Law in Hyperspeed

The ADDventures of a practicing attorney in a southern state. I hope those in the law and those with ADD can find some comfort and help in these postings. The only real person in this blog is the author. The people described in this blog mostly represent sterotypes of some of the characters I see in my travels.

Location: Southern, United States

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Singer Tanya Tucker Files Protection Order

Domestic violence is a troublesome issue for family courts. First, there is the problem of getting victims of family violence to be strong enough to end the cycle of abuse. There are so many times when a true victim will continue to go back to the abuser over and over again. The second problem is the "offensive" use of a claim of family violence. Since this can be an issue of life or death, the courts are forced to take allegations seriously. So, often people will ask for a protective order as a means of getting an advantage in a custody dispute or to punish a spouse by trying to disallow them to see the children. I've seen cases where one spouse tricks another spouse by getting a protective order and then using the children as bait to get the other spouse to violate the protective order so that they can be arrested.

This issue exists in all social strata. Here's the story of Tanya Tucker and her filing of a protection order against her former fiance.

Singer Tucker Files Protection Order

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Legal Reader: The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

Many people do not understand the bankruptcy system, until they really need it. Many people need only lose their income for a couple of months and they would likely end up homeless. The credit card industry has been trying to get bankruptcy "reform" passed for a number of years. It looks like this year they will finally get it done.

This article tells why this "reform" is really a bad idea. 104 non-partisan law professors, including conservatives, all feel this is a bad law. Check out this article and email your representative.

The Legal Reader: The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Notes from the (Legal) Underground: Depression, The Lawyers' Epidemic: How You Can Recognize the Signs

This is a subject in which I have a vested interest. I've been diagnosed as dysthymic. This is a persistant low grade depression that follows one around throughout life. I've also suffered from several bouts of rather severe depression in my life.

It is very common for someone with ADD to have comorbid depression. The medical world is unsure if this is just a natural part of the differences in the ADD brain or is caused by the constant situational stress caused by being an ADDer in a non-ADD world.

The frustrating part for me is that I know personally just how treatable depression is. The problem is that our society views depression as something we should just be able to snap out of by ourselves. Society also tends to view depression more as a defect in character than as a legitimate biochemical process.

I recently has a client come into my office. I could tell this person was very deeply depressed. I thought about saying something about this to him. I told myself that I'm not a doctor and that even though he appeared depressed that I was his lawyer and not his psychiatrist. So, I didn't say anything other than tell him that his situation was not as bad as it seems. About a week later, the friend who referred this guy called and told me that this person had committed suicide. I know that even if I had said something that this person might still have committed suicide. There's just this part of me that wishes that I had said something that day.

Whether you're a lawyer or not, the following post is invaluable information on some of the roots of depression. Let's see, how many lawyers do I know that are pessimists and perfectionists?

Notes from the (Legal) Underground: Depression, The Lawyers' Epidemic: How You Can Recognize the Signs

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Wife Can't Use Computer Spyware Evidence in Divorce Case

This is potentially a big case for divorce lawyers. I've often recommended my clients use Spector if they feel that their spouse is using the computer in furtherance of harming the marriage. It seems the Florida courts feel that this is improper and have not allowed evidence obtained this way to be used in courts. My state is a community property state, so it's likely that any computer used by one spouse would belong as a community asset to both spouses. This might make the result different in my state. In any event, you have to be careful about communications laws when trying to prove that your spouse is less than honest.

Wife Can't Use Computer Spyware Evidence in Divorce Case

Monday, March 07, 2005

My Brain and Food

My ADD brain craves stimulation. I'm always looking for new things and have such a low frustration tolerance for boredom. I wrote some time ago about my use of FreeCell as "brain candy." My son (ADHD) is quite a chubby fellow just like his father. I can see the way he uses food to stimulate his brain. He eats so much more when he doesn't take his Adderal. Some of this is due to the appetite suppressant effects of the Adderal. I have no doubt that this "side effect" of Adderal is related to the phenomenon of ADDers and overeathing.

Here is a really interesting article about the prevalence of ADD in the morbidly obese. 27.4% That is an amazing number. So, over 1/4 of morbidly obese patients are ADD, if the sample was representative of all morbidly obese patients.

Prevalence of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder among adults in obesity treatment

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Medicating ADHD: Too much? Too soon?

My household should own stock in Shire. 4 out of the 5 people in our household take Adderall XR. My two sons ages 8 and 13 take it. Many people have some prejudice against taking any medication that affects the brain. I really don't understand their thinking. If my thyroid doesn't produce enough hormone, I'll supplement it. If I'm diabetic, I'll take insulin to regulate my blood sugar. Why don't people take something if their brain is deficient in Dopamine.

There is still much debate about when and how to medicate children with ADD. The listed article covers both sides of the debate. I'm prejudiced for the pro-medication side of the debate. My brain functions so much better on Adderall. I found the quote by one of the doctors particularly relevant:

"We have forgotten what our actual mission is--the relief of suffering and impairment. If the use of medication helps us do that job, stop hand-wringing about the extent to which we are using medication in this country."

-- Russell Barkley
University of Massachusett

Check out the article here:

Medicating ADHD: Too much? Too soon?