When a landlord or property owner wants occupants out of his property, he can not use self-help means to do so. Evan Livingstone recently negotiated a hefty settlement for an occupant who was told by a property owner to get out and told the sheriffs the occupants were trespassers. Landlords beware: you have to go through the legal process to evict someone, even if you think the occupant has no right to be there. Self-help evictions will expose you to big liability.
Evan Livingstone has settled a lawsuit on behalf of his client for misuse of the funds of a dependent adult and breach of duty under a power of attorney.
We have just settled a lawsuit I brought on behalf of my client against Safeway. My client alleged that a Safeway assistant manager grabbed him outside the store and wrongly accused by client of stealing a sandwich. We filed a lawsuit against Safeway allege battery, violation of my client’s civil rights and infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit has been resolved with a confidential settlement.
The below editorial by my client appeared in the March 13, 2012 edition of the Bohemian.
The Cost of Privilege
Remembering that not all of us are so lucky
by Carl Patrick
Last June, I observed a Santa Rosa police officer arresting a homeless man during the Wednesday Night Market. For the crime of observing this, I was arrested and spent half a night in jail. I was then charged with obstructing an officer.
I am grateful to say that after months of court dates and pushing this case all the way to a jury trial, the charges have been dismissed.
Sometimes white privilege means that going into court against the law enforcement establishment might actually work in your favor. While I’m thrilled to not have a bogus charge on my record, I also have to face the fact that things may very well have worked out differently if my skin had looked a little bit different, or if I hadn’t been born in this country.
We have a lot of work to do to dismantle white supremacy and capitalism, and part of that work starts with realizing how this system has a plan for destroying the lives and families of people of color, through prison, deportations, economic exploitation, state violence, pollution of poor neighborhoods and so many more little evils that go unnoticed by most of us.
I am grateful to live in a community of thoughtful and radical individuals who are not afraid to resist these injustices. I specifically want to hold up the event being organized by the D.R.E.A.M. Alliance of Sonoma County on March 27 at SSU’s Mario Savio Speaker’s Corner called “Coming Out of the Shadows,” with immigrant youth speaking on their experiences in the United States.
I also want to remind folks to check out a great event on Tuesday, March 19, at the Arlene Francis Center, with author and activist Chris Crass, author of Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building.
The struggle continues. I am glad to be free of the court system. Now it’s time to get free of capitalism.
Carl Patrick is a member of Occupy Santa Rosa and the Sonoma County
Solidarity Network.Open Mic is a weekly op/ed feature in the Bohemian. We welcome your contribution.
All charges have been dismissed against 8 protestors who charged by the Sonoma County district attorney with trespassing and interfering with the operation of a business after they entered two Wells Fargo Banks in Santa Rosa and engaged in political protest. Mr. Livingstone represented four of the defendants.
I am not an accomplished lawyer. I find quite as much material for a lecture in those points wherein I have failed as in those wherein I have been moderately successful.
The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man, of every calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today. Never let your correspondence fall behind. Whatever piece of business you have in hand, before stopping, do all the labor pertaining to it which can then be done. When you bring a common law suit, if you have the facts for doing so, write the declaration at once. If a point of law be involved, examine the books, and note the authority you rely on, upon the declaration itself, where you are sure to find it when wanted. The same of defenses and pleas. In business not likely to be litigated – ordinary collection cases, foreclosures, partitions, and the like – make all examinations of titles, and note them, and even draft orders and decrees in advance. This course has a triple advantage; it avoids omissions and neglect, saves your labor, when once done; performs the labor out of court when you have leisure rather than in court when you have not.
Extemporaneous speaking should be practiced and cultivated. It is the lawyer’s avenue to the public. However able and faithful he may be in other respects, people are slow to bring him business if he cannot make a speech. And yet there is no more fatal error to young lawyers than relying too much on speech-making. If anyone, upon his rare powers of speaking, shall claim exemption from the drudgery of the law, his case is a failure in advance.
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise when you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, and expenses, and waste of time. As a peace maker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough. Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this. Who can be more nearly a fiend than he who habitually overhauls the Register of deeds, in search of defects in titles, whereupon to stir up strife, and put money in his pocket? A moral tone ought to be infused into the profession, which should drive such men out of it.
The matter of fees is important far beyond the mere question of bread and butter involved. Properly attended to fuller justice is done to both lawyer and client. An exorbitant fee should never be claimed. As a general rule, never take your whole fee in advance, nor any more than a small retainer. When fully paid beforehand, you are more than a common mortal if you can feel the same interest in the case, as if something was still in prospect for you, as well as for your client. And when you lack interest in the case, the job will very likely lack skill and diligence in the performance. Settle the amount of fee, and take a note in advance. Then you will feel that you are working for something, and you are sure to do your work faithfully and well. Never sell a feenote – at least, not before the consideration service is performed. It leads to negligence and dishonesty – negligence, by losing interest in the case, and dishonesty in refusing to refund, when you have allowed the consideration to fail.
There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence, and honors are reposed in, and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that the impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression, is common – almost universal. Let no young man, choosing the law for a calling, for a moment yield to this popular belief. Resolve to be honest at all events; and if, in your own judgement, you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave.