Put it in writing!!!

Put it in writing!!!

That is my number one piece of legal advice for anyone.  So often situations come down to, “he told me this” or “she said she would do that”.  This is applicable to custody situations, contract situations and just about anything that involves two people.  Sometimes the dispute arises from a genuine misunderstanding or sometimes one party is trying to take advantage of the other. In either case you can protect yourself by simply writing down the agreement at the time of the transaction.  Ideally  the agreement will be signed by both parties and notarized.  If you can’t get the other party to agree to that, at a minimum you write down what the agreement was when it happens.  However, if you can’t get a party to agree to put something in writing and sign it, that is a pretty good sign that there will be trouble ahead.

Here is an example from my personal life.  My husband and I recently bought a used car.  The car we wanted was located several hours away.  I drove to go get it.  When I arrived, the seller did not have the title in hand.  He said he was getting it in the mail and he would have it within 3o days.  After verifying through a car fax that the vehicle was legitimate, I went ahead with the purchase.  However, I hand wrote a line in the contract which simply said, “If buyer does not receive a clean title within 30 days of the sale she may return the vehicle for a full refund of the purchase price.”  Then I signed it, the seller signed it, and I made a copy for me to keep.  It’s not a 100% guarantee if something goes wrong, but I am much better protected than if I was relying on a verbal agreement about the title.

Putting things in writing is a good habit to get into whether you are dealing with friends, family or strangers.  Taking the extra few minutes to write something down can save you a great deal of pain and money in the long run.

Justin Bieber DUI Arrest

This morning there are reports that the charges against Justin Bieber have been dropped.  He was arrested last week in Florida for driving under the influence (DUI) more commonly known as drunk drinking, resisting an officer without violence and driving with an expired driver’s license.  Should it turn out to be true that the charges have been dropped, many will assume that it is simply an example of money and fame getting him out of trouble.

However, it is more likely an example of how important it is to hire a lawyer no matter how “open and shut” a case may seem.  Based on reports I read, there were genuine questions as to how the police determined Mr. Bieber was drag racing, how they determined he was speeding and what indications they supposedly observed that made them believe he was intoxicated.  Mr. Bieber supposedly made statements admitting he had consumed alcohol and drugs.  It is important to have a lawyer investigate whether the statements were actually made and when.  It may be be that even if Mr. Bieber did in fact say them, they wouldn’t be admissible in a court of law.  In any DUI case there are issues as to someone’s alleged performance on field sobriety exercises.  This is because the exercises are subjective. Different people can view the performances differently.  Similarly, the science allegedly behind the breath test machines is also constantly being questioned.  If these machines aren’t properly maintained and used, it can dramatically change the results.

These are just a few of the questions a lawyer knows to ask, that the person arrested may not.  The lesson to take from Mr. Bieber’s situation is that everyone needs a lawyer if they are arrested.  Don’t take a chance that you will be wrongly convicted of a crime the government can’t prove against you.

About Shepherd Law


Cheyenne P. Shepherd

With over a decade’s experience practicing law at all stages of litigation from trial to appeals, I am here and ready to serve your legal needs.  In 2000, I graduated with honors from the University of Iowa School of Law.  I moved to Florida and worked for a small law office which handled primarily worker’s compensation and personal injury cases.

Please visit my About page to learn more about my experience, dedication and commitment.

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