Woman wins court case against ex-husband – her lawyer plans to foreclose on her home for payment!

A B.C. woman stands to lose her home to her lawyer, who is moving to foreclose on her to pay his six-figure bill.

“My friends and family say this can’t be happening. There’s got to be a mistake,” Dale Fotsch said.

Fotsch got into the predicament after being sued by her former common-law husband, even though she won the case and the court ordered him to pay her costs…”I won, but I lost,” Fotsch said…

A decade ago, her common law ex-husband Leigh Wilson went after Fotsch, trying to get a piece of her property after their breakup. The case took nine years to resolve, which was years longer than her lawyer had predicted, she said.

“There was a three-week trial – three weeks! For my little place in the country. I mean, it just seems a little overboard and ridiculous,” Fotsch said. “There were three tables of binders, with papers stacked sky high.”

She said she had already paid thousands in legal fees when the case finally went to trial in 2007. As it advanced, her lawyer said he wouldn’t continue unless she allowed him to secure a $100,000 mortgage against her property, at 18 per cent interest per year.

Vancouver divorce lawyer Jonas Dubas charges $300 an hour. His invoices to Fotsch include charges like $148.40 to simply call another lawyer and leave a voicemail message…

When she finally won, in 2010, the B.C. Court of Appeal ordered Fotsch’s former husband to pay her court costs. That would have covered at least part of her bill from Dubas — which, by then, had reached $90,000.

“When they said he was responsible for the costs, I thought that meant that he was going to pay them,” Fotsch said.

However, her ex-husband has since declared bankruptcy, so he hasn’t paid and she can’t force him to. Meanwhile, her legal bill has mushroomed — with $88 a day in interest charges — and has now reached $180,000…

I’ve gone to court like they told me I had to, to save my place. And now the very person that I got to help me is taking it…”

I have this discussion once in a while when folks say I’m too hard on lawyers.

Look, I’ve known some great lawyers – who fit the design of folks who fight to defend the rights of ordinary citizens. Spent some great times with Bill Kuntsler and Ted Koskoff. Ted had a rule of thumb that a third of the cases he took on would end up being unpaid – for folks who could never afford the head of the National Trials Lawyers Association; but, needed a great lawyer to help them battle some sleazy corporation or rightwing police department. They were kind of folks who accepted the Bill of Rights as the mantra for their career in law.

And then there are grasping, greedy and unprincipled types who don’t care whether or not they give their clients timely service at honest rates. Which kind do you think represents the majority?

You don’t even have to count in the lawyers in Congress.

Supremes say ministers can’t sue churches for discrimination


Funny who supports what – when it’s convenient

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday for the first time in an important church-state separation issue that ministers cannot sue their churches claiming they had been fired in violation of employment discrimination laws.

The justices unanimously overturned a U.S. appeals court ruling that the job of a former teacher and minister at a church school was secular rather than religious and she could pursue her claim that she was improperly fired in violation of federal law…

The justices for the first time adopted a rule used for decades by some U.S. appeals courts that the government generally cannot delve into church affairs and religious beliefs in employment cases involving ministers or other clergy members. The high court accepted what is known as a “ministerial exception” to the employment discrimination laws. It generally bars the federal government from examining employment decisions by religious groups for employees with religious duties, such as ministers.

The case involved the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in Redford, Michigan, and former teacher Cheryl Perich, who was also a minister. She taught secular and religious classes…

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled against her.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion that the First Amendment of the Constitution barred such lawsuits, that Perich was a minister and her employment discrimination lawsuit must be dismissed.

He said delving into a church’s employment decisions involving a minister would improperly interfere with its internal affairs and infringe on a religious group’s constitutional right to shape its own faith and mission.

Anyone think Roberts and the rest of his flock will be so industrious when it comes considering the question of religions paying taxes to the nation which so vigorously protects their civil rights?

Resident who fought back against gang wins in court

A vigilante resident who was sued after firing a catapult at local troublemakers has been vindicated by a judge.

Bruce Harwood, 38, claimed he was forced to take matters into his own hands after the gang of teenagers waged a campaign of “constant bombardment” against him and his neighbours in a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse.

He told how the youngsters urinated on his front door, hurled eggs at his windows, screamed, shouted and vandalised his gates.

When the police allegedly failed to act, Mr Harwood, an electrician, decided to try and “scare them away” himself.

He fired several metal ball-bearings at his tormenters from a catapult, injuring three of them and causing nasty swellings to their groins and legs.

The injured trio then sued him for damages, demanding a total of £3,600 compensation for their injuries after he pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm.

But Judge Gareth Hawkesworth threw out the claims at Cambridge Crown Court, ruling that the teenagers “brought this very much upon themselves.”

Mr Harwood…claimed the police were frequently called but rarely bothered to turn up and never made any arrests.

Golly – do you believe that could happen, that coppers might be so preoccupied with a donut break that they wouldn’t respond to a citizen’s call for help?

“When you have 15 or 20 hoodies screaming and shouting I had to figure some way of getting them out. I was scared they’d get into the building,” he said after the hearing…

Not that I’m complaining about my own local policing. We’re pretty fortunate in having an honest, aggressive Sheriff here in Santa Fe county, recent years.

Of course, with the infinite wisdom of lazy-ass voters, term limits prevented him from running for re-election when a third term would have been a walkover. His assistant will takeover the office, soon, and we hope he will maintain the same standards.

Yes, I tire of lazy whiners who fear the results of democracy.