Finney Law Office, LLC

1735 South Big Bend Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63117
United States
Phone: (314) 646-0300
Fax: (314) 646-0303
Email: info@finneylawoffice.com

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CAR WARS

CHAPTER 1 – Pearl Harbor

One Saturday late in my son’s senior year in high school he arrived at the barber shop… the home-hair salon option, performed without any professional pride or even interest, having long since been rejected by mutual agreement when the quality of the haircut was questioned.

Bill’s Barber Shop was three miles from our home and my son arrived on his bike. Bill had been cutting his hair for some years and so was able to recognize the significance of the transportation. In fact Bill even brought it up to my son “Three years ago you arrived here on a bike. Two years ago you drove here in a new Jeep. One year ago you drove here in a 15 year old Chevy Citation. Now you are back on the bike.”

My son just shrugged. There wasn’t enough time in one haircut to explain how it happened. Not even the glossed over, partially correct and mostly lacking in detail, version my son would have delivered.

This is the start of the story of Car Wars. Every parent’s mostly (except for the visible evidence on the car) private war against the inevitable – stupid kids. Sometimes really stupid kids.Continue Reading

CAR WARS

CHAPTER 1 – Pearl Harbor

One Saturday late in my son’s senior year in high school he arrived at the barber shop… the home-hair salon option, performed without any professional pride or even interest, having long since been rejected by mutual agreement when the quality of the haircut was questioned.

Bill’s Barber Shop was three miles from our home and my son arrived on his bike. Bill had been cutting his hair for some years and so was able to recognize the significance of the transportation. In fact Bill even brought it up to my son “Three years ago you arrived here on a bike. Two years ago you drove here in a new Jeep. One year ago you drove here in a 15 year old Chevy Citation. Now you are back on the bike.”

My son just shrugged. There wasn’t enough time in one haircut to explain how it happened. Not even the glossed over, partially correct and mostly lacking in detail, version my son would have delivered.

This is the start of the story of Car Wars. Every parent’s mostly (except for the visible evidence on the car) private war against the inevitable – stupid kids. Sometimes really stupid kids.

But first some context. I passed my driving test using a column shift station wagon. (If you don’t know what a ‘column shift’ is, then you have acquired one checkmark for being considered entitled. You can look up ‘station wagon’ in the dictionary.) My first car, aside from the ones I shared with four siblings for a couple of years, was an 11 yr old Plymouth Belvedere with push button gears, pinkish beige, big as a boat, purchased with summer job money for $700 from the elderly ladies next door. It had eleven thousand miles on it.

My future father-in-law told me not to park it in his driveway. His driveway could handle 30 cars. The police stopped me one midnight when I was leaving my future wife’s neighborhood to search the car for silverware and televisions.

So yeah, it was driving the equivalent of “walking 2 miles in the snow each way to school.” But I had a car.

My wife’s car experience was the equivalent of being driven the two miles to school. With a chauffeur. She got a new Jeep on her 16th birthday. But she has pointed out that she did have to buy her own gas.

So when it came time for our kids to start driving, decisions had to be made. If you have been reading any of the previous posts, you can guess who made those decisions.

My son got a new Jeep for his 16th birthday.

I justified it by telling anyone at his birthday party that the car was a family car and I would be driving it most of the time – and truth be told, I gave in to getting this gift because the ‘new jeep’ fantasy never really goes away for guys, even dads who would learn better.

Anyway, I was right. It was a dumb idea. Not that I ever like pointing out to my wife I was right. It’s not gracious. And it is dangerous.

My son left that afternoon in the new Jeep with a friend, both of whom were threatened, with the worst I could say aloud with any decency.  I also added contorted facial expressions and finger in the face for added emphasis.

The whole demonstration was met with the mechanical head nodding confirmation of teenagers pacifying an obviously clueless parent. (I was still a rube back then, even with seven kids. I hadn’t formulated “The only good kid…” principle yet.)1

No one was to drive the Jeep but my son. And everyone would wear seatbelts.

Four hours later the police were at my house.

My son had let another (underage) friend drive the jeep onto the local ball field. To see how it handled ‘off road’. The police arrived. Everyone bolted but my son.

Of course I immediately violated one of my ‘infamous parenting strategies’ – lifetime anything is not too effective in restricting the punishment to the appropriate party – and declared incarceration without possibility of parole. He was grounded the rest of the summer, which had just started. And he was also assessed a fine and court costs. He had to pay for all his car insurance, not just half.

In short, he was given Due Process the old fashion way. No right to remain silent, no right to counsel, no right to bail, no appeal, cruel and unusual punishment permitted. (See ‘infamous parenting strategies’ – the protections of the U. S. Constitution are specifically exempted from application at my house.)

But the bottom line was, four hours into my first skirmish in what would become decades long Car Wars, I had already been overrun and my flag captured.

His friends took up a collection for him to help pay. But it was of no consequence because of what happened two weeks later. Again with my wife aiding the enemy.

To be continued….
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1There is no such thing as a good kid. There is only lack of opportunity and certainty of getting caught.

Finney Myth Buster – Dog Bites

Finney Myth Buster- Dog Bites (1)Click to infographic to learn about dog bites and how powerful they are compared to animals around the world. Also learn what to do in the case of a dog bite and how the attorneys at Finney Law Office, LLC Attorneys at Law can do to help you.

Making an Uninsured Motorist Claim: Will My Rates Go Up?

The simple answer to the question above is “they are not able to do so legally”. However, as you will see, it is increasingly difficult to prevent an insurance company from finding some reason, any reason, to increase your rates. The good news is there are options to fight back against rising auto insurance rates.

In Missouri, there is something called the Missouri Insurance Regulations. The full list of rules for auto insurance can be found here: http://sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/current/20csr/20c500-2.pdf . Specifically, when it comes to uninsured motorist coverage, the regulations specifically state as follows:Continue Reading

A Volume Injury Firm or a Smaller Boutique Practice?

As some of you read that headline, you may have no idea what the subject of this post is. You may even wonder how this applies to you. I don’t blame you. The idea of this post is to inform you about your options in choosing a personal injury lawyer—or any lawyer for that matter. It is about knowing what to look for and what ask. And most importantly, it is about knowing the difference between a volume law firm and a smaller practice. Remember, you only hire a personal injury lawyer when you need to—when you’ve been hurt or harmed in some way. It makes sense to get the best fit for you. It’s about choice—your choice.

Let’s start with the basics. A volume law firm usually is organized in the following fashion:Continue Reading

Parenting

My wife and I have seven kids.  All were and are great kids. But raising them prompted me, over time, to articulate what my kids would characterize as infamous parenting strategies.   All of which they will no doubt embrace. None have been submitted to, or are claimed to be approved by, a properly accredited child psychologist, etc.  But they work.   Admittedly all arose from the mob control mentality that inevitably develops raising seven.  Some of the allegedly more notorious maxims:

  • There is no such thing as a good kid, there is only lack of opportunity and certainty of getting caught.  (There is a good reason this is #1.)
  • The first answer is always no. (Ever get the full story on the first pass?  Try this “I’m not hearing enough to make me comfortable.”)
  • The guarantees of U.S. constitution regarding unreasonable search and seizure are suspended within the boundaries of your home. (Don’t even question this, you wouldn’t be doing it without concern.)
  • The common legal adage that it is better that 10 guilty people go free than one innocent person be punished is specifically exempted from application to child raising. (Life is not fair.)
  • No spending the night after 5th (See #1. Used to be 8th grade before the onslaught of smart phones and computers.)
  • No spending the night after the prom party. (Really? See #1 and read it twice.  We sent our older sons to go pick them up – and the car was always full coming back so you won’t be alone.)

6a) Don’t rely on the assurances of the parents holding the prom party.  Nobody is that good.

  • Buy a breathalyzer and use it. (See # 1 and read up on the studies.)
  • The ball game is over by age 2, so start when it starts. (Boundaries and consequences.  That is your job description.)
  • Helmets and seatbelts. (I used to tell my kids if anyone in the car did not have their seatbelt on they were the one grounded.  It’s that important.  Lately I’m thinking their cell phones in the glove compartment or back seat when they are driving.  Texting kills.)
  • Temporary and immediate restriction of movement works as well as anything. (Cell phone to your office is the next level – the modern day solitary confinement.  Life time anything, not so much.)
  • Signs of a problem is usually a problem. (Be proactive, not hesitant.)

These are the rules, not all of them, just some of them. From a veteran of the wars.  And they are damn tough to enforce. Ignore them at your child’s peril.

I am slowly becoming more & more dependent on my grandkids

I am slowly becoming more and more dependent upon my grandkids. Unfortunately there is an uneasy tradeoff here. In exchange for the least condescending assistance available at my home, I have to reveal my passwords. But then again, at least someone will remember them. And that is important because when my credit card gets cancelled, unannounced, once again, due to another data breach, someone needs to know how to get me back up on the iTunes store.

Continue Reading

Cyber Bullying

Cyber BullyingClick the following infographic to learn what Finney Law Office, LLC can teach you about cyber bullying and how to stop it. Cyber bullying is a serious issue that you can help put a stop to by learning more here.

Snake bit by Your Auto Policy? Hidden Policy Provisions You Need to Know

For most of us, in fact 99.99% of us, we assume that is we buy an auto insurance policy for coverage of $100k/$300k, then we will have coverage of $100k/$300k if something happens. For 99.99% of us, we would be completely wrong. What most everyone does not realize is that there are many hidden provisions in your auto insurance policy that unilaterally work in the insurance company’s favor and are NEVER disclosed to you BEFORE you buy the policy. I will discuss a few of them below. But first, a quick question, in the 7 ½ minutes or the 15 minutes or less you took to purchase auto insurance, how many companies offered you a chance to look at the policy first? Or explain the policy to you? Likely none.

So, let’s get started on the HIDDEN policy provisions your insurance company NEVER told you about:

  1. Step Down Provisions

What is this? Simply put, this a provision in your policy that reduces the limits available for covering you if certain conditions are met. The best example is excerpted below:Continue Reading

Everything That You Need To Know About Snow Travel

Finney SnowFinney Law Office, LLC Attorneys at Law would like to provide you with tips and tricks to use this winter while driving in the snow. We all struggle when driving in the snow and these tips and tricks are perfect for all of us. Click on this inforgraphic to learn more about driving on the roads during harsh conditions.