Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Amazon's $10.00 mobile payment solution

If you are setting up a solo law office or other small business. You should check out a new Amazon program for mobile payments. For $10.00 Amazon will sell you a card reader for your smart phone. You get the $10.00 back as a rebate on your first $10.00 in service charges; then Amazon charges a 1.75% service charge, which is more than competitive. Right now I am paying $9.99/month for service on a mobile card reader from First Data that I never use. I'm going to ditch that thing ASAP and go Amazon. Imagine, going Amazon and going commando at the same time. TMI?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Hi Gang, Did you miss me. (I have no idea why Blogger is ignoring my paragraphs. I'll clean it up when I get the chance, or maybe our friendly webmaster can do it.)

I haven't written in the blog for a couple months. As many of you AFSCME 3357 members are aware, I was one of the January layoffs from UAW Legal Services Plan as part of its winding down of operations. Not to be ungrateful for 16 years of employment, but I welcomed the chance to do something different, and I set off to re-enter the world of private law practice. In doing so, I am retreading ground that I trod twenty-three years ago, when I began my first law practice. Let me tell you, it is really weird, being a generation older and restarting a law practice from scratch. Since many of you AFSCME 3357 members are either taking the same path or will in the near future, I thought I'd pass on lessons that I learned, things that went right and things that went not so right. In our private area, I've put up a rough draft to help you get going. I hope to clean it up, make it more generally applicable and put it up for public viewing so anyone starting a solo law practice will find it useful. The catch is that I'm pretty busy so, I may not get to it; or if I get to it it might be after you need the info, so I'm going ahead and throwing out my rough info on the private site. If you want something better, come back and check to see if I updated it. It's after 11:00 PM now, so this is the best that I can give you for the moment.

You can visit my new law firm's website at

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My comments on the union vote at the Volkswagen Plant in Tennessee:

The workers in the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted on whether to establish a UAW-affiliated work council. The vote came in at 626 for and 712 against the union. This was an important vote for the UAW, because the majority of vehicles assembled in North America now come from "transplant" (non-union) factories. This was a rare occasion for the UAW to have a union vote at a plant where they were not fighting the manufacturer. In losing the vote, the UAW has to seriously re-evaluate its product.

Obviously, I'm pro-union, but looking at this as objectively as possible, the UAW really screwed up here. One of the key points that they tell you when you are learning to sell is that you have to "meet the customers' objections." In this case, the UAW didn't do that. The workers in Chattanooga told the UAW that they didn't like what had happened to the auto industry in Detroit. They thought it related to work rules put into place by the UAW. The UAW could have easily met that objective by putting work rules squarely in the hands of the local work council. The workers told the UAW that they didn't like dues going to liberal politicians. The Union could have left political donations to the discretion of the local work council. By botching its single best chance at organizing a southern auto plant, the UAW, not only demonstrated a tin ear to the workers' objections, it forfeited its single best chance to prove the naysayers wrong. I don't know what the UAW is going to do from here, but I think maybe they need to lower their dues and reorganize internally. It probably means there will be a headcount reduction within the UAW. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What does it take to get noticed in L.A.?

A Lamborghini? - no, not good enough.
A pet bear? - no,still not good enough.
A bear in a Lamborghini? - that'll do it.

Why a bear in a Lamborghini?
A. - Can you think of a better car protection system.
B. - Don't be stupid, you know you're not supposed to leave your DOG in the car.
C. - The bear wanted to go, and you know . . .

Monday, September 02, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

What's Up

Some days I really like having a teenaged son. Otherwise how would I find out about quality entertainment like this.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Irrelevant Post of the Day
Florida Law Firm Pays New Associates $145k/year

I saw this post that the South Florida "big building law firm Greenberg Traurig has bumped its pay for new associates to $145,000/year. That's big bucks for a new lawyer; but on the other hand, if you went to an Ivy League quality school and similar law school, you could have $400,000 in student loan debt. They have to work a ridiculous number of hours, and the job sucks enough to make the pay fair.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Worse Job than Yours

If you (generically) ever feel like complaining about your job, somebody else has it worse. Check out this guy in Texas who worked for an auto dealership where his coworkers repeatedly (allegedly) tasered him just to laugh at his reaction. The owner of the business allegedly provided the taser and video'd the incidents. I think he's not going to own that business much longer.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

How to "Have it Your Way" at White Castle
FPS Russia makes a slider run in a M5 Stuart Tank

FPS Russia's Youtube channel is one of my guilty pleasures. I'm a peacenik, but I'd love to play with a tank for a day. Here's the vicarious thrill. (Yes, he does blow stuff up, and yes there is some language. After all, it is a FPS Russia video.)

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The New Trend of Abusive Asset Forfeitures

There is a good article in the New Yorker called "Taken" by reporter Sarah Stillman. It cronicles the current abuses of civil forfeiture laws by federal and state prosecuting authorities across the country. By engaging in the legal fiction of suing your property, they effectively rob you of any workable due process rights. In the past year, I have had clients sued, technically their cars were sued, in Federal court alleging their cars were part of a title laundering scheme where over 200 cars were involved. The cars are being sued as proceeds of the criminal operation. Two things upset me about this suit. The first thing is that they are targeting the old cars of one of my not-well-off people when they should be targeting the "proceeds" my clients and the others paid the alleged wrongdoer. It's like blaming the victim for a crime. The second thing that bugs me is that I tried to alert authorities to flaws in the mechanics title statute 20 years ago. I even sued the state of Indiana for a client claiming the mechanics lien statute was unconstitutional. My suit claimed that the statute that provided for the state to issue a mechanic's lien title gave the owners and lienholders notice of claim but did not provide them an opportunity to contest the claim in a neutral forum before property deprivation. If they would have fixed the law, this suit wouldn't exist. Prior to filing suit, I contacted counsel at one or two major lenders and told them what I had found out about a scam to get around purchase money loans with bogus mechanic's liens, but the attorneys for the lenders couldn't be bothered. Now the U.S. attorney is coming down on poor people who are just looking for inexpensive transportation to get to work, and the beneficiaries of this action by the US Attorney will presumably be the big auto lenders. But they really won't be, because some of these lenders have filed appearances to avoid having their liens impaired in the secondary transactions where the current owners of the vehicles are the borrowers. I don't know what really the US attorney is expecting to accomplish. Many of these cars are at least 10 years old. I would be surprised if the average wholesale value at this point is over $1000-2000. It's going to cost that much to process the cars through the system. Still, a $1000 to $2000 car is important to someone with no money and no other way to work. The bottom line is that the US attorney should have gone after the alleged wrongdoer for the conspiracy to alter the titles, but suing over 200 automobiles was a big mistake. There are now up to 200 people filing pleadings in the case to protect their interests in their cars, most of which aren't worth more than a couple thousand dollars. The case will cost more in US Attorney's office and court personnel time than it will ever recover, and any recovery made will be at the expense of poor people,making them even poorer.