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Frederick Mason Morgan

Frederick Morgan’s Answers

33 total

  • Damaged camera

    I accidently dropped a camera and broke it while taking a class at a university extended learning program. They want me to pay for it. (about $1,000) Am I liable? Shouldn't they have insurance to cover this?

    Frederick’s Answer

    We're generally responsible for damage we cause to things that belong to other people. You should look at the documents you signed, if any, when you signed up for the class and/or when you checked out the camera. Do they mention your responsibility for damage or loss to their equipment? If so, then they have a good argument that you have to live up to the terms of that agreement. And if you were negligent--that is, maybe you grabbed the camera wrong, or didn't have the strap wrapped around your wrist, or something like that--then even if their insurance covered it, they might have a claim against you for the damage.

    If you have homeowner's or general-liability insurance, it may cover the damage if you owe it, but of course that may affect your future premiums.

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  • Change of lawyers

    can u change lawyers for an injury case if you are not happen with the one you have

    Frederick’s Answer

    You don't say what state you're in, which is probably important. In general, you have the right to be represented by anyone you want--don't forget who hired whom. However, a fee agreement with a lawyer is a legally-binding contract, and if you decide to terminate the agreement without a good reason for doing so, then you may end up owing a fee to the first lawyer. The nature and extent of what is owed is specific to state law. In many states, what you owe is based on a concept called "quantum meruit," which means the value of the work performed.

    Most problems between clients and lawyers are the result of poor communication, and so if you're not getting your calls returned or not being kept informed you should raise the issue in writing with the lawyer, either by e-mail or by letter. If your unhappiness relates to the quality of service--for example, that your case is being improperly handled or not being handled in a timely manner--then you should consult another lawyer about your right to make a change.

    Clients do change counsel from time to time, and lawyers usually deal with the issue among each other, but you definitely should be sure the relationship can't be saved before you make a change, and should not be afraid to raise concerns you have about legal service which falls short of your expectations. On the other hand, your expectations may not be reasonable, and if the lawyer is willing to talk the situation through with you, you may find that there has simply been a miscommunication and the relationship can be fixed.

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  • Disputes between states

    does the supreme court settle disputes between states

    Frederick’s Answer

    Yes. Under the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court has "original jurisdiction" (meaning it functions as a trial, rather than appellate, court) over disputes between the states. As you would imagine, most such disputes are handled not in court, but through agreements, often called "interstate compacts," which cover things like water rights. However, one state suing another in the Supreme Court is not unheard of, and the current water dispute between Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida may well be the next such case.

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