“Learn the Law in 7 Days”- The most important book ever written

 

I recently published a book titled, “Learn the Law in 7 Days”.  I am very proud of this small handbook, coming in at just over 98 pages. This handbook gives the average citizen the ability to learn the basic ins and outs of the legal system in a way that makes sense to them.

The “law”, is what drives society. If you do not understand the legal system, it becomes impossible to navigate inside society. If you learn the rules of the game, you can either learn how to avoid certain pitfalls or you can even learn the loopholes and how to profit! Regardless of your desire, having a basic understanding of how the legal system works will give a huge leg-up in life.

I have many friends who are from foreign countries and I experienced a brief stint of homelessness. I wrote this book with these types of people in mind, but this book is truly applicable to the entire human race.  While most people have little desire in learning the legal system, the poor and those who freshly arrive in this country are especially ignorant to what their rights actually are and what they can if they find themselves in a tight spot.

This book could have easily been 300-400 pages long. But, I did not want to overwhelm the reader. I wanted to give them the bare-bones in terms of legal knowledge. 98 pages isn’t that long of a book. I do my best to add in humor and other interesting “tid-bits” in order to make the book less boring and bland. I also share many stories about my own personal life and how the legal system has shaped me.

I hate most aspects of what the law is, but I respect what it tries to do for society. Sometimes you can hate something so much that you appreciate its strength. Sometimes you can love something so much, that you hate how much control it has over you. That’s how I feel about the legal system. It gives our society moments of justice and beauty, as well as moments of corruption and disgust.

In this title, I try to emphasize both the beauty and ugliness of the legal system.  This book is short, sweet, somewhat entertaining, and highly useful! I pray that those who read it will be triggered to dig a bit deeper and truly develop a skill-set that can protect themselves, their friends, their families, and perhaps even spark an interest in a law related field.

Whether you are a student, bus driver, computer engineer, boxer, doctor, or a cashier working at a fast food joint, the “law” controls your life whether you like it or not.  I am not saying that you must become a lawyer in order to survive in the modern world of legalities, but, having some basic knowledge on how to escape everyday legal pitfalls is extremely useful, and this book confidentially achieves that goal.

Please pick up a copy on Lulu.com or on Amazon.com. Search for “Randell Stroud”, and you will find all of my amazing books which will bestow you with infinite wisdom and practical knowledge.

Lulu.com

Amazon.com 

Good luck!

-Randell Stroud

Nalini-Global

2019

Owner of Nalini-Global, Randell Stroud, vows to support Term Limits

A local newspaper has mentioned me as being one of only 12 politicians/candidates in the state of Tennessee who has publicly pledged to support term limits in the 2018 election cycle.  The dangers of nepotism and favortism found within career politicians is far too great to ignore. I vow to the voters and to political reform globally, that this needs to be the new norm.

Please read the article here below to read more:

CLICK HERE- Newspaper article

Slacktivism needs a Cure

The picture above was taken of me back in October of 2017, addressing the city council of Nashville in regards to gentrification and lack of jobs. Law makers hung onto my words very carefully as I approached the stand to make my testimony heard.

I have had many instances like this in my life. In fact, I have even managed to get a corrupt politician fired for fraud, county clerk John Arriola, who was extorting citizens out of their money. I stood outside of his office with a sign stating, “Arrest Arriola!”. The local news covered my story. Eventually I reached out to prosecutors who brought him to court and forced his resignation.

I’ve worked with “Home-street Home Ministries to feed the homeless in my community and sent letters to CSX, a local train yard where the homeless were sleeping, asking CSX to allow them to set up camp there so long as they do not cause harm.

(Working with members of Home Street Home Ministries) 

I had the pleasure of speaking with Ben Wizner, in regards to Edward Snowden’s possible return to the United States. We discuss strategies to minimize the police state and to operate safely online without arousing unwanted attention.

(Ben Wizner and myself at a Convention on protecting Civil Liberties)

I submitted a 54 page report to the United Nations, detailing the need for international family law reform and recognition of discrimination against the Male-Gender in certain areas of our socio-economic systems.  Part of the report was published in my manuscript available at Amazon.com, see ” Global Human Trafficking In The Family Law Courts.” 

(Me giving a copy of my UN report to Tennessee law maker, Antonio Parkinson at a Town-hall meeting who eventually got a law passed reducing interest amounts on owed back child-support)

I’ve submitted several reports the International Drug Scheduling Convention, held annually, regarding the legalization of Marijuana and protection of CBD products.  The report can found on this website under the “Reports sections”.

I could go on and on with things that I have been involved in regarding social and legal reforms. This article is not designed to “toot my own horn”.  It is to display the difference between “slacktivism” and “activism”.

Slacktivists spend alot of time tweeting, making Facebook memes, and engaging in hours of online debates with their 50 or so followers. The “like”, “share”, and engage in online “flame-wars”, whereas at the end of the day, they can lay in their beds and say, “I fought for freedom today!”.

It truly is a “slacker” approach.  Behind a computer screen, one’s bravery increases quite a bit. The solution to everything is, “It’s the government’s fault”,  or “Religion made him do it”.  Slacktivists are really great at complaining and raising awareness for an issue, but they don’t really “do” anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I think using technology as a way to raise awareness is great! Create your Facebook fan page, make youtube videos, continue to use media platforms to reach an audience, but you must also combine it with REAL physical actions.  According to “slacktivists”, Martin Luther King Jr didn’t need to go to jail or protest to win equal rights for his people, if he had Facebook back then, he could have just made a “meme” about Jim Crow laws and the problem would have been solved! (insert sarcasm here).

I understand that many of us work a full-time job, some of us even work two jobs while trying to operate a “side-hussle”, but it’s no excuse, many events are held on nights or weekends, or you could occasionally take a day off., write a letter, invent something, do something! Continue to like, share, and post your opinions online to raise awareness, but, make conscious efforts to take physical actions towards your activism. Additionally, come up with practical solutions to the problems you care about. Simply saying, “Taxation is Theft”, or “End Climate Change now”, may raise a discussion, but it doesn’t present any real solutions to the problems you are raising.

A Libertarian might say, “Taxation is Theft”, but what plans does he have towards making taxation unnecessary?  Is he going to invent a new technology that replaces police forces, is he going to start his own road building service? Is he going to run for office and pass a new law that lowers or eliminates taxes? —probably not, he will probably just continue to post memes about how “messed up” , the government is while offering no real “positive” solutions on how to actually fix it or replace it with something else.

Getting angry about a problem is a normal reaction. However, the next phase is to seek out viable solutions to that problem.  You can scream out, “End Climate Change”, or “Taxation is Theft” until the cows come home, but it doesn’t really do anything. Even if you get people to agree with you, eventually, they are going to want a solution from you. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, these people never shared, liked, or posted anything on Facebook, yet they changed the world permanently with their actions!

In conclusion, we must combine the new age with the traditional. Use your technology to expand your ideas in order to reach a larger audience, but be prepared to back up your ideas with progressive physical action and demonstrable solutions.

Like, share, and comment on this article—- Then get your butts out there and do something about the issues you care about!

  • Randell Stroud
  • Nalini-Global 2018

Randell Stroud is certified in Paralegal Generalism, Bankrtupcy law, and international law. He is a strong advocate for family law reform, tax reform, marijuana reform, legal administration reform, foreign policy reform, and anti-poverty measures. 

 

Atlanta “ends” Cash Bail requirements

(Activists celebrate the passing of a new law that exempts bail requirements on certain misdemeanor offenses.)

 

On Tuesday, February 6th, 2017, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, signed an ordinance Tuesday that eliminates the Municipal Court’s cash bond requirement for certain low-level offenders who otherwise would be forced to sit in jail due to being unable to afford a bond.

The Atlanta Mayor stated, “…It makes no fiscal sense to hold someone in jail over a $500 bond”.

According to the many reports, after six hours of public comment and debate Monday afternoon, the City Council approved the ordinance 13-0. The bail bond industry itself appeared to be the main opponent of this law during public comments. However, citizens largely supported this effort. Sure, the bail-bonds industry may lose a little money, alas, families will be safe from the racketeering system that our legal system has become!

Like in all matters of the law, we have to strike a balance between liberty and security; Protecting the logical rights of men and their properties, while not creating monopolies that only the wealthy and the governments themselves can understand or afford to participate in. That’s the problem with our current legal system. The legal system is a glorified socialized “gun” that we use to point at one another in a “civilized” courtroom. However, it doesn’t make society any fairer or safer when that shared use of force can only be afforded by certain groups of people. Namely, the extremely poor who can claim to be “indigent” , or the extremely rich who can afford the best lawyers or to pay off judges. It is the middle-class who has no remedy. They don’t qualify for low-income exceptions, and they cannot afford a legal team of their own. Where do they go?

The legal industry and the for profit prison system, nicknamed the “Prison Industrial Complex”by many, benefits the state departments, judges, prison investors, bail bondsmen, lawyers, and police officers looking to keep their quota numbers up. However, this sort of “for profit” legal system creates another hurdle for the poor looking to get a leg-up.

Public urination, driving on a suspended license, an unpaid traffic ticket, simple possession of marijuana, — these are not charges synonymous with dangerous criminals who may flee the country or state, they are merely “infractional” petty offenders. To hold these people on a bond, who probably can’t afford the bail money, will sit in jail over such infractions whereas they are likely to lose their jobs and further slip into the cycle of legal penalties which facilitates poverty and loss of family ties.

The system doesn’t seem to care. As long as they are pulling in revenue for the system, lawmakers appear oblivious to long-term impacts on low-income families looking to escape poverty. According to statisticbrain.comthe average police officer in the USA pulls in about $300,000 per year in revenue from citations. That’s about $6,232,000,000 per year nationally! That’s a lot of revenue for infractions that could largely be forgiven, warned, or overlooked.  If I receive a seat-belt ticket, and am forced to pay the state $50, how does that solve any problems? If I cannot afford the ticket, my license will be suspended, taking away my ability to get to and from work, further forcing my family into the bellows of poverty. If I get caught driving on a suspended license, I go jail.

Holding a prisoner isn’t cheap either. It costs taxpayers about $31,000 per year to feed, clothe, and house an inmate.  That’s about $85 per day, much more than the cost of your average citation. But, the prison investors, bail bondsmen, law makers, government workers and attorneys who make money mitigating these issues don’t care about tax-payers or at risk families. They care about profit margins and expanding department budgets!

Some may say, “Just follow the law and it won’t be a problem!”.  We must ask ourselves, why does the United States have the largest prison population in the world? Over 70% of our inmates are non-violent! It’s a money scheme! It costs $500 to legally operate a lemonade stand in America! The average American commits three misdemeanors and a felony per day without even realizing it! Literally every inch of American life has a statute or code attached to it! If the legal system can’t get you for running a red-light, maybe they can get you for being a “public nuisance” or for the bumper on your car being one inch lower than what statute allows. The more laws we create, the more criminals we create by default! It is an inadvertent consequence stemming from good intentions; or perhaps it is all designed purposely to be this way? Or perhaps, the truth is somewhere in the middle?

Regardless, this reform effort that the city of Atlanta has made, thanks to so many passionate advocates and leaders like Atlanta based attorney Gerald A. Griggs, who championed this effort, is a welcomed change! It is so rare for attorneys and politicians to come together on behalf of the poor. When these instances happen, they deserve all of our applause and credit.! I salute Mayor Lance-Bottoms and all of those who fought for the repealment of such archaic bail practices.

Sure, if a man is wanted for malicious battery,murder, rape, robbery, or grand theft auto, it makes sense to put a bail requirement on him/her. Alas, those who are subject to a bail requirement for petty offenses are merely pieces of evidence proving what a corrupt system we have. This new change in the law is an excellent move and I pray that all cities follow suit!  This may seem like a small victory, but in reality, it can potentially turn into a huge wave of momentum in terms of criminal law reform.

Please send your special thanks to:

Gerald A. Griggs,

https://www.geraldagriggs.com/

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

https://www.atlantaga.gov/government/mayor-s-office/meet-the-mayor

 

—And all other activists who assisted in this effort!

 

-Randell Stroud

Nalini-Global

2018

 

Gentrification is a losing battle: “Read Niccolo Machiavelli”

Oct/3/2017;

As I approached the 6th district courthouse in Nashville,Tn,  on Oct.3rd, 2017, around 6pm, there was a group of Native Americans protesting outside the building, chanting,

“Columbus Day is Murder Day. Today is Indigenous People’s Day!”

A local Native American, Albert Bender, lead the group. We briefly spoke about the DCS and CPS epidemic of kidnapping native children from reservations, displacing them in white homes, thus, erasing their culture.  After a few minutes of chit-chat, we went inside the court building in an attempt to attend the Councilman’s chambers for their General Assembly Hearings. Mr.Bender wanted to adopt a resolution on the agenda to change, “Columbus Day” to formally be known as, “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”.  He was barred from entry alongside his large group of followers.

The GA was mainly focusing on gentrification issues and building permits. For years, many  wealthy New Yorkers and Californians have been moving to Nashville.  Development has been booming! Businesses, restaurants, apartment skyrises,— all popping up like a virus! Multiplying by the day.

In many respects, this development has been amazing for the city. However, many of the locals are aggravated by the development due to increased traffic and rising costs of living from property tax hikes caused by development. Many activists charged the councilmen, stating that the economy was bad, they needed jobs, but also feared that development and rising costs were forcing them out of their homes. Their once affordable apartments were now un-affordable. Many locals were being forced to move to surrounding areas like Antioch and Murfreesboro. Places that were less populated and had higher rates of poverty and crime.

Growing up on the east side of Nashville, my heart really went out for those people. Many of the housing projects had been bulldozed, and dozens of families were displaced and forced to move to more affordable areas. Many of those families had lived in the area all their lives.  I grew up , lower-middle class, not rich, not struggling, but definitely on a budget!

In my younger years, I would have certainly been on board with the protests. However, after reading Niccolo Machiavelli’s , “The Prince” , running for office in 2012, and having gone through the challenges of adult life, — I had realized it was a fruitless war.

I addressed the GA law-makers, including Vice-Mayor David-Briley, whereas I shamed both protesters and law makers.  I shamed the protesters, who were against the new hotels being built due to “increased traffic”, while they simultaneously cried out that their weren’t enough jobs. I shamed the congress by exposing the fact that, they weren’t really listening, they were just passing bills and merely acting as if the people’s voices mattered. It was nothing more than a “dog and pony show” as I called it.

I reminded my audience that, Nashville looked like New York City 50 years ago. However, with population increases and development, it is a consequence of “political realism”.  If you cannot adapt to development, you will be forced to move out. It sounded harsh (and it was), but it is the reality and will always be the reality. Big business and state interests will always overshadow the plight of the poor and minorities.

It wasn’t what everyone wanted to hear, but it was the truth.

“Politics are fake”,  …… “Adapt or Die.” 

This is my view towards gentrification. And I am no hypocrite! I myself am also being forced out of Nashville due to not being able to afford the rising costs of rent. It is sad, but I cannot argue with political realism. I will pack my bags and see where I can thrive. This is the nature of our human existence.

Most of my activism focuses on reform, realism with a hint of idealism, and communication. However, when it comes to gentrification, there is no way around it. When wealthy individuals invade a small city, they will take it over, and the local government will salivate at the money to be made. The poor will be given transitional housing, and small acts of assistance, only to be slowly phased out. It has always been this way and it always will be. Cities crash and cities boom. Currently, Nashville is booming! If you aren’t a doctor, lawyer, business tycoon, or trust fund kid, then you probably aren’t feeling too confident living in metropolitan Nashville at the moment.

While my speech didn’t offer any “real” solutions, it did cause a silence amongst the crowd coupled with a bit of introspection. My words cut deep. The protesters knew that their plight was futile, and the politicians knew that this entire “hearing” on gentrification was nothing more than a formality.  I even encouraged some of the citizens to move to Missouri at one point in my speech. (I’m sure the councilman leader didn’t like those words!)

I wasn’t expecting to give a speech that day. It was impromptu, and I was little nervous, but I felt that it had to be said, thus, I took to the stand. After my words were completed, I said, “Thank you”, and simply walked off.

You could cut the tension in the room with a knife!

There were looks of disappointment on the faces of the protesters… as if I had revealed that Santa wasn’t real!

There were looks of cynical laughter on the faces of the politicians, as if I had belittled their power based in front of the public or as if I was just a peon.

Regardless, the truth was spoken!

In 20 years, Nashville will become a major city like Chicago or Manhattan, or the boom will stop, Nashville will crash and return to its former small city charm, whereas an influx of the lower-income brackets of society will return to their former homes.

As long as big business and big government remain friends, gentrification is here to stay.

-Randell Stroud

2017

Naliniglobal

Child Support Enforcement Agency, “We don’t care if you see your child.”

September 23,2017-

On September 23rd, 2017,  Memphis Legislator , Antonio Parkinson, held a “Block Party For Peace” event featuring a Townhall meeting with the Child Support Enforcement Agency. Onlookers had the chance to address concerns with the agency and lawmakers directly. In attendance was, Kenya Rahmaan, founder of the child-support reform organization known as the “Child Support Hustle”, with radioshow host, Marcus Echols, on deck. The CSEA sparred with Rahmaan and Echols regarding Child Support Issues. After an intense debate, a moderator opened the floor to the audience.

(Marcus Echols, Kenya Rahmaan, and Randell Stroud of Nalini-Global)

I had the chance to approach the stand and ask several questions. I asked the following questions…

“If homosexual couples divorce, there is no man vs woman scenario. The courts are forced to look at the situation equally as far as custody goes. Why can we not treat heterosexual divorces with the same eye?”

“Why don’t fathers receive representation and case workers to assist them? Under Civil law, we are not entitled to representation, however, with so many criminal sanctions being threatened, why not make an exception?”

“Why is there a child support enforcement agency but no Child Visitation enforcement Agency?”

The CSEA responded by saying that they are a “IV-D” federally funded agency, whereas custody issues  were not important to them. The representative from the CSEA said, “I know this sounds bad but, child support has no bearing on custody issues..we are a IV-D Agency”

(see video above)

What is Title IVD of the Social Security Act? The law states that, for ever dollar received in child support, the federal government agrees to pay the state with a matched amount in the form of a grant. More or less— They are making money from child support! Thus there is no incentive for shared parenting without child support being needed.

I tried to follow up with more questions but was quickly  ushered away.

Afterward, I had an opportunity to speak with Rep.Parkinson. I handed him a copy of my shadow report, “Global Human Trafficking in the Family Law Courts.”  

(Stroud and Rep.Parkinson) 

Mr.Parkinson did his best to remain neutral, but did agree that reform was needed. In fact, Mr.Parkinson himself sponsored a bill just last year that reduced retroactive support from indefinitely to 5 years.  A major step at reducing criminal arrearages for new child support cases.

Our dream is to eventually see a norm of default 50/50 custody. There should be no presumption that women are more qualified to be custodial parents based solely on gender.  Default 50/50 custody with no order of child support, unless otherwise warranted, should be the standard.

Regardless of where you stand, nearly everyone can agree that the family law system is in need of a serious update!

Stay tuned!

-Randell D Stroud

Nalini-Global 2017

Brave Utah Nurse Defends 4th Amendment from Police

Utah Nurse, Alex Wubbels, has been all over the headlines recently after an altercation between her and Utah police was posted online and went viral.  The incident happened July 26, when a car crash victim was admitted to the University of Utah Hospital burn unit; he was in a coma. Though the man was not a suspect in the wreck, which killed the other driver, police asked for his blood to be drawn.

According to CNN reports:

-“Wubbels, the charge nurse in the burn unit, presented the officers with a printout of hospital policy on drawing blood and said their request did not meet the criteria. Hospital policy specified police needed either a judge’s order or the patient’s consent, or the patient needed to be under arrest, before obtaining a blood sample.
 :
Salt Lake City Mayor,Jackie Biskupski ,said Wednesday the officers violated several city and department policies, including those pertaining to arrests, ethics and officer conduct. The officers have 20 days to respond to the results of the internal investigation, after which Chief Mike Brown will determine what employment action should be taken. The police department said it had no comment on the report. “
 :
Video shows Utah nurse arrested on the job
 :
Detective Jeff Payne eventually grabbed Nurse Wubbels when she demanded a search warrant before allowing the patient’s blood to be drawn. She was then arrested as the altercation became more aggressive on part of the officers involved. Payne and the other officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. As a Libertarian, and staunch supporter of constitutional law, let us examine exactly why Alex Wubbels is a hero, from both a legal and moral standard.
 :
Legally, Wubbels was defending not only her company hospital policy, but the 4th amendment of the United States Constitution, the supreme law of the land.  The 4th amendment of the Constitution reads as follows:
 :
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
 :
In this particular situation, the police are attempting to seize a man’s blood. Is blood considered personal property? Well, if we analyze any basic traffic stop, an officer who wants to seize a vehicle or any contents inside the vehicle, must first obtain the owner’s voluntary consent or obtain a certified judicial search warrant with probable cause established. If vehicles are considered personal property, it is easy to imagine that blood is the ultimate definition of personal property, a substance that is literally manufactured by our own bodies.   In 2013, the Supreme Court decided in Missouri v. McNeely ,  that the harvesting of blood in regards to a police investigation did require consent and/or a warrant.
Honestly, how would any of us feel if an officer could just walk up to us and say, “You look a little buzzed, roll up your sleeze, im drawing your blood now.” In 2015, the Tennessee Highway Patrol did just that with their  controversial “No refusal DUI checkpoint stops”, that were met with harsh criticism by civil liberties activists. Many even disobeyed and fought the constitutionality of such checkpoints. Regardless, search warrants were still issued during most of those check point stops.
A warrant creates a necessary roadblock between police and arbitrary abuse of power. It creates one last opportunity for a judge to look at the situation and say, “This officer doesn’t have the right to do this”,  or “This officer has the right”.  While many judges often distribute search warrants arbitrarily and unfairly, atleast it creates a small deterrence for officers to easily abuse their authority. And this is exactly why the founders drafted the 4th amendment the way they did. They were sick of the British walking into their houses and confiscating their good without any regard or debate of legalities.
This Utah nurse not only made a stand for the Constitution but also for human rights. The victim at hand was not accused of any crime  and the officers had no legal authority to take his property; i.e. his blood.  If the 4th amendment did not apply to our blood, it could create an opportunity for blood harvesting, experimentation, and all sorts of deadly scenarios.
In my Shadow Report,  Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform , I address the problem of “policing for profit”, whereas police departments often seize properties illegally, only to turn around and sell those items to profit their departments.  Civil asset Forfeiture is a huge concern all across this nation. I could only imagine if a market for blood was opened up to private corporations. It would create another fascist relationship between big pharma and big government.
Kudos to Alex Wubbels for defending life, liberty, and the 4th amendment of our Constitution.  It is a sad day in this country when a nurse is doing more to protect the 4th amendment than our elected congress members who passed laws like the Patriot Act which undermine the 4th amendment.
Maybe Ms.Wubbels should act as a Constitutional consultant to our Republican and Democratic leaders on what it means to strictly adhere to the founding principles of this nation which lead to the rise of what used to be known as— “The most free nation on Earth. “
I look forward to seeing Ms.Wubbels attain justice for the abuse she suffered protecting our beloved bill of rights.  She is a true role model to girls,boys,women, and men residing in this great nation of the United States and elsewhere.
Godspeed.
Nalini-Global
2017

Improving Government/Citizen relations

 

On August 22nd, 2017, I was invited to be a guest speaker for the “Decentralize Your Life Tour”.  A national tour spearheaded by Libertarian Activist, Derrick Broze, who often finds himself in the cross-hairs of government through his independent journalism. Mr.Broze covered the “Standing Rock” protests in the Dakotas and has traveled the world advocating for a freer society. Being involved in protests have often caused him legal troubles, which is common in the practice of civil disobedience.

His message was that of, “Opting out” of the system and finding non-governmental solutions to societies problems. A notion that seems to have much support these days in light of government sponsored controversies which so frequently headline our news media outlets today.

However, when it was my turn to speak, my message, albeit sympathetic to Mr.Broze’s message of “Laissez Faire Capitalism” and “community works”, I reminded the audience that our current system is here to stay for a long time and we must learn to harness its positivity while reducing its negativity, until it is potentially no longer needed.. Additionally, those who work in government are human beings with hearts who are capable of doing great change for the world themselves and should not be looked down upon. Changing a paradigm isn’t something that happens overnight, it requires a multi-tiered approach.

I outlined several abnormalities and injustices found today within the legal system and what we can do to educate and empower ourselves while in tandem, working with government officials. Reforms and innovations are both equally effective at creating a better world for those who live in it. With the rise of the Alt-Right and Alt-Left, (Neo-Nazis Vs Antifa), we are living in very polarizing times, however, I believe a middle-ground in these debates are just what the doctor ordered!

Watch the video below to check out my introductory speech. In the speech, I make reference to my shadow report regarding corruption in the family law courts. That report can be found on the “Human Rights Reporting Page” on this website.

  • Randell Stroud 2017 Nalini-Global

How to settle Legal Matters- A basic guide for Newbies

 

“Money makes the world spin”.  It’s a phrase that we all know very well. Credit cards, alimony, child-support, mortgages, student loans, business loans, ….with a current 19 Trillion debt, the United States and its citizens are buried in financial problems.  But, there is one thing that most of these aforementioned debts have in common, they can usually be mitigated with “settlements” and/or negotiations. However, in this article I will focus on basic lawsuits and criminal cases.

When we hear the word, “Settlement”, images of money are immediately conjured into our minds.  Most of the settlements we hear about in the media are for large sums, anywhere from $50K to millions of dollars, often involving celebrities or powerful business moguls.  Many people might ask, “If a party knows they are innocent, then why would they agree to settle the case?”

People settle cases for all kinds of reasons.

  1. Save on lawyer expenses
  2.  Avoid public attention
  3.  Reduce stress/Time in court
  4.  Reduce risks of harsher sanctions from potentially losing in a trial.

Defendants often settle criminal cases for “plea” bargains. (An admittance of guilt in exchange for a lighter punishment) for similar reasons that defendants agree to settle in civil cases.

Nobody likes being in court! It is costly, time consuming, stressful and can be somewhat intimidating. Whether you are being sued for a credit card debt or facing criminal charges, the potential of being garnished, put in jail, missing time away from work and family, the presence of armed guards, black robed judges, ect…. the entire process can be a bit frightening, especially for those who do not spend much time in the courts. (Which is usually most people unless you are a legal professional, police officer, or a habitual criminal.)

When we decide to settle a case, we have to weigh our options. Defendants and Plaintiffs settle for the same reasons believe it or not. If a defendant believes he has a weak defense or is simply fed up with the court process, he is likely to settle, if a plaintiff believes he has a weak argument or he is fed up with the court process, he is likely to settle. Time is money, and people do not like to have their’s wasted!

In essence, settlements happen when people come to a conclusion after assessing in their minds a “cost-benefit-analysis”.  Let us take a look at the perspective from a defendant and plaintiff’s point of view in a hypothetical discrimination case.

John sues Corporation-Z for racial discrimination.  John has several witnesses who have agreed to testify. Corporation-Z learns that these witnesses with be participating. Corporation-Z believes that John has a good chance at defeating them in court. Corp-Z offers John $10,000 to settle the case out of court. If John were to win the case in court, he would probably sue for much more in damages, however, if John takes the offer, he can save himself attorney fees and months (possibly years) going to court cases.

Although Corp-Z is in a disadvantageous position, they are well-funded and will be able to drag the case on for a long time. John is a simple 9 to 5 employee with very little resources. However, John feels that he has strong evidence and is unwilling to settle for $10,000, he refuses the offer and decides to see it through to the end. Corp-Z offers another amount for $15,000, John still refuses.

Corp-Z files several continuances to drag out the case. John is getting tired.

John later finds out that several of his key witnesses have decided not to testify. John is now getting worried. Corp-Z has not yet learned that the witnesses have backed out. The next court date is in 6 weeks. John must act fast! Due to these new circumstances, his chances to win the case have gotten much lower.

At this point, John has several options:

  1. Contact the defendant and accept their $15,000 settlement offer
  2.  Send the defendant one last counter offer for a higher amount before agreeing to settle.
  3.  Rebuild his case, look for new evidence, take the case to trial and potentially win big or end up with nothing if he loses.

Option 1 is the safest–  Defendants and Plaintiffs have the option to offer and/or withdraw settlement offers at ANY TIME. In this scenario, the defendant, Corp-Z is likely to accept to settle unless new evidence has been obtained.

Option 2 is a little risky–  In this situation, John has learned that his witnesses are refusing to testify. Corp-Z has not yet found out, however, if they do find out, they are very likely to withdraw any offers to settle, as they will be likely to defeat the suit. John can attempt to negotiate one last time to get a higher amount from the defendant, but it will take some time to sort out the particulars, and time is something John doesn’t have with a looming court date. The closer the trial date gets, the more likely the defendant is to find out about the witnesses backing out.

Option 3 is highly risky– If the case goes to a trial by jury and John has other evidence besides witness testimony, the jury could still see it his way. If his witnesses are his key pieces of evidence, then he is at high risk for losing. This option would require very careful consideration. If John wins the case through jury, he will likely receive a huge pay-out, if he loses the case, he could end up losing everything or even end up being counter-sued by Corporation-Z.

Factors to consider:

Is John poor? How bad does he need money? If he loses the case, will he still be financially sound? Is he looking for justice or a pay-out? What are his goals in this lawsuit? Is he mentally and emotionally prepared to stay in court for several more months?  These are questions John has to ask himself before making a decision on how to proceed.

 

From the Defendant’s perspective:

Corporation-Z is a business and they have a business to run. Handling these legal matters are a huge cost and burden on the operation. Negative publicity can also hurt the business extensively.  Even if Corporation-Z discovers that the plaintiff, John, has lost his key witnesses, it still may be beneficial for Corporation-Z to settle. Typically, when settlements occur, non-disclosure agreements must be signed stating that the allegations against the company cannot be publicly discussed.  If Corp-Z refuses to settle and defeats John, John may still end up retaining his right to discuss the trial and his allegations to public organizations causing bad press not to mention the extra legal fees it may take to try and sue John later for defamation.

In this situation, if Corp-Z discovers that John has lost his witnesses, Corp-Z can agree to settle, for the same amount previously offered or for a lower amount, (since Z now has bargaining power!) or Corp-Z can withdraw all offers and attempt to win in trial.

Corporate attorneys are famous for their slogan to , “Always settle, settle, settle”.

While Corporation-Z has a good chance at defeating John, they may end up spending triple the amount of their settlement offer attempting to defeat the suit, also, Corporation-Z isn’t fully aware if John has any other additional evidence that is not yet known.  Victory is not always guaranteed. In court, just as in a boxing match, the ability to appear weak when one is strong, and the ability to appear strong when one is weak, is very crucial in the negotiation process of settling a case.

Timing:

Losing a lawsuit that goes to trial can result in dire consequences.

  1. Income garnishments
  2.  Loss of employment as a result of being garnished by multiple entities
  3. Loss of public reputation
  4. property being seized
  5. injunctions being placed against yourself or your business
  6. liens being places on your assets
  7. Tax refunds being withheld
  8.  Negative credit score

(These are just a few examples)

Some may be tempted to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in light of being sued for a debt, however, I wouldn’t recommend doing so unless your debts exceed $10,000. I’ll save that discussion for another article.

Timing is very critical when it comes to successfully mitigating a civil or criminal case. Let’s say you owe a credit card company $10,000.  Typically, after you default on your loan for more than 90 days, the credit card company will likely sell your debt to a third party collector. A few months to a year later, you are likely to be served with a warrant stating that you are being sued for the amount by the third party debt collector who purchased the debt for pennies on the dollar.

Once the lawsuit is filed, the creditor now has the upper-hand. Since you have essentially ignored all attempts to collect, it is assumed that you are avoiding the debt and do not have the means to pay it back. A smarter decision would have been to inquire about hardship programs or attempt to settle the debt with a partial amount before you were sued. (Always get everything in writing).  However, since things have escalated to a court hearing, the creditor now probably believes that they have a great chance to win the case.

When most people owe a debt, they stick their heads in the sand and do nothing. If you are sued for a credit card debt, your goal now is to re-establish your bargaining power! Even if you owe the debt, make them prove it! File an answer to the lawsuit, file a discovery request, ask for continuances! ( I can help you do these things by offering a template to follow.) Once the creditor sees that you aren’t going to be like the other 99% of people who don’t show up to court and allow for a default judgement, the creditor will be likely willing to settle the debt for a fraction of what they are suing you for.

While you are fighting the lawsuit, whether your intention is to get it dismissed through lack of evidence,lack of itemization or your goal is to settle the debt for a lesser amount, you must act swiftly! If you do intend to settle the debt, be sure to make the number attractive but not too high. If you owe $10,000, offer them 30%, because they are likely to counter back asking for 50%.

If the creditor is not willing to settle and/or you lose the case, enroll in a “slow-pay” program. That’s right! If you lose a lawsuit, you can enroll in a “slow-pay” program whereas you may only be paying $20 a month or so to the creditor. (Albeit for a very long time!).  Through the slow-pay process, you can pay with a check or money order. In order for the plaintiff (or creditor) to garnish your wages, they have to get an approved garnishment order from a court. If you miss a single-payment through the slow-pay program, some jurisdictions automatically issue a garnishment order because of your lack of ability to keep your promise to pay.

Federal law protects workers from being fired if they are being garnished by a single entity. However, if two or more entities are garnishing you, federal law allows employers to fire you because of the administrative burden your garnishment orders are costing to the company you work for.

Any legal case must be taken seriously whether it be criminal or civil. Even traffic court can cost us! If you ignore a traffic ticket, don’t be surprised if you later find out that your drivers license has been revoked! Reinstating a revoked license is time consuming and can cost hundreds, even thousands, depending on the liens placed upon the license.

In many criminal cases, district attorneys will offer “plea deals”. This “deal” is basically where you agree to admit guilt in exchange for a lighter punishment. Plea deals can benefit both parties. The district attorney meets his conviction quota, you receive a lighter sentence than you would if you lost your trial, and the process of court is sped up.

Going back to the lessons we learned earlier about, “Appearing strong when you are weak, and to be weak when you are strong”, accepting plea deals is an art within itself just as accepting settlements are.

Example:

John is accused of stealing a car. John maintains that he is innocent.

John’s witnesses didn’t show up to court.

The state offers him a plea deal.  Admit guilt and you will only face 6 months in jail.

John refuses! The trial continues

The state is having a hard time presenting evidence against John.

The state offers a new plea deal.

“1 month in jail with 6 months probation.”

John again refuses and demands a jury.

The jury hears John’s defense and the state’s allegations against him.

The jury decides that John is guilty! John will be sentenced to 3 years in prison.

John should have taken the plea deal!

Now, this is a worse case scenario! Just as in our lawsuit example earlier with, “Corporation-Z”, many factors come into play.

Let us replay the scenario. This time, John has several alibis and video surveillance of the vehicle being stolen that he managed to find on the internet. The video is low-quality but the suspect appears to have red-hair, John has brown hair!

John challenges the state’s claim. The state claims that John merely dyed his hair brown and his alibis are lying about where he was during the alleged carjacking!

John is confident in his defense and refuses all plea deals.

The jury finds John innocent!

Had John taken a plea deal, he would have ruined his record and served time for a crime he never committed! However, the jury could have still convicted him. No matter how confident you feel in your case, always prepare for the unexpected and don’t be afraid to appeal if necessary to buy yourself more time.

When to refuse a plea deal or when to take one, is no different than debating on whether or not to take a settlement. Many innocent men and women have taken plea deals for crimes they didn’t commit on the advice of their attorney who advised their client that the evidence is just too strong against them; even though they maintain their innocence.

Some defendants value their honor so much, that they resolve to never take a plea deal regardless of the consequences, whereas others make informed decisions in an effort to preserve themselves. In law, there is no “black or white”, “right or wrong” choice. Everything is about weighing risks vs rewards.  Every situation is completely different.

Who is the judge presiding over this case? Who are the jurors? What state is this case being held in? What do the state laws say? Are you in a liberal state or a conservative state? Does your lawyer have a good reputation or a bad reputation? Are you handling this case pro-se? Do you have any experience with legal matters?

These are all questions that can drastically effect the outcome of a case, or as I call them , “The intangible factors”.  In your heart, you may know that you are innocent, or feel that your case is valid, however, it isn’t always about what you “feel”, it’s about what you can convincingly present to the courts in conjunction with applicability of the law.

If you are involved in a lawsuit or criminal case as either a plaintiff or defendant, be sure to check out our “Legal Services” page.  Our programs there offer legal defense funds for people starting as low as $20 per month with unlimited consultations with licensed attorneys.  If you want to consult with me personally, follow instructions on my Consulting Page .  I can offer you one-time friendly advice, educational lessons, templates, and other resources to you, however I cannot offer you legal advice as I am not a licensed attorney, thus, anything I advise you on will have to be taken as “friendly” advice, not legal advice.  I have been working in the legal-field as paralegal/researcher for about 7 years and have experience in various jurisdictions and areas of law.

feel free to contact me Naliniglobal@yahoo.com 

 

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Randell Stroud