[00:00:00]

All right good evening Happy Wednesday to everybody. This is Seth smiley this is see you in court. We are here on the five o’clock drivetime hour trying to follow up the previous show where they just seem to have an all out party in here and I follow it up with some legal talks. That’s very exciting for everybody. I need to start getting some boos involved with my show and it might make everything a little bit more fun. So basically what we have going on here today we’re going to you know try to get some callers on today 5 0 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6.

[00:00:38]

Or you can text in at 5 0 4 5 7 9 8 9 8 5 and we’ll be talking any and all things legal. If anybody wants to come in and call in and get some general legal advice or anything that they have happening to go on in their life that I can I can answer some general questions. I can’t give specific advice you know or we’re not creating any kind of attorney client privilege I have to say that kind of stuff to make the disclaimers proper for everyone. But at the same time I can talk generally with people you know I talk to people at parties and and in social events about you know law all the time especially family events everybody likes to get their legal questions and free advice over turkey dinner that kind of thing. So you know this is you’re our listeners so if you want to call and feel free. 5 0 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6 and again the TX line is 5 0 4 5 7 9 8 9 8 5. A little bit about me again since I’m still new. This is week number three for see you in court. My name is Seth smiley. I’m a lawyer here in Louisiana unlicensed to practice here in Louisiana and I’m also licensed in California so I know a little bit about common law and civil law. Most of the work that we do here is here in Louisiana. I run a law firm called Smiley law firm.

[00:02:00]

We do typically we do construction law and litigation. We do business litigation and we do personal injury law and so I may go into those different types of law a little bit more detail here today. Give folks an idea of what a typical lawsuit is like for that type of that area of law or you know the typical disputes or the typical issues that we see on a day to day basis. You know in not super exciting stuff but it’s very informative and it’s a lot of information that we lawyers take for granted that we expect the public to just know.

[00:02:36]

And so you know I’d like to I’d like to get that information out there so people can be educated on what’s going on because you know I say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Steal that from the from the doctors. But it’s very it holds itself very true in the legal world as well especially when you’re dealing with contractors and businesses. You know you want to make sure that you have very sound contracts and that your agreements with people are in writing and that you know everybody is acting how they should and that folks are making educated decisions on whether or not they want to you know go see you in court.

[00:03:13]

I named the show that for a reason because everybody wants to have their day in court and people come visit me and they say well let’s go see them in court or you know tell their adversary I’ll see you in court.

[00:03:26]

And the reality of it is it takes a long time to get there. It’s very expensive to get there and then when you get there a lot of times the result is not something that you want because you have this disinterested third party who does a good job. You know the judges I think do a good job. And but the thing is they have you know hundreds of cases and they can’t really you know focus in on the facts of your legal matter as much as you or your adversary have. So it’s one of those things where you know if you can make a deal ahead of time and settle your case then you’re probably going to get a better outcome than if you leave it up to a judge or jury to decide and jury trials or even a much more rare bird than are you know just a just a judicial trial. So today we’re just going to be talking about general you know construction law business law personal injury law and those types of things that you know folks that I see on a day to day basis and that folks you know talk to me about all the time. I spoke to a criminal lawyer today and I don’t think I can have him on today but we’re going to get him on the show here soon. So he’s going to help specifically answer a lot of the issues that folks have with regard to criminal law. And so we’ll be doing that and here in the near future which potentially could be good. Just to give a different perspective on the things that we have going on.

[00:04:54]

You know what’s going on with criminal justice and those types of things with regard to the local hot topics or the you know the things that are going on in the news. It’s actually kind of been a slow week in the news have been doing some research on it.

[00:05:10]

And you know obviously there are some things that are making headlines you know with regards to you know the immigration issues are still making headlines. There are there are things going on where states are jumping on board and trying to you know get the immigration order either overturned or or get get more clarity on that.

[00:05:30]

And like it looks like on Monday California joined the multi-state lawsuit and the revised immigration order and then the Department of Justice has made some you know some comments on that as well. And then you know things like the like the Dakotah pipeline is getting some some front page news right now which is not super exciting things. Trump’s been fairly quiet locally.

[00:05:55]

You know people have been talking about our mayor’s race that’s coming up here soon which should should be very interesting. But you know there’s no clear frontrunner or even real clear candidates at this point.

[00:06:05]

And I know it looks like it looks like Jeff Curriers going to be talking about a deal here coming up on what is that that’s tomorrow he’s going to be hosting a deal looks like Thursday March 16 2016 at the Eiffel society and he’s going to have a panel of a bunch of different folks on his ringside politics with a punch show and it looks like from 6 to 8 p.m. or the show starts at 8:00 p.m. and he’s going to have a bunch of local you know pundits and people who can comment on on the upcoming political situation. So that’ll be something interesting to look into over the next day tomorrow. But but by and large you know it’s been fairly slow and so during the next couple of segments we’re going to talk about last week we talked a lot about you know how how a case works from start to finish.

[00:07:00]

And you know it can be fairly dense. But at the same time it’s very interesting stuff. Most people don’t know it. And they also don’t know how expensive it is. And so and so it’s just one of those deals where it and I say we have a broken system. I’m not a huge fan of of how our system works where you know people have to be very adverse to one another and then they go to the you know they file a lawsuit and then they battle it out for years and years pay tons of money and then end up with a bad result or a unhappy result.

[00:07:34]

And so I think there are alternative dispute resolution like methods that are good and should be should be used as a you know an arrow in the quiver if you will in order to try to get folks back to back to work back in business or you know back on their feet. So so there’s a lot of things that are going on with regards to that and we’re going to go into it a little bit more detail. And you know if anybody does want to call in and they want to get a few minutes on the air just to have you know asking general legal questions or just say I want to talk to a lawyer again you can give us a call 5 0 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6 and you know if you’re driving around your car headed home and you just heard something you know that you wanted to get out there you feel free to do that and then you can also text 2 5 0 4 5 7 9 8 9 8 5 and I can get those and I can potentially read those on the air.

[00:08:31]

And so. So yeah so it looks like we have about one more minute before this segment will wrap up and then we’ll come back and talk about a typical construction law case. So again my name is Seth smiley of the smiley law firm. This is see you in court and we’ll be here every Wednesday from five to six and this is W. GSO 990 AM and W. GSO dot com. And we’ll be back with you in just a few minutes to talk a little bit more and if we want to get some callers in on feel free to call us during that time period. Thank you.

[00:09:06]

All righty Welcome back everybody. In this five to six o’clock drivetime hour here on Wednesday March 15th this is see you in court.

[00:09:14]

My name is Seth smiley. We’re here live downtown New Orleans on WGN. So 9:00 9:30 a.m. in GSO dot com. If folks didn’t didn’t pick up before the break the listener call in line is 5 0 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6 and the TX line is 5 4 5 7 9 8 9 8 5. If you want to check something and have it heard on the air you can do that. And then if you also want to call in we can have a little discussion on the air and discuss either current events legal issues or you can get some just good ole general advice from from Louisiana lawyer on your particular situation. So since we don’t have any calls Currently I will. I was going to go into you know the anatomy of a just a typical construction law case and how construction was handled. The reason why to go there first is because that’s what I do the most of and not always the most sexy material but at the same time it’s very practical. Everyone you know pretty much has either dealt with a contractor or you know fixing something whether it’s in a vat guys fix your A C or a roofer coming out fix your house plumber fixing the toilet whatever it is I actually have some leaking at my house right now. Wait a waiting on a plumber to come over and fix and fix it. Hopefully tonight. And you know it’s just one of those deals where we all have to deal with it. You know some sort of construction going on at some time.

[00:10:49]

My background is in construction My dad is a contractor. I grew up in the south and realized it was good for a tan but not good for me. I like airconditioning and being inside so I went to law school and became a construction lawyer. You know one of the first things we look at. We get it we get a lot of there’s kind of two sides there’s a plane aside on the defense side of construction law we do. We do some defense not too much just mostly for the clients that we’re dealing with. If they don’t want to tender to their insurance but most of the time it’s a homeowner who’s mad at their contractor whether it’s a general contractor or just some some guy who came out. Usually the dollar amount needs to be you know 10 20 30 thousand dollars worth of damage before it’s really smart to get an attorney on board because it’s very expensive. Then you know we work with contractors and general contractors making sure they do everything right on jobs. We work with a lot of subcontractors making sure that they have contracts and lot of times they get one sided onerous contracts against them and so we have to try to help them get paid on their own for the work that they performed. We represent a lot of material suppliers. You know people who supply the lights and the switches and the wiring and you know all all the materials to the job sites and those tend to be bigger companies and they have better claims.

[00:12:04]

We also represent a lot of rental companies who supply a lot of materials for jobs and everybody has a slightly different set of rules that they’re playing with here and there’s different thing different nuances. And I’ll even get you know mini construction or not construction just standard attorney’s regular attorneys general practitioners or folks who do things and other types of law. And they say oh you know I have a client who is a contractor. I’m in over my head so you help us out here and we get a lot of work that way. So we typically typically try to figure out what type of project we’re dealing with here. Normally there’s pretty much two types there’s there’s really there’s really three total we don’t see a whole lot of federal projects. There are some but it’s just not as much not as much. Are 100 percent federal. So we see either it’s either state or privately owned.

[00:12:55]

For the longest time we were dealing with most mostly privately owned and when the economy kind of tanked back in 0 8 it spurred a lot of a lot of state projects which state means city municipalities. It means it means state Louisiana or any of its departments you know putting up different things like say all the schools here in New Orleans when they’re being redone.

[00:13:18]

Those are all state projects and so those all have their specific set of rules and the Public Works Act. And then you have then you have the private Works Act which has its own set of rules they try to mirror each other. There’s some different case all those come out and there’s some they’re worded a little bit differently here and they’re pretty pretty nuanced stuff. And so we deal with you know we try to ferret what type of what type of project it is and then we try to figure out what the rights are of that particular party. And so sometimes contractors will fall under a general contractor. Other times they are a subcontractor. And so everybody has different rules in it and it’s a it’s a it’s a see that you’re trying to navigate to try to get to the end of the project where everybody’s happy the work is complete and everyone is paid. I don’t know if anybody realizes that but that’s kind of like a fantasy land and construction world having everyone happy everyone paid. And the project fully completed. I’m going to do a house renovation deal right now.

[00:14:18]

And we’re you know 99 percent done with it but there’s just these little you know punch list items that happen at the end of the job that seem to go on forever and ever and ever and it just you know it can be frustrating human somebody who knows the lay of the land like I do. And you know it’s just it’s the work almost seems like it’s never ending.

[00:14:40]

Sorry about that. Take a little drink water. So one of the big deals about is completing the work and that’s essentially on the contractor contractor needs to make sure he has access and that he’s out there and you know he’s coordinating all the subs and everything’s getting on properly. Getting paid is another story. There are many different mechanisms in many different contract agreements that are out there cost plus time and materials those types of things where you know just there’s different different ways you can pay folks. And so that is where the big controversy comes in is getting paid. And undoubtedly homeowners get real unhappy if you know pain is splattered on something or a floor starts to crack or you know the roof has a leak in it or whatever and so controversy happens all the time. Somebody told me once and I like this analogy I think it’s fairly witty. And I tell people a lot but construction is like it’s like trying to tame a bag of snakes.

[00:15:39]

It’s just one of those things where you know there’s a lot of things going on and a lot of you know a lot of things flying back and forth in different directions and a lot of room for error. And you know with the timing and everything so we had one of the things we you know we do a lot of. And most people don’t do this as we follow a lot of leads. And so Eileen is a document that is filed by somebody who’s performed work on a project and they haven’t been paid and it’s a security interest sort of like a mortgage on a house and and basically they file this document so that they can say hey look I performed work I haven’t been paid and then an example I always give is that is that you know a painter comes to your house does $1000 paint job. You don’t pay him. Well he has the ability to go out and file. It’s very technical but if he’s done properly he could literally sell your house and then the proceeds from the sale he would take the you know thousand dollars from that and pay himself and then the rest would go to the owner. If it’s owned outright if there’s a mortgage on it the mortgage company gets in line first. And that’s very technical but the delete is very powerful and it scares people. And Joe can say it’s the four letter word of the construction industry because it is four letters. And so it’s a bad joke. But but it’s like a curse word. People hear that word and they say Oh oh no.

[00:17:00]

And they run and they get real upset and we get phone calls all the time and you know it’s the principle of it. And you know why did they file this lien on my property and what’s going to happen and all that type of stuff. Well the good thing is Lean’s in Louisiana only last. They’re only They’re only good for a year unless somebody files a lawsuit to enforce only. And so you know you could theoretically go and just let it sit there for a year and have nothing happen. Now they can file a lien you know a month later if they want to excuse me a lawsuit a month later if they wanted to. We do a lot of lean removals. That’s a special that’s a special type of like summary proceeding that we can file and get people to get the lien removed in their house. And people love that. It’s a good service because liens can tie up financing if you’re getting if you have if you’re if you’re doing a construction loan on your property to take to renovate and the lien can slow all that down. And so if we’re able to have it removed it’s wonderful because it opened those floodgates open back up and the money tends to flow. The problem can be is that people that’s one of the few parts of the lean law where there is an attorney’s fees clause. And and so people tend to they tend to want vengeance plus their money back right.

[00:18:16]

And so we get the lien removed and then we’re trying to chase around some sort of contractor who’s kind of operating out of the back of his truck. That’s the reason why his lien was not filed properly to begin with. And then you know we have all these attorneys we’re trying to get back and we just can’t get it because you know we’re good at. We’re good at getting money from people. But you know there are some people that are judgment proof. And so sometimes that’s a rub with clients and then get a little frustrated with that. So yeah we have about one more minute before the break and then we’ll we’ll we’ll finish up our conversation a little bit on the construction law and talk about a few more nuanced things and then we’ll jump into a personal injury case.

[00:18:53]

Again my name is Miley. Is See you in court. And we’re here 990 AM. Thank you.

[00:18:59]

All righty. Welcome back everybody to the bottom of the 5:00 hour.

[00:19:04]

It’s 5:34 here on Wednesday March 15th. Coming to you live from the W GSO studios 998 him and WGN. So dotcom here in downtown New Orleans. We’ve been talking construction law here on SEE YOU IN COURT. My name is Seth smiley and that’s the thing that we talk about here the most is is the law and everything going on in the law. If we have any listeners that want to call in and talk any have any questions about the law or just want to you know about some ideas off me or just want some general advice I’ll be happy to entertain those calls the number is 5 0 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6. And then if anybody wants to text then we can we can we can handle text through 5 0 4 5 7 9 8 9 8 5.

[00:19:55]

And OK so before the break we were talking about you know the typical types of cases that we see with my law firm Smiley law firm. We operate out of downtown New Orleans and then all the way through the Baton Rouge area north shore even over into southwest Louisiana basically I-10 and I-12 So you know we were wrapping up on construction law and talking about filing liens and how that such of the kind of the secret sauce of construction law and how it’s a four letter word and people you know my my dad is kind of old school and he’s one of those is never followed only in his life and I’m not even a contractor and I fired hundreds for my clients. And you know we get folks paid all the time because of the power of the line. So you know basically we were talking about that and then the next step is kind of file a lawsuit depending on your role and project you may have to send notices in different things like that so it’s very nuanced and you know like I was saying earlier there are even attorneys that will call me and say oh no I don’t know how to advise my client because you know construction law only in law is very specific and I don’t typically handle that kind of thing and that’s going to kind of transition us over into what I find to be a lot less nerdy of a topic but you know I think it’s more fun and kind of one of those things that everyone does.

[00:21:20]

And that’s a personal injury and it’s one of those things where you know people a lot of lawyers do it a lot of lawyers you know specialize in only do and only doing that in you know there are lots of different fields and personal injury. I mean you have like medical negligence you have car accidents you have you know even big rigs. You have you know just just random injuries that people can have where they are not to trip and fall or slip and fall. Bicycle accidents pedestrian accidents. You know I even saw one one attorney out in California who specialized in children falling out of shopping carts and so he had his very own Web site set up specifically for that and he was crushing and apparently there’s enough there’s enough injuries out there you know. Typically at a at a brand name store where they have lots of insurance and you know kids are five cards and really hurting themselves. And so it was enough of an industry that that he was able to specialize in that. We through my firm kind of got involved with all this through the construction world and so personal injury you know if it’s on the job and it’s injury like if you’re a construction worker and you get injured that’s a whole different urelements worker’s comp law. So if you are if you’re injured on any type of job and you’re in the ordinary course and scope of your employment then that is a whole different courthouse. It’s a whole different set of laws we’re a comp law is you know Worker’s Comp is its own deal.

[00:22:48]

But at the same time if somebody else was at fault for your injury then potentially you got worker’s comp and you know personal injury like negligence involved with that and personal injury. Just it’s it’s a it’s a subset of the world of negligence and so not to get too technical into it. Most people it comes into play with with car accidents. And so we see a decent amount with like I was saying with construction sites if someone is walking near a construction site or through a construction site and they are not an employee in the course and scope of their of their work. And they happened to get injured or if there’s like an unsafe you know some cones or something like that that are put out and you know it wasn’t properly notifying people of of you know a construction situation that can injure someone you know you have serious liability there. And so people people tend to categorize personal injury lawyers as ambulance chasers and those types of things. But at the same time personal injury lawyers make our world a lot safer too. I mean the reason why you don’t see three wheelers anymore and you only see four wheelers for recreational is because you know personal injury lawyers. They were able to point out that that was an extremely unsafe type of vehicle. And and essentially made the law change. Now I joke all the time and say oh you know look at all the regulations on this or look at the sticker on this particular product or whatever product liability is an issue too. I’m like oh lawyers ruin everything. They take the fun out of everything. It’s kind of true. But at the same time they’re there they’re protecting us you know and it ends up being a windfall for that particular client.

[00:24:26]

And so we’ll we’ll get some people who have been injured on construction sites and you know we also get a lot of people who’ve been in car accidents.

[00:24:33]

And I’ve had a lot of contractor clients who you know they their brother or their sister or you know cousin or whatever got in a serious accident and they brought it over to us and we were there to help them you know get get get a nice nice return. So it’s it typically you know it has to be somebody who’s fault not not the person who injured. That’s a big deal in Louisiana where a comparative fault state. So I mean it could be a certain percentage of one person’s fault over the other. So that’s why people in the injury world they love rear end collisions because that’s typically the person who made the contact the following car it’s typically always 100 percent their fault. And fault you know is nine tenths of the law or one of those things possession is nine tenths of the law fault. Faults a huge deal. And then after you find fault. I know a lot of people who’ve been in very very very serious accidents where they didn’t have uninsured motorist on their vehicle and then they got hit by somebody with only the minimum policy of 15000 and they were basically capped out at 15000 and you know they’ve had surgeries and hundreds of thousands of dollars of issues. And you have to sadly tell them hey look this is all the money that’s there. And so that’s why I always always always encourage everyone especially people who are driving like today in the drive time hour that uninsured motorist and under-insured motorist coverage on your personal policy is very very very very important.

[00:26:07]

So if somebody were to hit me in my family you know and they only have that $15000 policy it would just would then switch over to my uninsured motorist and it would be a substantially higher amount of insurance coverage and in we would be adequately compensated. So it’s not very much more on your insurance. You can add that protection and it is very very very valuable if something ever happened there would be something that makes all the difference in the world and it’s very you know the the low in insurance companies like to say hey look we have the cheapest rates. And one of the reasons why they do that is because you know they’re stripping down the policy to the bare bare bare minimum. And so you always want it even if you have even if you had you only had the minimum policy but you had uninsured and then the other side had the minimum policy and they were at fault. There you go. You then go from a $15000 possible recovery to $30000 and so that would be the very minimum. So in getting more insurance on top of that is very good. I always tell people 50 hundred thousand. You know that’s that’s the lowest you want to go just because you just never know what’s going to happen. And when you get you know a couple of people involved in you know it can be it can be you’re kept out at those minimum amounts and usually on a $15000 policy the minimum combined for everyone. So if you have five people in the rock it doesn’t mean 15000 each It means they get capped out at 30 there’s typically a combined 30.

[00:27:35]

I mean double the amount of the the underlying policy. So car accidents are something that you know happen all the time. And you know they are good they’re they’re good personal injury cases and then there’s many others as well. The key though is once you get into whatever injury you have in people always love to say oh I need to call my lawyer I need to call my lawyer or I need to call a lawyer. Your lawyer cannot fix your injury. So I always tell people thanks for call and I really appreciate it. I’m glad you’re OK. I mean are glad you’re you know not seriously injured or whatever it is. But the first thing you need to do is get to the doctor and you need to get treatment and you need to get yourself better. Because we really can’t. We can sign you up and we can get you on board but then you know you need to get to the doctor and the doctor needs to get a regimen together to help you get back to 100 percent. And then from there that’s when we can really push the insurance company to pay you for your pain and suffering and everything that’s you know everything that occurred from that particular accident or injury or whatever it is. So if anybody wants to talk about personal injury law we’re here again 5 0 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6. Or you can text and 2 5 0 4 5 7 9 8 9 8 5.

[00:28:56]

And again you know this is we’re about to conclude the third segment of see you in court. My name is Seth smiley and we’ll double we’ll. We’ll talk a little bit more about personal injury law and we’re also going to jump into the general business litigation things that we deal with on day to day basis. Thank you so much and I’ll see you in a few minutes.

[00:29:16]

All righty. Welcome back everybody. This is Seth smiley.

[00:29:20]

We’re here on GSO 990 AM and W.G. dot com. This is see you in court. I’m attorney Seth smiley. We’re here live in the New Orleans studios of of GSO. And we were talking about personal injury in the last hour and just overall the different types of case that I see on a regular basis with regards to construction law on the first segment and then our personal injury law in the last one. And then we’ll go in this final segment. Talk a little bit about business litigation. However if anybody wants to call in on this drivetime our number is 5 0 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6.

[00:30:02]

Or you can text and 5 0 4 5 7 9 8 9 8 5 and we can get those texts or calls heard on the air.

[00:30:12]

And you know no matter how colorful folks typically like to you know ask me about legal questions when I’m at family functions or social events so we can do that here on law. I mean on the air and on line if that’s something that people really want to reach out and you know talk about anything that’s bothering them with regards to the law did pass a couple of bar exam so I know a very general information about pretty much all areas of the law. But there’s just more that we see and I see on a regular basis and that typically is construction law it’s typically personal injury and then business litigation. So we were talking about personal injury and whether or not it’s someone else’s fault is a big deal. You know you can have things where it’s partially your fault. Not as typically good as the case but you know we have been able to make some inroads on things that were you know somebodies fault and your fault as well. And then Nikki is also having insurance coverage with regards to injuries because that is the pocket that we’ll be paying.

[00:31:12]

And so having coverage is a big deal and different types of policies in how much they are and that’s why people advertise like oh the company truck and all that because typically business general liability policy tends to have a million dollars of coverage and so attorneys love who they run for those and I think we even have attorneys who advertise for you know company trucks and things like that and have construction clients who who really don’t like those advertisements because anytime you’re you’re you’re policy good paying your rates tend to go up especially if it was you or your employees fault. So anyway so those those are two very important aspects. You know whether or not there’s coverage there and whether or not it was your fault. And then you know and then just like the lay of the land depending on your jurisdiction is very important. Some jurisdictions are more conservative than the mother others in insurance companies know that they know where they’re going to fare a lot better than them. They’re a lot worse. And that literally changes the amount of money that people can end up settling or judgments that they can get certain parishes here in Louisiana we might not even necessarily take a case. But then in another parish we can get you know huge numbers on that same exact case. So it’s it’s pretty crazy how that goes down. And but it’s just the lay of the land and you’ve got to have an attorney who knows those types of things and knows how to deal with those particular nuances. So last but not least is the business litigation and this was something that was sort of born out of our construction law deal and in our experience there.

[00:32:46]

And so we handle a lot of you know breaches of contract folks who are promissory notes personal guarantees on on business disputes and people get into arrangements with businesses and so will other businesses. And so we have to be disputes and we have B to see which is business to consumer and B to be is business to business.

[00:33:09]

And so typically those are more sophisticated litigants or are claimants who are in those and so the courts look at them a little bit differently than somebody who’s a consumer in their less protections. And so you know they get involved with each other. The good part is typically businesses have money unless for some reason they’re going under. So if you’re suing another business you’re more likely to get paid. The problem is you know you want to have personal guarantees on that business owner unless it’s some mammoth business. I always joke and tell my clients you know you want to make sure you’re getting a personal guarantee whenever you’re signing. You know some sort of purchase order or some sort of agreement with with another business but at the same time that Microsoft is your client you’re not going to get a personal guarantee from Bill Gates. It just doesn’t work that way. And so usually big companies you won’t be able to get that but those small medium sized businesses you typically can get the the owner or one of the principals to sign you know a personal guarantee to make sure that they are going to guarantee the underlying debts of the business because otherwise folks know they’re doing bad. They might just you know let the business go and solve it. File bankruptcy do whatever. And then you don’t have any other recourse to get paid on those business debts. And so we see we see a lot of that. We try to negotiate a lot of business disputes because we try to negotiate a lot of business disputes because folks need to basically get back to work.

[00:34:42]

They don’t have time and money and energy to pay lawyers to take depositions and fight things out over you know five ten 10 $20000. It needs to be a lot more money than that because it’s just going to it takes you know 20 $30000 a year and multiple years to litigate a lot of these business disputes. And so we always encourage people to get back to work and negotiate a deal so they can go back to doing what they do best. You know selling widgets or whatever it is they do. There are some cool statutes there that are out there for business owners. You know the open account statute is a very good one. You know there are lots of breach of contract statutes. We call them obligations here in Louisiana. And so the law of contract is essentially the law of obligations here in Louisiana. I don’t want to get too technical into that but you know people who enter into contracts in bad faith you can potentially get attorneys fees and costs back for that. So those are always good to know and the reason why open account is good is because you can potentially get attorneys fees and costs back for that. Because in America the United States we have a thing called the American rule and that is where everyone if there is no statute and there is no contract that says you get attorneys fees and costs back then everybody pays their own way and you can even Google it. The American rule or just google American rule and it tells you a little bit about it.

[00:36:05]

I think there’s like a Wikipedia page for it as well. It’s just it’s just the lay of the land and so people always call me and they’re like well I’ve been damaged my damages are I’m having to pay you. And so by default that’s not really that’s not really damages. And so unless you have some sort of rule that sets it out like a contract where it says prevailing party gets attorneys fees and costs then you just don’t get that stuff. So. So you know you want to statute you want a contractual provision and then there are many times where in California is a little different. They they tend to award attorneys fees and costs more regularly if there is a contract or statute in Louisiana they do a lot of the time. But a lot of times it’s discretionary or the judges makes it make you know take their own discretion. And you know they feel sorry for somebody or whatever they just won’t award attorneys fees and costs which can be very frustrating. So we’re rolling into our last few minutes here the show if anybody wants to squeeze in a text message it’s 5 0 4 5 7 9 8 9 8 5 if anybody wants to squeeze in a call we can do that 5 0 4 5 5 6 9 6 9 6 and otherwise you know next week we’ll be talking you know again about more of the latest news in and going on and not only political news but just legal news going around. I’d tend to look at this.

[00:37:36]

There’s a good Web site that’s out there it’s called jurists dot org and it’s J U R I S T O R G and they tend to have their their their you know their punchline is documenting law since 1996 and looks like they’re affiliated with the with the law of the law. The University of Pittsburgh and they do a great job. They just kind of it’s kind of like the AP You know of of legal news and so it’s a good resource that’s out there. People abreast of everything that’s going on in the law if somebody is you know so interested the the law is good in that you know it’s not always the flashiest news but it’s it’s the backbone of everything that’s going on. And so you’ll hear lots of headlines.

[00:38:23]

But you know is it legal is allowable. Will the courts allow it. Is there a law out there that you know will allow this type of thing.

[00:38:31]

So so yes we’re wrapping up towards the end of the show here. We have you know just about a minute or so left and so you know it’s been another another week in the books here on SEE YOU IN COURT. My name is Seth smiley and I’m happy to be with you guys from five to six. Every Wednesday here on GSO and GSO com 998 them and we will see you next week.

[00:38:56]

Have a nice one New Orleans

Need help with a legal issue? Click below to get started.

Seth Smiley
Seth is an attorney licensed to practice in Louisiana and California. He is the owner and lead attorney at Smiley Law Firm. To speak with Seth fill out the form on this page.
Shares
Share This