Archive for January 2011

Hitting The Lawsuit Lottery

Not much drives me crazier than when someone talks about a person who got millions in a lawsuit and refers to them as hitting the lottery.  I have yet to see a person whom I would trade places with in order to collect their millions.  Most in those positions are paralyzed, brain damaged or dead.... Read more »

How To Get Out Of Jury Duty

How To Get Out Of Jury Duty
There are a bunch of myths about how to get out of jury duty, and there are some things that actually do work, like telling them you’re an attorney.  The best one I’ve ever heard is George Carlin’s line that he’d make a great juror because he can tell a guilty person just by looking... Read more »

A New Home for Hookers

A special court was set up in Cook County this month, and it’s just for prostitutes. The goal is to rehabilitate people charged with felony prostitution, a group that largely contains repeat offenders. Prostitution is usually a misdemeanor offense at first, but after several offenses, it becomes a felony. The new court is a pilot... Read more »
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The Fallacy of School Rankings (Except For Having Fun)

A couple of weeks ago, I had a blog post on how law students are struggling to get jobs.  In that post I mentioned about how un-transparent law school rankings are.  I received the following e-mail from a friend who is head of admissions for a big time medical school. Read your most recent blog... Read more »

Killers and Life Insurance

Back in 2005, a Joliet man was stabbed in his bedroom and died. His wife was in the room. She said she was holding the knife because they were arguing and he had gotten physical with her. She said he then threw himself at the knife, stabbing himself in the heart. It certainly sounds suspicious,... Read more »

Being Fired For Being a Packers Fan

  By now you’ve probably heard the story of John Stone, a seemingly very good car salesman who was fired by his Oak Lawn employer (and Chicago Bears sponsor) for wearing a Green Bay Packers tie to work yesterday. Allegedly his boss told him to take the tie off.  Stone apparently thought his boss was... Read more »
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This Is Why We Need Health Care Reform

To me, the biggest problem with health care is that if you have a claim denied, your recourse is basically non-existent.  You can sue, but if you do, your damages are limited to the bills that the insurer won’t pay.   So basically they have no incentive for doing the right thing.  Case in point, the... Read more »

Waiting tables isn't just for struggling actors - it's for lawyers, too.

There is nothing wrong with earning a living by waiting tables.  My glory days of singing the birthday song at Bennigans were some of the best of my life.  I got to wear all the pieces of flair I could find. Like I said, nothing wrong with that unless of course you just spent $200,000... Read more »

The Cops and Your Garbage

The Cops and Your Garbage
The cops can look through your garbage. It’s considered a legal search that doesn’t violate your rights, and it happens all the time in Illinois. It came up recently in a Deerfield murder case, the one where the victim was the pregnant girlfriend of former Bears player Shaun Gayle. After the police identified the defendant... Read more »
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Is This The Basis of Getting An Arrest Thrown Out?

Drug-sniffing dogs are wrong a lot of the time, according to a recent article/investigation in the Tribune. This is a scary thought, although not completely surprising. According to information from some suburban Chicago police departments, their dogs were wrong 44% of the time, meaning they signaled that they smelled drugs but nothing was found after... Read more »
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    Michael Helfand

    I am a lawyer who talks like a regular person. I provide direct, honest advice, and if needed, I will recommend a lawyer to you.

  • In 2001, I started www.fingreatlawyers.com. It is a free service, and I talk to people about their Illinois legal matters. I'm not the place to find a free lawyer, but I only suggest Illinois attorneys that I'd recommend to my own family members and friends. Call me at (312) 346-5320 any time if you have any legal questions.
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