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!?

Monday, April 16, 2018

That's Life

Some nightmares are real
Do you dream when you sleep?  

Have you ever had that dream that you had prepared for the biggest presentation of your life?  You have your charts and handouts all ready, you've ordered the freshest danishes and then...you showed up on the wrong day.  Oops.

That's kinda how things went for one person/plaintiff I met the other day.  

Seems they had been working on the same civil case for little over 6 years.  They went through hellish discovery. They went through hellish settlement conferences. They did hellish meet and confers. They repeatedly fought back the desire to kill opposing counsel for impinging their character over and over.  

Then, when the end was in sight and a trial date was actually set, person misread the notice and appeared for trial on the wrong day.  

Yep, the trial was on Wednesday and plaintiff showed up on Thursday.  Oops!

Had the judge simply dismissed the case, plaintiff could have just refiled and started over. 


Yeeeeah, plaintiff wasn't so lucky.  What the judge did, instead, was let the trial proceed  She accepted testimony from the defendant and submitted her judgment in favor of....wait for it....the defendant.

Plaintiff is now freaking out wanting to know what to do next (since they don't really have a good reason to vacate the judgment).  

Long story short and not a few dozen resources laying around (not the least of which included):
...plaintiff went about trying to rebuilt their shattered case/dreams.  

Sometimes these things happen.  Good thing there are county law libraries around to help people when life smacks them upside the head.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Save the Children!

milk carton kids
I don't know when it started but do you remember when they started putting pictures of missing children on milk cartons?  

Of course, most people (and politicians) ignore those things until it's their kid on the carton and then they're all frantic -  running around the neighborhood posting pictures of their kids on everything.

I remember one lady at the shopping mall frantically looking for her little girl who had gone missing.  The kid was found in a toy store, but the image of that mother's frantic face was seared on my brain.

This, of course, leads us to today's news about an illegal (ooopsy, "undocumented") alien who walked into a Walmart in Louisiana wielding a machete seeking to kidnap children.  You heard right - kidnap children.

Seems Billy Yoe Buidier-Herrera walked up to a woman with two children and informed her that if she did not cooperate (i.e. let him kidnap her children), that he would kill her.  A struggle subsequently ensued (because, she did not want Billy to steal away her kids). 

Unsuccessful with the first attempt, Billy tried a second time - and failed.  Then he ran away, swung his machete at employees, and left the building.  

Sure hope Louisiana isn't a sanctuary state or else, well, Billy might just be freed to kidnap other children.  

Does anyone know where people come up with these ideas (i.e. kidnap children)?  Do they do this in their own home country?  Is this sort of thing acceptable in parts north, south, east, or west of the United States border?  Even if is, it isn't here.  Play by our rules, folks, or go back home.

Then there is the story of the guy who followed a young girl home from the school bus stop.  Seems young girl noticed a guy in a white pick-up truck driving OJ Simpson slow behind her.  Truck follows girl to her house whereupon girl turns and makes eye contact.

The guy then got out of his truck and casually walked up to the girl's front door.  Now, weirdo has a target and knows where she lives.  

That's just great.

The thing that got me is that a woman across the way was watching everything with great interest.  The story doesn't say whether anyone called the police nor did anyone confront the guy and all they got was a vague description of the truck.  

HEY!  Maybe pay attention to the license plate next time and stop with the nosy neighbor thing so we can get these weirdos off the street?!

As a professional law Librarian, I see crazy all the time as it relates to children.  There's the (all too common) kidnapping between formerly married spouses, there's the local pedophilia that still goes on, there's the attacks, the abuse, the violence.  It's crazy and getting crazier.

Heck, my boss got on my case a while back because I wasn't more aloof.  Really?  After a while, this stuff gets to you and the only person I have to talk to is the mirror.

Imagine someone coming to you and in all confidentiality they tell you that they've been charged with sodomizing a 5-year old kid under California Penal Code 286 and Penal Code 286 - and I have to keep it together?  Could you?

Of course, I maintain the professional face and go to work helping everyone.  Maybe it's because I have kids of my own now that I'm keyed in on this stuff.

Regardless, whenever anyone comes in seeking help of a criminal nature, I generally always suggest they take a look at:

...and the beat goes on.

If you ever find that you've been caught in a legal snare and need help, your local county law library is probably your best first line of defense.  I may not agree with what you've done (and you won't hear it from me) but I'll help you find whatever it is you're looking for.

After all, you're someone's child too, and we all need help.  


Monday, April 2, 2018

Word of the Month for April 2018: Disneyland Parent

Bribing kids
Ain't love grand?  First there's the dating, Then the courtship, then the wedding, the wife thing, kids, house/mortgage, vacations, cars, clothes, in-laws and toys.  Lots and lots of toys.  

Imagine, then, when a person gets divorced and one ex has more expendable "resources" than the other. 

Imagine, then, when the kids come home from the ex who has more expendable resources and the kids are saying stuff like: Well, [the other] parent lets us stay up to midnight and buys us all the candy we can stand and takes to (pick the amusement part of your choice).  

Yeah, it can make for a real nightmare.  

This all brings us to our word of the month: DISNEYLAND PARENT.  According to Black's Law Dictionary, a DISNEYLAND PARENT is:
A noncustodial parent who indulges his or her child with gifts and good times during visitation and leaves most or all disciplinary responsibilities to the other parent; esp., a noncustodial parent who provides luxuries that the custodial parent cannot afford but performs no disciplinary duties, in an effort to gain or retain the child's affection. Also termed Santa Claus dad.  See Lollipop syndrome.
Maybe you don't have kids but I'm betting you've heard of similar terms like Sugar Daddy or Sugar Mama.  Same thing.

Anyway, Dad comes into the library a while back.  I remember this Dad because he spent a hour complaining about how for years his ex was always taking the kids to the amusement parks or buying luxury toys.  

Then, one day, he gets a call from one of his kids (she was about 13 at the time).  Seems kid got tired of the bribes, the trips to the zoo and stuff, and just wanted to be with dad.

Problem was, ex-mom had custody.  So, Dad is looking to see how he can get custody of his kid(s). While I can't give legal advice, what I can suggest (and what I did suggest) Dad look at is/was:
and off and running was Dad to regain a reality-based relationship with his kid(s).

You've got troubles (family or otherwise), your local county law library has solutions.  When next your next problem raises its ugly head, why not take a deep breath and head on over to your local county law library and see what we've got that can help you.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Leave the emotion to the soap operas

Dog lawyer would be better than human lawyer
Remember the OJ Simpson trial?  I do.  I was in law school at the time and it was such a big deal that the law library set up a television for students to watch the proceedings.

I remember watching the 15 m.p.h. police chase down the 405 freeway as OJ led the police on the SLOWEST get-away chases in the history of get-away chases.  

I remember the subsequent circus/criminal trial in which the prosecution regularly got handed their heads for screwing up simple procedural matters (like not Shepardizing key cases).  

I remember the infamous "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit"  quote (that really was the stupidest line in the whole case).  

I remember the day the verdict was handed down and OJ hugged his attorneys.  The persons OJ should have hugged was the prosecution.  They couldn't have bungled the case any worse than they did.

Heck, I also remember thinking whether the prosecution had been bought off having just thrown the biggest trial in a long, long time.  I mean, they really worked to screw it up.

Fast forward a few years and we get to People v. Arredondo et al. (D072632).  On August 9, 2012, the defendants kidnapped and murdered a small-time drug user and distributor in the Moreno Valley area of Riverside County named Fernando Renteria.  

At the trial of Mr. Arredondo and his cohorts, the prosecution repeatedly referred to the defendant's as "cockroaches."  While the trial court didn't seem to mind, the appellate court did.  So much, in fact, that, taking into account the other errors and slights promulgated by the prosecution, the Appellate Court reversed the conviction putting these gang members back on the street to do more crime(s).

What bothers me is that daily I read about cases that were tossed/reversed because the prosecution did something to screw-up a case.  In this case, the prosecutor chose to interject their own opinions instead of sticking to the facts by repeatedly referring to the defendants as "cockroaches."  

Really, there are no other adjectives you could have used?  How about "defendants" or "accused" or "offender" or "prisoner(s)" or "suspect(s)?"  Nope, we have to use derogatory and debasing terms that annoy and irritate the appellate court resulting in having decisions reversed.  Yep, let's waste taxpayer money and do the latter.

What a bunch of freakin amateurs.