June 2013

2021 Midwest Road, Suite 200, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Month: June 2013

As you probably know, the Zimmerman trial is well under way. For those who may not be up to speed, this trial is for George Zimmerman, the defendant, who shot a young black man, Trayvon Martin. This case is racially charged because Zimmerman, who is Latino, was not arrested until 44 days after the incident. Zimmerman pleads not guilty to a charge of second degree murder as he claims he acted in self-defense. Also at the stage of this case is Florida's Stand Your Ground Law which allows a victim to use fatal force when acting in self-defense.

Well, of course, the Daily Show could not help itself with the legal jokes and I do think it was quite funny

Eye On The Young Attorney

I like to consider myself ambitious. I like to get ahead. I like to do things young. I finished school young. Married young. And by many standards, had my first child (relatively) young. That is - 22 when finishing law school, 22 when I got married, and barely 26 when I gave birth to my son.

So by my mid-20s, when most people who are coming out of law school are just my age or maybe even older, I already had about 3 years of legal experience and was admitted in both Illinois and Florida. That's awesome, right?

But when I go to the courtroom or among other attorneys (often older, white males, frankly), sometimes I have to prove myself even more (like it wasn't enough that I'm awesome, right?!). Being young has its advantages, but despite the achievements, not everyone takes you so seriously. Sometimes the clerk will show surprise when I am actually representing a client (and not the actual client) and even then, a clerk or two will politely remind me to do basic things that every attorney knows in the courtroom.

I admit that I never tried to finish school early. It's just something that happened. I was able to skip a grade and knocked out a year's worth of college credits before even starting college. But I see other people who actually try to achieve these life goals. For awhile, I would hesitate condoning this. I thought it's hard to be ...
I have many business people coming to have their business contracts either drafted or reviewed. Sometimes there is a fine line between a business decision and a legal decision. When it comes to this area, I tend to take a more hands-off approach and instead take a more advisory approach when it comes to certain clauses.

Let's be real here. Businesses have losses and gains and they views those losses and gains differently than households do. For example, Citi was fined $158 million for the Federal Housing Authority for fraud. Citi probably made a lot more than that and the fine was worth it (unfortunately). Ok, disclaimer this is obviously unethical and illegal and never something I would advise my clients - but it brings home the point. That is - you can take a 'legal hit' knowing you'll get a profit.

In contracts it is different. Violating a contract is not illegal or criminal (unlike Citi's fraud. Bad Citi!) because it is a civil matter. I would never advise my client to break a contract either, but well - it happens. Further, such a situation could apply in other ways. For example, if there is a liquidated damages clause (a clause that says 'if you violate this contract, you must pay $X'), a business might say 'hey, I'll pay that amount and get my way.' Another instance is a business agreeing to contract terms that are risky or heavily favors the other party, but the gains might just be ...