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When Do You need a Lawyer? Scenarios Will be discussed!

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer
The Truth Network Radio
October 1, 2022 3:00 pm

When Do You need a Lawyer? Scenarios Will be discussed!

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer

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October 1, 2022 3:00 pm

On this week's edition of The Outlaw Lawyer Whitaker & Hamer Attorneys discuss a recent Life hack list that Josh Whitaker came across. Joining Josh in studio will be fellow firm attorneys Cassandra Nicholas, and Taylor Scruggs-Smith. Joe Hamer chimes in remotely to discuss the latest legal topics. 

If you are facing a legal situation and have questions

call Whitaker & Hamer 800-659-1186.

Leave your name, contact information, and briefly what the call is about. An Attorney with Whitaker & Hamer will be in touch.

Legal, Attorney, Lawyer, Lawsuit, Trial, Courtroom, 

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This week on The Outlaw Lawyer, Josh, Joe, Cassandra and Taylor discuss the law and how it affects everything around us. And as always, here at The Outlaw Lawyer, our attorneys tackle all the day's most urgent burning legal questions. Such as, when do you need a lawyer? In what legal situations might you not need a lawyer?

Why does Josh like top ten lists? Alright, that's all coming up on The Outlaw Lawyer. Welcome in to The Outlaw Lawyers. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer are your hosts and the managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, practicing attorneys here in the great state of North Carolina. In studio with us today, Cassandra Nicholas and Taylor Scrugg-Smith, also attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer. We've got Joe remote.

He's working remotely and he's also on the show, so he's multitasking. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. Again, it's all legalese each and every week here on the show. If you've got a situation you're facing and you need answers to questions, well, here's how you can do it. You can call Whitaker and Hamer, 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. Leave your contact information, briefly what the call is about, and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. You can always email your questions to the show.

That's We'll answer those on future programs. And just a reminder, Whitaker and Hamer, they have offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Varina, Gastonia.

Now in Moorhead City. Again, let's get into it. Josh, what's up first? Well, Morgan, as you know, we are attorneys, right? You know that? Yeah, that's why we do the show.

That's right. So we are attorneys and we do this show to talk about legal topics. Sometimes we'll handle legal questions we get from listeners. We try to dole out some legal knowledge every week. That's the whole purpose of the show.

That's why we're here. And we're going to do some of that today. But before we get to that, before we got on on air, before we started recording today, we had a good conversation going that has nothing to do with the law at all. But I wanted to pose a question to everybody.

Just continue this non-legal topic. What is banter, banter, right? Chatter. But I thought it was interesting. So I'm going to pose this question. We didn't get around to everybody before we got on air. What is the most famous movie, most popular movie that you have never seen? Right?

I think that's I think that's how we're going to phrase the question. The most popular, famous movie that you have never seen. And I'll go first because I have many as you as you guys we talked about on the show. I miss a lot of movies on purpose, but I have not seen I've never seen Titanic. Never will go to my grave. Not having seen Titanic. And I've never seen Avatar.

And I'm a good in my grave. Having not seen it's a garbage. Avatar is there. I'm making sure he's not getting confused with like Avatar, you know, the last Airbender. Josh, have you been to Disney World? I have not. Okay, I was gonna say they have an entire area. Pandora's there.

Yeah, you can appreciate that without seeing. So when you go with the kids, and they go, Dad, let's go. Let's go to Pandora.

Let's go to the Avatar. And you're gonna be like, nope, I haven't seen the movie. So I'm not going on the ride. Well, I've convinced my children that going to Disney is a waste of money, right? So I've been putting that in their brains early. Your poor children. They're all they're all bought in.

They're all bought into it. Joshua. Yes. Have you seen Dances with Wolves? I have not. Oh, I was gonna say you've seen Dances with Wolves. You've seen Avatar. Have you seen Bull Durham? I've seen Bull Durham.

I'm not a weirdo. Bull Durham can't find a connection to Avatar. But I'm glad you've seen it. Famous movie I've never seen. I think I've seen clips and I refuse to watch it all the way.

The Notebook. I absolutely refuse. I do not care. But Nicholas Sparks lives in North Carolina. I don't care. He does.

He does. And that's kind of a new burn. And I want to support North Carolinians. I'm very pro North Carolina. And we talked about this one time.

This is the Luke Combs problem. I don't like Luke Combs music. He's from here. I think he's a Carolina fan, right? He's an App State guy. He's an App State. Eric Church, also App State, but he's a Carolina fan.

But yeah, we definitely don't like that guy then. But no, I love Church and the Lord, but. All right, so I'm with you, Taylor. Notebook is out for me.

No Notebook for me. Like all of his movies. I just want you to know I'm not the person that watches a lot of deep romantic movies. I am into Lord of the Rings. I watched Avatar. I watched Avatar and I am dizzy. I haven't seen Lord of the Rings.

You're killing me. None of them. But I intend to. I don't have like a moral stance against it.

I would do that. I enjoyed I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings. Joseph, you watch a ton of movies, don't you? Yeah, I've seen like I can't even think of one, man. A famous popular movie you haven't seen. I've seen them all. Yeah, I've probably seen them all. Did you actually watch Harry Potter? Yeah, I've seen all the Harry Potters like 82. I got kids, man.

I got kids. We've never watched those in our house. We've never watched any of the Harry Potter. You've never watched anything, man. And the kids, the kids, they haven't on their own, haven't become interested in them.

I mean, they have their bread, they have their water and you swim to bed. Yeah, I've seen all the movies, but Avatar didn't do it didn't do it for me. It didn't resonate with me.

I don't understand. And then, you know, they've been developing sequels for like ever since they since like the original film came out and they're shooting them like all back to back. Anyways, I saw it in theaters. It was long, but I saw it, too, in theaters.

And it was like at the time it was like the new 3D technology and they kind of sucked in with that. We went to IMAX the first day, made a big thing of it. And it was just it just kind of was, man, just kind of was, you know, how about you, Morgan? You know, sadly, I'm a huge movie person, so I mean, all the big movies I've seen. That's what I'm talking about, Morgan.

That's the way to live your life. And even even a even a better question on movies is, is there a movie that you come across? And obviously, Josh, you're out of this conversation. There's a movie that comes across when it's just on and you have to watch it. I mean, even though you've seen it.

Sweet Home Alabama last night. Good one. Yeah.

Good one. Great. Yeah.

Yeah. Most people associate it was like this whole vampire werewolf, like when they when it was really big and popular. And it was like without all the CGI was like not too long after Blade. I've never seen any of those movies. Were you about to say, Morgan? I was just going all those movies. I was just going to watch them if they were on the Godfather and Godfather two. If they're on, I can't stop watching. A lot of people, a lot of people around me get really irritated because Goodfellas is kind of like, are you watching it again?

Like, yeah. That's how I am with Disney movies. If I see Beauty and the Beast, the original on, I'm not changing the channel. I saw the Godfather for the first time last fall in theaters because it was its 50th anniversary. So they had it back in the theater and that was a great way to see it. Yeah.

I mean, that's it's just an awesome flick. I watched Talladega Nights. Frequently. What's several times in a row today? All right. Well, that had nothing to do with the law, so we'll move on. But I thought it was an interesting conversation because we were sitting around the Lord of the Rings thing really floored me because we watched that a million times. But anyway, we do have legal topics today.

Today we're gonna do something we haven't done. Somebody sent me a list. I think it was a list, but it was entitled 11 situations where you need a lawyer and three where you don't. And I disagree with a lot of the things on this list, but I figured this would be a good jumping off point for some general advice when you might want to consult with an attorney, when you might not need to consult with an attorney. What attorneys normally charge for different kinds of consultations.

I know we've talked about that a little bit here and there on the show, but that's what we're going to do today. We've got 14 situations where you may or may not need an attorney. We thought we'd expand on this list. I'm not a huge fan of these kind of list because the person who put this together, I don't I don't remember their name, but they weren't listed as an attorney.

I think it's just somebody who makes up lists for some website that has lists. And so that's all this is. But we're going to put a we're going to put four attorneys on this list, looking at it and evaluating it and and giving you some advice. And that's the that's the show this week, Morgan. All right.

Well, we will get to that list again. It will be legalese after this first segment, the outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer are your hosts. They are the managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm and again, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina and joined in studio today. Cassandra Nicholas and Taylor Scruggs Smith, also attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer. They have offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Farina, Gastonia, and now in Morehead City.

If you've got a legal situation that you are facing, you've got questions and you need some answers. I have a phone number for you. 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact info briefly what the call is about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch and you can always email your questions to the show. Questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com and we'll answer those questions on a future program.

And please check out the website, the outlaw lawyer dot com. Now, before we go to break, Taylor came in last week wearing an outlaw lawyer hoodie. Now, do we have merch and is it on the website? We do have merch. We have, you know, if you've if you've seen our logo, if you've been to the website. Oh, it's a cool logo. I really like the logo.

It's a great logo. But we do have hats. We do have sweatshirts, but they're not for sale and they're not on the website yet. We're working on that. But if you have any interest in owning any outlaw merchandise, you can contact us. We've got some we're hiding away for right now. Am I right?

All of those proceeds go to go to charity or does it just go to they go to my kids Disney fund? It's a very comfy hoodie. The greatest cheer. The anti avatar. Yeah, I like it. OK. All right. Well, we'll come back after the break. And again, we're going to get into life hack. There's a list and you don't want to miss it.

That's coming up next. Welcome back into the Outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm. They are your hosts. Also joining us in studio today, Cassandra Nicholas and Taylor Scruggs Smith, also attorney at Whitaker and Hamer offices located.

Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Varina, Gastonia, Morehead City, the moon. I mean, they're everywhere. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. We get into the legalese topics. You may have a situation that you're facing.

You may have questions. I've got a phone number for you. Get in touch with Whitaker and Hamer. Call 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact info briefly what the call is about. An attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And as always, you can email the show questions at the and we will answer those questions on a future broadcast. Where are we going? We're going to go to the life hack list that was sent to you.

Josh, are you found? This was sent to me. So people people will talk to me during the week. And a lot of times that's what I talk about on the show. Just questions I get asked during the week. Things that come up in conversation. But this somebody sent me this list and I took a look at it. And again, not a not a great list for content, but I think a great list for discussion.

So we got this list again is entitled 11 situations where you need a lawyer and three where you don't. Before we jump into this, I didn't want to mention, you know, you may be listening to us on the radio. We're on a lot of radio stations throughout North Carolina. You may be listening to us as a podcast. So we do deliver the show as both a radio show every week and as a podcast.

Our show was nominated for a I hope I get this right. Twenty twenty two people's choice podcast award for best news podcast in the world. Right now is that movie news or is that legal news?

What is that? I don't remember news news in general, but I think this is it's funny because I think it also encompassed politics, which we we stay away from news and not political. So I don't know. Joe, you weren't with us last week. I mean, last week we talked about the legal ads that were bashing attorneys and you guys had a great conversation about that. So we kind of know. Yeah, I've seen like four fliers in the mail this week, like bashing wily nickel. But I've seen all the ads about.

Did you stab your landlord in the face? Wily nickel. You know, I those those those get me. But I thought that was his real ad, man.

And I was like, man, this guy. So I was happy when I got the news that we were nominated as a podcast. You know, we really enjoy doing the show. We get a lot out of it on our end. Hopefully it's helpful to to the folks who listen.

We hear from a lot of folks that listen. And so that has been very rewarding for us. But it was nice to get nominated for the People's Choice podcast. You know, the one thing that stood out to me, I hope we win this prestigious award.

That'd be very nice. We'll tell you about it. I think the award show is this end of this month. I think they're going to I think it's nine thirty. Are we going to have the awkward cutaways when they announce the award and we're sitting there and we're waiting to win. And we're going to be there in person.

Josh is wearing a sleeveless tank top. He's going to get a tattoo. I'm going to win this. You get it tatted on your chest.

I'm going to go naked unless I get an outlaw lawyer. Yeah. All right. We got to make that definitely win. We got to make that urgent. Put us in another category.

I am not as happy as I am to be nominated as much as I hope that we win one of the other nominees in the category. Sandra, who's who's the dark horse candidate for that? It is the problem with Jon Stewart.

That's right. So Jon Jon Stewart of Daily Show fame has a very good podcast. I had never listened to it until we got nominated. I listened to a couple of episodes yesterday.

Very good podcast, as you would expect from someone as accomplished as Jon Stewart. But it's all right. Basically a copycat. That's right.

Essentially, he's a hack. So we're we're up against some pretty big competition, but one of 10 with Jon Stewart. I'm pleased.

It's a nice neighborhood. So anyway, that's that's something we'll be looking at. We don't expect to take home the trophy there, but I will certainly update it.

But if anyone wants to watch, it's going to be streamed live on podcast awards dot com at 9 p.m. on September 30th. Yep. Yep. So we'll we'll let you know how that goes. But anyway, back to our list. All right. So we've got this list, 11 situations where you need a lawyer, three where you don't.

Hopefully we'll make our way through the whole list. The first one, the first situation where you need a lawyer on this list is a complex or nasty divorce. That's the that's the terminology they used. Attorneys wouldn't really use that terminology. Attorneys would just probably just say divorce. But that's a good that's a good point, right? So you got a divorce happening where maybe, you know, when you're getting divorced, people usually aren't getting along very well. Right.

That's how we get there. Right. Sometimes there's some financial stress involved. There's some there's some kids. There's some there's some assets. Taylor, you'd probably agree. That's probably a situation where the average person would probably want to consult with an attorney. Yes, definitely agree. So when I was actually reading the article, I kind of had to chuckle myself a couple times because, you know, they made the comment about, you know, if you guys agree, there's no real need for an attorney, which of course I would disagree with because I haven't encountered one where an attorney is not necessary.

Not yet. Even when people agree, they write out their own agreements, which under North Carolina law most of the time isn't effective or valid or legal. So it's like, please just get the attorney so you know that your agreement on these assets is binding and not just, you know, worth the paper you wrote it on. I was trying I was trying to think of a divorce situation where an attorney might not need to get involved. And so the situation in my head was, you know, two people married, but they each had homes right in their sole name. They each had their bank accounts separate and they didn't have kids. And they just decided they didn't want to be married anymore. Just like a handshake.

Absolute. It's like two homeless people. Just we don't really have any kids. We don't have any assets. You basically, there's nothing to litigate over. There's nothing, you know, there's no, you know, and then that's probably a divorce or maybe an attorney doesn't have to get involved.

Maybe. But even then, it's going to be annoying having to go to court, having to do the pleading. Like there's most people don't draft the pleadings. Right. So they end up in court longer because they don't know the court process for how to get divorced. So like they have to try to get the divorce three different times, which could take, you know, a year just trying to get that done correctly.

But even in a situation where, you know, two people have houses of their own in their own name, if you bought those during the marriage, somebody might still want a deed saying, you know, you're giving up your rights in this or. Yeah. And even if not, you've got to deal with the appreciation and value since the time that you've gotten married. Exactly. And then there's always the thing people forget about in retirement accounts. Most people don't think about that. So right when they file and then they want to argue about the retirement accounts.

Yeah. And, and, you know, there's that period too, you know, in North Carolina, we're one of the states that you have to be separated for, for a year before a day, a year and a day, a year and a day, and a day before you can file for, for a divorce. And so a lot of times to, to survive, uh, just to do normal things as an individual, you know, a separation agreement or a free trader agreement, you're going to need something like if you're going to go buy your next house, you really want to make sure you've, you've handled everything that you can handle. So during that separation period, you're operating as a, not single person, but you're operating as independently of your spouse as you can, you can operate. And there's a lot of fine print, uh, things that you need to be aware of and the folks who, you know, pull a form online and try their best to write it out, you know, please don't use online forms. Some of those have said under the laws of Ohio and you're clearly in North Carolina, North Carolina, every, every state has got some good laws, every state has their, their different, their different ways of tackling issues.

And, and, uh, you know, you're, say you're in Iowa, your separation agreement, Iowa that quotes Iowa statutes may not transfer to North Carolina very well for things like real property and, and custody and things like that. So very, uh, it's very easy. I guess, I guess there is a divorce out there that could be simple enough, uh, where you don't, you don't mess it up or you don't, you know, prejudice yourself somehow. But most divorces, most separations require an attorney and it, you know, no one, we're all attorneys. So I guess, you know, I try to, when I'm giving people advice, I try to tell them things like, okay, you could probably do this on your own. You don't have to hire me.

I could make it a lot easier for you, but you, you could probably get through blank. Right. And so I always try to be very honest with people cause I don't want them to think that I automatically advise them to get an attorney even if they don't just cause I'm an attorney.

Right. And we definitely don't do that in terms of family law. Um, but the thing is, even if you're filing a divorce by yourself, the clerks can't answer questions or give you legal advice. So the court itself can't answer any of your questions if you don't understand the paperwork.

They can only give you the paperwork to fill out. So if you're not sure about what you're doing, that's not really helpful. All right. We got a lot of things to get through in this list. That's, that's number one situations where you may need an attorney, a complex or nasty divorce. We're going to update that to say probably any divorce and all divorces, but especially the nasty ones.

That's right. And then, and then to, you know, you're probably going to want two attorneys, right? Each party is going to want their own attorney. Uh, most attorneys are unable.

There's some ethics rules about what they can do for both spouses. And so it's not like you guys are both going to go in and talk to the same attorney. Um, so some attorneys are probably gonna have to get involved in that situation, but that's going to take us to number two, which is not a big issue nationwide. This might be a, might be a big topic in North Carolina.

It's not, uh, well, at least part of it. So the first part of the situation, they're saying you will, you may need a lawyer for a wrongful termination or discrimination in the workplace. And so discrimination in the workplace is obviously a nationwide problem that, that would require an attorney's involvement. Wrongful termination, we're a at will state. So wrongful terminations, that's a tough one to prove in North Carolina. Um, discrimination in the workplace. Those are federal laws, right?

So if you're suffering discrimination in the workplace, um, there are federal laws that apply to that. You definitely might have, um, you would want to, I can't imagine anybody doing anything in these situations on their own. I would think there's going to be litigation here, right? You're going to have to get an attorney involved, I would think. Yeah, that seems like a good idea. Uh, I've only had one- I think to clarify that point, you know, you don't have to get an attorney involved, but I think your chances of success are basically zero without, uh, getting an attorney involved. I think that's the better way to put it.

Absolutely. Um, I've only had one consult regarding this at all. A lot more of the time if I'm having any consults regarding employment, it's about like an employment contract, non-compete stuff.

And that's a good, that's a good thing to say here. So if you, if you're, if you're an at will employee, that means there's no contract between you and your lender. You're not a 1099 contractor. Your employer's just hired you to work in their store, their office, and they can fire you for any reason or no reason. They can't fire you for an illegal reason, right?

You know, so it has to, it can't be, um, it can't be anything illegal, but that is definitely different. If you have an employment contract and you get terminated, that's a breach of contract issue. That's a, that's not a, that's not a wrongful termination, at least not in the way that attorneys think about it.

But, uh, that's number two on our list. Um, and again, not, we don't see a whole lot of this, but general advice is you're going to want to consult with an attorney if something like that happens. You can tell an attorney, a non-attorney wrote this list. Um, but number three on this is lawsuits, right? Lawsuit.

Just in general, what do you need a lawyer for that for? So in this example from this, this person who wrote this list, lawsuit is someone sued you, right? For something, uh, I'm guessing that what they meant was like a contractual issue. Like we just kind of mentioned breach of contract, but somebody is suing you for money, right?

You, you did something wrong. You breached a contract. Um, and yes, I would, I would say a consultation with an attorney on, uh, once you've been sued is, is important. However, I want to jump ahead a little bit to the last part of this list, the three parts where three instances where this person says you do not need an attorney and it has small claims court, so you can be sued, but the amount in North Carolina is under $10,000 and it's in small claims court. Um, I think you can do that on your own, but so number three that you need an attorney for a lawsuit when you're being sued is kind of mixed messages with the other part of the list.

And number three, I think we're going to have to break down number three and we're up against a break. So I think we're going to break down a lawsuits next Morgan. Okay.

Sounds good. Again, we're going over 11 situations. If we can get to them all where you need a lawyer. And we also have a few that you may not need a lawyer, but remember, uh, we're not quite sure who put this list together. So we've got attorneys on the case and we'll talk about again, lawsuits coming up on the other side, but also DUI, drug charges, car accident with injury, criminal charges.

Those are just a few of the topics coming up on the other side. You're listening to the Outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer are your hosts. They're the managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer law firm offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Varina, Gastonia, and now in Morehead city and in studio today with us more attorneys, Cassandra Nicholas and Taylor Scruggs Smith. Also with Whitaker and Hamer law firm. If you've got a legal question you are facing, uh, and you have questions and you need some answers, well, you can call this number 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

And again, leave your contact info briefly. What that calls about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And again, email your questions to the show. We'll answer them on future broadcast questions at

We're back right after this. Welcome back into the Outlaw lawyers hosted by Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer law firm. They have offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Varina, Gastonia, and now in Morehead city. They are practicing attorneys here in North Carolina and visiting with us in studio. And they're becoming regulars, Cassandra Nicholas and Taylor Scruggs Smith, also attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer. And today's show dedicated to 11 situations where you need a lawyer and we have a few where you possibly don't need a lawyer. And again, we throw this in.

This is from It is a list and apparently not put together by an attorney. And we are on lawsuits and we're going to continue that discussion, Josh. Yes.

This is a big topic here. And the more, the more we talked about this, so we, if you get sued, you can get sued in a couple of places, right? This is a, this would be a civil issue, right?

A breach of contract, something like that. You get, you can get sued in federal court, which is very serious. If you get sued in federal court, I can't think, I can't think of a situation where I would ever advise you not to talk to an attorney if you get sued in federal court. But anyway, you can get sued in state court. In state court, there's superior court, which is usually cases involving real property, cases in excess of 20 or 25 grand. But basically if you're in superior court, it's, it's a, it's a big deal.

Something big is, is at stake. District court is a little less serious. You can, you know, you there's not really a limit on what you can sue for in district court really.

But it's a, it's a little less formal. And then you can get sued in small claims. And like Cassandra was saying earlier, small claims is kind of, a lot of times we'll, we'll let people know, you know, small claims is, is kind of developed. So you don't necessarily have to have an attorney. And you've seen that Cassandra. Yes. I did go to court with a client for a small claims issue.

And it's interesting. We, we do a lot of work for legal insurance plans. So if you're going to consult with an attorney, check with your employer, see if you've got legal insurance. But these legal insurance plans typically do cover preparation for small claims court. So filling out the forms for you to submit to the court to sue someone else for an amount under $10,000. But do not cover you for actual representation in small claims court. And having been there a couple of times, I can tell you, you probably don't need an attorney in small claims court.

It is a little bit less formal. As long as you have the proof you need to show the judge, the judges are at that level are very understanding of, of the folks coming in that don't have law degrees. They, they know that situation. They know the context that you are not an attorney and don't expect you to necessarily function at that level. Whereas district court, a little bit different.

Even if you go in as a non-attorney, you're expected to adhere to the same rules an attorney would have to in the courtroom. So you might have to deal with, you know, evidentiary issues of why you can and can't present something. Or a lot of times, you know, you, when you get sued, you have 30 days to respond.

And most people don't always know that. And you wait till, you know, day 31 to call your attorney for advice. Please call earlier. Take a look at where you're getting sued. Right. Because anything other than small claims, for sure, call an attorney. And even if it is small claims, maybe call an attorney. Yeah, small claims, you know, magistrates, you're not really in front of like an elected judge. Magistrates are employees of the court system.

Right. And they may be attorneys. They may not be attorneys.

But depending on what county you're in and where you're at, North Carolina, there can be a lot of difference between the magistrate you might see on Tuesday and the magistrate you might see on Wednesday. There, you know, in law school, we spend a lot of time, attorneys spend a lot of time learning the rules of civil procedure, learning the rules of evidence and small claims. A lot of times they throw that out the window. Right. And but they are, it's made, it's kind of designed for the pro se clients or pro se means representing yourself. So, again, I'm not telling you not to sit down with an attorney and consult over your small claims matter because, again, upwards of 10 grand.

Right. It could be over like 10 grand and 10 grand is not chump change. But anyway, that's small claims. District court, Superior Court, you're going to be dealing with the rules of evidence, the rules of civil procedure. If it's something where you can even represent yourself, you're going to be subject to these rules. And the judges don't care if you don't know them. Yeah, judges don't care. Ignorance of the law, ignorance of the rules. That's not a defense. You know, if you say, oh, I didn't know how to answer in 30 days, they'll be like, tough, you know, or I didn't know they don't care. They're not going to cut you any slack. So I would say if you're if you're getting a lawsuit, I'm doing air quotes, you can't see that lawsuits. If you can seal it.

Yeah, I was and I sense the air quotes I did. All right. If you lawsuits, if you get sued, you probably need to talk to an attorney. And this is the kind of consultation, you know, attorneys. We talk about how attorneys get paid.

Right. Because sometimes attorneys take things on a contingency basis, you know, personal injury claims, things like that. You don't necessarily have to recover anything. There's the lawyer commercials where they don't they don't get paid. If you don't get paid type of scenario and that's a contingency agreement, something like this, you're going to probably pay a consult fee. You're going to have to pay for that attorney's time and experience to say, hey, this is what normally happens. Here's what I think you should do. This is what you should be worried about. These are some defenses you have. You're going to have to pay an attorney for that for that knowledge. And so.

All right. That's number three. That's lawsuits. We're going to we're going to move on this list. I'm not a fan of this list already.

We're only three in, but we've already committed. So on to number four, driving under the influence, a DUI. That is a situation where this person, this author who drafted this list says you need a lawyer. And and I guess I just agree with that. I don't I'm trying to think of something to say about that.

But yeah, I just that's a very serious. That's an easy one, Josh. It's an easy one. And I'm going to make a controversial statement and I'm going to say you shouldn't drink and drive. Are you going to go on record with that?

I'm going to take an unpopular opinion. So if you've been drinking, you should not be driving. Hashtag legal advice, any drugs.

As a matter of fact, I'm going to go ahead and expand. If you've been using any kind of mind altering substance, go ahead and don't drive, Josh. Yeah, that's a complicated you know, it's a complicated charge. There's there's a lot of ramifications if you're found guilty. Most most counties, most prosecutors, most D.A.s are not going to throw that out of court.

You know, it's DUIs. Most counties have a you're going to plead guilty or we're going to go to trial. There's not you know, you can't go up to the D.A. like maybe sometimes on a speeding ticket, maybe on your own. You can convince a D.A.

to throw out your speeding ticket or reduce your speeding ticket ain't happening on a on a DUI or DWI. That's you're going to plead to that or you're going to go to trial. And and then there's things to do along the way. There's you got to get an assessment. There's there's there's steps you have to take. And a DUI charge is serious and complicated. And I just I that's a that is a good that's good on this list.

You need an attorney for that, I would think. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Tons.

Yes. Tons of ramifications that affect your day to day life. And yeah, like Joseph said, that's the official outlaw lawyer stance is don't do it. Don't drink and drive or use drugs and drive. But if you if you get charged, you definitely need to seek an attorney's advice. And sooner than later. Right.

Don't wait until don't wait until the day before the court date or the you know. And anyway, that's a good one. So and then the number five on this list kind of is the same thing. If you get a drug charge.

Right. So these are both criminal. You know, you need a criminal attorney. And you need to talk about because that's the biggest thing I think when you're charged with something criminally is talking to someone who's represented similar clients and know what you're up against. That's the first thing. What what's the penalty?

What's the normal penalty in Wake County for, you know, having over five ounces of marijuana? Right. What's the you need somebody who can tell you this is what you're looking at. And of course, if you have prior charges, convictions, if you have a record, you need someone who can advise you like, hey, this is what you're looking at. This is these are your defenses.

Let's let's before you even get to the penalty. Sometimes a lot of people have situations where they were potentially pulled over illegally, like they shouldn't have even been stopped by the police. So a lot of things on these criminal charges is about how did the cops even get you in their custody? How did they even get this so-called evidence? What evidence does the DA even have against you? All that type of stuff has to be shared.

And if you don't know the proper steps to go through the process to potentially get something overturned or the evidence to show the DA to get it dismissed early. Never. I would suggest trying to do that on your own.

Josh, I want to jump in. You brought up a really good point. You kind of want to go somewhere that deals with the issue that you're dealing with. And on that note, maybe explain to our listeners how Whitaker and Hamer operates. You have attorneys that specialize. And if a call comes in for a certain situation, that attorney is going to get that situation.

Yeah, absolutely. We have we have our criminal attorneys that deal with this every day. They're in the courthouse every day and they know they know they know what to do.

They know the questions to ask. And like Taylor was saying, you have certain we haven't talked about, you know, you have basic constitutional protections. And so, you know, it's not always about whether you're guilty or not. The other side, the prosecutor, the police, they have to do things the right way. And if they have done something that violates a constitutional right, you know, an attorney is the one who's going to point that out to you. And so kind of just going through the whole situation with an attorney, figuring out what your defenses are, if this is something that should go to trial, is this something that can be pled down? You know, there's all kinds of ramifications on a criminal charge. But but yeah, you definitely you know, we've our firm has been around.

I don't know. We're almost at 20 years now. We know we've got, you know, a good group of attorneys who are very experienced at this point. But you're going to want to sit down with somebody who knows what they're doing.

I think that's the best thing to say, you know. And this ties into number seven, which is just criminal charges in general always get an attorney. So this is really interesting.

But yeah, criminal charges is separated as its own line item separate from DUI and drug charges. Right. I think the list maker showed us their list making ability when they put lawsuits as number three. I don't know. How many clicks did they get on this just from from you? A lot from Josh.

If you get a click from Josh, man, that's like the golden ticket of clicks on a list. It worked. They're doing their job.

You got them. The enough it can contradicts again because then they say for traffic tickets, you don't need a lawyer. Just pay the fine and get over it, which is horrible. No, don't do that.

That's really bad. Some of the worst advice I've ever heard can easily be dismissed if you just show evidence of, you know, anything. Always talk to a criminal attorney because most of those traffic tickets can be dismissed or reduced.

Very least, get fewer points. Don't get your license taken away. Don't have to pay such a large fine.

Yeah. Traffic tickets is this terrible advice. So this traffic tickets was under when you don't need a lawyer.

So that was one of the I got a lot of problems with this list. But yeah, that's the that's the worst advice. Traffic tickets is like the number one thing, because I mean, the cost benefit like you're you're talking about. There's folks who do tons of traffic tickets and you're not paying an arm and a leg to get them to to help resolve your ticket in the best way. And yeah, it's insane advice, man. I'm just crediting this list based off of just that piece of advice. You know, in North Carolina, every county is different, too. So what what a what a D.A. or an ADA may do in Harnett County is going to be real different from Orange County or Wake County or Johnston County.

And so you really need a an attorney who practices in that county, who knows what's going on and what can be done and what's acceptable and what's not. But yeah, never pay a ticket because you're going to get the maximum insurance points and the maximum driver's license points. And I hear a lot of people say that they'll say they got pulled over and the officers like, yeah, you just mail it in.

You don't even have to go. And I'm sure they're being nice, you know, but yeah. But that's also admitting you're guilty. Like when you pay the fine, it's an admittance that you're guilty and you did the charge in.

I've only had one traffic ticket and I was in high school and I definitely just paid it. Yeah, that makes sense. That was before we had knowledge.

We got to remove you from the show, right? So what was it, 80 in a 25 school zone? It was in North Dakota. It was, yeah, sorry guys.

Maybe we don't need to talk about that. I slid on the ice through a stop sign going like two miles an hour. They gave you a ticket?

Wow. What a cop that was. It's OK, I got one in North Dakota. It was 50 bucks.

It's OK. It was on the way to Onslow and I just came off a ramp and they got me off the ramp. Oh, rolling through a stop or were you speeding? I wasn't speeding. I was taking an exit. And so, you know, you're making that turn, you're coming off the ramp. And there was a cop sitting right there. What's the ticket for?

What did you do wrong? It was like five over. While you're coming down the ramp?

Yes. That's pretty fast. I didn't know you were a hardened criminal.

Five over when you're coming down a ramp. I think the cop got more mad because my dog kept barking at him. I feel like sliding on the ice in North Dakota is an excuse for idiot crime. I thought so. I just slid right into stabbing this person. I didn't mean to murder those four people.

I was sliding on the ice. Exactly. All right, well, the outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer. Whitaker and Hamer law firm, the power behind the program. Again, Josh and Joe managing partners at the firm. We have Cassandra Nicholas and Taylor Scruggs Smith in studio with us today.

And again, we're bringing Joe in remotely. Busy guy, but he's multitasking today. Obviously, Josh was watching or didn't want to watch Titanic.

And during the three and a half hours, he would have spent watching Titanic. He was online and found a list. Eleven situations where you need a lawyer and three where you don't. And obviously, the attorneys on the program today picking it apart and having some fun with it too. But listen, you may have a legal situation you're facing. You may have questions. You can always call Whitaker and Hamer, 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

And leave your contact info briefly what the call is about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And you can always email your questions to the show. We'll answer it on the future broadcast questions at

We're back right after this. The Outlaw Lawyers. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer are your hosts at the managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm.

The power behind the program. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina. And visiting in studio, Cassandra Nicholas and Taylor Scruggs-Smith, also attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer. And there are offices located conveniently for you.

Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Varina, Gastonia, and Morehead City. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. Each and every week we do legalese. We get into the topics.

We have some fun with you. But we also get into the serious issues when it comes to legal. And if you've got any questions about what you're going through and you need some answers, you can always call Whitaker and Hamer, 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact info briefly what the call is about. An attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And again, you can always email your questions to the show. We'll answer them on air in a future program. Questions at And again, we've gotten into a list.

Situations where you need a lawyer and some where you don't. And we are down to wills and trusts. Before we get there, Morgan, I want to backtrack for a minute. We were telling our folks, our listeners earlier on that we were nominated, our podcast, a version of the show. Have we already been eliminated?

No, not to my knowledge. Breaking news. But we were nominated for a 2022 People's Choice Podcast Award for Best. What was it, Cassandra?

Politics and News. Show Ever. Yes. And so it's a field of less than 10, more than five less than 10. Exactly 10. Ten.

And our competition, we got some stiff competition in this category. I don't remember the name of the show. What was the name of the show, Cassandra? Do you remember? The Problem with Jon Stewart. With the Jon Stewart. Yeah. With the Jon Stewart.

What about The Solution with the Outlaw Lawyer? I wonder if this gives us an opportunity where maybe we could call Jon Stewart since we're in the same category. Yeah, absolutely. It's like, hey, we're the same. You know, I can talk to you.

I don't know. We should send him a shirt. We should send him a phone number. I think Morgan needs one first, but Morgan, Jon Stewart.

Morgan wants a hoodie specifically. It's getting chilly in here. I'm just saying. All right. So we're doing this list. No, we all don't like this list. We've spent many minutes now with this list and we're not super pumped about it's non-legal advice that it's giving.

But anyway, we're going to keep going because we're on number eight. Wheels and trust. And so this is certainly, I personally get, you know, can you draft your own wheel? Can you write your own will? Yes, you certainly can. Just like anything else, you could do that.

Man, I've seen some people make some some super duper important mistakes handling their own wheels, handling their own trust, handling their own. I would even throw in a state administration, state probate issues. If you have any assets you care about and any loved ones, I would not recommend handling this on your own. Yeah, absolutely.

So I do a state administration is one of my main practice areas. So I see after folks die when wills are done badly. And the thing about wills is if yours is drafted badly, you might not know it.

You're going to die before it's ever an issue for anyone. So it might not be your problem, but your wishes will not be followed if your will is not valid. So there are some really common mistakes that, for instance, they're not being any witnesses to a will written by an individual. In North Carolina, you need witnesses to the will. And then if the will is going to be what they call self proving, it also needs to be signed by you, the two witnesses in front of a notary. There are ways around that to prove your will after you die.

If your witnesses are still alive and accessible, we can go get affidavits from them. Please don't make it that hard for your family. The whole point of this will is for your wishes to be followed and to make the after death process as easy on your family as possible. So save everyone the trouble, get a lawyer to draft your will so that you know it complies.

It does what you want it to do. And I would add into that because I often tell my family law clients, like, you know, you have that year long separation. Obviously, we don't wish any bad will upon you, but you never know what can happen to you during that year long separation before you're divorced. Get a will done. And a lot of people don't know what the general statutes are in terms of what will happen if you don't have a will.

Who gets what? So when you tell them that, hey, if you're not actually divorced yet, you know, the spouse gets this much and they kind of get crazy about it. And it's like, that's why we're saying get a will. So you're advising people right when they're consulting with you to change their will while they're separated?

Yes, because, again, that year long separation, you don't know what could happen. And in the eyes of North Carolina, if you're not divorced, you're married. So God forbid something happens to you and you're not divorced yet. And now the person you were trying to divorce is getting half of your estate. That's good legal advice, Taylor. Thank you for that.

That was my rock star moment of the day. I've never seen anyone try to, at least in my practice, you know, I'm usually looking at this stuff after you're gone, right? You know, if you've prepared your own will or what have you, we're not usually looking at it till you're dead and gone.

So you're probably not worried about it anymore. But I've never seen anybody even attempt to create their own trust. You know, trust are very complicated, very there's some uniform laws between states, but still some state specific items that you're going to want to do. You know, a trust is something you create to hold title to real property, can hold title to cars, can have bank accounts.

And and you're trying, you know, you're trying to avoid probate or, you know, maybe some maybe some taxes. There's all kinds of reasons why you might form a trust. But trust are very, you know, something an attorney needs to look at. It's not I'm not a big fan of the I think we I think at Whitaker and Hamer, at least I can't speak for every law firm. I think we really try to be affordable for the services that that the average person needs. And so to get it, if you're in a position where you need to trust, you probably got some assets you're trying to protect.

It's worth spending the money to make sure it's done correctly. Bad trust are hard to unwind. You can cloud title. You can really make a mistake that really is going to going to hurt your heirs. And this is where I get on my soapbox. I'm not a fan of these. I don't want to mention any of the names because I don't feel like our show should get sued. But these self-help right will will help you create a form.

You just answer these yes, no questions. Man, I've seen a bunch of deeds, a bunch of wills, a bunch of trust that really caused a lot of concern. Because you just need someone who knows what they're doing to look at some things.

And to not cost you and your family more later, like fixing those title issues is expensive and annoying. I tell you, most families, not every family, but most families, there's one person, you know, cousin, sister, brother. There's an ex spouse.

There's somebody that's going to cause issues with your estate once you're gone. Right. Josh, tell us who that one person is in your family. We don't have that person.

We won't tell anyone. But there seems to be in most families, the person that if there's any ambiguity, if there's anything to challenge, if there's anything that can be done to make it harder, they're going to make it hard. Right. And so that's that's what you want to do. You want to alleviate any ambiguity.

I know we're coming up against a break. Wills and trust. I think you always need an attorney.

Especially if you're trying to disinherit anybody. Oh, yeah. The Outlaw Lawyer. We are going to be back on the other side and we will wrap up the program again, having some fun with a life hack dot org list situations where you need a lawyer and some situations where you don't. That's coming up next on the Outlaw Lawyer. If you've got a legal situation you're facing, you can always contact Whitaker and Hamer. Eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six.

That's eight hundred six five nine one one eight six. You can email your questions to the show questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com. And if you do call, just leave your contact information and briefly what that call is about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. We're back on the other side and we'll wrap this one up. Welcome back into the Outlaw Lawyer's final segment. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, are your hosts.

Offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia and now in Morehead City. In studio with us today, Cassandra Nicholas and Taylor Scruggs Smith, also attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer. Having a little fun with a life hack list situations where you need a lawyer and some where you don't. And we've got time for maybe some wrap up comments. Well, number we've worked our way to number nine on this on this list. And number nine is business startups. I think that's definitely we do a lot of that at the law firm. That is definitely a place where you need some advice. A lot of different options when you start up a business. You know, if you have partners, you're going to need agreements between the partners. You need to talk about who's putting in what.

How are you going to divvy up assets? Is somebody loaning money to the business? How should you operate, you know, liability shields? You know, there's tons of stuff to talk about for a business startup, even if you're going as a sole proprietorship, which we hardly ever recommend in a consult, but still things to ask an attorney. And again, paying for an hour of an attorney's time. I would even say I'm not a CPA, but paying for an hour of a CPA's time once you get started, because there's a lot of mistakes everybody makes when they start out because they just don't know any better. And with a very minimal amount of attorney's fees, very minimal amount of CPA fees, you can avoid some very common mistakes that we just see happen over and over and over again. I agree.

I concur. As a man who has started a couple of businesses over his life, there's a lot of mistakes that I figured out along the way that probably somebody who knew what they were doing for a reasonable amount of money, could have told me to avoid a long, long, long time ago. But business startups, number nine, definitely, I definitely talked to an attorney.

What's number 10 on this list, Taylor? So it looks like denial of workman's comp or disability claim. And I think that kind of goes into that wrongful termination or discrimination that we were talking about earlier. Those are more than likely some federal or high level state laws that are very hard to navigate on your own. Just have an attorney. I have done a pro bono VA disability claim. And these types of claims, they're looking for a reason to throw it out on technicalities.

You need to follow their exact instructions. So it's better just to get the attorney because a lot of those claims are about persistence, following rules and persistence until you get to that finish line of winning the claim. Yeah, procedure is very important. Procedure is very important in a lot of legal arenas and not following it, not being aware of even the most minute detail will derail or at least delay your claim.

So that is a very important one where you won't, you won't representation. A lot of that's taken on a contingency. So if you go meet with an attorney about something like that, a lot of times you're not paying anything up front. You're getting the benefit of their advice and experience for free.

So anyway, I always want to do that. Number 11 here on our list, bankruptcy again. Get an attorney. As an attorney, I'm telling you to get an attorney. I would get an attorney. You want to talk about procedure and procedural hoops, man.

That's tons of them. You know, bankruptcy is one where you're in federal court, right? This is not a, there's no state bankruptcy. You're in federal district court for bankruptcy.

And again, very procedure intensive. There are things that can be done in bankruptcy, things that can't be done in bankruptcy. You need to, you need to talk to an attorney. That's not something I, you know, I was, I was thinking as we're going through this list, I was thinking about all the attorneys. You know, we have a lot of attorneys that work at our law firm, but our law firm also is represented by attorneys when the law firm needs attorneys, right? So we're, we're attorneys. We're pretty knowledgeable of the law and there's things that'll come up that we'll still, we'll go hire an attorney to help us take care of. Cause it's just, there's some things that are that complicated, that complex where you just need an attorney. But that was the, that was the 11 things. This list was the 11 times you need an attorney, three times you don't.

And I think we talked about all the don'ts, right? I think the last one was just, you don't want to, if you don't want to contest, but even if you don't want to contest, please just get an attorney. Cause you don't know what extra fees they're asking. You don't know if you want to contest or not. Yeah.

They could be asking for extra attorney fees or anything like that. I think the main takeaway from this list is not to get your legal advice from Googling life hack list. This is not legal advice. None of these are really life hacks in any way. I don't like it at all. All right. Well, we are up against the break. Go watch Titanic.

Don't stay up late looking at a life hack list, Josh. But anyway, we had a lot of fun today on the show, the Outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm, again, the power behind this program. And they are both practicing attorneys here in North Carolina, Cassandra Nicholas and Taylor Scruggsmith, also attorneys at Whitaker and Hamer. If you've got a legal situation and you've got questions, you can get answers by calling, calling the firm 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact info briefly what the call is about. An attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. You can always email the show questions at the outlaw lawyer dot com.

Another great show in the books. We'll see on the radio next week. Lawyer is hosted by an attorney licensed to practice law in North Carolina. Some of the guests appearing on the show may be licensed North Carolina attorneys. Discussion of the show is meant to be general in nature and in no way should the discussion be interpreted as legal advice. Legal advice can only be rendered once an attorney licensed in the state in which you live had the opportunity to discuss the facts of your case with you. The attorneys appearing on the show are speaking in generalities about the law in North Carolina and how these laws affect the average North Carolinian. If you have any questions about the content of the show, contact us directly.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-28 23:57:03 / 2022-12-29 00:21:55 / 25

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