Beauregard: Divorce, murder and marijuana: Check with the Legal Expert
Today we open up the legal hotline to answer questions sent in by actual readers. You may be skeptical, but it’s right here in newspaper print, so you know it has to be true.
Q. I’m an Olympic sprinter from South Africa under trial accused of shooting my girlfriend. Any tips to help me prove my innocence?
A. No. We’ve reviewed the details of your case, and it’s pretty damning. You don’t have a leg to stand on.
Q. My husband and I are getting divorced. How much should I expect to get?
A. In a typical divorce, the money is split as follows:
Husband: 1 percent
Wife: 1 percent
Lawyers: 98 percent
Q. Tens of thousands in lawyer fees seems excessive.
A. Keep in mind we’re talking a good three hours of labor. Plus there’s like a $20 court filing fee. And staples aren’t getting any cheaper.
Q. So basically the lawyer fees will eat up all our net worth?
A. They’ll get absolutely everything.
Q. You mean except for our children, of course.
A. In most cases.
Q. If we agree to skip the lawyers, how do we split up the community property?
A. Most of the time you’ll get half the assets — more if you caught him handling his co-worker’s assets, if you get my drift.
Q. I’m the new director of aviation at a local airport. How do I stay out of legal hot water?
A. Be careful when applying for federal grants. Don’t tell them things like how you want a spacious new office building with Brazilian cherrywood flooring and a custom maplewood desk with granite accents. You have to be subtle. In the section that reads: “Purpose of proposed funding” you should write: “Very important airport stuff, like airplane things.”
Also, don’t even THINK about buying a truck.
Q. I sent an email to somebody and he shared it with a bunch of people.
Q. So I had a very elaborate and serious-sounding disclaimer at the bottom of it that stated it was “confidential” and “intended for the addressee only” and that if you had accidentally received the email by mistake and read it, you would be chained to a wall and tortured by the email police.
A. Sorry, but a disclaimer under an email signature carries the same legal weight as a “pinkie promise.”
Q. I’m a personal injury lawyer who advertises on TV. As you can see, I’m wearing an expensive suit and standing in front of an impressive bookcase.
A. Um, OK.
Q. Have you been injured in an accident or on the job?
Q. Are you sure? Think really hard.
A. I’m sure.
Q. Fine. But I just wanted to say that it’s not about the money. I’m suing people out of the goodness of my heart. OK? (Crying) I’m really not that bad of person ... (sob) ... People used to like me ...
A. Um. All right.
Q. Now, are you SURE you haven’t been injured by someone? Preferably someone with significant assets?
A. I’ll get back to you.
Q. I’m not clear about Colorado’s new marijuana laws. Can anyone buy it?
A. No, you have to be 21 years old and take an IQ test.
Q. What if I fail it?
A. Then you can buy it.
Q. If my spouse and I get divorced, who gets our stash of weed?
A. The two of you will have to agree on “joint” custody.
Q. Do they actually pay you to come up with stuff like that?
A. Probably not for long.
Q. A relative recently passed away, and we’re told we’ll have to “go through probate.” What is a “probate?”
A. It’s something all men over 40 should have checked annually.
Have a question? Email the legal hotline. Be sure to include a disclaimer that your email is “confidential.” All of us in the office get a big kick out of that one.