Author Archives: Tim Kowal

TVA April Newsletter

  Legal News _April 2017 “You may not be interested in law, but law is interested in you.” —Leon Trotsky * * Well, no, Trotsky didn’t quite say that. The quote attributed to him says “war,” not “law.” But Trotsky didn’t say that either — he said “dialectic,” a word whose meaning takes a lawyer’s skill to twist and torture it into something resembling “war.” But I am fairly certain misquoting a misquote is not actionable. And if it is, well, that’s what the asterisk’s for. But the misquote is no less true for being misquoted, and and the derivative misquote Read More

TVA March Newsletter

  Legal News _March 2017 “Litigation is a ritualized form of fighting.” —Tony Piazza Oliver Wendell Holmes once said our Constitution “is made for people of fundamentally differing views.” But the ecumenical spirit can be taken too far: Holmes himself took Alger Hiss as a law clerk, who became a Soviet spy. Michael Novak, the eminent philosopher and diplomat who departed from us last month, offered sounder advice: “Freedom cannot grow—it cannot even survive—in every atmosphere or clime. In the wearying journey of human history, free societies have been astonishingly rare. The ecology of liberty is more fragile than the Read More

TVA February Newsletter

  Legal News _February 2017 The attorneys and staff at Thomas Vogele & Associates hope your year is off to a great start. Here are some legal articles and news that might affect your business, highlight some best practices, and remind you of the good, bad, and ugly of the justice system. Checkmating a Checkers Opponent with CCP § 998 Offers If you’ve been involved in litigation, you likely are aware of the “CCP 998 offer.” CCP § 998 is a statutory carrot-and-stick to entice parties to make reasonable offers, and to threaten penalties for rejecting reasonable offers. A 998 Read More

Finding Justice in the Grinding Gears of Litigation

The right judgment is not always the just result — a judgment often fails to account for the time and expense invested to obtain it. But sometimes, the grinding gears of litigation can be used to achieve some justice. In Leeman v. Adams Extract & Spice Co. (Cal. Ct. App. – May 21, 2015), plaintiff settled a Prop. 65 (toxic chemicals warning) case — cases typically driven by a cottage-industry of “sue and settle” lawyers. The settlement here was for a typically small amount of civil penalties, and a typically much larger amount of fees at $72,500, with hourly rates Read More