Archive for the ‘Legal Tips and Tricks’ Category

Michael Jackson Lawsuit

Here is the actual lawsuit.

On September 15, 2010 Katherine Jackson, the mother of Michael Jackson, filed a “Complaint for Damages” against AEG LIVE LLC and others claiming they contributed to her son’s death. The complaint contains some very interesting allegations. Here is the actual lawsuit: JACKSON vs. AEG

The complaint was filed by Los Angeles lawyer Brian Panish, known as one of the all time greatest trial lawyers. He is the same lawyer that won a jury verdict in the amount of $4.9 Billion dollars against GM for a defective fuel system that caused a Chevy Malibu to burst into flames when it was rear-ended. This guy is really a great lawyer!

The Michael Jackson case has a lot of interesting allegations in it that you won’t find in the superficial media coverage. Here are just a few of the interesting ones:

  • If Michael failed to perform the shows, AEG could seize his Sony song catalog, including the songs by the Beatles,
  • When Michael showed up for rehearsal on June 23rd, he was so messed up and freezing cold that his assistants had to give him several shirts to wear under his long heavy coat, even though it was warm in the Staples Center,
  • There was a “Riot Act” meeting that was said to be “tough love” for Michael to get him to go to the rehearsals.

For those interested, take a look at the lawsuit yourself. You always find a lot more accurate information when you go to the document itself. I hope you find this interesting.

You Don’t Always Need a
Personal Injury Lawyer!

Handy ManSometimes you have to fight for justice on your own.    So how can you get a little do-it-yourself justice? By filing your own case in small claims court.

In this day and age everyone loves to “lawyer up”. Well some cases aren’t big enough for a lawyer to take, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your day in court and your own slice of justice. Having worked my entire career as a personal injury lawyer I understand how difficult it is to get an insurance company to actually pay money for a legitimate claim.  If the insurance company knows your claim isn’t large enough for you to find a lawyer, they will often deny it outright. But don’t give up! Fight them in small claims court.

It is simple to file your very own small claims case and obtain a judgment of up to $7,500. In small claims court the parties must act as their own lawyers, so you won’t be up against a lawyer on the other side, you will be up against the person you feel actually caused your damages. You can file your small claims case and handle the entire case on your own. It’s really not that hard.

Below are the links where you can get all the information you will need:

For Los Angeles County Small Claims

For the Orange County court handbook on how to file a small claims case

For small claims information in Santa Barbara County court

For the Ventura County Superior Court

For the San Bernardino County Court

If you need assistance filling out the forms, or have any questions about how to prepare your small claims case, feel free to email me at info@higherlegal.com.

San Bruno Tragedy. Lawyers Beware!

Good for the State Bar of California!

I just read the notice placed on the California State Bar web site telling sleazy lawyers to stay away from the victims of the tragedy in San Bruno. The State Bar also notifies the victims that they should beware of  the illegal “runners” and “cappers” who may try to approach them to sign them up with a lawyer. State Bar Notice.  The State Bar of California recommends that anyone from this disaster who feels they need to consult with a lawyer should consider contacting a certified lawyer referral service. The notice goes on to state:

“If an injured person or family member believes that they have been improperly solicited by or on behalf of an attorney, they should immediately report the matter to the State Bar at (800) 843-9053″.

In this day and age of ambulance chasers, which unfortunately gives all good and reputable lawyers a bad name, I applaud the State Bar for coming out with this notice to the public.

Don’t get ripped off!

I recently came across an interesting web site that I want to share with you. It’s called Ripoff Report .com.

A client called me the other day and wanted me to help her find a new (a good) lawyer.  I was impressed by all the research she had done, including a report she found about her lawyer on the Ripoff Report. Unfortunately for her, the information in the report confirmed her suspicion that she had the wrong lawyer. She wished she had done her research before she hired the lawyer.

I looked at the Ripoff Report web site and found the information in it to be very helpful, although at times it was a little bit cumbersome to navigate. If you find a report on what or who you are looking for, the information could be a life saver.

The Ripoff Report calls itself a worldwide consumer reporting web site which is written by consumers, for consumers, to document complaints about companies and individuals.  If you want to use it specifically to find information about a lawyer,  go to the “Advanced Search” (right below the search box) and limit your search to Los Angeles, or whatever city your lawyer is located in. Hopefully you won’t find the name of your lawyer in the Ripoff Report!

I thought I would bring this web site to your attention because it is a great resource to have to help you avoid the many scams that are out there (not to mention the creepy lawyers!) I bookmarked it. If you have your own personal injury lawyer “nightmare story”, please share it with me so I can help warn everyone else!

Watch out for “lawyer referral service” illusions…

When you look at this picture do you see two silhouette black faces or do you see a white vase?

Illusion

Life is full of illusions. And this is certainly true when it comes to lawyers and Lawyer Referral Services (LRS), some of which aren’t really “lawyer referral services” at all.  So if a service refers you to a lawyer, don’t they have to be a “referral service”? Apparently not, they can really just be an illusion.

The State Bar of California has a special certification for companies that engage in the business of “referring” people to lawyers to make sure that people who need a certain type of lawyer are protected from being referred to the wrong kind of lawyer.  These certified referral services have to comply with all sorts of rules and regulations that have been established by the Supreme Court to protect people who are looking for a lawyer. The point of the certification is to make sure that people who hire lawyers are protected.

There are however many companies that will “find” a lawyer for you (which is apparently different that referring you to a lawyer) and they are not licensed or regulated by the California State Bar.  I was looking recently searching the internet and I came across the company called Lawyers.com. It’s a very BIG company. You have probably seen some of their commercials on television. I have always thought they were a lawyer referral service. They’re NOT!

At the top of their web site it says: “FIND A LAWYER”. But then at the bottom of their web site it says that Lawyers.com is a “source for identifying” lawyers (what does that mean?) …and it says that “Lawyers.com is not a lawyer referral service..”  That doesn’t make sense to me. So they will help people “identify lawyers” but they don’t have enough faith in the lawyers to “refer you to them”?  I asked myself, are they “identifying” both good and bad lawyers for you! Who is going to tell us which are the good lawyers and which are the bad ones!  The whole thing smells if you ask me. Sounds like an illusion.

I checked the California State Bar web site and found out that indeed Lawyers.com is NOT a certified referral service and it does not have to comply with all the rules and regulations that have been established by the California Supreme Court for the protection of people looking for a referral to a lawyer. Sounds like a bad deal to me. Sounds like an illusion to me.

Bottom line. Before you hire a lawyer, do your research and know who you are really dealing with. It’s your best bet for success.