This week I am sharing 3 legal mistakes you don’t want to make.
When asked why I stopped practicing law to go back selling Paradise Valley real estate, my answer was simple. I LOVED the law (still do), but I HATED the negativity of trying to trap people in depositions, bury them in motions, and beat them up on the witness stand.
What are the 3 legal mistakes you don’t want to make?
Having legal knowledge is a HUGE advantage in day-to-day life. So, I am sharing a few legal tidbits to give you an advantage in your business and personal dealings.
Don’t buy after-market warranties
The finance/closing officers at car dealers push hard (they earn bonuses) to sell you extended warranties, glass protection, tire protection, and gas price protection (just kidding). This is one of the highest profit margin items in every industry, and usually a total waste of money for you.
I noticed that Amazon now has a pop-up trying to sell us after-market warranties on the products it sells. Don’t buy ‘em! They are added profit for Amazon, and likely worthless to you. The price you pay for most every new product includes an express manufacturer’s warranty with all the protection you need.
Sure, an extended warranty might pay off if you keep that new TV, cell phone, or car a very, very long time. But statistically, if things don’t break right away (within the manufacturer’s warranty), they tend to last a long time, beyond the extended warranty period. That’s why extended warranties are a HUGE profit item for merchants and a bad bet for you.
Don’t sue emotionally
People get mad, file a lawsuit emotionally, then look back and often regret it. They have no concept of how much time, money, and emotionally draining it is to litigate. So before you sue consider this:
- Lawyers typically charge $300-$600 an hour. It may not cost a fortune for your attorney to draft the complaint and file a lawsuit, but the two ensuing years (before you go to trial) of letters, motions, depositions, interrogatories, legal research, negotiations, and phone calls will likely cost more than you think.
- How much is your time worth? It is not uncommon for a lawsuit to suck up 100, 200, 300 hours of your time. That’s time away from your business, your kids/grandkids, and the things that enrich your life.
- Even if you win your lawsuit, you may not win back your attorney fees. In most states, including Arizona, the defendant does NOT have to pay a winning plaintiff’s attorney fees (except in specific situations). It’s not uncommon for the winner of a lawsuit to lose money because their attorney fees exceeded their recovery from the defendant.
- Even if you win, you still have to collect. Defendants in lawsuits are often financially drained and/or hide their money where no one can find it. So you might win, but never collect a dime.
Don’t marry without a prenuptial agreement
I realize I’m on dangerous ground here. Women sometimes perceive that when guys suggest entering into a prenuptial agreement before marriage, they’re not fully committed, protecting themselves if it breaks up.
Actually, women should often be more concerned about having a prenuptial agreement than men. Here’s why:
A prenuptial agreement defines the terms of a divorce, something that unfortunately happens in over 40% of U.S. marriages. I think it’s nuts to let the law (which most couples don’t understand) and a capricious judge (yes, they exist) determine who gets what, and who pays what, when marriages break up.
Discussing the terms of a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage may not be a fun conversation, but marriages have legal, not just emotional implications.
A friend once taught me that a problem is a set of facts compounded by emotion. Couples who can’t remove the emotion from decisions before a marriage, may face problems ahead. As my dad, Chubby, taught me, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. That’s a good lesson for about every situation in life.
If you liked this post, you may enjoy “Can Secretly Record Conversations.”