I have frequently been asked by friends and others in this largely free-wheeling buyer-beware jungle of our industry called Showbiz with its circling network of lawyers and contracts and producers and unions and agents and managers and publicists and landlords and traffic courts … to help them.
They say it’s all very well, but you don’t tell us how to conduct a lawsuit or even understand what’s going on. You find yourself in court as a sue-ee or a sue-er, and I need to know what do I do now?
As you know, I am not a lawyer. I did take out my Notary license, but by law I cannot give legal advice. However, I can, and have, told you what happened to me, what to beware of, and what I learned the hard way. I could give you a nudge to point you towards a trustworthy lawyer, but I haven’t found one yet. I’d much rather find out how to arm myself (no, not with a gun), and how to do it in a professional manner. I did sign up for an online course to become a lawyer a few years ago, but gave up after listening to a few lectures. Not for me, and I don’t sell out!
I scoured the internet for self-help guides, and was not impressed. No sense of what really goes on in a court room (a parallel world, and believe me, they’re all intimidating, as are lawyers’ offices.) They give false impressions and empty comfort.
Then I found Dr. Frederick Graves online, an experienced retired Florida lawyer, like me with a mission. I bought his program and studied it. I didn’t then have any particular personal use for it, except to kick myself for being green and stupid. Now I do need it, so I recently bought his latest updated version and checked it out. I have examined it in detail, and I can say that it very effectively teaches you how to FILE AND RUN A LAWSUIT FROM START TO FINISH, or if you prefer, HOW TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR LAWYER IS DOING HIS JOB IN YOUR BEST INTERESTS and HOW TO MAKE SURE THE JUDGE IS BEHAVING HIM OR HERSELF. Dr. Graves is very specific, and he gives away the secrets as well as the tools.
Law students and even licensed lawyers would do well to get acquainted with it, because it essentially deals with all of the common legal tricks used in battle, and takes the view to not trust lawyers or judges either. Don’t kid yourself, courtroom legal tactics are games of war, and the punishments meted out can exceed the worst of wounds by a judge who seems to take sides, and can leaves scars on the soul! And you’ll be the only advocate swearing to tell the truth!
I don’t suggest you can become a brilliant trial lawyer overnight. Just stick with Law & Order and Family Guy for that. But if you’re in any way contemplating litigation or you’re in the middle of it, you need to get the intimidation off your back, and learn how to fight by insisting that the rules be followed by the judge and the lawyer(s) you’re using or fighting. (Just an aside here, screen writers could use the practical knowledge too.)
Bear in mind that the courts are encouraging you to do it for yourself. Yes they are! They don’t provide court-appointed lawyers unless you’re indigent and in Criminal court. This is more for Civil court users, although any alleged criminals out there are welcome too. And the courts would be grateful to see pro pers and pro ses with know-how exercised respectfully. Judges are not umpires, and they don’t offer legal advice from the bench. They make rulings based upon what they see and hear, according to the law. You’ll be on your own.
So it is with enthusiasm that I urge you to copy and paste this link into the address bar of your browser. Be sure that this is all that appears in the address bar for it to work properly (on a Mac, the drop-down menu may say “go to site” ). When you’ve studied it, bookmark it so you can go back to it and check it out thoroughly. You won’t see legalese, and the language and instructions are pretty straight-forward.
You’ll quickly get ideas and leads on how to proceed, with free workflow charts, forms, and so on. If you decide to buy the program, all I ask is you mention my name or this site. Dr. Frederick Graves is my friend, he knows that I want to help you, and if I bring people to his website, I get a small commission, and that helps to keep this site running, and advertisement-free.
You’ll see that the cost is reasonable, less than a country lawyer’s one billable hour. And your time? Maybe a weekend of concentrated study.
If you do use it, get back to me with a story of your experience. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org, and maybe I’ll tell it here. Maybe you’ll get a screenplay out of it. Here’s MY true story!
BTW, important, please know that there are no guarantees of success in your case, I accept no responsibility, and I can’t answer any legal questions. It’s completely up to you. A notary I am, a lawyer I am not.