Thursday, April 19, 2012

Website launched to tackle “stink” in legal briefs

Think legal paperwork stinks? So does LEGAL PAPERWORK STINKS LLC, a local company determined to reduce legal paperwork woes while helping the environment.

LOS OSOS, CA (April 16, 2012) -- With any legal matter, the paperwork can mount up quickly. In a court case – especially one that takes several months or even years to resolve completely – the mountain of documents and stress of tracking the legal process can be overwhelming. A new local company has set out to remedy that — and save a few trees — with a clever new (and aptly named) online service.

Legal Paperwork Stinks LLC, based in Los Osos, California, recently launched its new website, www.LegalPaperworkStinks.com, the first completely online legal paperwork management system. For a monthly membership fee, the internet-based service allows anyone – individuals and legal professionals alike – to upload, track and store documents and other case-related information in a secure, private, online account.
Along with offering a host of organizational tools, the simple-to-use website puts all your information at your fingertips while storing all your documents out of the house, away from innocent eyes (as in child custody cases) or unwanted viewing by others. It was designed for use with any kind of court case – civil, family law /divorce, workers comp, etc.

Their online legal case management system can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection, to help you make sense of things, keep documents in order, and be prepared for each court date. (The “messier” the case, the more useful this tool will be.) Legal Paperwork Stinks LLC, which supports the “green” paperless trend, plans to build within a few months a tailored “smartphone” and iPhone web application to allow for easy access in the courtroom.


This new website is the brainchild of company founder Robert Fuess, a local software engineer who also owns Spiderweb Logic Web Design in Los Osos. The idea came from his own personal experience and frustration keeping track of all the paperwork and proceedings when his first marriage – like half of marriages today – unfortunately ended in divorce. “I found the divorce process to be very lengthy, emotional and messy,” Mr. Fuess remembers. “I needed better tools to organize my thoughts and strategy as I waded through the legal process. But there was nothing available.” Recently, he decided to put together something to help others struggling with the same issues. “Like a good entrepreneur,” Fuess said, “I found a partner to help with development and funding, then built the website, adding all the organizational tools that I wanted back then.”

Mr. Fuess officially launched his company and website in April 2012. He offers memberships in the U.S, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand, with package-based prices for both individual users and the more robust needs of attorneys and other legal professionals. It is an affordable solution for smaller law practices without funds to purchase expensive solutions from the competition. Other features include a high security system; the ability to easily print, fax, or email directly from the website; and document tracking to court dates and issues. A free 1-month trial is available.

For more information, visit contact Robert Fuess at info@legalpaperworkstinks.com or visit www.LegalPaperworkStinks.com.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

5 Tips for Getting (and Staying) Organized for Court


Going to court? We hope you find these tips helpful. (If not,
feel free to forward this on to someone who is. Thanks!)


Going to court can be stressful – especially in difficult circumstances.

The first time you go to court can be very confusing. The legal system is complicated, with its own set of rules, language and cumbersome way of doing things – including producing a mountain of stinky legal paperwork! Unfortunately, for many it doesn’t get much easier with repeated trips to court.

Some legal issues (like divorce, child custody or medical malpractice) are long, drawn-out processes that have a huge impact on your life. When a case takes months (or even years) to resolve completely, your legal headaches are compounded by:

• Multiple court dates.
• Addressing different issues each time.
• MORE stinky legal paperwork.

And if your case involves minor-age children, the legal issues can continue to crop up yearly, as one party or the other pushes for a change or family situations evolve.

Good News: You can help your case with a few pro-active steps.

Following are five tips that can help you:
• Reduce your stress level.
• Feel more in control of your case.
• Simplify your court experience.

TIP 1: Get Organized.

The first step in gaining control over your stress and legal paperwork is to create an:
• Organizing system – To keep track of documents, thoughts, details and issues.
• Easy retrieval method – To quickly access information each time you go to court.

If you are working with a lawyer, being more organized will also keep you from wasting his or her time, and racking up unnecessary legal fees.

TIP 2: Create and maintain your own set of files.

Whether you have a lawyer or not, keep a personal copy of all documents. (You may not always be able to afford an attorney, and should not depend on someone else to keep you organized or track important details for you.)

Note: Do not rely on the Courts to store your information. Many counties still store court documents on microfiche, which can sometimes disappear. The time and effort to make copies is minor compared to the hassle of wading through hundreds of microfiche documents to reconstruct past your case files. (Not only are microfiche files horrible to read, you will just make a difficult situation even more unpleasant.)


TIP 3: Keep everything together.

Get a big folder to hold all the documents for your court case. (If you have more than one case, use a file box with yellow manila folders inside.) Label each folder with the applicable court date, and put the following documents inside:

1. A clear statement outlining the issues for that court date.
2. A spreadsheet or table to record the following:
• All document names.
• The date received.
• The date filed and submitted by the petitioner/ respondent.
3. Your planned opening and closing arguments.
4. A summary statement describing what happened in court.
5. Any filed orders for that court date.

Tip 4: Keep a detailed journal.

Depending on your case, emotions and difficult circumstances can easily cloud issues, distort memories, and rattle the resolve of even the most level-headed folks. So, if possible, keep a detailed journal with all information pertinent to your case. (Any generic notebook will do.)

• Keep the journal in the legal case box/folder with your other documents.
• Take it with you each time you go to court, and/or add your entries promptly.
• Write down everything important: Who said or did what, on what date, etc.
• When paperwork is filed to go to court, use your notes to write your Declaration.

Many attorneys encourage their divorce clients to do this. Writing down your thoughts and important information – instead of relying on memory alone – allows you to be certain of the facts, and not forget critical details. Remember, anything that helps you win your case or save attorney fees is valuable.

Tip 5: Go “green” while you go to court.

Hate the thought of creating more paperwork while you get organized? Help the environment and save more than a few trees by going digital – a green alternative to files, storage boxes, and schlepping a pile of legal paperwork to and from court!
• Create a system on your personal computer to store your scanned court documents and notes.
• OR simply subscribe to a secure online document storage service that has an information organizing system already built in.

If you are interested in an easy online system, I invite you to check out "Legal Paperwork Stinks" – the digital version of the paper system I described above.

We don’t give you more legal paperwork. We show you were to put it.

Legal Paperwork Stinks LLC has done all the pre-organizing work for you, plus provides peace of mind – knowing your documents and personal notes are out of the house and away from innocent or prying eyes.

It is:
• Easy to use – All the information and organizing tools you need for court in one place.
• Secure – Court documents and personal notes stored in your private online account.
• Convenient – Easy access & retrieval 24/7 over the internet – at home, in court or at work.

There are similar types of businesses around. Some provide online document storage; others provide online legal forms. Legal Paperwork Stinks is the first system offered entirely ONLINE that not only stores your documents, but includes a complete yet simple-to-use organizing system. Plus it is available to both Attorneys and non-legal folks alike, with only minor differences in the tools offered.

Not sure which method will work best for you?

BONUS TIP: Legal Paperwork Stinks offers a free, no obligation 1-month trial of their case management system. If you like how it works and want to sign up for our service, just enter the code: My Stinky Green Coupon on our website, and get $20 off your first paid subscription.

Good luck in court!



Robert Fuess
Founder, Legal Paperwork Stinks LLC

Saturday, January 14, 2012

When to Take a Medical Malpractice Claim to Court

It can be hard to know exactly when your suspected medical malpractice situation deserves to go to court. Uncertainty and fear, however, are easily quashed by information. Read on to understand when and how to take your medical malpractice claim to court.

When a medical malpractice claim has been filed, a question that lingers is whether or not to take the case to court. Most cases do not see the courtroom because they are settled and then everyone moves on. However, there are times when the settlement process is not successful and the courtroom is the only way to achieve a suitable outcome.

Before taking a malpractice claim to court, the attorney defending the doctor in the case will evaluate all evidence to determine whether or not they can win in court. If it is found that the client cannot be defended successfully, a settlement will be offered to the plaintiff. This settlement will be what the defense considers fair.

The Settlement

Usually, the prosecution does not see the proposed settlement as fair, so the amount is then negotiated. This negotiation process varies from case to case, but tends to be the quicker alternative to a trial. The plaintiff’s attorney works to achieve the highest settlement possible, while the defending attorney tries to fight for the lowest. The negotiation process can take as long as a year, so the better the plaintiff’s evidence that malpractice occurred the more leverage there is to ensure an adequate settlement amount quickly.

It is when the settlement amount is not enough that the case can go to trial. If the defense attorney will not offer a fair settlement amount, the plaintiff can choose to take the dollar amount or to take the case to court. If court is the preference, then it could be a year or more before any money is seen. This can be attributed to the complexity of a medical malpractice case and the slow nature of these types of trials.

Deciding to Go to Court

The fact that the trial can take so long to acquire any money is why going to court is a hard decision. This is why it is good for the plaintiff to initially have more evidence than the defense. The prosecuting attorney will do everything in his or her power to produce the evidence needed to force a fair settlement so that court can be avoided, but it is when the settlement is not fair that a very important decision has to be made.

The decision is difficult because during this time the plaintiff is dealing with medical bills, pain, suffering, and a variety of other problems stemming from the alleged malpractice incident. There are times when the plaintiff’s attorney can arrange for a little money to be paid up front to take care of some expenses while the case is pending, but even that is not enough. The only other alternative to court in this case is to take the settlement, which may still not be enough. This is why some individuals choose to move to trial.

To go to Court or not go to Court?

Once the math is figured on medical expenses, childcare costs, lost wages due to the inability to work, and other expenses that have been incurred, settlements usually do not add up. If the plaintiff is willing to wait for the trial to commence and for the trial process to complete so that they can acquire a large amount of money, then the wait can be very rewarding. Going to court can be a tedious process, but one that pays off if the plaintiff decides that the settlement is not an amount that will sustain their quality of life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter Wendt is a writer and researcher interested in medical malpractice lawyers in Philadelphia. Many of his readers wonder, "Do I have a medical malpractice case?" in which case Peter recommends they discuss their situation with a quality attorney who handles personal injury and medical malpractice cases.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Organizing Legal Paperwork

In many cases, organizing the legal paperwork is the job of the "Legal Assistant" in the lawyer's office. Or if you are IN-PRO-PER (representing yourself) you may have to do this yourself.

"Please bring me the file on Jones vs Smith."

If this case has been on hold for several months or even a year or two, remembering all the details can be difficult. How you organize your information can make a big difference.

One way to do it is to have a big folder (or box) for each court case. Inside this are folders labeled with each court date.

Each court date folder should include:
* a document/statement on the issues for that court date
* a table that shows the following data in a grid for documents: document name, date received, date filed, submitted by [petitioner, respondent]
* a document with planned opening and closing arguments
* a document describing what happened at court

If possible, keeping a journal on each case is helpful also. If you are a lawyer, you want to journal your activities on this case, meetings with clients etc. If you are a regular person going to court, you will want to journal who said/did what - anything that may help you when you later write up your declarations for the court.

Keep this journal in the legal case box/folder, and not inside the one for the

If you are a legal office and have several cases, you will want to keep a log of each case - (case number, petitioner_name, respondent_name, start date, last court date, location of case folder). Some cases you will want to "Archive". These are those that are probably completed, but you need to keep anyways. Others are "Active" which obviously you will be using more frequently in the current year.

If you are looking for an online tool to help you organize this, I do recommend a new tool - "Legal Paperwork Stinks". This is great, since you can use this instead of all those storage boxes for your legal cases.

Some lawyers like to bring a notepad computer instead of the big briefcase of files. If you have your files on your computer - or on an online service like Legal Paperwork Stinks, this can be rather convenient (and easier on the back).

Monday, October 31, 2011

Great Video: How to Select a Lawyer

I saw this.. Lots of great tips for selecting a lawyer

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Writing a Legal Declaration

I have written a lot of declarations for court. Many times I had to explain things to the court in the form of a declaration. Or if the other party made a declaration, I may have had to respond with a "responsive declaration" showing my side of what really happened.

Most counties like these with numbered lines, and numbered pages, double spaced.

They are not fun...and it is draining to write, because it is emotionally charged. Like a good essay, a good declaration often starts with a good introduction... which briefly states your position or arguments.

Then it has supporting arguments, details, evidence etc presented in a logical manner. Always have someone else read it BEFORE submitting it to court if you are representing yourself (IN PRO PER).

Then it has some conclusion.. In this conclusion I like to be clear to the judge and explicitly ask for some relief... or to reject the requested relief of my opposition, based on my supporting arguments.

Sometimes I have other documents or photos referenced, which I placed as attachments after the declaration (with tabs: Attachment A, Attachment B, C...)

If your county website has any specific instructions, heed them. Often they list any pre-requisites for getting heard in your county (perhaps a parenting class or mediation?). They may also detail what types of relief you can ask for - and may explain the process. EVEN IF YOU HAVE A LAWYER - READ THIS!

Here is San Luis Obispo county website as an example: http://slocourts.net/self_help/family_law/divorce

BASIC TIPS:

Foul language and name-calling is normally frowned upon.

Now also consider the length. Brevity, and clarity of thought is often encouraged, because the judges are busy. But you also want to effectively argue your case. Try to achieve a balance.

Consult your lawyer if you have one for any rules of thumb specific to your county.

Other TIPS:

* http://fightcps.com/2010/12/22/how-to-write-a-declaration-of-facts-to-submit-to-the-court/

* California Court - How to write a declaration