It's (Barely) Legal (Glen Ashman's Blog)

A Look at the Law from a Georgia Judge and lawyer

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About Glen Ashman
Glen (GEAATL)Glen Ashman has been a Georgia Municipal Court Judge since 1988 and an attorney since 1980, practicing in the Atlanta area in a practice focused on divorce, adoption, bankruptcy, wills, and personal injury.

He is the author of the Georgia Municipal Judges Benchbook, used by judges across the state.  He also authors the book used statewide by Georgia's court clerks.  Additionally, he regularly teaches his fellow judges at continuing legal education seminars.

He is a long-time participant in the online world, hosting some of the longest lived forums on Delphi Forums. His Personal Law and Southern States forums date to the mid 1990s.  He also hosts the Medical Forum, Weight Watchers Forum, Atlantic States and Memorial Forum and is a former member of DelphiForums staff.  His Ask a Lawyer for Free is one of the oldest legal help resources on the internet. 

He is a cum laude graduate of Mercer Law School, where he was on the Law Review and holds a B.A. from Emory University.  His interests range from the law to politics, from cooking to sports, from science fiction to computers, and from music to travel.  For more information on Mr. Ashman's law office go to .

About this Blog

Somewhere around 1980-1981 Glen Ashman first discovered the online world with local bulletin boards.  In the years ahead, he found GEnie, Delphi and NVN, as many bulletin board members discovered forums online.  By 1994, he was actively hosting online forums at Delphi Forums and NVN, the former of which were some of the internet's early online forums.   Links to some of his current forums appear in the Links section in this Blog.

Within a couple years the author had various web pages as well.   The current ones are at and . Along came a new concept as we entered this century - blogs.  A blog is an interesting cross between web pages and web forums.  This one is a work in progress, as all new things are.  But there is a common theme back to 1980 that lives in this blog - communication, education, community, discussion, learning and growth online. 

This blog shares a mission that Glen's other websites do - education and help: letting the average person access legal services at a reasonable cost, learning how to do some of the needed legwork when one has a problem and learning more about the law as well as the world around us.

If you want to contact the author, email him at .   He welcomes your comments and thoughts.   Or visit his website at .    His Delphi forums are accessible from the links section of this blog, and you're invited to visit Personal LawSouthern States, Weight Watchers, Medical Forum  and Atlantic States .

Disclaimer and Legal Fine Print: 

Lawyers have to have disclaimers. Here's the one for this Blog. The contents of this page Copyright 2006-2013 by Glen Ashman.  All Rights Reserved.   External links on this page are supplied for your use and convenience but are serviced and provided by third parties, so we cannot be responsible for their accuracy and content. Trademarks used belong to the respective trademark holders.   The information herein is not legal advice and unless you later retain him by written contract, Glen Ashman is not your lawyer.  If you have a legal problem, you need to hire a lawyer in your state rather than rely on online information. Disclaimer from the Judge: The opinions herein are solely his personal opinions.

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«April 2014»
4/20/14 9:04 AM

Just for Georgia Tech fans

This one is for Georgia Tech fans:

During a coup attempt by a number of rebellious nobles, King George I had a huge mahogany rack constructed to punish the leaders of the uprising. His advisers transported the rack to the upcoming battle site, at a precipice overlooking the valley containing the enemy encampment, by renting forty pachyderms and hiring an African engineer with reputed expertise in harnessing the huge beasts for productive labor. 
Unfortunately, shortly after their arrival at the scene, the elephants stampeded, carrying the ramp with the African on it tumbling down the hill, rolling over the opposition, and virtually destroying it. 
One of the survivors painfully cried out, “What in creation was that?” 
An anguished companion stammered, “I’m not sure, but it looked like a rambling rack from George’s attack and an elephant engineer.
[Little hint on this pun for those not from Atlanta:  “I’m a Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer” from "I’m a Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech" (College Fight Song)]
4/15/14 8:41 PM

Texas Judge violates ADA

Most judges do a good job.  Now and then one casts all of us in a light that makes all judges look bad to the public.

Meet Dallas Texas Judge Etta Mullin, who seems to have violated the Americans with Disability Act (and arguably common sense and compassion for those with knee surgery) along with the Constitution.

As reported at, "This whole matter started last week when Judge Mullin refused to let Bright inside her courtroom for wearing shorts instead of pants. He was not allowed in the courtroom the following Monday either. Mr. Bright isn’t wearing shorts because he particularly wants to, but rather, because he needs to. He got knee surgery two weeks ago, and as he told KDFW, “I have tubes that come out of my leg that make it prohibitive to wear [pants]. This connects to my ice machine…that is a way of taking down the swelling in my leg. I'm also incapable of putting on long pants by myself.” Bright says that Judge Mullin refused to hear him out, and now he’s crying foul.  Other attorneys think Bright is in the right. David Finn, a criminal law attorney also based in Dallas, told KDFW, “There’s a good reason that he’s not wearing pants, and that’s the knee surgery that he had, and he’s following the doctor’s orders. He’s got a handicap-parking permit. I mean, right now, he’s temporarily handicapped. It’s the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – it’s black letter law.”

I assume that Judge Mullin will be removed from the case (and maybe the bench itself either in the next election or by greivance) and she's set up her court for a federal ADA lawsuit.   I haven't even mentioned the Sixth Amendment problem in denying the lawyer's client his lawyer.   

Sometimes being a Judge, and I know how hard it is having done it since 1988, isn't easy.  But common sense would prevent this type situation.   Shorts, in this case, are fine.

Maybe the most telling thing comes from another article - what do lawyers think?   "In a poll released last year by the Dallas Criminal Bar Association, 89 percent of attorneys ranked Mullin's overall performance in the "needs improvement" category, the lowest option available. (The next least popular criminal judge has only 26 percent of attorneys thinking the same.)"

I hope Attorney Bright's knee recovers, and that he soon gets back in the courtroom.

And maybe this piece from today's Dallas Observer sums up the future: "Endorsements from southern Dallas' Democratic heavyweights (i.e. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, state Senator Royce West, County Commissioner John Wiley Price) and the natural advantages of an incumbent in a down-ballot race weren't quite enough to propel Dallas County misdemeanor court judge Etta Mullin to reelection. She won just 36.4 percent of the vote in the March primary, good enough to get her into a runoff with challenger Lisa Green, who netted 44.3 percent.Mullin, barring a surprise come-from-behind victory in May, will most likely become a victim of her amazing unpopularity among attorneys. As Amy pointed out on the eve of the election, Mullin is almost universally reviled by the lawyers who work in her court."

4/11/14 9:54 PM

God sues an arrogant company, Equifax

Most lawyers will tell you that Equifax thinks its God, and that customers are always wrong.  Maybe this time God will teach Equifax a lesson and force them to pay money for their arrogance.

Read on:

hopefully Equifax will be hit for the huge judgment they deserve for the way they screw with people:

God Just Wants Some Credit, So He's Suing Equifax 
Give God some credit. He might own a cash-for-gold store, but a New York man says he can't get credit because his first name is God. God M. Gazarov is suing credit bureau Equifax because, despite two years of trying to resolve the issue over the phone and online, he is shown as having no credit history, said Gazarov’s lawyer, James Fishman.  “He has credit denials as a result of this,” Fishman said.  Gazarov, a 26-year-old naturalized citizen, owns the pawnshop Gold Hard Cash LLC in Brooklyn, but can’t get more than a $500 credit line with Capital One because of the Equifax glitch, the suit alleges. On other occasions, Gazarov has been denied credit or had to pay higher interest rates because of the absence of an Equifax credit history, Fishman said. Gazarov’s credit score is over 720 with both of the other two big credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion.   “They have a long history of being unresponsive. There’s no question that they knew there was a problem,” Fishman said. Earlier this year, when Gazarov called Equifax about the issue, the representative suggested he change his name, the lawsuit says.   The suit, filed in federal court in Brooklyn on Friday, charges Equifax with violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act and a similar New York state law. It seeks unspecified damages and an injunction requiring Equifax to fix the glitch that shows Gazarov as having no credit history.
 The New York Post reports: "Equifax did not return calls or ­e-mails seeking comment on the case."
Some good headlines about one of the worst run companies in America (you'd think they would have already apologized and fixed things instead of daring a judge to nail them:

'God' Files Suit In New York To Resolve Credit Dispute

NPR (blog) 
As the saying goes, "In God We Trust, all others pay cash." But, in the case of Russian immigrant and businessman God Gazarov, cash may be the only option.

"God" sues credit reporting agency

CBS News 
God apparently does walk among us, but he's reportedly having trouble with his credit score.
3/29/14 3:40 PM

Helpful ANTI-VIRUS tips

Everyone should have an anti-virus and a firewall program on their computer.  But sometimes one gets a virus anyway.

If and when you get a computer virus, besides hoping your program fixed it, do an extra few steps.   Since viruses can hide, rerun your virus checker.   Then go online and run at least a couple online virus checkers to be SURE you got rid of them. Here are some free ones that you can run once to be safe (it's okay to do several and a good idea to do ALL of them):

Trend Micro:





Panda Cloud Cleaner:


3/23/14 10:51 PM

A bad watch repair (and bad lawyer)?

A lifetime award for stupidity goes to New York's Ron Gordon Watch Repair.   A Brooklyn man is being threatened with a lawsuit by a Midtown watch-repair shop after he gave it a slightly negative review on Yelp. Matt Brand gave Ron Gordon Watch Repair on Madison Avenue two stars in a review he posted last April after he says the shop told him one of two timepieces — a gold pocket watch — needed to be sent overseas to be fixed.“I went to another place, and they fixed both watches very quickly at a fraction of the price,” Brand recalled.  Details:

That's a perfectly fair and accurate comment, and 2 stars isn't unfair.  Enter a lawyer.  Matt got a letter from owner Ron Gordon’s lawyer ordering him to remove the post within seven days or face a defamation suit.   Not only does that make the lawyer look really silly, as no court is likely to do anything with such a case except maybe sanction Gordon's lawyer, but it's a great way to destroy a business.

The publicity has been a business-killer.  People are flocking to leave 1 star reviews on Yelp at, complaining that it is ridiculous and inappropriate to sue a customer, especially for a legitimate and accurate comment.

Excerpts from recent reviews:
  •  "i think you're a bully, ron gordon"
  • "Hey Ron - Suing a customer  because they gave you a bad review?  Here's a novel idea - how about viewing customer comments as a way to improve your business? Suing a customer because they found an alternative to what you offered is just BAD BUSINESS!  Would never think of using your services now."
  • "Suing people that write negative reviews on your business is just plain idiocy. Seriously, only idiots do that and apparently, from all the negative reviews here, that is what you idiot. Threatening people with a lawsuit for a bad review on your business has just brought negative attention to your business. Again, only an idiot would do that and judging by the many bad reviews you have on this site, that's precisely what you idiot.
    The purpose of Yelp is that it gives us a forum to post our experiences with businesses, whether they were bad or good. You're an idiot for not being able to handle a bad review. If you don't want a negative review of your business then do a better job running your business. Oh, by the way, the lawyer you hired is just as bad as your business sense."
  • "The owner of this shop has hired a crack lawyer and is actually trying to sue someone for an honest yelp review...if this isn't reason to avoid a business I don't know what is."

Ron's score has plummeted.  I suspect his business will too.

Do you wonder about the lawyer who sent the letter?  The Gawker story above notes: " No matter what, Brand shouldn't be worried: Gordon's lawyer, Andrew J. Spinelli, is just as poorly reviewed as Gordon. (2 1/2 stars, a number that seems to be dropping with new bad reviews of the lawyer in response to his defamation letter).

No one likes a bad review.  (Of course this one really wasn't even all that bad).  But no one likes a business that sues over them, or the lawyer that issues the threat.

3/6/14 2:04 AM

Where's the CK Blog Editor?

This blog is on a short temporary hiatus while it awaits Delphi's programmer to complete the rollout of the CKEditor and add it to blogs to replace the

ASP.NET HTML editor for IE & Mozilla that doesn't like to play well with IE11. 
.  Hopefully that will come soon.  In the meantime visit my forums at:

Personal Law | Weight Loss/Diet Forum| Southern States|


12/25/13 12:14 AM

Glen wishes you a Merry Christmas!

This is the annual Christmas message I have posted in each of my forums since 1996. Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus [Francis P. Church's editorial, "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" was an immediate sensation, and became one of the most famous editorials ever written. It first appeared in the The New York Sun in 1897, almost a hundred years ago, and was reprinted annually until 1949 when the paper went out of business.] Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897 We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus? Virginia O'Hanlon Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus?Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!! ============ Every year since 1996 I have shared the Christmas story online with my friends. It is a story that no matter how often we hear it, remains as wonderful as when Luke first wrote it: And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed... And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. [St. Luke, Chapter 2, verses 1-17. King James Version - public domain and not copyrighted]
12/10/13 9:24 PM

Don't ever shop at Wal-Mart?

A reason NOT to shop at Wal-Mart, whose promise to match competitor's prices now appears to be less than honest:

Man says price-matching earned him a lifetime ban from all Walmarts

PHOENIX, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A former professional wrestler in Arizona says if he had known Walmart would ban him for life he would not have engaged in price-matching. Price-matching is going through other stores' advertising to find the deepest discounts and then going to Walmart, which promises to match other companies' lowest prices for identical items. Joe Cantrell says his problems began last week when he tried that at the Walmart in San Tan Valley, a Phoenix suburb...a sales associate told him price-matching was not allowed. He asked to see a manager.  The associate also apparently called the Pinal County Sheriff's Office and complained about Cantrell's behavior. Four days later, when he was back in the store, he was removed in handcuffs and given a summons and a notice he was banned for life from every Walmart on the planet...


Apparently this blurb from Wal-Mart's website is not followed all the time: from : "We''re committed to providing low prices every day. If you find a lower advertised price on an identical product, tell us and we'll match it."


Wal-Mart has even been accused of firing an employee for matching prices for a customer on request: "After Black Friday protests tarnished the image of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and increased pressure on the world's biggest retailer to up its minimum wage and improve working conditions, an outraged mother has started a petition to get her son his job back after he was sacked for giving a price match on a turkey."  Source: International Business Times:

More on Wal-Mart's apparent deception:

Arizona man banned from Walmart for life over ad matching? (KNXV-TV)
He goes through circulars to find the biggest discounts, and then goes to Walmart. According to the company's website, they match the lowest advertised price on identical products, but when Joe tried doing that last week, the unthinkable happened (he was handcuffed and arrested)...Walmart sent ABC15 the following statement Tuesday: "We make every effort to make sure our customers have a good experience in our stores. As in previous situations, we attempted to work with this customer. However, in this situation, the associate felt unsafe and so we contacted local law enforcement. We are continuing to cooperate with law enforcement on their investigation."


The moral: don't shop at Wal-Mart.
11/19/13 10:55 PM

Cell phone companies help phone thieves

ATT, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile are run by morons - read on:

Carriers Reject Kill Switch for Stolen Smartphones

ABC News
Samsung Electronics, the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer, has proposed installing a built-in anti-theft measure known as a "kill switch" that would render stolen or lost phones inoperable, but the nation's biggest carriers have rejected the idea  District Attorney George Gascon said Monday that AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless, United States Cellular Corp., Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. rebuffed Samsung's proposal to preload its phones with Absolute LoJack anti-theft software as a standard feature...Gascon, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other law enforcement officials have been demanding that manufacturers create kill switches to combat surging smartphone theft across the country. Almost 1 in 3 U.S. robberies involve phone theft, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Lost and stolen mobile devices — mostly smartphones — cost consumers more than $30 billion last year, according to a study cited by Schneiderman in June.  Samsung officials told the San Francisco district attorney's office in July that carriers were resisting kill switches, and prosecutors have recently reviewed emails between a senior vice president at Samsung and a software developer about the issue. One email in August said Samsung had pre-installed kill switch software in some smartphones ready for shipment, but carriers ordered their removal as a standard feature.
10/27/13 12:31 PM

Facebook lets pedophiles stalk children

Why is Facebook now allowing pedophiles to stalk children on Facebook? That's the question asked by ABC News in a provocative story about the stupidest decision in Facebook history. (After you read this, you'll make your children remove their pages).  Read the details below:

Why Facebook Shouldn't Let The World See Your Teens' Pictures

ABC News

Not a week goes by without another story of an adult doing something colossally stupid on social media and paying the price. So why in the world did Facebook think it advisable to allow 13-year-old kids to make their pictures and status updates public? In a widely-decried move, Facebook announced last week that underage users — those between 13 and 17, as kids younger than 13 are technically not allowed to open accounts — would now be able to share their status messages and updates with the world and accept "Followers" on the site. In non-tech terms, that means that teenagers can now make their pictures and life updates accessible to a group of people they don't necessarily know ("Followers") and the world at large. Facebook said that it changed its mind on the long-standing privacy policy for underage users because "whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard." The company also referred to teenagers as "among the savviest people using social media." Adults more familiar with teenage behavior disagreed. Claire Lilley of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in the U.K. Mail, "It's simply not acceptable for Facebook to expect children to take 100 percent responsibility for managing not just their settings but their levels of risk too; teenagers aren't always going to be careful about what they post..."The Daily Mail pointed to a 40-hour study by the Internet Watch Foundation that discovered more than 12,000 self-generated pictures and videos by teens on pedophile websites. Today's "cute" selfie — even when it's not inappropriate — can quite easily become tomorrow's pervert fodder, especially when one takes into account Facebook's new "graph" search, which allows users to more easily find any public content. Read the rest of the ABC expose about Facebook at

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