Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Avvo: the place to go for Fake legal advice

Do you know what Avvo is? If you do not know what it is, carefully read the following weblink:

Avvo is supposed to be a place where we get 'free legal advice'. Most of the attorneys who use the forum are unable to perform that basic function - provide free legal advice.  Avvo is a place for pretend legal advice, this is particularly true when pro se litigants post questions seeking legal advice. A vast majority of lawyers on Avvo are not doing what the site claims they are supposed to do, they only thing they are really doing is advertising their lawyer services.  Their function is to provide pretend legal advice. 

In the last year I have been posting a variety of legal questions. I can honestly say that the number of lawyers who actually posted informative comments are less than ten percent (10%). In many instances, if you reply to their comment, simply explaining that they completely neglected to answer the question posed, they respond with some sarcastic remark. 

Not only are they providing 'fake' legal advice, but they are rude to suffering people at the same time. 

I am all for using social networks to advertise. That is not what these people are doing. Avvo claims to offer actual free legal advice, when in truth, most of the lawyers posting comments are not there to help anyone but themselves.  

Avvo is the guilty agent. They should not be promoting this website with 'free legal advice' when 9 out of 10 lawyers are not doing that. It is completely dishonest. 


In the last year, I had the distinct pleasure of posting many questions. Each time I post a question, I cross my fingers, say a little prayer to that non-existent god and say, "hmm, I wonder if anyone will actually ANSWER the question this time." 

I have the distinct impression that avoo-advertising lawyers believe they belong to a coveted club. Obtaining legal knowledge from them is as easy as solving the riddle of the Sphinx. In fact, most pro se litigants will have better luck pulling out one of their own permanent teeth with a rusty pair of pliers than getting an actual legal question answered. 

The best analogy that I can give for this scenario comes from the cartoon, The Incredibles. Remember when that little old lady on a fixed income tried to make an insurance claim, and Mr. Incredible gave her "secret" inside advice? When I post questions on Avvo, I am hoping that I might find a Mr. Incredible who will answer the question - and not the horrible Gilbert Godfrey manager that tries to keep knowledge secret.

Friday, June 7, 2013

This is not acceptable

When I uploaded my video today, I noticed on the right hand side of my upload there were some odd YouTube recommendations. The one that made me laugh was this one:

Wat to and not to do wen somebody has a birth defect

The video was made by one Lisa Conner.

Lets take a look at the title of this video again, I want to make sure you all took a good, long look.

I made a promise to be a nicer person, but.... AHHHHHHHHHHH AHHHHHHHHH AHHHHHHHHH

Dear Lisa, let me help you for a moment. 

Every time you write a video title or provide a Facebook status update, you are providing something for the world to see.  I am prompted to write this blog because I cannot believe how much unintelligible garbage, including your use of the monosyllabic grunts - "wat" and "wen" are put on on public display. This is not an abbreviated word for a twitter update, there is more than enough space in a YouTube Title Box to properly spell out the title of your video. 

Next, lets work on the grammar, it is not necessary to write "to and not to". It is repetitive. Proper spelling is an indication of both education and intelligence. There is a correlation between people who are stupid and people who cannot spell. I am not calling you stupid, but if you are young and misguided then you simply will not understand the importance of putting the right foot forward.  

American English is standard. There is no such thing as "white English", "Asian English" or "black English". It is okay to have an accent, but it is NOT okay to misspell elementary words or write like you have never passed a second grade spelling test.  

Have standards: if you want to command respect in this world then you must respect your audience as well. Speak properly, employ good grammar and for the love of Zeus - if you cannot spell it then DO NOT write it. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Noble Death or Darwin Award?

Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young were storm chasers employed by The Weather Channel. News were all killed while chasing tornadoes near El Reno Oklahoma. With the news of their deaths infiltrating social media, many people around the world are sharing their grief. At first, I thought they were a bunch of adrenaline junkie morons who, for the pursuit of photographs, got themselves killed. I was wrong.  I had to throw away about eighty percent of what I wrote, and start anew.  I used to think that these people were just stupid for putting their lives in danger. Not anymore. 

Katia and Maurice Krafft

In 1991, French volcanologists  Katia and Maurice Krafft were killed while filming eruptions at Mount Unzen. They died when a pyroclastic flow suddenly swept onto their ridge. They were killed instantly. Their provided some of the most amazing footage and photographs to the National Geographic.

Dian Fossey was a respected Zoologist living and studying gorillas in the mountain forests of Rwanda  She was found dead. There was a successful Hollywood movie made about her life, Gorillas in the Mist.

Ocbober 2003, Tim Treadwell was eaten alive by an Alaskan Grisly bear. The audio portion of his death was recorded by his video camera. He had lived among the bears for nearly a decade. A documentary film Grizzly Man came out a few years following his death.

Over the last few days I have been thinking about whether or not these people deserve the Darwin Award. At first I thought - yes, then I changed my mind. Then I wrestled with the question, what does  it mean to die a noble death? Is death for the pursuit of science noble? 

Dian Fossey's death was a tragedy. She was a respected zoologist studying the ecology and behavior of our fellow primates.  Katia and Maurice Krafft also made great contributions to science. These people brought the world some of the first and most amazing photographs of primates and volcanoes.

Tim was a an odd man, but if he did not live with the bears he would have lived as a shadow of himself. I value authenticity in myself, and would be nothing short of a hypocrite if I did not value Tim's authenticity. Granted, I still think that life is more important, and should never be risked, but if he feels differently so be it. If we have the right to choose how we live, where we live, what we will eat then surely we have the right to chose how we will end our lives. 

I am genuinely sad for the storm chasers. I cannot imaging the pain Ms. Samaras must be enduring at this moment, having lost her husband and her son. Yet, I know these unnecessary deaths will inspire us to ask more philosophical questions about how to live authentically and what it means to die a noble death.