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  • Isidro Salcedo, Esq.

Merry Christmas!

Legal troubles come and go all year long, even at Christmas time. It seems particularly cruel that anyone should have to deal with these troubles during the joy and happiness of the Christmas Season. For those of you mired in legal woes, I would like to offer my sincerest encouragement: You will get through this!

But, mere encouragement won't do...perhaps, as a sign of good will to match the spirit of the Season, I should give you some helpful info.

1. Consider settling your case.

I don't know what it is about the end of the year, but many people seem more willing to settle in December. Stubborn counterparts seem softened by Christmas cheer, or maybe they just want to start the new year with a clean slate. Whatever the case may be, you may want to contact your attorney to set up a settlement conference or to make a settlement offer. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

2. Don't rely on courts for anything until January.

Judges are people too, so they have the habit of going on vacation during Christmas. How much time do they take off? Well, it varies from judge to judge. But, as a former court employee, I can tell you that a judge taking all or most of December off would not be out of the ordinary. What that means for your case is that if you need a hearing or a decision on some issue, you probably won't get one until January.

If you really need something from the court, the best thing to do is to contact the court one time. They will probably tell you the judge is on vacation or unavailable. After you find out what is going on, be patient! I can't stress this enough. Do not call, email, or contact the court more than once, even if it seems urgent. Contacting the court too many times will annoy the court staff, and the judge will probably hear about it. More importantly, the judge won't be happy to hear about you annoying the staff. As difficult as it may seem, the best thing to do is to wait until January.

3. Do your best to enjoy Christmas.

If you can't settle the case, and with the courts unavailable until next year, you're kind of stuck. Just because there is no movement on your case, it doesn't mean that you can't enjoy yourself. How do you do this? Try using a widely known writing technique: a frameshift. It is a method of telling a different story using the same facts.

Fact: You have legal problems. Using this fact, I think most people tell themselves the following story: My legal problems are poisoning my Christmas, taking away my peace, and putting me in a bad mood. In order to make a frameshift, you don't need to ignore the fact that you have legal problems. Instead, what you want to do is tell a different story using the same fact. Rather than seeing your legal problems as poisoning your Christmas, you could see Christmas as a tonic for your legal problems. Try telling yourself the following story: My legal troubles stink; thankfully, I have good food, family, friends, and gifts to console me.

I hope this info helps you in some way. Please accept my most heartfelt wishes for your health and happiness! May God bless you and your family! Merry Christmas!

**Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this post is intended to be legal advice. Nothing in this blog post should be read or construed as legal advice. By issuing this blog post, Isidro Salcedo, Esq., and Salcedo & Company, LLC, are not acting as your attorney nor creating an attorney-client relationship with you. By reading, relying on, or using the information in this blog post, you acknowledge and affirm that Isidro Salcedo, Esq., and Salcedo & Company, LLC, are not acting as your attorney and that no attorney-client relationship has been created. Each case is different, so using general information to make decisions regarding your legal issues, such as the general information found in this blog post, is not advisable. If you have specific legal questions, please consult an attorney or other legal service.**

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