Thursday, May 31, 2012

A. Charles Weiner, CPA

If you need a great CPA call "Chuck Weiner" at 713-782-5707.
I highly recommend Chuck Weiner!!

I am not giving free advice on my old blog posts! Beware of old blog posts!

I have recently been receiving been receiving a lot of phone calls on these blog posts from several years ago.

Apparently blog posts live on forever on the internet.  I cannot control this.  I recommend that you read the date when I wrote the blog post.  If it is more than a year old, the information contained in the blog post might be based on inaccurate information as it NOW exists!

Please be advised that if a post you are reading is from more than a year ago it might be wrong!  

Additionally, I do not give free legal advice.  I do not give legal advice to people outside of the State of Texas or outside of the United States.

So if you are outside of Texas please do not call me! I cannot help you. I am only licensed to practice law in the State of Texas. Plus I do NOT know laws outside of the State of the State of Texas. I definately do NOT know the laws of other countries!

Plus, I do not give free legal advice!! I charge for my time-- I have practiced law for over 20 years and I no longer litigate.

Additionally, I no longer take active cases or go to court with clients.

I do not care how "cute" you are or how horrible your situation is-- I am not going to accept your case -- especially on a pro bono (free) basis!

So please don't waste your time calling me.

Plus too many people have wasted MY time by calling then NOT accepting my return call or by putting me on hold to take another call!!!

I find it difficult to believe that talking to a "friend" is more important than talking to an attorney! When someone puts me on "hold" to take another call - I just hang up -- how rude! When I am talking to someone on the phone I don't accept any other calls & I expect similar curtesy.

For example, just this morning I returned the call from a woman that called me at 6:42 pm last night and her voice mail was not even working.  I can't understand why someone would call a lawyer  at 6:42 pm and night and expect them to answer their phone.  And then not answer their phone if they were anticipating phone calls from a professional returning their phone calls.

Final rant, free advice is worth what you pay for it!

My office will be closed June 10-24, 2012

I am taking my first vacation since my parents died.

My office will be closed from June 10-24,2012.

I will not have Internet access during that period either.

Please do not contact me and expect a response!

I will be without a computer, cell phone, etc. out hiking getting back to "nature"!


Updating website

Please help me! I am updating my website -- -- and if you see any typos or anything else that needs to be fixed, please let me know as soon as possible. I would greatly appreciate it.

I have found some things that I intend to "fix" but I am looking to improve my website.

I think almost all of the "links" are working. I found a couple that are "broken" and I will remove them.

Plus I have updated my photo. Enjoy my new photo!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Replying to phone calls & emails

I try very hard to reply promptly to all telephone calls & emails.

Recently I've noticed that some people use "bogus" phone numbers & emails addresses.
(Or, they cannot type in their email address or remember their phone number.)  I cannot reply to emails and phone calls when I don't have correct information.

Also, please remember that background noises interfere with your cell phone.  I cannot emphasis how frustrating it is to not hear all the digits of a phone number or to immediately call a person back and go directly to voice mail.  I don't have time to play phone-tag!

If you calling attorneys for legal advice, please be sure to have your cell phone charged up AND be sure to answer your phone.  This is not the time to "screen" your calls.  I am taking time out of my busy day to return your call, you need to take the time to answer your phone!  And, if you put me on hold to take another call, I will hang up on you -- remember -- I'm doing YOU a favor to talk to YOU!

Lastly, in your email "subject line" please put "legal question for Fran Brochstein".  If you leave the subject line blank or put something like "hi", I don't open your email since most of these sort of emails are spam.

And, do not write a long email in one rambling paragraph - I just can't and won't read it -- be sure to write short, concise paragraphs.  I don't need your entire life story to answer a quick question.

Be advised that no attorney is going to give free legal advice based on a short email - the legal liability is just too great.  

If you have a legal problem, you need to pay the money and sit down face-to-face with an attorney in your area that specializes in your legal problem.  

Rose Cardenas, JD

I am not professional associated with attorney Rose Cardenas.

We are not in  professionally connected or associated.

Since she speaks fluent Spanish,  I refer legal cases to her as a courtesy to people that call me.

I've known her  professional for over 15 years.

I have attended the Advanced Family Law Seminar in San Antonio with her for the past 2 years.

She has been licensed to practice for in the State of Texas over 20 years.

I have the same phone number that you do - I don't have any "magic" way to locate Rose!

I am no longer offering DO IT YOURSELF LEGAL KITS

I also no longer offer the DO IT YOURSELF DIVORCE KITS.  

It was a great concept that just did not work.

  • People made appointments -- but did not show up over 50% of the time. Even when I called to confirm their appointment the day before & they never called to let me know that they were not going to show.  For example, one day 4 people were no shows! 
  • People showed up -- but did not bring money to pay me for the kit -- they just wanted to talk for free -- this was AFTER I'd talked to them on the phone & told them what to bring & how much cash to bring with them.  
  • People showed up -- but did as we started to talk it turned out that they did NOT have an agreement.  
  • People showed up but had already bought a kit & they wanted me to fix their on-line piece of "junk" for free -- sorry - they bought a piece of "junk" and I can't fix "junk"!
  • People wanted me to "force" their soon to be ex into an agreement -- that is not an "agreed" divorce -- I cannot "force" a person into an agreement!  (One man actually said in front of me that he would beat his wife if she would not sign the paperwork -- I had my assistant keep him busy while I had her get in her car and leave & when he threatened me I told him that I'd call the police if he did not leave & I refunded his money back to him!)
  • People wanted to me to provide "marital counseling" for them - they needed counseling not legal advice.
  • Some couples wanted me to prepare agreements that violate the TX Family Code so I refused to even do the paperwork since no judge would sign their Final Decree of Divorce.  I was trying to offer kits at reasonable rates based on the TX Family Practice Manual - not re-invent the wheel. Some people wanted a custom-made kit -- but they did not want to pay for a custom-made product!
  • A couple of people had a lot of assets & really needed to hire an attorney to draft their legal documents -- these were not "simple" divorces -- I'm talking about people with over $500,000 in assets, a QDRO needed to be drafted & even profitable businesses -- but they did not want to pay an attorney to do the necessary paperwork -- they wanted to pay $200 for a "simple" divorce when they have $1million dollar businesses, retirement, and real estate investments  -- crazy!
  • And, the opposite was true with debts.  A few couples came in with complex and totally disorganized estates that needed someone to sit down with them and try to figure out their financial mess.  My kit was a one-time meeting that was based on both parties making full and complete honest disclosure to each other.  It was not designed for people with complex legal problems -- good or bad.  People with good or bad legal problems need to sit down with an attorney and have a long discussion about their future.  My one-time limited appointment was never designed for that purpose.
  • Women had men by several different men that required complex paperwork and several child support orders and visitation orders but they did not understand that they did not have a "simple" divorce & the fathers did not want to pay child support -- they had a real legal "mess" on their hands that required each father to be served with legal paperwork.  
  • Battered women came in & needed a protective order & they did not qualify for a "simple" divorce.
  • People bought a divorce petition with children for approximately $150 -- but they never came by for the final divorce documents so I don't know if they ever divorced or if they reconciled.
  • I charged under $200 for a divorce kit with no kids, no property (except vehicles) and I included all required TX forms, Power of attorney for motor vehicles, Waiver of Service and Final Decree and I even told people where to park downtown and what to say to the judge.  I made all copies - people still could not afford to pay for that divorce kit.  

My website

I am in the process of updating my website.

I now only mediate.   My legal practice is now only 100% mediation.

I no longer litigate -- that means that I am no longer practicing family law.   I am serious -- I am not accepting new cases.

I am willing to offer a one-time consultation at $3 per minute -- but that means that I cannot mediate your case in the future.

To serve as a mediator, I must remain neutral.  I must be a clean-slate.

Old blogs never die!

In the past month I've received at least 4 phone calls from people wanting to do adult name changes.  They have seen really old blogs I've posted several years ago on adult name changes.


Please be advised that I have not handled an adult name change in over 3 years.  I'm not current on what the current Harris County Family District Court Judges policies are regarding adult name changes.

Additionally, if you file in a Harris County Civil District Court, those judges have a TOTALLY different policy regarding adult name changes.

For example, in family court you turn in the forms slowly.  In civil court, you hand in all the forms at the beginning.  I have never done an adult name change through the civil court system. I got used to the family court system and I always filed my adult name changes in the family system - those judges knew me so why not go where I'm recognized.

In summary, in the State of Texas, the Texas Legislature meets every 2 years.  They last met in 2011 and some laws changed.  Therefore, you cannot read a blog of mine written before 2011 and rely on it!

Plus, in 2011 several new people took the bench in Harris County Family District Courts.  The laws might be the same but human beings interpret the laws and each judge interprets the laws slightly differently.