September 20, 2014

Complete 24 minute video on your 5 options when sued by debt collector in Alabama

You can now watch the above video which gives you the complete overview and discussion of the 5 options you have when you are sued by any debt collector or debt buyer in Alabama including Cavalry, LVNV Funding, Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery, Unifund, etc.

Even if you believe you know what you want to do, I suggest you go through the process of watching this video to make sure that you have thought about each of the five options.

Those options are:

1. File Bankruptcy
2. Fight the case on your own
3. Settle the case on your own
4. Hire a lawyer to fight the case for you
5. Hire a lawyer to settle the case for you

Let's chat about these briefly.

Bankruptcy is an extreme option we do not often recommend. When necessary, it works, but it "has a lot of side effects" -- credit damage, harms your ability to get financing in the future even outside your credit score, you can't file chapter 7 again for 8 years, etc.

The next two options are do it yourself options. You can fight the case on your own -- you'll save money and you'll need to spend time to make this work. Or you can settle the case on your own -- normally about 50% in a lumpsum or 100% paid over 2-3 years.

The final two options involve hiring a lawyer. We combine these as normally we give the collector a simple choice.

1. Let's fight the case and if we win we will look at suing the debt collector in federal court as we have done dozens and dozens of times.

OR

2. Let's settle the case where everybody walks away. Delete the credit reporting. No one is paid any money. The case is over.

If you have questions about your options when sued in Alabama, please feel free to get in touch with us by calling us at 205-879-2447 or contacting us through our website AlabamaConsumer.com.

John G. Watts
Watts & Herring, LLC
Birmingham, Alabama

ps -- click here if you want to read a more indepth article which also has the video.

August 20, 2014

Video: 5 options when sued by collector in Alabama -- Hire lawyer to settle the case

Hiring a lawyer to settle the case is a valid option. The objective here is to resolve the case and to get the best deal possible, including getting rid of any credit reporting by the debt collector who sued you.

By way of reminder, the five options you have when sued by a debt buyer (such as LVNV, Midland, Portfolio, etc) are:

1. Bankruptcy
2. Fight the case on your own
3. Settle the case on your own
4. Hire a lawyer to fight the case
5. Hire a lawyer to settle the case

Each option has advantages and disadvantages (particularly bankruptcy which we rarely recommend).

When looking at hiring a lawyer to settle the case, you need to know what amount will it cost you (if anything) to pay the collector and how much the lawyer fee will be. Also, what else will you receive in the deal? Will you get credit reporting deleted? Will a 1099 be issued for "debt forgiveness?"

The lawyer may also file an answer for you -- you need to verify exactly what you are hiring the lawyer to do for you and what will happen if the lawyer can't get the case settled.

We'll be glad to help you think through your options and figure out which option is best for you.

If you have questions about your options when sued in Alabama, please feel free to get in touch with us by calling us at 205-879-2447 or contacting us through our website AlabamaConsumer.com.

John G. Watts
Watts & Herring, LLC
Birmingham, Alabama

August 17, 2014

Video: 5 options when sued by collector in Alabama -- Hire lawyer to fight the case

Hiring a lawyer to fight the case is a valid option. The objective here is to win the case so you owe the debt buyer nothing and you may be entitled to sue the debt collector for filing a bogus suit against you.

By way of reminder, the five options you have when sued by a debt buyer (such as LVNV, Midland, Portfolio, etc) are:

1. Bankruptcy
2. Fight the case on your own
3. Settle the case on your own
4. Hire a lawyer to fight the case
5. Hire a lawyer to settle the case

Each option has advantages and disadvantages (particularly bankruptcy which we rarely recommend).

When looking at hiring a lawyer to fight the case, the biggest disadvantage is having to pay the lawyer fee. This fee can range from $1,000 in small claims case, $2,000-$4,000 in district court, and (based upon the amount sued on) several thousand to as much as ten thousand in circuit court. So you have to investigate to see if the advantages justify paying a lawyer fee.

The lawyer will file an answer for you and handle the case for you up to and including trial.

The advantages are you will save time (as you are spending money), you would expect to have a better chance of success with a lawyer who knows what he or she is doing, and you may be able to sue the debt collector/debt buyer for suing you and credit reporting on you.

So does it make sense for you to hire a lawyer?

It depends.

If you want absolute certainty, then you file bankruptcy or settle the case. But if you want to try to win the case then hiring a lawyer may be a very smart move as we know the rules of evidence and how to fight these guys as we have been specifically fighting debt collection lawsuits for many years and trying cases in state and federal court for almost two decades. There is more reward to go with the higher risk.

We'll be glad to help you think through your options and figure out which option is best for you.

If you have questions about your options when sued in Alabama, please feel free to get in touch with us by calling us at 205-879-2447 or contacting us through our website AlabamaConsumer.com.

John G. Watts
Watts & Herring, LLC
Birmingham, Alabama

August 13, 2014

Video: 5 options when sued by collector in Alabama -- Settle case on your own

Settling the lawsuit on your own (without hiring a lawyer) can often be a good option when you are sued by a debt collector in Alabama.

By way of reminder, the five options you have when sued by a debt buyer (such as LVNV, Midland, Portfolio, etc) are:

1. Bankruptcy
2. Fight the case on your own
3. Settle the case on your own
4. Hire a lawyer to fight the case
5. Hire a lawyer to settle the case

Each option has advantages and disadvantages (particularly bankruptcy which we rarely recommend).

When looking at settling the case on your own (also called being "pro se"), the main advantage is there is no lawyer fee. So you save money. And you control the case -- if you pay the money agreed to, the case is over.

The main disadvantage is you don't have a lawyer so you are on your own in negotiating with the debt collector and in signing the paperwork settling the case. You don't spend money but you will need to spend time to prepare yourself. Also, the account will normally stay on your credit report and you will likely get a 1099 for debt forgiveness the following January after settling the debt.

Normally you will be looking at paying about 50% of the amount sued for in a lump sum. Occasionally less and sometimes more but 50% is a good rule of thumb for a lump sum.

Or you can pay the whole amount over time -- usually 1-3 years.

We'll be glad to help you think through your options.

If you have questions about your options when sued in Alabama, please feel free to get in touch with us by calling us at 205-879-2447 or contacting us through our website AlabamaConsumer.com.

John G. Watts
Watts & Herring, LLC
Birmingham, Alabama

August 10, 2014

Video: What is the 5 year "look back" rule Alabama Medicaid uses for giving away assets?

If you have questions about qualifying for Alabama Medicaid or you are concerned about the five (5) year "look back" rule or the penalty period, then the video above can help you or you can read below.

Here's the basic gist.

When you apply for -- and qualify for -- Alabama Medicaid, then you must take a "box" or "folder" with all of your financial transactions for the last five years. Bank records, property transfers, etc.

Medicaid is looking for "gifts" -- that's where you received nothing back, or something less than the full fair market value back for whatever it is you gave or sold.

For example, if you sold your house worth $250,000 to your son for $100,000, then there would normally be a gift of $150,000.

If you gave away stock worth $50,000 to your daughter, then the gift is $50,000.

Medicaid then says "OK, you gave away assets during the last five years. Let's add them up, divide them by $5500 [amount Medicaid says the typical nursing home costs per month] and the answer is the number of months going forward that you must pay your own nursing home bill."

So for example if you gave away $55,000 worth of assets during the last five years, then the penalty is about 10 months that you must privately pay the nursing home bill.

The key is being smart about what to give away and when. And knowing WHEN to apply for Medicaid. Applying one month "too early" can cost a family hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Let us help you think through your options on what to transfer, when to transfer it, and when to apply for Alabama Medicaid.

If you live in Alabama or your loved one lives in Alabama, feel free to give us a call at 205-879-2447 or fill out our contact form at AlabamaElderLawyer.com and we will get back with you to help you understand your family’s options on using Medicaid to pay for long term care costs in a nursing home.

John G. Watts
Watts & Herring, LLC
Birmingham, Alabama

August 10, 2014

Video: 5 options when sued by collector in Alabama -- Fight case on your own

Fighting the lawsuit on your own (without hiring a lawyer) can often be a good option when you are sued by a debt collector in Alabama.

By way of reminder, the five options you have when sued by a debt buyer (such as LVNV, Midland, Portfolio, etc) are:

1. Bankruptcy
2. Fight the case on your own
3. Settle the case on your own
4. Hire a lawyer to fight the case
5. Hire a lawyer to settle the case

Each option has advantages and disadvantages (particularly bankruptcy which we rarely recommend).

When looking at fighting the case on your own (also called being "pro se"), the main advantage is there is no lawyer fee. So you save money.

The main disadvantage is you don't have a lawyer so you are on your own. You don't spend money but you will need to spend time to prepare yourself.

Typically if you have been sued in Circuit Court you don't want to choose this option as the level of complexity can be too much to handle on your own.

But if you are sued in District or Small Claims court, and you are willing to spend time instead of spending money, then this may be a good choice for you. We have lots of clients who handled their case on their own, won, and then came to us to sue the debt buyer in federal court for filing an illegal suit against the consumer.

We'll be glad to help you think through your options.

If you have questions about your options when sued in Alabama, please feel free to get in touch with us by calling us at 205-879-2447 or contacting us through our website AlabamaConsumer.com.

John G. Watts
Watts & Herring, LLC
Birmingham, Alabama

August 6, 2014

5 Options When Sued By A Debt Collector: File Bankruptcy Option

To review, your five options when sued include the option of bankruptcy to wipe the debt out.

You can:

1. File bankruptcy
2. Fight the case on your own without hiring a lawyer
3. Settle the case on your own without hiring a lawyer
4. Hire a lawyer to fight the case for you
5. Hire a lawyer to settle the case for you

Filing for bankruptcy is an extreme solution. When needed, it is extremely effective.

But when not needed -- it is way too much "overkill."

Use bankruptcy when no other options are available or will work for you. When your world is crashing down on you financially and you have no other good choice.

The advantage of bankruptcy is it will (in a chapter 7) wipe out the debt. You also will be done with the lawsuit.

The disadvantages include damage to your credit reporting, having to say "Yes I have filed bankruptcy" when asked on a loan application, and potentially losing your home, an inheritance that might come, etc. as the court gathers your assets and compares your assets to your liabilities.

When it makes sense, bankruptcy is the "do over" button that lets you restart your life.

But make sure you look at your other options before choosing bankruptcy.

If you have questions about bankruptcy or the other options you have when sued in Alabama, give us a call at 205-879-2447 and we can set up a time to chat by phone or person. Or you can contact us through our website AlabamaConsumer.com and we will get right back to you.

Best wishes as you evaluate your choices!

John Watts
Birmingham, Alabama

July 4, 2014

Video: Overview of 5 options when sued by a debt collector in Alabama

Discover the 5 options that you have when sued by a debt collector (such as Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery, etc) in Alabama.

Here are the five options:

First, file bankruptcy.

Second, fight the lawsuit on your own.

Third, settle the case on your own.

Fourth, hire a lawyer to fight the case for you.

Finally, hire a lawyer to settle the case for you.

We'll have follow up videos and posts about each of these options but we hope this overview has been helpful.

Call us anytime at 205-879-2447 or contact us through our website and let us know how we can help you.

John Watts

June 2, 2014

My odd office experience with Bank of America's loss mitigation

As you probably know, my law firm represents many Alabama consumer who sue mortgage companies such as Bank of America. Well, today I received a letter from Bank of America.

I opened it up and it was addressed to me and said that BoA recognized that I represented my client and they wanted to send the letter to me.

I was puzzled as there was no "consumer" or "homeowner" name listed.

So who was this person I supposedly represented?

While I occasionally represent families outside of litigation when dealing with their mortgage company (primarily using the new RESPA rules to help them), most of my clients involving mortgages are in federal court.

I didn't recognize the street address.

This was all I had as the geniuses at BoA didn't give me a name.

So I had my secretary call the person and number on the letter to find out who our client was so we could respond to the letter if we needed to respond.

BoA said we had to give them the client name.

"We don't know the name as you didn't give it to us."

BoA says, "Well, we have to know the name to look up the person to see if we are allowed to talk to you."

My secretary says, "You sent us the letter so obviously you think we represent this person so tell us who it is."

BoA refused.

Then it wanted to know what kind of business we are in.

"A lawfirm."

Well, who is this "John Watts" guy?

"He's a partner in the firm."

Then they wanted to know what kind of law we practice. A long pause and then the representative says "We sent you the letter in error -- ignore it."

Quite reasonably my secretary says "Please send us a letter that we can ignore the previous one (it had deadlines in it)" which caused the BoA folks to go into a tizzy.

They thought this was outrageous.

I still don't know who the letter was for but this was simply a small illustration of the insanity of dealing with these mortgage companies. This is why we have finally changed our procedure and have agreed to represent clients before a lawsuit with their mortgage company -- to help them write letters, understand (if possible!) what the mortgage company means with its letters and requests for more documents, and then ultimately get the client a loan modification and see if the mortgage company has violated the law and needs to be sued in federal court.

So for whatever it is worth, these mortgage companies treat everyone bad and with a lack of any skill. Doesn't make you feel better but maybe at least you'll have some comfort in knowing it is not just you.

If you are in Alabama and having issues with Bank of America or any other mortgage company, we will be glad to chat with you about some options you may have -- there is normally hope to save your home if you act quickly. You can reach us at 205-879-2447 or you can fill out our contact us form on our website.

May 31, 2014

Decision on FDCPA: Offer of Judgment Held Not To Kick Case Out Of Federal Court

Debt collectors love to use "Offers of Judgment" to try to get rid of cases and the new strategy is to argue that "there's no way you can prove actual damages" or "you didn't properly plead actual damages" so your case gets thrown out after a $1,001 offer of judgment.

It is a silly strategy but some judges have fallen for this.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected this and sent the case back to the trial court (district court).

Here is the text of the opinion Payne v. Progressive Financial (5th Circuit April 7, 2014) so you can read it for yourself (or you can click here to see it on Google Scholar).

Before: SMITH, DeMOSS, and HIGGINSON, Circuit Judges.

HIGGINSON, Circuit Judge.

Nicole Payne appeals the district court's dismissal of her suit against Progressive Financial Services, Inc. ("Progressive"). The court dismissed the suit for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction on the ground that Progressive's unaccepted offer of judgment rendered Payne's claims moot. For the reasons below, we reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I.

Payne filed this suit against Progressive for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), the Texas Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Payne alleged that Progressive made numerous harassing phone calls, called her at inconvenient times, and did not properly identify itself as a debt collector. On her FDCPA claims, Payne requested statutory damages of $1,000, actual damages, attorneys' fees, and costs.

After filing an answer, Progressive served Payne with a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 offer of judgment. Progressive offered entry of judgment against itself in the amount of $1,001 for damages of any kind, plus attorneys' fees and costs incurred as of the date of the offer and to be determined by agreement or court order. The offer also stated that it would expire fourteen days after service. Payne did not respond to the offer.

Progressive moved for dismissal under Rules 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1). The district court denied Progressive's 12(b)(6) challenge on the ground that Progressive waived the defense of failure to state a claim by failing to raise the defense before filing or in its answer. The district court, however, granted Progressive's 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The court found that Progressive's unaccepted offer rendered Payne's FDCPA claims moot because Progressive's offer equaled or exceeded the amount that Payne was entitled to recover on her FDCPA claims. The court reasoned that Payne was not entitled to actual damages because she failed to plead sufficient facts to support a claim for actual damages in her complaint. After dismissing Payne's federal claims as moot, the court then declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over her state-law claims and dismissed the case without prejudice. Payne timely appealed.

The issue on appeal is whether Progressive's unaccepted Rule 68 offer of judgment rendered Payne's FDCPA claims moot, requiring dismissal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1). We review a grant of a motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction de novo, applying the same standard as the district court. ANR Pipeline Co. v. La. Tax Comm'n, 646 F.3d 940, 946 (5th Cir. 2011).

II.

Article III of the United States Constitution limits the jurisdiction of federal courts to actual cases and controversies. U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, cl. 1. This clause requires that parties seeking to invoke federal-court jurisdiction demonstrate that they have a "legally cognizable interest" or "personal stake" in the outcome of the case. Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, ___ U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 1523, 1528 (2013). A live controversy must exist at every stage of the litigation. Id. If an intervening circumstance deprives a plaintiff of a personal stake in the outcome of the action or makes it "impossible for the court to grant any effectual relief whatever to the prevailing party," the case must be dismissed as moot. Chafin v. Chafin, ___ U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 1017, 1023 (2013) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

An incomplete offer of judgment—that is, one that does not offer to meet the plaintiff's full demand for relief—does not render the plaintiff's claims moot. See Hrivnak v. NCO Portfolio Mgmt., Inc., 719 F.3d 564, 567-70 (6th Cir. 2013); Zinni v. ER Solutions, Inc., 692 F.3d 1162, 1167-68 (11th Cir. 2012); Gates v. Towery, 430 F.3d 429, 431 (7th Cir. 2005). When a defendant does not offer the full relief requested, the plaintiff maintains a personal stake in the outcome of the action, the court is capable of granting effectual relief outside the terms of the offer, and a live controversy remains. See Hrivnak, 719 F.3d at 567-68; Zinni, 692 F.3d at 1167-68.

Under the FDCPA, an individual claimant is eligible to recover actual damages pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(1). Payne requested actual damages in five separate paragraphs of her complaint. Progressive's Rule 68 offer of judgment did not offer to meet Payne's full demand for relief because it did not include actual damages. As a result, Progressive's offer left a live controversy for the court to resolve, Payne maintained a personal stake in the outcome of the action, and the offer did not render Payne's FDCPA claims moot.[1]

Progressive contends, and the district court agreed, that the offer of judgment mooted Payne's FDCPA claims because it offered all relief to which Payne was entitled on her claims. Progressive reasons that Payne is not entitled to actual damages because she did not plead sufficient facts to support her claim for actual damages in her complaint.

This analysis confuses two separate inquiries: (1) the merits, whether Payne sufficiently stated a claim; and (2) jurisdiction, whether the court has the power to reach the merits of Payne's claim. As the Supreme Court has made clear, these are distinct analyses.

Jurisdiction . . . is not defeated . . . by the possibility that the averments might fail to state a cause of action on which [the plaintiff] could actually recover. For it is well settled that the failure to state a proper cause of action calls for a judgment on the merits and not for dismissal for want of jurisdiction.
Bell v. Hood, 327 U.S. 678, 682 (1946); see also Chafin, 133 S. Ct. at 1024 ("[The defendant's] argument confuses mootness with the merits. . . . [A plaintiff's] prospects of success are [] not pertinent to the mootness inquiry."); Verizon Md., Inc. v. Pub. Serv. Comm'n of Md., 535 U.S. 635, 642-43 (2008) ("It is firmly established in our cases that the absence of a valid (as opposed to arguable) cause of action does not implicate subject-matter jurisdiction." (quoting Steel Co. v. Citizens for Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 89 (1998))); Eubanks v. McCotter, 802 F.2d 790, 793 (5th Cir. 1986) ("If federal jurisdiction turned on the success of a plaintiff's federal cause of action, no such case could ever be dismissed on the merits.").

Whether Payne's allegations state a plausible claim for actual damages is an inquiry different from whether a federal court has jurisdiction to hear the case. To render a decision on whether Payne is entitled to a particular type of relief—in this case actual damages—is to decide the merits of the case. A Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction is not the proper mechanism to challenge the merits of Payne's claims.[2]

III.

Because Progressive's incomplete offer of judgment did not render Payne's FDCPA claims moot, we REVERSE the district court's order of dismissal and REMAND the case for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

[1] Because we find Progressive's offer incomplete, we need not decide whether a complete offer of judgment would have rendered Payne's claims moot. Compare Weiss v. Regal Collections, 385 F.3d 337, 340 (3d Cir. 2004) ("An offer of complete relief will generally moot the plaintiff's claim, as at that point the plaintiff retains no personal interest in the outcome of the litigation."), and Warren v. Sessoms & Rogers, P.A., 676 F.3d 365, 371 (4th Cir. 2012) (same), with Diaz v. First Am. Home Buyers Prot. Corp., 732 F.3d 948, 950 (9th Cir. 2013) ("[A]n unaccepted Rule 68 offer that would fully satisfy a plaintiff's claim is insufficient to render the claim moot."). See also Genesis, 133 S. Ct. at 1528-29 ("While the Courts of Appeals disagree whether an unaccepted offer that fully satisfies a plaintiff's claim is sufficient to render the claim moot, we do not reach this question."). We also need not address Payne's alternative argument that her FDCPA claims are not moot because Progressive did not offer attorneys' fees and costs incurred after the date of the offer.

[2] The federal rules offer defendants a number of alternatives to challenge the sufficiency of a plaintiff's case prior to trial, including a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings, and a Rule 56 motion for summary judgment. Progressive could have, and still can, pursue merits-based challenges. Progressive can also move for costs under Rule 68(d) if Payne ultimately obtains a judgment for less than Progressive's offer. What Progressive cannot do is what it attempts to do here: dispose of all of Payne's claims by offering to settle only those claims it deems legitimate or plausible.

May 24, 2014

Consumer Power -- The Difference in "Must" vs. "Should"

I hope this has been a great week for you and you enjoy the Memorial Day weekend and also keep in mind what the day means. For a lot of families in this country, someone served in our defense and many gave their health or lives.

I was talking with someone the other day about things that must be done. We started talking about the difference in "shoulds" and "musts" and I thought it might be helpful to you.

I have been blessed with relatively good health and I've very thankful to God for that.

Several years ago, however, I was eating a sandwhich and got choked. I have never truly experienced that before -- not talking about a drink going "down the wrong way" but truly being choked.

It is a scary and fascinating experience to realize you can't breathe.

Everything on your "to do" list fades away immediately.

All the minor annoyances, imagined (or even real) slights from others, the times we think someone has mis-treated us, our disappointments, etc.

All gone.

Singular focus is on "How do I breathe?"

You see, at that moment something I took for granted (breathing) went from un-noticed to an absolute MUST.

Not a should.

I didn't think "I should take a breath. I bet that would be good."
Nope -- it was "I must breathe."

No multi tasking -- it was one task -- one thing that had to be done.

Well, as you might imagine since I'm typing this to you, I did get that breath.

:)

I did not enjoy the experience in the least. But I did learn from it the difference in a should and a must.

If something is a "must," it gets done. Because it must get done.

If something is a "should," well, it might get done and it might not. After all it is only a should....

Can I recommend that you look at your life and decide what are the "musts" in your life that must be done?

I'm doing that myself and it is eye opening.

When we have that list, then we must plan our days, our weeks, our lives around the "musts" in our lives.

I would love to hear from you as to any insights or clarity you get from doing this and I appreciate you reading this.

Have a great rest of your week and remember the meaning of Memorial Day on Monday.


John

John Watts
Watts & Herring, LLC
205-879-2447


PS -- here are some recent articles and blog posts that have created -- check any out that interest you and feel free to comment or share by twitter or facebook, etc. Thanks!


Loan Modification -- 4 critical steps to take to achieve success in a loan modification

Collection Lawsuit -- What does it mean to go to trial when I've been sued by a debt collector?

VA Pension (Aid and Attendance) -- Frequently asked questions on this amazing benefit for veterans and widows of veterans

Car Wreck -- What does your "Medical Payment" portion of your care insurance do for you?

Foreclosure -- Should I stay and fight or leave my home?

May 23, 2014

Consumer Power -- Lion, Donkey and Fox Story

I hope you are having a great week -- as we head towards Memorial Day.

I enjoy hearing stories -- if you do also then you might enjoy this one that teaches us to use the experiences of others to learn lessons. And it is mildy funny also. :)

The Lion, Donkey and Fox

A lion, donkey and fox were out hunting rabbits one day. At the end of the day, they had a big pile of rabbits. [By the way -- I have no idea why a donkey would hunt rabbits -- its just part of the story....]

The lion says to the donkey, "You divide up the rabbits fairly between the three of us."

The donkey divides the rabbits into three equal piles while the lion walks away.

The lion comes back to where the donkey and fox and the three piles of rabbits were located.

Looks at the three piles.

Looks at the donkey.

Kills the donkey.

Looks at the fox and says, "You divide up the rabbits fairly between the two of us." Then the lion leaves.

The fox makes one huge pile of rabbits and takes one scrawny rabbit for himself.

The lion comes back.

Looks at the two piles.

Looks at the fox and says, "How did you get so good at math?"

The fox says, "The donkey taught me."

:)

When possible, better to use the experiences of someone else rather than having to experience the pain ourselves.....

Speaking of experience, I wrote a long (sorry --- got on soapbox) article about choosing an attorney and the dirty secret that most attorneys don't want clients to know about. At the end I share a personal story about my family hiring a lawyer. If you are thinking about hiring a lawyer or know someone who is, you might enjoy this "candid" look "behind the curtain" -- lawyers don't want me to say what I said.

It will be worth your time to read it I think....

Have a great rest of your week!

John

John Watts
Watts & Herring, LLC
205-879-2447

Alabama Consumer website
Alabama Elder Lawyer website
Birmingham Injury Blog