Monday, December 19, 2011

Comparing Apples to Apples in Ithaca, NY

I know it's not apple season in Ithaca, NY but it's always a good time to talk apples to apples.

I field dozens of calls each and every week.  Problems require answers, more like they demand answers. I am often asked for my opinion, and to compare things. 

  • What is likely to happen?
  • What can I expect at each stage?
  • How is this going to go (progress) for me?
  • How long will my case take?
  • What is my best course of action?

Inevitably people throw in that a friend or family member (maybe someone in a position of authority) told them this or that. Maybe that someone genuinely cares, and sincerely wants to help them. 

But, but, but... I always like to compare apples with apples. 

I know, I know that this is how they do it in New York City but NOT in Ithaca, NY. I know, I know ten years ago or six months ago your friend in New Jersey or your brother in law in Pennsylvania got X amount of money or had to only do Y but this is what is happening here (in Tompkins County, or Broome County or Cortland County). 

It drives me crazy when people place two entirely different situations in the same context. 

There are Three Things to at the very least compare apples to apples:


First, number one, before all else we need to determine the playing field, the CONTEXT. Nothing ever happens in a vacuum. Everything is based upon TIME and SPACE. If you are in NYC the price of a burger and it's general quality and your options may be almost limitless. NOT SO in Tompkins county. Legal actions or disputes also must be placed (considered) within an APPROPRIATE context. 


The laws in NYS are the same but the APPLICATION may be different. The RANGES of compensation on Personal Injury cases county to county are as different as are the punishments for various crimes throughout the state. 


Lastly, we must look at TIMING. What happened last week, last month, or last year is not TODAY. Judges change, legal opinions are in flux, and what one ADA may do (give, or offer) another (from the same office) may not. Quite simply Things Change, sometimes overnight. 

With these things in mind, an attorney in that locale,with knowledge of that area of the law, may be able to offer "a range of predictable certainty." Now that's something worth knowing.

Dr. Lawrence Newman, D.C., J.D.
504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850