Attorney Hourly Pay Plunges to $10 Per Hour

It has been reported for some time there is a lawyer glut in California. There are way too many lawyers, or at least a misallocation of lawyers as attorneys try to service businesses in the metro areas while basic rural needs go wanting.

In part, blame falls on the incredible debt lawyers incur in law school. The state has taken the position lawyers will make a lot of money so they can afford to pay astronomical fees for an education. The higher tuition fees for graduate level work are used to support the college system and undergraduates. At least one public law school, the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco comes to mind, I believe receives no state funding at all.

It is a public school privately funded by students.

The result has been a steady dropping of California law school reputations compared to national peers.

It also means attorneys need to find high paying jobs to pay off their high debt, which means legal services for the poor or in rural areas is dropping. Frankly, most middle class people cannot afford a lawyer. Legal disputes are often for the rich and corporations.

There have also been media reports of the glut of graduates unable to get a job, suing law schools for fraudulently representing how many graduates get jobs in the legal field.

This recent ad was posted by a Sacramento law firm, willing to pay someone with a law degree and 2 years legal experience, a whopping $10 per hour, but for no more than 30 hours per week in an obvious ploy to avoid paying health benefits:

“Litigation firm looking to hire a recent law graduate or first/second year associate interested in immediate case responsibility and litigation experience.

Initial position is part-time, 20-30 hours, with potential for full-time/associate position. Specifics to be discussed during interview.

Responsibilities to include:
Case Management;
Document Preparation and Review; and,
Legal Research and Writing;

For consideration, submit a detailed, yet concise resume (1 page) highlighting relevant experience. Include a cover letter or short writing sample.

Interviews to commence week of June 3rd.

Location: Roseville / Rocklin
Compensation: $10 / hour”

I would say this is a firm to avoid.

Can you imagine going through 4 years of college (or more), plus 3 years of law school, racking up debt of over a hundred thousand dollars, to compete against those who already have legal experience for a job paying $10 per hour with no benefits.

Let’s see … $10 per hour times 30 hours per week is $300 per week max, or $15,000 per year. If you only get 20 hours per week it is $10,000 per year.

Yikes.

The minimum wage in California is 8 dollars per hour. Assume you are a high school graduate working fast food or retail which is $8 per hour and a full-schedule of 40 hours. That is $320 per week.

Yes, high school graduates with no experience make more than attorneys.

Patrick Soluri – An Attorney to Avoid

Patrick Soluri, an obscure attorney at a law firm called Soluri Meserve, wrote a letter today to the City of Sacramento claiming a public referendum will be sought if Sacramento tries to save the Sacramento Kings from moving to Seattle by building an arena.

The goal would not be to actually have a referendum, but to stall Sacramento’s efforts to help build an arena and have a plan in place for the NBA Board of Governors to consider when deciding whether the Sacramento Kings will stay in Sacramento or become the new Seattle SuperSonics.

Evidently, Patrick Soluri is not a sports fan.

As reported by the Sacramento Bee, Patrick Soluri wrote this letter without identifying any client. In a subsequent conversation with the Bee, Patrick Soluri was unable to identify any client he actually represents. The Bee article is here.

Aside from the fact Patrick Soluri is attempting to interfere with private agreements to build an arena and purchase the Sacramento Kings, he is attempting to interfere with the government process.

Mr. Soluri’s letter apparently claimed government partnership in a new arena would be an illegal “gift of public funds.” That is absurd. I have litigated a gift of public funds issue before, in another context, and it is simply a misplaced argument made by those grasping at straws without strong legal foundation. And, apparently, attorneys unable to identify if they have a client.

It could be that Patrick Soluri’s letter is a publicity stunt intended to attract someone who would serve as his client.

According to the California State Bar website, the attorney listing for Patrick Soluri (provided by Mr. Soluri) states his expertise is environmental law. That would not be government law. That is not sports law either. He letter apparently claims an arena would not be an economic catalyst. Apparently, Mr. Soluri is also an economist, a CPA, and somehow knows better than those who are actually working on the details of an arena plan yet to be publicly released.

This may come as a surprise to Patrick Soluri,but cities and public agencies have provided money, including what might be called subsidies, to sports arenas across the country for decades. Including in California.

Since Patrick Soluri is a little weak on clients and legal research, let us help him out. The “referendum” claim was made by someone trying to stop the San Francisco 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara and it was rejected by the courts.

But Mr. Solari knows this. Last year, sometime in 2012, The Santa Clara Weekly reported attorney Patrick Solari requested copies of documents from the case from the court

Cities, like Sacramento, commonly provide money for various events, including the arts (maybe Mr. Soluri is not a fan of the Crocker Art Museum either) and helping the homeless.

This is where it gets interesting. A “gift of public funds” often means money is being used to benefit a particular person instead of the public at large. This means if Sacramento gives a helping hand to a homeless person then maybe Patrick Solari will send a letter demanding the practice stop. An entertainment complex, on the other hand, which the city would profit from just like it is profiting now from the arena the Kings currently play in due to a loan from the City of Sacramento (!).

Moreover, the public at large benefits from being able to watch professional sports, world class NBA players who visit every year, and from better and larger entertainers putting on shows in Sacramento.

Or, maybe Patrick Soluri prefers to travel a 100 miles to San Francisco to watch big name entertainers who skip Sacramento because their productions will not fit in the currently outdated arena.

Evidently, Mr. Soluri is not a fan of Sacramento.

Maybe he thinks it is a “gift of public funds” if the City of Sacramento buys paper from the local office supply store. After all, that is an expenditure of public funds made payable to a private company. That is not even an investment with a financial return, like a sports arena.

Interestingly, the Soluri Meserve “law firm” website is down.

Although it is true even mass murderers are entitled to an attorney, those attorneys are often hired for that role and paid by the state. Private attorneys, like Patrick Soluri, select and choose which clients they want to represent and be associated with. It is a voluntary and intentional decision on their part – not a role to play as part of their regular employment like a public defender.

Why makes you wonder, why would you have anything to do with Patrick Soluri if this is what he chooses to do with his law degree and who he chooses to represent?

The Bee Articles says Mr. Soluri’s letter was also presented with attorney Jeff Anderson. It turns out Mr. Soluri and Mr. Anderson have a history. They were both attorneys representing Occupy Sacramento protestors against the City of Sacramento. Big surprise. Nothing like a bunch of protestors harming local businesses and the public at large (remember businesses closing and trashing of the park?), and here come Patrick Soluri and Jeff Anderson to their defense. There is a pattern here.

These publicity seeking nits seem to be looking for ways to go against the City of Sacramento. Now that the “Occupy Movement” has been relegated to the trash bin of soon to be forgotten recent history, they have a new cause to put themselves back in the media spotlight.

Unfortunately for a lawyer like Patrick Soluri, reporting like this exists.

So while lawyers like Soluri and Anderson are doing the best to try and kick Sacramento’s only major professional sports franchise out of town, I was also reviewing court records, came across the Kings Right of First Refusal issue, and while explaining the legal ramifications asked the Bee to confirm with the bankruptcy trustee that the issue exists. Too bad Soluri isn’t spending his time and money to try and save the Kings.

So let us recap:

Attorney Patrick Soluri is …

Unwilling (or unable) to name a client, assuming he has one (which is doubtful from reading the Bee article), his legal reasoning is weak and factual understandings misguided.

This is not someone you want to have as your attorney.

If you ever come across Patrick Soluri, suggest that he might want to move to Seattle.

Sacramento Grocery Stores With Gift Cards

Here is a review of gift card options at Sacramento grocery stores. The ability to buy a gift card online, email it to someone, and use your PayPal account is nonexistent. Grocery stores, frankly, have a lot of catching up to do to other industries. Since they are walk-in local stores, they probably do not feel the need to make additional money by offering convenient Internet options.

SMART STORES – EGIFT CARDS AVAILABLE TO USE IN STORES THAT CAN BE PURCHASED ONLINE WITH PAYPAL

CVS – Yes to gift cards, yes to egift cards, and yes to PayPal. CVS is a wonderful breeze to use and get a quick gift card. Too bad its not a real grocery store.

Gluten Free Specialty – Yes to gift cards, yes to egift cards, and yes to PayPal.

ALMOST AS GOOD – MOBILE GIFT CARDS THAT CAN BE PURCHASED WITH PAYPAL

Target – Gift cards are available and PayPal is an online purchase option. egift cards can only be used online at target.com and not in stores. (Dumb) However, mobile gift cards sent to a phone can be used in stores. (go figure)

WOLVES MASQUERADING IN SHEEPS CLOTHING

Walmart – Gift cards are available and egift cards can be purchased online. There is a PayPal purchase option, tried it a couple times and it does not work. Had to be refunded.

Kmart – Gift cards are available, including egift cards and PayPal is an option. Except it mostly doesn’t work. Out of 3 orders only 1 went through. Customer service was non-responsive and eventually had to file payment disputes. Will someone please pull the bankruptcy plug on Sears / Kmart (again) and put these awful businesses out of their misery.

EGIFT CARDS AVAILABLE WITH A CREDIT CARD

Whole Foods – Gift cards and egift cards are available. There is no PayPal purchase option, only credit cards.

YOU CAN GET GIFT CARDS BY MAIL OR IN THE STORE WITH A CREDIT CARD

Raleys – Gift cards are available but can only purchased in the store. No online egift cards. No PayPal purchase option.

Winco – Gift cards can only be purchased in store.

Albertsons – Gift cards available, but not egift cards. No PayPal option.

7-11 – Gift cards can only be purchased in store.

CircleK – Gift cards are available but egift cards are not. There is no PayPal purchase option.

WHATEVER

Safeway – No gift cards. The gift cards option on their website is for buying third party gift cards, like itunes, at Safeway.

Grocery Outlet – No gift cards.

Save Mart – No gift cards.

Koreana Plaza – No gift cards. Can’t even call their website a website. How embarrassing.

Food Maxx – No gift cards. Another completely horrible, waste of space website.

Nugget Market – Website won’t load, so who knows.

Smart & Final – No gift cards.

Trader Joes – No gift cards.

Tower Market – No gift cards.

Was Peyton Manning Injured During the Ravens Playoff Game?

After thinking about the divisional playoff game between Denver and Baltimore, and the sequence of plays and events leading up to Baltimore’s double overtime win, I have concluded Peyton Manning was injured.

In the third quarter Manning was sacked twice and fumbled on each. When he wasn’t fumbling Manning was only 3 for 7 with a long toss of only twelve yards.

In the fourth quarter, except for the touchdown pass that went for 17 yards, Manning was not throwing the ball farther than then yards. In overtime, it was again all super short passes of then yards or less, with no attempt to stretch the field or get a big play.

For all intents, the Broncos second half of the game was spent throwing passes of a length I could throw.

By comparison to last year, against Pittsburgh, Tim Tebow completed passes of 80, 58, 50, 40, 31, 17, 15, and 13 yards. Tebow also ran for 50 yards and was not sacked. Then, Denver was using that throwback read option stuff San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington are now running. It would have come in real handy, especially after Knowshon Moreno left with an injury and the running game was hindered.

With the season on the line, with one of the supposed greatest quarterbacks of all time, someone being paid $95,000,000.00, and with an opportunity to ice the win, the Broncos’ coaches would not let Peyton throw a pass. This gave Baltimore time to tie the game, and they did. Then, with 31 seconds left, timeouts, home field, a tired Ravens defense, and the thin air where the Broncos once tried a 73 yard field goal, a coin flip was deemed a better option than letting Peyton Manning air it out to try and win.

Obviously, Peyton was injured. No one could possibly be stupid enough to call those plays with a healthy QB.

Worst Song Ever

The worst song ever made is Rock Lobster by the B-52s. I happen to like the B-52s, at least the songs where the girls have the lead. Although Rock Lobster is somewhat famous, I’m not sure why. It is truly horrible and ranks in my book as the worst song ever made.

China Avoids US Control Freak Regulators

There is a recent story about Chinese companies withdrawing from United States stock exchanges. They still want investors and the exposure from being listed on the NY Stock Exchange or other major index.

What they do not want is US control and expense.

“[A] deadlock between Beijing and Washington over whether U.S. regulators can oversee their China-based auditors…. Withdrawing also eliminates the cost of complying with American financial reporting rules.”

In other words, first the US wants to “oversee” Chinese auditors.

Second, the strangling cost of US regulations outweighs the benefits of a US stock listing.

While some could claim this helps root out fraud and gives value and trust to US stock listings, the fact is the US is a control freak on the world stage, wanting to impose its oversight, laws, and regulations on everyone – whether it be copyright, taxes, or stock listings.

Someday the Chinese stock exchange may be the most important in the world, because everyone is sick and tired of unending, intrusive, and expensive Big Brother “oversight.”

Shock Fee : $27,265 to File and Answer California Lawsuit

The California budget crises seems unending as the state with some of the highest personal and corporate tax rates, sales tax, and which gobbles obscene amounts of tourism dollars, watches its dollars sink into bureaucratic blackholes.

The latest punishment of Golden State residents: court fees.

They just went up again. Way up.

If you’re injured it will cost you $435 to file your lawsuit.

If you are sued, even an unmeritorious case will also set you back $435 just in initial court fees.

If your case is complex has many defendants, prepare to be shocked. In addition to the $435 filing fees, there are now “additional” fees of $1000 for the plaintiff and $1000 for each defendant up to max of 18 defendants.

The end result: $27,265 in court fees just to file a lawsuit and answer.

Now don’t get me started about the hundreds of millions the judicial branch has wasted the past few years in computer upgrades.

San Francisco Claims Whopping 11.5% Disability Rate

According to a recent story in the Sacramento Bee about disabled placard abuse (where up to 75% of parking spots are now seen taken by those claiming to be disabled), the Bee notes in San Francisco of every 100 vehicle registrations 11.5 disability plates are claimed.

Seriously?

11.5% of San Franciscans are disabled?

It gets worse.

The 11.5% rate is far and away the highest of any California county. The average in California is 7.5%, which is still high, although the average is inflated by San Francisco’s figures.

San Francisco is one of the most liberal places in the world, where there is no end to the government benefits to be claimed.

Having once lived in San Francisco, with its steep hills and disability unfriendly geography, the rate should be lower than the state average.

Me thinks San Francisco is an epicenter of a massive amount of fraud on a number of issues. Disability is one. Medical marijuana is another. Apparently, the “doctors” giving out medical marijuana clearances to 100% of the people requesting them are the same ones handing out vehicle disability placards.

This not only harms those who are really disabled, it prevents working folks from getting parking, and since the parking spots are tied up all day business sales suffer. Of course, the fraudsters in San Francisco are the same ones who want businesses to “pay their fair share.” It’s not about fairness. It’s about supporting fraud.

California Government Employees

Just saw this in my email regarding a California government employee looking for legal help. Probably works in public education…

Q: I am a goverment employee for over 25 yrs.. i had a misdeminnor about 11 yrs… having it Ex-sponage..

TAKES awhile bout 4 weeks to have exsponge.. i would like a good lawyer expertice jus in case what do you think.. Worried for my big MISTAKE.

Gillette is a Dangerous Monopoly

I was at the store today and needed razor blades. Gillette’s Mach 3 blades were 10 for $26. I didn’t feel like paying $2.60 a razor. My tough beard eats up razors fast. Just a couple uses and they’re done.

Keep in mind a Mach 3 is an OLD razor. There has since been the Mach 3 Turbo, then the 4-blade, and now the 5-blade. Each of those was even more expensive.

I thought – there must be a cheaper alternative. There was – 10 plastic handle blades for $1.97. By Gillette. Virtually everything was by Gillette.

I decided to try the 20 cent blades. Sure, the shave will not be great because Gillette wants everyone to pay several dollars for a razor. I thought even if I get just one shave out of a razor it would be a deal.

Was I wrong.

Gillette should be sued for disfigurement. What an incredibly terrible shave that left me a bloody mess.

There is no question in my mind Gillette could offer a good shave for a decent price. But they don’t. They don’t have to. They have a monopoly on razors.

Maybe I’ll go through 3 cheap blades per shave. It would still be a deal.