Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hurricane Watch

I believe it is safe to say that, for our area, hurricane watch begins in earnest when the first storm has a projected path that may take it through us. Hurricane watch, therefore, has begun in earnest for 2011.

I encourage you all to check your policies, call your insurance agents, and/or otherwise conduct a thorough review of your hurricane plan as we brace for this hurricane season. Please purchase flood insurance and wind insurance if you have not already.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What is a Tort?

There are probably as many ways to explain what a tort is as there are lawyers. I think a simple way of thinking about the word "tort" is this: when someone does something to harm you we need a way to hold them responsible that does not involve a gun fight in the streets.

A tort is the way to straighten something out without having to resort to violence. It is a creation of industrialization and with increases in manufacturing and industrial injury, either by the product to the consumer or to the worker in the production process we need, we needed peaceful ways to resolve problems that may arise. It was in that environment that the "tort" was born.

So, when an 18 wheeler bears down on you keep in mind that you should not drag the driver out into the middle of the street and hang him upside down by his jeans and shake the money out of his pockets. Even though that may seem like a logical reaction at the time, you will likely be prosecuted criminally for your behavior. You should, instead, use the legal creation known as a "tort" to resolve your claim with the help of a local lawyer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mistakes are Expensive

The most complicated issues I get involved in usually start with the intention of trying to save some money by avoiding legal expenses. I occasionally meet with a client that tried to draft an agreement themselves or that tried to make their own Will. Usually, I have to spend the first part of that meeting explaining what we are going to have to do just to undo what was attempted.

When we try to act outside of our professional expertise we make expensive mistakes. I would urge you to avoid those. The cost of hiring a lawyer to handle the matter right from the beginning is much less than the cost of hiring one to fix your mistakes, if they can be fixed.

I don't try to do electrical work. You shouldn't try to draft your own Will or Deed. Trust me, it isn't worth the cost of making a mistake.