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Word of the Month for January 2018: Process Server

content discovered on Monday, January 1, 2018 in

Once upon a time, long before I became an omnipotent law Librarian, I was a process server. I dodged bullets, cars, and swinging fists of fury and I learned pretty quick that people really don't like process servers. They don't like them because most process servers are handing out bad news (i.e. you're being sued).One time I had to server process on a police officer whose wife was divorcing him. He hid behind his badge for weeks. Finally, I was able to catch up to him and as I handed him the legal docum...

Dear Santa

content discovered on Monday, December 25, 2017 in

Years ago, I remember my mom demanding that we kids write letters to Santa. We'd rummage through the Sears catalogs searching for toys that we'd never get. I mean, we'd write down whole pages and never see any of it. Got great stuff every Christmas, great memories of Christmas morning, but nothing I ever asked for.I don't know what it was with Santa but I can't remember a single thing I asked for that I ever got - until I got a credit card. Things changed after that. Oh, yeah - Nerf, here I come. After a...

Innocent until proven guilty

content discovered on Monday, December 18, 2017 in

About a week ago, I was working with a guy who had come into the library. Seems Guy had been charged with raping a 3 year old baby girl. Three. THREE! Pretty shocking, right? Took pretty much everything I had to stay on topic as I guided him around our resources to help him develop a defense. Why? Because until he is convicted, he didn't do anything. Right? Am I right?!The other day, I was reading a story about another politician who had been accused of sexual misconduct. The thing is, the words "charged...

To Catch a Rat

content discovered on Monday, December 11, 2017 in

For whatever reason, this year has been the year of the rat at my house. No, I'm not talking about the Chinese Calendar. I'm talking about the #[email protected]#@$ rats that I've been trapping in my attic. Really been a pain in my backside but you gotta go get 'em before they start to multiply and/or gnaw on wires and things.As I was preparing to catch another rat (OK, we've only trapped two so far, but that last one was HUGE), I got to thinking about law and legal research. Specifically, I was thinking about how I go...

Word of the Month for December 2017: Common Counts

content discovered on Monday, December 4, 2017 in

Recently, I have noticed a rash of lawsuits by corporations who issue credit cards. Most all of these actions are pled under the common count claim of money had and received. Wait, before we get too deep into this, what is a "common count, anyway?" According to Black's Law Dictionary, COMMON COUNTS means:In a plaintiff's pleading, in an action for debt. Boilerplate language that is not founded on the circumstances of an individual case but is intended to guard against a possible variance and to enable th...

I Did Not See That One Coming

content discovered on Monday, November 27, 2017 in

You gotta wonder what judges are thinking when they hand down decisions. Sometimes, you think they're going one way and then they go another. Sometimes, they come up with decisions that are so "novel" that you gotta wonder where they came up with that one.For example, I was reading the Daily Journal the other day and found People v. Garcia, 2017 DJDAR 10777 (2017). Now, I'm not complaining about this case. In fact, I'm applauding the courts decision - it's just the way they got to their decision that is ...

Just start

content discovered on Monday, November 20, 2017 in

I think it was Woody Allen who said, "Eighty percent of success is just showing up." Good thought since most people who need legal help think they're so unqualified that they can't even help themselves.Take, for example, the lady who came into my law library the other day. Seems she lives next to a house and they share a common driveway. In fact, she and he both have a common easement. For those that don't know, anEASEMENT is a right to cross or otherwise use someone else's land for a specified purpose. ...

Honoring G.I. Joe

content discovered on Monday, November 13, 2017 in

You gotta wonder the timing of some things. Take, for instance, November. November is the month for Thanksgiving and Veterans and wouldn't you know it but just the other day, I had a young Marine come into our law library seeking assistance? Seems a few months back, he was serving overseas. When he got home and was sifting through his mail, he found that he had been served a complaint for a sizable sum of money. Because he didn't respond after 30 days, a default was entered against him. So, let's reca...

Word of the Month for November 2017: Qualified ...

content discovered on Monday, November 6, 2017 in

The longer I work in the business of law, the less I am surprised about things. Things like judges who make law on the bench. Things like politicians who think they're above the law. Things like police who think the're above the law (in the video below, the Public Defender is defending her client and is arrested for doing so - and the police go and violate the law messing up the whole process (fruit of the poisonous tree, and all). Thing is, daily I see or read about instances where the police ignore the...

It's all true

content discovered on Monday, October 30, 2017 in

In the beginning when the smart people of the world said the world was flat and the earth was the center of the universe, everyone believed them. When television was new, if someone said it on the TV, everyone knew it had to be true. Fast forward a few decades and we get Facebook. Turns out there are people who believe if it's on Facebook, it must be true. Have you ever heard something and thought, "That can't be true?" Turns out there are a whole lot of things being said all the time that are, eventuall...

No pain, no gain

content discovered on Monday, October 23, 2017 in

Have you ever wondered why Hitler had that funky little mustache? I was wondering that today as I started shaving. See, I was sick for a couple days and hadn't shaved. When that happens, the hairs on my face grow a bit long and since I'm too cheep to buy a new razor, it can really hurt when I start to shave my chinny chin chin.So, picture it, Hitler comes in from days on the front line and starts to shave. I can imagine the pain he's feeling having to shave with a knife or an old Schick blade. OUCH! Then...

Magic Mirror

content discovered on Monday, October 16, 2017 in

Many moons ago when I was young(er), I loved to watch Romper Room. OK, I liked to watch Wonderrama, too,and I just knew I could win those great prizes if only my folks would take me to be on the show. Never happened. Anyway, there was this one part on Romper Room where the lady whips out this mirror that was magic. Well, it had to be magic because when she looked in it it got all funky swirly and then it went clear and doggone it if she couldn't see kids from all over the world and actually talk to them....

Watch out, Lara Croft!

content discovered on Monday, October 9, 2017 in

Have you ever been sitting in your cubicle and thought that there has to be more to life than just sitting here in my cubicle? Have you ever wondered how Indiana Jones or Lara Croft got their start as archaeologists (or tomb raiders, as the case may be)?Have you ever thought that you were meant for more that doing whatever you are doing right now?!? So, picture it. You’re helping your dog dig in the backyard looking for a bone when you come across a 14-foot long thigh bone of the dreaded Cratarackatus f...

Word of the Month for October 2017: Novelty

content discovered on Monday, October 2, 2017 in

Picture it. You've been dreaming of a contraption for years and having just received a B.S. degree in engineering, you finally understand that that contraption is a new mousetrap. A mousetrap? Really!?! Well, some people dream of mousetraps, some dream of flying. Tomato, tomaaaaato.So, you build the mousetrap and submit for a new patent. Yeah, that's what you do - because you need to protect your dream. Turns out, your dream mousetrap isn't so dreamy since the patent office declines your patent request b...

Get it together

content discovered on Monday, September 25, 2017 in

Once upon a time there was a mayor named Marion Barry. Marion was a nice enough fellow except for the fact that he had a rather nasty drug habit. In fact, while in office, Marion was arrested for possession of cocaine following an investigation by the FBI and the D.C. police. Subsequently, Marion was found guilty and was sentenced to 6 months in prison.After his release in 1992, he was promptly elected to the D.C. Council and in 1994 he was re-elected mayor. So, to recap: convicted of drug possession (an...

And another politician bites the dust

content discovered on Monday, September 18, 2017 in

Typically, when I read the newspaper, I skip right to the comics section because they're (mostly) funny and free from political deceit. Then there was the front page story about Ref Rodriguez that caught my eye (and prevented my reading of the comics).Seems Ref (yeah, that's his real name and he's not even a referee) had been arrested and charged with three felony counts of conspiracy, perjury and procuring and offering a false or forged instrument not to mention the other 25 misdemeanor counts of assume...

What would you have done?

content discovered on Monday, September 11, 2017 in

I'm not proud of it but rare is the month that someone doesn't get upset with something that I said or did. Someone got upset that I'm taller than they were (by about two feet). Someone got upset that I couldn't answer their question the way they were hoping.Someone got upset that I wear a suit to work. Someone got upset when I didn't respond fast enough. Someone got upset with how I worded a response. Someone got upset because I was always doing something (and didn't have four hours to just sit and list...

Word of the month for September 2017: Concealment

content discovered on Monday, September 4, 2017 in

Have you ever been in an auto accident and tried to tell the police what happened. Problem is that there is your story, the other guy's story, and all the witnesses version(s) of what happened. Everyone has their take on what is the true and correct version of what happened.The question, then, is what is truth? Back when I was in law school, I'd piss everyone off discussing "truth" and the sheer fallacy of it. For those who didn't go to law school, truth is pretty cut and dried, black and white. For thos...

They're Making This Too Easy

content discovered on Monday, August 28, 2017 in

Does anyone really think they can get justice in this world, anymore? Anyone?! OK, OK, I realize there are some true believers who think that because they wear a long black dress everyday, that judges will ignore the the world around them and base their decision on the facts and rule of law. That's the hope, anyway.Thing is, anyone that pays attention to politics knows this is not (or no longer) the case. For example. I was reading the paper the other day and read an article in the Los Angeles Times (New...

Four Bolts

content discovered on Monday, August 21, 2017 in

Do you know what you know? When you are at work, are you always scrambling around trying to figure out what it is you are supposed to do OR do you know what to do and where to go when someone asks you to help them find whatever it is you're supposed to know? That's how it is with experts -we go to them because they know what they know.This reminds me of an incident I had a while back after my wife had an accident. Took out the front left bumper, she did. The other party was "at fault" and she asked that ...

It's the Little Things

content discovered on Monday, August 14, 2017 in

Once upon a time I had a laptop computer that was giving me trouble. Seems no matter how long I had the computer plugged in, the battery wouldn't charge. Sometimes, even with a full charge (and right in the middle of a presentation), my laptop computer would just turn off.Luckily the computer was on warranty. So, first I had the power ports replaced, then all the ports (USB, HDMI, everything) were replaced, then they replaced the power cord, the keyboard and, the day before the warranty was to expire, th...

Running with the Big Dogs

content discovered on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 in

The other day I was reading an article on the 15 skills employers just expect people to have. Number 8 was the ability to do online research. The article stated, simply, that any fool can do research - just type a search in Google and you can find what you want.Really? It's that simple - just google it? Do you realize how many people have tried to "just google" their legal work and were blown away by the judge or the clerk or opposing counsel? The thing is that research is not all that easy for someone w...

It's alive

content discovered on Monday, July 24, 2017 in

Do you know who (or what) you are? Do you have a name? An identity? Are you animal or vegetable? The thing is that most everyone is someone (or something). Their parents knew they were someone when they were born and the government recognized them as a type of person when they were born (i.e. male or female). Heck, even the SCOTUS got into the act and says a fetus is human in the third trimester. Yet, even with all this, there is still someone out there who insists on relegating the individual as a non-e...

Who are you?

content discovered on Monday, July 17, 2017 in

The other day I was pursuing the Drudge Report and found an article that noted that Steve Curry would not visit the White House if he were invited. The first thought I had was "Who does this Steve Curry guy think he is?" I'm guessing he's in starlet mode or is someone who thinks he's more important than he is. Thing is, while I don't really care about who he is (or who he thinks he is) he did remind me of a person I was talking to a while back.Seems Person wanted to sue a former friend for defamation. Fo...

It's called rope

content discovered on Monday, July 10, 2017 in

Today, as I was pursuing the news feeds, I came across an article about rope. Well, not rope, per se, but rope as in one group dolling out enough rope for another group to hang it's collective self. Seems the democratic party has finally realized that spiteful, hateful, angry, foolish, stupid, reckless speech targeted toward the POTUS after losing an election (rather badly, I might add) may cause rank and file people, who don't understand that politicians are a bunch of windbags, may cause said peoples t...

Word of the Month of July 2017: Separation of P...

content discovered on Monday, July 3, 2017 in

Years back when I attended Junior High School, I remember taking a Civics class. Looking back, it was probably the best class I could have taken as it gave me an understanding of how government is supposed to work. I say "supposed" to because these days it seems that each branch of government is trying to do the work of the other - which can make for no small amount of confusion.This all brings us to our word of the month: SEPARATION OF POWERS. According to Black's Law Dictionary, SEPARATION OF POWERS is...

Be afraid, Be very afraid

content discovered on Monday, June 26, 2017 in

I'm not paranoid. Really, I'm not. I just get skittish when government "officials" say there is nothing to worry about. Really?! If there is one group of people of whom you should be afraid, it is government "officials" who say there is nothing to be afraid of.Don't believe me? Remember back when Edward Snowden distributed all that information during the Obama Administration? Shortly after that revelation, POTUS Obama stated that,American's shouldn't be too worried about these disclosures because all thr...

Island politics

content discovered on Monday, June 19, 2017 in

You ever read the poem by John Donne titled, "No man is an island?" It goes like this:"No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."This concept of "islands" and "man...

It's all about the money

content discovered on Monday, June 12, 2017 in

Today's blog is more a commentary on greed than anything else. In and of itself, greed is good. Notwithstanding what the left says, greed encourages innovation and development. Of course, greed also leads to other things - like selfishness (which is pretty much what happens when people get to thinking life is more about them then it is about helping others).Take, for instance, the Ford Pinto. My brother had one. Small car with a big rear window (not as big as the GMC Gremlin, but it was pretty big). Thin...

Word of the Month for June 2017: Service Animal

content discovered on Monday, June 5, 2017 in

I gotta wonder what some people think about when they wake up in the morning. Specifically, I'm talking about the people who come into my library looking to pick a fight with a Law Librarian.Take, for example, the Lady who came in the other day. Seems she has a dog that she doesn't like to leave in her hot car - so she brings it everywhere she goes. The problem is that like our Library, not all businesses just let you bring your dog/animals into their place of business. To get around that, Lady started c...

What Does It All Mean?

content discovered on Monday, May 29, 2017 in

The other day, I was going about my business when I heard a person use a word out of context over and over and over. After a while it was just funny and I asked her if she knew what the word meant. Said, she, "who cares what it means - it means what I need it to mean!"Yeah, that might be a problem since that kind of thinking only leads to chaos and confusion and the degradation of language. I mean, what's the purpose of a dictionary if everyone associates different meanings to various words?For example, ...

Inconvenient Truths

content discovered on Monday, May 22, 2017 in

I teach a class on the "how" of legal research. In one of my post-class discussions, one vocal person emphasized her point on immigration saying, "They can't deport them all!" referring to the recent call to deport illegal aliens.Two things came to mind. First, she's right. I mean, even if "they" deport all the people who broke the immigration laws of the United States by slipping past border patrol illegally, there will always be more who will slip past border patrol. There's a never ending supply of sc...

I just don't get it

content discovered on Monday, May 15, 2017 in

So, the other day I was at a restaurant and ordered a $5 burger. Yeah, I know; Carl's Jr makes fun of those guys all the time. Anyway, when I got my burger, I noticed yellow stuff running down the side. I ask the server what gives and she says, "Oh, that's the egg yolk." Uh huh...Apparently putting a near raw egg on top of a burger is the "in" thing now. Sad that since it really does nothing to the flavor and actually makes me gag. Raw egg?!? What buffoon thought that one up?? I mean, yuk on a galactic s...

Always something to talk about

content discovered on Monday, May 8, 2017 in

Did you realize that I've been blogging almost six (6) full years? Heck, most bloggers don't last more than a few months before they run out of things to talk about but not me. Law and legal things are like that - always something to talk about. Doggone it but how can I not blog when there are so many law things to talk about? For example... Did you know that according to North Dakota law (under NDCC, 39-07-01) a horse is deemed a vehicle? So, if you're drunk and riding a horse in North Dakota, you're go...

Word of the Month for May 2017: Bigamy

content discovered on Monday, May 1, 2017 in

Imagine you are on vacation hiking in China. That's right, China. Anyway, you're hiking around China and some people kidnap you, drag you to a foreign country, and force you to teach their leader how to speak English. Sounds a bit far fetched but that's exactly what happened toDavid Sneddon.Seems David was hiking in China, kidnapped by North Korean agents and then forced to tutor now leaderKim Jong Un how to speak English.While that really sucks, it reminds me of a guy who came into the library a while b...

Show me the money!

content discovered on Monday, April 24, 2017 in

The other day, this guy comes into the law library happy as a clam. Seems he had filed a civil action and, subsequently, won a judgment against his arch enemy (his ex-muther-in-law) and was now looking to collect on the judgment. See, just because you win a case doesn't mean that you will get anything. Most people don't like to hand over their cash; so sometimes you have to press the issue. While most law libraries have resources on how to collect on a judgment such as: California Practice Guide: Enforce...

Smells Fishy

content discovered on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 in

Did you know that fresh fish is not supposed to smell like fish? Counter intuitive, I know. It should come to no surprise, then, that if fish smells fishy, it's not fresh. More to the point, if anything smells "fishy," odds are something is not right.Take, for example the Aaron Hernandez hanging. That's right, hanging. In case you didn't know, Mr. Hernandez hanged himself last night. That's "last night," as in the evening after being acquitted of a double homicide. I don't know about most people but if I...

SPOILER ALERT

content discovered on Monday, April 17, 2017 in

I have a confession. I have not always been an information god. Yes, yes, shock as that may be to some of my fans but I have not always been the dashing hunk of a Librarian you now "see" before you. It was a long and arduous process that led me to this plateau. You see, there was time when I, too, got lost in libraries. Heck, I got lost on the freeways all the time. I remember this one date I went on. I was just getting used to driving on the freeways and I asked my brother how to get to Dodger Stadium. ...

Gotta Watch Where You're Going

content discovered on Monday, April 10, 2017 in

I was surfing around the web the other day and I came across a website extolling the virtues of the latest craze: Virtual Reality (VR) Headsets. At least with the Pokemon game that has swept the world, users could at least say they were unobstructed as they walked into traffic or off cliffs or into trees.With these VR headseats, users wearing sets that cover their eyes and ears, can transport themselves into virtual universes, battling dragons, ogres, or evil corporate giants. Of course, the biggest draw...

Word of the Month for April 2017: Fraud

content discovered on Monday, April 3, 2017 in

In today's news is the story of greed and stupidity. That's greed (on the part of Wells Fargo and the banking system, in general) and stupidity because clearly the system thinks people are just too stupid to realize they've been hoodwinked. This morning I was looking through our collection of resources related to banking law, namely: Banking Crimes: fraud, money laundering and embezzlement (Thomson Reuters) Michie on Banks and Banking (Lexis) The Law of Bank Deposits, Collections and Credit Cards (Le...

Be prepared

content discovered on Monday, March 27, 2017 in

You can never be too prepared. This has never been more salient than today when I was reading an article about the San Andreas fault. Seems, every 100 years, the tectonic plates typically release16 feet of pent up energy and San Andreas hasn't been putting out (so to speak). The result is that when the BIG quake hits (and it will), California is in for some major rocking and rolling. It behooves people, then, tobe prepared for a 7-10.0 quake as much as they can. This means, storing water, food, personal ...

No one said it was going to be easy

content discovered on Monday, March 20, 2017 in

The thing about law and legal things is that it freaks people out because sometimes (OK, most times) the law is confusing. Take, for example, a California divorce. In California, there are two (2) ways to get a divorce. Under California Family Code section 2310, you can either prove: Irreconcilable differences, which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage, or Permanent legal incapacity to make decisions (i.e. the person is crazy).The thing is that you have seemingly conflicting case laws....

Not Set in Stone

content discovered on Monday, March 13, 2017 in

One of the things that amaze me about law and the people who try to practice it is the fact that most people (attorneys and pro pers) think that if they find a form in a book, that that is how that form MUST look. It's almost like people living in the 50's when television was new. If the television said it, it must be true.As it turns out, and for the record, any legal form found in any legal book are just templates that can be changed to fit the needs and desires of the person and situation. For example...

Word of the Month for March 2017: Boilerplate

content discovered on Monday, March 6, 2017 in

Never ceases to amaze how lawyers can take simple language and make it so it freaks non-lawyer people out of their minds. For example, the other day an older lady comes in to the library.Seems lady filed suit against a company for an incomplete installation. Company's lawyers' response to complaint to included no less than Forty-two (42) Affirmative Defenses of which only 2 dealt with the issues in the complaint.This, of course, leads us to our word of the month: BOILERPLATE. According to Black's Law Dic...

Danger from below

content discovered on Monday, February 27, 2017 in

The other day as I was surfing the television channels, I happened upon one show that featured a whole lot of quicksand. For those not in the know, quicksand is that stuff which, if stepped in or on sucks the hapless victims below ground resulting their slow demise. Not the nicest way to go since movies always show people screaming and struggling as they drop below level.Of course, since when do movies portray real life? While quicksand does, in fact, exist and can be found lurking along creeks, rivers, ...

Some people's kids

content discovered on Monday, February 20, 2017 in

First, a limerick:There once was a couple who owed rent.They were so much in debt they were bent;Their folks they did get,To lend every cent,And now they all live in a tent.The other day, I was visited by a older couple. Seems couple's son and daughter-in-law had a habit of borrowing money every time they were in a bind. This caused no small degree of consternation because couple was elderly, he was retired, and they were living on a fixed income.About a year ago, son went to dad and sought a "loan" of s...

Crazy Love

content discovered on Monday, February 13, 2017 in

"Love" (or what people think is love) will make some people do some pretty stupid things. This being the month of "love," I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring and tell a tale of woe and stupidity.Seems an older Lad was madly in love with a particular young lady. Seems the fact that young lady was 20 years younger than Lad did not dissuade him to pursue. First there was the flowers, then there were the line of soaps and perfume (that Lad had, apparently, made himself). Finally, after several rebuffs (...

Word of the Month for February 2017: Duty

content discovered on Monday, February 6, 2017 in

Despite what the POTUS or any economic "experts" may say about the state of the economy, I have discovered a perfect measure for whether the economy is tanking: how far in left field are the civil actions being filed in Superior Court. That's right; when people start coming up with left field causes of action, I know people are getting desperate and the economy is about to tank.For instance, the other day I had a guy come into the library. Seems guy had a car that he loved dearly and even named it Becky....

Easy as ABC

content discovered on Monday, January 30, 2017 in

I can't believe that I have to blog about this stuff over and over but it amazes me the things people decide to get offended by. Take, for example, the lady who came in the other day. Lady was confused and needed to know how to conduct basic legal research. Having taught students and lawyers for years, I walked her over to where she was needing help and asked, do you know the alphabet? Indignant, she spats out that of course she knows the alphabet (I ask because some people don't). I say, OK, let's say i...

Absolution

content discovered on Monday, January 23, 2017 in

Have you ever had an "alleged" murderer confess their crimes to you? Have you ever had an "alleged" pedophile tell you the sordid details of their latest conquest? Do you have people come to your place of business and tell you their deepest, darkest secrets just to get "it" off their chest (and on to yours)? I do, regularly.You see, I'm a law Librarian and I "get to" hear it all. Thing is, no one ever told me this was part of the job. It sure wasn't in the job description! I thought being a Librarian mea...


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