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L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor’s Answers

6,056 total


  • I am planning on obtaining a job as a paralegal assistant. Will an online certificate do or should I get an Associate's?

    I already have a Bachelor's degree in political science. Also, I would like to work in the Chicago area. I just don't know what the best course of action is as far as furthering my education and how should I go about gaining work experience since ...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    Paralegals, legal secretaries, and "legal assistants" are different names given to people who assist lawyers with legal work but do not have law licenses themselves. Most people I have known who held such jobs did not have any special training at all, although many or most of them had bachelor's degrees and some held advanced degrees. A fair amount of training is available to people who call themselves paralegals, and vendors of continuing education coursework sometimes market paralegal continuing legal education courses to law firms.

    It helps to have some knowledge of the particular area of the law in which you want to work. It is not necessary to have an associates degree beyond the bachelor's degree.

    However, let's get real: the legal profession is presently inundated with people who have J.D. degrees and licenses to practice law, but cannot find work in the legal field. I heard a statistic to the effect that nearly half of recent law graduates cannot find work which requires a professional degree. All those unemployed lawyers are your competitors for paralegal work.

    A further issue is that of "limited law licensure." On the one hand, you have this oversupply of lawyers; on the other hand, you have tremendous need for legal services on the part of people who cannot afford lawyers. There is a trend under discussion right now in many states regarding the issuance of "limited law licenses" which would enable skilled paralegals to independently represent people in family court, for example, in divorces and the like.

    But the problem with this whole notion, even assuming it becomes widely implemented, is that people who cannot afford, say, $175/hour to hire a lawyer to handle a divorce probably also cannot afford, say, $50/hour to hire a "legal technician" either. Middle-class people are frequently so strapped for cash these days that they just represent themselves. And if you price yourself too low you end up not being able to cover your own expenses, which necessarily include things like malpractice insurance. So think carefully before going this route: interview people who are in the kind of positions you hope to occupy, and see what they have to say.

    Good luck.

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  • Q

    I'm an ex employee of Centerplate which runs the food service at Smugglers Notch. I still work on the mountain at a buisness that is privately owned. I'm from Maryland and my old job was work at a Gymnastics/Freerunning Gym and My ex supervisor fr...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    When considering whether to bring a defamation lawsuit, not only should you consider whether the tortfeasor has resources to pay a judgment, as my colleague Mr. Wysomerski suggests, but also you should consider the fact that Vermont's defamation statute provides for an award of attorney's fees to the defendant if the action is determined to be frivolous and without merit.

    See 12 V.S.A. § 5771, which states:

    If judgment is rendered for a defendant in a defamation action and the court finds that the action was frivolous and without merit, the court may award costs and reasonable attorney's fees to the defendant.

    A lawyer can help you assess whether the case is worth bringing. You have to have actual damages--actual reputational harm--for the case to be worth bringing.

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  • Can a girl press charges on me if i hit her to get her to go away?

    This girl is obsessed with me and she will not leave me alone I am a girl myself, i have told this girl multiple times to stay away but she will not listen the other day she came up without me knowing and walked in and i told her to leave, then i ...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    If you hit someone to make them go away the prosecutor can surely charge you with assault. Do not post here. Hire a criminal defense lawyer.

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  • Can my attorney go to judges chambers to discuss how judge would rule on home based business that, started during our marriage?

    In a divorce, can my attorney go into the judges chambers to discuss how the judge would rule on a home based business that my husband and I started during our marriage? Is the opposing counsel allowed to be present when my attorney goes into the...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    Generally speaking, lawyers for both sides are supposed to be present when there is a meeting in chambers regarding a matter that is being litigated.

    Not legal advice, just my two cents. To obtain legal advice, please consult California counsel. I practice in Vermont ONLY.

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  • Should I file a formal complaint with the EEOC? Is my boss action considered illegal retaliation?

    My boss warned me about a month ago that he was going to give me a bad performance review for 2014. I complaint to HR and as a result, he surprised me with an assignment outside my areas of expertise and he mandated that I must work independently...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    What's unclear to me from the facts you present is why you believe your boss's conduct to be unlawful. Employment discrimination law is concerned with conduct by employers that discriminates against employees based upon particular criteria such as membership in a protected class. I.e., if you had said something to the effect of your boss's behavior was motivated by animus against your race, or your gender, or your sexual orientation (protected in some states but not in others), or your status as a disabled person or as an apparent disabled person, or the fact that you are, say, over forty, or that you were born, say, in Costa Rica or South Korea, or that you belong to a certain religion, then I might have cause to suspect unlawful discrimination or unlawful retaliation. But absent such facts, I have no reason to have such a suspicion.

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  • We filed a tort lawsuit case, we received a motion for summary disposition. How long, before the court hearing, does our

    answer to the motion have to be filed. We are in Michigan, Thank You

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    According to Judge David Hoort's Notebook (see link below),

    "The Michigan Court Rules require a party to file its response to a motion for summary disposition at least seven days before the hearing on the motion. MCR 2.116(G)(1)(a)(ii). A document is not considered filed until it is delivered to the clerk of the court or to the judge. MCR 2.107(G); Biafore v Baker, 119 Mich App 667, 669 (1982). The trial court is not required to consider a response that was not timely filed. EDI Holdings, LLC v Lear Corp, 469 Mich 1021 (2004)."

    Not legal advice, just general information. Consult Michigan counsel to obtain legal advice. I practice in Vermont ONLY.

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  • Does the deposition's transcript have to be available before the closure of discovery for the deposition to be valid?

    I will depose a witness three days before the closure of discovery but the transcript will only be available a few weeks after. Is it still ok to do it? Thank you.

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    Generally, when the deadline for discovery passes, the parties' opportunity to conduct discovery ends. Taking a deposition is conducting discovery. The transcription of a deposition is not conducting discovery, it's just converting the deposition into the form of a transcript. You find out what you find out when you ask the questions and get the answers. Make sense?

    Not legal advice, just general information. Consult California counsel to obtain legal advice. I practice in Vermont ONLY.

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  • What are the implications of filing complaint against opposing counsel?

    In a civil DVPO with ongoing divorce case with child custody issues, II have genuine reasons to believe that in zealousness to protect his client, opposing counsel is violating ethics as per WSBA professional code of conduct. What are the implicat...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    Clients generally do not have a clear conception of the ethical rules and professional responsibilities of lawyers. Indeed, law students take a semester-long course on professional responsibility and are required to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. It is not something one picks up in a couple of hours, and what is legally ethical does not necessarily correspond with what's intuitively right or what feels right.

    Clients often believe that something the opponent's lawyer has done is unethical, but which an informed analysis will conclude was ethical. A client is of course free to file a complaint with the appropriate officer of government responsible for lawyer discipline, but many complaints filed by such persons are found to lack merit. If you have a principled reason to believe that lawyer discipline is called for, consider a consultation with outside counsel who has no stake in the outcome, to whom you can confide the basis for your grievance and who can counsel you on how the conduct you found objectionable squares with the particular ethics rules. That lawyer can undertake the analysis and explain to you why you either have, or lack, a basis for claiming a violation of the applicable rules.

    Good luck.

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  • I was burned by hot water in the restroom at Wendy's. I went to urgent care afterwards. Can I sue over first degree burns?

    I was at Wendy's and when I went to was my hands, the hot water was so hot it burned me. Minutes after telling the manager, which she didn't care, I made a report with corporate. On the drive home, it was painful, so I dumped my pop out and filled...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    The offer to pay medical bills is encouraging. I would not recommend litigating over a scald resulting in a first-degree burn. Life is short.

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  • Any insurance coverage?

    I drove my buddies car, he had no Insurance. I had insurance. Is there any insurance coverage? He is also th co owner of my vehicle. Would my policy cover him?

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    Ask your broker. Also, get a copy of your policiy and read it!

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