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Old 07-13-2014, 02:44 PM   #41
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Back to OP for a second. I too have wondered whether it would be worth the effort to find a lawyer "just in case." What I think I will do is find a medium (or small) size law firm to redo our wills in our new state. I'll try to find a firm with lawyers in all fields (including criminal defense). If I'm satisfied, I'll ask about the process to "retain" or otherwise be certain I would have someone to call if the need would arise.

I agree that the likelihood of criminal arrest is relatively small, but if it were to happen, one could languish in the "system" for several hours if no lawyer or other help were available. I've discussed other places on the forum that most of us break laws every day - from speeding (21 in a 20 IS breaking the law) to jay walking to packing heat when you carry your (otherwise) legal hand gun into a federal building such as a post office (heh, heh, got the T-shirt.)

Short story - got a call years back from someone IDing himself as a Sgt. so and so from such and such local PD jurisdiction. He started right away asking me if I had been at a certain place recently. I told him "no." Then he asked me to describe my car. At this point, I asked "What's this all about?" He said someone had given the PD MY tag number as someone who was going through a group of mail boxes (at the end of a rural lane.) I assured him it was a mistake and then figured I would comply by describing my car. Once I did, he seemed to agree it must have been a mistake and that's the last I ever heard of the issue.

BUT, it got me thinking. It would be SO easy to be IDd as committing a crime - either by tag number or even by name (accidentally or intentionally.) In a moment of paranoia, it also occurred to me that I've p*ssed off more than one LEO in my time (I say it's their fault but, hey, they've got the gun.) Soooo, what if a simple traffic stop went bad and you somehow ended up in jail?

IOW, Imoldernu's interest seems valid. Lots of ways to make this a humorous thread, but if something happened to place you at the mercy of the (so called) criminal justice system, all humor would disappear. So, what WOULD you do? At that point, I'd want the meanest, junk-yard dog of a criminal defense attorney on my side. The "other side" has the full power or the state on their side. Having your legal beagle (aka junk yard dog) lined up BEFORE hand only seems prudent, given the number of folks wrongly (or even rightly) accused of criminal offenses each and every day. Obviously, YMMV.
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:56 PM   #42
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If anything, it sounds cool to say "talk to my lawyer" when you don't want to deal with sticky, unpleasant issues. It's a good threatening line. Of course, I need to have a personal lawyer at my beck and call (and resource to pay thim) to follow through with a threat.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:23 PM   #43
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In my opinion in this day you don't need a lawyer you need a law firm. I had an estate/will/tax lawyer that I liked. If I have other needs from a legal standpoint I contact him and he hooks me up with someone with that expertise within his firm. This has worked with consulting biz formation, legal issue with ex wife, pre nup creation, etc, etc, etc.

I don't know that there are any real generalist lawyers out there anymore.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:11 PM   #44
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The suit was not against the dogs owner, personally. It was against their homeowners insurance.
Sorry to go off on a tangent here, but the suit WAS against the owner of the dogs. They just happened to have insurance which paid it. (I retired from the business so I bristle when people imply that it's nothing personal, it just comes out of the pocket of Big, Rich Insurance Company.) And, BTW, I agree with your suing them. I hope it woke them up and prevented something worse from happening in the future.

To answer the OP's question: I've been using an attorney I know from church to handle setting up my trust, and he's S-L-O-W. DH had already had bad luck with using realtors from a previous church (husband and wife who worked together) and recently we decided the husband-and-wife insurance agents we use from church for our health insurance seem to tell us a lot that turns out to be wrong.

There's a surgeon in our church. DH says no way he's ever going to operate on us.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:59 PM   #45
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This will sound like a "story"... a made up, "hair on fire" TV scenario, but it's true... and just happened on Saturday night... Freaky Friday was the 12th... and this happened on Saturday night.

We have lived in our gated senior community for 10 years, and I don't recall a single crime, except for a mailbox knock-down in 2008.

Our best friends live two houses away, and were gone this weekend (Fri. thru Mon.)

Saturday night, with a touch of insomnia, I decided to take a walk around the block, about 1 AM (Sunday)... Everything shuts down here, and there are likely to be no cars at all, for hours at a time... even during the day. But this was nighttime... I was surprised to see a patrol car circling the block. This is very unusual.

This morning, as we were going to the store, I saw our HOA president, standing in the driveway of my friends (on vacation)...

"What's up?"
My friend's house had been vandalized. The acrylic siding and a cement stoop had been spray painted with filthy words, and our HOA president was awaiting the police.
.................................................. .....
So today, I remembered this thread and thought about what could have happened.

FYI... the Illinois statute on criminal liability for damages... In this case, looks like the damages will exceed the limit.

Quote:
Criminal Damage to Property – Class 4 Felony

The charge you face will be a Class 4 felony if the damage is more than $300 but less than $10,000, or if the damage is committed against a school, place of worship, or to farm equipment and is valued at less than $300. A Class 4 felony can carry up to 1 to 3 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
......
and so I thought... what if?

Imagine... a trip to the station house... not even a wallet in my pocket, and me in my shorts and pajama top. One call. What's the number? Is the one call to "Information"... what next? To my own house to my DW?... Then what would she do?

Yes... a funny thread, and some good answers... Just a weird coincidence that made me decide to:
1. Keep my wallet on me at all times.
2. Keep my son's number on top in the picture slot.

I haven't even been inside a police station since 1965... visiting a drunken friend. No rush to check it out...
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My Lawyer: How?
Old 07-14-2014, 10:28 PM   #46
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My Lawyer: How?

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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
And, BTW, I agree with your suing them. I hope it woke them up and prevented something worse from happening in the future.

Right after we settled the suit the neighborhood papergirl was bitten. Her father sued and asked if I would testify. Hell, yeah! He would not settle and insisted on a trial. So I got to go to court and tell the judge my experience which emotionally felt better than settling.

The dogs owner also testified. You see, Laddie was the instigator, the other 2 dogs were good dogs. But poor Laddie was the product of a divorce and was just unruly. I thought the judge would laugh at this but he took it quite seriously. He also asked why someone would let 3 purebred collies run loose.

The result was damages paid to the papergirl. The owners were required to build a 6 foot fence that also went 3 ft below ground and keep their dogs contained. Laddie was sent to "a farm in Pennsylvania" which sounds like a euphemism for something else.......
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:59 PM   #47
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I'm going to complicate the question...sorry.

My personal opinion is that there are no "general" lawyers (at least not good enough for the reason you would need them). They seem to specialize in something. Tax attorneys, estate planning attorneys, defense attorneys, divorce attorneys, contract law attorneys, blah, blah, blah.

But attorneys seem to know attorneys - who is good, who is bad - across the legal spectrum. So here is my advice. Hire an estate planning attorney and have him/her review your will or medical directives, or whatever. Establish the relationship.

Then, if you need a criminal defense attorney when you go crazy one day and knock off someone - call up your estate planning attorney and ask for a recommendation for a good criminal defense attorney.

PS. I learned the hard way that you should not hire a general purpose attorney to do estate planning. Trust me.
I'll second that Lawyers know other Lawyers. Here's my experience... I have two go to attorneys.

One processed my disillusionment, did my will and powers of attorney, did some business work, and also represented me in a civil case. She is young and just starting on her own (maybe 3 years solo?? 5 years out of law school). She is tenacious in a courtroom, I've seen it first hand.

I have a second business attorney which I use for tax and business purposes only. His rates are slightly higher ($75 per hour higher than attorney above).

In both cases I can call both when an issue arises and know both know legal procedure well. I have never been pulled over for DUI or anything, but we have fun discussing what police have a right to do or not do- and IMO this is where knowing attorneys is helpful- ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. I know what police can or can't ASK when at a DUI checkpoint, for example.

I think knowing your rights is more important than knowing which attorney to call.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:09 PM   #48
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I'm interested - How do they bill you for being able to "call when an issue arises"? Do you negotiate a payment each time, or are they on retainers, or something else?

Amethyst

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I'
In both cases I can call both when an issue arises and know both know legal procedure well. .
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:22 PM   #49
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Sometimes you don't get to call anyone. Here's a true story:

Wife went to pick up husband at airport. He was flying in from overseas after a trip of multiple days. He texted, "Landed, headed to baggage claim and customs. See you outside baggage claim." She got there with kids in the backseat. Husband did not appear. She called his phone. No answer. Texted him. No response. Waited quite a while.

What would you do?

She tried to contact airline and airport authorities: no info. So she went home.

What would you do?
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:48 PM   #50
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What would you do?
Text back and ask what airport he landed at...
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:29 PM   #51
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^It turns out the husband was held overnight by Immigration or HomelandSecurity and not allowed to call or text anyone. They took away his phone and did not let him contact anyone including any lawyer. He was "released" early the next morning.

What would you do? You are at the airport. You know husband has landed and he just disappears.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:25 PM   #52
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off topic, but more on my midnight walk and the neighborhood crime...

Turns out my neighbor wasn't the only victim. In our retirement community, two more graffiti cases, and for four nearby streets, another 10 or 15 cases. Heard a report that the cumulative damages may be in the tens of thousands. Our part of town is relatively wealthy... 300K to 800K houses in central Illinois. Different than So. Cal...

Last night, police cars up and down our street all night. If they find the kids, it won't be a pretty sight... Old people can get pretty angry.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:26 PM   #53
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You call a close friend, family member or bail bondsman. The later are on lists your friendly jailer has. Treat your jailer nice.
Exactly, ET phone home. You let the family member or friend get the bail bondsman or attorney. Attorneys specialize now and the list from the Bar Association shows if they are estate attorneys, real estate attorneys, etc.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:52 PM   #54
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^It turns out the husband was held overnight by Immigration or HomelandSecurity and not allowed to call or text anyone. They took away his phone and did not let him contact anyone including any lawyer. He was "released" early the next morning.

What would you do? You are at the airport. You know husband has landed and he just disappears.
Rail about land of the free, due process, all that good stuff. Welcome to reality - I suspect all us law abiding folk would be shocked by what really happens when one is snatched up as a suspect of a crime - or worse yet might be one of them terrorists.
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:24 PM   #55
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If you don't have an attorney who is a friend or family, having "my lawyer" usually means paying someone a retainer fee to agree to preliminarily respond re agreed types of potential cases for you, or at some other level some service such as:
Prepaid Legal Services | Personal, Business & Group Legal Plans
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:43 PM   #56
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So the other poster was correct, sometimes when you need a lawyer it comes through another lawyer that you already know or have used.

This is what I would do, ask a lawyer that I knew from work and go with his recommendation.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:29 AM   #57
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Detained by Customs or Immigration

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^It turns out the husband was held overnight by Immigration or HomelandSecurity and not allowed to call or text anyone. They took away his phone and did not let him contact anyone including any lawyer. He was "released" early the next morning.

What would you do? You are at the airport. You know husband has landed and he just disappears.
This is actually the thing that concerns me most when traveling internationally. I have personally been detained for short periods and have seen people who it seemed were being detained for much longer periods.

I honestly have no idea what I could do, if anything, should I (or, someone I was cared about) be detained for a longer period. As mentioned earlier, in these cases, no contact with the outside world seems to be allowed.

I have personally only been detained upon returning to the USA; and, being a citizen who has not actually done anything wrong, it did not concern me too much: I assume things will work themselves out; and, they always have relatively quickly. It is still mildly stressful to me and more so to those expecting me who have no idea what is causing the delay (Customs, heart attack, other). I have to imagine the stress on all concerned would be much higher if this were to occur in another country.

Would having my lawyer even be of any use in these situations?
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:47 AM   #58
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I'm a retired lawyer that never practiced law. For legal services, I'll usually ask my lawyer friends for referrals. Normally, lawyers specialize. Real estate for property issues, trusts and estates for wills, elder law for elder issues, personal injury, family law, etc.

I know a few people who have a "door practice" - they'll take anyone who walks in the door. For simple issues (speeding ticket), they would be good choices. But for anything complex, I'd seek a referral to a specialist.

As for the mechanics of getting "your" lawyer, you could find a small to medium size general practice firm and inquire with one of the attorneys about their services. Tell them you need someone reliable to call if you're in a bind. They would be "your" lawyer. You could pay them a retainer fee to be available, but that doesn't seem cost effective.
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