TERMS OF SERVICE
(c) 2016 CHAIM STEINBERGER, P.C
This page describes the terms by which we make our website and its information available to you. By accessing or reading the information on our website, you implicitly accept these terms of service. It also describes why you need to be careful about any information you get from the internet (including information off our website):
1. Every case is unique, and only a skilled lawyer can determine which general advice applies to your facts and circumstances. There are aspects to every case that make it unique and distinguishable from every other. So advice we give one client, or general advice that is good for many cases, may not be right for you or your situation. There’s no way for us to know the facts of your situation unless you personally consult with us. And if we avoided posting information that might be wrong in certain situations, we could not post anything at all and we could not educate the public.
So please recognize that the advice posted on this website is general information only; it may be a good starting point from which you can learn about issues you’re interested in. But please, do not take any information as being the right guidance for your situation and do not implement it without consulting a qualified lawyer who, after learning the facts of your matter, will guide you properly.
2. Rule 7.1(r) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (the disciplinary rules) prohibit us from providing any “legal advice” through social media. We can provide only general legal “information,” but not any legal “advice.” If you’d like legal advice, therefore, please make an appointment to see us or another qualified lawyer in person.
3. Advice is easily misunderstood. Simple misunderstandings happen every day. People misunderstand each other. That’s why some information should only be delivered personally or face-to-face. That’s why follow up questions are so important. And that’s why listening carefully and paying attention to nuance, tone and emphasis, is important.
Understanding all that, we provide you with certain information that could be important or helpful to you. We want to spread knowledge of the law, the legal system and how it works, to educate the public and to allow others to benefit from the years we’ve spent studying and mastering it.
But if we broke everything down to such detail that it could never be understood, reading it would be too cumbersome and painstaking and, therefore, impractical for you.
So we try to present our information in a straightforward, professional way. But please, before you rely on your understanding of what we’ve set out, consult with a skilled lawyer to ensure that your understanding of what we’ve said is the correct one.
4. Only a skilled lawyer can determine which of your facts are “legally” significant. Just one fact can change the entire case. It can turn a losing case into a winning one—or vice versa. Not every fact. Just certain ones.
Recognizing those facts, and knowing when and where to go mining for them, is part of what distinguishes the great lawyers from the good ones.
Often it takes several conversations with clients to learn and understand the landscape surrounding the controversy. Only then can the lawyer begin to develop a winning legal theory. Sometimes you need to assemble a whole set of facts to develop a theory—that is no one fact seems important by itself but, when you put a certain string of facts together, they start to take on new significance. Knowing when, where and how to do that, is part of the skills of exceptional lawyers.
Moreover, as cases develop, and claims and counter-claims are asserted, the focus of the case typically shifts. Facts and circumstances that were not relevant before, now become not only relevant but prominent, and what used to be crucial facts may now fade into insignificance.
Finally, sometimes a skilled lawyer can take a “bad” fact and use it to your advantage. This is what Judge Ralph Adam Fine calls “legal jiu jitsu.” Again, it is a skill that exceptional lawyers have.
Thus, once again, only a skilled lawyer can help you suss out the legally relevant facts from among the irrelevant ones, and develop a winning legal theory with and for you. Without knowing: (a) the substantive law; (b) the procedural law; (c) the operations of the legal system; and (d) the psychology of advocacy, it’s nigh near impossible to determine which facts are relevant, and which ones will turn your losing case into a winner or vice-a-versa.
5. The law is constantly changing. So what might have been the state of the law when we originally posted something, may no longer be true or may not longer apply to your situation now. So always check with a skilled lawyer to confirm your belief of the current state of the law. In order to help you and in accordance with the 2/10/2003 American Bar Association’s Best Practice Guidelines for Legal Information Web Site Providers, we try to date all of our postings. But even if a post is recent or undated, please don’t assume that it is current.
6. A skilled lawyer can often find a winning argument, even in a bad set of facts. Developing a winning “theory of the case” (see above) is part science and part art. Science, because it is based on the law, and art, because you have to win the fact finder’s heart as well as mind.
7. Conversely, without skill, even a winning argument can lose in court. Because practicing law is not arithmetic, you cannot go into a courtroom even with a winning argument, and expect to win. It takes many other skills. (Like in chess, the same winning move, made too early or too late might cost you the game, a winning legal argument needs to be presented at the right time and in the right manner to sway the judge or jury.) Thus, developing a winning legal theory, is just one critical step in the process. Knowing the rules and the skill of presentation is just as important.
8. We include matrimonial and family law checklists, outlines and worksheets that serve only as references and can be misunderstood without a skilled lawyer’s guidance. So please don’t assume that if you see a form, that you can figure out how to use it or if you see a rule of law, you’ll know how to apply it.
9. We generally include law applicable to New York only, so if you’re in any other jursidction, check the law (or better yet, consult a skilled lawyer) in your own state.
10. We make no warranties to the visitor of our website.
(Page Last Rev.: 2/26/16)