Legal System

October 5, 2019

Firing an Out of Control Client

I fired another client last week. The reason I used the word “another” is because I’ve fired more clients this year than I fired in the previous three years. At my age (62), I no longer have the patience to put up with the whining and abuse that I receive from some of my clients. I can put up with a lot, but there’s a point when a switch in my head goes off and my attitude toward a client shifts to such an extent that I put an end to our relationship.

September 7, 2019

The Mark of a Tyrant

During the early 1980s, I read an article about a woman from the Soviet Union who had visited Washington, D.C. The woman was the wife of a top official in the Communist Government of the Soviet Union. While she was in Washington, D.C., the woman and some of her female friends from the Soviet Union were given a tour of several buildings and monuments. When they toured the Capitol Building, she said, “Ours is better.” When she saw the Washington Monument, she said, “Ours is better.” She made the same comment when she saw the Lincoln Memorial, the National Cathedral, and several other landmarks in Washington, D.C.

August 31, 2019

The Legalization of Theft

About 15 years ago, I hired a woman — I’ll call her “Jill” — whose primary job was to assist me with marketing my law firm. One of her duties was to talk on the phone with new potential clients, discuss their situation with them, and if appropriate, schedule an appointment for me to meet with them. Jill was blessed with several gifts. She was outgoing, energetic, enthusiastic, a great conversationalist, and was good at building relationships. She had previously worked as a sales representative and was also a Mary Kay Cosmetics representative who was accustomed to selling to other women.

June 22, 2019

Another Presidential Slogan Emerges

After former Vice President Joe Biden announced that he was running for president, he said, We are living through a battle for the soul of this nation.” During a subsequent interview with Good Morning America, in an attempt to mimic Trump, Biden said that his campaign slogan is, “Make America Moral Again.” He then said that his goal is to “make America return to the essence of who we are, the dignity of the country, the dignity of people, and treating our people with dignity.”

March 16, 2019

When a Promise Really Isn’t a Promise

Last week, while I was at a local doctor’s office, one of the women who worked there surprised me by asking, “Are you the same Harry Williams who taught business law at Illinois Central College during the 1980s?” I looked at the woman and did not recognize her. I then answered, “Yes, were you in my class?” She replied, “Yes, and I really enjoyed that class.” We then had a short conversation about what she liked about the class.

March 2, 2019

Why Do We Remember Suffering Forever?

Last week, I wrote about what I say to a jury to introduce them to the concept of placing a value on pain and suffering. I discussed how a dollar “value” was once placed on individual slaves, and how property that has been damaged is valued. I provided examples of how we value a damaged washer and dryer, a damaged vehicle, an injured racehorse, and a partially burned famous painting.

February 23, 2019

The “Value” of Human Pain and Suffering

Last week, I wrote about a client who was hit by a car while she was crossing the street, and another client who was hit by a car while she was walking on the side of the road. I explained that under Illinois law, the two women are entitled to reimbursement of their medical bills, lost wages for the time that they are unable to work, and other expenses that are related to their injuries. They are also entitled to receive compensation for their present and future pain and suffering. I also discussed the McDonald’s coffee case and explained the difficulty that lawyers have in presenting the topic of pain and suffering to a jury. Today, I’m going to discuss how I explain to a jury the “value” of a person’s pain and suffering.

February 16, 2019

Pain and Suffering and the McDonald’s Coffee Case

Last week, a young woman hired me to represent her on a case in which she was injured when she was hit by a car. The incident occurred while she was walking to work. As she was walking on the shoulder of a road near the parking lot of a local business, a car suddenly darted out of the parking lot, crossed two lanes of traffic, and hit her. The front bumper of the car hit her on the right side of her knee, causing her to fall and hit her head on the ground.

February 2, 2019

Stepping onto the Minefield of Excommunication

We know from the teachings of the Catholic Church that angels are pure spirits. They do not have bodies, and they do not depend on any activity or matter for their existence. Every angel is an individual person who will never die. We ordinarily see the word “angel” applied to the pure spirits who remained faithful to God. The angels who did not remain faithful to God are commonly referred to as “devils.”

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