Saturday, March 29, 2014
Proper exercise of law enforcement power is respectful, and appreciated. Improper use of law enforcement power is terrifying.
Law enforcement officers in our country are vested with great power. Used correctly, this power can keep our communities safe. When used incorrectly, however, our civil liberties are lost.
Civil liberties are what allow us to be who we want to be. Freely speak, freely choose our own religion or none at all, freely move state to state, among other rights. These rights should be respected and the loss of these rights should be feared.
Exercising civil rights and raising civil rights violations should be applauded, not punished. Equally so, law enforcement who recognize, protect, and refuse to violate civil rights should be applauded.
Civil rights belong to each of us – including those who serve as law enforcement officers. We have to work together to preserve our civil rights. That includes law enforcement having the courage to admit when civil rights are violated and putting measures into place to ensure that civil rights are not violated again. Protecting our civil rights also includes having the courage to speak out in support of civil rights and having the courage to raise civil rights violations so that, hopefully, the violations will not happen again. For law enforcement and citizens alike, civil rights are worth fighting for – they give each one of us freedom of choice and the right to be free from persecution because of such choice.
Recently, Idaho gained national attention when its legislature voted to allow guns on college campuses. Whether you own a gun or not, and regardless of whether you agree or disagree with guns on campus, the national attention that the guns on campus bill received has branded you, as an Idahoan, as carrying a gun. Now, how would you like to be pulled over while traveling in another state just because you have an Idaho license plate on your car and the officer is convinced that you are carrying a firearm illegally through their state? Is the civil right to travel state to state without being harassed because an officer associates your license plate with something illegal a right worth fighting for? Darien Roseen thinks so.
Mr. Roseen is a seventy year old retiree. He was traveling through Idaho following his daughter’s baby shower in Washington. Upon crossing from Oregon to Idaho his Colorado license plate was spotted and he was immediately pursued by an Idaho State Trooper. Mr. Roseen was stopped, detained, was deprived of his property, and was extensively searched because the Idaho trooper who stopped Mr. Roseen was certain that Mr. Roseen’s Colorado license plate meant he was in possession of marijuana. He was not. But, he was, and still is in possession of the courage to fight for civil rights and has filed a lawsuit to do that very thing.
I no more wish to be stopped by law enforcement outside of Idaho because an officer believes my Idaho license plate believes I am in possession of a firearm, than I wish Idaho police to stop interstate travelers based on a perceived profile associated with their license plate. License plate profiling is not worth fighting for. The civil rights that such profiling violates are, however, and Jones & Swartz PLLC is honored to be fighting for the same.
Posted by eswartz at 3/29/2014 9:38:00 PM
Sunday, March 9, 2014
All too often a disagreement quickly turns into an unnecessary lawsuit. The root of the problem can sometimes be a hungry lawyer who is more interested in feeding his or her family than assisting their client with resolving a simple dispute. Yes, that’s right. Lawyers have to make a living too. But, lawyers who encourage battles only to line their own pockets are the kind of lawyers you should avoid.
If your lawyer is not cautioning you about the costs and uncertainty of letting a dispute blow up into a lawsuit, but is instead encouraging you to fan the flames of the fire, find a new lawyer. If your lawyer seems to be doing everything possible to stall a settlement by insisting on unreasonable deadlines and complex documentation, find a lawyer who can get it done without giving you excuses about how complex it needs to be. Chances are, it does not have to be that complex. Chances are that if your lawyer is making it that way it is because he or she is running up your bill, helping feed his or her friends in the firm by having them draft unnecessary documents, and, perhaps, more interested in seeing settlement fail so that they can keep you in litigation and keep the churning out bills.
Search for a lawyer who you can speak to. Search for a lawyer who asks you whether you really want to scorch the earth in litigation versus offers to do it for you. Search for a lawyer who is trying to keep you focused on what you do for a living, not keep you focused on what the lawyer does for a living.
Posted by eswartz at 3/10/2014 12:45:00 AM
Sunday, March 2, 2014
You want what yours and you want it now. We all do.
When it comes to real property, you may be getting more, or less than you bargained for - depending on what sellers and buyers agreed upon. In Idaho, it is important to have a property lines surveyed to ascertain the correct boundary lines before undertaking any project involving boundaries of real property. Assuming to know where the boundaries lie could result in one party losing some property and another gaining some property. In Idaho, if two adjacent landowners agree on the boundary line between their property, that may become the permanent boundary - even if it is not the actual property line. Even if the landowners do not know where the actual property line is located, and guess, it may constitute a binding agreement for the actual property boundary.
The mutually agreed boundary may become the permanent for all future purchasers. A simple survey could easily ensure that the boundary line is correct.
If you are buying property, hire a surveyor, first. If you have a dispute about your property lines, hire an attorney, first, and a surveyor, maybe, next.
Posted by eswartz at 3/3/2014 12:24:00 AM
Friday, February 21, 2014
Deciding whether or not to file a lawsuit involves more than answering “yes” to whether you have been wronged. Many other factors must be considered before you pull the litigation-trigger. For starters, how much money are your really out because of someone's wrongful action? How much money do you have that you are willing to put into fighting a legal battle? How much time and energy do you really have available to commit to litigation? How much time and energy does your family have available to commit? What are your goals? What are the risks? Is there a solution other than litigation that could meet your goal?
It is natural that you would be really angry shortly after being wronged. But, jumping head-first into lawsuit may not be the best option. Your frustrations caused by someone else doing you wrong will not go away just because your find an attorney willing to file a lawsuit. It may be that such an attorney wants your more than they want to help you resolve your situation.
Litigation is intrusive, time consuming, expensive, and unpredictable. And, it may not be the answer you are really looking for.
Get help deciding whether pursuing a lawsuit is the best thing for you. There are other options. Contact the attorneys at Jones & Swartz PLLC today to discuss what options may be the most productive for your end goals.
Posted by eswartz at 2/21/2014 11:49:00 PM
Saturday, February 1, 2014
The passage of time has the universal affect on memory – details fade and people remember things differently. Legal battles often arise and center on parties fighting over what actually occurred way back when. Archiving events of the past play a pivotal role in avoiding, or prevailing in, legal proceedings. Simple steps such as drafting and sending letters or emails to follow up and summarize phone conversations at the time they occur, or preserving important documents can help you avoid a legal dispute.
And, if the dispute cannot be avoided, properly captured history will help a judge or a jury understand what occurred way back when. Properly captured history helps takes the guess work out of faded memories. It also helps a judge or a jury to re-live the event. If you become a party to a lawsuit, you stand a better chance of winning if you can show and tell a judge or jury what occurred.
Posted by eswartz at 2/1/2014 4:55:00 PM