Rapper 50 Cent Blames his Bankruptcy on Lawyers

In a recent court document, 50 Cent, whose surname is Curtis James Jackson III, argued that his bankruptcy isn’t from “excessive current expense” but is due to “substantial costs for litigation.” Mr. Jackson specifically charges lawyers for interfering with a business deal that prompted Mr. Jackson to pay $17.2 million to an old partner. He was also ordered to pay $5 million to a woman who claims Mr. Jackson impeded her privacy by posting a sex tape they made online.

Mr. Jackson filed Chapter 11 protection on Monday shortly before he was forced to pay for the sex tape lawsuit. His lawyers claim, “While Mr. Jackson has substantial assets, he does not have the ability to pay the full amount of these litigation claims and all other asserted claims at the present time.”

Indeed, Mr. Jackson is not the first man with a high net-worth to run into cash flow problems. But Mr. Jackson’s case is specifically troubling given the vast amount of liquid assets he has accrued during his pop career, begging the question, “where is his money going?”

This is the million dollar question everyone’s been asking (pun intended.) 50 Cent has been known to spend lavishly on boats, cars, jewelry, clothes, bottle service, and houses. He is also known to be a bigtime gambler boasting about the millions he placed on the Mayweather fighter. He also owns a 21 bedroom home in Connecticut that was once owned by another famed bankrupt, Mike Tyson. 

Of course, what actually happened will come to light in the next couple months. Although people like to blame lawyers for all their problems, it is highly improbable that the trials and tribulations of 50 Cent are the result of lawyers and the legal system in general. 

Against Drinking and Driving

Other than the fact that drinking and driving is illegal and you could possibly go to jail for it, it should be avoided entirely for the sake of your fellow citizens’ welfare. Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous. It accounts for thousands of serious accidents each year that result in catastrophic injuries or death. If you choose to drink, here is how to do it right.

Relinquish the Keys

If you are in a social setting, the smartest thing you can do is give up your keys to a family member, friend, or significant other. Tell them you want to avoid drinking and driving at all costs and therefore they have full authority over your keys for the rest of the night. Keep in mind though that once you relinquish your keys it becomes the person responsible for them that takes responsibility for anything that happens involving your vehicle. 

Sleepover!

Although this is generally desired by thirteen year old girls, a sleepover is a great way to avoid a DUI and protect the community. If you plan to celebrate with your friends and get hammered, it is wise to have a room reserved at your friend’s house or even a hotel. What’s more, this will result in even more fun socializing because the task of driving home will not loom over your head. 

Use a Cab, Ride Share, or Uber

Although cabs can be expensive, they will ultimately save you money in the long run. Sure a cab ride could cost an outrageous $50 dollar fair. This is much better, however, than a $2,500 minimum fine, legal fees, possible jail time, and possible loss of employment. 

Walk, take a bus, a train, call a designated driver.  Just Don’t Drink and Drive!

Modern Library’s Best Novels of All Time

Most lawyers like to read, given the nature of their vocation. At Hastings and Hastings, we are happy to share some of our favorite novels off the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels, and why we are so fond of them.

Ulysses, James Joyce

This book comes in at # 1 on the all-time greatest novels list (subjective, of course). Ulysses occurs over the course of a day in Dublin, Ireland. The day accounts the actions and thoughts of two major characters, Steven Daedalus and Leopold Bloom, and several other minor characters, in surprising detail, and in a surprisingly similar plot trajectory as the Odyssey. Indeed, all the major characters of Homer’s masterpiece have a foil in this modern classic. Also, James Joyce is a genius who uses more words in this novel than the entire Shakespearean cannon (greater than 30,000). His writing is cryptic and difficult to penetrate. Joyce uses anagrams, stream of consciousness, and a myriad of other writing styles to arguably create the greatest novel of all time. 

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

This one clocks in at #2 right behind the legendary novel, Ulysses. The Great Gatsby is the brain child of F. Scott Fitzgerald, an American author with unique abilities and a simple, universal, writing style. The two hundred page novel accurately captures the Jazz age, a golden age of American society. It also deals with the American dream turned into a waking nightmare. Although critics disagree on Fitzgerald’s motivation for writing the book, most generally consider it an essential in literary tradition, American culture, and western culture in general. 

Brave New World, Aldus Huxley

This book clocks in at #5 on the chart, but #1 in our heart. This book is the only one that made our list that was written by a foreign writer, Aldus Huxley, descendent of the royal Huxley family in England. The book forecasts a utopian future where science reigns supreme and all of humanity’s shortcomings have been virtually eliminated. However, whether or not this type of society is desirable becomes the ultimate question of the book.  

On the Nature of Monsoons

Monsoons have been around for ages. It comes from an Arabic word mausim which ultimately means season. Monsoons are traditionally categorized as seasonal storms involving reversing winds accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation. They are also categorized by the added requirement that a monsoon must be associated with seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and involve an incongruent heating of land and sea.  Hence where the name of the storm originates.

How Monsoons Work

Monsoons essentially are large scale sea breezes that interact with a land temperature that is significantly higher. This mechanism is why monsoons are so prevalent in the Arizona summer. Basically, large cold pressure systems originating near the California Coast and the Gulf Coast come in contact with the sweltering heat of the Arizona summer. As a result, monsoon storms develop. They are characterized by heavy rain fall, hot temperatures, and violent capricious winds. 

Other Areas Prone to Monsoon

This should surprise no one but many of the areas prone to monsoons are almost identical to the Arizona desert, its climate, and its proximity to large bodies of water. For instance, Sub-Saharan Africa experiences almost identical monsoon storms as our Arizona desert. Also the Southern pacific yields monsoon storms all the time. India, the Bay of Bengal, and the Arabian Sea Branch all generate intense monsoon storms. 

How to Survive Monsoons

Simply put, stay indoors. Nothing good can be accomplished in a monsoon storm. The dust alone is enough to blind you or cause a car crash. If you encounter a monsoon head home as soon as possible to avoid the storm and remain safe from harm’s way. 

How to Avoid Being Struck by Lightning

Obviously, the best defense against being struck by lightning is to avoid it all together. Id est, walking outside during a lightning storm is highly inadvisable. However, staying indoors is not a fool proof defense. People indeed do get struck by lightning even when they remain indoors. Part of avoiding lighting strikes is the art of separating fact from fiction. This blog will essentially do that.

Outdoor Safety Tips

If lighting speckles the sky while you’re outside, head indoors immediately if you can. If you cannot retreat to an indoor area, then lie down immediately. Crouching down and remaining low to the ground is the best defense against lightning if you’re in an open space. Also, if you are in a group, separate from them immediately. This will reduce the number of injuries if lightning strikes the ground. But here is what not to do: enter an open vehicle to avoid the storm, find shelter beneath a gazebo or baseball dugout, or attempt to hide from lightning in a playground or other electrical conductor. These all increase your chance of being struck by lightening.

Indoor Safety Tips

You home is essentially the safest place to be amidst a lightning storm. However, the sad fact of the matter is that 1/3 of all lightning strikes occur indoors. Here are some tips to keep you safe while indoors. First and foremost, avoid water. Do not bathe, shower, or wash dishes under any circumstances. Secondly, do not use corded telephones during a lighting storm. Essentially they can conduct electricity which could attract lightning. Lastly avoid leaning on a wall. Lighting can travel through the metal bars and wires in your home, thus resulting in someone being struck by lightning. 

Diagnosing Whiplash

Whiplash is a very common injury that occurs in car crashes. It may take several days for symptoms to surface, but nevertheless, whiplash can take time to heal and can result in considerable pain and expense. If you notice any of the symptoms, make sure you consult a personal injury attorney to help you secure compensation for the medical attention you need. Often times this will involve no expenses out of pocket.

Symptoms of Whiplash

When assessing whiplash symptoms, drivers involved in such an accident must remain vigilant. Often times it is not until several hours after the accident that symptoms become apparent. Some whiplash symptoms are as follows: decreased neck mobility, nausea, trouble sleeping, neck spasms, neck stiffness, neck pain, neck aches that do no subside, and tender neck and shoulders. In the event you experience any of these symptoms after an accident, pick up a phone immediately and call Hastings and Hastings.

Why Hastings and Hastings?

Essentially, we have the experience and talent necessary to help our clients. With over thirty-five years of experience in personal injury law, Hastings and Hastings offers valuable legal representation at an affordable price. In the past seven years, Hastings and Hastings has saved their clients over $11,000,000 in legal fees. Some of Hastings and Hastings’ attorneys matriculated cum laude and magna cum laude from ASU and U of A law. 

A Call to Action for Female Lawyers

A recent study pulled data from 2013 cases that filled the U.S District Courts. Out of the civil cases, 68% were litigated by men, and 76% of lead counsels were men. Women, who comprise only 36% of the legal profession account for only 17% of large law firm equity partners, and only 22% comprise Fortune 500 general counsels. The theme is obviously that females are underrepresented in the legal profession and they ought not to be.

A Brighter Future Ahead

However, the ABA and the ABA’s Commission on Women plan to diversify the profession, and are calling large firms and professionals to offer women training for litigation and courtroom experience. The highest hope is to create a legal field that is justly diversified amongst men and women. The ultimate hope is that this will create a domino effect leading to a more perfect understanding of justice. 

Surviving a Shark Attack

Although the probability of a shark attack is less than being struck by lightning (.003%), it would be a horrifying event. Sharks are intimidating animals by virtue of their size, brutality, and their predatory nature. The good news is that humans are higher on the food chain than sharks and thus sharks can be warded off. Here are the simple steps to avoid or survive a shark attack.

Defense is Everything.

Staying away from shark habitats is the easiest way to avoid an attack. But in the event your vacation takes you to an Atlantic beach paradise that happens to be teaming with sharks, there are additional precautions one ought to take. Never remove your eyes from the shark. If you see one, keep in mind that they have insidious advanced attacking maneuvers. They may encircle you and then lunge at you, or they may prefer a surprise attack from below. Regardless, never take your eyes off the shark because if it does lunge at you, then you must kick it. The first attack a shark makes is generally a recon endeavor. He is gathering information to see if you will make a suitable dinner. However, if you kick it in the face it will most likely swim away. Sharks are lazy predators and will not kill merely for challenge or sport (only the whale Moby Dick purportedly did this). 

Move towards Shore

If you spot a shark immediately begin moving towards shore or a boat. Don’t make sudden panic stricken movements which are typical of shark prey—for they will confuse you as just that. Back away slowly, and continually move towards safety. Shark attacks happen,  but most swimmers are able to survive the attack or completely avoid it all together.  

Silliness Amidst the Legal System

The legal system is for the most part a highly evolved airtight system. But there are a few components of our justice system that can be considered superfluous or even absurd. On the flipside of the coin though, some of the disputes, issues, or transgressions that make their way to the legal system are equally as absurd and generally more amusing. Here are a few notable mentions:

Man Arrested for Constructing Aeronautical Device Similar to the Movie “UP”

A Canadian man tied 110 helium balloons to a lawn chair so he could jump out of it over a Calgary Stampede as a publicity stunt (he had a parachute.) He was however charged with “mischief.” One might argue that the man’s balloon device was a risk to air traffic. The police reported that the man would be charged under the Aeronautics Act. However, this seems a bit excessive and hopefully any charges against this peculiar individual will be dropped. 

Man Robs a Bank with Sex Toy

For the sake of censorship, there’s no need to delve into the specifics of this bizarre robbery. But one obviously wants to know how the bank robber managed to convince a teller to empty a safe equipped merely with an erotic toy. It turns out that he duct taped some cables to the sex toy to make it look like a bomb. Interesting indeed. 

Burglary Involving a Baked Potato

This is another interesting phenomenon. A New Mexico man broke into a home to make a baked potato. The homeowner entered the kitchen armed with a weapon only to find a stranger microwaving a baked potato. The homeowner asked the assailant what he was doing in his home, to which the burglar responded, “making a potato.” The man then wiped down the countertop before the authorities hauled him off to jail, perplexed of course. 

Tips for Dealing with Burnout and Exhaustion

Nothing is more satisfying than chasing down some intellectual endeavor like a white whale. But amidst a quest for glory and self-affirmation, one can become tired, and thus, their efforts will be thwarted. In the case of such an event there are a few practical techniques one can apply to evade burnout or fatigue. Below are some of the most noteworthy.

Think Long Term

The leading cause of burnout is of course taking on more than one can handle. Although this should be commonsense, it’s important to keep this in mind especially if you’re an associate or new hire. Essentially, the child’s fable The Tortoise and the Hare is a shining example of an adequate approach. Only take on what you can handle and prepare yourself for the truly busy times when you are really needed. 

Say No Instead of Neglect

If you are on the verge of burnout you never want to poke the bear. So when someone asks you to complete an extra assignment, instead of being a Gordy Go-Hard, or trying to make everyone happy, simply say “no.” More often than not, your superior will experience a flash of anger and yet forget about it after delegating the project to another associate who does a great job. If you were to take that assignment on the verge of burnout, chances are that assignment will never be completed, or be completed as subpar work (the typical product of burnout.) Both of these scenarios, blowing off the assignment, or producing subpar work, will create a long term negative impact on you and your employer’s relationship. Simply saying no will cause only a moment of shame that will soon be forgotten.