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Mar 27 2012

Exploring Legal Options: You Can’t Un-Ring a Bell That Has Been Rung

There were some very important lessons I learned a few years back regarding legal matters. I want to share them with the readership and Steve Carbone, specifically.

When I was under legal stress and up against the wall years ago, it was amazing the options I considered and the course I took to resolve a legal conflict. It had its ups and downs but I am much smarter for it today. I can never go back being the naïve puppy-dog client that I used to be. I can work with lawyers but never will I ever take a back set and never will I ever hesitate in changing lawyers if I need to. I have learned my power as a client and know how to stand my ground with lawyers that I choose to work with.

Lesson 1: “You cannot un-ring a bell that has been rung.”

What this means is there are important milestones in a case when crossed, cannot be taken back.  The jurisdiction dispute comes to mind. There are pros and cons to go either way. I know what I wrote regarding picking and choosing your battles. However, what I also know is that both sides don’t have to let a judge decide this. A judge’s decision is a moment when the bell gets rung for both sides and cannot be taken back.

Lesson 2: “A flying jet has 3 courses: 1. Continue on a course that is preset and predetermined. 2. Have the fates or someone else decide your course. 3. Be daring and jump into the cockpit yourself and take control of the jet. On that last option, it requires the most courage.  You may crash and burn but at least you didn’t sit in your seat depending exclusively on someone else.”

In the context of Steve Carbone’s lawsuit, the legal course and strategy Carbone is set on was based upon the best information and resources he had at the time. However, the “Bachelor” producers and their lawyers might have other thoughts and ideas.  Plus, he has far more support now than when he started out.

Carbone may only have a limited view simply because he appears to have very few qualified and trusted advisors.  Carbone’s current legal team, while knowledgeable, may not be aware of other out-of-the-box options or alternatives. I am greatly concerned about their knowledge and background in dealing with online issues, media issues, and publicity matters.

Carbone as the Defendant ALWAYS has the power to explore options at any time with anyone. He should not wait to explore options AFTER an important bell has been rung.  Explore options BEFORE a bell is rung. That time is now!

Getting 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th opinions is perfectly acceptable especially when you are in one of the biggest and most expensive fights of your life. When several minds are directed towards solving your problem, it is amazing all the different insights and ideas you get. I firmly believe Carbone needs more qualified opinions to draw from, not less.

Years ago, I was “forced” to learn how simple it was to set up lawyer consultations. Each consultation would last less than one hour. Some charged a small fee, others charged nothing for the consultation.

By the time I got to the 5th lawyer, I knew how to “pitch” my case and I saw my own case from a different light. And when the “right” lawyer came along, I changed lawyers immediately and it was the best decision I made. Unfortunately, I learned this after an important bell had been rung which limited my options. However, I never regretted the time and little bit of money I put in speaking to five different lawyers.

My lawyer consultation spree occurred across the span of a week, I found how some lawyers resonated with my personality better than others. Some cared more for new clients than others. Some lawyers “got me” better than others. A couple of lawyers saw a simple solution that the others didn’t. I found that some lawyers understood the “true” issues at hand and others were sidetracked by legal acrobatics.

Where is my cryptic babble going? Carbone needs to consult with other lawyers about his case if for no other reason to get some peace of mind that his current lawyer is the right man for the job. He needs to print out the docket, the complaint, and gather his court documents and start dialing for appointments.

This means Carbone must leave his comfort zone and start reaching out to others. I have said this before. Carbone is in one of the most important fights of his life and I believe he will live to regret it if he doesn’t explore several options while he still can.

In that regard, most of you know about my business associate, attorney Oscar Michelen.  He has become familiar with Carbone’s case and even read bits of the RealitySteve.com blog posts. He has also written a couple of articles on the “Bachelor” lawsuit and “Bachelor” contract matter. Oscar is far ahead of the game on Carbone’s case than any other lawyer Carbone could probably find starting out cold. I asked Oscar if he were willing to take Carbone’s call and speak with him. I am happy to say Oscar is offering a free consultation to Carbone if he wants it.

For the suspicious-minded and the skeptics, I get no commission or kickback for this. I get goodwill from it. I am doing this simply because with all the articles I have written, it would be stupid for me not to explore an obvious option. I already work with an experienced litigation attorney who has a wide range of experience in intellectual property, media-related, entertainment, and high profile cases.

Admittedly, Oscar became interested this case because of my involvement. But it doesn’t matter how he became interested because he is interested now.  All that matters is whether Carbone wants to pick up the phone and call Oscar.

Of course, no promises or guarantees are being made to Carbone. On behalf of Oscar, I extend an invitation to Carbone to call Oscar and get a free second legal opinion. Get a different perspective on the same problem. Regardless of whether Carbone stays with his current lawyer, hires Oscar, or goes elsewhere, I believe Carbone will be better off for having done so.

 

2 comments

  1. jesobrien

    Hey Matthew,

    Is Steve a member of the Associated Press? What would it take for him to become a member? Wouldn’t that afford him some degree of protection from these sorts of lawsuits?

    1. Matthew Chan

      I am not sure what is involved with being a member of the Associated Press. Anybody can sue anyone for anything. However, that is why I tell people they have to learn how to fight back without using the court system. That is why I launched a PR campaign so that Steve can gain some leverage back.

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