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Barrister Bits - Legal Questions Answered - by Debra Newby

Do you have a legal question on your mind? If so, please email me at debra@newbylawoffice.com. Your name will remain confidential. This Q & A Legal Column is intended as a community service to discuss general legal principles and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Debra A. Newby is a resident of Monte Rio and has practiced law for 34 years. She is a member of the California, Texas and Sonoma County Bar Associations and currently maintains an active law office in Santa Rosa which emphasizes personal injury law (bicycle/motorcycle/motor vehicle accidents, dog bites, trip and falls, etc.) and expungements (clearing criminal records). Debra can be reached via email (debra@newbylawoffice.com), phone (707-526-7200), or fax (526-7202).

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2019-05-26May 26, 2019

Our Sonoma County roads do seem to be getting a little more crowded and dangerous.  For example, look at the busy intersection near Stony Point Road and Highway 12, where at least three hit-and-runs have occurred over the last 6-8 months.  It does not shock me that some drivers are inattentive.  I see it all the time in my personal injury practice.  Certainly, my readers also see it all the time on our local roads.  Texting while driving.  Zipping in and out of lanes of traffic, without signaling.  The list goes on and on.  Our roads have become a type of battlefield.   The laws of physics are unforgiving and unwavering.  Newton’s laws of motion do not discriminate.  I can only speculate why a driver would flee the scene.  Perhaps they were already breaking the law (under the influence of drugs or alcohol).  Perhaps they do not even own the car and are scared of the consequences.  Perhaps they have no sense of morals or conscious.  Perhaps they have no automobile insurance. 

 

2019-03-23Mar 23, 2019

I am going through a nasty divorce so I hired a family law attorney last month.  The initial retainer was $3500, which I paid.  I just received the first itemized bill, and all of the $3500 is spent (and now the attorney wants another $5000)!  When I reviewed the itemized bill, it looks like the attorney is charging me outrageous amounts, like $100 an hour for a secretary to organize and set-up my file, $150 an hour for the paralegal to review the file, and of course the whopping $400 an hour every time the attorney touches the file.  Are there any rules or guidelines regarding how attorneys can bill? 

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