25 Greatest Law Novels Ever

The American Bar Association polled lawyers from all over the country and asked them to vote for their favorite.  Here's the list.  Is your favorite novel on the list?  Or do you have another novel that you prefer?  Put your answer in the comment section below!



The authors represented in this list are as follows:

John Grisham, Harper Lee, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Charles Dickens, Franz Kafka, Victor Hugo, Herman Melville, Scott Turow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Tom Wolfe, Theodore Dreiser, John Jay Osborne Jr., Richard Wright, Albert Camus, Herman Wouk, Zora Neale Hurston, Leon Uris, Alexandre Dumas, Margaret Atwood, John D. Voelker, Ayn Rand, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Jane Gardam.

I must confess that I've read very few of the novels on this list.  My tastes go toward John Grisham and Michael Connelly.  I really have to expand my world!!!



Suspended Coffee

This has nothing to do with being a lawyer and everything to do with being a human being.

Suspended coffee

I saw this on www.tumblr.com and realized that this is a concept worthy of going viral. 

If you go into a Starbucks or Peets or Coffee Bean or any coffee house, order a coffee for yourself and order a "suspended coffee."  You'll pay for two coffees but will walk out with one.  A homeless person, on a cold winter day, will walk in and ask the barista if they have a suspended coffee and, lo and behold, the homeless person will walk out with a hot cup of coffee in his or her hands to help them through the day.

Click here to see the original post

Suspended coffee 002


Angry Judge William Watkins Suspended for Four Years Without Pay

Folks, I don't usually reprint other articles on my blog.  However, this one along with the inciting video is worth the read and watch! 

Bottom Line: Judges, as well as attorneys and litigants, need to be held responsible for their actions.


From the ABA Journal:

An admittedly intemperate family court judge has been suspended
without pay for the remaining years of his term by the West Virginia
Supreme Court of Appeals.

In one angry rant from the bench
that has been viewed on YouTube more than 200,000 times, Putnam County
Circuit Court Family Law Judge William M. Watkins III repeatedly told a
pastor appearing before him to "shut up." And this was far from the only
time he spoke to parties using inappropriate language, according to the
opinion (PDF) filed Tuesday by the supreme court.

In one hearing, the opinion says, when speaking to a woman who was
seeking an order of protection against her then-husband in a domestic
violence case, Watkins blamed the woman for "shooting off your fat mouth
about what happened," told her to "Shut up!" and then continued:

"Shut up! You stupid woman. Can’t even act properly. One more word out
of you that you aren’t asked a question you’re out of here, and you will
be found in direct contempt of court and I will fine you appropriately.
So, shut your mouth.You know I hate it when people are just acting out
of sheer spite and stupidity."

Click here to read the entire article


Lindsay Lohan Threatens to Kill Lawyer

As if Lindsay Lohan doesn't have enough problems already! Lindsay instructs her lawyer, Mark Heller, to say no more to the judge.  Heller continued to talk.  Lindsay quietly questions him and then finally says "Oh my god, I'll kill you" (see video below).

Although New York's Heller was scolded by Lindsay's California judgesfor being incompetent when it comes to California law, my guess is that he's a tad more qualified to speak before the judge than is Lindsay.  Regardless, I just wanted to share the TMZ video with you.


Heller made a great deal for Lindsay on charges that she lied to a police officer about a car crash, drove
recklessly and violated her probation concerning intertwined shoplifting
and drunken-driving convictions

Lindsay pled no contest to the crimes of reckless driving and lying to
cops. She will be sentenced to 90 days of inpatient rehab, followed by 30 days
of community labor and a year and a half of psychological therapy.
However, she will not have to serve any jail time, assuming she complies
with the terms of the sentence.

What are your thoughts?

Setting Up Your Domestic Partnership in California

    Baby you were born this way!  In California, we can protect the ones we love by setting up a Domestic Partnership (marriage is a-coming soon).  The benefits and responsbilities of a domestic partnership are manyfold and are the subject of another post.

    How fabulous would this have been if a domestic partnership could have been realized back in the late 1800s and early 1900s?  Check out this video proving that loving relationships date back to way back when (to the tune of "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga)


    For purposes of this post, though, here are the requirements for setting up your Domestic Partnership (per California Family Code Section 297):

Two Adults

      What exactly are Domestic Partners? Two adults who have chosen to share each others' lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring.

Declaration of Domestic Partnership

    Both of you must file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State.  Click here for the actual form! The following requirements MUST be met:

  1. Neither of you can be married to someone else or be a member of another domestic partnership that has not been terminated, dissolved, or adjudged a nullity
  2. The two of you cannot be related by blood in a way that would prevent you from being married to each other in California
  3. You are each at least 18 years of age (with certain exceptions — see Family Code Section 297.1)
  4. Either of the following:

          a. You're both members of the same sex OR

           b. One or both of you are eligible for Social Security per the Social Security Act.  Note: Persons of opposite sex may not constitute a domestic partnership unless one or both of the persons are over 62 years of age.

This Is Serious Stuff

    Make no mistake.  An intimate, loving relationship between a man and a man or a woman and a woman should carry with it the same exact rights as a loving relationship between a man and a woman.  We're almost there but, until then, we have Domestic Partnerships in California.

    Feel free to call or e-mail me for a free consultation regarding your legal rights in this regard.

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Email me now 001lowell@steigerlaw.com

LS 2012

All Consultations Are Free

Mishandling of Corpses: Your Right to Sue

Corpse 002 ripThe death of a loved one is by far one of the saddest and
toughest experiences that we will ever go through.

When a loved one passes, his or her body deserves to be treated with love, respect and dignity.  They deserve to rest in peace.

We expect that a funeral home, funeral directors, creamatoria and all of their staff members are going to care for our departed loved ones with the utmost sensitivity and care.

We don’t expect them to add to our grief and emotional pain by mishandling the remains of our loved
ones and causing emotional distress to those of us left behind.

What Is Emotional

Emotional distress includes suffering, anguish, fright,
horror, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, shock, humiliation, and shame.
Serious emotional distress exists if an ordinary, reasonable person would be
unable to cope with it. (California Civil Jury Instruction 1620)

Your Special
Relationship With The Mortuary

When a mortuary agrees to provide funeral services and
burial or cremation of our loved one, a special
is created between that mortuary and the close relatives of
the person that has passed.  That special
relationship creates a duty on the mortuary to perform the funeral-related “services
in a dignified and respectful manner that the bereaved expect of mortuary and
crematory operators.”

There was a case back in 1991 which was heard and decided by the
California Supreme Court entitled Christensen
vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles
(click here to read the case).  Basically, from 1980-1987 several mortuaries
and crematoria desecrated the human remains of some 16,500 bodies entrusted to
them by the bereaved families. 

And what did these mortuaries and crematoria do to these
bodies?  These were your worst nightmares
come true.

  1. Pulled the gold from the decedents’ teeth with
    pliers. This heinous act is known as “popping chops” or “making the pliers sing”
    throughout the industry.
  2. Removed and sold hearts, eyes, corneas, brains
    and other body parts and sold them to companies for commercial distribution.
  3. Cremated the bodies of numerous decedents
    together and placed the remains in 55 gallon oil drums from which they were
    distributed to the bereaved families

The court ruled that If the mortuary and crematory staff
mishandle the remains of our loved ones, then they have breached their duty of
care and are liable to the close family members for the emotional distress that
they create by their acts.

Mishandling of the remains of loved ones continues today

You and your family may be able
to sue the mortuary, funeral director, crematorium, etc., for emotional
distress should the remains of your loved one be mishandled by those to whom
you have entrusted them.  Examples:

  1. Improper
    embalming: Techniques that cause premature decomposition of the body,
    especially when the body of your loved one is going to be presented in an
    open-casket funeral
  2. Not
    properly refrigerating the body immediately following death but before embalming
    can lead to rapid decomposition
  3. Commingling
    of ashes: putting several bodies in the same crematorium during the same burn
    cycle, undermining the respect due your loved one
  4. Selling
    body parts
  5. Not
    disposing of the body in a manner authorized by you

Read the National Funeral Director Association's Code of

Professional Conduct and Enforcement Procedures

Honoring Your Loved One's Memory

If you believe that the remains of a deceased family member have been mishandled the please contact me for a free consultation.  I'm a California Personal Injury lawyer and I'm here for you.

Call me 002

(877) 487-8221

Email me now 001lowell@steigerlaw.com

LS 2012

All Consultations Are Free

Five Immediate Steps You Should Take After an Accident or Injury

You’re going to need the advice and representation of a
personal injury attorney if you’re injured in California.  Chances are, though, you’re not going to
be hiring an attorney within the first few hours of the incident. 

So, with or without an attorney, here are Five Very Important
Steps you should take immediately after an accident or injury.

Step One: Don’t Discuss The Incident With the
Other Party or Their Representative

Steps 003 silenceThe other party, or their representative (usually an
insurance company adjuster or investigator) may try to get to you to answer questions soon after the incident – oftentimes within hours.  Statements that you make at the time of the
accident or following the accident could be used against you as the case

Do not talk to the other party or their representative with
your attorney present!

Step Two: Seek Immediate Medical Attention 

Steps 002 medicalIf you’ve been injured, or there is a possibility that you’ve
been injured, get thee to a doctor, emergency room or an urgent care facility
immediately.  Be sure that the medical
practitioner documents your injuries and the fact that you’ve just been
involved in an accident (or fall, or dog bite, etc.)


Step Three: Write Things Down 

Steps 003 write it downIt’s natural for our memories to fade with the passage of
time.  We’re all human.  Make written notes so that you can refresh
your memory about the incident.  In
California, some cases don’t get to court for years.   Defense attorneys (the lawyers who are going
to try to gut your case) will do their best to paint you as a liar or
exaggerator if you don’t have a great recollection of the incident.

Step Four: Save The Evidence

You want to
be sure, to the extent possible, that evidence is preserved.  Evidence is essential in proving your case
down the line!

Do not
lose, alter or destroy evidence!

Steps 001 evidence
Vehicle Accident: Repair work should not be started
until detailed pictures have been taken of your vehicle (car, truck, bicycle,
motorcycle, etc.)

Dangerous or Defective Product: Save the product and its parts (for
example, if a bottle breaks, save the broken pieces!).  Keep the box in which it came.  Save the receipt!

Dog Bite or Animal Attack: Save the torn clothing and any
other evidence of the attack.  Don’t wash
the clothes you were wearing.

Slip and Fall  / Trip and Fall: Keep the shoes you were wearing, do
not throw them out and do not keep wearing them.  You will want to keep them in the condition
that they were in at the time of your fall. 
In other words: Don’t wear, repair or throw them out until your case is

Step Five: Take Pictures of Your Injuries

Steps 001 picturesTake
pictures of all parts of your anatomy that show signs of injury before the
healing process begins.  Date the
pictures accordingly (be sure that your digital camera has the right
date!).  Then take daily pictures of your

If you have
scarring, be sure to get pictures.  If
you’re going to have the scars surgically removed or reduced, be sure to take
before and after pictures.

In some
situations, your lawyer may hire a professional medical photographer to take
these pictures.



I represent people who have been injured due to the carelessness of others.  It's my job to take the pressure off of you so that you are free to heal.

Call me 002

(877) 487-8221

Email me now 001lowell@steigerlaw.com

LS 2012

All Consultations Are Free

Shame on Lance Armstrong – and he’s got the lawsuits to prove it

Armstrong 001

Oprah Winfrey gave Lance Armstrong the opportunity to come clean about his doping past.  He told Oprah that he was never afraid of getting caught and attributed his actions to a "ruthless desire to win."

Read the NPR article Lance Armstrong Admits to Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Do you care
whether Lance Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs? 

He cheated, he lied but, actually, I don’t
care that he chose to destroy his body. 
I’m guessing that he wasn’t the only one doing it.  So, as they say, caveat emptor.


What I DO care about is that he took
people down, in a big way, in order to perpetuate his lies.  He sued people, ruined people and lied under
oath to keep the lie alive.  He was a heartless bully whose need to keep it all going knew no bounds. 

Natural News (.com) published an insightful article Lance Armstrong empire implodes under mountain of
lies, intimidation, doping and betrayal
back in October 2012

Armstrong 002Shame on him.

            This will cost him.  He’s now the subject of two lawsuits and I’m
sure there will be more.


SCA Promotions vs
Lance Armstrong, et al

SCA Promotions is suing Armstrong for $12
Million.  Read the New York Times article
.  Here’s a nice highlight, sort of
sums everything up: 

Armstrong 003 tillotsonJeffrey Tillotson, a lawyer for SCA, said
that Armstrong and his representatives were “confident and cocky” back then
that Armstrong would never be stripped of his titles.

“They never
thought this would happen,” he said. “It was like they were saying, ‘If you can
find a unicorn and produce him, of course we will give you your money back.’ To
them, losing those titles was unimaginable.”

Class Action:
Readers Sue Lance Armstrong

The lawsuit,
filed in federal court in Sacramento, said the plaintiffs "would not have
purchased the books had they known the true facts concerning Armstrong's
misconduct and his admitted involvement in a sports doping scandal."

Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life" in 2000 and "Every
Second Counts" in 2003 are the works in question.

Read the Los Angeles Times article here

Don't be bashful.  What are your thoughts?

Underinsured Motorist Causes Injury. Now What?

and again people are severely injured in a car accident and the at-fault party
has insurance but not enough insurance to compensate the victim.

Uim uninsured 001    Well,
if you're the victim and have Uninsured Motorist Coverage
in California then it becomes Underinsured Motorist Coverage.  The legality and logistics of Underinsured
Motorist Coverage
can be quite tricky so you will want to consult a California
Personal Injury lawyer in this regard.  Basically, your car insurance provider "steps into the shoes" of the at-fault driver and, without increasing your premiums, affords you more coverage.

Peggy Gets Rear-endedReal Life Example

client, Peggy (not her real name), was minding her own business at a stop light when a driver, let's call him "Texting Bob", smashed into the rear of her brand new VW Bug, totaling it and sending
Peggy to the hospital.

Uim texting 001
hit was so hard that it blew out a disk in Peggy’s neck.  Peggy had to undergo surgery to remove and
replace the disc in her neck.  Apparently
Bob invested significant money in his iPhone but not in his automobile liability

medical bills were $105,000.  Bob had a
$25,000 policy limit.  Bob’s insurance immediately
offered the $25,000 to settle the case. 

had Uninsured Motorist Coverage in the amount of $500,000.  I spoke with Peggy’s insurance carrier and
asked what it was that they needed, in particular, to open an Uninsured/Underinsured
Motorist Claim for Peggy.

carrier wanted a certified copy of Bob’s Declarations Page, a declaration under
penalty of perjury that he carried no other applicable insurance, a copy of the
signed Release of All Claims and a copy of the Settlement Check for $25,000.

office provided all of the requested documents along with the relevant medical documentation
including reports, chart notes and bills along with a demand to Peggy’s
insurance carrier that, due to the seriousness of her injuries and treatment,
they pay the $500,000 policy limit.

several rounds of negotiations, fighting, arguing and legal wrangling, Peggy’s
insurance carrier offered the $500,000 less an offset (to which they are
legally entitled) for the $25,000 paid by Texting Bob’s insurance. 

Uim settlement 001                If
Peggy didn’t have Uninsured Motorist Coverage, she would have been out of luck
because Texting Bob had no more insurance, no significant assets (we did an
asset check) and worked at a low-paying job. 
Essentially, Texting Bob was judgment proof.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

Call or E-Mail Me to Discuss Your Auto Insurance Coverage

                It is so
important to have the proper insurance coverage in California.  My practice focuses on personal injury so car
insurance is something with which I’m intimately familiar.  Even if you’re not a current or past client,
I am more than happy to sit down with you in person, by phone or by e-mail, and
discuss your car insurance coverage BEFORE

                This is so important that I’m happy to
provide you with this consultation without charge.

Call me 002

(877) 487-8221

Email me now 001lowell@steigerlaw.com

LS 2012

Free Consultation With a California Personal Injury Lawyer

injured in a serious accident or losing a loved one due to negligence is an
unexpected event that shakes your foundation right out from under you. I'm here to help you get through this traumatic, life-changing event.

Fc legal rights
first meeting is the first step in determining your legal rights.  You’ll have a lot of questions for me, I’ll
have a lot of questions for you. 

order to make the most of our first meeting together, I’ll be asking you to
bring some things with you.  I know that
you may have all or none of what I request so don’t stress yourself.  Once I’m representing you, my office will be
able to get whatever you don’t have.

you can e-mail or fax some these things in advance of our meeting, great!  If not, bring them with you


  • Fc insurance 001
  • Fc insurance 002
  • Fc medical bill 001
  • Fc medical bill 002
  • Fc paycheck 001
  • Fc scene 001
  • Fc witness 001
Fc witness 001

CAVIAT: it’s very likely that some of the things that I’m requesting
may not yet be available

  • Names, addresses, phone, e-mail of those
    involved in the accident and their insurance information (policy number; claim
  • Names, addresses, phone, e-mail of witnesses
  • Written statements by you, the other party
    and/or witnesses
  • Police reports
  • Pictures of accident scene, vehicles or objects
  • Pictures of your injuries
  • Evidence of the accident such as torn clothing, broken
    or damaged instruments or equipment
  • Medical and hospital reports
  • Medical bills
  • Repair estimates
  • Rental bills
  • Documentation of lost earnings (pay stubs;
    employer information)
  • Insurance policies or declarations pages

LS 2012

Please call or e-mail me

I'm here for you

(877) 487-8221 Toll Free