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View Full Version : Way, way OT: Lawyers gripe my butt!



HSS
03-09-2009, 11:53 PM
I've been in business with a partner since 1979. In 1982 we took in another partner. In 2003 the first partner retired and we bought him out. Last May the other partner decided to go to work for another company so I asked him what it would take to buy him out. He said I'll take X amount, and I said ok I'll give you that amount. He then goes to a @#^%&* lawyer and the lawyer says no, no, you can hold him up for more than that, so the deal is off. Next the lawyer wants to meet with me and my CPA and we get there and he has hired another CPA and says I'm trying to rip off my partner. I say, he told me what he wanted and I said ok, so how am I ripping him off? The lawyer says we're worth more than what I'm offering, so I meet with my CPA and we up the anti by 35K. The lawyer doesn't even tell the partner this amount and ups it another 15K back to me. I tell the lawyer the price just went down 30K and as of 5PM this afternoon we push out the K1 and the partner is owing taxes instead of getting a refund of 6K. My secretary(bless her heart) calls the partners wife and tells her that the lawyer is mucking up the deal and it's costing them big time. The wife calls the partner and tells him to call the lawyer and tell him to take the deal. All of this crap and it comes right back to where it started with my counter offer. Lawyers talk a lot of talk but they really don't know s**t about anything but screwing up the works.
Ahhhh, I feel a little better now.;)

Patrick

wierdscience
03-10-2009, 12:12 AM
Here yet again is more proof that partnerships never workout.

Here yet again is more proof that most lawyers are unscroupulous lying hacks.

Patrick,I am assuming your secretary gets a nice bonus,she just saved you a bunch of money:)

bob ward
03-10-2009, 12:26 AM
Lawyer stirs the pot, creates a few more billable hours for himself/herself.

Standard operating procedure.

saltmine
03-10-2009, 12:47 AM
Know why a shark won't eat a lawyer? Professional courtesy.

Do you know how to tell if it was a lawyer or a dog that got run over in front of the Courthouse? If it was a lawyer, there would be no skid marks.

I know I'm not going to hell when I die. There won't be any room because of all of the politicians and lawyers already there.

sansbury
03-10-2009, 01:07 AM
Paying people who enjoy arguing to work by the hour is pretty much a recipe for disaster. The key to success is realizing that lawyers are simply another tool used to carry out *your* design.

As for partners, you're better off with no one than a bad one, but a good one is worth his weight in gold. I am 5 years in with mine and there is no question having both of us has made the business much stronger. The one piece of advice I have is to have a prenup just to avoid things like this one. That's also a good test of how good a fit you are.

tattoomike68
03-10-2009, 01:09 AM
I've been in business with a partner since 1979. In 1982 we took in another partner. In 2003 the first partner retired and we bought him out. Last May the other partner decided to go to work for another company so I asked him what it would take to buy him out. He said I'll take X amount, and I said ok I'll give you that amount. He then goes to a @#^%&* lawyer and the lawyer says no, no, you can hold him up for more than that, so the deal is off. Next the lawyer wants to meet with me and my CPA and we get there and he has hired another CPA and says I'm trying to rip off my partner. I say, he told me what he wanted and I said ok, so how am I ripping him off? The lawyer says we're worth more than what I'm offering, so I meet with my CPA and we up the anti by 35K. The lawyer doesn't even tell the partner this amount and ups it another 15K back to me. I tell the lawyer the price just went down 30K and as of 5PM this afternoon we push out the K1 and the partner is owing taxes instead of getting a refund of 6K. My secretary(bless her heart) calls the partners wife and tells her that the lawyer is mucking up the deal and it's costing them big time. The wife calls the partner and tells him to call the lawyer and tell him to take the deal. All of this crap and it comes right back to where it started with my counter offer. Lawyers talk a lot of talk but they really don't know s**t about anything but screwing up the works.
Ahhhh, I feel a little better now.;)

Patrick

This is bad but I would hire a crack head to remove the lawyers teeth, break all thier fingers and dump them 10 miles out of town with a stick up thier butt.

Thy would not bug me twice. And that me being nice.

tattoomike68
03-10-2009, 01:09 AM
edited for commie punks

Oldbrock
03-10-2009, 01:29 AM
Yeah. 99.9% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

gnm109
03-10-2009, 01:44 AM
This is bad but I would hire a crack head to remove the lawyers teeth, break all thier fingers and dump them 10 miles out of town with a stick up thier butt.

They would not bug me twice. And thats me being nice.

Deleted...................................:)

tattoomike68
03-10-2009, 01:54 AM
What a strange thing to say in public! That would be soicitation to commit mayhem, assault, kidnapping, false imprisinment and attempted murder. Surely you're kidding......

I'm a lawyer, by the way. I'd like to meet you sometime for coffee. You sound like a really interesting fellow.


LOL just kidding.. ;)

tattoomike68
03-10-2009, 02:00 AM
Lawyers are scum every last one of them..

gnm109
03-10-2009, 02:02 AM
LOL just kidding.. ;)


Phew, I feel better now. I was worried for a while.

I worked as a lawyer for 20 years and retired (maybe temporarily) due to medical reasons a year or so ago. I met a few attorneys that I would consider to be less than honest but they amounted to only a handful.

I'm not stcking up for the breed. Everybody's got a story to tell.

There are good and bad in all professions. When choosing an attorney, people should use as least as much care as when choosng an accountant or a machinist.

To bring this post back to the OP's original OT post, I cannot tell you how difficult partnerships can be, especially when they are being dissolved, or one partner passes away, or gets a divorce or other family members meddle, etc. etc.

The area of partnerships is a well-known hotbed of dissension and there are many cases to show this in the law books. JMO.

Now back to our regularly scheduled machining posts.

.

tony ennis
03-10-2009, 02:13 AM
The problem most people have with lawyers is that they hold tremendous power over us. An Ambulance Chaser can file one paper to the courthouse... and we lose thousands of dollars paying a lawyer to defend us.

My wife and I are currently being jerked around by such a lawyer with a baseless suit. And there's nothing we can do but pay and pay even though we can't lose.

So while I don't agree with it I can understand the sentiment behind the rather colorful metaphor someone posted earlier.

Frank Ford
03-10-2009, 02:20 AM
Here yet again is more proof that partnerships never workout.

Here yet again is more proof that most lawyers are unscroupulous lying hacks.

Yadda, yadda.

C'mon now.

I've been in business with my partner, Richard, now for FORTY YEARS, and there's NO sign of difficulty - we'll be doing biznez together until one of us drops dead. (Retirement is for those poor souls who don't like their work.)

As to attorneys, well, I've yet to have experience with one I didn't trust.

You sometimes see what you expect, if you catch the drift. . .

tattoomike68
03-10-2009, 02:21 AM
Phew, I feel better now. I was worried for a while.

I worked as a lawyer for 20 years and retired (maybe temporarily) due to medical reasons a year or so ago. I met a few attorneys that I would consider to be less than honest but they amounted to only a handful.

I'm not stcking up for the breed. Everybody's got a story to tell.

There are good and bad in all professions. When choosing an attorney, people should use as least as much care as when choosng an accountant or a machinist.

To bring this post back to the OP's original OT post, I cannot tell you how difficult partnerships can be, especially when they are being dissolved, or one partner passes away, or gets a divorce or other family members meddle, etc. etc.

The area of partnerships is a well-known hotbed of dissension and there are many cases to show this in the law books. JMO.

Now back to our regularly scheduled machining posts.

.


Im sure you are a good person but, I were you I would get a real job and live longer. poor people need lawyers, help them.

gnm109
03-10-2009, 05:23 AM
Im sure you are a good person but, I were you I would get a real job and live longer. poor people need lawyers, help them.


I hate stupid people.

ahidley
03-10-2009, 08:41 AM
I think what made your old partner take the offer was the tax consequences that you brought up that he would owe because it would be dragged out.

Your Old Dog
03-10-2009, 08:51 AM
Sorry you are having trouble HSS. My experiance was just the opposite. If the defence appeal fails, the lawyer who represented me gets $800,000 as his fee of the award and I don't begrudge him one iota as he earned every penny of it. Three weeks before the trial started I was getting phone calls from him personally on Saturdays and Sundays asking for clarifications as he got up to speed on my case. Prior to that, his staff did all the research and then handed it off to him for trial.

I did a Google on him and found an article on him for his recent State Bar Association award, that's when I knew I had the right guy. I wanted to be able to sleep at night when the whole thing was over. Here, in part, is what they had to say about him:

The Attorney Professionalism Award recognizes attorneys who display the highest standards of professionalism including: dedication to the service of clients, commitment to promoting respect for the legal system in the pursuit of justice and the public good, outstanding ethical conduct, competence, good judgment, integrity and civility.

wierdscience
03-10-2009, 09:42 AM
Yadda, yadda.

C'mon now.

I've been in business with my partner, Richard, now for FORTY YEARS, and there's NO sign of difficulty - we'll be doing biznez together until one of us drops dead. (Retirement is for those poor souls who don't like their work.)

As to attorneys, well, I've yet to have experience with one I didn't trust.

You sometimes see what you expect, if you catch the drift. . .

Well there could be 1 out of 25million:)

Don't ever brag,the score stands at partnerships 0,sole proprietor ships 41 and corporations 25.Partnerships just don't have a good track record,people change and when they do....It's been interesting watching all my customers come and go,I hear more sob stories than a bar tender.

JeffKranz
03-10-2009, 09:49 AM
As my brother always says - the only ship that doesn't float is a "partnership".

Evan
03-10-2009, 10:16 AM
Most politicians are lawyers. Need I say more?

A.K. Boomer
03-10-2009, 10:52 AM
Sorry you are having trouble HSS. My experiance was just the opposite. If the defence appeal fails, the lawyer who represented me gets $800,000 as his fee of the award and I don't begrudge him one iota as he earned every penny of it. Three weeks before the trial started I was getting phone calls from him personally on Saturdays and Sundays asking for clarifications as he got up to speed on my case. Prior to that, his staff did all the research and then handed it off to him for trial.

.[/I]



Well, you put it that way --- $800,000 would be a serious bargain --- making a phone call on one weekend day is above and beyond - but two is unheard of (plus it depends what kind of phone rates he has) and all those papers can get pretty dang heavy to handle:rolleyes: read between the lines; A _ _ _ _ and his money are soon parted. :p

BillH
03-10-2009, 11:20 AM
Hey, you know that most democrats in political office are lawyers right?

Evan
03-10-2009, 11:23 AM
Same with republicans.

Carld
03-10-2009, 02:58 PM
The problem with many partnerships is they treat the business as a friendship deal rather than a business deal. If the partnership is set up to protect each partner and have a reasonable breakup deal they would work. Many times one does more work than the other and that's where the trouble starts but there are a lot of reasons for partnerships to fail.

Lawyers are in the market to get all they can for their client and themselves and when you understand that you may be able to deal with it.

Politicians may start off with good and honerable intensions to do good for their constituents but the ditry business of politics soon gets in the way of honesty. If they went into politics as a life long career they started out dirty they will end up dirty. There is no way ANY politician can do the work of government without being two faced and cheat, it is the nature of the job.

The old saying of "If you like sausage and respect the laws don't watch either one being made" is very true.

Your Old Dog
03-10-2009, 03:31 PM
........... read between the lines; A _ _ _ _ and his money are soon parted. :p

I did. I read it as "A full and his money are soon parted". Would 1.7 mil be full enough? :D That's some reasonable walking around change to be fooling with.

Evan
03-10-2009, 03:52 PM
Well there could be 1 out of 25million

We had a lawyer for the odd job now and then who represented us for many years. He is retired now but when we were first looking I knew I had found an honest lawyer when I saw his name on the shingle. His firm was Crook and Company. I kid you not. :D

Then there is this group I found on the net. :D

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics/image1.jpg



There is no way ANY politician can do the work of government without being two faced and cheat, it is the nature of the job


Ronald Reagan: Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

PeteM
03-10-2009, 04:36 PM
A friend likes to say:

- Engineers create wealth
- Accountants count wealth
- Lawyers suck wealth

We certainly need a few lawyers -- to make sure that others are not above the law. Honorable lawyers often take on cases where the innocent or less powerful are being screwed. But law is a strange profession. Today it's more about value extraction than value preservation -- and certainly not about value creation.

Law in this country is one of the few professions where you can create your own job in the absence of any real customer demand: find someone with wealth, find something they maybe kind of possibly did wrong, and sue them. The costs of settling are often less than the costs of defending.

Imagine if manufacturers could build any kind of crap and then force unwilling customers to buy it. Nice work if you can get it :(

Scishopguy
03-10-2009, 04:45 PM
This is bad but I would hire a crack head to remove the lawyers teeth, break all thier fingers and dump them 10 miles out of town with a stick up thier butt.

Thy would not bug me twice. And that me being nice.

Maybe Vlad the Impailer was troubled with lawyers :D :D :D

saltmine
03-10-2009, 06:11 PM
Two lawyers are stranded on a small desert island in the Pacific. They have no radio or survival equipment. Being lawyers neither of them felt it was necessary to file a flight plan, so….nobody knows where they are or if they’re missing.
On the island, there is a small fresh water stream, and a lone coconut palm. The tree supplies enough fruit for them to survive, and each day one of the lawyers climbs the tree and knocks down a few coconuts.
After being on the island for a number of years, they have given up all hope of rescue. One morning, one of them climbs the tree to fetch their coconuts for the day. Off in the distance, he spots what looks like a person lying on a raft. He shouts down to his buddy,”Hey! There’s a guy on a raft out there, and it’s drifting this way.” His partner says, “You’re seeing things again, you’ve been on this island too long.”
As the raft drifts closer, they realize the person on the raft is a completely naked, gorgeous blonde.
Eventually they get the raft to shore and find out that she is sound asleep, but in very good health.
They also discover she has not a ring or any piece of clothing or jewelry…
The first lawyer says, “You know, we’ve been on this island for years, without a woman……Do you think we should …….screw her?”
“Out of what?” replies his partner…?

Alistair Hosie
03-10-2009, 06:16 PM
when I was inm business apart from having my wife as a partner, I would never be able to work like this with anyone else as I could never trust anyone like I trust my wife. Anyway my best friend is in or was in partnership with another friend of mine and it ended in disatster seems this partner one was running a seperate set of books carrying out work for clients the first guy new nothing about. He got away with it for years simply because the had 2 premises and one guy was in one place and the other was in the other anyway he was devastated when he found out and was never right after that trusting people til the day he died.Alistair

atty
03-10-2009, 07:03 PM
Unfortunately the public perception of lawyers is born out of a lack of knowledge of what goes on in the business, and the difficulty of dealing with that element of the public that all services professions have to endure....you know that sector that requires you to cover your a**. I spent the better part of my last years practicing doing just that.

Wife sits in front of your desk teary-eyed, and telling you that she wants you to accept their offer. She just wants it over with. Then, months later, when the tears are gone, you get a call from....yes, a lawyer, telling you that she wants to sue your socks off for letting her take a lousy deal. I finally told my secretary that from here on out every settlement that I didn't feel comfortable with was going down in front of a court reporter and a video camera. Enough is enough.

It didn't used to be that way, and I don't want to sound like Dan Quayle and his famous "family values" speech, but when I started in the mid 70's, most of my graduating class, me included, started their apprenticeship with the old "gray hairs" that taught them how to, and how not to, conduct yourself in the practice of law. Sometimes your mentor inadvertently taught you how you didn't want to do things, but a lesson is a lesson nonetheless. In my waning years I saw more and more law school graduates hit the streets like a bunch of rabid dogs. No mentor, no guidance, just fire your gun with no regard for aim and target, and hope you hit something. The net result was a further tarnishing of the image of those that were trying to practice in an honorable fashion.

Now maybe the lawyer at the start of this topic hired the CPA to cover his a** to shield himself from being sued, or maybe he was just another rabid dog turning the crank out of ignorance or just plain greed. That answer is to be found in the person, not the profession. And don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the profession. I'm probably its biggest critic, but I will defend a scant few that are in it who go to that courthouse every day for all the right reasons.

I know the favorite rap on a lawyer is chasing the buck. That we do, after all it is the way we pay rent and sec'y salaries, and while, like all professions, most of the day to day tasks were geared toward that goal, occasionally, and I stress occasionally, a case would come through my door that made me glad to be a lawyer. I knew I wasn't going to get paid, but that wasn't the point. Here's some poor soul that has worked hard all her his/her life trying to do the right thing, and some big entity, usually with money and resources, tries to steamroll the little guy. Suddenly that power, that Tony Ennis referred to, feels good in your hands knowing you have a pretty good shot at planting it right between his eyes. For money, No. It feels good because you know that is the right result. I didn't pay any bills with those cases, but damn, I'm here to tell you, it's a hell of a good feeling walking out of that courthouse knowing that you kept a mother and her kids from being thrown out of the house, or a small business from being wiped out. I didn't slay Goliath on every one, but I savor those that I did.

Life is funny. After 25 years of trials, the cases that I remember the most, have the fondest of memories, are those that the only payment was a sincere "Thank you" from a very grateful client.

Rustybolt
03-10-2009, 07:42 PM
lawyers are a%$holes. Until you need one. I've known a couple of good lawyers and one good CPA. They all have kept me out of jail.

HSS
03-10-2009, 08:00 PM
As for the partnership, my brother told me it would not last. It lasted 24 years and we got along just fine. When he retired we paid him 1/3 of the value of the company. He still works for me 2 days a week and I furnish him a truck to take home. The other partner was owed 1/2 of the worth of the business but said he would take less. Done deal, until the lawyer. The lawyer and his CPA accused me of taking advantage of the partner. They said he didn't get enough pay for the time he put in. He made more than I did and he always got a tax refund and a bonus. I very seldom got a refund... until this year. Got me a good one coming now. Thank ya partner.
Partnerships are good if you get the right partner. Lawyers are ok if you get the right lawyer. But I damn sure didn't hire this one.

Mcgyver
03-10-2009, 09:23 PM
partnerships work wonderfully until the parties' interest are no longer aligned. When that happens a collaboration is still the way to deal with change but its best done with a solid shareholder agreement underscoring it. Want to wade through creating a shareholder agreement without a commercial lawyer, not me :D

saltmine
03-10-2009, 11:20 PM
Is it just me, or didn't the profession of attorney USED to be an honorable profession? Like automobile mechanics, and truck drivers? Auotmobile mechanics used to be well respected, when I was growing up. And truck drivers USED to be known as "Knights of the Road"...What happened?

wierdscience
03-11-2009, 12:27 AM
Is it just me, or didn't the profession of attorney USED to be an honorable profession? Like automobile mechanics, and truck drivers? Auotmobile mechanics used to be well respected, when I was growing up. And truck drivers USED to be known as "Knights of the Road"...What happened?

Dealerships and teamsters:D

Evan
03-11-2009, 01:00 AM
I once testified at a trial as to the fact of an auto accident just in front of my house many years ago. A vehicle left the road and rolled on it's roof at low speed. The driver was so drunk he could barely stand up. After about 30 seconds he took off on foot weaving down the road. At the same time I shouted to my wife to call the police. She ducked into the house to do that. In the meantime I put out some 15 minute flares. Before the flares burned out the police showed up with the driver in custody to get particulars from me.

I was called to testify about the exact time of the accident because the defendant's lawyer was claiming that the police took more than the 20 minute time limit to take a breath sample. I had not looked at my watch when the accident happened but could testify that I had instructed my wife to call the police within 60 seconds of the accident happening.

The time of her call was recorded at the station of course. I stated that I was certain that she had gone inside and called immediately. That was stricken because I could not testify that I had seen her actually make the call. Without evidence as to when she made the call in relation to when the accident happened there was the possibility that the time limit had been exceeded so the defendant was found not guilty and the charges dismissed.

The actual fact is that the defendant was guilty as sin. He was drunk far beyond the ability to drive or even walk. It didn't take an expert witness to testify to that but the case hinged on the timing of the breath test.

I knew the defendant was guilty, the judge knew he was guilty and his lawyer knew he was guilty. I personally think it is unethical to defend somebody as innocent when it is clear that the defendant is guilty as charged.

It is this sort of thing that has destroyed the reputation of lawyers. I am not the only one that feels that a crime is being committed when a lawyer is able to have the charges against a clearly guilty party dismissed because of a "technicality".

Willy
03-11-2009, 01:31 AM
So who's at fault here Evan, the lawyer or the law?

His responsibility is to protect his client by the laws of this land, not to make moral judgments. If the lawyer in your scenario hadn't gotten him acquitted then surely another would have stepped up to the plate.
It is the law that's immoral not the lawyer. As the saying goes...don't shoot the messenger.

Evan
03-11-2009, 01:48 AM
The problem lies in that he was found not guilty. The lawyer pleaded the case that his client was not guilty because the delay in taking the breath sample meant that his client may not have been impaired at the time of the accident. The reason for the time limit is to allow that a person may have had a big "one for the road" and it hasn't had time to kick in enough to make him legally impaired on a short drive home. There is nothing wrong with that law but I could testify that the defendant was so impaired he clearly had trouble even standing. He was entirely uninjured in the rollover but could hardly speak he was so impaired. That was ignored. There is something wrong with the system all right but I still believe it unethical for an attorney to take advantage of that to have valid charges dismissed. He is expected to defend his client against false charges, not do everything he can to see that his client escapes punishment for wrongdoing.

Willy
03-11-2009, 02:42 AM
While I can surely sympathize with your situation Evan, (since I've been in almost an identical set of circumstances), I hardly think it unethical to defend a client as the law is written.
What I do find disturbing is the fact that loopholes like this exist in the first place. It's the justice system we should chastise, not necessarily lawyers. It's like blaming the kid at the car lot for everything wrong with automobile industry.

gnm109
03-11-2009, 02:55 AM
The problem lies in that he was found not guilty. The lawyer pleaded the case that his client was not guilty because the delay in taking the breath sample meant that his client may not have been impaired at the time of the accident. The reason for the time limit is to allow that a person may have had a big "one for the road" and it hasn't had time to kick in enough to make him legally impaired on a short drive home. There is nothing wrong with that law but I could testify that the defendant was so impaired he clearly had trouble even standing. He was entirely uninjured in the rollover but could hardly speak he was so impaired. That was ignored. There is something wrong with the system all right but I still believe it unethical for an attorney to take advantage of that to have valid charges dismissed. He is expected to defend his client against false charges, not do everything he can to see that his client escapes punishment for wrongdoing.


I'll probably catch holy hell for even daring to respond to your post here, Evan but I simply can't resist. :)

In no way is it the duty of an attorney only to defend his or her client against false charges. In a criminal case, the attorney has a duty of due care to assist the client in every way possible to ascertain that the charges are correct and properly brought and that, if the client is found guilty, such conviction was done in accordance with the law after due process is utilized. To do less is malpractice.

Furthermore, the attorney does in fact have a duty to make certain that the prosecutor proves every last element of the crime. If there is insufficient evidence, as it apparently was found in your case, then the client should go free.

In your view of an attorney's duties, we would merely go to court and plead our client guilty without putting forth any effort whatosever.

By the way, here in California drunks lose their licenses automatically under the "administrative per se rule" prior to trial for a minimun of 40 days. The fines are horrendous, even for the first offense. The automobile may be confiscated after the third offence along with increasing local jail time. The fourth offense carries a mandatory felony conviction with automatic prison time, usually 18 months. If there is bodily injury or death, the fines and prison time are far worse.

If you have a complaint, perhaps it is with the English who developed such a system where actual proof of guilt is required.

As far as the overall negative attitude around this site with regard to the legal profession and attorneys in general, I simply do not care. It's made me a very good living for many years and I have smiled all the way to the bank. As I've said before, I'm mainly a lurker here anymore since I mainly own "China Crap".

None of this matters, however since I'm only "Scum".

Regards from Sunny California. :)

dhammer
03-11-2009, 07:03 AM
.

As far as the overall negative attitude around this site with regard to the legal profession and attorneys in general, I simply do not care. It's made me a very good living for many years and I have smiled all the way to the bank. As I've said before, I'm mainly a lurker here anymore since I mainly own "China Crap".

None of this matters, however since I'm only "Scum".

Regards from Sunny California. :)[/QUOTE]
gnm
I would imagine that it would be very difficult,at times, for a principled person to practice law. He..or she..would have to deal with "scum" almost every day of their working lives. The word "scum" does not necessarily define lawyers or guilty defendents but crooked cops and judges as well..I've seen my share of them too. As in every profession there are good ones and bad ones..how you define good or bad often depends on which side of the fence you're on.

However, your above quote probably and hopefully does not do justice to your life's work. Do you really mean to say what you did? Or, perhaps your feelings are hurt by the low regard for lawyers held by some members of this board

BTW, what did you think of Grisham's latest book"The Appeal"? How much was fact or fiction I don't know . His book was IMHO definitey propaganda and I'm sure he will be taking alot of flak because of it...but..his scenario is timely. I think I read somewhere about a Supreme Court justice in some southern state who was accused of ruling favorably for someone who just spent millions on that justice's election. Makes one think.

As for Chinese crap that is quite another subject.

Best wishes,

Steve

oldtiffie
03-11-2009, 07:34 AM
Originally Posted by Evan
The problem lies in that he was found not guilty. The lawyer pleaded the case that his client was not guilty because the delay in taking the breath sample meant that his client may not have been impaired at the time of the accident. The reason for the time limit is to allow that a person may have had a big "one for the road" and it hasn't had time to kick in enough to make him legally impaired on a short drive home. There is nothing wrong with that law but I could testify that the defendant was so impaired he clearly had trouble even standing. He was entirely uninjured in the rollover but could hardly speak he was so impaired. That was ignored. There is something wrong with the system all right but I still believe it unethical for an attorney to take advantage of that to have valid charges dismissed. He is expected to defend his client against false charges, not do everything he can to see that his client escapes punishment for wrongdoing.


I'll probably catch holy hell for even daring to respond to your post here, Evan but I simply can't resist. :)

In no way is it the duty of an attorney only to defend his or her client against false charges. In a criminal case, the attorney has a duty of due care to assist the client in every way possible to ascertain that the charges are correct and properly brought and that, if the client is found guilty, such conviction was done in accordance with the law after due process is utilized. To do less is malpractice.

Furthermore, the attorney does in fact have a duty to make certain that the prosecutor proves every last element of the crime. If there is insufficient evidence, as it apparently was found in your case, then the client should go free.

In your view of an attorney's duties, we would merely go to court and plead our client guilty without putting forth any effort whatosever.

By the way, here in California drunks lose their licenses automatically under the "administrative per se rule" prior to trial for a minimun of 40 days. The fines are horrendous, even for the first offense. The automobile may be confiscated after the third offence along with increasing local jail time. The fourth offense carries a mandatory felony conviction with automatic prison time, usually 18 months. If there is bodily injury or death, the fines and prison time are far worse.

If you have a complaint, perhaps it is with the English who developed such a system where actual proof of guilt is required.

As far as the overall negative attitude around this site with regard to the legal profession and attorneys in general, I simply do not care. It's made me a very good living for many years and I have smiled all the way to the bank. As I've said before, I'm mainly a lurker here anymore since I mainly own "China Crap".

None of this matters, however since I'm only "Scum".

Regards from Sunny California. :)

Frankly, I am really pissed off at the bad reaction to Lawyers, as I must say that in my dealings with them, they have been very proud of their profession, very professional in it and I have been very satisfied - win (mostly) or lose (occasionally). I had no problems at all with costs as I regarded them as very good investments with very good returns, in many ways, cash/worth included. It sure did cost a damn side less than it might have been if I had not been professionally serviced and represented.

Same applied to Engineers, Accountants, Financial Advisors as well as land Surveyors, Medical General and Specialist Practitioners etc. etc.

Perhaps I have been lucky and perhaps, if some of the adverse comment and opinions here are anyway representative of life and the Law in the US, you are very unfortunate.

I would take issue with Evan on the matter of the particular case to which he referred in that I sure do not agree with the statement:

The problem lies in that he was found not guilty.
In my mind the Lawyer did exactly as he should have in that he challenged the veracity of the Prosecution case which, based on the evidence, was inadequate as prescribed by Law and given that the accused is presumed to be innocent unless or until proven guilty then the Accused had to be found to be not guilty (under the Law). Note that the accused is rarely if ever found or declared to be innocent although that can be presumed to be the case.

The problem seems to be the inadequacy of the Prosecution's case which did not stand up to scrutiny and examination in a Court.

Evan's statement seems to infer that the accused was guilty under Law and had to prove that not to be true under the Law.

The Prosecution and its case was lacking and it should have known it and either not pressed the case or should have withdrawn the charge/s.

I have seen several cases where the "some-one else" was seen or deemed to be guilty before they were tried and if not found to be guilty there was quite a kerfuffle and public complaining on that occasion and rejoicing if the accused was found guilty.

In those cases it just so happened that the tables were turned and it was the person who was related and/or held in high regard or esteem - ie "one of us or me!!" - and the public comment was quite the reverse to the first instance. In that case the accused was found to be not guilty and the Lawyer was lauded and congratulated etc. and the accused boasted of "beating the rap" as he was in similar circumstances to the driver in Evan's instance.

In OZ, it is the job of the Legislature to initiate and/or revise the laws as necessary. It is the job of the Police to uphold the Law. It is the job of the Prosecution to decide whether or not the case presented by the Police is adequate to succeed in a Court of Law. It is the job of the Judiciary to see that the Law is correctly and fairly - so far as the Law provides - applied and that a correct verdict is achieved and a proper penalty applied in the case of a guilty verdict.

Perhaps its different in the US.

Trial by the media or public protest and mayhem is not all that far from the mob rules in the French and Russian (and other) Revolution or Lynching Parties, Kangaroo Courts, Star Chambers and even Salem etc.

I think we can well do with out any of that!!

I nearly choked and felt really sad when I read this quote from/by gnm109:


As far as the overall negative attitude around this site with regard to the legal profession and attorneys in general, I simply do not care. It's made me a very good living for many years and I have smiled all the way to the bank. As I've said before, I'm mainly a lurker here anymore since I mainly own "China Crap".

None of this matters, however since I'm only "Scum".

I hope that the unfortunate negative attitude to Lawyers is only that of a vocal strident minority who, in my opinion are neither necessarily representative of the whole of the HSM forum. That enough people say it loudly enough and often enough and that nobody takes up the case for the accused (in this case Lawyers) does not necessarily make them right - or wrong. There is a vast difference between what "everybody" may be represented as saying and what they really say or think. So far as I am aware, nobody has a mandate to speak for anyone let alone everyone else on this forum.

This has all the signs of a "Black Swan event":

Criteria to identify a Black Swan Event
Based on the author's criteria:

Event has appeared by complete surprise.
Event has a major impact.
Event, after it has appeared, is 'explained' by human hindsight.

at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory

In that the "majority" ("mob") which was so certain of its opinions and outcomes that an "adverse" (to them) outcome was almost inconceivable.

This might have been another similar instance:

As I've said before, I'm mainly a lurker here anymore since I mainly own "China Crap".

If any agree with this then a lot of those who own "China" stuff are or maybe seen to be guilty by association of a "crime" or "offence" that may not be a crime or an offence at all. It may well be an unjustified harassment of some quite innocent members by a vocal crowd again.

If any said this sort of thing about anybody without being specific as to names or individual cases or instances - or without sufficient (or any) justification and used that as an excuse to apply the "broad brush" to "tar" everyone who has an "offending" and/or unpopular belief or occupation is not something to be proud of.

DR
03-11-2009, 08:21 AM
My advice based on one nasty experience with a lawsuit that could have nearly wiped me out is hire an older experienced lawyer.

When I was lawyer shopping I talked with a number of young aggressive lawyers. The "sue their butts off off types".

Ultimately, I found an older, experienced lawyer. Luckily my adversary also had one of similar age and experience. The case was settled out of court.

BTW, this was one of those situations where the party in the right , me, paid a fair sum of money to make the other party go away. Still, looking back 20 years it was the best route to take. A jury trial would have been a long drawn out expensive affair without a 100% predictable outcome.

Beware of lawyers who would rush a case to trial. I found the young lawyers I interviewed a little too wiling to argue the case in court.

Mcgyver
03-11-2009, 09:58 AM
.

I would imagine that it would be very difficult,at times, for a principled person to practice law. He..or she..would have to deal with "scum" almost every day of their working lives.

that remark i think suggests a limited view of the practice of law. I agree the practice of defending child molesters and ambulance chasing litigators probably does establish a filter such that more of a certain type ends up in those positions. However that is a small % of lawyers. Most I've met do estate work/real estate; helping people with their wills or closing a house deal, corporate and commercial, tax, patent and securities. They are as good a cross section of people as any other group and want as little to do with child molesters and drug dealers as you and i.

gnm, don't let it upset, lawyers tends to be lighting rod for social discontent but as with most bashing there's not a lot of knowledge backstopping it. I think there are lots of problems with the legal system (in both countries) but lawyers like any service/product just fill the vacuum the environment creates. The blame should rest judges and legislators who've created the environment. (who of coarse are lawyers :D )

gnm109
03-11-2009, 10:33 AM
Frankly, I am really pissed off at the bad reaction to Lawyers, as I must say that in my dealings with them, they have been very proud of their profession, very professional in it and I have been very satisfied - win (mostly) or lose (occasionally). I had no problems at all with costs as I regarded them as very good investments with very good returns, in many ways, cash/worth included. It sure did cost a damn side less than it might have been if I had not been professionally serviced and represented.

Same applied to Engineers, Accountants, Financial Advisors as well as land Surveyors, Medical General and Specialist Practitioners etc. etc.

Perhaps I have been lucky and perhaps, if some of the adverse comment and opinions here are anyway representative of life and the Law in the US, you are very unfortunate.

I would take issue with Evan on the matter of the particular case to which he referred in that I sure do not agree with the statement:

In my mind the Lawyer did exactly as he should have in that he challenged the veracity of the Prosecution case which, based on the evidence, was inadequate as prescribed by Law and given that the accused is presumed to be innocent unless or until proven guilty then the Accused had to be found to be not guilty (under the Law). Note that the accused is rarely if ever found or declared to be innocent although that can be presumed to be the case.

The problem seems to be the inadequacy of the Prosecution's case which did not stand up to scrutiny and examination in a Court.

Evan's statement seems to infer that the accused was guilty under Law and had to prove that not to be true under the Law.

The Prosecution and its case was lacking and it should have known it and either not pressed the case or should have withdrawn the charge/s.

I have seen several cases where the "some-one else" was seen or deemed to be guilty before they were tried and if not found to be guilty there was quite a kerfuffle and public complaining on that occasion and rejoicing if the accused was found guilty.

In those cases it just so happened that the tables were turned and it was the person who was related and/or held in high regard or esteem - ie "one of us or me!!" - and the public comment was quite the reverse to the first instance. In that case the accused was found to be not guilty and the Lawyer was lauded and congratulated etc. and the accused boasted of "beating the rap" as he was in similar circumstances to the driver in Evan's instance.

In OZ, it is the job of the Legislature to initiate and/or revise the laws as necessary. It is the job of the Police to uphold the Law. It is the job of the Prosecution to decide whether or not the case presented by the Police is adequate to succeed in a Court of Law. It is the job of the Judiciary to see that the Law is correctly and fairly - so far as the Law provides - applied and that a correct verdict is achieved and a proper penalty applied in the case of a guilty verdict.

Perhaps its different in the US.

Trial by the media or public protest and mayhem is not all that far from the mob rules in the French and Russian (and other) Revolution or Lynching Parties, Kangaroo Courts, Star Chambers and even Salem etc.

I think we can well do with out any of that!!

I nearly choked and felt really sad when I read this quote from/by gnm109:



I hope that the unfortunate negative attitude to Lawyers is only that of a vocal strident minority who, in my opinion are neither necessarily representative of the whole of the HSM forum. That enough people say it loudly enough and often enough and that nobody takes up the case for the accused (in this case Lawyers) does not necessarily make them right - or wrong. There is a vast difference between what "everybody" may be represented as saying and what they really say or think. So far as I am aware, nobody has a mandate to speak for anyone let alone everyone else on this forum.

This has all the signs of a "Black Swan event":


at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory

In that the "majority" ("mob") which was so certain of its opinions and outcomes that an "adverse" (to them) outcome was almost inconceivable.

This might have been another similar instance:


If any agree with this then a lot of those who own "China" stuff are or maybe seen to be guilty by association of a "crime" or "offence" that may not be a crime or an offence at all. It may well be an unjustified harassment of some quite innocent members by a vocal crowd again.

If any said this sort of thing about anybody without being specific as to names or individual cases or instances - or without sufficient (or any) justification and used that as an excuse to apply the "broad brush" to "tar" everyone who has an "offending" and/or unpopular belief or occupation is not something to be proud of.


A very good and interesting post. You have "got it". You clearly explain the basis for my thoughts on this topic.

Many people are burdened with a complete misundersanding of the law and the position of the attorney in a criminal case. If a case is unpopular they criticize the attorney for taking the case and speak about his unethical behavior for defending a person who "is clearly guilty".

Years ago, it wasn't always the right of a defendant in our country, accused of a serious crime, indigent, perhaps illiterate, to even have an attorney where his freedom was at risk. A case that I've always admired changed all of that. It made a good movie with some great actors as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_v._Wainwright

As far as whether people here like or dislike attorneys, it really makes no difference. Nor does it matter what the people here think of cheap, crude, Chinese machines (as opposed to the wonderful, nay almost angelic, Taiwanese machinery or the readily available, easily restorable, albeit totally knackered, wonderful old American and European items) LOL. I can handle it. Knock yourselves out.

As to the law, it helped me and my wife raise three good children and pay off the house. As to the machinery, I can do stuff that's "close enough for government work". I do also some welding and I own only American machinery for that. The Chinese are still running behind in that area.

Thanks for your thoughtful response, Mr. O. Tiffie. :)

Evan
03-11-2009, 10:50 AM
The problem I have with the situation I related is that the accused was guilty as charged.


In no way is it the duty of an attorney only to defend his or her client against false charges. In a criminal case, the attorney has a duty of due care to assist the client in every way possible to ascertain that the charges are correct and properly brought and that, if the client is found guilty, such conviction was done in accordance with the law after due process is utilized. To do less is malpractice.


There was no proof that the breath test wasn't performed according to the law. In fact it was but the police could not prove it with the evidence available in court. The only mistake made was to not call my wife as a witness to testify that she called the police immediately.

Regardless, it is the perception of the public in a case like that that the defense attorney is exploiting the law to find a loophole that allow the guilty to escape punishment for a crime. This is my point. I know a lot about the law and understand the fine points of what constitutes proof, evidence and why the judge decided as he did. It still remains that the accused was clearly guilty as charged and that all proper procedures were followed.

The general public does not understand why the accused was found not guilty when the particulars of such a case are made public for some reason. They perceive the defense attorney as aiding and abetting the accused in his crime by ensuring he suffers no consequence. Right or wrong that is the general perception and is what I meant to illustrate.

It goes even further than that. There are numerous high profile cases where the accused has been caught red handed in the illegal act, murder perhaps, and then in court pleads Not Guilty under the advice of his defense counsel. That is incomprehensible to most people and is seen as a violation of natural justice, again attributed to defense counsel and seen as a reprehensible action.

Perhaps one of the largest contributors to the notion of lawyers as despicable and unworthy of respect has been brought to the fore by the very large increase in bitter and drawn out divorce actions since WWII. I know whereof I speak as my parents subjected myself and siblings to treatment and hard lessons in trust that resulted in myself and my brothers and sister never really forgiving them to this day. They were both aided in that by their attorneys which commonly in a divorce action try to equate the other other parent in a custody dispute as being a close relation of Jeffery Dahmer or Hannibal Lector.

ckelloug
03-11-2009, 11:13 AM
I'll chime in.

Rubbishing the lawyers with machine tools in the basement certainly isn't the way to have a constructive dialog between fulltime machinists and fulltime lawyers. The lawyers that we find on this board are just like us: people trying to make something of what they've got.

I'd like to say that I think the problem is more with people in this world trying to get something for nothing. Lawyers are just tools that are occasionally used to bad end like other tools.

They are tools much like the docile phillips screwdriver that normally helps me assemble things but occasionally creates a bloody mess when it punches a hole in my finger when it slips. Just like you can get a machinist with a bolt cutters to get you into that locked cabinet where your think your buddy stashed your bowling ball, you can call a lawyer to get you into his bank account where you think he has stashed your money.

In the end, it's about the integrity of the persons calling the lawyers and their willingness to do the right thing of their own accord.

A lawyer is basically like an op-amp amplifying it's input signal. If there is no feedback path between the lawer output and the client input then the system goes unstable and that's where the behavior that we attribute to lawyers comes from in my humble opinion as an engineer.

Regards all,

Cameron

Evan
03-11-2009, 11:22 AM
I have no antipathy toward lawyers or anybody else because of thier profession with the exception of drug dealers. I was pointing out why the current climate of distrust and plethora of bad jokes exists. I personally always wanted to be a lawyer, a patent attorney in particular, which is about as distant as one can be in the profession from a defense attorney. I personally would have a very hard time advising a person who I knew was guilty to plead innocent. It doesn't seem right but maybe that's just my warped sense of justice.

Willy
03-11-2009, 11:39 AM
You are of course absolutely right Evan, I don't think anybody with even the slightest amount of professional integrity would not be troubled by defending someone they knew to be guilty.
I'm sure most attorneys do have trouble sleeping at night when put in those situations.

Once they stop having a conscience to keep them awake, is when they know it's time to seek a political office.:D

plastikosmd
03-11-2009, 11:43 AM
It is often not the lawyers but the high profile cases that create such anger. A hot cup of McD's coffee and a spill. Basically an argument of how hot is hot which is somehow worth millions, tho settled for less. Somehow it was 80% Mcd's fault and 20% the injured party (even with a warning on the lid.) Sure the awards etc are not set by the lawyer(s) but they will catch the blame, they also collect on that award. Follow that with any ad on your TV. "Have you been hurt or......" or "If the glove doesn't fit..."
It is not hard to see where the anger comes from. I'm not saying it isn't a perception problem, just easy to understand.

Your Old Dog
03-11-2009, 08:31 PM
It is the duty of all attorneys to win their case. To do otherwise and not try their best to have their client win throws a humongous monkey wrench into the legal system. If that were the case, we'd have to go to sleep at night wondering how many innocent men were sent to prison because their attorney dropped the ball. The decision should always rest with the jury assuming both sides are playing their best arguments. Every once and a while one will sneak through justice but better that then filling up the jails with innocent people whose only crime was that their attorney didn't believe in them. I don't want to be judged by my attorney but rather the jury.

Everyone in life has a role to play. When I was a union president I instructed our bargaining committees it was our role in life to win as much for our members as we could. It was the companies role in life to fight us tooth and nail and not give away the candy store. From that fight among honorable parties we found reasonable middle ground. Either side gets too strong or weak and you have problems.

Evan
03-11-2009, 09:07 PM
It is the duty of all attorneys to win their case

I must disagree since the evidence is clear that is not true. Have you forgotten about plea bargaining?

sansbury
03-11-2009, 09:13 PM
I personally would have a very hard time advising a person who I knew was guilty to plead innocent. It doesn't seem right but maybe that's just my warped sense of justice.

Many if not most criminal defense lawyers are former prosecutors. Some leave for the money but quite a few for the principle. Unless you're wealthy and well-connected, odds are you're outgunned 10-1.

History shows that the best way to get justice in an imperfect world is asking twelve men to pick a side. The prosecution sure as h--- isn't there to determine guilt, they're there to plant you as deep in the ground as they can.

tony ennis
03-11-2009, 09:14 PM
It is the duty of all attorneys to win their case.

Funny, I thought lawyering was a quest for truth and justice.

saltmine
03-11-2009, 10:26 PM
My experience with attorneys hasn't been good, at all. Served on a jury, drunk driving case. The accused was an old bar fly who hired a lawyer that looked very much like the weasel in old MGM cartoons. We convicted her, but I found out after the trial that the weasel...uh, lawyer had her breathalyzer results barred because of a problem with the test. The arresting officer said yes, there was a problem with the test, and showed me the results (.16 BAL) and said she was too drunk to perform the test correctly... Then, while taxiing onto the runway to take off at Camarillo Airport, an attorney ignored the tower's instructions and almost landed on top of me. Then, there was the lawyer who worked for the County. Returning from Phoenix, hit something on the road and blew out a tire on his County car. He kept driving until the casing of the tire came off of the wheel. It careened off, into the desert, returning briefly to smash into the side of the car, putting a huge dent in it.
Because I ran the auto maintenance shop, I got blamed for not putting better tires on the car, and probably leaving something in the road so he could run over it. Aye, they're a special breed, they are.

Rustybolt
03-11-2009, 10:42 PM
It is the duty of every lawyer to defend their client. It is up to the courts to decide whether their client is guilty or not. It is a basic tenent of our laws that a person is innocent until proven guilty in court.
I wasn't kidding when I said all lawyers are a*&holes, until you need one. Then , like everything else, get the best you can afford.

J Tiers
03-12-2009, 12:10 AM
Evan, you are gjuilty of a serious offense.......

LETTING YOUR OPINIONS SHAPE FACTS.

The law IS the law.

Even you do not know what the BAL of the driver was at the time you saw him. You saw a person who could have an extreme reaction to a legal BAL, or possibly could have been tired as well as just under the cheargeable BAL, or possibly , even probably, drunk as a skunk and 3x the legal limit.

The typical liberal wants the law to be political.... IOW "the law for people we like should take into account outside circumstances, but anyone we don't like should get the maximum punishment." The conservatives don't tend to be quite as raw, but they have their moments also.

The entire legal system that people complain about is intended to prevent that from happening. That is why there must be evidence, properly collected, witnesses, etc.

Even with the safeguards and rules, people go to jail for 25 years for crimes they didn't commit, and were 300 miles away from.

If we listened to you, we should ignore all the evidence rules etc, if we "just know" that the accused is guilty.

That would be no good at all, and you wouldnt like it if you or yours were caught up in it.

Then also, an attorney is specifically required to make sure the prosecution is forced to obey the law, prove their case properly, etc. If they lay down and fail to force proper proof, they are failing the entire legal system, never mind their client. An attorney is an officer of the court, responsible for doing their best for their client.

The prosecution should welcome that. Not that they do, but the prosecution is nearly always biased. They think they have a case, and they go for it. They should, if they can do it without cheating, witholding evidence, suborning witnesses, etc. Their job is to do their best for their client, and YOU are their client. You and all your fellow citizens.

I share the hate for attorneys.... the ones who cut in on me in traffic, think they are so important that laws don't apply, etc. Them, and personal injury lawyers..... P I lawyers have their place, but quite a lot of them really sort of need to wash before they come out in public.

BillH
03-12-2009, 12:15 AM
I say drown em all.

Evan
03-12-2009, 12:57 AM
Even you do not know what the BAL of the driver was at the time you saw him.

No, I didn't. I didn't need to know. I could testify that he was impaired and not fit to drive based on the fact he could barely walk or talk. Being impaired is a separate offense from having a blood alcohol over .08. He may have been stoned instead even if he did smell like used beer. Driving impaired covers any reason for being impaired.

J Tiers
03-12-2009, 01:08 AM
No, I didn't. I didn't need to know. I could testify that he was impaired and not fit to drive based on the fact he could barely walk or talk. Being impaired is a separate offense from having a blood alcohol over .08. He may have been stoned instead even if he did smell like used beer. Driving impaired covers any reason for being impaired.

You say you saw him WALKING AROUND "impaired". That is YOUR OPINION.

You are NOT QUALIFIED to judge whether or not he was impaired. Nor have you applied any standardized test of impairment.

Your opinion as "testimony" is totally worthless, AND it was very properly ignored.

All you can testify to is that you saw him walking around staggering, or falling down, etc.

He had just wrecked the car, and what you saw could easily be from that cause. You have NO PROOF that his alleged impairment had anything to do with alcohol or any cause other than the crash.

You certainly have nothing of any evidential value to say about what caused the crash. You have no idea, in a legal sense.

You cannot prove one stinking thing that you have asserted, and what you have said would be libelous if we had any idea who you referred to.

You are only digging your hole deeper...... letting your opinions and beliefs shape the facts. Basically, you are a one-member lynch mob.

oldtiffie
03-12-2009, 01:09 AM
I agree mostly with J Tiers.

A Charge is only an allegation after all. It is not sufficient to say that because a person was arrested and/or charged, that they are guilty of anything, let alone the matter to which the allegation relates.

As it should be.

The Prosecution will decide if there is a case to answer or to Prosecute as well as the level of the allegations by the Police to be included in the brief. If the Prosecution determines that there is not sufficient admissible evidence then the Prosecution may even not even proceed at all and the Accused is released before even going to Court. Part of the Prosecutions pre-trial considerations will or may be the likelihood of a particular Defence Lawyer rendering all or part of the evidence as questionable or inadmissible in which case the Prosecution may seek to plea bargain with the Defence Lawyer.

It is not or may not be the case of the Defence Lawyer seeking to plea bargain as it is an option for both sides. Needless to say Lawyers are trained and very hard bargainers and the negotiations will be very tough. The Court is not obliged to accept the plea bargain nor the sentence/penalty recommended by the Prosecution after plea-bargaining.

This is the very real and essential "checks and balances" and determining of the case against the accused.

This is all part of the adversarial legal system that the US, UK and many of the former British Empire and Colonies have adopted.

It is or may be very different in Europe and other parts of the world.

If some of the more strident objectors to Lawyers think that having them is bad enough, I think that I can confidently say that not having them or recourse to them would be a damned side worse!!

Evan
03-12-2009, 01:37 AM
You are NOT QUALIFIED to judge whether or not he was impaired. Nor have you applied any standardized test of impairment.


The police use the same observations to judge if a person is impaired. Impaired and drunk are not necessarily the same. I will say though that he was drunk, not just impaired. He was way over the limit, drunk as a skunk. I have been around enough people in my life that were either stoned, drunk, both or alternately in shock instead. The difference is easy to judge especially if you have first aid training which I do. Whether I am legally qualified to judge or not doesn't alter the fact that the accused was in fact impaired far beyond the ability to control his vehicle which is why he wiped it out on the first turn he came to in front of our house a couple of blocks from the pub up the road.

J Tiers
03-12-2009, 10:08 AM
The police use the same observations to judge if a person is impaired.

But you are not trained, and are totally unqualified to make the judgement and swear to it in court. A police officer is also unqualified to swear to anything much beyond the observed behavior of the individual. That observation may establish "probable cause" to believe the person is drunk, but it does not establish the drunkenness as a "FACT".



Whether I am legally qualified to judge or not doesn't alter the fact that the accused was in fact impaired far beyond the ability to control his vehicle which is why he wiped it out on the first turn he came to in front of our house a couple of blocks from the pub up the road.

hah, you are WRONG. There IS no "FACT".

What you just wrote is merely your unqualified opinion, and does NOT constitute a "FACT". You are unqualified, and that settles it.

It may be a "FACT" that you believe that to be true.

It may be a "FACT" that you observed various things.

But unless and until it is proved in court, THERE IS NO "FACT" involved as far as actual drunkenness.


It can be a "FACT" that you murdered someone last Tuesday evening at or about 7:00 PM at a certain location.

If you were wrongly convicted of that murder, it would still be a "FACT" that you had committed that murder, despite the belief of some "deluded or lying witnesses" that you were 500 miles away at the time. Your guilt in the case would be a "FACT". You could be jailed or put to the death penalty for the crime.

If I then told people you were a murderer, I could not be prosecuted for slander, because your conviction would establish the "FACT" that you ARE a murderer, who did "IN FACT" kill so and so.

If you were later cleared and declared innocent by the court, it would then be a "FACT" that you were NOT guilty of that murder.

gnm109
03-12-2009, 01:29 PM
The procedure is apparently different in the U.S. than in Canada. The procedure here requires that certain tests be made.

Generally in the U.S., the police will come when called to an accident with a possible DUI and do field sobriety tests of alcohol level as well as ability to perform certain physical activbities. They will use a hand-held "intoxmeter" unit which is calibrated frequently and which will give a quick test for the presence of alcohol on the breath of the driver.

If in the opinion of the officer, the person is intoxicated and has been driving impaired (more than 0.08% BAC in California) the person is arrested and taken in for further tests. He will be given the choice of blood, breath or urine tests at the police station. If he refuses, in California at least, he will automatically lose his license for Edit: 1 year per the agreement he signed when he received his license. This happens administratively and requires no trial or other court intervention.

There is no "20 minute rule" as mentioned earlier. That would leave the possibility of the miscreant's escaping conviction to the traffic conditions or other delay encountered by the responding police officer. That makes no sense whatsoever.

As to a witness testifying that "the person appeared drunk". Certainly such evidence could be received and noted by the court for it's evidentiary value. An ordinary person can always testify in court as to commonly perceived things such as time of day, estimated vehicle speed, possibility of drunken behavior, weather conditions, etc.

Such testimony will generally be ignored in the absence of a real blood alcohol test by trained personnel, however.

From the facts provided earlier by Evan, it sounds as if in Canada they would disregard the blood alcohol level iif it were not made within the required 20 minutes. That's not a good procedure since an expert, knowing the time that the person took his drinks and knowing the time that the person was tested can easily interpolate the values given the amount of alcohol thought to be consumed, the person's weight, and other pertinent data. They do it all of the time here and they get frequent convictions.

It sounds to me that a review of the Canadian procedures may be in order so that the conviction level could be increased.

Thanks for listening.

Evan
03-12-2009, 03:15 PM
From the facts provided earlier by Evan, it sounds as if in Canada they would disregard the blood alcohol level iif it were not made within the required 20 minutes. That's not a good procedure since an expert, knowing the time that the person took his drinks and knowing the time that the person was tested can easily interpolate the values given the amount of alcohol thought to be consumed, the person's weight, and other pertinent data. They do it all of the time here and they get frequent convictions.

It sounds to me that a review of the Canadian procedures may be in order so that the conviction level could be increased.


Canadian law in this area is very significantly different than in the US. A police officer has the power of summary judgement on the spot to suspend a person's driving privledge for 24 hours without charges if he deems them to be impaired. No test is required.

As for the weight my testimony would carry that is also different. In Canada any person can charge another with a driving offense. This is not well known even here but I have on three separate occasions laid charges against others for driving infractions. As for estimating a persons speed, that is easy and the method impossible to refute using time, speed and distance. But, to avoid such issues I charged when the person posed a direct threat to my safety by doing something that requires no interpretation such as passing on a double line on a blind curve.

In all three cases the persons I accused did not contest my charges and so summary judgement was made the same as if a police officer had laid the charges.


[quote]What you just wrote is merely your unqualified opinion, and does NOT constitute a "FACT". You are unqualified, and that settles it.


Do you think that you could tell if a person is falling down drunk? I know I can.
Regardless, impaired is a different matter. It only requires the observation that the person was falling down and incoordinated.

I forgot to mention that if the police officer performs a breath test and the result is over .08 he may also issue a three month driving suspension on the spot without court action.

On the flip side, testimony by witnesses that the driver appeared sober can be enough to discount the police testimony.

oldtiffie
03-12-2009, 08:16 PM
Well,
things are improving here as gnm109 is getting a fair hearing and people are talking to instead of at each other.

Also, as gnm109 infers, things are or may be different in different countries and/or jurisdictions which in turn infers that the same apparent circumstances or events may be dealt with or regarded differently in other jurisdictions.

Further, the Law and Lawyers generally are given the regard they are due and "broad-brushing" and guilt by association seems to have declined.

gnm109
03-12-2009, 09:15 PM
Well,
things are improving here as gnm109 is getting a fair hearing and people are talking to instead of at each other.

Also, as gnm109 infers, things are or may be different in different countries and/or jurisdictions which in turn infers that the same apparent circumstances or events may be dealt with or regarded differently in other jurisdictions.

Further, the Law and Lawyers generally are given the regard they are due and "broad-brushing" and guilt by association seems to have declined.


Thanks for that, Mr Tiffie. I hope you're right but I fear that the lawyer bashers are merely resting for a while as warriors do after a battle.

Nonetheless, it's been good for me to be a lawyer. It taught me the feelings that people have when they are unfairly discriminated against. It's a lesson that people should take to heart.

On the other hand, I never made any real money until I joined a class of professionals who are truly and uniformly disliked. It's ironic that I was considered to be a nice fellow until I passed the Bar Exam. Go figure. LOL.

I have learned quite a bit on this site so, on balance, it's probably worth it. :)