Wednesday, September 22, 2021

See Attorney's Other Blog site for more than 100 topics Attorney's blog for Butte County has more than 120 posts on many topics involving CA family law. Attorney is leaving the site up as attorney still has clients in Butte County.

Monday, September 13, 2021


Just some of prior Reviews, over 20,996 views..:
Attorney Chan has been very responsive to our calls and provides excellent service and advice. Her fees are great and she is very easy to work with. Thanks Carolyn! Review Left On 02/27/2020 RORY HICKS

I'm a mama bear and grandma and appreciate having Carolyn working with my son to protect his rights as a father. She is down to earth and a regular person who doesnt tangle you up with legalease. Review Left On 05/27/2020 Kathleen Oman
Her fees are the best I have found along with great reviews she cant be beat. Review Left On 05/29/2020Bradley Nugent
Are you looking for a dynamite attorney that actually cares about their client and actually wants to win? Then retain Ms. Chan. She is relentless in making sure her case wins. She is very reasonable in her fees, she is worth every penny! She has been awesome with my case. She is extremely knowledgeable of family law, domestic violence and criminality. All things that my case is riddled with. She is a tough cookie, but she definitely knows what she's talking about and will go to hell and back to make sure she wins for you. Go with Chan, you won't regret it. Review Left On 02/27/2020 Lacey Turner
Fair prices and straight talk. Often times you get a lot of run around from attorneys spouting legal jargon that the everyday man or woman can't understand...Miss Chan puts it in layman's terms and talks with intelligence but not as though she is above an equal. We were treated fair and though I wasn't involved in the legalities, she listened to my perspective as an outsider looking in on a difficult situation. Highly recommend her. Review Left On 04/17/2020Robert Snow

Amazingly, attorney Chan worked on my extremely difficult case for almost 4 years, and because of the issue involving a criminal informant party, the case was railroaded due to the judge giving kids to the wrong parent; however, attorney Chan told me I would need to leave the county in order to get back the kids and she was right! I moved and eventually the informant got caught with child pornography (lots of it) and he was arrested. Also, attorney Chan helped steer my other case--which was not even in CA--to victory, by pointing out jurisdiction issue/fraud done by the father (not the same father I just mentioned) and I got sole legal and physical custody on that case also!!!! Attorney Chan is really really a big strategy attorney and she will not fail you. Not ever in my opinion because litigation is one of her strong points! Review left on March 15 2021 R. Stiles
She has provided me with excellent service in dealing with my case. Miss Chan knows her stuff. She has been a life saver. I would recommend her services to everone. Review Left On 02/27/2019 Nicki Bennett
Carolyn was super amazing in helping me navigate an extremely stressful and emotional legal issue. Her knowlegde of the law is excellent as she responds to communication very quickly, and is very forth right about possible outcomes. I would absolutely use her again and highly recommend her to anyone navigating a pet or family issue (in my case it was both). Review Left On 01/27/2020Deekay David
Ms Chan has been my attorney for over 25 yrs. She has handled my divorce from how to resolve my case and helping me keep my children in a professional manner at a very reasonable cost. I can't even imagine what would've happened if I didn't retain her services.
Review Left On 08/19/2020sigrid wroolie Wonderful. I have very complicated situation and Carolyn was the only attorney I spoke with that understood and offered solutions. She is confident and professional. After hiring her I could sleep nights knowing she was there to help resolve what seemed overwhelming. Even the judge straightened up when she spoke firmly and pleasantly. She cuts to the chase to get things done not wasting billable time. I trust her to protect the issues I most value. Review Left On 05/27/2019Duckie Maggetti
Thank you for everything and all the help with my case definitely recommending you if i know anyone who needz an attorney Review Left On 08/07/2020dave parks
We hired attorney based on a friend's recommendation and after looking at various legal sites because we needed a stand up type of person who is not afraid to speak up [after having suffered from using a very weak lawyer in the past, it didn't work for us....]anyway we found the attorney's insight on people to be very keen, and she was more than willing to go the extra steps we needed to get the result we were working on , plus she even talked to us after hours several times. Talk can be cheap sometimes but for me personally, I am more than happy with the attorney's service to us. Review Left On 12/27/2019Dale Hanson
Though I have not personally talked with Ms Chan, I can say she has given great counsel to my daughter at fair prices throughout her difficult process of her divorce. Review Left On 11/13/2019
Carolyn was a great choice! Her prices are the best I've seen and she truly cares about her clients. Carolyn was by my side throughout the entire process with great advice and support in and out of the courtroom Review Left On 06/27/2020 Michael Alexander
Review Left On 06/27/2019Remy Martin I appreciate her honesty and the fact that she's blunt. There is no guessing what she means which is very rare to find; especially in an attorney. She has given me hope and there is a light at the end of this custody battle.
Review Left On 06/24/2019Denny Patinoz For what I was charged especially, and the research done, I would recommend her because she tries much harder than other attorneys I have seen in past, knows what she is doing in strategy, and can own the truth, regardless. Hard to ask for more, no joke. Especially these days!

Sunday, September 12, 2021


Attorney has long been known for helping clients who needed help desperately, but no attorney was readily willing to help client(s) who were either desperate or didn't have enough money. Attorney worked for almost free almost four years on a family law case involving both divorce, supervised visitation,harmed children and a parent that was essentially a snitch (meaning criminal informant which is allowed under certain circumstances because it's the CA government/feds that allow it..) Since snitches are routinely used in certain cases, it is not that odd to find such person decides he or she wants his or her "kids", and the government will pretty much allow that to happen. If you never knew this, you are not alone.

In our case, attorney worked almost four (yes,--four) years on such a case, and was not paid much to do this. The case was so bad, attorney worked for just about free. In the mix, minor's counsel actually hindered the children and rather than to help them, minor's counsel talked the kids down so they would NOT rat out the pedophile dad? Attorney herein advised the client to leave the county as snitches are often tied to a specific geographic location. Eventually client moved to another county. Sometime later, the father was actually caught having uploaded thousands of child porn photos to his online account.......when this happened, the client was able to get full custody of the kids. Prior to that, even with trial, the kids had still been awarded to the pedophile?
This example proves that there are ways to get around serious obstsacles in cases, if you are determined enough and have the sheer will to win. In some cases it may not be possible but in many cases it is possible. Attorney has also been on TV (not that attorney likes to be on TV..) because of a schoolyard case where apparently some kids found either drug paraphernalia or other illegal items in the schoolyard like razor blades....and attorney has been the newspaper (Sacramento) after a case where the mother reported the father was having the kids sit and watch gay porn videos with him and the kids were taken to the UCD scan clinic and evidence found against the father involving molestation. Obviously the children did not see the father much after that. IN another case, attorney and client (father) were in elevator in Sacramento and we were carrying our exhibit board evidence which had turned out to be pretty nice. Attorneys in the elevator were complimenting us on the boards, and when we met with opposing counsel for family law case (they accused my client of alleged rape) they were apparently rather stunned at our preparation and decided they did not want to continue the case theme of alleged rape and caved in.

As can be seen, not every case will have such difficult fact patterns, but most family law cases usually involve some type of harm to children, whether it be emotional, mental, physical, etc. Mediation via the court may not often solve these issues, a much stronger defense is usually required to win the case. Attorney's entire practice is designed mainly to win cases, not settle them; the reason for this is because almost any idiot can allegedly "settle" a case, but is the client happy, and are the kids doing well? In many cases, the answer is NO! Attorney does not really believe that private mediation for a divorce is the best method unless there are no children involved, then it may be ok for the adults.

Family law mediation by using the court mediators is fair to middling, but oftentimes clients have little choice in that area. If a bad assessment is done by an errant mediator, the client will be facing an uphill battle since about 70%+ of mediators reports-- are adopted by the courts. Clients are usually not prepared in advance for mediation (except attorney herein helps clients prepare for it on most cases..) so that is a difference as to which attorney may or may not do this. *If you have a difficult case, you may want to contact attorney herein. My background is highly suited to this type of work, I am not afraid of difficult, hard cases, and I am adept at ongoing litigation whether family law or otherwise. Thanks for taking time to read the post!

Saturday, September 4, 2021

WINNING IN UNUSUAL WAYS ... FROM 2010, 2015, 2020, 2021 etc.

Winning in Unusual Ways!    2010, 2015, 2020 etc.

In another instance of trial (family law), after cross examining the other party, the opposing counsel suddenly called a recess.

After 7 years of never being able to get a dime out of the ex, no division of property, no spousal; ex husband  had already filed bankruptcy, my client, having previously used 3 different lawyers, [w/o a good result],  ended up contacting attorney herein --- for trial.

The opposing attorney stopped the trial after attorney herein----  spotted a bankruptcy fraud issue during the trial, based upon the husband's testimony vs. the bankruptcy document he filed;  and husband's attorney offered a combo to wife,  of about $23,000 combined cash/real property $100,000, and attorney fees of $6,000.

This likely meant that if they had NOT stopped the trial, my client would had gotten spousal, but we would have had to chase him forever across the USA to get it, and go to Bankruptcy Court also.....Client elected to take the offer. Many family law attorneys do not actually know bankruptcy law, but they probably should.

Because attorney herein  "caught"  the ex spouse on the stand for what appeared to be potential bankruptcy fraud, the rest is history......  so,  in case you have issues where you find out your ex spouse filed bankruptcy without telling you, and you got shafted, let's say in spousal support, you would likely need to run to an attorney that knows family law and bankruptcy immediately.

The person who lies in bankruptcy documents is in big trouble, and the court will nearly always take that as a sign that the person who filed the Petition in Bankruptcy court may not be honest.

In another instance, a civil case trial by a former wife against former husband and girlfriend, the husband  had already been convicted in a widely publicized case of homicide in Sacramento (and was on appeal, he lost); the case then went to jury on issue on civil liability as to both husband and girlfriend.

Keeping in mind husband was already convicted of first degree murder, the jury decided that husband was only 60% at fault in the civil case. I represented the husband who was already in prison, (and had not represented him during the criminal trial in Sacramento, where he used a public defender...)

Civil cases typically have a lower burden of proof [than criminal case], so finding the husband only 60% and not 100% evidently meant, jury wanted to punish the girlfriend because they took 40% and assigned it-- NOT-- to the husband. This verdict was reported in Verdict Search, a national reporting source for large verdicts nationwide. Counsel representing the girlfriend was from insurance defense firm.

Currently, the former wife has not been able to collect much on the verdict [of millions] after paying fees/costs and it is anticipated she will not be able to collect in the future. Very interesting case, which also involved animals (pet dogs) owned by the husband/son. Son was stabbed when father went to check on condition of dogs; father claims son ran into the knife by lunging forward.

         In a very unusual scenario, attorney was substituted into a case with a client who did not reside locally;  a hearing on an issue Request for Order (presumed to be law and motion).... was set for a date only several days away, at which time attorney believed the hearing could be continued. It seems the hearing was in fact --- a trial (according to Judge) -- and the client was not present and Judge did not want to continue the case.  Attorney went forward on the issue, with no witness or client.


Using only cross examination, with 4 witnesses, 

Attorney actually
won the trial--much to surprise of  witnesses present
 and including opposing counsel, who was obviously shocked..........

   This is rather uncommon, but imagine how your case might work out if attorney can do this, without even having a client or a witness?

Attorney thinks it's fair to say, you would be in fairly good hands. Especially if other attorneys have failed in the past on your case.

Note: All of these scenarios are actual cases but by no means are such outcomes considered standard. Each case has different facts and various laws which will apply; each case can vary tremendously, and attorney is not representing that such outcomes are common. However, attorney does have a very high percent of cases that prevail, settle or result in what the client wanted.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Do You Want to Win Your Case? Should You Hire a Litigator? Do You Care?

What Type of Attorney Do You Really Need? Do You Want to Win? You Don't Care?

Do you have a case where you want to win, or need to win your case?
Do you have the winning facts?  Do you know what law would or would not support your position? Do you want or need an actual litigator for your case?

Hiring an actual advocate (attorney litigator) is not the same as hiring:

(1) Collaborative law attorneys, --- OR...

(2)... a  "Mediator" which works with BOTH parties.   Also, mediating* a case with only one attorney means ...The "mediator" helps people talk the issues through, supposedly helping to "settle" the dispute themselves. In this attorney's opinion, it would not be recommended in most cases, because typically the overbearing spouse simply bulldozes the other spouse.

*[Mediation for visitation is not the same thing as mediation of an entire divorce case. Mediation for visitation/custody is required by law in CA when there is no agreement.]

There are many pitfalls that can arise in divorce; many of them involve financial transactions that one spouse had no knowledge of; assets that one spouse did not know about; children that were conceived outside the marriage and spouse never knew other spouse was paying; secret business dealings that was predicated on all cash; illegal actions by one spouse implicating the other spouse who had no knowledge; large debts racked up by one spouse, without the other spouse even knowing such debt existed; one spouse signing the other spouse's name for a credit card, then ruining the other spouse's credit.... NONE of these things, in this attorney's opinion, should be addressed in either mediation or collaborative law scenario.
         IF in fact, such secret dealings had already taken place, and both parties agreed to use one Mediator, and both parties executed an MSA (marital settlement) and went on their merry way-- if it was determined that fraud had taken place and the party who got taken for a ride wanted to then set aside that judgment-- you are looking at paying yet another attorney to UN-DO the judgment or possibly file an appeal, or there could be other options.

       But basically, there's a limit to how long you can wait to un-do or set aside almost anything---therefore, it's very dangerous when time limits may come into play,  for how much time you have to set almost anything aside??  It's possible it could be too late, in which case, you would really need a litigator for sure. In some instances, common law may have to be used (I do not have the time to explain that part, but if you hire a litigator who has done set aside cases, they will know what I am talking about..)
 Plus, there are huge time barriers to trying to set aside any of this!
What is one very concerning issue, monetarily--is the rise of secret bitcoin holdings. If you don't know what bitcoin is, please look it up online!!

If in fact, it is completely unknown to one spouse that the other spouse has a trove of bitcoin, and no one else knows about it, but then somehow the spouse who doesn't know later finds out years later, and it's half a million bucks--- what is the spouse who just found out,  going to do?  Failure to disclose is breaking the law.  That's just one example!!

----->Especially if you have issues in the 3 lines below, which happened BEFORE the case finalized---- you should never hire anyone except an advocate litigator. Aggressive at that.THERE ARE HUGE TIME BARRIERS TO FILING by statutory law, so don't assume anything!

Actual Fraud, Duress, Mental Incapacity
Mistake (as to stipulated or Uncontested judgments); Coercion,Perjury
Failure to Exchange Declarations-Disclosure documents (Assets Debts)-or-
  when exchanged, i.e.--have false, misleading or improper numbers, values, dates..
[While all of this can be looked up, it is best to consult a litigator and show the attorney
the document/evidence in question, because this is not a guessing game!]

We live in a society where people often want what they want, and when clients hire attorneys to get something done, especially in family law, it's often because one SIDE tried to take advantage of the other side.

HOWEVER, the vast majority of most divorces and break ups, are because the couple cannot agree on a lot of things, including (just an example....) post judgment orders.........

How to raise the kids-- too lenient?  too strict?
How to spend income from employment or inheritance
How to avoid too much tv, too much bad influence, too much Facebook?
Your spouse is secretly funneling community funds and hiding it?
Your spouse is bipolar, alcoholic, addicted to opiates, and can't be controlled?

Of all the problems attorney has seen over several decades, the problems around children tend to generate the worst issues, followed by physical harm, financial issues, and alcohol or drug use.

And remarkably, attorney has seen clients REFUSE to take what he/she is entitled to, and then SETTLE a case by using an attorney who is or was a mediator, --- in other words, the attorney is not acting as a litigator for the client?

If you are entitled to something, why would you pay someone to settle a case when you could have settled it without help????   Collaborative law and mediation means if you don't settle the case using whomever you hired, those attorneys cannot represent you in court anyway.

You THEN have to hire new attorneys!!

While mediation and collaborative may be good for some cases (which means you are settling case by paying people to settle it without court)-- it is essentially negotiation. Judges are not involved. If you work something out and then don't like it later--- what you have -- is a problem.

              Some of the down sides of  collaborative law (which includes hiring people like accountants and other experts) and which makes it costly:

The Expense; Impact of termination and cost of new counsel; No advocacy for one or both parties; directed conversation between parties, power imbalances, difficult issues might remain secret (such as domestic violence, addictions, drugs, gambling, infidelities,etc.); Possible inadequate information collection, potentially less support for views of children. Much money is made by collaborative attorneys simply because collaborative cases and their private agreements, do NOT

Basically, in mediation there is no advocate for YOU.
In collaborative law, BOTH sides work on issues, but NO ONE is an advocate for YOUR side.
The collaborative view is to work out issues, not really take sides as an advocate----a true advocate is there to represent YOU, not the spouse.

This is part of the reason that most people in a divorce WANT an advocate, and need a litigator --- because they are being taken advantage of, steamrolled, or being misled or manipulated. Whether it's in the financial area, support area, children, or even moral fortitude.....

You don't have to believe attorney, look at one of my other sites for example, where it is stated in plain English, by the actual mediator--  that making the decisions with a mediator is not the fault of the mediator, and the mediator is quoted... (he is quoted verbatim, as this was published on the mediator's site..)

  "The role of the mediator is to assist the participants reach an agreement. 
 It is not the mediator's role to give legal advice or to assure
 that the agreement is fair or equitable to either party.  
There may well be unintended consequences resulting in one or more
 of the participants suffering "buyers remorse", but they made the decision
  to accept the terms  and entered into the agreement, not the mediator..."

 Note--again, the "mediation" we are speaking of, is NOT the family law mediation process that the COURTS do, for contested custody.
       Private mediation means both parties choose to use one mediator to arrive at some agreement, and because a mediator does not dispense legal advice the way a legal advocate would do--as in actual litigation--where each party is represented by their own separate attorney-- the "mediator" himself or herself--- is only assisting both parties to REACH an agreement.

Carefully NOTE-- the mediator does not need to assure either party that the agreement is fair or equitable to either party.   LOL-- that's fine if you don't care what you are getting, or you don't know your rights and you don't care about about that either??

       Unfortunately---if you do this and then realize you lost out on something because you did NOT know your rights at all---then guess what??? You are in trouble, most likely!!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Why Attorney is Different--AND--MORE AFFORDABLE-- Than Most Attorneys?

Think about how most attorneys handle clients; attorney figures out the case, the law, and hopefully the client-- and they usually charge a lot of money, right?  *(If saving on "legal fees"/costs interests you-----make sure to keep reading, as attorney can almost guarantee savings of 30-45% from other attorneys knows this, because attorney only works on a limited amount of cases,  has no high costs for paying employees/overhead.

Most work is remotely done and you are not required to visit an office, or wait around with others-- especially with that covid always going to be around---unfortunately??

But-- what are clients REALLY concerned about??

 Only what is fair? Only that it's   "equal" ??

                                                    Only that they do the other party in?


The truth is, MOST clients WANT to WIN their cases!

That simply means, they hire an attorney in an attempt to get what they want, fix what they want, and get a result that they want-- right?  Well, let's say this--every client has their own wishes. Every client doesn't know all the laws, but most clients know what they want, and WHY they want it.


In a few instances, it could be selfish, if the interests of the kids are thrown down while the wishes of the guilty parent are focused on, and ignoring the kid or children's best interests.

Example:  One parent is guilty of physically and emotionally abusing a child.
Parent doesn't deny this.  
Instead, parent  (1)  attempts to force the other parent into dropping 
either a protective order, DV TRO, or other restraint against the moving parent, 
so that he/she can then be scott free from the either the DV TRO or protective order,
 and then keep everything the way it was, (2)  without
 taking care of the harmed child or children, 
and  (3) without having repercussions to one's status in community as an abuser??????

Therefore, my job, as I see it, is to determine whether I can do that in each case? Having done this work for so long, experience does have its unlike many attorneys who are only interested in being paid, I attempt to see if I can actually DO what the client wants; whether or not it is feasible, doable, ethical, and realistic? Will it harm others? Are there disadvantages to what the client wants? Is the client informed on possible downsides, or does client even know the law?

As an attorney, I am exceptionally (and I don't say that sarcastically!) good at determining what people want, and how to get it, and how difficult it will be.
     I have been trained both in social work, and team building,  group efforts, fund raising, non profits.  I understand people well, and work hard to instill faith where hope starts to go down.

Maintaining one's self esteem will help weather the most difficult cases; 
often, I see that clients have been taken advantage of, steamrolled, misled, 
and plain out lied to?? It is very common. 
I have taken cases which are dead losers and turned
 the cases completely around--this is possible in cases,
 sometimes because the wrong steps were used,
 facts were ignored, improper conclusions resulted?

Understanding  people, while helping them win their case is a very important role 
in helping kids that are in families with issues--and most of the time, 
it actually is NOT about the money.
Attorney has been able to handle many, many cases at prices far
below the average hourly rate, which usually has added charges for employees
and high rent offices.  Attorney does not have many of these expenses, and
chooses not to operate with high overhead.

If you need legal help and direction, please feel free to call attorney, 

there is no cost for phone consultation!

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in California

Apparently, it does appear that there are sometimes "domestic violence restraining orders" filed that are specious or not really appearing valid. On the other hand, there are some cases that are so bad, we wonder why no DV TRO had not been filed prior?

I believe that I have seen and filed quite a few DV TRO cases, and my recollection is that they were granted...No attorney should really be filing a DV TRO for a case where it is not warranted. I have seen many people file such cases, but then not get the TRO granted in the end. If judge denies or drops a TRO, usually there is a good reason.

While attorney does understand that some people file TRO cases but they are lying about the facts, I have seen many of them that did contain valid issues but a judge would not grant the TRO, and that's likely when the client would call me. DV TRO cases can be very very messy and involved depending on the circumstances but there are ways and methods to substantiate almost anything if one has enough knowledge to do it. Since most clients are not attorneys, they may fail to use certain facts and then insert data that has no bearing on the facts. This should be avoided.

Further, it is possible to get a non-clets order on the same case if the facts are not quite sufficient to rise to the level of a DV TRO, there can still be a partial stay away to some degree, or some other conditions which are not that stringent; this is usually done between attorneys (in my opinion) if you believe you need a DV TRO but the Facilitator's won't help you, I do offer free consultations on family law issues and DV cases.