Friday, March 22, 2013

Harris County Dispute Resolution Center

Free mediation service in Harris County

The dispute Resolution Center (DRC) provides free mediation services conducted by trained professional to help people resolve their disputes.

Mediation is a quick, private process that helps people resolve differences in a positive way.  The mediator will not take sides, make decisions for the parties or act as a judge.

The DRC has been helping people since 1980 with cases ranging from divorce to consumer and merchant conflicts.

Most cases can be resolved in mediation.

Office hours are Monday - Friday 8 am - 5 pm

Location - Harris County Annex #2 - 49 San Jacinto in Suite 220 (77002)

Phone number 713-755-8274

The DRC is a nonprofit corporation sponsored by the Houston Bar Association

I have been a volunteer mediator at the DRC since 2004.
I do family law & CPS mediations for this wonderful organization.
I am one of their top 100 volunteer mediators each year.

Alienation of Affection Lawsuits or Suing a Third Party in a Divorce in the State of Texas

 "Alienation of affection" legal questions are always popular legal questions when a spouse is considering a divorce in the State of Texas. 
Unfortunately, the TX legislature eliminated this type of lawsuit many years ago. You can read the TX Family Code which is available on-line for free. Look for Section 1.107. I believe it was eliminated in the State of Texas around 1994.
West's Sampson & Tindall's Texas Family Code Annotated book cites to 2 TX cases - Helena Laboratories Corp. v. Snyder from 1994 (886 S.W.2d 767) and Smith v. Smith  (126 W.W.3d 660) from Houston 14th Dist.Court in 2004. I've not looked up either of these 2 cases.  I assume the 1994 case is the "leading" TX case on point.
Section 1.107 is a very short law "A right of action by one spouse against a third party for alienation of affection is not authorized in this state."
Therefore, such a lawsuit cannot be entertained.  You can certainly file such a lawsuit but it will be dismissed by the judge.  You cannot "get in front" on a judge on such a lawsuit.  There cannot be a hearing or any testimony in front of a judge.  It does not matter how horrible your case is, the judge is not allowed to authorize such a lawsuit.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Phone Consultations

Ok - I'm going to vent:

1.  Do not call me at midnight and expect me to talk to you or even me nice to you if you wake me up!

I actually had a phone call from a man calling me at midnight and wanted to ask me a "quick question".  I told him that I was in bed asleep & he "still" wanted to talk!  I said to him "do you call your auto mechanic at midnight and expect him to fix your car at midnight?"  and I hung up on him.  I was not nice -- I had just fallen asleep & I was really upset to be awaken - I thought that someone in my family had died -- I don't like calls after midnight!

If you have an emergency, call 911.  Please don't call me and expect me to perform a miracle.  I don't do miracles.

2.  A young lady called me on Saturday afternoon and I called her back at 5:50 pm.  She told me that she was busy getting dressed to go out and could I call her back on Sunday.  I told her "I'm an attorney with over 20 years experience and if you don't want to talk to me right now and get my advice then obviously your problem is not very important to you.  You've lost your opportunity to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Obviously, your chance to go out on a Saturday night is more important than your personal problem that you called me about.  I will not call  you back again.  Good luck!".

Obviously, she does not understand the value of an attorney's services and her problem must not have been that important to her.  I could not believe it!

3.  On there is a button to return phone calls to people immediately.  I often hit the button to return calls if I feel that the need to talk to an attorney in an emergency situation.  I'm amazed that often these people (1) don't answer their phones or (2) their voice mails are not set up to receive phone messages.  If a person wants a consultation with an attorney, it would seem to me that they would be eager to answer their phone calls and not let their phone calls go directly to voice mail.

I only mediate these days.  I only offer phone consultations when I feel that God has sent these people to me for a referral to an attorney that litigates or for an intervention.

Most attorneys with my years of experience charge over $350/hour.  Most won't answer their own phone - they have their "staff" handle their calls.  I prefer to keep my practice smaller and more intimate.  I keep my overhead lower to keep my hourly rate lower.  However, I still expect to be paid for my time and experience.

If you want a consultation, I charge $3 per minute or $180/hour.  I no longer litigate.  It's cash at the time we meet - no billing - no credit cards.  That's what local psychics charge -- I'm certainly worth that and much more.  And, most people say I'm worth double what I charge!
So I do accept tips, donations to my favorite charities & other forms of appreciation for the worth I do.

I also do divorce coaching.  It's pre-litigation.  It can be a one-time or a series of meetings.  You control the process.  It is not counseling.  It is educational.  Everyone that has done it has found it uplifting and powerful. -- FREE TEXAS FORMS! is the free Texas website to find family law forms.

It's not always accurate but it's the best site I've found for pro se people to use.

The forms are better than the forms sold on television, radio & internet by companies outside the State of Texas!  Don't waste your money with those DIY kits -- try these forms instead!

It's Free!!!!

Give them a try!