I can’t practice law in California since I’m not licensed in this state, but it doesn’t hurt to look at the competition. And there’s plenty of them.

A quick Google search for the terms “California Divorce” leads to an impressive list of services that promise to get you divorced for $200; mostly online versions of forms you can get for free from the California court system. All they do is ask a series of generic questions and fill in the forms for you, like TurboTax.

Slightly more interesting (and relevant) is californiadivorce.info, operated by a partner at Dishon & Block, a family law firm practicing in Southern California. Unlike other law firm’s websites, it actually offers a bit more ‘meaty’ information than most law firm websites about divorce in general. Most of the articles are written by Dishon, and link back to his firm’s website as well as “EndSpousalSupport.com”. Taking advantage of the misconception that alimony lasts forever (not normally in Hawaii, and from his website, apparently not in California either), he bring them in on a sales pitch to drum up business – end paying your ex! A creative way of getting his name out there and bring in the clients, similar to another firm I saw in Hawaii that used a published book.

However, you’d get more bang for your reading time looking at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov on how to fill out the form. But it’s really the nuances that makes the lawyer useful, and compared to the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii’s divorce clinic, neither the law firm websites nor government sources really offers a comprehensive ‘guide’ to the true pro se looking to get divorced. It’s also not that clear, at least to the pro se, just exactly how property is divided. Everyone starts off thinking it’s all about arguing in order to get the property, when it’s not so much arguing as deciding what kind of property it is…. like when a car was purchased, or if a house was brought into the marriage, or if it’s a community property state like California and how that affects an out-of-state property. As opposed to “eh, brah, those dishes should be mine cuz they’re $200!”

And then there are people who don’t have children or complicated finances, who don’t really need to hire lawyers to get their divorce done but could use the help – if it didn’t cost them a arm and a leg. Nothing really for them – although maybe Nolo Press has something printed for them. Haven’t checked yet.

Looks to be a crowded field. It’s too bad, really – with more education, one could really improve the law literacy of the public in general and improve the perception of the practice of law. But everyone’s out to make a buck, so all that knowledge and information becomes hidden.

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Recently, I moved to California. And there are a lot of people who think the coastline is just awesome.

I think they haven’t seen Hawaii’s beaches.

It’s April now, and I find myself turning on the heater at night. 60 degrees F is just too cold for me. Meanwhile, I see people walking around in T-shirts. T-shirt! As if there was a need to celebrate 60 degrees!

Recently I’ve been raising chickens for fun.  Dogs are the norm, and I’ve had a cat, so now I’ve decided to try our most edible friend.

I’m not so sure about how much it costs to mail a chicken over to Hawaii, but I’ve been getting the eggs hatched from Asagi Hatchery.  Right now they’re preparing to do a heritage breed hatch, but the ones I wanted were not going to be available.

Recently, they seem to have picked up their blog postings, which can be found at http://blog.asagihatchery.com/

Contrary to public opinion, the Courts really do want to get your case processed and over with as soon as possible.  That’s why in Hawaii Family Court, they set a limit of one year from date of filing for you to get your case done.  HFCR Rule 41(e)(2).  They want you to ‘get on it’ and get service on the other side within six months.  HFCR Rule 41(e)(1).  That’s also why they give you nine months to “set” a case for hearing (if there’s going to be arguments), from the day you file it. HFCR Rule 94.

But now I’ve been told that the Motion to Set deadline is NOT vigorously enforced.  With the court being very busy and all, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.  But I am.

I was sitting in front of my TV and came across a show put out by Est8planning LLLC, a local estate planning law firm.  The infomercial (as I see it) was at least a half-hour long, and involved the owner, Scott Makuakane, talking to his associate, Dean Park, about estate planning.

Both Makuakane and Park are attorneys, yet the show had them sitting at a desk in front of the inevitable oh-so-lawyerly-law-books talking about trusts, probate, and intestate succession.  They talked to each other, pretending as though they weren’t clear on the law or what the other guy was going to say.  I suppose they did that to educate the viewer, assuming the viewer wanted to watch Mr. Park reading off legalese papers held in his hand.

This got me thinking about lawyer advertising – what works, and what doesn’t work.  I have trouble believing there was someone out there, other than me, watching this show.

I was never able to get rid of this bad back posture, but I’ve stopped playing Lord of the Rings Online.  I’ve also been making a few changes and updates, and well, we’ll see where we go from here.

The last twelve days were spent in a very unproductive fashion. Instead of reading the “Hawaii Wills & Trusts Sourcebook”, I have been occupied with playing Lord of the Rings Online. Yes, that massive multiplayer online game, where I run around with a level 26 minstrel spamming heals at other online players.

What have I got to show for it? Nothing productive, really. Unfortunately, playing the game is so addicting, I’ve stopped running.

Now that I feel completely horrible about my physical status quo, I suppose I’ll start getting back to work, and getting rid of this bad back posture.