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Bizarre Alex Murdaugh Case, Updated, What is an Easement, and How Do Attorneys Get paid.

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer
The Truth Network Radio
February 11, 2023 2:00 pm

Bizarre Alex Murdaugh Case, Updated, What is an Easement, and How Do Attorneys Get paid.

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer

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February 11, 2023 2:00 pm

On this week's edition of Outlaw Lawyer, Josh Whitaker, Joe hamer, and Cassandra Nicholas discuss the law. Latest on the bizarre Alex Murdaugh case in SC. What is an easement and why should you care? How do attorneys get paid? Questions that Outlaw Lawyer will discuss along with an update Chatbots and the courts.

If you have any questions contact Whitaker & hamer law Firm 800-659-1186.

Legal, Law, Lawyer, Attorney, Court, trial, Lawsuit, 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Welcome in to the Outlaw Lawyer. This week, Josh, Joe, and Cassandra 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, did Alex Murdock murder his wife and child? How do attorneys get paid? We'll get to that.

And what is an easement? We've got a lot to talk about on the program today, so stay tuned. The Outlaw Lawyer is next. Welcome in to the Outlaw Lawyer. Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate, joined by, as always, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, the power behind the Outlaw Lawyers. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina. Also joining us from the Moorhead City office, Cassandra Nicholas, an attorney at Whitaker and Hamer. Offices located conveniently in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastone, and the aforementioned Moorhead City. Again, if you've got any legal situation you're facing, we have a phone number for you. You can always contact Whitaker and Hamer, 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. And you can email your questions to the show.

Questions at theoutlawlawyer.com will answer those on a future program. Welcome in, guys. Good to see you. I'm doing great. Good, good, good. Cassandra's with us.

She's remoting in from the Whitaker and Hamer office down in Moorhead City. Cassandra, how are you doing? So far, so good. So far, so good. That's good. We haven't all been together in a week or two.

We've all had attorney-lawyer commitments, been in court, doing things like that. So we haven't been able to sit down together in a week or two. So it's good to get everybody together.

I haven't been around you guys in a while, but how about college basketball? How's that going for everybody? Good? Yeah, it is. Oh, it's going great, Josh. Thanks for rubbing it in. It's going, man.

There is college basketball. How's it going for you? Well, you know. Better than expected. Better than expected, yeah. As NC State fans, we got to be pretty happy with what the team's doing there, with what they got. They were expected to be middle of the road. And I don't know, we're probably their top half of the road, top half of the road.

So got a tough, got a tough road coming up with tough stretch. But it's not often we get together and, you know, we got a state, we got a state fan in studio. We got a Carolina fan in studio. We got a Duke fan in studio. And it's nice to be able to talk about college basketball. And I didn't even know what it started.

This is the first I've heard of it. They play basketball in college. But Duke, Duke, Duke and Carolina struggling, struggling a little bit, a little bit, a little bit. Well, I mean, looking at AP Top 25 for this week, obviously, we taped the show midweek and it airs on the weekend. But the state's still in that.

Oh, yeah. UVA, they're the highest ranked ACC squad at number eight. Miami 19, NC State at 22, receiving votes, Duke, Clemson, Pittsburgh, and there is no votes for the University of North Carolina. On the women's side, Duke, highest ranked at number nine and atop the conference. Notre Dame at 10, Virginia Tech, number 11, UNC 14, FSU 19, and NC State women are at number 22. Wow, women are doing well, at least.

That's something. So no, I mean, NC State all around doing quite well. You know, I don't, as a state fan, you know, state basketball, we've struggled for a while and our struggles probably aren't over. We're having a better season than we expected. It's good to see us on the upswing. I'm not that kind of state fan that as soon as Carolina and Duke do bad, like I do a dance, right, it's better.

Are you sure? Maybe when Carolina does bad, you don't wiggle just a little bit in your seat. The ACC is better when Wake, State, Duke, and Carolina are all doing well.

Very true. You know, I'd like State to be doing better than everybody else. But I disagree with that. As a Duke fan, when Carolina does bad, you know, I just, it makes me laugh, but some of that enjoyment is taken away when Duke is also doing bad. So I prefer to be doing really well. And now you, I understand what you're saying.

If they both suck for any prolonged period of time, it's detrimental to what makes it special, right? I don't care about that. I wonder if we could ask, so we're going to talk, we, you know, on that law lawyer, we want to talk about the law. We want to talk about how the law shows up in the media.

We want to give some information on legal things that may affect your day-to-day life. That's our goal here. We always start out, though, talking about sports a little bit to get us going. One of the things we're going to talk about in this segment is we spent some time a couple of weeks ago talking about, though, was it chat GBT? GBT.

Chat GBT. I was going to try to log on and phone it in for this show and just let it answer for me. But every time we do this show, it's the only time I've ever seen it where it's down every time huge demand.

And it says it's down. So really, so I have to pay attention. That's a lot. Well, we talked about it a couple of weeks ago because there was a there was a news story. Cassandra, remind us what that that news story was about it being an attorney.

Yeah, yeah. There's there's a chat bot through a company called Do Not Pay that. Had made a lot of headlines saying that it was going to represent people in court on traffic tickets and stuff, and was offering a million dollars for anyone who would let it decide what they were going to say in front of the Supreme Court. That's apparently not the case anymore. Right. The CEO tweeted, I'm just going to read it because I read it in a like a really chipper tone.

He tweeted on a couple of weeks ago, Good morning, bad news. After receiving threats from state bar prosecutors, it seems likely they will put me in jail for six months if I follow through with bringing a robot lawyer into a physical courtroom. Do not do not pay is postponing our court case and sticking to consumer rights. Yeah, so, you know, that's what the state bar does. So for folks who don't deal with the state bar every day. So the North Carolina State Bar, they're charged with, you know, by statute, they're charged with determining who's licensed to practice law.

Right. So they set up the bar exam. They determine what requirements us, you know, a prospective attorney has to meet before he can get issued a license. And they and they regulate attorneys.

Right. So if there's a complaint, unethical behavior, you know, they they they adjudicate that for the most part. And they that's how they govern who is licensed to practice law.

And one of the things they do also is they they kind of stamp out. They're in charge of kind of penalizing people who practice law without a license. So unauthorized practice of law is kind of under their purview.

So I guess that's what's happened here, right? This was a publicity stunt and the bar, whatever state. I'm not sure whatever state it was.

Yeah, I don't remember either. But their bar said, hey, if you do this, this will be the unauthorized practice of law, because the A.I. is not a person who can be licensed.

Right. Chatbot can't get a license to practice law. It did pass the bar, right?

It did. It did technically pass some section of the Virginia bar. Yeah, but you'll be using that to practice law and you can't do that, right?

You're just using the mechanical aid. This reminds me when I was back in the day when I was in law school, we had a we had a class that was called Law Office Operation Management. That was the name of the class. You took that like a real barn burner. It was a very exciting class, very functional.

But I got taught a lot of things in that class that I did not using. Right. So this was this was 20 years ago or some. Yeah, that wasn't that long ago.

It was 20 years ago, but it doesn't seem like it was that long ago. But I remember we had a laptop and we had this guy had put like all the legal books that we would normally need reference materials. Right. They were all on his laptop.

He's like, you can take this into court and you have every legal reference you need. And it was like on the CD, CD-ROM. Right. And we were amazed. Floppy disk.

Yeah, we were we were amazed that you had all this reference material in one spot that you could pull up. Now, obviously, you know, it's on your phone. I could probably get it on my phone. Obviously, you know, it's on your phone.

I could probably get it on my watch at this point, you know. But where was I going with that? I don't know, man, but you were going somewhere.

I could feel that you were going somewhere. Unauthorized practice of law. That's right. Right. So that was just that's an aid, right? That you know, that was just an aid as a research aid. And that's how these chat bots are going to be viewed, at least for, you know, they're they're a research aid.

They're an aid. Is it still down? Trust me, I'll keep working on it, man. Trust me. We were going to ask we were going to ask it a bunch of questions I wanted to ask. I wanted it to write. I wanted it to tell it right this show from beginning to finish.

I wanted to ask it to write a haiku about the current state of ACC basketball. Now, does your does your chat bot have an actual virtual voice? So there's there's the AI has developed so rapidly, right? So they've got the because I was going to say, if you have a voice, we could just you know, we could sub in. Josh did. They do that out.

That is where it's going, right? So there's all these variants of AI. You've got like art AI that can you can tell it what to draw and produce.

They do have my understanding is they do have where you can replicate. And right now they don't have my I'm not a big enough celebrity. I'm getting there, but I think you can do some celebrity voices and replicate what they're saying. Kind of reproduce the you know what they're saying with the AI. So what voice would you guys choose if you had to have an attorney voice, either male or female? From for the chat bot? Yeah.

Christopher Walken. Obviously, that's a good one. Max Headroom. No, and that and that that guy's name, Max Headroom, Max Headroom. Ah, yeah. Probably MTV days. Yep. Way back in the day. What about Morgan? That was a deep cut right there. Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts.

I mean, they'd be good. Fran Drescher. Who's the most famous? What is the most famous celebrity like fictional character lawyer?

Would you say? Atticus Finch. Really? I'm talking about like in current media, like a movie that we've seen recently. Like that would be who you choose in terms of the voice. Matthew McConaughey. It's obviously Matthew McConaughey.

He's done it. Tom Cruise has done it. It's obviously Matthew McConaughey. Gregory Peck, because he played Atticus Finch. Come on.

You still get Matthew McConaughey. Come on, Cassandra. You sticking with Fran Drescher. Wait, did you genuinely say Fran Drescher? Yeah, that's who's going to be my voice. Mr. Sheffield. Ah, chalkboard.

The you guys are too young. You don't know who Max Headroom is, right? Oh, I do.

No idea. I know. I don't.

I'm a dinosaur. I know exactly. I pretended to because I didn't want you to feel bad.

I thought you had said it wrong and so I didn't want you to get sad. Yeah, Max Headroom. Yeah, we all know who that is. Can you imagine if Fran Drescher was actually your nanny as a kid? Terrible. No, I can't. I didn't watch that show. I didn't watch that show.

I'm aware of its existence. I bet you would struggle to get through 35 seconds of it. I really only know her from her role in Spinal Tap.

I don't really. I can't say I've ever watched anything else Fran Drescher was in since what Spinal Tap come out. Was that enough Fran Drescher for you? Yeah, I'm sure she's done some other stuff.

I'm just not familiar with it. She's done the nanny. 7,000 episodes of it. Yeah. Did good for her. All right, we have real legal stuff to talk about. We'll get back. We'll get back to the program here. But we've got three things that we want to talk about today. Pronounce this guy's name for me, Cassandra, because I just cannot do it.

Alec Murdock. All right, we're going to talk about his trial. That's really when you look at kind of legal topics in the news right now, that's really a trial that's dominating everything, right? So we'll talk about that.

We'll give our opinion, and our opinion is basically what Cassandra's opinion is on this. But we're going to give it to you. We're going to talk about I have had this come up many times in the office over the past couple of weeks. We're going to talk about what is an easement, right? What is an easement just in general? Because we get that question a lot in a lot of different ways. So that's an exciting real property loss segment we have coming up.

So I'm sure everybody will be waiting for that. And then we've talked about this once or twice before, but I think this is something that people just don't know. If you're not an attorney, you're not related to an attorney, you don't work in an attorney's office, how do attorneys get paid on different matters? Because attorneys charge differently depending on the type of law they're practicing, the type of case you have. And I think generally people that don't deal with attorneys every day, I think it can be confusing.

And I get this question a lot. And so we're going to spend some time talking about how attorneys get paid. So that's what we got coming up.

All right. The Outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer are your host managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer law firm offices conveniently located Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia and Moorhead City where Cassandra Nicholas is chiming in from today. We've got more topic coming up. And if you've got a legal situation that you're facing, you can always call and ask questions of the firm. Here's the number 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. And you can always email your questions to the show. Questions at the Outlawlawyer.com. We're back right after this. Welcome back into the Outlaw Lawyer.

We talk legalese each and every week. Your host, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer. They are the managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm offices. Conveniently located Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia and Moorhead City. And speaking of Moorhead City, that's where Cassandra Nicholas is joining us from.

And it's always a pleasure to have her. If you have any questions legally that you are facing and you need answers to, you can always call the firm 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. And you can always email your questions to the program. Questions at the Outlawlawyer.com.

And we will answer those on a future show. Well, guys, I'm a little tired today. I was down, uh, I live here in Raleigh. I was down in the Gastonia office yesterday. So I was down there in Gastonia. I don't know what, I don't know what radio channel we're on down and down that way, but I was down in Gastonia meeting with clients. So it was good to get down there. I'm, I'm more in the, uh, the Raleigh Garner Fuquay offices than I am, uh, our other offices, but it was nice to, uh, I had some Western, well, they have Western style barbecue down there.

They don't have the Eastern style. Yeah. It's the light tomato base. Yeah. Which is, you know, it, you know, sounds disgusting to me, but it's not, I mean, I enjoyed it. It was, it was tasty. I wouldn't prefer it that way, but, uh, well, if you ever get up to Boone, there's a place Woodlands it's in Blown Rock.

They do a nice job. It's a little lighter on the tomato base. A heavy tomato base absolutely ruins barbecue.

My opinion. So the lighter, the better, but I'm an Eastern guy. Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely, uh, definitely Eastern. Uh, but I, I like to, I like to sample, I like to sample barbecue wherever, if I'm somewhere that's not Raleigh Garner, Clayton Fuquay, um, I'm somewhere new.

Like I'll try any barbecue place. Uh, you know, anyone that drive, I happen to drive by, but, um, so yeah. So I haven't the, the whole point being, I didn't have a chance to really catch up and do my, do my Murdoch, uh, information deep dive, but I know luckily for us, Cassandra is, is a knee deep in it. Uh, but I know everybody in America knows what's going on Cassandra, but how I was surprised he got to trial this fast. I know it probably isn't very fast, but I feel like we were just talking about him possibly getting charged not too long ago. I feel like we got, I feel like we got here quick, but no matter what the trial is happening. Yeah.

So I do want, I'm sure everyone is caught up just as much as I am, but I do want to do just kind of like a 30 second recap of where we are currently. So he was a South Carolina attorney. He has since been disbarred, but on June 7th, 2021, that's when his life really started unraveling, um, that's when his wife and son were murdered. Um, he is the one that found them called nine one one.

There's a very, um, dramatic nine one one call that you can listen to. That's been played several times during his trial already, but like a month or two after that, he, someone attempted to shoot him in the head. And that was discovered within a day or two, he had hired a former client slash cousin to attempt to kill him, to get insurance money for his living son.

And it's been downhill since then. So he has a ton of financial crime issues. None of those have went to trial yet. He has 99 charges and 19 indictments for financial crimes, um, for having stolen from friends, family clients of his law firm, the law firm itself, totaling like $8.7 million. So he is not currently on trial for those. He was charged last year with the murder of his wife and son. Um, so that's the trial that's ongoing right now is whether or not he did kill his wife and his son, Paul and his wife, Maggie. Um, interestingly, even though this trial is not about the financial crimes at all, the judge just ruled this week that prosecutors can bring in evidence of all of those financial crimes as potential motive for the murders. Uh, so they're really getting in the weeds about the financial stuff, even though it's not direct evidence of whether or not he killed his wife and son. Right.

Yeah. If you follow, yeah, if you follow a lot of trials, you'll see that where a judge, you know, there's a complicated guy, I don't know, somewhat complex rules of evidence, right? When things can come in and when things, uh, get a judge won't let them come in, but things can come in, of course, not to prove that he's guilty of those crimes, but it can, it can come in for certain applications. And so it sounds like here, the judge allotted to come in to prove a motive because that's what they got to do, right? They got to prove why, why he did it in their minds. So these are South Carolina charges and none of us are South Carolina attorneys, but I did look up the statute, the South Carolina statute specifically regarding murder.

And it's really short and sweet. Um, murder is the killing of any person with malice aforethought express or implied. So it's really, this case is hinging on malice aforethought, whether, um, he intentionally killed his wife and son and, you know, planned it ahead of time. It doesn't need to be very long ahead of time can be, um, really pretty quickly before the murders, but that's, that's essentially what the financial crimes are coming in for the purpose of showing is that he had a reason that he thought he needed to kill his family. Tanner Iskra The only parts that I've really noticed, I saw that the defense, I don't know who called the witness, but I've seen like a lot of friends of the family come up and talk about how they don't believe Murdoch is guilty of this. Um, but it's.

Lauren K Yeah. There have been witnesses, um, friends and family and other attorneys from his law office that have been on both sides of whether or not he could have done this. Um, the CFO testified primarily about the money aspect of it. So, um, they weren't commenting specifically on whether they thought he killed Mike and Paul, but the timeline wise, the CFO reached out to Alec Murdoch to confront him about $800,000 missing from the firm account. The morning he did someone the morning that his wife and son were murdered.

Um, so timeline wise, that doesn't help him. And then I want to, sorry, I'm just diving right in. No, I'm gonna interrupt you for a minute because I want, I want to see is chat GPT.

Is it up? Yeah. Well, look, man, you know, we were talking about, we're not South Carolina attorneys. And I agree with that statement, obviously. Um, but I do have access to a robot.

So I can tell you about South Carolina code of laws, title 16, chapter three, article one, uh, and how that is the state's murder statute. I wonder. So I like to ask chat GPT to write like different types of things. I want to see if chat GPT can write us a haiku about Alec Murdoch.

I'm several feet ahead of you in this game. And, uh, I was doing that the whole time that, that Cassandra was doing her deep dive. Right. Sadly, uh, it doesn't have a lot of, a lot of information about Alec Murdoch. It's probably also confused by the way his name is pronounced. Just like you are basically says as an AI language model. I don't have access to current information about specific individuals unless it was widely reported, but did produce a haiku.

It's just not relevant. And it's in, here's the haiku. It says in the field, he stands. I like Murdoch fearless force champion. Sean's bright champion. What?

Sean's bright. Doesn't have anything about a murdering people of stealing money. So that's, yeah, that seems like, uh, like, uh, but she was in a field, uh, while, while we're, while we're looking at this, see if I write a haiku about the current state of Atlantic coast conference basketball. I'm all over it. See if I can pull that. Yeah. You can keep talking.

I'll, I'll work on it. That's a robot, man. He's going to take a couple of seconds. What stage of the trial are we in now? So what are we, we, the defense we're not to the defense yet. Right. It's still prosecution. Oh, we are. Okay. No, we're not.

Yeah. We're still in prosecution. They're still calling prosecution witnesses.

I think, um, I'm not totally sure of timeline, how much longer they think they have witness wise, but they've, they've got a lot to present. And then even like, this is an interesting trial. It's in a County that's kind of rural in South Carolina, but to pick the jury, they had 900 jury candidates.

They had to weed through 900 jury candidates to get down to their 12 jury picks and six alternates. Yeah. Cause who doesn't know about this? Right. I mean, that's, uh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So you wouldn't know that jury.

That's Cassandra. Foreman. Come on. I'll be shutting down the lawyers. Let me, let me tell you, this is how it's going to go. We don't even need to present evidence. We'll just go overruled. What did, what does this thing tell us?

Here's your haiku. Once a giant tall North Carolina now fall short basketball struggles. Is that what it says? For real? That's literally what it says. Genuine.

Why are you chuckling looking at me? Clip that. Take a picture of that. All right, we'll put it, uh, we'll put it as the background. That's legit. That's legit. Yeah.

I like that. Is that your chat bot or is that just a chat bot? I don't have my chat bot. This is all of our chat bot. This could be anyone's chat bot. So, but I would, if I could create a chat bot, I would make a chat bot. We, we, we have a, an AI chat bot named Jarvis that helps us communicate with real estate transactions, but it would not probably respond to. Yeah. Jarvis is a very gentle.

Yeah. It has a little basketball knowledge, but can tell you a lot about the practice of real estate. It probably doesn't know what a haiku is. I don't know if we programmed it. No, no, we did not. I left out the haiku programming package.

We had to go ahead and launch version 1.5 without haiku capabilities. A lot of our real estate clients do ask for poetry. A full service law firm. So how much longer do you think this trial is going to last Cassandra?

I, I don't know. I think it's, I think it's going to be ongoing for a little while. Cause now that they're bringing the financial stuff in, like they've got like financial forensic accountants and it's, they're into the boring stuff. They're losing some jury members now to sleep. So I think it's going to be ongoing for a while before the jury gets to deliberate about any of this. But there are issues with the alibi too. So I think those are going to be big issues for Alec Murdoch.

How do you think you feel if, if during your murder trial, the jury just starts falling asleep? Is that a good thing or is that a bad thing? No, it happens too.

You hear people get scolded for that. Yeah. Do a, we're coming up against a break before you guys break. I want to, I want chat GBT to write a haiku about max headroom. Okay.

I've got a guess. It doesn't know about max headroom. Write a haiku about max headroom. I think chat GPT should be like a cohost from now on. Obviously it already is. It's going to replace me.

Well, if that's not a tease, I don't know what a tease is. We got to tune in to see if we get a haiku on Matt, Matt, Matt, max headroom. So that's coming up next on the outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm, and your host for this program. You can find them offices, conveniently located Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verena, Gastonia and Morehead city. And again, Cassandra Nicholas joining us from the Morehead city office. If you've got a legal situation you're facing and questions about, well, really anything legal, you can always call the firm 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. Or you can email your questions to questions at the outlaw lawyer.com.

We'll answer those on future programs. We're back with more of the outlaw coming up. Welcome back into the outlaw lawyers. Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer are your hosts managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer law firm offices, conveniently located Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verena, Gastonia and Morehead city. And joining us from the Morehead city office, Cassandra Nicholas, she is remote and we are talking all things legal. If you've got a situation you're facing, you've got questions, you can always call the firm 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 and you can always email your question to the program questions at the outlaw lawyer.com. That's questions at the outlaw lawyer.com.

And of course, we'll answer those on a future program. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. And now we're going to get into what is an easement. It's a very sexy tease for probably a topic that most people wouldn't find super entertaining, but I'm telling you, it is one of the questions we get most frequently in our real estate litigation department is, you know, what is an easement? Do I have an easement? Does this person have an easement? What can I, how do I maintain the easement? Can this person block an easement? Easement questions we get all the time.

I don't think we've talked about easements on the show before. So I figured this would be a nice time to do a primer on easements, but what was our high cool max headroom from our co-host chat GPT? So our co-host chat GPT has spit out our max headroom haiku and it goes a little something like this.

It goes max headroom, strange face, synthetic voice, broadcast keying, futures first virtual. I don't even know what that last sentence means, but I dig it. I'm really amazed. Yeah.

I'm really amazed that these haikus are good. I feel like we should put our names on them and start like putting them. They're definitely, I mean, it's our co-host, it's our personal licensed co-host. We're going to start commit.

I don't know what kind of fraud that is. If you don't make any money on it, you don't turn it into anybody. But our haiku, our haikus that we release freely to the public, we're going to take, we're going to take credit for those.

All right. Easements. Joseph, you want to tell me what an easement is?

So in its simplest form, right? It's just a right to travel over land, essentially. Why don't you ask chat GPT what an easement is? Yeah, yeah, for sure.

I'll do that. And we're going to get a great answer from probably better than mine. I'm not a robot.

I'm a human boy. And so an easement is the right to travel over, use in some capacity, another person's land. That's, that's what an easement is.

Like Joseph says. Yes, that it's, you, you, you really expect chat GPT to work quickly. And it's, it's constrained by the internet, man.

We're not on, we're not on a hundred gig connection here. An easement grants right to use another's property for a specific need. I think it actually did that as a haiku. Wow.

And the easement grants right to use another's property for a specific need. I didn't realize I had it in haiku mode. That's why it took so long. Look, man, we might as well, we might as well all just retire because chat GPT. Oh, that was great. I want, I want to be the lawyer who practices law, but only speaks in haikus. In haikus. Yeah.

And chat GPT. I've always wanted it, but I just didn't know how I was going to do it. And now I think I know how we're going to do it.

All right. So, so I'll give you the most common instance of an easement, right? Let's say I have 10 acres and I decide I'm going to split my 10 acres up. I live on five acres of it, but I'm going to split it up. I'm going to create a new five acre lot. You know, you got to go through the county, right?

The county or the town, you got to record a plat. You got to, you, you get everything approved and you, you make this new five acre lot and you deed it to somebody who's going to build a house on there. They don't have to build a house, but you did it to somebody.

They got to have access to it, right? So you can give them an easement, a bunch of different ways, right? There can be an easement on the plat you have recorded, right? A private road, a shared driveway, but they're, they're going to cross over your piece to get to a public road, right? It's easements. The most common ones that we get questions on are access easements and it's people getting from their property to a public road, right?

So you, you, you, you buy a piece of land. One of the things we do as, as closing attorneys as real estate attorneys is we make sure you have access. And if it accesses anything less than public access, whether it be a shared driveway, a private access easement, uh, we're going to search that up and make sure it, it looks good.

And, and, and so that's, that's what I'm kind of focusing on today. There's utility easements, uh, you know, um, all kinds of easements, but access easements is what I wanted to focus on. And, uh, so we, we get that call a lot and there's a lot of different ways you can have an easement. We, the ones we just talked about are all express easements, right?

It's on a plat. It gets deeded to you. Um, and, and those run with the land, right? So as long as the land is in its state, they're, um, a hundred years from now, somebody's going to have that easement, right? If you did somebody an access easement, uh, a true easement runs with the land, it'll be here for hundreds and hundreds of years until the parties get together and change that relationship.

And so it's very important to understand how those get formed, uh, because they're, they're fairly permanent. And a lot of people don't, don't necessarily like that or, or get confused because someone is crossing over your, your land. There's a, you know, a dominant track and a servant track and, and just get a ton of questions. But, um, I'm trying to think of the most recent question I got on easements. So, and while you're thinking of that, um, you know, you talked about access easements, another extremely common type of easement that we see every day. Don't get as many questions about them, but, but again, it's something you see on, on virtually every subdivision plat or, or, you know, map of, of a, of a place where people live. And that's a utility easement, which is, uh, again, not, not for the, not for the sole purpose of accessing property, but it basically says that you, you know, utility companies can come on to your property onto these easement areas and either access or change, whatever the infrastructure is that sits on that.

So think, uh, potentially water pipes, cabling, uh, electrical grid infrastructure, things like that. Yeah. We'll have a lot of people call the office and be angry that somebody's using, you know, they're laying in a certain way or, you know, Time Warner cables out there digging up, uh, you know, digging something up and, and you can usually go back to the recorded plat, the registered deeds. You can look at them like, well, yeah, they gotta, you know, they got a 10 foot easement on that side of your property and they can do that.

Right. And a lot of people don't realize that because again, that's not, you know, when you get a deed, generally speaking, you're going to get a deed that's going to take exception to, to easements of record, but it's not going to, that deeds not going to specifically spell out like this 10 foot utility easement that sits on your property. So it's a thing that you really wouldn't even know was present unless you took the time, went to look at your plat and understood exactly where it was. You just have to assume that if you have electricity at your home, that there is a, there's some form of utility easement, uh, you know, on your property in some fashion, most likely, you know, every so often we get the call to where, you know, you've got like a private road, right? So you, you know, you're on highway 401 and there's a private road. Usually it's a dirt road, it comes off and it goes down a ways and there's 10, 12, 15 property owners that all access the public road highway 401 over this, this dirt road, this gravel road, even paved, right? It's just a private road. And so that road belongs to somebody and everybody else just has an easement to transverse it, right? To, to cross over it, uh, ingress and egress. A lot of times you'll hear and, and legalese, but, um, you know, there's rights, you know, and, and we'll get a call where someone like three lots back has blocked everyone else, right?

They've just decided right or wrong, like, Hey, I'm in this road or you're screwing it up. I'm going to block it. And you, you can just never block an easement, right? You're always in the wrong if you're blocking, uh, or a legitimate easement. Um, but we see that come up from time to time. That's usually a pretty urgent call. Yeah.

Don't do that. And then for, for my nice coastal office out here, one that a more exciting easement that I encounter a lot is an easement with rights to water access. And that can be a really valuable easement to a property, making sure that you have access to the ocean. Yeah.

We see that a lot too. And like kind of lake front communities, you know, having access to the lake, having access to the, to the beach, that's usually a, you know, there might be some public access, but having private, you know, a private easement, private access to things like that's a really big deal. And, you know, there's things you can or can't do with an easement. You can't destroy an easement. You can't overburden an easement. I can't give you a 10 foot easement as a shared driveway. And then you build 500 apartments and then use that little 10 foot access for all 500 of those, you know, people who live in apartments on your new, your new lot that you just got, you can't overburden. You can't overuse.

You can't destroy. There's, there's maintenance requirements, right? You know, there's, there's all kinds of things with easements. And especially if, you know, you're sharing an easement with someone you don't get along with or someone who doesn't really seem to take care of it, just a lot of opportunity for disagreement. Yes. But that's, that's, that's a quick, that's a quick few minute introduction to easements. But again, something we see a lot of and I guess I'll leave it at that.

Yeah. If you guys ever wanted that deep, deep, deep, deep dive on easements, you just leave right in, you let us know, we'll do an easement show. We'll talk about easements by prescription. We'll talk about easements by necessity. We'll take you down, take you into the real exciting corners of, of, of real property law that I know everybody's jonesing for.

All right. Next up, we're going to ease into this next topic and that's how do attorneys get paid? Hmm. We've hit this before, but a lot of people are asking that question.

So we'll hit it one more time. The outlaw liars, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm. Also Cassandra Nicholas joining us on the program from the Moorhead city office. And again, convenient locations for these offices, Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia, and again, Moorhead city. If you've got a legal situation you're facing, maybe some questions you can always call the firm 800-659-1186 as 800-659-1186, or you can email your questions to the show questions at theoutlawlawyer.com. We'll answer those on a future program.

We're back right after this. The outlaw liars, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm. The power behind this program and convenient office locations for you, Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia, and Moorhead city.

And Moorhead city is where Cassandra Nicholas, also an attorney at Whitaker and Hamer, is joining us as we continue our legalese discussion. If you have any situation you're facing, you've got some questions, we have a number for you and you can get some answers. Here it is, 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. And you can always shoot us a question at the show questions at theoutlawlawyer.com. We'll answer those on a future program. So gentlemen, this is the next question, how do attorneys get paid?

Well, this really confuses folks. So, you know, at Whitaker and Hamer, we're a firm that does several, you know, we practice several different areas of law. We have different attorneys who kind of spend their time doing different things. So we've got our litigation folks, we've got transactional folks, real estate folks, personal injury folks, family law folks. We have a bunch of different practice areas by design. We have a lot of clients, you know, we're a statewide law firm.

There's not a ton of those in North Carolina who can kind of cover the entire state of North Carolina. And we can, not on everything, but on a lot of things. And so when people call in, if they've used us a couple of times for different areas, they may have some questions.

But I thought we would do this. And we've talked about it before in a different context, but it's been a while. So basically different attorneys charge different ways. And so I think most, I try to think of most areas where people who aren't practicing attorneys, right?

When will most people need an attorney? And I think the thing that comes up most for folks is probably, well, I would say estate planning, right? Everybody, you know? Yeah.

Yeah. So, you know, and most attorneys that, you know, there's three types of fees, right? So if you have a ticket, right, if you get like a speeding ticket, or you're charged with a crime, or you're going in to deal with an attorney for maybe estate planning, like a lot of those things are done by basically flat fee, right? So if you get a ticket, in this county, an attorney would charge you blank amount of dollars, basically. And if for some reason it became overly complex, they probably have a system to charge you maybe a little bit more. But those are services, and there's some I'm probably not naming, right? But there's a lot of services where an attorney or a law firm is just going to have a flat fee. And they'll say, hey, we'll do that for you.

You need us. We'll charge $100. I don't know what, you know, 100 bucks. We'll charge you 100 bucks for that, right? And I think you're going to see that normally in the cases where it's more of a transactional type of thing, something that the attorney understands the amount of time it's going to take.

They've done it before. They've kind of reduced it to a science in terms of, I know how much time I'm going to spend on this matter so I can give you this flat fee calculation because I know it's going to be a fair, arguably fair, depending on who the attorney is, right, price for the service that I'm providing to you. So again, that's going to, it's something that you do see. And like you said, I think you covered most of the practice areas that you're generally going to see that flat fee associated with.

Yeah. So you've got kind of this flat fee. So you might call our office because we handle both of those areas, right, and tell us what you need and be like, all right, we'll be happy to do that for you. This is what we'll, this is what we charge, right? And some attorneys may charge more, some may charge less, you know, attorneys kind of have a broad discretion on what to charge.

You know, they figure out, they calculate what their time's worth. They've got every attorney has different overhead, right? So you definitely, something you can probably shop around for depending on the confidence you have in the attorney that you're talking to, right? So that's a flat fee.

And so you may call us for that and we'll say flat fee, then you'll call us for something else and we're like, well, we'll take that on a contingency, right? So a contingency fee is usually associated with injury law, right? So a lot of the attorneys that advertise on TV, advertise on the radio, a lot of those are folks who handle what we call personal injury from car accidents, right?

Slip and falls, workers comp, things like that. So this injury law area is pretty common for attorneys to not charge you anything. Those are the attorneys that say, Hey, if you don't win money, we don't get money, right?

If you don't get paid, we don't get paid. That's a contingency fee where they say, all right, we believe in your case. We'll take your case and we're going to work on it for free. But we're going to take whatever it is, 25%, 35%, 40%. We're going to take a certain percentage of your recovery, right? So if you recover a hundred grand and that attorney agreed to take 33%, they're going to get 33, 333,000 as their fee, right? So you're not coming out of pocket upfront, which is important to a lot of folks, but the attorney is going to get paid a portion, a percentage of your recovery. And so that's contingency law. And that seems like a very popular form of payment because on TV, most of the commercials are injury attorneys and that's how most injury attorneys get paid. Yeah, I'd say that's the vast majority of those cases. And it seems far better, right, than paying out of pocket, obviously, especially upfront. And it's the standard of practice in that area. And it makes a lot of sense because you don't have to come out of pocket. Your attorney doesn't recover unless you recover.

But at the same time, be cognizant. It is generally going to be a decent percentage of whatever that recovery is. So at some point, there's going to be a payoff coming to that attorney for that amount. But again, a lot of times you're talking about substantial, substantial amounts of work being done on the attorney's point, a risk of never recovering a dollar. Because of that, the attorneys that are taking those types of contingency cases also use their discretion a lot more upfront about which cases they're actually taking. So unless you have a very strong case, contingency may not an attorney may not take your case on contingency. Yeah, it's a good point.

Yeah. So an attorney, you're kind of a partner with an attorney on your on your injury matter, right? If they've taken it on a contingency, that means they think your case has value, right? They think you're going to recover.

Your chances of recovering are better than not recovering. And, and usually there's some damage there, right? So you've you've suffered an injury, probably of a serious nature, and the the attorney sees value. An attorney is not going to work for free on a case that they don't believe in, right? It's so yeah, you may have a case that's good, but maybe the value of it, you know, luckily you weren't injured that much in the car accident. And, you know, maybe there wasn't a lot of property damage. But an injury attorney is probably not going to see a lot of value in that case because everything your recovery is based on your damages. So certainly if you have a serious car accident, you have a serious injury, you have a big workers comp claim, attorneys will are going to want to work with you on those on a contingency basis. But if you if you're an offender bender and the insurance company is just doing you wrong on property damage, that's something that an attorney is not going to take on contingency. But I think a lot of clients who don't deal with attorneys every day kind of think everything like every attorney works on everything as a contingency.

I see that a time or two, especially in this kind of next set. So any almost any other issue is going to require some sort of consultation with an attorney, right? If you're if you're thinking about getting divorce or you've got child custody or other family law issues, that's just usually going to require you paying an attorney to consult on what needs to be done.

What are the next steps? A lot of business laws like that, right? You know, if you get sued for something, if somebody's suing you for something, a lot of times you're just going to go to the attorney who an attorney who's got experience in that area and they're going to charge you, you know, who knows, you know, upwards of the I've seen five hundred dollars an hour.

I've seen a lot less. Right. But depending on the attorney and their knowledge, they're going to charge you a consultation fee to sit down with them and kind of ask you questions, figure out what's going on and give you their recommendations.

And then you can hire them usually on an hourly basis. Right. So that usually would be a retainer fee. Right. So you pay a consult, you sit down with an attorney, you like that attorney, you like that attorney's advice on a litigation matter or a family law matter or business law matter. And that attorney will say, OK, well, you know, I'll take a grand as a retainer fee and I'll bill you as I work on it. Right. So retainer fee goes into our trust account.

There's a lot of rules on how attorneys have to manage their trust account that Mr. Murdoch didn't follow. But that money sits there. That's your money.

It just sits there. And as we do work, usually on a monthly basis, we'll bill hourly for the work that we did or paralegals did or things like that. Usually we can give you a ballpark on what we think the total cost is going to be. But the point being, contingency arrangements only account for a small area of practice and I would say mostly injury law. Yeah, I think that's fair.

Yeah, yeah. So that's the biggest question. A lot of times people will want to consult with us about something that we would never take on a contingency basis. They're told that there's going to be a consult fee of some kind, you know.

And I think that confuses some folks. So I thought it merited a couple of minutes here on the show to just talk about that. And of course, if you ever have any questions, you know, you're never charged anything to just call us or shoot us an email or let us know what's going on. We're very transparent. That's always been our thing here at the firm, Whitaker and Hamer. We're never going to charge you without telling you ahead of time that something is going to cost money and how much it's going to cost.

We don't want you surprised by any of that. So that's a quick lesson on how attorneys get paid. The Outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, Whitaker and Hamer law firm where you can find them. Office is conveniently located.

Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia and Moorhead City. They are the managing partners of the firm, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina and joining us from that Moorhead City office is Cassandra Nicholas. If you are looking at a legal situation and you've got questions, well, we've got an opportunity for you. Call this number 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. Again, there's no charge. You can email your questions to questions at theoutlawlawyer.com and get some answers there as well.

But if you call that number 800-659-1186, remember to leave your name, contact information briefly what that call is about. We're back on the other side. I will wrap this one up. Welcome back to the Outlaw lawyers. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer law firm are your hosts. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina and we have offices conveniently located.

Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia and Moorhead City and joining us from the Moorhead City office is attorney Cassandra Nicholas, also with Whitaker and Hamer. And we are going to wrap it up guys. Well, you know, I've been, I've enjoyed having a chat GPT help us out on our hosting duties for me, Joe and Cassandra kind of helping us out here. We had asked, uh, again, going back to Duke, NC state and Carolina, uh, we had a Carolina haiku earlier, which was fantastic. I felt like as one of the best there, it's gonna, it's a front runner for the top 10 haikus of 2023 list already. But during the break, we asked, we asked our, our colleague chat GPT to write a poem on NC state in Duke. And since we only had a Carolina haiku and Joseph, can you let us know what it did? Yeah, the haiku wasn't that impressive, but the poem, I'll give you the first stanza because it's a beauty and it's a Duke and NC state, two giants of the game battling on the court with fame and glory at stake.

Their players fierce and fast move with grace and skill. The roar of the crowd sends shivers up the hill. I got, I got some good haikus for you. I asked it to write a haiku about, uh, Josh Whitaker, the lawyer, and I got a couple, man, and they're great. Yeah.

The first is Josh Whitaker. Wise legal battles. He wins with ease.

World's greatest lawyer. That's a good one, but it's not as good as this one. Check this one. This one's on the nose.

You ready? Josh Whitaker's mind focused on law, not on films, peace and work, not play. Wait a minute. Where's Simpsons? Where are the Simpsons in here? Look, I think, you know, we have a firm website, wh dot lawyer. If you ever get bored and you want to go to the firm's website instead of outlaw lawyer's websites at wh dot lawyer, we all have firm bios. A lot of us have firm videos in our bios to kind of introduce you, introduce ourselves. I think we need to include a chat GPT generated haiku about every attorney.

I do too, man. We can work on that today. We've got yours already ready to go. We're not going to court at all today. We're going to clear the schedule. This is all we're going to do today. Yeah, I'm going to get it to write a bunch of promos for our law firm too, that we can just deliver and pretend like they were ours.

See if it'll write a promo. Whitaker and Hamer expertise in every field. Justice served with pride. That is good. Just did you make that up?

Or did that come from the chairman? Come on. I don't mean, I can't, I made up pretty good. I made up the prompt.

I typed into the chat, but I got to get some credit for that. We can't compete. We're going to have to let all of our marketing people go. We can't compete.

If you're listening to this, you're fired. It sounds like we're fighting in like an ancient Japanese battle. And that's our, that's our promo with a passion for law and a commitment to our clients. You can trust us to defend your rights and fight for your cause. It's going to have to write all of our scripts now.

It's just, this is really good, man. Like I would hire us if I read this. We'll do a promo. We'll do something for the show. Outlaw lawyer for sure. To a promo for my great radio show, the outlaw lawyer. Oh, it's going to do it. Listen up folks. Get ready for the wildest ride on the airwaves with the outlaw lawyer radio show hosted by the one and only your name in brackets. Fantastic. This is going to revolutionize our lives.

I feel like we're all going to be obsolete. Well, anyway, we like to have fun on the show. I always tell you we're real attorneys.

We do real legal things, uh, every day. Whereas qualified to help you as the folks with the TV advertisements, with talking dogs, right? We're, we're here to help you know, how to get ahold of us, uh, more than you got that information for everybody.

Absolutely. We are wrapping up the outlaw lawyers, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer Whitaker and Hamer law firm is where you can find them. They're the managing partners, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina.

Also joining us from Moorhead city, Cassandra Nicholas. If you've got a legal situation, if you want to get in touch and ask those questions again, this is no charge. 800-659-1186 that's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact information briefly. What that 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 outlawlawyer.com and we will answer those on a future program. Well, another edition of the outlaw lawyers in the books for Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer and Cassandra Nicholas. I'm Morgan Patrick. We'll see you on the radio next week. 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 / 2023-02-19 23:09:49 / 2023-02-19 23:35:14 / 25

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