Monday, May 21, 2018

Bait and Switch

Bait and switch
The wife's birthday is coming up and I'm thinking that maybe we head off to Las Vegas to take in a show, have a fun buffet dinner, do a little sightseeing, some nookie...  It's all good.

So, I'm logging onto the website to book a room.  I find a FANTASTIC deal at a posh resort.  I click accept, accept, accept, got to the page that added all the fees annnnnnnnnnnd when I found out that with the added fees and taxes that the fantastic deal at the posh resort wasn't as fantastic as I thought.  In fact, the added fees darn near doubled the initial price.

Yeah, thanks but no thanks.  Dang but I don't know how Vegas stays in business what with all the bait and switches going on.

Imagine if something like this happened in the legal realm.  Take, for example, the lawyer who came into my library the other day.  He had been working to settle a long standing breach of contract case.  

Opposing counsel had originally sent an offer of settlement, lawyer countered with his own proposal and after weeks of negotiations they finally arrived at a figure their clients could both live with.  All that was left was drafting the language in the settlement agreement.

Months of negotiation later and lawyer and opposing counsel were still struggling to get the best language (for their client) in the agreement.  Lawyer would draft an agreement, opposing would oppose and counter with something else.  Back and forth, forth and back.

FINALLY, lawyer and opposing arrive at a final document.  Lawyer shoots off the final agreement to opposing counsel.  Opposing counsel gets his client to sign and date and he sends the signed agreement to lawyer for his client's signature and date.  

Just before lawyer's client signs, lawyer looks through the agreement one last time and notices that opposing counsel unilaterally changed a key provision in the agreement (making the agreement not so much agreeable as it now favored opposing's client in a big way).

Lawyer is livid.  He shot off a "professional" email to opposing counsel stating that they are now opting to go through binding arbitration and lawyer is now wanting information on the how of alternative dispute resolution.

Man, that really sucks!  Reminds me of the time I was offered a great deal in Vegas and then found that that great deal wasn't so great after all.  Well, with lawyer standing in front of me, I suggest he take a look at:
and off lawyer went to plan his revenge, er...case.

Have you ever been double-crossed and are so mad you can't see straight?  Well, head straight on over to your local county law library and we'll help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, May 14, 2018

They're gonna get you

Geithner is/was a tax cheat
Funny how some people think they're gonna outwit the system and never get caught.

Funnier still are the people that come into my library and then tell me what they're doing (or are planning to do). Such was the case with one enterprising young man who walked up to me the other day.  

Seems Young Man had been working for himself for the last few years and, for one reason or another, forgotten to pay his taxes.  Oopsy.

That's "oopsy" as in that's something that would kinda freak me out.  Young Man, on the other hand, is being a bit ballsy and braggy about being about to fly under the radar.

Being a man of business, though, Young Man is getting kinda skittish about the whole thing and thinks (out loud) that maybe if he racks up a bunch of debt and then files bankruptcy that he'll be able to get around the tax liability thing.  

When I start to mention how Willie Nelson tried to pull that, he cut me off and wanted to bone up on things bankruptcy and tax.  So, I suggest he take a look at:


and off Young Man was preparing his, uh,...defense?

I just don't get some people.  I mean, I'd be a nervous wreck if I did all the things people told me they did.  Good thing I'm a Librarian and don't make enough money to have to contemplate screwing the IRS.  

At least, I think that's a good thing...?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Regular people, regular problems

Some people's kids
About 40 percent of the time, the kind of people that come into my law library are the kind of people that have ZERO legal experience.  

Zip, nada, nothing, not a clue what to do.  

The one good thing they did was walk in my law library because I actually do know what I'm doing.

For instance, the other day I had a youngish lady come into my library.  Not a clue what to do, she was told to go to the law library.  

She tells me that she had filed suit in state court. Defendant promptly filed a motion to remove to Federal court and claimed that Lady had not properly served defendant, that the case should have been filed in Federal court, and that plaintiff didn't know what she was doing.

Well, they got one out of three right.  

Anyway, I ask lady if she read the motion.  "No," she replied. 

Did you read any of the codes cited in the motion, I asked? "No," she replied.  

Did you properly serve the defendant? "Yes," she replied. 

Well, says I, if you're going to fight this thing, you might want to read what they're trying to do to you.  You might also take a look at:


and develop an opposition....and with that she left the building.  

What, what?!?  

Yeah, turns out some people really can't handle the truth.  

In her case, even though I handed her the exact resources she needed (in point of fact, the exact chapter she needed), she didn't want to do the work and even asked, "can't you just do it for me?"

Yeah, no, I can't/won't.  

What I can suggest, if you're asking that kind of question, is hire yourself an attorney who will do it for you (for a fee). Yeah, that's what you (well, she or her or, well, anyone) should do.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Word of the Month for May 2018: Perjure

Just keep punching
Hopefully you have not but maybe you have been in embroiled in a legal case. 

Maybe in the course of litigation, a witness was on the stand saying things that you, and everyone around them, knew they were lying (well, everyone except the judge).

Such was the case with a person who came into my library the other day.  

Seems lady was in the middle of her divorce case.  Soon-to-be-ex husband gets up on the stand and starts to spew falsehood after falsehood about the value of their once joint company.  

She is sitting in her chair absolutely dumbfounded and could not believe her ears.  Good thing that his testimony was at the end of the day and the judge called for a recess until 10:00AM the following day.

Lady is standing in front of me asking how is it possible that he can lie like that?  Of course, this brings us to our word of the month: PERJURE.  According to Black's Law Dictionary, PERJURE means:
To make (oneself) culpable of deliberately making materials false or misleading statements while under oath. (In a passive sense) to become involved in, or proved to be guilty of, perjury.
Lady is livid and is just this side of freaking out.  I ask, "Can you prove he is lying (other than just your word)?"  Lady says that in his deposition, he said the complete opposite.  

Wait, deposition?  You took his deposition?!?  Turns out, to her credit, she did.

Oh happy day!   Rare is the pro se litigant who has their act together and I suggested she take a look at
...and off Lady was preparing for round 2.

Yep, we've got a whole lot of stuff to help people go from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the mountain.  

When next you have a Goliath that you're looking to slay, why not stop wasting your time looking online for answers that aren't there and head over to your local county law library?

Yeah, that's what you should do.

Monday, April 23, 2018

It's all zen to me

The starts are in alignment
Do you know who/what I am? Yes, I am a law Librarian but more importantly, I am a savior

Well, not the Savior, but one of them, I suspect.

At least that's what they lady told me the other day when I pulled a rabbit out of her hat.  That's right, a rabbit!

Seems lady was embroiled in a lawsuit.  Seems she had bought a piece of property from Guy. Seems Guy had previously sold the property to another Guy (we'll call him Guy1).  Guy1 bought the property but never recorded the deed.  Oops.

For those not in the know, the problem with not recording the deed is that subsequent purchasers are not going to know whether there are any encumbrances on a property.  

If you don't record the deed, there will be problems down the road. In this case, Guy sold the property (again - and fraudulently) to Lady who had done a title search but found nothing (because of Guy1 not recording his deed).

Fast forward a few years and Guy1 pops up on the scene claiming that the property is his.  Lady, claiming to be a bona fide purchaser, is not a little freaked out and into the law library she walks.  

The good thing is that I paid attention in law school when my property professor was going over the section dealing with the recording of deeds.  

That's right, I was paying attention to what someone else was talking about (just, please, don't tell the wife that I can do that).

Seems there is an obscure case in Property, 2d Ed. by Dukeminier that deals with this scenario.  In Sabo v. Horvath, 559 P.2d 1039 (1976), (which is on pp. 725-728 of Dukeminier) the court recognized this scenario and called the instrument in question a "wild deed."  

It was just what Lady was looking for.  

What is important to note here is that there is no reference to a "wild deed" in any other secondary authority in my law library (and I have been looking for a while - since this is not the first time this issue has arisen).  Can you imagine that? No where else is the concept of a "wild deed" referenced. 

No where!  Well, maybe it is somewhere but I have not yet found it (and I'm still looking).

Good thing I was paying attention in law school.  Good thing Lady was self-aware enough to know to come to my law library and ask this one question to me and that I knew the exact answer to her particular question.  

Yep, funny how things work.  It's kinda like Robert Frost's poem Design (as far as poems, go, this one is pretty deep).  

When next you find you have a funky research question, why not let your local county law librarian take a stab at it.  Who knows, just as you start to speak, the stars might align, the library gods may speak wisdom to the Librarian, and the exact answer may just come forth in perfect sequence.  

Yep, that's what'll happen - stars, gods, sequence.  All in perfect harmony (and who knew, but that that perfect harmony can only be found at your local county law library).

Who, indeed!?