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Monday, September 12, 2016

Aggressive representation

We've all seen the commercials of attorneys bragging to be the Strong Arm of the Law or the Bulldog.  There are YouTube videos of corny commercials the nation over of attorneys practically chanting while wearing their war paint about how they'll fight to the death for you. Which raises the question, should you be looking for an aggressive attorney?


You should be looking for someone who CAN be aggressive, IF the need arises.  To that point, you should be looking for an attorney who tailors her approach to your unique situation. 

Not every case should be approached aggressively.  It may make more strategic sense to approach your case congenially, in order to make the other party look like an unreasonable bully.  Often times, opposing lawyers get along with each other, which tends to increase your chances at settling and thus saving money.

On the other hand, there are times when the other party is being SO unreasonable, an aggressive offense makes the most sense.  It may intimidate the other side into a more reasonable position, or drive up that person's attorney fees to the point they can't afford to keep fighting.

Question your attorney's approach and ensure that it makes the most sense for your set of facts.  You may dislike your ex (to put it mildly) but that doesn't mean being out for blood will work well for what your goals are.

At the Taibo Law Firm, we discuss our proposed case strategy with you in every step of your case to ensure you are happy with our proposed approach.  It' your case - you should have a say in the approach.

Call us to discuss the best strategy for your case!  (303) 991-2197.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to Have a Simple Divorce in Colorado

The two things anyone getting divorced wants to know are: 1) how long will this take and 2) how much is this going to cost?  The answer is simple:  depends on you.  You and your soon-to-be ex can decide how long you want this to take and how expensive you want it to get.  I'll break it down for you:

You can get divorced one of two ways:  go in front of a judge or settle.  People who are able to come to agreements on custody and finances settle.  Those who can't agree on everything go in front of a judge who decides that issue for them.  It takes time to get before a judge because their schedules are busy.  Also, hearing dates can get pushed back further if one side wants to engage in formal discovery (a process where you may be required to produce three years' worth of bank statements and other financial documents).  The process can get expensive, depending on who your attorney is and what information you're trying to get.

A little secret for you:  lawyers make most of their money going to trial because it's a lot of preparation time and time out of the office to bill you for.  There are lawyers out there who will encourage you to fight over things just to keep you from settling so they can make more money from you.  In a divorce, everyone loses but the lawyers.

The solution to a simple divorce is this:  Settle.  Don't fight over small stuff.  Go to mediation and be willing to compromise.

I am a mediator with a terrific track record for settlements, even with the most difficult people.  I can give you all the forms you need to file for divorce.  I can help you and your soon-to-be ex reach agreements on everything.  We will do the mediation with you two in separate rooms in order to keep emotions down.  And I can do it for a lot less money than either of you will pay for lawyers to fight it out and go to trial.  You could have everything done in a matter of days or weeks, as compared to nearly a year if you go the traditional route of hiring lawyers.

Call Alisha Taibo at (303) 991-2197 to schedule your mediation today.  I only bill for the time I use on your case rather than charging a flat rate in order to save you money. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Choosing a School with the Other Parent

In August every year, family lawyers are flooded with phone calls from parents who cannot agree with each other on which school little Johnny should attend, starting that month.  They ask the me to file an emergency motion so a judge can decide.   

The problem is, this is not considered an emergency, so one of two things will end up happening:  Either the parents will take Johnny to the school of their own respective choice on their own respective parenting days, thereby totally inappropriately involving this poor child in the conflict, OR the holdout parent will win.  Neither of these is a good solution.

Sure, you can still try filing something with the Court at the last minute.  But you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning in a house you won from Publisher’s Clearinghouse than getting in front of a judge in time.   

Judges don’t typically consider this issue an emergency.  In Family Court, an emergency usually means child endangerment.  And while your child may be in emotional danger due to this disagreement, it's probably not enough. 

The best thing you can do is figure this out in advance - at least a year before Johnny will start school.  Start having the conversation with the ex today.  If you reach an agreement, then do this:  1) get it in writing and 2) file the agreement with the court.  If you can’t agree and you need a judge to decide this for you, file a motion or petition (whichever the case may be for you) AT LEAST by September the year before (which, depending on the county where you live, may still be too late). 

For help with drafting and filing an agreement, or representing you in this matter, contact me at Markusson Green & Jarvis: (303) 572-4200 to schedule a free consultation.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Way to a Bully’s Heart is Through His Stomach

I was bullied in middle school, badly.  I was called ugly, laughed at just walking down the hall, and the kids particularly zeroed in on my frizzy mullet that I tried desperately to style.  They made fun of what I was wearing, and ganged up on me.  They wrote me death threats and passed me nasty notes telling me how worthless I was.  They ridiculed me in class, telling me I look like I pick my nose.  Middle school was hell.  

The bus ride home was the worst of it.  I was trapped in a seat in a moving tube with my tormentors and no escape.  One day, I got off at my stop to go home and all the kids on the bus got off with me, even though it wasn’t their stop.  They formed a circle around me and their leader, yelling “Fight! Fight! Fight!” as their leader taunted me, daring me to do something.  I was luckily able to walk through the circle and get home unharmed.  I think it was that day my mom had her brilliant idea, which is the subject of this article.

My mom had thought long and hard about how to make the bullying stop.  She had put me in karate, just in case I’d need to defend myself one day, but that wasn’t a solution to the problem; just a precaution.  No, she kept thinking, what can I do to get them to stop.  And then it came to her:  If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, why wouldn’t the same be true for a kid?  Kids love to eat; especially candy.  

The next day she armed me with a sandwich bag of M&Ms and told me to pull it out on the bus ride home, and to share with my tormentors.  Sure enough, once I opened my bag of candy, the bullies all began asking, “can I have some?”  to which I happily obliged.  From that day forward, I always had some snack to share with all the kids on the bus, and before I knew it, my enemies became my friends.  Not in the sense that we hung out after that, but they were nice to me.  No one ever picked on me again.  It was magic. 

Some parents may be hesitant to employ this tactic, thinking “you’re rewarding the bullies for their bad behavior.”  No you’re not.  You’re outsmarting them.  I stand by this because it worked for me.  It saved me emotionally.  If you have kids that are being bullied, I implore you to try this.  Those M&Ms saved my life.

Monday, November 3, 2014

This Christmas, give the gift of Freedom to a victim of domestic abuse

One dollar may save a woman’s life.

As many of you know, I have been an advocate for victims of domestic abuse and affiliated with Gateway Battered Women’s Services for years now.  Gateway is particularly special to me because it is the only women’s shelter in the country that allows its victims to bring their pets.  Pets are the unfortunate victims of domestic abuse because abusers use the threat of harm to pets to control their victims.  Many women are afraid to leave an abusive household if they can’t bring their pets, knowing the abuser will harm the pet if she doesn’t stay to protect it. 

Even if you can just give one dollar it will make a huge difference, because if many of you give just one dollar, we’ll raise quite a lot of dough to help these women out of the grips of their abusers.  This holiday season, Gateway needs King Soopers and Safeway gift certificates, RTD 10-Ride ticket books, and gift certificates to Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy so that Gateway may purchase personalized items for the victims who would otherwise go without holiday gifts and necessities. 

I welcome you to donate the following ways:  Either mail me a check or money order to The Taibo Law Firm, LLC, 6860 S. Yosemite Court, Suite 2000, Centennial, Colorado 80112.  Or, click on this link and submit a payment via the GoFundMe account I set up.  Please make sure to give me your contact information so I can send you a “thank you for donating” letter, which you can use to write the donation off on your taxes for 2014.

Remember, there is strength in numbers.  These women need a little help to regain their independence, and the more of us who contribute even just a little, the better their chances of success and survival.

Thank you for your contribution! 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Voting on Judges

In Colorado, state court judges are appointed by the governor, but the public decides in elections whether judges are to be retained.  When you see judges on your ballot, you’re not voting them in – you’re voting on whether they should keep their jobs.  Most people probably don’t have a clue who to vote for or against.  I have some friends who asked me if I knew anything about any of them, which I did, and was happy to share. 

Maybe I never noticed before this year, but this election season for the first time I noticed political signs placed on public lands that were anti- a particular judge.  I happen to know this judge and think she is one of the best judges we have in domestic court.  The signs read "vote no on Judge Amico. Anti family, anti father."

Whoever placed these signs is a disgruntled dad who lost a case. I know her as a judge quite well, having represented fathers before her, and I can tell you she is absolutely NOT anti-father or anti-anything.  She has a reputation as one of the best, most fair judges we've got.  She cares about kids, and all the people who appear before her.

It may be worth mentioning here that the courts look at a parent’s ability to put the kids’ needs ahead of their own.  That being said, I can see why this amoeba lost his kids.  I didn’t get my way, so I’m going to run a campaign against a fantastic public servant because she pissed me off. ME ME ME It’s all about ME.  This is not the type of rational decision making that gets you custody.

A judge's job is to decide what's fair based on the evidence presented, and that means some parties don’t get their way.  Please ask a lawyer friend for their opinion on the judge as a judicial officer, rather than basing your vote on someone's personal vendetta.  Don't be swayed by vindictive signs.  If anything, vote FOR her because of these signs.  She obviously made the right decision if she awarded custody of these children to the parent who DIDN’T choose to spend potential college funds on revenge.

Monday, September 1, 2014

How Do I Choose a Family Lawyer?

This question must be answered by first determining your goals for the case. 

If your goal is to fight your face off and money is no object, pick an expensive, litigious lawyer.  If your goal is to divide things pretty fairly and not spend a lot of money, find a lawyer who advertises being more client-centric, and is more settlement minded.  If your goal is to fight your face off but you don’t want to pay lawyer a lot, start practicing witchcraft because that isn’t going to happen without a little black magic, a sacrificial goat, and the bottled tears of children.

That’s pretty much it.  The more litigious your case (meaning, the more you fight), the more expensive it will be.  Trial is expensive because it takes so much time to prepare for, plus you’re paying the lawyer for all that time out of the office.  In addition to trial, you may be paying the lawyer to conduct expensive discovery.  Lawyers make their money by billing you for their time working on your case.  So, the more time they work on your case, the more it will cost you.  And we work off retainers, which means you pay in advance, so there is typically no getting around paying the bill.

So, back to the original question:  How do I choose a family lawyer?  Quite simply, figure out what your goals are, meet with a few lawyers, and see how they respond to your stated goals.  In addition, make sure they promise the following:

  • Good communication (you should know what is going on in your case at all times)
  • Timely responses to emails and phone calls (this doesn’t mean same day, but two weeks is too long, and not at all is unacceptable) 
  • Collaboration (it’s your case – you should be involved in the substantive decisions)
  • Ethics.  I realize this defies ever lawyer joke.  And if you’re the client looking for a litigious lawyer, this defies logic.  But trust me on this one.  Unethical lawyers make bad case decisions, which will hurt you.  

If they don’t promise these things (and especially if they don’t follow through after you’ve hired them), find a new lawyer.

Lastly, like any relationship, chemistry is important.  Find a lawyer you like!  Not just one you can stand.