Monday, February 27, 2017

Judge Wapner, Perry Mason, And When You Should File Your Own Lawsuit

Originally published by William K. Berenson.

JudgeOne of the most respected judges of our day, Joseph A. Wapner, died yesterday at the age of 97.

Haven’t heard of him? From 1981 – 1993 he  was the TV judge who issued King Solomon-like decisions on The People’s Court. Judge Wapner lived a rich and productive life. With a nod to last night’s Academy Awards, in high school in Hollywood he dated Lana Turner who went on to become a famous actress. He served in World Ward II and received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star, practiced law in Los Angeles for 10 years, and was appointed to the bench. He served on the California municipal and superior courts for 20 years before retiring. He was widely respected and even got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

His show wPerry_Mason_Title_Screenas the first of a long line of courtroom reality programs that continue today. OK, beginning in 1957 there was the Perry Mason show about a brilliant criminal defense lawyer who somehow always won his cases. Perry inspired many of us young people to become attorneys.

A poll showed that almost no Americans could name even one justice on our exalted Supreme Court, but more than half could name Judge Wapner, who heard small disputes about evictions and dog bites.

Judge Wapner helped revolutionize the court system by showing viewers the basics of a trial where they didn’t need lawyers. As a result, the dockets of small claims and justice of the peace courts dramatically increased.

What is Small Claims Court?

The difference between “The People’s Court” and state or county court is night and day. Many disputes are relatively small and can be successfully handled by individuals in these “people’s courts.”

The advantage is they can lead to a judgment without the delays and expenses that lawyers inevitably bring. These small claims courts can hear disputes involving damages up to $10,000.00. Case filing is easy, costs are inexpensive, legal evidence and pre-trial maneuvering is minimal, trial dates are quick, and a decision is rendered on the spot. What’s not to like? The only down side is that a favorable ruling can be easily appealed.

In personal injury cases, a small fender bender that did not cause bodily injuries is a perfect example. If a person is not able to negotiate a fair settlement of the value of his or her vehicle with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, he can file a lawsuit.

Here is more information on how to handle a case here in Tarrant County and Dallas County.

When Is a Personal Injury Lawyer Necessary?

However, many cases do require the services of an injury lawyer. I recommend that you consider hiring one in these cases when

  • liability is being contested,
  • a person(s) is injured,
  • medical bills are incurred,
  • payment for bills, lost wages, and other damages is not timely made by the other driver’s insurance company, or
  • the injured person does have the time or desire to handle the many complicated details himself

In these cases, he or she should call a lawyer and discuss the best strategy. The first no obligation meeting is free.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer will allow an injured person to receive substantially more money.

If you have any questions, please contact us by calling 817-885-8000 or toll free at 1-888-801-8585, or email us here.


Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

from Texas Bar Today
via Abogado Aly Website

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