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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Lawyering up

Go ahead, drive like an idiot. Then, just hire a lawyer:

Whether you live in South Bend, Crown Point, Indianapolis, Valparaiso, or another Indiana town or city, you may have racked up a few traffic tickets. You may not think that traffic tickets warrant engaging the services of a criminal defense lawyer, but if you\'re faced with the potential suspension of your driver\'s license, you might want to think again.

[. . .]

What many people do not realize is that, if you have accumulated those eighteen points, a good lawyer can help prevent your driver\'s license from being suspended. He does this by working with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to dismiss or excuse older traffic tickets for relatively minor infractions. If, for example, you have eighteen points but have a ticket for speeding that is twenty-two months old, an attorney can work to get that old two-point ticket dismissed. When he succeeds, you are left with only sixteen points and no cause for license suspension.

One of the values of the Internet, I guess. Once upon a time, only hoods, robber barons and politicians could afford to keep attorneys on retainer for the sole purpose of getting them off when their accumulated sins finally got noticed. Now, every American has the ability to plot such a strategy.

I've needed a lawyer exactly three times in my life: 1. When I was in an automobile accident; it was the other guy's fault, but the insurance company, which covered us both, was reluctant to see it that way. 2. When I stupidly got cited for a DUI; my fault, my fault. 3. When I got divorced; both of us at fault. In all three cases, my first task was, "Oh, my God, how do I get a lawyer?" In two of the cases, I went with somebody I knew, in one case somebody I had encountered through my journalistic duties, in the other someone I had served on a board with. In the third case, I used the bar association's referral service.

That is surely the old-fashioned, haphazard way of dealing with legal issues. Interestingly, only in the first case, when I had no fault at all, was I satisfied with the lawyer's services. Got an observation for you. (Forgive me, all the lawyers who read this blog and those I know and have a good relationship with; mark it down to my sense of humor unregulated by sensitivity.) What's the difference between a doctor and a lawyer?

Answer: You hate doctors until you need one, then you love them. You hate lawyers until you need one, then you hate them even more.


Fri, 09/21/2007 - 8:56am

Please, Leo. After all, lawyers have feelings, too.....allegedly.

Bob G.
Fri, 09/21/2007 - 10:34am

Guess SHAKESPEARE got it right then.