Sunday, December 26, 2010

Guardianship - a Legal Process


Establishing a guardianship over the person and/or estate of an individual is a legal process that begins with the filing of a petition with the court by an individual or individuals, asking for appointment of guardianship. Depending on the kind of guardianship, and depending upon the age of the individual, different steps and procedures have to be implemented.Also, different states have different rules and procedures for establishing a guardianship. California law is different and in some ways, more complicated.

Some states, such as an Indiana guardianship for example, may require that notice be given to the individual, even if that person is a minor or even if that person is mentally and/or physically incompetent. If the individual is a minor, that is under the age of 18 years of age, there is usually no estate and thus, there is no need for guardianship over the estate of the minor. However, if that minor has received a settlement, say from a personal injury accident, then there would need to be appointment over the estate of the minor as well. There are other instances where the Guardian would also need to be appointed over the estate of a minor.

Notice of the Guardianship is Required

Notices need to be given out, typically to any interested person, which, in the case of a minor, might mean notice to a parent or parents, or other relatives. It really depends upon the circumstances. Notice is not necessary to someone who is going to appear at the hearing. Notice is usually required by statute to be given to the minor (less the minor is below the minimum age), but typically the minor is present, so there is no need for notice. Sometimes, the court may insist upon the appointment of a guardian ad litem where there are contested issues about the guardianship.

In the case where appointment as guardian is sought of an adult, there is often required some kind of medical evidence, or valid testimony, establishing the need for the guardianship. Notices in such cases may be to a wide range of interested persons. Often, such a guardianship have to do with the placing of an elderly person under the care of a loved one because this elderly person is no longer able to conduct their business, and they may have (but not necessarily) some serious cognitive issues as well.

Is an attorney required when seeking a guardianship?

It is certainly advisable to use an attorney when seeking a guardianship. There are too many variables, requirements, notices, and procedures that are beyond the average layperson’s ability and knowledge. This becomes especially important in a contested guardianship. One should never seek a guardianship without the aid of an attorney where there are contested issues.

How much time does it take to get a guardianship?

Usually, unless it is an emergency petition, a guardianship that is uncontested can be obtained in a reasonably short time, depending on the court calendar, and depending upon the county in which you live. In less populated counties, it can be a very short process, just days in some cases, while in the more populated counties, the time span is in weeks. If it is a contested guardianship, the time span usually becomes measured in months, mainly because of the need to gather witnesses, evidence, and to prepare for what amounts to a trial.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Hidden Dangers of American Food

Dangers in American Food

Eating, in America can be a dangerous proposition, especially long term eating. The dangers in American food is overwhelming us and causing a serious health crisis, as well as draining our financial reserves caused by the medical care created by dangerous foods.

If I can avoid it, I won’t eat a hamburger that doesn’t come from grass-fed beef. The dangers in American foods is perhaps epitomized in the way we grow and process our beef. The treatment of animals, how they grow them, how they feed them, what they feed them, and how they live their short lives, is wretched and disgusting. Cattle are bred to excessive weights, fed corn and hormone enriched diets that their systems are not capable of handling, hence the constant outbreaks of e-coli, and they live in vast acres of their own fecal matter, often standing knee-deep in it. The same incredible birth-to-death cycle of contained living can be said of chickens.  They live in dark tunnels, never seeing daylight, bred to gain incredible weight, so much so that they often fall over, unable to support themselves, and die.

Dangers in American Food Revealed in Documentary

Recently, I watched a documentary entitled Food, Inc.  What a powerful documentary. And, what a powerful indictment against our food industry, our government, and ourselves for permitting those we elect to permit the rampant, money-driven waste of American health. We see, in this documentary, the dangers in American food up close. The proof is there, to anyone who chooses to look. We are allowing ourselves to be killed so large conglomerates can become rich. Worse, we're the ones paying for it with tax dollars! It’s staggering to the mind to realize how we’ve been plundered, and how every taxpayer in the country has been underwriting  this catastrophic plague upon ourselves. It is an unprecedented attack against the entire nation, and those we’ve elected to protect our health, and those who our elected officials have appointed to protect our health, are all in bed with the attackers. It’s truly insane.

Will the Politicians save us from the dangers in American food?

We need to start examining those we we’re going to elect to office for things besides whether or not they’re for or against bad guys in other nations. We need to ask them whether they are for us and against the bad guys in the gleaming, corporate headquarters in our nation. We need to know where they stand on the issues of the quality of our beef, and of our poultry, and our food in general. We need to appreciate the value of organic products. We need to know whether they are going to fight for our right to live. We need to know if the dangers in American food is going to continue to rise under their rule.

It is no wonder why we’re such a sick nation. We’re led by inane politicians whom we have, in our stupidity, elected to office. We’ve let the greasy-palmed politicians appoint slick-haired suited food industry leaders to regulate their friends. We’ve accepted food placed before us as normal, when it is so far removed from normal that if our great-great grandparents were alive and eating this food, they’d die in months instead of the years it’s taking to kill us off. It is amazing that from childhood we’ve been fed this cornucopia of chemical laced meat, soup, pop, bread and fat-laden meals, and  that we live as long as we do. It’s too bad the quality of life has not kept up with the ability of our medical technology to keep up alive. It’s unfortunate that the maze of chemicals and hormones we’re ingesting has produced an obesity level that is staggering (pun intended) in terms of population percentile and health costs.

One can only wonder how much longer this will go on before we wake up and realize that the danger we face is not a bunch of nuts infiltrating our airports and taking over an airplane, but a bunch of nuts who’ve infiltrated our congress (translation: lobbyists) on behalf of their food conglomerate masters. We’d better be concerned about the saboteurs who have taken over our government and who now run our governmental agencies (such as the FDA). We need to realize that the dangers in American food is a hazard created by huge conglomerates, and allowed to continue by a congress that is fattened by the cash cows of the American Food Industry.

We’d better wake up and smell the stench that is coming from the dark chicken coops across the land, and the cattle standing knee-deep in feces. We’d better wake up and smell the stench coming from our nation’s capital. We’d better wake up and smell the stench of rotting flesh—our own. We’re rotting from the inside caused by the sick and diseased beef and chicken we’re putting into our gut, where it lies rotting, providing little natural nutrient. The dangers of American food is causing our chickens to come home to roost.

A Plaintiff's Lawyer needs to show a jury the dangers of American food

As a lawyer, I can only wonder how long it’s going to take the Plaintiff’s bar to wake up and smell the the money (translate: class action). I'd love to hear a Plaintiff's lawyer put this opening statement to a jury: "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are here today, and in the coming weeks, to show you, indeed, to prove to you, the dangers of American food."

Someday. It's just a matter of time.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shoe Bomber & Judge William Young - Sentencing

U.S. District Court Judge William Young made the following statement in the sentencing phase of "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, before ordering him to prison.It is interesting that the words of Judge Young were not heralded across the nation's papers and television sets. Why was our nation's elite press asleep?

January 30, 2003 United States vs. Reid. Judge Young: 

Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.
On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General.

On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive with the other. That's 80 years.