Feel good series #1 – shopping for a car

In my last post, I mentioned that one of the reasons why I like being a solo practice lawyer is that it allows me to pick and choose the cases I want to take and not take. One of the kinds of cases that I generally will try and take are those in which I can help a veteran. There’s a lot of bad news in the world, so today I’m beginning a new series of posts in which I relay a good story to, hopefully, restore your faith in humanity. Today’s story begins like this. Bob (not his real name) was in the Navy. He and his wife Jane (also not her real name) had a home in which they had raised two children. About 7 years ago, Bob and Jane — like many people — borrowed against their home. When the economy turned in 2008, Bob and Jane found themselves unable to pay back the loan they had taken out. When the bank came to take their home, Bob and Jane put up a fight. During the course of that fight, they were ordered by the court to put up a $4,000 security bond. Sadly, Bob and Jane ultimately lost their fight and their home was taken from them. They should have been able to get back their $4,000 when they lost their house, but didn’t. It turns out that their old attorney neglected to tie up that loose end for them. Bob and Jane tried on their own for almost 10 months to get the $4,000 back on their own, but with no success. The court...

Solo practice lawyers

I’m a solo practice lawyer. I enjoy the freedom it offers me to, for example, pick and choose the cases I want to take or not take. I also enjoy the freedom to work wherever and whenever I want. That doesn’t mean I’m alone, though. I’m on several email lists and one of them is run by the American Bar Association. The ABA posted a while ago offering pins to any solo lawyer on the list who wanted one. The supplies were limited, of course, so I didn’t think I would be lucky enough to score one. However, guess what I was surprised to find in the mail...

Info series: Who can’t give you legal advice

If you’re like most people, at some point in the past you’ve dealt with employees of the county in which you live. Maybe it’s when you got married and had to get a license. Maybe it’s when you bought a new house and had to get a deed recorded. As a lawyer, I deal with county employees more than the average person. If you’re dealing with county employees in California, you’ve no doubt been told that the clerk(s) you’re dealing with can’t answer X question because that would be giving you legal advice. If you’re like many people I’ve encountered, you find that annoying. In my last trip to a county recorder’s office (in my case, San Mateo County, California), I snapped this picture. The clerk(s) aren’t answering your question to annoy you, they’re actually barred by law from answering questions that would constitute legal advice. Unlike many statutes, Business and Professions Code section 6125 is fairly short. The entirety of it is “No person shall practice law in California unless that person is an active member of the State Bar.” The full text of the statute as well as the related statute sections following it are available...