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Judica County Radio Mystery Legal Questions

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer
The Truth Network Radio
October 28, 2023 2:00 pm

Judica County Radio Mystery Legal Questions

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer

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October 28, 2023 2:00 pm

This week on Judica County Radio, the lawyers tackle mystery questions. Questions cover a wide range of legal issues. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer address each question with their usual flare. 

If you are facing a legal situation and need answers to your questions

call Whitaker & Hamer 800-659-1186.

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Outlaw Lawyer
Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer
Outlaw Lawyer
Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer
Outlaw Lawyer
Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer

Coming up on this week's Judica County Radio with Josh Whittaker and Joe Hamer.

It's Mystery Questions. The legal questions will come from all over and they will answer them. That's all coming up next on Judica County Radio. Welcome in to Judica County Radio.

Your hosts, Josh Whittaker and Joe Hamer. Managing partners, Whittaker and Hamer law firm, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina and offices conveniently located for you, Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Varina, Gastonia and Moorhead City. If you've got a legal situation you're facing, well, they can answer your questions.

You've got them. 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 Whittaker and Hamer will be in touch. And you can email your questions to the show info at

That's info at We'll answer those questions on a future broadcast. We have another edition of Mystery Questions. So excited. We'll see where the guys are going to go.

So Josh, take it away. You know, I like this format. You know, we've been doing this a couple of shows in a row, you know, but we got these mystery questions as questions that we culled from the Internet, the interwebs and listener questions that we get asked and we change them around a little bit to, you know, make the facts easier to talk about on the on the radio, on the podcast. And so that's what we do. We got a we got a mountain of mystery questions. And, you know, me and Joseph, we haven't we haven't looked at these ahead of time. We don't know what's coming at us. So we just kind of take it, take it as it comes. Right, Joseph? That's right, man. We don't do any preparation.

There's just zero percent shooting from the hip on these. But the goal, you know, the goal of the show is, you know, the reason that we me and Joe do this is we are, you know, managing partners of the law firm of Whittaker and Hamer. And we've got offices like Morgan tells you, we've got offices all throughout the state of North Carolina.

We are practicing North Carolina attorneys. And the reason we do this show is we enjoy it. That's that's number one.

But number two, we try to be helpful. So the folks who are listening, the folks who dial us in and download the podcast, we try to answer some legal questions that you may have, things that may come up in your day to day life and try to give you some some insight. I think we're a little more informative than the the judge shows, right?

The judge shows on daytime TV. Yeah, way more, way more. I just saw one. I'm not going to again, I say this every episode. I don't feel like getting sued.

So I never say any names or anything. I just saw an advertisement for one. This judge shows on cable where they have like a jury of famous people.

That's pretty cool. Right. So it's, it's, it's the judge show. So you've got the judge and it's kind of like a sarcastic, you know, judge. No one wants like a nice, reasonable judge on these cable TV shows. They won't like a, yeah, you don't want anybody.

But I mean, you could just go to court and watch, just go to court and watch actual litigation take place. So you want to judge. That's the, they're all seem mean, right? All the popular ones seem like super mean.

You never want to be meaner, the better man. And on the TV at least, and then, uh, or more sarcastic. I like a no nonsense TV judge, but this, whoever produced this show, man, they were thinking cause there's, I don't know how many people I, it was a, I heard it, I heard the commercial, I heard it on a podcast. It was a commercial podcast, but yeah, they have famous people in the jury. And again, I don't know how many people are in that jury, but like they were naming some of the names of their names. Like I recognize.

So I guess the jury is going to be able to like deliberate on the case now. That's pretty cool. If you're into that kind of thing. I'm not, and I'm not going to watch it, but I trust that you will. But somebody was thinking, man, somebody said, you know what, these shows are making a killing. How can I put like a little bit of spin on it and make my own show and the show probably do really good. If you ever got sick from school back in the day, um, back in, back in your day or my day and you'd stay home and you always had the same shows that would come on, you know, you remember those shows like price is right. Would be one of those, but it was soap operas back when we only had, but I would, that's not the channel I was focused on, man. You know, I've changed from that. I'd go to like. A judge shows Jerry Springer was one that was a common staple during the daytime.

If I was sick. Yeah. I'm a little, made me feel better, man. Jerry, Jerry Springer's like chicken soup for a sick young boy.

I'm a little older than you. So he had, well, price is right. A little bit still, but, but card sharks, man. Card sharks was a good show. What's that about the card sharks? You're basically playing like a blackjack in the ocean with sharks.

Yeah. No, it was just like a game. It was just like people gambling. It was just a game show. It was like price is right.

But the game you're playing, it was like whitejack. That sounds pretty cool. Actually.

Who goes to that? Uh, you remember Morgan, you know, about car charts. Was it, uh, I mean, was it, was it, was it wink?

Was it wink Martindale? I don't think so. That's a really cool name though. I like it. I get you. I got it. Don't worry.

But, uh, don't worry. We didn't have Jerry Springer back 1978. No, it wasn't. That's when it premiered. Card sharks premiered in like 1978. No way.

Are you telling me that the internet's a liar? They're in reruns. They were in reruns when you found it. I got you. No, man. It was, it came out 1978.

I'm curious who hosts. All right, hold on. I'll tell you, I had a comeback. I was two years old in 1978. I wasn't watching card sharks. Concept made it's, uh, made it in a four separate times since his debut in 1978, part of the CBS show game show marathon.

Uh, Jim Perry as the host from 78 to 81. So you're not even original card shot guy. You're you're you're you're reboot after your reboot guy. Yeah.

You're a reboot. 86 to 89. It came back out with Bob Eubanks. That's the one.

So don't look at me like I'm what incentive do I have to lie to you about when card sharks started Bob Eubanks. That's the one. It sounds great. It's got a really robust Wikipedia page. It was a good show, man. It came back from 2019 to 2021 with Joel McHale. Oh, really? Yeah.

You know, pretty funny guy. That guy is on community. He was on, uh, he had the, was it talk soup? Was that the one that he had? Yeah, that was pretty popular. Yeah. That guy. Anyways, it sounds great.

And if I was a young boy in school from 86 to 89, I would try to get sick so I could stay home. I thought you were going, I thought this, you were building up to talk about judge Wapner. No, I thought that's where you were going. Cause that was Wapner. Yeah. Which one was that? That was the original one. Maybe, but again, you, you're, you're pretending like we're the same age, man.

And I realize you're not that much older than me, but it's a huge generational gap in terms of dumb things like this that we talk about. Morgan, what was judge Wapner? What was his? The only, the only first one. Yeah. The only, the only, I guess, recognition I have on Wapner was from Rain Man because that's what, uh, Dustin Hoffman, he kept going judge Wapner, judge Wapner. It was the original judge TV. He was the American judge and TV personality. Yeah.

What was the show? Uh, the show, let's see, uh, presiding judge. Hold on a second.

You guys are really putting me to work. People's court, people's court, the people's court. Yeah. The people's court. That was the first one for everybody. That was the first court show.

Yeah, sure. And what was the bailiff was rusty, right? Went rusty. The bailiff.

God, you're making me, you're making me go so deep, man. The bailiff was like 109 years old and I think his name was rusty. Uh, David, you know, we're, we're talking about, there's all these errors of the show. I got to go back to the beginning. I got to go back to the start, but they, they at least pretended like it was real court. It wasn't like they were pretending like you were watching, like a rusty bear, rusty Beryl.

Yeah. Remember that you could run the name of the show and the judge walks in. What was rusty going to do if something broke out at, uh, I'd be that honestly, man, that sounds like a mix between a court show and Jerry Springer where it just breaks out and rusty just goes around knocking heads. I could, I could do that, man. You know, anybody that was on any of those, uh, cheesy. I don't. I do work with a guy in the kitchen, the pool kitchen back at my old job.

And he was, uh, he was on one of those dispute over a mattress. That's pretty cool, man. We know what we should do if we were smarter, man.

Shout out to Johnny. We should, we should go back and watch old people's court and get our mystery questions from old people's court. Yeah. Yeah, man. That sounds like a win-win for everybody involved.

That'll take some time. Or Jerry Springer watched Jerry Springer episodes and get some fact patterns from that. I like that. I like that.

So we don't have those today. I was going to say, it sounds like open container research, uh, weekend over at Josh's house. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Uh, but no, no, Morgan, we got a fine idea for a segment. We got, uh, we got mystery questions all show long today.

All right. And it's not because it's not because we're lazy either. It's because we, we enjoy it.

We enjoy it. That's right. And it provides our listeners with, uh, you know, ideas about if they've got a legal question that they're, they're facing what we may actually get to it in a category, or they can actually call 800-659-1186, get in touch with Whitaker and Hamer, leave their contact information. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch with them and they can get their questions answered.

They can also email their questions to the show info at that's info at And again, we'll answer those questions on a future program. And just a reminder, Josh and Joe are managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina and offices.

As we always say in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Varina, Gastonia, and in Morehead city. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. We are back on the other side with more mystery questions. Actually, we'll get to our first mystery question that's coming up next. Judica County radio hosted by Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina, offices conveniently located for you.

Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Varina, Gastonia, and in Morehead city. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. We hit the legalese. We talk about different legal situations that can come up and how the lawyers would handle them. Also, if you've got a legal situation that you are facing and you've got, you know, you need some answers to your questions, you can always 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 will be in touch with you from Whitaker and Hamer. And you can also email your question to the show. We'll answer them on a future program, info at

That's info at All right. It's mystery question time.

Josh, take it away. Well, I got, I got two questions that kind of, kind of ask the same thing in different ways. And so I'm going to, I'm going to start with those questions, Joseph. I like that, man, because we can get practice answering it the first time.

And then by the second time we answer, we'll be really good at it. So these are questions. So the first question is, how do I find a lawyer just to ask legal questions?

All right. How do I find a lawyer just to ask legal questions? And I'm going to combine that question with how do I get, this person said cheap.

I'm not going to, I'm going to leave that out. How do I get legal advice, but not representation? So those are two questions about how to get legal advice, uh, how to find a lawyer just to ask legal questions. These are, these are questions that are kind of about finding a lawyer and, you know, what you can ask a lawyer in a consult, basically the consult process. And I always forget this before I went to law school, before I worked for attorneys, before I was an attorney, uh, you know, growing up, I remember it was always a big deal. Like my family needed to reach out if we got a speeding ticket or I remember when my parents got a will done.

Um, you know, I remember when I got a couple of, um, speeding tickets, I was mentioning the speed tickets already, but the few, you know, not everybody has to go to a lawyer very often. And so a lot of folks don't really know how it works. Right.

Joseph, that's what I would say. Yeah. A lot of people don't know how it works, man.

That's very, that's a fair statement. You started off with your question and it was like, how do I find a lawyer? I was like, you just open your browser and you type in to take it to our website, slam the books up, man.

That's the answer. You know, and that, you know, even that's changed, you know, when I first got started, um, you know, we, uh, my, I think my first year was what, 03. So my first year was 03. So I've been doing this since 2003, which doesn't seem, doesn't seem like a long time, but it's, uh, it's, it's been a minute. And, uh, you know, when I first got started, attorneys would outbid each other to get the back page of the phone book. That was the best way you could advertise as an attorney is you spend tens of thousands of dollars to have your ad on the back of the phone book. And it was a real slam dunk when you got it. And, uh, What was the last time you saw a phone book?

Uh, it's been, it's been a minute. It blew my kids' minds if I was like, this is a thing. I feel like we got one delivered not too long ago and the kids were confused.

Like what are these numbers, these names and numbers? That used to be a big deal, man. The phone book. I remember the phone book, man. You think I've never looked anything up on the phone book?

They look like an infant to you? But you would, you'd spend some money and if you couldn't get like, they, they'd price out the back page. They price out the spine. I remember we had a client who got the spine of the phone book and that was, I can't remember how much money that was. Just an ungodly amount of money, but now it's all internet.

Yeah. How sad are those phone book maker guys, man? They're still around. They were living large at one point.

I doubt they're living quite as large these days. I still get solicited from time to time. And I'm like, you're like, you're not going to fool me.

You're not going to fool me, brother. We don't have any advertising budgets set up, but no, it's somebody still using it though, man. I wonder what the percentages of people who like strictly rely on a phone book.

Because you had less than 1.05, like I don't even know, man. It's gotta be ridiculous. So that, you know, that used to be a big thing. That's how you would find an attorney, right? You'd crack open the phone book and it had attorneys broken out by practice area.

And then now you got the Google. Yeah. And back to your question, you know, it sounds like this person may be, you know, you can go and sit down with an attorney. It doesn't mean you have to hire that person, right? Like it doesn't mean that you're going to sign a formal engagement agreement with this person. And it's not like you sit down with me and we're doing whatever it is. Like you've got no choice.

You always have a choice. You know, you can just come in and get advice. That's not, that happens. I mean, there's a large percentage of consultations that are nothing but that.

Because not every situation is going to require some form of tangible action. A lot of times it's just talking through a situation and just again, getting some legal advice. Yeah. You know, the good thing about our firm is we kind of try to build our firm over time where we can handle multiple practice areas, right? So we have, you know, our thing, our tagline has always been your law firm for life. And so what we try to do is any situation that you encounter, we're going to have an attorney who works in that area who can consult with you.

And that's like, like Joe said, that's what happens. You find an attorney you want to consult with. Some things attorneys don't charge to sit down with you on, some things they do.

And yeah, you just, you've got a certain amount of time. Some, some attorneys do 30 minute consult, some do an hour, and you're just going to talk about your legal issue with, with that attorney. And that attorney can answer some questions for you. They can get you on the right track. But yeah, you're not, you're not obligated to that attorney.

That attorney is not obligated to you. I met with plenty of people who probably needed legal help, but they, you know, we could tell for whatever reason it wasn't going to be a good fit. And a lot of times it's just as simple as you can have a legitimate issue that, that is a really tough situation that you're fully in the right, you know, legally speaking, morally speaking, it's a slam dunk.

And it just doesn't make monetary sense to pursue based on, you know, what you're looking to recover versus what your actual damages are. And that's a conversation we have to have with people a lot. It's like, what is this worth to you? Like, yes, you, you're, you're, you're right. Right.

And we can get that. We, it's, it's not an issue of whether you're going to win. It's a, it's a matter of whether it's going to be worth what it's going to cost you to get to that point. And, and it's really just a, it's a, what's it worth to you type of thing, you know?

Yeah. So people sit down with me a lot of times and kind of give me the, the, what their issue is. And as attorneys, we try to pick the legal issues cause some, you know, people will come in and tell me, you know, a really long story has been building up over time. And, you know, now we're in this position and some of the backstory is not important to an attorney, you know, attorneys, we kind of carve it up. And we're like, shut up people. We don't want to hear this, right? We carve it up and say, okay, well, this isn't, this isn't important. This is important. This is what you could sue for.

This is how you defend yourself. You know, we kind of give you the plan, but the, the consult is, is, is kind of like an interview. We're interviewing the client.

Clients kind of getting an interview with us. We're talking about your legal issues. And sometimes we solve the problem in the consult. Sometimes it's just an easy, yeah, you can't do that.

We're that good. Yeah. So sometimes you get it all wrapped up. If you just have a couple of questions, you get what you need done. And sometimes you, you figure out like, Hey, this is what you'd have to do. This is what you're looking at in attorney's fees. You know, if you want to go forward, this is, you know, what you, you know, we sign an engagement agreement and then you, you go from there, but you know, you, you're not obligated to an attorney just for a consult.

Yeah. Just cause you sit down doesn't mean you're locked in. Now that is to say, you know, there is something to be said about sitting down with an attorney. Like you sit down and you consult with an attorney. There are implications of that in terms of, you know, really that attorney's ability to represent another party related to that matter. Like there's conflict rules that, that could potentially conflict that attorney out and in that situation. So it's not like it has no impact, but it doesn't have any impact on your ability to say, Hey, I don't like this lawyer. I'm going to go, I'm going to either do nothing or I'm going to, I'm going to go and talk to somebody else about this as well.

You're certainly welcome to get a second opinion if need be. I was going to say, so it's almost, it's an interview process where you're going to, it's kind of a get to know you. You're going to get to know the situation. They're going to get to know you.

Yeah. And you know, we talk about the fact that we do a lot of times get this long engaging backstory and I joke about, you know, but I joke about not wanting to hear that. That's not necessarily the case because you know, we're, we're attorneys, right? But there's also that attorney and counselor at law piece. And it's not like we're like certified counselors. Of course, that's not the case, but there's something to be said about talking through these situations with people. And so a lot of times that's part of the benefit of coming to somebody is being able to kind of get it all out there. And I like to say we try to also offer a counseling in quotes piece of things in terms of like just trying to hear people, let people be heard. And again, just, just advise on those situations from a full, like a full perspective, right? Like from the legal aspect, but, but just really all across the board as well.

Yeah. You know, if you, and there's, and there's different kinds of consults, right? So if you've decided it's finally time for you to do your estate plan, you know, you'd meet with an attorney who handles, you know, estate planning and they're going to ask a lot of times, I know at least here at our firm, we'll, we'll get you to fill out some information ahead of time.

You're still not obligated to anything. You know, we just want to, we want to be able to actually use your consult time to consult with you instead of asking for information. So estate planning consults kind of go one way. Like if you've just been in a car accident and we're helping you with a personal injury, those consults, you know, we're obviously asking a lot of questions about the accident, what you're doing before, what happened after. Um, I do a lot of business law consults where we're talking about a prospective business venture and how to best protect our client from liability, set everything up. Uh, we're not CPAs, but we still look at everything.

What's, what's the most advantageous legally, uh, you know, taxes, things like that. Things to, things to keep in mind. So every type of console, you know, a speeding ticket consult isn't that, you know, we're going to ask you questions about your driving record.

And, and so you gotta be willing to give your attorney some information too, so they can help you. I love those speeding ticket consults, man. They go fast?

Yeah. Like I like to pull up the driving simulator and make people do a couple of laps and no, I mean, there's, there's rarely going to be a speeding ticket console. You have to have pretty serious speeding ticket to need a speed ticket consult, man. Or some, some various other, you know, charges that go with it. Sometimes just speeding tickets, just, uh, the tip of the iceberg for.

Yeah. Just, just a speeding ticket, man. Let me tell you that you're, you're going to get so inundated with, with ad letters from folks that, uh, you can just be drowning in those before you can get to anybody's office to sit down about it.

So good old speeding tickets, man. Judica County radio, your host, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm offices located Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Farina, Gastonia, and Moorhead city. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina.

We will continue with our mystery question show. If you've got a legal situation you're facing, you need some answers to your own questions. You can always call Whitaker and Hamer 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact information briefly. What the call is about an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch and you can always email your questions right here to the show. Info at That's info at

We're back right after this. Welcome back into Judica County radio, your host, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm offices located right here in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Farina, way over there in Gastonia and way down by the coast, Moorhead city. And again, it's always about legalese. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina, your law firm for life.

I like that. I'm Morgan Patrick consumer advocate. If you've got a legal situation you're facing, you can always call the firm 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 email your questions to the show info at It is mystery question time. So Josh, take it away. All right.

Next mystery question is, is when we haven't had, I don't think we've touched on this in a while. This is coming from a contractor, right? So this would be somebody, electrician, uh, you know, general contractor, plumber, anybody who's done work on, on someone's residence or building or place of business. So this guy is saying he did $15,000 worth of work. Excuse me. He did $9,000 worth of work on someone's house.

And he's trying to figure out if he should, his question is, should I sue in small claims court or file a mechanics lien? That's his, that's his question. What do you think about that, Joseph?

Oh man. Um, that's a, that's a very good, uh, very good question. I want to tell him congratulations on that question. Tell him, congrats.

I, uh, we would love to assist him with that. And, um, you know, small claims is generally going to involve a dispute less than $10,000. So we're talking about, what'd you say? 15,000? No, I did. I did say 15,000, but it was actually, it was actually nine.

So North Carolina. It was actually nine. You weren't listening to throw me off here, man.

You're right. I wasn't listening. So I said, I originally did say 15,000. I like to not listen to what you say and then still try to answer.

I'm trying to see if I'm good enough to still answer your question, even if I don't listen to you. So our, our guys, our guys claim could technically, you could technically do that in small claims. You got to breach a contract issue. It's under $10,000. That's usually, uh, every state has a different threshold for small claims. And we've talked about small claims. Small claims is designed for, um, kind of like people's court, right? Small claims is designed where you don't necessarily need an attorney. It's a magistrate instead of a judge. They, they won't really, they stick to the rules of evidence, but they're very nice to you. They don't yell at you like these mean TV judges. Yeah.

You're not getting judge Wapner up in there. So it's a, it's unusual to see attorneys in small claims, but, uh, so this guy's got an option. He could sue in small claims or he's actually in North Carolina. If you've done a certain type of work on a land or a residence, you could file what's called a mechanics lien. And I would argue that anytime you have the option to file a mechanics lien, that's your, that's your better option. Yeah.

That was going to be my thing, man. Cause what are you ultimately getting out of small claims court? Right? Like what's your, what's your best case result? Well, I think before you even go there, it's just, you talk about like the process of a mechanics lien and what it does immediately. Yeah. Well, that's the thing, like your ultimate result, if you go through the entire process of small claims and you win some kind of a judgment against somebody, mechanics lien is going to be much quicker, much faster, arguably just to secure. And it's going to get you to the same end result. Essentially, you know, if you're, if you've done work on property, a judgment is only worth what the, the person that you're getting that judgment against is worth. Right. So, um, if you get a judgment against somebody who's, who's kind of worthless or who, who's not going to pay you, who owns no real property, things of that nature, then it's not going to be worth a whole lot.

Like it's there, but it may never, you may never realize anything from it now. Um, the mechanics lien, we're talking about a situation where you've done work on someone's real property in this hypothetical. So you know, this is a person that has property and putting that, that lien out there on that property is going to, it ties to the property. Anybody who's doing a title search on that property is going to come upon that lien and it's going to be something that's going to get taken care of before that property can be sold or disposed of in any way. So mechanics lien is going to be quicker in this scenario. It's going to be faster. It's going to be of equal benefit in my opinion. Um, and you don't have to do all the legwork of going down to the small claims and making the arguments and things like that.

So yeah, I agree with you. A mechanics lien is quick. A mechanics lien, if you're within your, there's some, there's some time limits in every state, North Carolina, you've got 120 days from the last day you did actual real work on the property to file a lien. Um, an attorney usually will help you out with that. You could also in theory, uh, file one on your own.

You don't have to have an attorney. Uh, but if you file a lien properly, that's, uh, that acts as a judgment right away. Now there's still, you know, within 180 days, you have to actually go ahead and file that lawsuit. You can't do that in small claims. You'd be in district court at that point, but the lien is quick.

It's easy. Usually it can be filed within a day or two and it, uh, it does some damage while it's there. Eventually litigation does come into play.

Uh, but these mechanics liens, uh, you know, you see a lot of these, like somebody's done work and they know the person's about to sell the house and a mechanics lien filed correctly would have to get paid, you know, when that property was sold or before that property was, was refiled. Um, so mechanics lien is definitely the quickest way. You know, small claims would take a little longer. Small claims can, you can get a judgment, but then it gets appealed. It can get appealed to district court. You can have a district court trial on it.

It just moves a little slower. Mechanics liens are specifically allowed for certain people and they move fast. So I think, I think a mechanics lien is the way to go there just based on the facts that we have.

That's going to be my vote too, man. I think we're in consensus that the mechanics liens to play next. All right. Well, here's the next question. And again, you know, some of these questions so far, I haven't minded these questions today.

No, they've been, I mean, you've done what two? Well, that's good. It's your show.

I mean, I was going to say you're picking them, man, but they are mystery questions. So, so this one, this one is, is I'm less, I'm less excited about, but it's the thing that happens. I could tell.

I was looking and I saw you looking and you looked pretty depressed. All right. Our bartender for, uh, I got to read this again. Bartender for a canceled wedding won't refund our deposit. Do we have a case against the bartender? Our bartender for a wedding won't refund our deposit.

I mean, okay. So I'm going to say this as a contract specific question, right? So what's your agreement with this bartender? You know, let's assume, assuming there is an agreement. What's your agreement with his bartender look like? That's where we're going to start at. Um, and then we're gonna have to ask him additional questions too.

Like assuming that he's just taken the money and run. Yeah. You're going to have an action against them. Right.

But, uh, are there any facts we're missing? I'm sure there is. I imagine if this bartender is smart and at least has like a little one page contract or something, I imagine this deposit is non-refundable. If your event is canceled. Yeah.

You know, in a certain amount of time before the date, you know, a lot of the, a lot of the wedding industry, the entertainment industry, your caterers, your florist, your bartenders, your bands, your entertainment. They all have contracts that probably require deposit. Right. So they, cause they're not actively seeking another event. Yeah. They're taking themselves off the market, man. And so that deposit usually goes, like goes hard. Right.

Becomes non-refundable at a certain, at a certain point, um, when they really couldn't get another job, you know, that's, that's what it's there for. So yeah, we're missing some facts here. I don't, again, I don't know how, hopefully it wasn't like the day of the wedding. Yeah. I mean, yeah, but again, it boils down to what did you agree to? Right.

Like, assuming that there is an agreement, even if it's the most simple agreement, what'd you agree to now in the absence of an agreement? It was the wild, wild west. It was the wild, wild west.

Wicked, wicked wild. It was a terrible movie, by the way. Oh, I didn't want to. Yeah.

That's the one time where I can be like, you made the right call. I can just go to my grave, never seeing the wild, wild west. You're talking about the latest Will Smith version. Yeah. Not the late.

I mean, it's old. Right. But this was a time when Will Smith was killing it. Right.

And I was a younger kid and, uh, everything he did was gold. And the previews for wild, wild west come out like, no, it looks fantastic. It's going to be great.

Right. It was terrible. Isn't it the one that had the big spider spider? Yeah, it was bad.

It was bad steam. I hated it. I hadn't seen it since then. Maybe if I saw it again, I don't think it probably holds up.

No, I wouldn't waste the time. All right. I won't. You were an adult when, when you saw it, Morgan. So I'll take your word for it. I was a kid and I didn't like it.

And that was like right in my wheelhouse. So. But no, if you, if you don't have a, yeah, if you don't have a, if you don't have a contract, you're kind of, I mean, we're probably assuming in this situation, we're not talking about like thousands upon thousands of dollars. So this probably isn't a matter that's worth time or energy for litigation. You know, let's say it's a, you know, $250 deposit, which $250 is nothing. It's not chump change, but are you willing to throw several hundred dollars, you know, at filing and small claims or hiring an attorney to write a letter that's kind of. We're right back to that same conundrum, man. Like what's it worth to you?

What's it worth? I usually will talk to people in a consult, you know, if we're depending on the amount of money we're talking about, you know, do you want to throw good money after bad? Is going after this money worth the new money?

You're going to have to pay filing fees, attorney's fees. Is it going to be worth it? And sometimes the answer is 100% yes. Sometimes the answer is 100% no. And sometimes the answer is it's a close call.

Sometimes it's 62% maybe. I like to be, we got to be honest with people, man. You like, I'm not going to sit down and tell anybody that they got to be the one that makes a decision on whether it's worth it. I'm going to tell you what it's going to cost straight up. Cause that's the last, like the last thing you want is a client that you have talked into litigating and you haven't given them an accurate picture of one, what they're going to pay and two, what they're going to recover.

I want that to be super transparent, man. There's no win. Like maybe, maybe as an attorney, you could make potentially more money by doing this, but you're going to have people who are very upset with you, man. Right. Yeah. People, people need to know the process that's in front of them. People need to know what it's going to cost. They need to know what their time commitment is going to be.

It's, you know, and it can be formidable depending on, on the facts and people need to be ready for that. Cause it's, you don't want them to find out a couple of months in, you know? Yeah.

Yeah. That's the wrong time for them to find out. Judica County radio, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer are your hosts of the managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm offices located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Varina, Gastonia and Moorhead city. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina. Again, your law firm for life, the number to call if you've got a legal question and you need some answers, you can call the firm 800-659-1186.

That's 800-659-1186 and just leave your contact information briefly. What the call is about and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch and you can email your questions to the show info at That's info at

We have more mystery questions coming up on the other side. Judica County radio, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer managing partners and practicing attorneys here in North Carolina. You can find them at Whitaker and Hamer law firm, your law firm for life offices located Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Varina, Gastonia and in Moorhead city. If you've got a legal situation, you can always call the firm 800-659-1186. You've got a question, you need some answers, call the firm 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 email your questions to the show info. That's info at

That's info at mystery questions. Here we go, Josh. Take it away. All right. So how many we've done? We've done four or five. I think it's four. That was a, I'm going to count that as a mystery question. All right.

So we've got it. This is an interesting mystery question. So this really isn't a fact pattern. This is more of just a question about a legal thing. And so our, our, our listener here is asking what is unjust enrichment? What is unjust enrichment? Um, yeah, so basically unjust enrichment would apply in a situation where you have something that has been done. Some service has been done and there's value for that service and the court agrees that there's value for that service, but there was no contract in place at the time the service was performed. I'm going to give you, I'm going to give you the example. My professor, my law professor gave me when we talked today in contracts, first semester contracts, we were talking about, uh, unjust enrichment and unjust enrichment. Uh, the way he did this to us, his, uh, his example was, let's say you're a painter and you go out and you've got this address written down and you're going to paint the house and you know, it's a weekday.

Everybody's at work. You go to this address and you paint the house and everything looks good. You're all done. You wrap up, you find out your bill's not paid and come to come to find out you had the wrong address. You painted the wrong house.

Ouch. So you had a contract with the next door neighbor to paint their house. Uh, you didn't do it.

It was your own mistake. And you went and you painted somebody's house who didn't hire you. Maybe it needed paint.

Maybe it looks great. Maybe you did the best job you've ever done, but that person did not contract with you to get their house painted. Uh, but you can't take the loss on this.

You gotta, you gotta do something. And, uh, in this scenario, the painter sued the house owner that got painted for a consumer for breach of contract because there was no contract. There was no written contract. There was no verbal agreement.

These people didn't know each other. So he sued them for unjust enrichment, which is basically a legal theory saying, Hey, I did some stuff. You got the benefit of it. You haven't paid for it.

I'm out money. That's basically what unjust enrichment says. Um, and I always liked that example. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You always talk about unjust enrichment. This is what I remember from law school. We would always talk about, uh, quantum Meriwitt. You remember that one? Yeah. Which is the, uh, it's the, just the reasonable value of the benefit conferred.

I think that's the way they described it. Always. That always stuck with me. I thought it was a cool word. Never get to use it.

I'm using it right now though. Well, we, it's always, a lot of times it's a backup claim. You know, if you're suing somebody for breach of contract or you don't have the best written contract, or you've got like a verbal contract, it's kind of like a backup claim. It's pay me what? Pay me the fair amount for what I've done for you. And what is the fair amount? You haven't agreed to amount, right? So that's going to be something that gets litigated. What is the reasonably fair amount?

Yeah. Anytime you're talking about something like that, and you're talking about the court making that determination, we're talking about nine times out of 10, we're talking about a reasonableness standard. What is reasonable?

The average. I don't have the answer, but, uh, you're getting evidence as to what is reasonable and the court's going to make a determination. Yeah. And I think in our, and I think in our example where the homeowner didn't ask for the service, um, that, that person's going to have a hard time. It's going to be a lot harder versus, and then you're talking about subjective, something as subjective as paint.

And, you know, there's a lot, that's a trickier situation. Um, yeah. So that, that's an unjust enrichment. It's kind of, it's kind of a backup claim. Like if I don't have any other claims at all, you know, you know, I, I painted the house and that, that has a, you know, a value.

And then you argue about the value, but this case is probably a loser for our, for our painter in our, in our example. So your guy always used the paint in the house. My guy, my, my, my professor, whoever he may have been, he would always use the, uh, cutting the grass.

That was his scenario. Somebody cutting your grass. I feel like that's easier than painting your whole house. Yeah.

Painting your whole house. You have to suspend some disbelief, you know, now with like ringing doorbells and stuff. Yeah.

But what if, what are you going to do? You gonna tell them to stop their painting? Yeah. But if they're cutting your grass, I think that changes the facts.

I think if you're aware of it, you allow it to continue. Now I think you're, you're looking at maybe having to fork over some money. They got this guy, there's this guy on YouTube and he just goes around and he just finds the worst yards. Oh, I've seen that guy.

Yeah. And he just, he offers to do it for free. That'd be a pretty sick hustle to go and do it and then sue him for unjust enrichment. Yeah, he does that. He does a good, he does good work back.

He does do good work, man. And it's very satisfying. Like I wouldn't want to do it. I would do it if like I wasn't, my body wouldn't hurt after like I had unlimited energy and time.

Like it looks like it would be a very worthwhile thing to do, but I don't have those things. And who would have, you know, this, this always surprises me, man. The people that think of these angles to get popular on social media. I mean, this guy is a good landscaper.

He has arguably a successful landscaping business and he's just started doing this to get, bring attention to his business. Right. And then we both seen this guy. Yeah. Yeah.

Maybe, unless there's like a bunch of guys doing, it's probably the same guy, man. This is the guy, this guy, he's out there shoveling. He doesn't talk about, yeah, I like that guy. That guy's good, man. Get that guy on the show. Well, people never trusted me there when he's telling them.

Yeah. And then they're really, he's like, yeah, cause, but he's, these are the, no disrespect to these people, but if these, these are the people that their yards are, they're real bad yards. And so they're probably, I mean, they're probably a little embarrassed, you know, and they know he's filming it. But yeah, they never believe him, dude. They never do. He has to, he has to really sell them on that idea. It's probably cause they're listeners of the show and they've been listening to us talk about Quantum Meruit. They just don't want to get stuck with one of those Quantum Meruit claims.

They're learning a lot of fun. But in that case, they're bargaining and the bargain is he's offering to do it for free. So, you know.

And there's so many scams out there, guys. I can understand why people are like, what? No.

You know, they don't want to believe that it's, you know, complimentary. We had a storm come through not too long ago. It was that, it was like last year we had that straight wind storm.

It blew off. My, my, my roof was getting old, blew off a lot of shingles. And I had a roofer every day coming by like, Hey man, your roof, your roof looks real bad. You got to respect that hustle, man.

You got to respect that hustle. The funny thing is, I'm not even kidding you, man. This is a true story. I don't even know any roofers. And I swear to you, someone was like talking about your house, like some random roofer guy. I was like, they've been trying to get up with your friend Josh for a while now. That's a true story.

I can't remember who told me that. Yeah. So we had, we had a really bad looking roofer for about 30 days and it was the, it was the talk of the town there.

But you had every roofer on the planet trying to come fix it for you too. All right. Uh, next mystery question. So this guy's got a joint account. Does it say who it's with?

All right. Oh, it's his parents. So this guy and his parents have a joint account and his parents took all the money out of the joint account and he's wanting to know what he can do about it. I'm going to change the fact pattern to make it even more.

Sue your parents. Yeah. I'm going to, I'm going to say it's just two. It's just a couple.

Okay. It's just, it's just two people and they've got one joint account. Maybe they fund it to pay their bills. They got one joint account. It's got money in it. One of the, one of the, they go their separate ways and somebody cleans it out.

What can the other person do about it? That's the question I think this is. I was with you with the parents. Right.

And then you started adding, my head started spinning. You got, you got just a couple. Okay. Just, just two people who live together. Let's say they got a joint account.

They fund it to pay bills, things like that. Both on the account. Both on the account. Um, and one of them, they, they break up.

One of them cleans it out. The one who didn't get any money is what can they do about it? What can they do about it?

That's what I'd look at. What can you do about it? It's a joint account, brother. Yeah.

Once you, even if it was all your money. Yeah. It's a joint account, man. You and, and in the absence of some like miscellaneous agreement between the two of you that I'm not aware that anyone's got, it's a joint account, man. You've got equal right to the money.

Yeah. So there's nothing, you know, there's nothing criminal here. It's not something you could call the cops on. He didn't, this person didn't steal anything. They, they were on the account. They're entitled to every bit of money that's in there. Even if they didn't put any of it in, um, now you might have a civil action, right? You could definitely sue that person and say, Hey, you know, this was from my inheritance and you didn't earn any of this.

None of this was yours. But even that's going to be tricky, right? I think it's tricky, but I think it's doable. It's a legitimate claim. Well, the theory is, you know, that guy's already gone with your a hundred thousand dollars.

Even if you win, what, you know, what do you get from them? Yeah. That's why you don't put these people on your accounts. That's where we start at. Yeah.

You gotta be real careful about making a joint account with somebody. I agree. I agree with that. We answered that one too quick. That one went fast.

That was fast. My practical advice for these people is, is don't, don't do that. Don't do that out of the gate.

Don't do it early. And then you, do you ever really know someone? Do you ever really know, do you ever really know your, uh, live-in boyfriend that you put on your account and he takes your parents a hundred thousand dollars of inheritance money and he goes to Tijuana, Mexico? Uh, I mean, I'm gonna tell my boys, you know, if that ever happens, I will come back and haunt you for your, for your stupidity.

Yeah, man. We should haunt our children anyways. I think that's something we should plan on.

They're gonna, they need, they need the guidance. I don't know. I have a feeling all your kids are going to be forewarned on a number of different issues. I'm just guessing. About my ghost popping up at every turn. Don't do that.

All right. Judica County. While you're listening, it's Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina.

Your law firm for life. Office is located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia, and in Moorhead City. If you've got a legal situation, you need answers to your questions, you can always call the firm 800-659-1186.

That's 800-659-1186. Leave your contact info, briefly what that call is about, and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And you can always email the show info at That's info at We're back on the other side to wrap up another edition of Judica County Radio. Judica County Radio.

Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer are your hosts. They're managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina. Your law firm for life. Office is located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia, and in Moorhead City. If you've got a legal situation, you can always contact Whitaker and Hamer. 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. Leave your contact info, briefly what that call is about, and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. Email your questions to the show. We'll answer them on a future broadcast. Info at

That's info at Josh, go ahead. I was just staring out the window here. We're down at Shady's on Main Street doing our recording, and it's bright and sunny outside. I was just kind of staring outside, and I got the stairs.

You ever get a case of the stairs? Yeah, I'm facing the opposite way of you, so I only have your face that's there or a blank wall with an employees only sign on the door. So I've been looking at that. Your view's way cooler than mine. It's such a nice day. Some of the trees are changing. I'm going to turn my head, man.

I've got to skip. Oh, it is nice out there. Yeah, it's getting to be that time of year where the leaves are changing. It's way better than this dark, dank, depressing old jail. This place picks up at night now. Don't get me wrong. This place is hopping.

But during the day when there's no patrons here, and the lights are partially on, and I'm staring at your face and the employees only sign. All right, I think it's time for a mystery question. All right, here's our next mystery question. This one's got a big fact pattern. I'm just going to make up my own question. There's a lot going on here, but basically somebody is being made.

It's actually a sad fact pattern. The father has opened an estate for a child. So we have a situation where an adult child has passed away and the father is opening up an estate.

Right. We've talked about probate. We've talked about opening up an estate and the father has hired an attorney to open up an estate. And they filed the initial paperwork with the clerk of court in the county where the person was. We always say domiciled was where they resided for at least the past six months. And they're waiting on the clerk to finalize everything and send what we call letters. Right.

Mm hmm. And every county kind of moves at a different speed, at least here in North Carolina. And so these people are frustrated because they have not received their letters yet. And this document that we call letters, it's a document, letters of testamentary here because there's a will saying that, hey, this person is the executor. It allows you to go to banks, allows you to start collecting assets of the estate and managing the estate's affairs and that you can't do anything without these letters. It's kind of like a P.O.A.

when you're alive. Right. It's kind of like a power of attorney when you're when that person's alive, that you're acting for when someone's dead. You need these letters from the clerk to deal with banks and things like that. And some clerks take longer than others to get those out. And so here the person is really frustrated because, one, they don't have the letters from the clerk's office. And two, they have to keep calling their attorney for an update and their attorney charges them every time they call them for an update.

And there is no update. That's tough sledding, man. That's tough. Yeah, that's tough, man. And I'll tell you, you know, during the pandemic, a lot of clerk's offices got way behind processing anything, man.

Filed lawsuits, filed mechanicals, liens, you know, estates, anything the clerk's office has to process. A lot of them fell behind during the pandemic. And some of them have never caught up. And there's some counties where it can take months to get. And it's county by county. Right.

Yeah. One county will go, you'll walk in there. You don't need an appointment.

It'll be done the same day. Some counties, you have to make an appointment and the appointment's a month out. And once you get in there. And sometimes attorneys can speed up a little bit for you.

But we're not, you know, the clerk's office doesn't doesn't necessarily give us preference. And sometimes it can just take a long time. And it's very inconvenient, especially if you're dealing with, you know, someone who's passed away. They've got bills. They got mortgages.

You got things you got to figure out. It can be frustrating. And then it looks like their agreement with their attorney was they would get they would pay hourly for any time the attorney spent on it. So every time they're contacting their attorney, they're getting a bill right for point, you know, one hour or whatever it is to respond to an email. And so it's their right to be frustrated.

The question they're asking is, what can they do about it? Are you posing that to me, man? I'm going to go back. I'm going to some qualifiers here because you made me sad with that fact pattern. My dad wants to think about that, man.

So I'm going to make I'm going to I'm going to keep your fact pattern. But instead of like a twenty eight year old dad and like a young kid, we're going ninety seven year old man and his seventy year old child. How about that? Sure. That's long life for that kid before he died.

I like that better. Seventies. Seventies young. Yeah. Seventies.

Seventy years young. What was your question again? You know, I just call their friends. What can they do about it? What can they do about it?

Well, there's it's a two fold question, right? Because what can they do about the attorney? Nothing. Right. Don't call them.

And then you don't get an update. Like you can't change your agreement. You could you could you could get another attorney. But, you know, in your fact pattern, this this attorney wasn't doing anything necessarily wrong. Like you can make an argument.

It's not super cool to bill people. But then again, if that's your arrangement and someone's going to call you 50 times a day, what do you do at that point? Yeah, there's a balance there.

So, yeah, there's a balance. But you could get another attorney. But the reality is, is as attorney, we don't have a magic wand.

We can't just bust up in the clerk's office and force them to do anything like some of these counties. It is what it is. Yeah, I think the answer is nothing. There's there's really nothing you can do. You know, your attorney is required to give you updates when there's updates to give you.

And, you know, that's, you know, the attorney in theory only has 40 hours a week to bill. And if you're asking for an update every day, you know, eventually you probably would get some time, time billed. But yeah, not much you can do here. It's a frustrating situation.

I get that. I see it play out a lot, unfortunately. And there's just not what you can do about it.

That is a good point. And then on the clerk's side, like, what do you do about them taking a long time? Same thing the attorneys do. There's nothing you can really do.

You know, you can call and be very nice to them and try to sweet talk them. But the reality is they're they're they're busy. They're busy, right? They're busy.

Oh, no. But so that wasn't a very satisfying last mystery question because there was no good answer. I'm frustrated. What can I do about it?

Not much. You could be frustrated. Yeah, just be frustrated. Yeah. Yoga.

You could do some yoga, deep breathing exercises. All right. Well, gentlemen, another edition of Judica County Radio is in the books. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina.

They have offices located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia and Moorhead City. You know, making a selection on an attorney you're going to use or firm you're going to use very, very important. And remember, Whitaker and Hamer, they want to be your law firm for life. If you've got a question, something you're going through on the legal side of things, you need some answers. You can always call the firm. Eight hundred six five nine one one eight six.

That's eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six. Leave your contact information briefly. What that call is about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch with you. And you can always email your questions to the show.

We'll answer them on a future program. Info at Judica County dot com. That's info at Judica County dot com.

Well, for Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, I'm Morgan Patrick. Again, consumer advocate. And another edition of Judica County radio is in the books.

We will see on the radio next week. We're 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 / 2023-10-28 16:09:12 / 2023-10-28 16:35:49 / 27

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