Lessons Learned in a 42 Year Career. A Small Town Lawyer's Perspective

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1 Lessons Learned in a 42 Year Career A Small Town Lawyer's Perspective

2 These writings are dedicated to my beloved wife and editor Nancy, my family, clients, and colleagues, who have helped me to learn so many lessons. 1

3 2

4 Contents My First Post December 23, Launching My Revised Website and Blog 12 Today I Am at the WVAJ Mid Winter Meeting. 13 Burton Hunter's Practice Areas; Brief Overview 13 The Rhythm of Writing a Blog 14 Positioning One's Self for the Changes That Are Coming. 15 Dictation with Dragon Naturally Speaking 15 Websites, Blogs, Practice Areas, Lawyers Who Fail to Communicate 16 More on Technology - Moving Outlook to "The Cloud" 17 Mediation, Collegiality, and Professionalism 18 Miscellany and WV Irish Road Bowling 20 Common Mistakes of Divorcing Parties and Their Lawyers 22 The Nuts and Bolts of Family Court 24 West Virginia Auto Insurance Coverages 27 Powers of Attorney. 29 Don't Be Your Own Divorce Lawyer... #1 30 Don't Be Your Own Divorce Lawyer...#2 30 Lawyers Are People Too 32 Southern Tour 35 The Mysteries of Attorney Marketing 37 Why Be a Lawyer? 37 Commitment to Clients 38 Ten Dire Results of "Representing Yourself". (Things that have happ

5 Mediation Madness 41 Something Constructive: How to Organize the Facts in Your Case 43 Taze The kid? 43 Scumbags and the Death Penalty 44 Mediation: Tips for Parties and Lawyers 45 The Power of Facebook 47 Facebook Tips 49 Blog Announcement 49 Reboot of Topics 50 Why Continuing Legal Educaton? 50 What? Sue my employer? (Deliberate Intent) 51 But Grandma Loved Me Best! 52 Being a Good Husband 53 The McDonalds Happy Meal Controversy 54 Divorce Does Not Ruin Children, But Parents Behavior Does 55 May I Record My Spouse Without Their Knowledge? 56 Burt's Answer to J.B. (I mean Joe) 57 How To Be A Good Wife 58 So, You Think A Divorce May Be In Your Future? 60 Serious Auto Accident: Now What?! 62 Surrogate Parenting Contracts 63 Mediation Conundrums, Domestic Violence, and Sociopaths 64 Why Won't My Lawyer Call Me Back? 66 Shortsighted Lawyers 66 Alimony or Spousal Support - Will I pay or get it? 67 4

6 Upcoming Posts 68 Communicating with Those You Hate, or Who Hate You 69 Social Media for Lawyers, and Real People 71 Procrastination, Information, and Ignorance 76 The Basics of Personal Injury Claims in WV 76 Comparative Fault in WV 77 I Have Been Hurt by a Negligent Driver, What Can I Claim? 78 Various Insurance Coverages 79 Social Media, the Internet, Texting, and 80 Common Sense for the Personal Injury Claimant 81 Common Sense, Political Correctness, and "Literacy". 82 The Dilemma of the Difficult Client 84 How an Attorney Can Be a Good Adversary 86 One Week, Out of My 1900 On Earth So Far 88 How to Set Up a Modern, Tech Savvy, Legal Office 89 Tech Update 93 A Reminder to People Who Have Been Injured! 94 What Do You Need to Know about Deeds? 96 Tech Feedback with Blog Readers 97 What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do Anyway? 100 How Can I Get My Children s Parenting Plan Modified? 103 Can Lawyers Collaborate to Their and Their Clients' Benefit? 105 Document Assembly Dialogue; Roy Lazris's Reply To Scott Curnutte 108 The Tension Between Lawyers and Judges 110 The WV Association For Justice 113 5

7 How Did Your Week Compare to Mine? 115 Alimony: The Particulars 116 Rehabilitative Spousal Support - The WV Statute 117 General Provisions Regarding Spousal Support, WV Statute 118 Factors in Determining Alimony (Spousal Support), The WV Statute, S The Role of Fault in WV Alimony (WV Code ) 120 Social Media Warnings, Family Law Parties 120 Lessons From Hatfields & McCoys 121 Dear Honorable Judges Annual Meeting of WV State Bar 128 Disingenuous Lawyers 134 Representing Yourself - NOT a Good Idea! 136 Personal Injury and Insurance Law 138 Subrogation Claims 138 What, a Week?! 139 Why Should I Retain Burton Hunter For My Personal Injury Claim? 139 Disposing of 5000 Closed Client Files 141 Not The Normal Personal Injury Blah Blah 143 A Study In Hypocrisy 145 Kacie Anthony-Miscellany-Videos 148 Practical Technology Why Do You Have a Blog Too Mr. Hunter? 150 Dear Personal Injury Client: Points to Remember 150 Personal Injury and Divorce In West Virginia 153 What's With the Free Videos? 153 6

8 Fat, the Law, and Society 154 Protecting Our Reputations 157 How a Lawyer Deals With an Unrepresented Party 159 No Lawyer? Or Just Any Lawyer? 162 The Mystery of Equitable Estoppel 166 Obesity And The Law, And How Not to Be Fat 167 Lawyers and Language 171 Divorce 101 Handout (October 5, 2011) 173 Breaking Up With Your Personal Injury, Divorce, or Civil Lawsuit La Why the Republicans Need to Go to Mediators' School 178 Living With Constant Change 179 Burt's Lie Detector 180 What Burt Has to Say to His (Divorce and Custody) Opponents 183 Personal Injury Client Misperceptions 185 Is Lying or Stealing Wrong? 187 Hello 2012; An Avalanche of Change 189 FREE POWER OF ATTORNEY-ANNUAL LEGAL CHECKUP 193 Burt's Criticism of Religion and Religiosity 197 What Can a Lawyer Learn On The Road? 200 Post Script 202 Is It Ok to Bite My Child? 204 How To Read Burt s Book? 205 Getting Feedback 206 How To Testify at Trial 207 Obama, Romney, Gay Marriage, and Bullies 209 7

9 Buy a $1,000,000 Umbrella! 212 A Foot in Each Camp 214 Post Litigaton Mediation, Without a Lawyer? 217 More About Organizing Your Case. 219 Why Won't My Lawyer Call Me Back? 220 Are We Headed to Armageddon? 221 Why Does My Lawyer Act The Way He Does? 222 Two Examples of a Society in Decline 222 Dominos or Popcorn - Does It Matter? 225 A Divorce Lawyer's Plea to Mothers 226 Monday, July 30, Domestic Violence and Family Court 228 Book By the Cover 232 Equitable Distribution - WV Divorce Property Law 234 WV Mediation - Some Practical Ideas 236 Feigned Indignation 237 Getting Mediation Right Seminars Attended to Date 239 Children, Guardians Ad Litem, The Law, and Society 242 Thoughts on the Effective Use of and Its Ilk. 247 The Client is The Boss, or is S/He? 251 I Wonder What's Gone Wrong? Newtown Connecticut 252 Where to Find Words of Wisdom - Or "Which Button Do I Push?" 258 Many Ways to Meet Your Lawyer New Year Resolutions 264 8

10 A Life of Reading 266 Effective Preparation of a Case - For Mediation and Trial 269 Why Do You Bring Your Client to Every Hearing? 270 Reflections Upon A Working Vacation 271 Fundamental Precautions 273 What If I Hire a Divorce Lawyer 274 A Small Town Lawyer's Reading List 277 Why Play by the Rules? 278 Burton Hunter's Letter to New Clients 280 Where Have You Been Mr. Hunter? 283 Burt's Response to the Challenges of the Modern World 284 Militant Moderate - Mad As Hell! 289 More on "Why Hire a Divorce or Personal Injury Lawyer?" 291 Eclectic Summer Reading and Listening For Your Vacation Personal Injury Urban Myths - The Phonebooth - The Other Side of th... The State of Florida v. George Zimmerman - and Our System of Justice Keys to a Successful Mediation 301 Self Representation - A Family Court Tragedy 304 Keys To Success - A Competent Staff 306 Why Should My Lawyer Know Technology 307 The Lack of Privacy in the Modern Age 310 On the Hilarity of Escaping Pets 311 A Small Town Lawyer's Opinion on Keeping One's Views to One's Self

11 Amazon Comes to My Client's Rescue - Don't Believe Everything You T... If I Could Know Only Ten Critical Things About My Serious Injury Cl... If I Could Know Only Ten Things About My Family Law Case, What Woul How is Buddha Relevant to the World of A Small Town Lawyer? 320 A Small Town Lawyer Chatters on FB About His World. 322 A Report of the Book, "The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Ro... A New Post to My Sister Blog - Equitable Distribution and Alimony W A Father's View of Risk Taking 327 Guest Blogger Barron Henley - The Realities of the Paperless Office 329 Burt's January 1, 2014 Letters to Colleagues (and Clients). 330 A New Table of Contents to My Blog and Other Useful Tidbits 331 A Modern View of Religion by a Spiritual Person 334 The Lawyers' "Golden Rule" for Sheriffs', and Private, Process Servers

12 My First Post December 23, 2008 Tuesday, December 23, 2008 The post below is my first surviving blog post, edited slightly. I then rested for a year, but in the last two years, I have posted 120 articles that I shall now attempt to edit into a Kindle e-book. I was born in 1946, in Wheeling WV. The photo above is my Grandfather (Michael) Earl O'Grady holding me in downtown Wheeling. It predates my earliest childhood memories. As a Blogger, I have been a failure. I posted a nice little introduction over a year ago, and now it is gone. My web designer asked me for a "personal" bio for my website. Here it is. Burton Hunter may have "old fashioned" values, but they are not outmoded. Burton's values come from his upbringing in Wheeling WV. They come from the choir and youth fellowship at Christ United Methodist Church, from being a Cub Scout, 4-H Club member, a student in Ohio's County's excellent public school system, and at Linsly Military Institute from 8th through 12th grades. Hunter graduated from W. V. Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, with a B.A. in Government and History, and from the W.V. University College of Law, followed by four years in the U.S. Air Force Jag Corp where he earned the Air Force Commendation Medal. Burton Hunter and Nancy Lynne Goodfellow, of Fairfield Ct., met at W.V.W.C. and married in They have four children, John, Christopher, Justin, and Laura, and 3 grandchildren, Anna, Jack and Lucille. (Since this was written, we have been blessed with Grady Daniel Hunter, now one year old.) Hunter was the recipient, in the 1990's, of the WV Trial Lawyers' Association's (now WV Assoc. of Justice) Member of the Year and President's awards. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Trial Lawyers, now WV Assoc. for Justice, for 20 years. He remains a loyal member. In his home town of Buckhannon, Hunter coached youth soccer for 17 years, served as President, and other offices, of the Upshur County Senior Center, chaired the United Way campaign, sat on the board of the Upshur County Family Resources Center, has sung in the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church choir for 20 years, and served as President of A Small Town Lawyer's Perspective 11

13 the Upshur County Bar Association. He was also a member of the Buckhannon Rotary Club and Buckhannon Upshur Chamber of Commerce. (Note: Hunter is now active in the WV State Bar and a member of the American Bar Association, ABA. He has become very active in social media including Linked In, Face Book, Twitter, and YouTube, where he has posted over 70 informational videos. He seeks feedback, questions, and suggestions from all sources. Hunter has represented hundreds of personal injury victims, handled around 3000 family law cases, and handled hundreds of insurance claims, civil suits, and a wide variety of other matters. Now he prefers to focus his practice on personal injury and insurance, divorce and family law, mediation, and civil law suits. Hunter has been heavily involved in technology, innovation, and continuing legal education throughout his career. He acquired his first computer, an Apple II, in 1981, and has been learning ever since. His office uses dozens of computer applications. (Note: since this was written, Steve Jobs died, but not before giving us the ipad and iphone 4s., both of which have enhanced Hunter's connectivity. And Fujitsu ScanSnap personal scanners, Dropbox.com, hosted Outlook, and other amazing innovations, have revealed a portal to the mythical "paperless office". Alas, the paperless office remains the goal rather than reality.) Burton Hunter believes in hard work, protecting his clients, applying "common sense" to the practice of law, and staying current in his profession. For over 30 years, Hunter's office light has been the first to come on in Buckhannon most mornings. Drive by before 7:00 a.m. and you can see it. (Feb. 4, This shameless self promotion remains essentially true. Every lawyer has a personal life, and I treasure mine. My wife of 43 years, four children, four grandchildren, three daughters in law, family, and friends, great staff, and good health make up the foundation that permits me to protects my clients' and their families' best interests. I am seeking new tools and methods, and striving to enhance the professionalism of the legal community.) Launching My Revised Website and Blog Saturday, February 28, 2009 All of my energy, recently, has been put into my new website. The old content five years old. By next week, Mar 1-7, 2009, I expect the new site to be up and running. The photos are mine. The videos I did in my law library. They are similar to the F.A.Q. text. I did not read from text for the more recent videos. They strongly represent views I have already written about. And the words are mine too, from a long interview with the Findlaw people. I hope the site has some good content, and, of course, I hope it gets me some new clients. Note: since writing this, my site has been revised a second time. I am still trying to get Findlaw to upload my 50 new videos, but you can view that at the JBHunterIII Youtube Channel. And, I posted 118 more blog articles at I hope this content will be useful to you and your family. (J.B.H. 02/19/2012) Burt Hunter 12 A Small Town Lawyer's Perspective

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