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Jack Richard Lebowitz
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Jack Lebowitz’s Answers

1,863 total


  • Can a preliminary injunction be granted to prevent a public institution from appointing a person where conflict interest exists

    School board voted to appoint a general counsel who has a personal and professional relationship with two of the board members who voted to appoint him ?

    Jack’s Answer

    From the facts you have presented, no conflict of interest exists. Almost every attorney who is appointed to represent a public officer or body has a personal relationship with the person who appointed them. Unless something involves, say, a board member doing "no bid" contracts with his construction or textbook business, there is no "conflict of interest", and often such a blatant conflict is sidestepped by disclosing the financial interests of the board member and him or her recusing themselves from the vote.

    What you have described is not a conflict of interest, it is "business as usual". "It's not what you know, it's who you know" as it's often put.

    I won't get to the part of your question that involves getting a preliminary injunction against a public body, except to say it's very difficult and involves a four part test, the major one being that you're going to clearly win the case.

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  • Are lawyers allowed to put your email address on a court document?

    I have never seen anything but the email addresses of attorneys on documents, orders, etc Even for persons that are pro se or have no attorney and named in a suit.in which I have seen a physical mailing address but I have never seen an individual'...

    Jack’s Answer

    Some attorneys now put their emails in the "Office and Post Office" address block, and some government forms now ask for the filets email, though often it's optional.

    Just ask the attorney to take the email address off if it concerns you. Although most documents filed with courts (other than Family Courts) are public documents, emails are generally not regarded as sensitive personal identifying information like social security numbers or birth dates that can be used for identity theft. Even compared to an unlisted or cell telephone number, the prospect of getting a bit more spam or unwanted ads from disclosure of an email address seems to me a relatively trivial concern.

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  • Is this considered conflict of interest?

    My husbands attorney is good friends with my attorney. Are they allowed to represent us in a divorce?

    Jack’s Answer

    Yes. There is no requirement that attorneys in a divorce case don't have a social or personal relationship. If you are that concerned, hire an attorney from a city in a surrounding county.

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  • Refund of legal fees/Switching attorneys

    I paid an attorney $200 I had decided on hiring to represent me for a court date in a couple months. We agreed to $1200 to be paid to him in full by me before my court date in March in order for him to represent me I've recently been introduced ...

    Jack’s Answer

    It's possible, you can ask. Technically, an attorney is not supposed to charge a fee that's unreasonable if he did no work, but it may be hard for a client to judge what "no work" is. If you talked to him and met with him a couple of times and he set up a file, checked conflicts and the like, he may think he's entitled to be compensated for the hour or so it took him to do so. Also, under contract principles, he may be entitled to the money because you agreed to a contract. He may have turned down other work or kept dates open on the calendar.

    On the other hand, the attorney may feel it's not worth the hassle or possible "bad will" (and bad mouthing from a customer, to other people and online) if you are angry about his keeping the $200.

    My advice is to ask VERY politely and say that you know it's a gray area whether you are due a refund for unearned fees, and see whether he's inclined to be gracious about it. Approaching it with an attitude of entitlement or an argument about what you think is legal or ethical (not knowing all the facts about what work he did) probably won't be as successful. Also, it's awkward you're saying you think the first attorney is inadequate, that's not a position to create great feelings of goodwill.

    So, I'd try to be as indifferent as possible. If you get the $200 back, great, if you don't, get over it and chalk it up to experience. It's really not a lot of money in the overall scheme of things, no matter what your financial circumstances.

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  • If we were to divorce, would the emotional abuse that has been directed at me count against him in a child custody decision?

    I have been married to my emotionally abusive husband for 10 years. We have two children, ages 4 and 7. Almost all of the emotional abuse is directed at me, only a little is directed at the children. Our 7-year old is afraid of and does not muc...

    Jack’s Answer

    You should speak with an attorney about all relevant factors and have him explain the modern concepts of custody which split custody into its legal and physical aspects and almost always provide for some shared parenting unless one parent is abusive or neglectful to the child. In almost all cases where parents are splitting up, the relationship is less than cordial and one parent or the other might feel there is "emotional abuse".

    Modern courts don't award "full" or "sole" custody much (or call it that, anyway) because it is believed it is in "the best interests of the child" usually to have a relationship with both parents, and for the non-custodial parent to pay child support.

    What you are probably seeking is joint legal custody and primary physical custody, which most often is the non-custodial parent having "visitation" at his residence every other weekend and perhaps one day during the week and telephone contact. A child does not get to decide he or she doesn't want visitation, although an older child (teen) has a lot of input into which parent will get primary physical custody.

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  • Can I change law guardians

    I was appointed a law guardian for my daughter in 06/2014 .he has never called to see how she is . How do you let someone decide your child's fate when they know nothing about her

    Jack’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    No, you generally can't change Attorneys for the Child so long as they are still active and on the list of that Court's panel.

    Attorneys for the Child are usually appointed only to represent the child in a specific Family Court proceeding. They usually meet with the child while those court proceedings are active, and do not have a continuing obligation to monitor the child after there is a final order in that case. If they have been appearing in an active case without meeting the child, you have a legitimate complaint. Otherwise not so much.

    Sometimes with older children (teens) there can be an ongoing relationship or representation after the court hearings, but those are usually initiated by the CHILD calling his or her attorney and alerting them to some problem or concern.

    By the way, the Attorneys for the Child are paid a modest amount by the Counties as prescribed by the State Court System which is low enough that many law firms decline to participate in this process. The attorney must put in vouchers which are carefully reviewed and they will not pay for any time spent outside of an active case still in the hearings, order drafting or appeals stages.

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  • What is a good response to the smart a** response this trust attorney gave me? Isn't he required to respond to my concerns?

    I am a beneficiary that will receive 1. part of my grandmothers home once sold after my uncle dies 2. Part of the remaining money left in trust account after my uncle dies. My uncle gets to live in the home and use the money for health, maintenanc...

    Jack’s Answer

    Why don't you hire your own attorney to deal with this situation diplomatically and find out whether the trustee is behaving with the proper fiduciary respect rather than being needlessly adversarial. At this point, as a contingent beneficiary, depending on the nature of the trust documents and California law, you may or may not have any rights to this information or to criticize the trustee's activities. He's working to fulfill your grandmother's wishes, which he may or may not be doing. At any rate, when you begin with accusing him of being a thief, his response is certainly going to be less than cordial, smart a**, even.

    My 0.02. You are better off with a "middleman" and negotiator here telling you whether your concerns are valid and whether there's something that can be done about them and to speak with the trustee if there are legitimate issues about his fees. You don't expect him to be doing this administration for free, do you (including putting up with possibly rude and hostile beneficiaries, depending on the facts).;

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  • What can we do to get this out as she fails 90% of her classes who are taking medical courses who would we contact to have her i

    College students always getting a failing grade from this one teacher.

    Jack’s Answer

    The legal system typically does not interfere or review matters arising in an academic setting of higher education such as a college or university, including disciplinary matters involving students or faculty, As the other attorney suggested, I might speak to the dean or regent about this issue. Another informal course these days which people seem to think is effective in getting the word out about such matters are online review sites such as "Rate My Professor" which might warn other students to avoid this professor's classes.

    Removed "Ethics & Professional Responsibility" as a topic as that deals with attorney discipline and bar matters exclusively.

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  • What grounds does child protective services need to get a warrant?

    Cps worker told me if she can't locate my granddaughter and her mother because cps gotta report cps will issue a warrant.

    Jack’s Answer

    I'd guess that if there have been allegations or reports of child abuse or neglect and CPS is unable to investigate and determine whether the allegations are founded or not because they cannot locate the parent and child at their last known address and no one can tell them a good address, they must issue a warrant to locate the parent and child and investigate.

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  • Are we able to force them to move the pool or at the very least pay for an easement?

    Last year we decided to put in an in-ground pool in our backyard and during the process we discovered that our neighbor's above-ground pool is partially on our property. This was news to us. We did not want to be mean neighbors so we told them the...

    Jack’s Answer

    The easiest way to deal with this situation is to simply call the Town Building Inspector and complain, and ask the pool to be moved onto your neighbor's property with the required setback. The inspector would carry the message for you and your neighbor might suspect you provided the information but can't prove it.

    Yes, perhaps this is being a "bad neighbor", but since you feel this indemnity agreement might not work for you and you could potentially be sued as the landowner where the pool is located were an accident to happen there, who needs the bother. Plus, as an above-ground pool, it is capable of being moved.

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