I'm the first to admit there are too many lawyers out there who over-bill their clients. So I'm sure when lay people catch sight of a lawyer offering very affordable legal services, they jump at the opportunity to take advantage of the cheap fees. Well, I'm all for taking advantage of a bargain, but here's a word of advice: check the guy's credentials before you retain him. This would have saved some criminal defendants who hired George Robotis (an ex-con) a lot of time and money—because had they done their research, they would have realized that the man they had hired to represent them was not an attorney at all. On May It Please the Court, I read about Mr. Robotis and his brilliant pseudo legal practice. Apparently, when questioned by a suspicious judge (in court!), he nonchalantly replied, "Oh, I'm not an attorney." So there you have it: if you want a "deal" on your legal representation, you may just end up retaining an ex-con.
Lesson #2: What goes around comes around.
Sometimes you hear about those rare good souls in the world who are simply out to help people…you know, the Mother Teresa types. At first glance, I thought I was reading about a couple of them in a story on QuizLaw. A Florida couple, the Evanses, own migrant labor camps and have been recruiting employees from homeless shelters to work for them. Ronald Evans even set up a little shop where his employees could purchase goods—sounds nice, right? Well, this nice little story takes a nasty turn when you consider exactly what "goods" the Evanses sold at their shop: liquor, crack, and cocaine. At jacked-up prices, no less! But don't worry; these two do-gooders will get exactly what they deserve. Ronald Evans was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison, and his wife will be joining him there.
Lesson #3: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
The dreaded tax season is almost upon us. Most of us have accepted that we have no choice but to fork over our hard-earned money to the government. However, others among us still cling to the hope that there is some way to weasel out of paying taxes. On Sharks in the Water, a California attorney (perhaps a distant relative of Mr. Robotis in Chicago?) has offered some brilliant legal arguments for those of us who do not want to pay taxes. A few of his gems include "wages are not income" and "salaries paid in any form except gold are not paid in legal tender and, therefore, not taxable." I would caution people against actually attempting to use any of these arguments, but then, anyone who is actually stupid enough to try these lines on the IRS deserves what he or she gets.
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Inside Legal Blogs First, let me apologize for my absence last week (because I know there are so many of you out there eagerly anticipating my fascinating insights and commentary). Believe it or not, I had my article written and ready to go...and then my computer died, taking last week's Inside Legal Blogs report with it to the grave. I realize this is the attorney's equivalent of "the dog ate my homework," but I swear it's true. And when was the last time you doub ...
Inside Legal Blogs As this will be my final installment of Inside Law Blogs and Chat Boards, I wanted to take a moment to thank all the people who made it possible for me to maintain this column for so long. But then I decided that since I did most of the heavy lifting, I should just focus on myself for my last column.
Inside Legal Blogs Legal blogs have changed many things. Indeed, they are growing more and more important in the legal industry and are beginning to have far-reaching impacts. As a case in point, the Patent Troll Tracker blog, which was an anonymous blog that focused on patent litigation, frequently derided those patent attorneys who represented companies that sued for patent infringement as their sole existence. Turns out the blog was being written by a patent ...
Inside Legal Blogs Someone in heaven must be looking out for me. A week ago, if someone had asked me to create my ideal job, I would have tried to come up with something involving all of my passions: ice cream, Three's Company reruns, and napping. But since no one will pay me to vegetate on my parents' sofa, eat fudgesicles, and exchange knowing glances with Mr. Roeper (Why is he always looking straight into the camera? Is he trying to tell me that he knows Jack is ...
Inside Legal Blogs Put on your work gloves, and hike up your pants. It's time once again to clean out the law blog gutters. Look at all these leaves stuck in here. What a mess. This might take a while. The law blog gutters get clogged from time to time, and that's when I come around to clear everything out so things can run smoothly.
Inside Legal Blogs I hope all of my readers know that they can't trust anything said on the Internet. Cue the long and not very funny routine about whether that means you can't trust me. But of course you know all that - you're lawyers.
Inside Legal Blogs Happy New Year! 2006 was a great year for legal blogs. So many ridiculous legal stories and only 52 articles to sum everything up for you guys…that's not very many. But for your sake and mine, I can only hope that 2007 will prove to be just as colorful a year for ''Inside Legal Blogs.'' Judging from this week's blogs, I think it will be.
Inside Legal Blogs Well, it's officially spring...and that's always good news, even if it's freezing outside today and we're all stuck inside. I tend to rationalize things this way: Even if it were nice outside, I'd still be stuck inside working. In fact, if it were nice outside, I'd be even bitterer about the fact that I'm stuck inside working. So it's better that the weather sucks…at least that's what I keep telling myself. But hey, even if you can't look forwa ...
Inside Legal Blogs Luckily for this week's edition of ''Inside Legal Blogs,'' there were quite a few interesting discussions this week in the legal ''Blawgosphere.'' There were, for example, some philosophical ones, such as the discussion that raged on Volokh and PrawfsBlawg about ''theophobia,'' or the hostility of academics towards religion. In fact, religion was in the news a lot this week, as was gay marriage, what with wedding bells beginning to ring in Cali ...
Inside Legal Blogs Your buzzword for this week, readers, is ''astroturfing.'' You know that fake too-bright green grass called AstroTurf? You know how spontaneous, non-corporate/government sponsored movements are referred to as ''grassroots?'' What do you call it when there's a formal public relations movement meant to simulate grassroots behavior?
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