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Eggs Benedict and Case Law

Woody Allen tells a story about his friend, Eggs Benedict.  See, Eggs had a problem.  He thought he was having a heart attack because he was having chest pains, and Woody was having the same problem in the same chest area.  So he said, why don’t you go to the doctor, you pay the $25 for the medic, and you tell me what happens! And Eggs says, OK, and goes to the doctor.

A few days go by and Woody doesn’t hear a word from Eggs.  So he picks up the phone, he calls his friend’s mother and he says, Where’s Eggs? And she says, You haven’t heard? He died. Woody hangs up the phone, runs to the doctor, spends $100, gets all these tests and the doctor says, You’re fine. And Woody says, well I just don’t understand it. I have all the same chest pains that my friend had, I should be dead! So he calls up the mother and says, I just don’t understand it. Eggs said he had a chest pain, he went to the doctor, and he died. And the mother says, I know, it’s just awful. He was walking down the street, he’d just been to the doctor and the doctor said he was fine, and then he was hit by a bus.

The law is nebulous. It’s an entangled web of gray area and it changes all the time, so what you get is not necessarily what another person gets.  As lawyers it is our job to look at the facts carefully, we have to see what’s different in your case.  Just because your friend got a divorce last year and got the house doesn’t mean this year you’re going to get the house. The law is a flowing ebb and tide in water. It’s intangible.

Family law is codified in California and there are new cases all the time. How do people find out what the law is if they want to do it on their own?

Unfortunately, lawyers and legislature have made it difficult to do that. There are some areas of law that are black and white, but most areas of law are grey. When you have something like custody, where the best interest of a child is at stake, it’s not a question of who’s the better parent, it’s a question of what’s the best interest of the child? What is that standard? There are hundreds of cases that tell us that. And for as many cases on one side of an issue, there are the same number of cases on the other.

For a look at some recent cases, click here.

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