago, chet said:
18 hours ago, -fish- said:

Your CEO sounds like an idiot.

He's Nobel Prize smart, but yes, we need to protect him from moves like this.

Isn't there another role than can be created for him rather than CEO? To me, being CEO requires some business acumen.

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2 hours ago, chet said:

He's the founder and biggest shareholder and we are selling the company.

I have a friend whom the investors made CEO and moved a very similar figure out of CEO and into a made up "Founder" role to focus on the tech and not the running of the business. Helped them close a big round.

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7 hours ago, FBG26 said:

I've got a phone screening interview for an in-house patent role next week! Haven't interviewed in a number of years, so I'm excited but also nervous. 

When you want an outside sounding board, feel free to call on Oats anytime. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

any criminal defense attorneys in here?

thoughts on theoretical federal sentences if someone theoretically got arrested for drug conspiracy charges where medium-large quantities of a certain powdery substance were transported across state lines and that someone theoretically got arrested with drugs, cash and a weapon?

do any outstanding state charges factor in?

 

Edited by mr. furley
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Hi lawyerguys,

I'm assuming at least some of you have seen the tree thread.

Quick question(s):

I reached out to 2 different attorneys on Friday about this issue. One said it was straight forward, can draft a letter if we need and then lawsuit if that doesn't work. I said thanks and I'd get back to him. 

The other attorney, who seemed interested in the situation, said he'd stop by the property (I think he already did) and wanted any emails/pictures which I sent him. I never spoke to him otherwise aside from the initial 3 minute conversation about the situation.

He just emailed me he got the stuff and will have a letter drafted this morning.

Is that normal? I haven't signed any end engagement letter or even verbally told him I wanted him doing work just yet. Do I end up getting billed for this? I initially just wanted to hear his thoughts on what to do after seeing the information.

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1 hour ago, gianmarco said:

Hi lawyerguys,

I'm assuming at least some of you have seen the tree thread.

Quick question(s):

I reached out to 2 different attorneys on Friday about this issue. One said it was straight forward, can draft a letter if we need and then lawsuit if that doesn't work. I said thanks and I'd get back to him. 

The other attorney, who seemed interested in the situation, said he'd stop by the property (I think he already did) and wanted any emails/pictures which I sent him. I never spoke to him otherwise aside from the initial 3 minute conversation about the situation.

He just emailed me he got the stuff and will have a letter drafted this morning.

Is that normal? I haven't signed any end engagement letter or even verbally told him I wanted him doing work just yet. Do I end up getting billed for this? I initially just wanted to hear his thoughts on what to do after seeing the information.

Would tell him to hold off on doing work. He starts drafting a letter he is going to bill you for it. Probably will want to bill you for what he has already done. 

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On 11/4/2019 at 9:45 AM, Redwes25 said:

Would tell him to hold off on doing work. He starts drafting a letter he is going to bill you for it. Probably will want to bill you for what he has already done. 

So I called as soon as I posted this.  I did exactly this and he said he already had drafted a letter (which I never asked for).  I told him to hold off on anything else until I spoke with my wife.  Emailed this morning and said we weren't going to retain his services.  He thanked me and just sent me a bill for $300.  Wtf?  I never agreed to any of that.  Is this really how this works?

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12 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

So I called as soon as I posted this.  I did exactly this and he said he already had drafted a letter (which I never asked for).  I told him to hold off on anything else until I spoke with my wife.  Emailed this morning and said we weren't going to retain his services.  He thanked me and just sent me a bill for $300.  Wtf?  I never agreed to any of that.  Is this really how this works?

Ooof

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1 hour ago, arrow1 said:

Ooof

Just spoke to him. He said he had a very different interpretation of our conversation. I explained that was not the case, I never asked for a letter (and wouldn't have since we still had another attorney we were considering).

He agreed to dismiss the bill.

Ugh, how do I avoid anything like this in the future if have to speak to an attorney?

Edited by gianmarco
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18 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Just spoke to him. He said he had a very different interpretation of our conversation. I explained we that was not the case, I never asked for a letter (and wouldn't have since we still had another attorney we were considering).

He agreed to dismiss the bill.

Ugh, how do I avoid anything like this in the future if have to speak to an attorney?

Step 1, don't call this attorney.  

Step 2, Profit!!!

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1 hour ago, gianmarco said:

So I called as soon as I posted this.  I did exactly this and he said he already had drafted a letter (which I never asked for).  I told him to hold off on anything else until I spoke with my wife.  Emailed this morning and said we weren't going to retain his services.  He thanked me and just sent me a bill for $300.  Wtf?  I never agreed to any of that.  Is this really how this works?

No, don’t pay him

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1 hour ago, gianmarco said:

Just spoke to him. He said he had a very different interpretation of our conversation. I explained we that was not the case, I never asked for a letter (and wouldn't have since we still had another attorney we were considering).

He agreed to dismiss the bill.

Ugh, how do I avoid anything like this in the future if have to speak to an attorney?

Generally, you shouldn't have to do anything else, since an ethical attorney will have you sign a fee agreement before performing any work (I believe most states have a rule of professional conduct encouraging attorneys to provide a written fee schedule before performing work).   To be safe, just ask for a fee agreement in the initial consultation, and let them know you'll review it and get back to them before you decide whether to incur any fees.

 

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On 10/18/2019 at 12:37 PM, -fish- said:
On 10/18/2019 at 12:01 PM, FBG26 said:

I've got a phone screening interview for an in-house patent role next week! Haven't interviewed in a number of years, so I'm excited but also nervous. 

Good luck.   Phone screening sounds great.   No need for pants.

And on to the in-person interviews. Bring it! 

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4 hours ago, Poke_4_Life said:

Holy hell...  don't make up a family death emergency and then double triple quadruple down on the lie to the judge.  

I learned early on, as I think most lawyers do, to always always always own your mistakes, fall on your sword, don't blame your staff, accept full consequences immediately, apologize to the Court and counsel and ask for forgiveness.  I've had to do that a few times over the past 25 years and it is always appreciated if handled professionally.

 

 

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On 11/7/2019 at 1:22 PM, CletiusMaximus said:

I learned early on, as I think most lawyers do, to always always always own your mistakes, fall on your sword, don't blame your staff, accept full consequences immediately, apologize to the Court and counsel and ask for forgiveness.  I've had to do that a few times over the past 25 years and it is always appreciated if handled professionally.

 

 

I once wrote a supplemental brief to Federal Court when I realized I misquoted a depo transcript. Opposing counsel tried to make hay with it at the next hearing. He ended up being on the receiving end of one of the harshest dressing downs I've seen in court. 

Judge actually held up my supplemental brief, shaking it at the guy, and said "Mr Thorn has fallen on his sword here, what more do you want?"
 

(We won)

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On 11/1/2019 at 2:18 PM, mr. furley said:

any criminal defense attorneys in here?

thoughts on theoretical federal sentences if someone theoretically got arrested for drug conspiracy charges where medium-large quantities of a certain powdery substance were transported across state lines and that someone theoretically got arrested with drugs, cash and a weapon?

do any outstanding state charges factor in?

 

Furley...

Edited by Zow
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On 11/7/2019 at 11:22 AM, CletiusMaximus said:

I learned early on, as I think most lawyers do, to always always always own your mistakes, fall on your sword, don't blame your staff, accept full consequences immediately, apologize to the Court and counsel and ask for forgiveness.  I've had to do that a few times over the past 25 years and it is always appreciated if handled professionally.

 

 

Yep. 100% here. Also saying sorry to clients immediately and owning your mistakes go a long long way. 
 

My biggest mistake I ever made led to a bunch of later referrals b/c I was honest. Ruined the client’s chances on appeal, like absolutely obliterated them, and he will still call. 

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If you don’t already know...this is a pretty fun subreddit https://www.reddit.com/r/bestoflegaladvice/

This is today’s highlight

Quote

 I ####ed up at work and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be sacked. They've invited me in for a meeting where they're going to sack me. They told me I can bring someone to support me.

I want to hire a clown to support me. I'll get him to blow ballon animals and to mime stuff.

Can I do this? Can they stop me?

 

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I absolutely do not want to turn this thread into a political one, and only wish to discuss the legal concept.

There is a vein or artery in my neck and every time someone says "Don't believe hearsay, believe the transcript!" in relation to the impeachment hearings, that vein threatens to explode and kill me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've posted about this before but in order to not provide enough info to identify the case, I'm not going to provide explicit info.  I'd appreciate it if people didn't attempt to "dox" the case.

I'm involved in a case where a judge made a ruling and according to most with knowledge in the area, the judge made a mistake.  The original ruling was over two years ago and everything else in the case has ground to a halt pending resolution of that issue.  Over the summer, the judge heard arguments from both sides in an apparent attempt to make a final ruling on the issue.  Our legal team thought he'd rule in 3 weeks but we've heard nothing ~5 months later.  WTF?  This is more of a vent than a question but I'd appreciate thoughts on this situation.  

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2 minutes ago, chet said:

I've posted about this before but in order to not provide enough info to identify the case, I'm not going to provide explicit info.  I'd appreciate it if people didn't attempt to "dox" the case.

I'm involved in a case where a judge made a ruling and according to most with knowledge in the area, the judge made a mistake.  The original ruling was over two years ago and everything else in the case has ground to a halt pending resolution of that issue.  Over the summer, the judge heard arguments from both sides in an apparent attempt to make a final ruling on the issue.  Our legal team thought he'd rule in 3 weeks but we've heard nothing ~5 months later.  WTF?  This is more of a vent than a question but I'd appreciate thoughts on this situation.  

There are something like 40 superior court judges in the King County Superior Court, which includes Seattle and Bellevue.   One of the judges was appointed by the previous governor, not elected.   He was consistently rated by trial litigators as the worst judge in the county, if not the state.   Every single year.   Quite a feat.   

I had a case where this judge heard arguments on a motion and he said he'd take it under advisement, but was reluctant to rule because he believed by leaving the issue uncertain it would encourage settlement.   Both sides told him that wasn't the case, and that there was no hope of resolving the case until this matter was decided.   He refused to rule for 6 months, despite a joint letter from both sides requesting that he rule.   The truth is, he just didn't understand the issues and he was afraid that yet another one of his rulings would go up on appeal and get reversed.   

We finally petitioned the presiding judge to rule on the issue and reassign us to a different judge.   

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1 hour ago, -fish- said:

There are something like 40 superior court judges in the King County Superior Court, which includes Seattle and Bellevue.   One of the judges was appointed by the previous governor, not elected.   He was consistently rated by trial litigators as the worst judge in the county, if not the state.   Every single year.   Quite a feat.   

I had a case where this judge heard arguments on a motion and he said he'd take it under advisement, but was reluctant to rule because he believed by leaving the issue uncertain it would encourage settlement.   Both sides told him that wasn't the case, and that there was no hope of resolving the case until this matter was decided.   He refused to rule for 6 months, despite a joint letter from both sides requesting that he rule.   The truth is, he just didn't understand the issues and he was afraid that yet another one of his rulings would go up on appeal and get reversed.   

We finally petitioned the presiding judge to rule on the issue and reassign us to a different judge.   

I don't know if it makes a difference, but this judge is a United States district judge.  Who do they answer to?

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10 minutes ago, chet said:

I don't know if it makes a difference, but this judge is a United States district judge.  Who do they answer to?

Some courts have a local rule that allows parties to anonymously "request a decision" - essentially a nudge to the Court to get its #### together.  In some districts, these motions will draw the attention of the Chief judge, who may put some pressure on the presiding judge.

For example, in the Northern District of Illinois:

Quote

LR78.5. Motions: Request for Decision; Request for Status Report

Any party may on notice provided for by LR5.3 call a motion to the attention of the court for decision.

Any party may also request the clerk to report on the status of any motion on file for at least seven months without a ruling or on file and fully briefed for at least sixty days. Such requests will be in writing. On receipt of a request the clerk will promptly verify that the motion is pending and meets the criteria fixed by this section. If it is not pending or does not meet the criteria, the clerk will so notify the person making the request. If it is pending and does meet the criteria, the clerk will thereupon notify the judge before whom the motion is pending that a request has been received for a status report on the motion. The clerk will not disclose the name of the requesting party to the judge. If the judge provides information on the status of the motion, the clerk will notify all parties. If the judge does not provide any information within ten days of the clerk's notice to the judge, the clerk will notify all parties that the motion is pending and that it has been called to the judge’s attention.

 

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1 minute ago, Henry Ford said:

God, if you believe in that sort of thing. 

?

Meaning they don't answer to anyone?  That's kind of what I am hearing and we just have to wait.  Great system--the judge can sit on this as long as he wants even if it severely disadvantages one side.  

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8 minutes ago, chet said:

?

Meaning they don't answer to anyone?  That's kind of what I am hearing and we just have to wait.  Great system--the judge can sit on this as long as he wants even if it severely disadvantages one side.  

I believe you can petition the Court of Appeal to require a ruling, but it isn’t going to help your case in front of that judge if he’s as unprofessional as he’s being. 

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11 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

I believe you can petition the Court of Appeal to require a ruling, but it isn’t going to help your case in front of that judge if he’s as unprofessional as he’s being. 

And that's the consensus of the people making the decisions--someone mentioned a "mandamus(?)".  I am simply a bystander (with a vested interest) in this case and have no say in how they will proceed. 

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6 minutes ago, chet said:

And that's the consensus of the people making the decisions--someone mentioned a "mandamus(?)".  I am simply a bystander (with a vested interest) in this case and have no say in how they will proceed. 

For the reason I stated above, I have never filed for an Appellate Court to require a ruling despite many chances and I do not regret it. Things may be different around you but Louisiana judges are a vindictive bunch. 

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1 hour ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Some courts have a local rule that allows parties to anonymously "request a decision" - essentially a nudge to the Court to get its #### together.  In some districts, these motions will draw the attention of the Chief judge, who may put some pressure on the presiding judge.

For example, in the Northern District of Illinois:

 

Once upon a time there was real pressure on judges to resolve any matters that had been pending for six months or more, as this would show up in court wide reporting. But as I understand it, sometime in the last 10 years or so judges collectively stopped caring about the six month report. I was told it had something to do with them getting fed up with Congress’s refusal to confirm new judges to help out with their case loads. 

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