An Epidemic of Stupidity

dont be stupidI have noticed a marked increase of persons contacting me to get advice on how they can represent themselves in their own personal injury case.

Some of these winners get on websites that allow consumers to ask questions of attorneys, then they go and try to handle cases on their own without an attorney.

Do these people realize why we personal injury attorneys exist? We exist because for profit insurance companies will simply not give you what you are entitled to 99.9% of the time without an attorney.

The first thing they teach us lawyers in law school is never to represent yourself in a legal matter because you are emotionally biased, and the emotions will adversely affect your ability to handle the case. It is always best to have an independent person represent you in a case.

Aside from the emotional aspects of representing yourself, do these people who want to play attorney and that try to represent themselves realize how complicated a real personal injury case is? Of course not they don’t. It would be close to impossible for an untrained person on their own, to prosecute a personal injury case through the court system without an attorney.

I have been practicing 15 years and I can assure you that I have seen some lawyers who need to go back to school, let alone an untrained person actually doing it.

Personal Injury cases are complicated and no self-help book is going to give you the knowledge you need to handle one of these cases.

I see non-lawyers in Court all of the time getting hammered by Judges and getting sent packing because they did not do their cases right. In some instances non-lawyers get dinged with monetary sanctions against them because they do not know the law.

Then there is the matter of the cheapskates. These are winners who figure in their mind, hell; I am not going to give an attorney a third of my case, so I will take all of the $2,000 the insurance company is going to give me.

They don’t realize that their case might in fact be worth $25,000 to $50,000, and even on the low end, they would have got two thirds of $25,000 or $16,675 with an attorney, as opposed to the $2,000 they got sucked into accepting by the insurance company.

One of my sayings is that it is better to get two thirds of something instead of all of nothing.

To me this is plain stupidity, and there is a lot of it out there lately.

It does not make sense to me why a person would try to handle their own personal injury case without an attorney, when an attorney like me can be retained with no money out of your pocket whatsoever until a recovery is obtained.

The insurance companies are constantly on the lookout for idiots who will accept the half payment of medical bills, or a token 1k to 2k to settle a case that might be worth tens of thousands of dollars, without an attorney.

Any insurance adjuster worth their weight in gold, loves talking to the stupid amongst us who for whatever reason, does not mind screwing themselves out of what they are entitled to by not retaining a personal injury attorney like me.

Don’t be stupid, if you have been injured due to the negligence of another call an attorney, heck, call me.

If you or your family has been injured anywhere in the State of California, you may contact our law firm for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 ext. 1, or submit your case through our website at

California Personal Injury Attorney Website

What is the difference between a Divorce and an Annulment in California?

California Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses Divorce and AnnulmentThe difference between a divorce and an annulment is that in the case of an annulment, the marriage is void, voidable, or not legal from its inception. A divorce involves the legal termination of a marriage by court order. In most cases it’s much more difficult to obtain an annulment, than a divorce.

Examples of void, voidable, or marriages not legal from their inception are: certain marriages between relatives (incest); marriages to minors who are not emancipated (under 18 in California); marriages that are not legal in other States; marriages in California where a proper license was not obtained, or where a ceremony of marriage was not performed, or where the marriage was not consummated; marriages to persons who did not have the capacity to enter into a marriage, etc.

Many people are under the mistaken belief that they can have there marriages annulled if they were only married for a few weeks. This is a mistaken belief, if a license was obtained, a ceremony was performed, and the marriage was consummated. Unless it can be shown that the marriage was void, voidable, or not legal from its inception, you will have to go through the dissolution of marriage process. (Divorce)

My firm does family law in Southern California. You may contact me through my family law website by clicking here, or by calling 818-584-8831.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

What are a Mother and Fathers Rights in California, When you have a Child and Are Not Married?

California Family Law Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

In modern times many couples have children when they are not married. Problems can arise with respect to Child Custody, Visitation, and Child Support when these couples break off the relationship.

In a perfect world the mother and the father are amicable in such a situation, and do what is in the child or children’s best interest. However, it is much safer, and highly recommended, that you obtain Court orders with respect to custody, visitation, and support issues, so that the mother and father each know their respective rights and obligations, and so that there are no ambiguities regarding the same.

This article will discuss the issue of children who are born out of wedlock from both the mother and the father’s prospective to give you a general understanding of the law in California regarding children born out of wedlock.

The Mother’s Prospective

The mother of a child that is born out of wedlock has a unique advantage in that she does not normally have to prove that the child is hers. If hospital records indicate that a female has given birth to a child, and the birth certificate that is issued upon the birth of a child indicates that the female gave birth to the child, than there is usually no issue with the mother showing that she is the paternal mother.

The mother of a child born out of wedlock will automatically be entitled to full custody of a child absent a Court order indicating otherwise.

She may give the father visitation if she so chooses, or she can deny visitation to the father absent a Court order.

All minor children in California have a right to receive child support pursuant to a statutory guideline. (The subject of Child Support will be covered in a forthcoming separate article). If the mother of a child who is born out of wedlock wants to obtain child support from the father, she will have to file and serve a Petition to Establish Parentage on the father, and an Order to Show Cause for child support with the appropriate Court.

Continue reading “What are a Mother and Fathers Rights in California, When you have a Child and Are Not Married?”

It Really Happened!

California Family Law Attorney and Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez
A friend of mine from the Blawg Review emailed me a story about a challenge to a fight by a defense attorney to an ex-biker during a trial, which could result in a mistrial. Apparently the defense attorney challenged the ex-biker to a fight during the trial, and an exchange of blows did take place out in the hallway.

This kind of stuff really happens. I know it happened to me!

I was in the Orange County Superior Court approximately 3-4 months ago for a contentious child custody case. The attorneys and parties were ordered by the Judge to go into the cafeteria to do a 4-way settlement conference. I had the upper hand in the conference because the Judge had already alluded to the fact that she was inclined to find for my client.

During our talks, opposing counsel became mentally disturbed to say the least. He challenged me to a fight right there in the cafeteria in front of my client and his client. He bragged about being an ex golden glove champion from New York bla bla bla. Calling him on his bluff, I accepted his challenge and invited to meet me at a dojo or in a boxing gym after Court, rather than causing a ruckus in the Courthouse cafeteria in front of our clients, and the rest of the people at the Court. I love to put the gloves on legally for a bit of sparring every now and then; it’s good exercise.

To make a long story short he refused to meet me. I guess no one ever called his bluff before.

After several minutes of more heated discussions, we ended up shaking hands. I guess he realized how out of line he was.

Had the guy actually thrown a punch at me I not only would have put him down, but I would have owned him too. There were plenty of Orange County Sheriff’s in the cafeteria that would have witnessed the assault and battery and my subsequent self defense. This is not the type of conduct that is expected of lawyers. We are held to a very high standard of professional conduct.

It was the most bizarre experience I have ever had in my professional experience as a lawyer. This guy literally lost his mind for a few minutes.

The above referred to article reminded me of this bizarre experience. I have seen parties in a case fight, I have seen parties get assaulted in the Court hallway, but this was my most bizarre courthouse experience.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

General Property Issues Related to Divorce and Family Law in California.

Los Angeles California Divorce Lawyer Norman Gregory FernandezCommunity Property

California is a community property state. All property that is purchased or acquired during marriage, or transmuted (converted) to community property during marriage is community property.

The husband and wife in a marriage, each own an undivided one half interest in all community property of the marriage.

Community property is not divided, unless divorce proceedings are initiated, or upon the death of either the husband or wife.

Community property can be either real property or personal property. Community property can also be businesses, pension plans, or any other type of tangible thing that is acquired during marriage.

Community property is ordinarily one of the major issues involved in divorce actions.

Quasi Community Property

Quasi community property is property that is acquired outside of the state of California during marriage. Although married couples may have purchased property in a state that is not a community property state like California, the property will basically be treated as though it were community property for purposes division in a divorce action in the state of California.

Continue reading “General Property Issues Related to Divorce and Family Law in California.”

California Child Custody and Visitation issues; General Information.

California Family Law Child Custody Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

Child custody issues in California family law can result by way of the initiation of dissolution of marriage proceedings (divorce), legal separation, annulment, or paternity proceedings. Child custody issues can arise even if the parties are not legally separated, but living apart.

There are several classifications of child custody in the state of California such as; Sole legal and physical custody, primary physical and legal custody, joint physical and legal custody, and no right to custody.

With respect to marriages, the father or the mother are equally entitled to custody of the minor children of the marriage, before a court ordered is entered. If you are contemplating a divorce, filing for divorce, legal separation, or living apart, it is very important to obtain court orders which articulate your rights to child custody as soon as possible. Without court orders, a child who is let’s say is living with the mother (or father) could be legally taken by the other parent absent court orders. If you have minor children of the marriage, it is important to file an order to show cause for child custody along with any petition for dissolution of marriage, or legal separation paperwork, so that you can get a court order articulates your rights to child custody.

The court primarily focuses on what’s in the child’s best interests when it determines who is entitled to what type of custody of a minor child of the marriage. Although it sounds simple, child custody and visitation issues with respect to California law are quite complicated, and should not be litigated without the help of an experienced attorney.
In the old days it was thought that children should be with their mother. However, modernly the court looks at many factors in determining who gets what type of custody of minor children. If you are a mother, you should not assume that you will automatically get custody of the children. If you’re a father, you have an equal chance of getting primary custody of the children.

Entire law books have been written on the subject of child custody.

If you have a child custody issues in Southern California and want a free consultation on your case, give our law firm a call at 818-584-8831 extension 1 or you can click here to go to our family law website.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2006

General Information about Divorce, Dissolution of Marriage, Legal separation, and Annulment in California.

Los Angeles Family Law Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

Going through a divorce is arguably one of the worst things you’ll have to go through in your life. Emotionally, going through a divorce is analogous to go into a death in the family. The proper term for a divorce in the state of California is “dissolution of marriage.”

The difference between a divorce and legal separation, is that in a divorce, formal dissolution of marriage paperwork has been filed with the court to terminate the marriage, whereas a legal separation can occur either by filing papers for legal separation with the court, or by one of the parties in a marriage deciding to separate with the intent to permanently end the marriage. It should be noted that a legal separation can occur even if the parties still live together.

The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that in the case of an annulment, the marriage is void, voidable, or not legal from its inception. In most cases it’s much more difficult to obtain an annulment, then a divorce.

A divorce involves the legal termination of a marriage by court order. A divorce is not final in California until a court of competent jurisdiction issues an order stating that the marriage has been terminated.

In California, there are two types of dissolution of marriage proceedings are available; (1) Summary dissolution of marriage, and (2) Standard dissolution of marriage. Most marriages will not qualify for the summary dissolution of marriage procedure that is available in California.

Marriages can be contested proceedings, uncontested, or by way of a default judgment when one of the parties cannot be located, or refuses to participate in the proceeding.

California is one of the so-called “no-fault” divorce states. The most common ground for requesting a divorce in the state of California is irreconcilable differences. A party can also request a divorce on the grounds of death, or insanity.

The most common issues involved in a divorce case in the state a California are: dissolution of marriage, child custody, child visitation, child support, alimony which is actually known as spousal support in California, family support, the division of community property, determination of separate property, the division and/or allocation of community businesses, and the division and/or allocation of retirement plans.

Due to the complex nature of family law litigation in the state of California, we highly recommend retaining an attorney to represent you. Our law firm can represent you in your divorce proceeding, and all the issues related thereto. Our law firm can also provide limited representation for you with respect to certain issues related to your family Law case. We can even do document preparation for you if you decide not to retain an attorney. You may check out our family law website by clicking here now, or you may call us now for a free consultation at 818-584-8831 extension 1.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. © 2006

The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates Announces our New Southern California Family Law Blog / Blawg!

The Law Offices of Norman Gregory FernandezThe Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates is a Southern California Law Firm that handles many types of legal matters including Family Law Cases. We handle Family Law matters throughout the Southern California.

We are pleased to announce the creation of our new Southern California Family Law Blog / Blawg.

The purpose of the Blog will be not only to educate the general public about the various aspects of California Family Law in the State of California, but we will also publish valuable links, news, and other information related to California Family Law.

Articles will be written by Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez and other guest authors.

As time goes by the wealth of information that will be published in this Blog will grow tremendously. We invite you to bookmark our Blog.

If you have a Family Law matter in Southern California, you may contact us for a free consultation through our Family Law Website by clicking here, or you may call us directly at 818-584-8831 extension 1.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , Copyright 2006.

Welcome to the Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer Blog

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. at Cooks CornerAs a lawyer who is a real biker, I wish to welcome you to this blog which was created by me on August 31, 2006.

My purpose in creating this blog was to educate bikers and motorcyclist on the legal issues related to riding motorcycles.

I am one of the few lawyers that I know of in California that actually practices what he preaches. In other words I ride, and I handle motorcycle accident cases, and other biker related cases.

I hope you read through the various articles that I post from time to time. I hope you find them helpful.
Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.
Biker and Lawyer
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