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45 minutes ago, -fish- said:

Any civil guys got a form affidavit of assets and liabilities that would work for someone with complex assets?

 

I've had the client's accountant do one in some cases where appropriate.  Depending on the circumstances, the affidavit can come from the accountant or, if its a less formal situation, the client can just attach it as an exhibit to its affidavit.  If that is too much to deal with, the chapter 7 bankruptcy schedules can be used as a form or at least a guide as to all the categories of assets and liabilities.  If you have any contacts in banking you can get their form personal financial statement which does the same.

 

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38 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

 

I've had the client's accountant do one in some cases where appropriate.  Depending on the circumstances, the affidavit can come from the accountant or, if its a less formal situation, the client can just attach it as an exhibit to its affidavit.  If that is too much to deal with, the chapter 7 bankruptcy schedules can be used as a form or at least a guide as to all the categories of assets and liabilities.  If you have any contacts in banking you can get their form personal financial statement which does the same.

 

Thanks.   I was thinking of just modifying a personal financial statement for a small business loan, since I had one of those on my computer.   I vaguely recall an asset affidavit I used about 10-15 years ago that was far more specific.

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2 hours ago, whoknew said:

 

I miss him. He was a good poster.

Yeah why he’d leave again? 
 

Also, what happened to Tanner? I don’t even think he’s on Facebook anymore. 

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2 hours ago, Zow said:

Yeah why he’d leave again? 
 

Also, what happened to Tanner? I don’t even think he’s on Facebook anymore. 

I might have this wrong, but HF gave up after Ditkaless Wonders got banned.

Tanner's still on FB.   Mostly posting bad puns.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey lawyers, just popping in with two bits of news:

1) After 20 years as an unhappy lawyer, I quit my job this summer to become a public school teacher.  I’m doing my teacher training right now and I love it, I’m so happy with my decision.

2) For the past 13 years I was a lawyer at the Federal Election Commission.  Yesterday for the first time the Supreme Court decided to hear one of my cases.  I was the lead attorney on this case in the lower court and wrote the first draft of the jurisdictional statement to the Supreme Court:  Ted Cruz for Senate v. FEC.

It’s pretty cool to have a case that’ll be heard by the Supreme Court but I’m still insanely thrilled to have left the profession.

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19 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Hey lawyers, just popping in with two bits of news:

1) After 20 years as an unhappy lawyer, I quit my job this summer to become a public school teacher.  I’m doing my teacher training right now and I love it, I’m so happy with my decision.

2) For the past 13 years I was a lawyer at the Federal Election Commission.  Yesterday for the first time the Supreme Court decided to hear one of my cases.  I was the lead attorney on this case in the lower court and wrote the first draft of the jurisdictional statement to the Supreme Court:  Ted Cruz for Senate v. FEC.

It’s pretty cool to have a case that’ll be heard by the Supreme Court but I’m still insanely thrilled to have left the profession.

Wow, so cool on both fronts.  What are you going to teach?

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1 hour ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Hey lawyers, just popping in with two bits of news:

1) After 20 years as an unhappy lawyer, I quit my job this summer to become a public school teacher.  I’m doing my teacher training right now and I love it, I’m so happy with my decision.

2) For the past 13 years I was a lawyer at the Federal Election Commission.  Yesterday for the first time the Supreme Court decided to hear one of my cases.  I was the lead attorney on this case in the lower court and wrote the first draft of the jurisdictional statement to the Supreme Court:  Ted Cruz for Senate v. FEC.

It’s pretty cool to have a case that’ll be heard by the Supreme Court but I’m still insanely thrilled to have left the profession.

Good for you.  #### Ted Cruz.  

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2 minutes ago, Ron Popeil said:

Good for you.  #### Ted Cruz.  

Yeah, one of the frustrating things about the media reporting on the case is that they make it seem like Cruz's lawsuit is a principled challenge based on ideological motivations.  Most of the articles mention that he set this up as a test case and that he only has $10,000 at stake from the 2018 election.

The truth is that the guy spent like $750K of his own money on his 2012 campaign.  He's suing to strike down the law that prevents donors from giving him money to repay his personal debt.  His argument basically is that he has a constitutional right to accept a massive amount of bribes.

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congrats, man.  mostly on getting out, but also on getting a case heard by the SC.   

In grinding it out world, I'm on a zoom hearing waiting to argue for the court to enter a case schedule that has to be entered by statute but some bonehead opposed the joint motion.  

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Nice @fatguyinalittlecoat

I was coming in to post something similar. I will be closing my practice in a month to go work for a non profit who reached out to me and offered me a job I can't pass up. Massive life change but I'm getting happier each minute I think about it. 

Won't be in court anymore, but I also won't have to deal with 9pm Saturday night client calls either. 

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1 minute ago, Yankee23Fan said:

Nice @fatguyinalittlecoat

I was coming in to post something similar. I will be closing my practice in a month to go work for a non profit who reached out to me and offered me a job I can't pass up. Massive life change but I'm getting happier each minute I think about it. 

Won't be in court anymore, but I also won't have to deal with 9pm Saturday night client calls either. 

 

Wow, giant congrats to you, too!

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13 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Hey lawyers, just popping in with two bits of news:

1) After 20 years as an unhappy lawyer, I quit my job this summer to become a public school teacher.  I’m doing my teacher training right now and I love it, I’m so happy with my decision.

2) For the past 13 years I was a lawyer at the Federal Election Commission.  Yesterday for the first time the Supreme Court decided to hear one of my cases.  I was the lead attorney on this case in the lower court and wrote the first draft of the jurisdictional statement to the Supreme Court:  Ted Cruz for Senate v. FEC.

It’s pretty cool to have a case that’ll be heard by the Supreme Court but I’m still insanely thrilled to have left the profession.


I can’t imagine a bigger drop the mic moment for a lawyer. Congrats fatguy. And I think you’re going to make an amazing teacher. 

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On 5/9/2021 at 8:50 PM, bigbottom said:

For what it’s worth, most of the BigLaw partners I work with have all been working from the office and have been back for a while now. It’s the associates that are still working mostly remotely. Of course that’s Texas. I work with a few BigLaw partners in LA and NYC and they are still remote. 

Seems to still be the case. Most folks I know in Texas are going into the office more regularly. On the coasts it’s still a ghost town for partners and associates alike. 
 

Mentoring and the like is a little harder remotely, but I think it’s great for the most part. I’ll start going back in a couple days a week at some point soon. But as it stands, I’m saving three hours a day (good), working more (bad), and it’s otherwise working. 

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19 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Hey lawyers, just popping in with two bits of news:

1) After 20 years as an unhappy lawyer, I quit my job this summer to become a public school teacher.  I’m doing my teacher training right now and I love it, I’m so happy with my decision.

2) For the past 13 years I was a lawyer at the Federal Election Commission.  Yesterday for the first time the Supreme Court decided to hear one of my cases.  I was the lead attorney on this case in the lower court and wrote the first draft of the jurisdictional statement to the Supreme Court:  Ted Cruz for Senate v. FEC.

It’s pretty cool to have a case that’ll be heard by the Supreme Court but I’m still insanely thrilled to have left the profession.

 

Congrats. Awesome. 
 

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10 hours ago, Yankee23Fan said:

Nice @fatguyinalittlecoat

I was coming in to post something similar. I will be closing my practice in a month to go work for a non profit who reached out to me and offered me a job I can't pass up. Massive life change but I'm getting happier each minute I think about it. 

Won't be in court anymore, but I also won't have to deal with 9pm Saturday night client calls either. 


That’s awesome. Best of luck!

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13 hours ago, Yankee23Fan said:

Nice @fatguyinalittlecoat

I was coming in to post something similar. I will be closing my practice in a month to go work for a non profit who reached out to me and offered me a job I can't pass up. Massive life change but I'm getting happier each minute I think about it. 

Won't be in court anymore, but I also won't have to deal with 9pm Saturday night client calls either. 

10:50 last night for me. With the expectation that I could immediately file a borderline frivolous emergency ex parte motion. 

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11 hours ago, bigbottom said:


I can’t imagine a bigger drop the mic moment for a lawyer. Congrats fatguy. And I think you’re going to make an amazing teacher. 

Yep. Pretty cool. If money weren’t a factor I think teaching would be a top 3 job. Super happy for you fat guy that you put yourself in this position. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/1/2021 at 6:08 PM, Yankee23Fan said:

Nice @fatguyinalittlecoat

I was coming in to post something similar. I will be closing my practice in a month to go work for a non profit who reached out to me and offered me a job I can't pass up. Massive life change but I'm getting happier each minute I think about it. 

Won't be in court anymore, but I also won't have to deal with 9pm Saturday night client calls either. 

congratulations.   

I really like practicing law, except for the clients.

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5 hours ago, -fish- said:

That's a nice relief.   

For sure. Never deferred, never missed a payment, then pumped like 40k at it this year from those big partner checks. 

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59 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

Was your rate super high or something?  

No. I had very good years the past two and paid like $50k towards it in total the last two years (those partner checks are really nice). 

 

ETA: Misunderstood your question. Yes, the interest rates were higher than preferred. If they were like <3.5% I'd have just continued to pay the monthly rate and no more and invested elsewhere. As it stands, my student loans had/have the highest interest rates of my current debt (mortgage, cars). 

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Just now, Zow said:

No. I had very good years the past two and paid like $50k towards it in total the last two years (those partner checks are really nice). 

To clarify though, the reason I just didn't continue to pay is that a few of the loans (I had several, I think like 4-5, and they were bought and sold by creditors a number of times) were at interest rates above 5% so my financial guy told me to just pay them off and be done. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Random question for my lawyer friends here......how is an 18 month Federal Grand Jury term of service possibly considered legal/reasonable? Why in the world is it necessary? Would it really not be equally effective if the term was only like a couple of months (if that?). I know there's some training that these folks need to go through and I'm sure having a "veteran" grand jury improves the process. But a year and a half??!?!
 

My poor college roommate is in the middle of term right now. He has to commute to Camden (oof) once a week. He's been doing it for almost a year and apparently there's an option to extend it to 2 years?   This just seems like an incredible and unnecessary hardship for ANYONE,  let alone someone with a family or a career.

I can't imagine how pissed my company would be if I was basically out of pocket once a week for a freaking year and a half (in addition to the actual vacation days that I'm entitled to).  I could easily see a scenario where it could cost me a promotion, additional responsibilities, hurt my performance, etc.

I honestly have no idea what I'll do if i ever get stuck in that nightmare.

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35 minutes ago, TLEF316 said:

Random question for my lawyer friends here......how is an 18 month Federal Grand Jury term of service possibly considered legal/reasonable? Why in the world is it necessary? Would it really not be equally effective if the term was only like a couple of months (if that?). I know there's some training that these folks need to go through and I'm sure having a "veteran" grand jury improves the process. But a year and a half??!?!
 

My poor college roommate is in the middle of term right now. He has to commute to Camden (oof) once a week. He's been doing it for almost a year and apparently there's an option to extend it to 2 years?   This just seems like an incredible and unnecessary hardship for ANYONE,  let alone someone with a family or a career.

I can't imagine how pissed my company would be if I was basically out of pocket once a week for a freaking year and a half (in addition to the actual vacation days that I'm entitled to).  I could easily see a scenario where it could cost me a promotion, additional responsibilities, hurt my performance, etc.

I honestly have no idea what I'll do if i ever get stuck in that nightmare.

They meet like once a week two or three days a month, and they don't meet over holiday weeks.  Most of them don't do 18 months, but yeah, some do.   

It's not like they're in jury duty every day. You get stuck on one of my trial juries, you're probably there for 6-8 weeks, Monday through Thursday from 8:30 to 4:30.   You're better off with a grand jury.  

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11 minutes ago, -fish- said:

They meet like once a week two or three days a month, and they don't meet over holiday weeks.  Most of them don't do 18 months, but yeah, some do.   

It's not like they're in jury duty every day. You get stuck on one of my trial juries, you're probably there for 6-8 weeks, Monday through Thursday from 8:30 to 4:30.   You're better off with a grand jury.  

 

Obviously a matter of opinion, but I just don't agree. Yeah, being on a trial jury would be rough.  Certainly not something I'd want to do.  (Although I respect the process and certainly wouldn't blatantly try to get out of it). But at the end of the day, I'll take a really rough 6 weeks over being inconvenienced for up to 2 years.

 

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14 minutes ago, Sand said:

Only a lawyer can claim that now that hippos are people that it's meaningless.

:rant:

The ruling was extremely narrow and had no other effect than to allow one group present some expert testimony in a case that has no actual effect on anything.  Its not binding and will make no difference on whether the hippos get eradicated, or on any other case.    

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Apologies in advance... this is definitely tl;dr material about a quarter mile of gravel road in Nowhere, USA - but this is a story that has me fascinated. This seems like the right place for others who may have interest. Cliff notes:

*  Family moves from metro Twin Cities to begin a new life in Nowhere USA (actually, Hillman Township Minnesota - Population 38)

* They purchase a house next door to a former city board member, sharing a gravel road which passes by his house to their own dead end driveway.

* When trying to arrange for bus service for their kids to get to school, they are told it can't be arranged because the final 1/4 mile (the portion beyond the neighbor's yard) is in a state of disrepair.

* They ask the city to repair, and are told the city no longer services that road, so they put tens of thousands of their own money into this road, even creating a cul-de-sac for a bus to turn around on their own property. The city still denied bus service, which was ignored by the school district - who has picked up children for school in defiance of the city order.

* When winter came around, they are told there will be no plowing of this stretch. They begin plowing themselves, and the neighbor calls the police 3 times. They are informed that because the city has not serviced the road in the past 40 years, an obscure state law has caused ownership of that land to revert to the former board member neighbor. It's now his personal property.

* They appeal to the city Board, producing evidence of a contract in 1983 providing maintenance of the road, but the Board discredits the accuracy of the contract, asserting that they have asked around and no one recalls this work. They vote 2-1 in favor of the neighbor.

* An election referendum is put up for vote, and the citizenship votes against the city retaking/maintaining this road.

* A case is brought against the city, and the judge rules that the city has acted appropriately in light of the 40 year rule. 

* The US Post Office ceased delivering mail to the family.

* One of the three Board members was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony with a possible sentence of 15 years in prison. He's accused of having sex with his family's 17-year-old babysitter.

* The family again pled their case to the city Board, but the Board declared their "hands are tied by the 40 year law" and again voted against the family 2-1. 

* A new case was brought, and the very same judge who had previously ruled in favor of the city reversed course and found the city had acted "unreasonable and absurd" in leaving the family at the mercy of a neighbor who doesn't like them.

* Hands "untied" by a new court order, the city Board met behind closed doors this week and plans to appeal the ruling - not using their own money, but rather using a fund established for township litigation in Minnesota.

https://www.startribune.com/rural-minn-family-may-be-trapped-as-town-declares-their-access-road-doesn-t-exist/600092393/

https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-family-that-lost-its-road-now-faces-showdown-with-a-skeptical-township-board/600107831/

https://www.startribune.com/in-tense-meeting-minnesota-township-maintains-road-to-family-s-home-has-ceased-to-exist/600108341/ {Note, check out pic of alleged sex offender board member pictured in checkered pants)

https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-family-that-lost-the-road-to-its-home-will-get-it-back/600115968/?refresh=true

https://www.startribune.com/hillman-township-family-lost-gravel-road-dispute-mora-minnesota-kanabec-county/600117777/?refresh=true

 

 

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35 minutes ago, BigJim® said:

* When winter came around, they are told there will be no plowing of this stretch. They begin plowing themselves, and the neighbor calls the police 3 times. They are informed that because the city has not serviced the road in the past 40 years, an obscure state law has caused ownership of that land to revert to the former board member neighbor. It's now his personal property.

* They appeal to the city Board, producing evidence of a contract in 1983 providing maintenance of the road, but the Board discredits the accuracy of the contract, asserting that they have asked around and no one recalls this work. They vote 2-1 in favor of the neighbor.

I'm not a lawyer or anything close to it but these sound shaky.

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On 11/18/2021 at 12:20 AM, fatness said:

I'm not a lawyer or anything close to it but these sound shaky.

There is always a danger in reading a media summary of a legal issue.  Particularly when the story references a statute or a legal decision without linking to the public record itself.  With that said, I thought the articles as written at least tried to get the essence right.  I've read far worse mischaracterization of a legal dispute.

The law in question reverts land back to the previous owner if the township fails to "perfect its interest" in the land a public road is on.  The stories don't really try to delve into what it means for the township to "perfect its interest."  Typically, with land, that means to have title over the land absent any liens or defects.  It's kind of a mystery how failing to maintain the road would result in a lien or defect on the property unless they're talking about some type of adverse possession claim reverting the property back.  But the Schmoll's weren't openly and notoriously using the property.  If anyone was, the Crisman's were.  

The other weird aspect of the dispute is that even if the land reverted back to the Schmoll's it would seem very likely that in most jurisdictions, the Crisman's would have an entitlement to an easement of necessity to the road anyway.  So I really don't see how the Schmoll's really would want the result they seemed to argue for.  It would leave them extremely vulnerable to being found on the hook for maintaining the Crisman's access to the maintained road.  You'd think they'd prefer that responsibility to fall on the town.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/17/2021 at 11:44 PM, BigJim® said:

Apologies in advance... this is definitely tl;dr material about a quarter mile of gravel road in Nowhere, USA - but this is a story that has me fascinated. This seems like the right place for others who may have interest. Cliff notes:

*  Family moves from metro Twin Cities to begin a new life in Nowhere USA (actually, Hillman Township Minnesota - Population 38)

* They purchase a house next door to a former city board member, sharing a gravel road which passes by his house to their own dead end driveway.

* When trying to arrange for bus service for their kids to get to school, they are told it can't be arranged because the final 1/4 mile (the portion beyond the neighbor's yard) is in a state of disrepair.

* They ask the city to repair, and are told the city no longer services that road, so they put tens of thousands of their own money into this road, even creating a cul-de-sac for a bus to turn around on their own property. The city still denied bus service, which was ignored by the school district - who has picked up children for school in defiance of the city order.

* When winter came around, they are told there will be no plowing of this stretch. They begin plowing themselves, and the neighbor calls the police 3 times. They are informed that because the city has not serviced the road in the past 40 years, an obscure state law has caused ownership of that land to revert to the former board member neighbor. It's now his personal property.

* They appeal to the city Board, producing evidence of a contract in 1983 providing maintenance of the road, but the Board discredits the accuracy of the contract, asserting that they have asked around and no one recalls this work. They vote 2-1 in favor of the neighbor.

* An election referendum is put up for vote, and the citizenship votes against the city retaking/maintaining this road.

* A case is brought against the city, and the judge rules that the city has acted appropriately in light of the 40 year rule. 

* The US Post Office ceased delivering mail to the family.

* One of the three Board members was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony with a possible sentence of 15 years in prison. He's accused of having sex with his family's 17-year-old babysitter.

* The family again pled their case to the city Board, but the Board declared their "hands are tied by the 40 year law" and again voted against the family 2-1. 

* A new case was brought, and the very same judge who had previously ruled in favor of the city reversed course and found the city had acted "unreasonable and absurd" in leaving the family at the mercy of a neighbor who doesn't like them.

* Hands "untied" by a new court order, the city Board met behind closed doors this week and plans to appeal the ruling - not using their own money, but rather using a fund established for township litigation in Minnesota.

https://www.startribune.com/rural-minn-family-may-be-trapped-as-town-declares-their-access-road-doesn-t-exist/600092393/

https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-family-that-lost-its-road-now-faces-showdown-with-a-skeptical-township-board/600107831/

https://www.startribune.com/in-tense-meeting-minnesota-township-maintains-road-to-family-s-home-has-ceased-to-exist/600108341/ {Note, check out pic of alleged sex offender board member pictured in checkered pants)

https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-family-that-lost-the-road-to-its-home-will-get-it-back/600115968/?refresh=true

https://www.startribune.com/hillman-township-family-lost-gravel-road-dispute-mora-minnesota-kanabec-county/600117777/?refresh=true

 

 

I found your story interesting. That sounds awful. 

 

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On 11/19/2021 at 9:21 PM, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

The other weird aspect of the dispute is that even if the land reverted back to the Schmoll's it would seem very likely that in most jurisdictions, the Crisman's would have an entitlement to an easement of necessity to the road anyway

This was my first reaction to the story.

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On 11/17/2021 at 8:44 PM, BigJim® said:

Apologies in advance... this is definitely tl;dr material about a quarter mile of gravel road in Nowhere, USA - but this is a story that has me fascinated. This seems like the right place for others who may have interest. Cliff notes:

*  Family moves from metro Twin Cities to begin a new life in Nowhere USA (actually, Hillman Township Minnesota - Population 38)

* They purchase a house next door to a former city board member, sharing a gravel road which passes by his house to their own dead end driveway.

* When trying to arrange for bus service for their kids to get to school, they are told it can't be arranged because the final 1/4 mile (the portion beyond the neighbor's yard) is in a state of disrepair.

* They ask the city to repair, and are told the city no longer services that road, so they put tens of thousands of their own money into this road, even creating a cul-de-sac for a bus to turn around on their own property. The city still denied bus service, which was ignored by the school district - who has picked up children for school in defiance of the city order.

* When winter came around, they are told there will be no plowing of this stretch. They begin plowing themselves, and the neighbor calls the police 3 times. They are informed that because the city has not serviced the road in the past 40 years, an obscure state law has caused ownership of that land to revert to the former board member neighbor. It's now his personal property.

* They appeal to the city Board, producing evidence of a contract in 1983 providing maintenance of the road, but the Board discredits the accuracy of the contract, asserting that they have asked around and no one recalls this work. They vote 2-1 in favor of the neighbor.

* An election referendum is put up for vote, and the citizenship votes against the city retaking/maintaining this road.

* A case is brought against the city, and the judge rules that the city has acted appropriately in light of the 40 year rule. 

* The US Post Office ceased delivering mail to the family.

* One of the three Board members was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony with a possible sentence of 15 years in prison. He's accused of having sex with his family's 17-year-old babysitter.

* The family again pled their case to the city Board, but the Board declared their "hands are tied by the 40 year law" and again voted against the family 2-1. 

* A new case was brought, and the very same judge who had previously ruled in favor of the city reversed course and found the city had acted "unreasonable and absurd" in leaving the family at the mercy of a neighbor who doesn't like them.

* Hands "untied" by a new court order, the city Board met behind closed doors this week and plans to appeal the ruling - not using their own money, but rather using a fund established for township litigation in Minnesota.

https://www.startribune.com/rural-minn-family-may-be-trapped-as-town-declares-their-access-road-doesn-t-exist/600092393/

https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-family-that-lost-its-road-now-faces-showdown-with-a-skeptical-township-board/600107831/

https://www.startribune.com/in-tense-meeting-minnesota-township-maintains-road-to-family-s-home-has-ceased-to-exist/600108341/ {Note, check out pic of alleged sex offender board member pictured in checkered pants)

https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-family-that-lost-the-road-to-its-home-will-get-it-back/600115968/?refresh=true

https://www.startribune.com/hillman-township-family-lost-gravel-road-dispute-mora-minnesota-kanabec-county/600117777/?refresh=true

 

 

This falls under the umbrella of stuff that I do for a living.   Absurd results from arcane laws.   I feel for the family, but if I was them I would have sold and moved at the first sign of this stuff.  A title search should have shown the issue with the shared maintenance of the road, and just thinking out loud if it isn't too late they should probably be making a claim against their title insurance that the house is now unfit for its intended purposes due to the issues with the bus, the snow and the mail.   

 

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On 11/19/2021 at 8:21 PM, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

The other weird aspect of the dispute is that even if the land reverted back to the Schmoll's it would seem very likely that in most jurisdictions, the Crisman's would have an entitlement to an easement of necessity to the road anyway.  So I really don't see how the Schmoll's really would want the result they seemed to argue for.  It would leave them extremely vulnerable to being found on the hook for maintaining the Crisman's access to the maintained road.  You'd think they'd prefer that responsibility to fall on the town.  

It’s what fascinates me. It’s intolerable to be left with a property that can’t be accessed. Clearly they are not the ones formulating a legal argument… they must have a lawyer for these suits.

* Does easement solve the plowing, school bus, mail accesses or are they the only ones entitled to use? Can others be forced to use?

* As fish mentioned, it does seem like action against title insurer, realtor or even prior owner  (if inability to access the home being sold is a disclosable defect) would have made more sense than the fight they’ve chosen.

it also seemed crazy to me that the a judge viewed the same facts twice and reached contradictory conclusions. Not a great endorsement of the judicial system. 

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18 minutes ago, -fish- said:

sounds awful.  we don't do any collections.  

I have actually paid to have the issue of trying to formally collect outstanding fees from clients analyzed. In short, the advice I received (which accounted for factors such as odds of payout, malpractice insurance increases, possible negative word of mouth/press, etc.) is that one shouldn't even consider it unless the fees owed are in the five digits and even then there's a word of caution. I also hesitate to go through our bar's fee arbitration because I once spent 6 hours do so trying to defend $1500 when I would have billed more than that by quite a bit just working regularly those 6 hours. 

I will say though that it really is disheartening in private practice to get stiffed. It's probably something inherent in the two areas of law I practice, but I pretty consistently only collect about 80 cents on the dollar billed. I have also found over time that case outcome/lawyer performance is, at best, a weak indicator of whether one will collect. Heck, I have two clients who still owe me money years later even after I won full acquittals at trials where they were facing natural life. While I don't chase those clients down with litigations, I still ensure that they receive a copy of the bill every month.  

Edited by Zow
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Just now, Zow said:

I have actually paid to have the issue of trying to formally collect outstanding fees from clients analyzed. In short, the advice I received (which accounted for facts such as odds of payout, malpractice insurance increases, possible negative word of mouth/press, etc.) is that one shouldn't even consider it unless the fees owed are in the five digits and even then there's a word of caution. I also hesitate to go through our bar's fee arbitration because I once spent 6 hours do so trying to defend $1500 when I would have billed more than that by quite a bit just working regularly those 6 hours. 

I will say though that it really is disheartening in private practice to get stiffed. It's probably something inherent in the two areas of law I practice, but I pretty consistently only collect about 80 cents on the dollar billed. I have also found over time that case outcome/lawyer performance is, at best, a weak indicator of whether one will collect. Heck, I have two clients who still owe me money years later even after I won full acquittals at trials where they were facing natural life. While I don't chase those clients down with litigations, I still ensure that they receive a copy of the bill every month.  

Yeah, that's rough.

Our real money is in contingent fees, so that's not an issue.  My partner doesn't generally work on hourly stuff--I think he has one hourly case that he works on, just because it is interesting to him.   My practice includes a significant amount of hourly work, but it's 90% corporate clients, so you just send them a bill and their A/R department pays it.   I think we get paid on about 95% of our hourly work, and just write off the other 5% as bad debt.

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1 minute ago, -fish- said:

Yeah, that's rough.

Our real money is in contingent fees, so that's not an issue.  My partner doesn't generally work on hourly stuff--I think he has one hourly case that he works on, just because it is interesting to him.   My practice includes a significant amount of hourly work, but it's 90% corporate clients, so you just send them a bill and their A/R department pays it.   I think we get paid on about 95% of our hourly work, and just write off the other 5% as bad debt.

95% is verygood. Obviously help when your clients are corporate clients. 

I hate to say it, but I basically set rates and quotes assuming I'm only getting 80%. So, unfortunately, the "good" payers have to bite the bullet for the others - which is very unfair but I don't know a better way to do it as I follow my state's bar guidance for fees and fee agreements almost to the letter. 

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