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  #41  
Old 11-30-2007, 02:46 PM
egj egj is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

I'm considering hiring a professional malpractice lawyer to recover damages from my CPA. What should I be looking out for in terms of deciding whether to go forward, selecting a lawyer, etc.

I believe my agreement with my CPA states that we must go through arbitration in case of any disagreement. Do you think that I am likely to get a fair shake in arbitration?

Although these questions pertain to my particular situation, maybe they can be answered in a general way that will be relevant to anyone who has ever thought about suing someone like a doctor, lawyer, CPA etc.
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  #42  
Old 11-30-2007, 04:01 PM
TheWorstPlayer TheWorstPlayer is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

Howard, how much of current US legal system is unnecessary? For instance, the complexity of the tax code creates the need for complex tax shelter, etc. If they simplified the tax code, they could avoid a lot of the tax legal system probably without giving up too much (at least in some places). So would you agree that our society would not be much worse off if we simplified our legal system in some ways? If so, what ways would that be and how much of it do you think could be simplified?
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  #43  
Old 11-30-2007, 04:19 PM
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

LOL. I just realized you weren't Howard Beale. I though a lawyer would know how to handle a thieving kid a little better.
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  #44  
Old 11-30-2007, 04:21 PM
Boris Boris is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

My opinion: Dickie Scruggs is a massive scumbag. Your thoughts?

Hypothetical: Let's say I get pulled over by the cops and they want me to do the DUI dance. I had two beers but I know I am under the .08 BAC limit. Do I dance or do I demand to be taken down to the station for a blood test?
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  #45  
Old 11-30-2007, 04:35 PM
ElliotR ElliotR is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

Let me jump in while Howard is at work:

[ QUOTE ]
I'm considering hiring a professional malpractice lawyer to recover damages from my CPA. What should I be looking out for in terms of deciding whether to go forward, selecting a lawyer, etc.

[/ QUOTE ]

Litigation can be very time consuming and expensive. Will you still be glad you're suing a year from now? what accusations are you going to have hurled back at you? Much of the time it is not worth it IMO.

[ QUOTE ]
I believe my agreement with my CPA states that we must go through arbitration in case of any disagreement. Do you think that I am likely to get a fair shake in arbitration?


[/ QUOTE ]

It depends on how the arbitrator is choses and what arbitrable body (if any) is specified, but, in general, no.
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  #46  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:21 PM
ahnuld ahnuld is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
this is very me specific, but im hoping you could answer anyways:

My brother is debating between law schools and has a full preacceptance scholarship offer from GWU. If he accepts the conditions is he has to go there. Im wondering 1) What can they do if he doesnt? And 2) It is that much more highly regarded than a canadian school like University of Toronto or Mcgill?

[/ QUOTE ]

I would be surprised if it weren't less regarded, generally. Looking at rankings online, it looks like Toronto and McGill are 2 of the 3 most esteemed law schools in Canada, and GWU is in the 20s in the US. Especially if he wants to practice in Canada, the Canadian schools seem like a better bet, but a free ride is nothing to sneeze at here.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, those were my thoughts. However because of the fact that american school put so much weight on LSAT scores (he got 171) and less weight on GPA (3.3) he has a much better chance of getting in to a tier 1 american school than the best canadian school (U of T).

Is law something where if you learn it in the states you can only practice in the states? I know quebec/montreal is very unique because we have civil law as opposed to common law. But if you learn common law its transnational as long as the other country/state has common law as well?
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  #47  
Old 11-30-2007, 06:10 PM
FlyWf FlyWf is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

The distinction between common and civil law is philosophical, not procedural.

Also civil law is more popular than common, continental Europe is all civil law. Louisiana and Quebec are unique when compared to the rest of Canada and the US, UK/Canada/US are unique compared to the world at large.
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  #48  
Old 11-30-2007, 06:14 PM
JaBlue JaBlue is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

From what I've seen, lawyering seems to be nothing more than oration, trying to make the worse argument the better, to flatter the jury, to win an argument with little regard for truth. Why should anyone respect lawyers?
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  #49  
Old 11-30-2007, 06:36 PM
adios adios is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

I'll put a caveat on this. I've had attorneys represent me in a few matters during the course of my life. I'll say that with all the attorneys I've retained (not that many thank goodness) I considered each one at the very least ethical. With that said we hear about crooked lawyers alot, lawyers get disbarred all the time, etc. In your opinion how prevelant are lawyers that cheat their clients by embezzling money, misappropriating funds and such? I'm not talking about stuff that's on the edge but stuff that can clearly get them disbarred and/or a criminal conviction. How hard is it to catch a lawyer that's adept at cheating their clients? What things should we be looking for and/or how might we safeguard ourselves?
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  #50  
Old 11-30-2007, 08:39 PM
Howard Treesong Howard Treesong is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

[ QUOTE ]
1. Please provide your thoughts on conflict criminology strictly as it relates to crime being a busines for the state. There is, in my opinion, validity in the argument that some laws and sentencing strutures appear to be designed to ensnare and retain people in the criminal justice system.

[/ QUOTE ]

I don't generally think states have a business interest in imprisoning people, so I discount your proposition at a structural level. In contrast, I do think it benefits prosecutors to have high conviction rates and make names for themselves (e.g. Mike Nifong) and prosecutors tend, in my judgment, to take an adversarial rather than an objective view.

[ QUOTE ]
2. Your position on capital punishmet. Although I believe that people can commit acts that remove their rights, including their right to life, due to the state's inherrent inefficiency (inequality of representation, potential for outside influence, prejudice etc.) I can not support the death penalty.

[/ QUOTE ]

It's a close question. On balance, I think I support it, but I do so on deterrence grounds -- because I think there's an empirical case to be made that a threat of death deters particularly heinous conduct and may end up saving lives. I admit that this empirical argument is impossible to prove and its pure-utilitarian premises are questionable. As a practical matter, the habeas death case law is highly political, highly technical, highly abstract -- and highly costly to navigate. As a general matter, I'd leave substantial authority to the individual states to govern this issue as they see fit. And I don't feel strongly about this one.

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3. What is the least amount of money over which you would kill someone?

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There isn't any. No amount of money would change my life sufficiently to even consider this proposition.

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4. Generally speaking, with regard to the legal system as a whole (including the criminal justice system), I think that most of the people working in the profession, most of the time, are doing the right thing. Agree/disagree?

[/ QUOTE ]

I generally agree. I don't think lawyers are categorically different from accountants, engineers, firemen, or anyone else in this regard.
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