A California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer who really rides that you can count on.

If you have god forbid been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, give me a call anytime 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x.1,  to discuss your case.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

  • I can get you medical treatment even if you do not have medical insurance,
  • I will send my investigators to you so you do not have to come into the office.
  • I will work to get your motorcycle fixed.
  • I will work to get you all the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and more.

I am not some marketing scam that you have seen posting flyers all over motorcycle rallies, or biker rags nationwide. I am not “an association of lawyers” who has attorneys paying me money to advertise for them nationwide, and then farms cases out to them. I don’t pass out trinkets and goodies at motorcycle rallies to make you think that I am something I am not. I am not some generic non-riding personal injury attorney who has designed a fancy website to get you to think that they are biker lawyers, which they are not, I am a real deal biker like you. My firm and I handle the actual cases that come in. We say what we are, and are what we say, experts in motorcycle accident cases.

Read my blog below. I am an expert in motorcycle accidents. Like you I am a real biker who rides, and I am an expert in personal injury cases.

Don’t be suckered into signing up with a firm because of fancy advertising, or who do not ride motorcycles, who says they ride just to get you to sign up with them. Don’t be fooled by fancy ads. I am a top rated attorney who rides in the wind just like you.

Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!

California Motorcycle Accident and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Monthly Archives: March 2007

Motorcycles riding in between lanes, otherwise known as Lane Splitting, is Legal in the State of California.

California motorcycle biker injury lawyer Norman Gregory FernandezI recently watched a video report from a local TV news channel in San Diego, that you can see by clicking here, and then searching on lane splitting.

It was surprising to me that most cagers (people in cars) did not realize that lane splitting is legal in the State of California. On a personal level, this would explain the reactions I get from people when I lane split. Some cars actually will try to cut off the lane, or honk at you as you go by in between lanes.

Hell I know what it is like to be in a car in bumper to bumper traffic, wishing I was on my motorcycle and so forth, but road rage does not explain what I have seen on the road. If most cagers do not know that lane splitting is legal, they may think in their own sick way that they are doing a public good by cutting us off or honking at us when we are doing a completely legal activity such as lane splitting.

I am calling on all bikers, biker websites, the AMA, MSF, ABATE of California, and anyone else involved in the motorcycle community to help educate the public.

Motorcyclists in the State of California are legally allowed to ride in between lanes or lane split. People in cars have no right to intentionally cut off motorcycles that are lane splitting, and should not be honking at us when we are lane splitting.

If a cager wants to get out of bumper to bumper traffic, then buy a motorcycle.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

What Would You Do If Someone Stole Your Motorcycle, and Then You Saw Them Riding It Next To You?

california biker motorycle injury lawyer norman gregory fernandezI recently read an article about a guy who had his motorcycle stolen, and then saw a guy riding it right next him while he was in his car. You can read the article by clicking here.

There is nothing funny about this story. The guy who had his motorcycle stolen, engaged in a high speed chase to get his motorcycle back, and did in fact get his motorcycle back.

The reason I say that there is nothing funny about this story is that I know bikers. I already know how the vast majority of bikers would answer the question that I asked in the title of this article. Some would say that they would shoot the guy; some would say that they would chase the guy, etc. Knowing bikers, it makes me laugh just thinking about how they would respond to the question.

Motorcycle thefts are currently at an all time high right now because of the increase in popularity of riding motorcycles.

I know many of you are thinking that they guy who engaged in the high speed chase to get his motorcycle back did the right thing, and that you would do the same thing, however you must consider the consequences.

In the article I referred to above and that you can read by clicking here; the guy was very lucky to not get busted himself, and very lucky that he did not get shot or injured in going after the guy on his motorcycle.

In California, and probably in most other States, only law enforcement can legally not follow traffic laws and give chase to a fleeing suspect. In California you have the right to make a citizens arrest and use reasonable force to do so, but you cannot legally engage in a high speed chase. It must be stated that if you do make a citizens arrest and use force, you could yourself be held liable for a crime, or in a civil case if you are wrong or use unreasonable force!

If you were to hypothetically see someone riding your own stolen motorcycle, and you gave chase, what would happen if you got into an accident or killed someone in the process? You would end up potentially in jail or facing a huge potential civil judgment yourself. Would it be worth it to you? In most cases that answer would be no or at least I hope.

The guy in the article probably did not have appropriate theft insurance for his $4,500.00 motorcycle, so that his insurance company would cover the loss of the motorcycle. In the article he mentions that $4,500.000 is a lot of money to him. This is another issue. I do not understand why anyone would not buy insurance for a motorcycle or other motor vehicle to cover you in case it is stolen or wrecked. It does not make sense to me. If you value your motorcycle or other motor vehicle than insure it!

I completely agree with the advice that law enforcement gave in the article. If for some reason you ever find yourself in the same situation as the guy in the article, and see someone on your stolen motorcycle, the best thing to do would be to call 911, lay low, and try to follow them without them noticing you. You can then direct law enforcement as to where the motorcycle is heading, etc.

Had the guy in the article laid low and not yelled out, “hey that is my motorcycle,” than there would probably have not been a high speed chase, and he probably would have gotten his motorcycle back through law enforcement.

Use common sense if you are ever confronted with the unlikely scenario discussed above. A motorcycle is not worth risking your own life for under any circumstances.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

The End Result of a Biker Being Killed; The Gerry Morelock Tragedy.

Gerry MorelockEveryone in the motorcycle world is or should be aware of the fact that motorcycle builder Billy Lane is accused criminally and civilly of killing Gerry Morelock, while Morelock was riding a street legal scooter.

As I have stated in previous articles on my Biker Law Blog about the case, Lane who was riding a cage, is accused of crossing a double yellow line while drunk and driving with a suspended license, and hitting Morelock who was killed instantly. You can do a search on the right bar for Billy Lane or Gerry Morelock to find the other articles I have written.

My good friend Mike Odom has conducted an interview of Gerry Morelock’s kid brother. You can find the interview by clicking here now.

The interview is a poignant reminder that there is a human being on that motorcycle you see on the road, and that human being has family who suffers greatly when an idiot decides to disregard a biker’s right to be on the road.

I send my condolences to the family of Gerry Morelock.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

A Motorcycle Ride to the Grand Canyon; The Good and the Bad!

Biker Motorcycle Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez with FianceI must admit that I am a spoiled biker when it comes to be able to do good motorcycle rides. Living in the Southern California presents me with opportunities to do some of the best local motorcycle riding in the world without having to travel too far. Nonetheless, there are times when you just want to get on your motorcycle and take off on a long distance run.

My fiancé and I love to take off on out of town motorcycle trips whenever possible. She is a free spirit and will literally be packed up and suited up for a ride on a moments notice. She loves to ride shotgun on the back of my motorcycle and has literally ridden over 100k miles with me over the years. Not to brag, but my friends and brothers only wish that they had old ladies that wanted to ride like my old lady.

One Thursday during the summer, at around 5:00pm, I asked her if she had ever been to the Grand Canyon; she said no. I asked her if she wanted to take off that night on a little motorcycle run to the Grand Canyon. Her eyes lit up, she gave me that smile of hers, and I already knew the answer. (YES OF COURSE) I told her that to beat the heat in the California Mohave Desert, and the Arizona Desert, it would be better if we took off around midnight or 1:00am.

Before I get into the story of this particular motorcycle run to the Grand Canyon, I wanted to mention briefly that there are basically 3 types of motorcycle runs at least for me. One type of run is where I just take off on my motorcycle alone, and ride wherever I want. The second type of run is where I ride with my old lady (fiancée) on the back (shotgun) of my motorcycle and we take off on a run to wherever. (It is not the destination that counts; it’s the ride that matters!) The third type of run is where I roll on my motorcycle with my friends or brothers who also have their own motorcycles. (Group run)

Not that I do not love rolling in a pack with my friends and brothers, or even alone, however, my favorite runs of all are when my old lady and I just take off and do our own thing! There is no pressure and we can do what we want without having to accommodate a group of motorcycle riders. The best part of all is that can find those little spots off of the highway or road for a little extra curricular activity if you know what I mean :). Anyway getting back to this particular ride report…………..

After we both decided to do the run, I promptly inspected my motorcycle for anything loose; checked the air pressure in the tires; and checked the oil, while she packed the T-Bag for the run. The good thing about being together for so long is that she knows just what to pack for a run like this.

We planned the run for 4 days which was not set in stone. We could do an extra day or two if we wanted. I hate doing runs like this on a deadline. The best runs for me are spur of the moment with no time constraints. I will write more about this later.

I strapped the T-Bag onto the luggage rack on the back of the motorcycle and did some other prep work to get ready for the run, i.e. getting someone to cover for me at the office while I was away, notifying family and friends of where I was going, etc.

At around 1:00am, we took off from Chatsworth, California for another motorcycle adventure; this time to the Grand Canyon. We were both excited as always to just take off!

Our basic plan was to take the California 118 freeway east from Chatsworth, to the 405 north, which merges to the 5 north, to the 14 northeast, to the Pearblossom Highway east, to the 15 northeast, to the 40 east, and get a motel in one of my favorite little towns in Kingman Arizona. Click Here to see the map of our ride plan to the Grand Canyon.

The Pearblossom Highway which runs through the Mohave Desert is also known as the Highway of death. It is a very dangerous 2 lane, 60 or 70 mile stretch of desert road. It is dangerous in a cage or on a motorcycle. This is the same road that the famous comedian Sam Kinison was killed on. There are crosses everywhere on this road which mark the spot where someone has been killed.map to motel 6 that Norman Gregroy Fernandez stays in when he goes to Kingman, Arizona

When we left Chatsworth, it was still around 75 degrees out even at 1:00am. We were not in any kind of a rush to get to our destination, but I do love to open up the motorcycle on the highway and in the desert, so we made some good time to Victorville, California, where we stopped to have some breakfast. It was still dark and around 3:00am.

We left Victorville and proceeded northeast up the 15 to the 40 east. The weather was still warm in the desert even at this time, and so far it was a great run. We stopped every 100 miles or so to coffee up and to gas up. (Pit Stops) You do not want to take chances in the desert. It is better to stop every 100 miles or so and gas up rather than to risk running out of gas somewhere in the middle of the desert in the middle of the night. During our pit stops I checked the motorcycle and enjoyed a couple of Marlboro Lights. (I will try to quit soon!)

We eventually made it to Kingman, Arizona. Kingman is a very small little town in the Arizona Desert. I came to know and love the small town back in the early 1990’s during my days as an Engineer before I became a lawyer. I always make a point to stop in or stay in Kingman, Arizona whenever I can. Kingman is a true old west town. I always stay at the same Motel 6 in Kingman, because there is a great old fashioned restaurant right next door, a couple of little stores nearby to get necessities as needed.

I like to stay at a Motel 6 when I am on motorcycle runs because in most cases you can park your motorcycle right in front of your room. When I am on an overnight motorcycle run I will not stay at a hotel/motel where I cannot park my motorcycle in front of my room! I like to be able to peek outside and check on the bike, and it is easier to unpack and pack the motorcycle if it is parked outside of the room!

Once we got to the Motel 6, and unpacked the motorcycle. We then proceeded to (censored by me due to the fact that there are just some things that are private :) ), and then get some shut eye.

When we awoke Friday at around noon, it was only around 116 degrees or so, not too bad for the Arizona Desert in the middle of summer. We then walked over to the restaurant I mentioned above and enjoyed a great meal. After the meal we hopped on the bike, and went on a short run to one of the little local markets I mentioned above, to get some refreshments for the rest of our run, and for the room. We then went back to the room and proceeded to (censored by me due to the fact that there are just some things that are private :) ).

The private parts of this motorcycle run that I will not discuss are in fact some of the best parts of this run and other long distance runs! There is nothing better for a relationship between a man and a woman, than a motorcycle run. If you do not know what I am talking about than you better buy a motorcycle and find out! Oh what fun it is to be a biker. The only reason the private parts are even mentioned is so that you can get a prospective on why this run took so long :).

At around 7:00pm or so, we eventually dragged ourselves out of the room again to take a motorcycle run in and around Kingman. We went to a famous steakhouse in town for dinner. After dinner we did some more riding in and around Kingman, and then went back to the room.

Our improvised plan was to leave early Saturday morning for the next leg of the run to the Grand Canyon. I knew that it would start to get hot in Kingman very early, but as we rode east on the 40 that it would start to get cooler as we headed towards the Alpine forest in Flagstaff.

Biker and Motorycle Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez in Kingman, Arizona on the way to the Grand CanyonOn Saturday morning, we had breakfast, packed up the motorcycle, checked out of the room, and we were off by 10:00am. So much for the early morning start plan :). It was a great ride up the 40 towards the Grand Canyon. I ditched my helmet (yes, I admit that I sometimes do not follow my own safety advice) for the rest of the ride in Arizona. There is nothing like the freedom of having the wind in your hair and face. Anyway……

The run up the 40 towards Flagstaff, Arizona is a great run. It is all open highway with Desert vistas as far as the eye can see, until you start getting close to Flagstaff. The weather was perfect. We took our time and stopped every 100 miles or so as usual for pit stops. We eventually got to the 64 north which would lead us directly into the Grand Canyon National Park. There is nothing like the smell of Pine trees while on a motorcycle run.

The run from 64 to the Grand Canyon is mostly a straight shot through alpine forest. We stopped in a town off of the 64 for a pit stop. In this particular town they put on old west shows for tourist. While I was putting gas into my bike I noticed my old lady talking to a bunch of guys dressed up as cowboys, guns and all. There is no doubt that they were trying to hit on her because she was looking hot as usual. They followed her to my bike! The guns these cowboys were wearing were real Colt 6 shooters. Obviously the first thing I asked these guys was if the guns had blanks or real rounds in them :). Hey, you never know! They were blanks for the cowboy show, and one of the cowboys gave me a spent casing as a souvenir.

I ended up having a great conversation with these guys, which ended up delaying our ride for about ½ of an hour, but what the hell, we were in no rush. That is part of the enjoyment of a long distance motorcycle run is taking your time, meeting new people, and enjoying the run without being in a rush. I always say that the destination will always be there when you get there!

After our cowboy encounter we got back on the motorcycle and rode the last stretch to the Grand Canyon. When we got to the front gate, we paid the fee to enter the National Park, and we headed in. One of the advantages of being on a motorcycle is that you can basically park where no car can park, which is exactly what I did.

Norm's Fiance at the Grand CanyonWe then got off of the bike and walked to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Now there is no way to truly explain in words for those of you who have never been to the Grand Canyon, what the experience of walking up to the rim is like other than to say that when you first see the Grand Canyon live and in person, you know that there is a God. It is as though the hand of God touched this place, and opened up the most beautiful canyon you will ever see in the world. I have been to the Grand Canyon many times; this was the first time for my fiancé; she literally had tears in her eyes when she first saw it from the rim.

We spent the entire day and into the evening hours trolling around the Grand Canyon. What was unusual to me was that we were the only bikers in the park that day. I did not see any other motorcycles anywhere in the park. So my old lady and I kind of became tourist attractions for the other tourist. We had all kinds of people from Asia, Europe, and even America requesting to have their pictures taken with us. No biggie, I have kind of gotten used to it. (This maybe a subject for another future article)

Bike Motorcycle Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Grand CanyonI posed for a few pictures for my own personal album, while standing inches away from a straight 1 mile drop to the Canyon floor. Don’t ask me why!

The best part of the day was sundown at the Grand Canyon. All of the tourist staked out spots on the rocks and ground to watch the sundown, and so did we. There were literally hundred of human beings all over the park that day. At around 5 minutes before sundown, you could not hear a word. Everyone magically just stopped talking. If you could just imagine the most awe inspiring and beautiful site that you have ever seen in your life, you would understand why. There is just no reason to talk. You are witnessing the hand of god before you. The pictures I took do not do justice to the site of sundown at the Grand Canyon.

After sundown, everyone applauded like they were at the movies or something. My old lady and I shared one hell of a kiss. I could see that the Grand Canyon experience truly touched her soul. It made me happy to see her so happy.

We lingered in the park after dark acting like teenagers. (Another private moment :) ) By the time we got on the bike it was around 9:30pm. By this time we were starving because we had not eaten. We found some local restaurant that was about to close. They told us that they could not serve us food but that we could have a piece of pie. That was one hell of a good piece of apple pie.

Norm's Fiance at the Grand CanyonWe then got back on the motorcycle knowing that we had a long ride ahead of us to get back to Kingman. While I was on the 64 I noticed Moose and Deer warning signs. I did give a second second thought to the signs until I saw a deer standing by the side of the road on the edge of my spot lights. At that moment I realized that there was a real danger that one of those animals could run out into the road and ruin our whole trip. I slowed down, way down. I could swear that I saw glowing eyes on the side of the road during the ride back up to the 40. It started getting cold too, so we put our leathers on for the long trip back to Kingman. Due to the fact that I slowed down for the Deer and Moose warnings, we were significantly delayed, but it did not matter because we were in no rush anyway.

Riding through Arizona at night is a trip because it is pitch dark and there is very little traffic on the highway. We owned the 64 to the 40 except for a few cars that were heading in the opposite direction to the Grand Canyon. The ever present scent of Pine trees was in the air.

Once we got onto the 40, I was bone tired. We could have headed up to Flagstaff and got a room which would have been much quicker and much colder, or we could just ride through to Kingman. I decided to spare my old lady the cold and to ride through to Kingman. Once we were out of the twisting part of the 40 west, and back down to flat level road on the desert floor, I decided to take a pit stop to coffee up and get some gas. This is when the scariest part of the run happened.

I saw an off ramp to one of those gas stations that are lit up in the middle of nowhere. Just the kind of place I like to stop at 1:00am or so for a pit stop. When we took the off ramp and proceeded to turn left, we hit a patch of gravel and almost went down. I was very tired when this happened and to this day do not know how I managed to hold the bike up through the gravel patch. I say it was by the grace of god that we did not go down. I could not see the gravel, and there was no warning. The road was full of gravel all the way to the gas station. I could see it in my headlights and spotlights.

Biker Motorcycle Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez with Fiance at the Grand CanyonWhen we got to the gas station my heart was racing. My old lady was freaked out too. She had ridden with me long enough to know the feel of the motorcycle even from the back. She also knew that we had almost gone down. Suffice is to say we took our time at this pit stop and enjoyed some hot coffee.

We eventually got back on the 40 towards Kingman. By the time we got to the Motel 6, it was between 3:30am and 4:00am. We unpacked the motorcycle and proceeded to ride straight to an all night Denny’s up the street to get a real meal. I never had a grand slam breakfast that tasted so good. It was one hell of a day!

We woke up around 1:00pm on Sunday, and proceeded to (censored by me due to the fact that there are just some things that are private :) ). Oh well right? We then went to the same old fashioned restaurant mentioned above for a late breakfast/lunch; whatever you want to call it. The temperature was around 110 degrees or so but I was not too concerned; I should have been.

During our meal we decided that we were going to ride straight home from Kingman, because we were informed by cell phone from a neighbor that was taking care of our dogs while we were gone, that John (one of our Siberian Huskies) had gotten out of our property and had run away.

After the meal I foolishly mounted the bike with no helmet and a sleeveless shirt to do the ride home. When we left Kingman it was around 110 degrees. While riding towards Needles, California, I noticed that my skin felt like it was burning hot. It felt like a very hot blow dryer was cooking me. It was so hot that I felt like I was going to pass out. In all of my years of riding I have never felt this kind of sensation before. I knew that if I did not pull over that I was going to pass out as we were crossing the Colorado River.

We found a Denny’s and went in. We found out that the temperature outside at this time in Needles was around 126 degrees or even higher. I was having what I later found out to be a heat stroke.

It did not affect my old lady like it affected me because I was blocking the wind for her, she had a leather jacket on which prevented the hot wind from hitting her skin, and she had a full face helmet on.

To make a long story short, I immediately asked for a glass of ice and lemonade. I put the ice on my face, head, and skin. When I went into the bathroom to rinse my face and wet my hair I noticed that I had red blotches all over my skin. I was literally being cooked as I rode from Kingman to Needles. In all of my years of riding, I had never to this point had an experience like this. It was so hot, and doing 80 miles per hour in that heat almost wiped me out. My heart was racing, I felt sick to my stomach. It was a very bad experience.

Norm's Fiance on the way home from the Grand CanyonWe ended up staying in that Denny’s for about 3 hours so that I could recover, and so that it would hopefully cool down. I must have drunk no less than 10 glasses of lemonade while we were there. I put ice on my head the entire time. The locals told us that once we got out of the Needles area that it would cool down as we went more west. They told me that I was crazy for riding in the heat. Let me just say this, just going out into the parking lot to have a smoke was unbearable; that is how hot it was!

When we eventually left Needles the temperature was down to around 115 degrees, and it was around 4:00pm on Sunday. The only reason why we decided to ride it out and not just get a room in Laughlin, Nevada, was because our dog John was on the loose and we wanted to get back to find him.

Once back on the road, I got back into my grove and really enjoyed the run home. While on the 40 headed towards the 15, we encountered a massive dust storm in the desert. We made a pit stop and I met this really nice older guy who was riding a Honda VTX. We had a smoke and shot the shit for a while before we got back on the road.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez on the way home from the Grand CanyonWhen we hit the 15, we encountered bumper to bumper traffic from all of the people headed back to Los Angeles from Las Vegas. The traffic was due to road construction and an accident. The traffic was so bad that it was virtually stopped. There really was no room for lane splitting, but I went for it anyway. It eventually got too dangerous to lane split because there was no room in between the cars. I decided to take an off ramp that lead to no where to have a smoke. We took some pictures and just looked at the line of lights that represented the traffic we would have to go though to get home.

We eventually got back on the 15 and finally made it back to Pearblossom Highway for the last couple of legs home. There was a massive brush fire eating up the San Bernardino Mountains and the Angeles National Forest. It was very bizarre riding on the Pearblossom Highway on the way home watching the fire to our left up in the hills. The smoke from the fire blanketed the Desert Floor and kind of just stayed there because there was no breeze. It was an interesting ride home to say the least.

When we finally pulled into our property at around 2:00am we were both tired and spent. Guess who was waiting for us at the front gate of our property; John, our Siberian Husky that ran away while we were gone. If it had not been for that damm dog we would have spent a couple of days in Laughlin Nevada. However, he was a sight for sore eyes.

We have since taken precautions to prevent our dogs from getting off of our property while we are on runs.

I thought I would share a detailed experience of one of my motorcycle runs to the Grand Canyon. I cannot wait to do it again!

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

Don’t be a Fool; If you have are involved in a Car, Motorcycle, or Other Motor Vehicle Accident, Call a Personal Injury Lawyer As Soon As Possible!

the frustration of California Personal Injury Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez by people trying to settle injury accidents without a lawyerI cannot tell you how sick it makes me feel when someone calls me after they have been in a car, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle accident, after they have already allowed themselves to be screwed out of the money that they are entitled to by a savvy insurance company adjuster.

I just gave a consultation today to a person (sex and name removed for privacy) who was involved in a serious car accident with serious injuries. This person was driving a brand new $40,000.00 car that was hit so hard that frame damage was caused to the car.

They were also seriously injured in the accident, and are still treating for their injuries. What did this person do? They signed a settlement agreement for the bodily injury portion of their case for $750.00, which only allows for 3 months worth of medical treatment and/or a total of $3,000.00 in medical treatment; that is it. They got $750.00 and an allowance for only 3 months or 3k in medical treatment. They got royally screwed!

They called to see if I could get them out of the settlement which they had signed. They also wanted to see if I could help them force the insurance company to pay for the fair market value of the car of the new car that suffered frame damage, rather than them being forced into accepting a repair of a car that has suffered frame damage.

I absolutely could not believe it. The person who called me is basically shit out of luck. It would be almost impossible to get the rock solid settlement agreement with the insurance company set aside. They called me too late.

I do the property damage portion of personal injury cases for free minus cost and expenses that I incur in getting the property damage portion of the case settled. I recover cost and expenses for property damage settlement at the end of the case. I do this as a service to my clients so that they can get their cars fixed or so that they can get another car to replace one that has been totaled. How can someone get their car repaired or replaced if a personal injury lawyer takes a percentage of property damage? Do not sign up with any personal injury lawyer that would take a percentage of your property damage loss!

The real money in an injury case is the bodily injury portion of the case, and not the property damage portion of the case. I cannot and do not feel that it is appropriate for any personal injury lawyer to take a percentage of property damage claims; so I don’t. I actually want to help my clients.

You can read the articles that I have written about personal injury cases at my personal injury website by clicking here now, or you can go directly to www.therpersonalinjury.com which is my personal injury website.

What is wrong with people out there? I know that for some reason whether it be political or other reason, that people call us personal injury lawyer’s ambulance chasers. There is such a negative stigma about personal injury lawyers, that someone like the person I gave the consultation to today would screw themselves out of what they are entitled to rather than call a personal injury lawyer for help. It absolutely makes no sense to me. Do they honestly think that an insurance company has their best interest at heart? No way, they are in business to make a profit, not to help you!

I can tell you right now that I am no ambulance chaser. My job as a personal injury lawyer is to get my client’s what they are entitled to if they are injured due to the negligence of another. I do not chase clients; they come to me when they are in need of help. Beware of any lawyer that calls you after an accident trying to get you to sign up with them; these lawyers are in fact ambulance chasers! If you need my help, simply give me a call. I will tell you over the phone FOR FREE what I think of your case. A good personal injury lawyer does not have to chase cases; the cases will come to them if they are good. I do not want to sound egotistical; but I am good at what I do, that is why people call me for their personal injury cases.

The poor person that I spoke to today has no clue what the true nature and extent of their injuries are, how much their medical bills will be, and they allowed themselves to be conned into signing a rock solid settlement agreement in return for basically a nothing settlement.

I told this person that the insurance company adjuster was probably laughing as they got them to sign the settlement agreement, because they knew they had a sucker who was not represented by counsel. The insurance company adjuster will probably get a raise for this settlement!

Now I must state for the record that not all personal injury lawyers are created equal. There probably are personal injury lawyers that do take a percentage of whatever they recover for you for property damage and all other aspects of the case. I do not do that. There probably are some personal injury lawyers out there who are bad apples and who will not take cases to trial if necessary. I am not one of them.

If you have been the victim or a car, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle accident here in California give me a call AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Do not be a sucker like the person who called me today. Remember; any information that you give the insurance company can be used against you in your case. Call me first.

Some may look at this article as an advertisement for my personal injury practice. This article may in fact be an advertisement. However, I genuinely care about my clients and want to help them to the best of my ability. I am writing this article out of frustration more than anything else. I am sick and tired of people calling me after it is already too late.

Do yourself a favor; go to my personal injury website and read the articles that I have written on the subject. If god forbid you are in an accident maybe you won’t be a sucker like the poor person I talked to today. There is nothing worse than my having to tell someone that there is nothing I can do for them.

My firm has offices in Chatsworth, Norwalk, Van Nuys, and San Francisco, California. We handle personal injury cases throughout the State of California. If you are hurt in an accident give me a call at 818-584-8831 extension 1, or go to www.thepersonalinjury.com for more information. I will send my investigator out to you to sign you up so that you do not have to worry about coming into the office.

The only thing you have to lose by not calling is the money that you are entitled to in an injury accident that is not your fault! No personal injury lawyer can ethically guarantee the outcome of a case and that goes for me as well. However, I can guarantee that my firm will work our butts off to get you as much money as possible for you in your case.

For those of you who want to go at it alone without a personal injury lawyer on your side; good luck, you will need it.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

Celebrities on Motorcycles; Maybe it will help our Cause!

Jay Leno with California Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer Norman Gregory FernandezI found an interesting link to pictures of celebrities on motorcycles. You can check out the pictures by clicking here now.

I am a Southern California native and always seem to be running into celebrities in the Los Angeles area, especially while riding in certain areas. I guess it is no surprise because here is where they all live and work. I am not one to name drop because I think it is in bad taste, but I can say this; there are a bunch of well known celebrity bikers and motorcyclist on the road out here; I run into them all of the time.

The link to the pictures that you can find here is not a true representation of my own experiences of running into celebrities while out on local runs, but it does show something; it shows that motorcycles maybe finally hitting the mainstream which can only help our cause for biker and motorcycle rights, at least I hope.

Some of the pictures in the link may be staged, but what the heck; if a celebrity wants to pose or ride on a motorcycle than motorcycles and bikers cannot be that bad right!

Help us out Hollywood.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

“In Your Blind Spot;” A Message from James W. Wingate, Retired Baptist Pastor; Sent to me by Biker Law Blog Member Sandie Diephouse.

A Lone Biker Riding a Motorcycle In The WindJUST A BIKER

I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line.
You didn’t see me put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.

I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk.
You didn’t see me playing Santa at the local mall.

I saw you; change your mind about going into the restaurant.
You didn’t see me attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief.

I saw you, roll up your window and shake your head when I drove by.
You didn’t see me, driving behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.

I saw you, frown at me when I smiled at your children.
You didn’t see me, when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.

I saw you, stare at my long hair.
You didn’t see me and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

I saw you roll your eyes at our leather coats and gloves.
You didn’t see me and my brothers donate our old coats and gloves to those that had none.

I saw you; look in fright at my tattoos.
You didn’t see me cry as my children were born and having their name tattooed on my skin and in my heart.

I saw you change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere.
You didn’t see me going home to be with my family.

I saw you complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be.
You didn’t see me, when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.

I saw you, yelling at your kids in the car.
You didn’t see me pat my child’s hands knowing he was safe behind me.

I saw you, reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road.
You didn’t see me; squeeze my wife’s leg when she told me to take the next turn.

I saw you, race down the road in the rain.
You didn’t see me, get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.

I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time.
You didn’t see me, trying to turn right.

I saw you; cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in.
You didn’t see me, leave the road.

I saw you, waiting impatiently for my friends to pass.
You didn’t see me. I wasn’t there.

I saw you go home to your family.
You didn’t see me, because, I died that day you cut me off.

I was just a biker and a person with friends and family. You didn’t see me.

PLEASE PASS THIS ON FOR YOUR FRIENDS WHO RIDE, OR HAD SOMEONE WHO MAY HAVE DIED WHILE RIDING A MOTORCYCLE.

Also for those who feel the same way as above about the biker. Pass this on… let’s help make people aware!

This Message is from James W. Wingate, Retired Baptist Pastor, and was sent to me courtesy of Biker Law Blog Member Sandie Diephouse.

Florida is Cracking Down on Speeding Sport Motorcycle Riders; Their Method Is Truly Disturbing!

California Biker and Motorcycle Rights Attorney Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez commenting on Florida civil seizure lawFlorida is using a civil seizure law in an effort to combat speeding sport motorcycle riders. As stated in an article that you can read by clicking here; law enforcement is using an old law to combat speeding sport motorcycle riders.

The gist of the law is that once a Florida law enforcement officer turns their lights on to pull someone over, and if they allegedly speed up, their motorcycles can then be seized because they were used in the commission of a felony, i.e. “aggravated fleeing and eluding.”

The article states that the officers do not have to identify the person riding the motorcycle; all they have to do is get the license plate information. The law allows them to then seize the motorcycle rather than chase it.

As a Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer and Bikers Rights advocate this method of cracking down on speeders is disturbing to me on many different levels.

Before I go into my opinion on this law enforcement method, I want to state and reiterate that the vast majority of sport motorcycle riders do not run away from the Police, nor do they ride at 170 miles per hour down city streets. There are a few idiots that do speed on city streets and on canyon roads on sport motorcycles and in cars too. They should get busted for speeding. They should take their antics to a race track instead of putting the public in danger on public roads.

However, the law enforcement method that Florida is now employing is disturbing to me on many different levels. First off, I have never supported nor condoned civil seizure laws because they have always seemed unconstitutional to me. They do not pass the smell test!

A basic civil seizure law allows a State to seize property, money, or assets of someone if it can be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, that the property, money, or assets we either used or obtained by the commission of a crime.

To prove that someone committed a crime, a state or the government has to prove “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” that the person so accused committed a crime. This is the highest standard of proof in our legal system.

To win in a civil case, the burden of proof is “Preponderance of Evidence.” Preponderance of Evidence is sometimes described as “more likely than not” or “more than a 50 percent chance,” etc.

The civil seizure laws allow States to take away your property without ever having to prove that you actually committed a crime pursuant to the Constitution.

The United States Constitution forbids the government from taking private property for a public purpose without compensation, and without due process of law.

The civil seizure laws that have been enacted and affirmed by the “Conservative” United States Supreme Court have upheld these laws as an exception to the Constitutional prohibition against the government taking private property for a public purpose without just compensation by carving out the criminal activity and criminal proceeds exception. The theory is that since the property was used or obtained from criminal activity that the property can be seized. There is no due process violation because the person whose property is being taken has notice of the taking and an opportunity to be heard. I disagree with the Supreme Court’s upholding of these laws because it goes against what our founding fathers intended when they drafted the constitution.

Another troubling issue with civil seizure of property under the criminal exception, is that people accused do not have the right to have an attorney appointed for them in a civil case; they only have this right in a criminal case.

So basically the State can seize your property without ever having proven that you committed a crime. What is worse that in many of these types of cases, criminal charges are never filed. These laws have resulted in huge windfalls for many local, state, and even the Federal government at the expense of a person who may have never even been charged with a crime.

Going back to the Florida situation, what is bothersome to me is that Florida law enforcement can seize your motorcycle without ever having to prove that it was you riding the motorcycle, or that you sped up when their lights were turned on. Furthermore, how do we know whether a Florida cop is not going to just say “the guy sped up when I put my lights on,” in order to start seizing motorcycles?

It’s basically your word against law enforcement and who do you think a Judge or Jury is going to believe?

It is my opinion that there is too much room for abuse of the system in Florida to justify taking someones motorcycle, without first proving beyond a reasonable doubt the person who owned the motorcycle was running from the police.

This new Florida tactic obviously panders to the general public who may already be biased against motorcyclist and bikers, but it goes beyond that. Do you honestly think that law enforcement is just going to use this tactic only against bikers? Hell no, they will start taking cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles as well. Once they get a taste of the revenues that will be created by this tactic they will promote it more.

What I am seeing here is government running amuck. So-called conservative anti-crime zealots are stealing our constitutional rights away by the bushel. I thought conservatives were supposed to be against big government intrusion into our personal lives and the taking away of our constitutional rights.

So far 10 motorcycles have been seized in Volusia County, Florida under the new seizure program according to the article that was published on March 11, 2007. I wonder if any of the owners have actually been convicted of anything.

I do not condone sport bike motorcyclist or sport car enthusiast from turning our public streets into raceways. However, I am more afraid of the potential for abuse of the civil seizure laws by the government. I wonder how many an innocent man will lose their property without having had done anything wrong?

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. © 2007

We Are Being Raped by the Oil Companies (Monopolies); It is Finally Time to Do Something About it Now!

California Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez speaks out on high gas prices

Does everyone remember how the price of Gasoline decreased substantially before the last congressional elections? I wonder why that was. Does anybody think that maybe the Oil Companies were trying to influence the elections? If the price of gasoline and oil are truly market driven, how was it that gasoline prices managed to substantially fall close to the elections?

Since the last congressional elections Gasoline has gone up here in California about 80 cents a gallon. Regular unleaded gas is going for over $3.00 per gallon now, and premium is at about $3.20 per gallon. My Oldsmobile Aurora and Harley Davidson Electra Glide take Premium gasoline. I wonder why it is that I am paying 80 cents more per gallon than I was just a few months ago.

The past couple of years the oil companies have been raking in record profits at the expense of all Americans. Big Oil’s greed is ruining our economy at all levels. We are an energy driven economy. The price of oil and gasoline is directly proportional to the price of everything else we buy. We can expect the price for everything to go up, people to lose their jobs, and a potential recession to spring up due to the cost of gas in our nation.

I have read the same bullshit excuses for the price increases that the Oil companies always use i.e. some refining plants are down for maintenance; summer is coming so demand is up, etc. It is not even spring yet!

Oil companies are in fact monopolies. A monopoly is a company or market where there is not true competition because only one or a few companies control the market.

I am not going to make the article boring by writing about what the history of the laws that have been enacted to break up monopolies such as the John D. Rockefeller “Standard Oil” monopoly on the early 1900’s, or the “AT&T” (ma bells) breakup in the 1980’s, or even the monopoly charges involving Microsoft. Monopolies are the bane of capitalism.

Capitalism is a supposed free market system that runs our economy. The theory is that private people or companies can buy and sell goods and services for a profit. The gist of capitalism is that competition for profit will keep prices in check because one competitor will lower prices and keep the cost of producing a product down so that they can beat out their competitors. You may wonder what I mean by “supposed” free market. When there is no real competition in a particular market, then there is no capitalism, there is a monopoly. There is no competition in the oil business; it is a monopoly. A monopoly in its simplest form is the absence of choice.
We have no real choice when it comes to buying gas.

It has been shown that unregulated capitalism has time and time again wreaked havoc on our economy and nation. Have you heard of the Great Depression in the 1930’s, or the Savings & Loan collapses in the 1980’s, etc.?

I am not knocking capitalism by any means, other economic systems are much worse. I am saying that sometimes regulations need to be put in place to protect our economy and our people from monopolies and illegal practices.

There is no true competition in the oil market. A very few companies control the entire market. We are basically slaves to these companies. If they decide to charge us $3.20 per gallon, than we have to pay and that is it. It is not like we can drive down the street and get a better price and they know it.

I am proposing that it is time to regulate the oil market in America just like the utility companies. In California if a utility wants to increase the cost of electricity than that increase has to be justified to the California Public Utility Commission. A company has to make a presentation as to why an increase is necessary and the increase must be approved before it goes into effect.

I think that it is now time to force the 3 or 4 oil companies that control all of the gas in this nation to have to go through a similar system before they can just willy nilly increase gas prices on a whim. I have heard all of the hoopla about how the market controls the oil prices, bla bla bla. The reality is that there is no free market in oil. There is a false appearance of a free market for gas and we are all suckers.

We are all being duped. The President and his Vice President are all oil men, backed by the oil companies. Why do you think that the gas prices dropped during the recent elections? The oil companies were trying to ensure that the government was being controlled by people that would let them continue raping us all. Do you honestly think that the gas prices substantially fell before the elections by coincidence? If you do than I have a very big ocean called the Pacific for sell!

If something is not done now to put checks and balances on the less than a handful of oil companies that control all of the gas in our nation, we are in for a serious world or hurt. Sometimes it is necessary to enact laws in our nation to protect us citizens from what the oil companies are doing to us right now. A very few are becoming super rich at the cost of our nation’s economy and well being.

What will be the effect of regulation? Maybe these poor oil companies might have to give up a few of their tens of billions of profit each fiscal quarter to ensure that our economy remains strong.

I still believe that the will of the people controls our nation. It is time for all of us to ask our government for help here. If they will not help us than we need to elect people that will before it is too late. I am tired of bending over at the gas pumps so that a few maynerds can get rich.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

The Great Helmet Debate Continues………

Califonria Biker Motorcycle Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

I have recently read newspaper articles, statistics from various governmental entities, and from other sources about motorcycle death rates increasing in States that revoked their mandatory helmet laws. I am not going to post all of the links here. If you search for helmet law debate on Google you will get tons of hits. Read to your hearts content.

This debate as far as I am concerned will never end, especially amongst bikers like me that grew up riding with no helmets.

I feel that the choice should be up to the individual biker. There are valid arguments for wearing helmets and not wearing helmets, but the law should give Americans the freedom of choice. That is my issue with helmet laws.

As I started doing motorcycle accident cases, and have had my own incidents of going down, I made the choice to wear a helmet for my own personal reasons. There is no doubt as to what happens when a human head hits the pavement; the pavement wins everytime. However, I must make an admission; I sometimes still ride with no helmet in States where it is legal, because I love the wind in my hair on the open road. My friends and brothers who have ridden with me on out of State rides know this to be true.

America is about Freedom; being a Biker is about Freedom. Freedom of choice is what makes America great. I say let us decide whether to wear helmets or not.

I know I will probably get many comments on this short article about the pros and cons of riding with helmets.

The purpose of this article is to make a point about personal freedoms, and to advocate the freedom of choice. Can you imagine some lunatic legislators enacting laws requiring Motorcyclist to wear seatbelts?

Where does government intrusion into our personal lives end if we do not stand up for ourselves and make a statement?

How do we make a statement that our government will listen to? Simple; write your congressmen, State legislators, and vote for candidates that advocate freedom.

The trouble with freedom is this; if you let it go, it is very hard to get back!

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , © 2007

You just had a Car, Motorcycle or other Motor Vehicle Accident; Now What?

Personal Injury, Car Accident, Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

The statistics are amazing. 9 out every 10 persons who drive a car will eventually be involved in a car accident in their lifetimes. 3 out of every 9 persons will be in a car, motorcycle or other motor vehicle accident that involves alcohol.

You can see an article about what to do if you are involved in a car accident or other motor vehicle accident on my personal injury website by clicking here now.

You can see an article about what to do if you are involved in a motorcycle accident on my motorcycle accident lawyer website by clicking here now.

Many car, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle accidents involve someone in the car being injured and some do not. Most personal injury lawyers will not represent you on a contingency basis (no money out of your pocket unless there is a recovery) unless there are injuries involved in an accident. Some firms including mine can provide representation on a fixed fee or hourly basis to help you recover for out of pocket losses when you are in an accident with no injuries.

My firm will represent you on a contingency basis (no money out of your pocket unless there is a recovery) if you have an injury case that we accept.

You will see in the articles that I posted links to above, that it is critical to try to retain an attorney within the first 24-48 hours after an accident to get the prosecution of your case started.

There are many people that come to with me their cases after first going at it alone with the insurance company, only to realize that they are getting no where. Even I as a personal injury lawyer would not represent myself in a personal injury case. A good analogy is that trying to prosecute your own case is like trying to perform a medical operation on yourself. Only a fool has himself for a client!

For those of you who to try to go at it alone, anything you say to the insurance company, including recorded statements can be used against you in your case. It is important to let your attorney speak for you. Once you retain me on your case, we will do all of the work for you. Obviously you will need to keep us up to date on your medical treatment, and if litigation is commenced you will need to cooperate with us to take the case to trial if a trial is necessary.

You must realize that the insurance companies are in business to make money. They will do everything they can to either not pay you, or not pay you what you are entitled to. Do not expect an insurance company adjuster to voluntarily tell you what you are entitled to, or offer it to you. They would probably lose their jobs if they did!

If you have a car, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle accident, in California, and retain my firm; The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates, we will send our investigator out to you usually within 24 hours or less to gather the information about your case, get the necessary forms for us to represent you signed, take pictures, etc. Many other personal injury lawyers require you to come into their offices to retain them. We understand that if you are injured this can be a real hassle. We can even email you the necessary forms to sign up with our firm on your case.

The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates does everything possible to make the process of signing up, and obtaining a settlement or judgment as convenient as possible for you.

For those of you that do not have medical insurance; our firm can refer you to doctor’s who will take your case on a lien basis so that you can get medical treatment.

Once you retain my firm, our professional pre-litigation staff, litigation staff, and trial attorneys will do everything necessary to get you the maximum settlement or judgment possible.

Beware of any lawyer that makes a guarantee as to the outcome of your case. It is not only unethical to make a guarantee as to the outcome of your case, it is impossible to guarantee the outcome of a case. No lawyer is clairvoyant!

If my firm does take your case, it is because we believe that there is a substantial likelihood of being able to get a recovery for you. We put our money where our mouth is!

If you have a car, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle in the State of California, you may call my office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a free consultation at 818-584-8831 extension 1. If it is after hours our automated system will attempt to connect you to a lawyer to speak to you about a case. You may also submit your case through the Internet for a free case evaluation by clicking here now.

I have done consultations at 5:00am on Saturday mornings and try to make myself available to my clients after hours and on the weekends when necessary. Injury accidents do not ordinarily fit the normal 8:00-5:00pm Monday through Friday schedule. You should not sign up with a personal injury lawyer unless they are willing to accommodate your schedule and injuries.

You can check out my personal injury website by clicking here or by going to www.thepersonalinjury.com.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , © 2007

Sport Motorcycle Stunt Insanity; Take it off Public Roads!

**** 7/16/2010. I have substituted the original video with another video, because the original video is no longer available.

I came across this video and am reluctantly posting it courtesy of youtube.com. This video shows some extreme examples of why our Motorcycle Insurance rates are going up; why the non motorcycle riding public cannot stand us; and what not to do!

This video shows stunts being performed on Sport Motorcycles. You will see what I consider to be idiots doing stunts on public roads, in the middle of traffic, and putting innocent peoples life’s in danger.

My position is that if you want to do stunts, do them on a non public road or parking lot, and have proper riding apparel on. Is your life worth a stunt gone bad?

I have heard that the Sport Motorcycle community is lobbying to put their stunts in the X-Games; cool. But this shit should not be done on public roads and in traffic.

You will also see stunts being done in parking lots and at raceways. I have no problem with that so long as you are self insured. Here is the video.

YouTube Preview Image

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. ,© 2007

What is a real Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer?

Personal Injury Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

I have been asked by many people what is the difference between a biker lawyer and a normal personal injury lawyer.

The main difference is that a biker lawyer actually rides motorcycles and is a biker himself. A biker lawyer has a unique insight when dealing with motorcycle accident cases that a normal personal injury lawyer does not have. Why, because we also ride motorcycles.

Frankly I know of only 2 other biker lawyers in the State of California that actually ride motorcycles besides me. There may be more; I don’t know. I do know of several other lawyers that ride, but they do not do personal injury. I even know of one Judge who rides motorcycles.

What ticks me off is a bunch of normal personal injury lawyers pawning themselves off as biker lawyers. You see them advertising in the biker rags, you may see them at events. Have you ever seen any of them actually riding?

The next time you come across a so-called biker lawyer, why don’t you ask him to take a ride with you? The proof is in the pudding so to say.

I am a real biker lawyer. I am a biker and I do personal injury. My practice is not just limited to motorcycle accident cases; I also do car accidents, truck accidents, other motor vehicle accidents, and other torts such as slip and falls, assault and battery, etc. However, my passion is prosecuting injury cases for other bikers. Don’t get me wrong; I aggressively prosecute all cases for my clients. If you are the victim of a car accident, I will treat you no differently than any of my other clients.

If you are a biker you have probably heard comments made by cagers such as: “we are the best organ transplant donors;” “we are crazy for riding motorcycles because they are dangerous,” etc.

In a personal injury case there is a general bias against bikers and motorcycles amongst potential jury pools. It is my opinion that only a biker lawyer himself can explain to a jury during trial, that bikers and motorcyclist have the same right to share the road as everyone else.

It is much easier for me because I feel what I say. There is no act; I feel a kinship towards my biker clients.

There is a general bias amongst jury pools against bikers and motorcyclist. They automatically think that it is our fault when we get hit by a cager, because we are engaged in a dangerous activity. This bias has to be addressed at trial in Jury Selection, and during the trial.

Bottom line; if you have had a motorcycle accident, get a real biker lawyer. If you are in California, give me a call at 818-584-8831 extension 1, or go to my biker lawyer website by clicking here now.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. ,©2007

An Update on the Anna Nicole Smite Debacle; Was a Crime Committed Here?

Anna Nicole SmithOn a personal level, I was in Los Angeles Superior Court Central District, Department 2, The Honorable Judge Schnider presiding, on February 20, 2007 for an ex parte hearing. Low and behold as I turned the corner to go to the Department, I observed about 50 people standing outside of the Courtroom. It turns out that a hearing was being held that same morning, in the same department, and at the same time as my hearing, in the Anna Nicole Smith paternity case. I had no clue. There were reporters everywhere. I can tell you war stories about practicing law in Los Angeles. Anyway………….

Many things have happened since my last article on the death of Anna Nicole Smith. I was incorrectly informed before I wrote the article that Anna’s mother was given the body for burial. We have since learned otherwise.

A Florida Judge determined that her infant daughter is her heir. (Pursuant to the laws of intestate succession) The Florida Court then appointed a guardian ad litem (minors counsel) for the child, to represent the child’s interest because she is under the age of majority. (A minor) The Judge then directed the guardian ad litem to do what is in the child’s best interest, but strongly suggested that he look at the intent of Anna Nicole as to where she wanted to be buried. (The Bahamas)

I do not do probate law, but all California Lawyers must take Wills & Trust, which is a subject that is tested on the California State Bar. I still very much remember the subject but it is not one of my practice areas.

Testamentary intent is a huge factor not only for wills, but for other issues as well. It is not rocket science. What we observed in the Florida Court is that the judge took testimony on the intent of Anna Nicole. (And many other things) “Where did Anna Nicole Smith want to be buried?” (The Judge opined that it was in the Bahamas)

I am not going to comment on the proceedings in Florida other than to say that I am not used to such informality. In the Court’s that I play in, the rules are much more formal and structured. The Florida proceeding was a free for all.

This issue is moot now. Anna Nicole Smith has been buried in the Bahamas after an appellate court in Florida let the decision of the probate court stand. I feel that a Guardian should have been appointed for the body of Anna Nicole Smith to carry out her intent rather than a guardian ad litem for the child, because a guardian ad litem is supposed to do what is in the minor’s best interest. What does the burial of a mother have to do with the minor’s best interest? Anyway, the end result would have been the same anyway.

Who is the Father?

I was absolutely shocked to learn that Anna Nicole Smith’s lawyer Stern is in fact a California Lawyer. He testified to this fact on the stand under penalty of perjury. Furthermore he testified to entering into a sexual/romantic relationship with his client; Anna Nicole Smith, while still representing her. This appears to be a violation of California Rules of Professional Conduct 3-120, 3-110 as far as I can tell. I am very surprised that no one is talking about this issue. I would hope that the California State Bar investigates this situation because it does make our profession look bad. In the end it will be up to the California State Bar to determine if Rule 3-120 and Rule 3-110 were violated by Stern.

If I were in his shoes, I would have withdrawn from representation before entering into any such relationship. As a matter of fact, I would not enter into any such relationship with a client. It reeks of impropriety; especially considering the fact that it appears that he has a financial interest in her will, i.e., primary executor.

It appears to me that the Bahamas was specifically chosen by Anna Nicole Smith and/or her lawyer, for the baby to be born in because their laws presume that the father of the child is the one listed on the Birth Certificate and other factors. In other words the Bahamas could rule that Stern is the father without ordering a DNA test, even if he is not the biological father. In California, the biological parent has primary rights of a child subject to other factors which I will not discuss here.

The bottom line; it appears that the Bahamas were selected specifically to preclude a real biological father from obtaining custody if in fact Stern is not the biological father, which he does claim to be.

I hope that the Bahamas does the right thing and order a DNA test of the child, and give the child to the biological father whoever that may be so long as he is fit to be a parent! We will soon see.

Follow the Money

This is an issue which raises the biggest stink factor in my mind. Is it not true that Anna Nicole Smith’s son died months before her under similar circumstances? Has anybody considered the possibility that both may have been slipped a drug cocktail that may have killed them? Since it was suspected that both were using drugs, would the fact that they both died of potential drug overdoses within months surprise anyone if they died of drug interactions or overdoses? Probably not. It would be a perfect crime if they were in fact slipped a drug cocktail that killed them.

Who has the most to gain if Anna or her son is not in the picture? In the criminal world, detectives and district attorneys look at motive, means, and opportunity when they are investigating suspects. Did anyone have a motive, means, and opportunity to kill Anna or her son? Think about it!

I am not a conspiracy theorist under most circumstances, but the weirdness of the timing of the deaths, coupled with the fact that her attorney, who also became her lover during his representation of her, happens to be the executor of the estate in her will, raises a big red flag in my mind. I think this issue needs to be looked into. The only problem is that we have overlapping jurisdictions, i.e. Florida and the Bahamas. The coincidence is just too convenient. Could a crime have been committed here?

We have all seen cases on Court TV and other shows where people have been murdered for money. Could this be the case in the death of Anna Nicole Smith and her son? Who was present or in the vicinity of both Anna and her son when they died? Are you getting the picture yet?

It could be that no one did anything, and Anna and her son died as reported with no external assistance. In the end and at this point, only God really knows. I would hope that this would be investigated!

In anycase, Anna’s daughter will most likely inherit her money even though she is not mentioned in the will. Whoever is the executor of Anna’s estate, will control her lawsuits including the big one against her deceased geriatric husband. The executor will be entitled to compensation for being executor. I wonder how much their fee will be?

Years to Come

The tragedy of the Anna Nicole Smith case will most likely continue for years. You can bet your tail that if the Smith estate prevails in the big case that many more lawsuits will arise. The vultures will come out of the woodwork to eat their share.

My hope is that someone will be there for Anna’s infant daughter.

I will continue to write about Anna Nicole Smith from time to time as things progress. All we can all do now is play grandstand quarterback in what is a tragedy.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. © 2007

The Biker Law Blog is published by California Motorcycle Accident Attorney & Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

The Moy & Fernandez Law Group are real bikers helping other bikers. Unlike some other so called "fake" motorcycle accident attorney's who do not ride motorcycles, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. actually rides a motorcycle.

We are experts in dealing with motorcycle accident cases.

We handle motorcycle accident cases, motorcycle passenger injury accidents, and other personal injury cases all over the State of California. We are real bikers and motorcycle riders who represent bikers and motorcycle riders who have suffered injuries due to motorcycle accidents and crashes. We handle Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle Passenger Accidents, Dangerous Conditions on public roads which cause motorcycle accidents, defective motorcycle cases, Cruiser Motorcycle Accidents, biker rights, criminal law, Car Accidents, Uninsured Motorist Claims, Wrongful Death, Torts, Cager and/or Car negligence, personal injury and Other Injury Cases. We have locations in Southern California and Northern California. We handle personal injury, and motorcycle accident cases in all over California including: Southern California, Central California, and Northern California.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or any other motor vehicle accident, you may call us 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or submit your case online here.