Author Topic: I beat the federal government...  (Read 3410 times)

FIREby35

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I beat the federal government...
« on: October 26, 2018, 09:07:52 AM »
So, I'm an independent lawyer. Over the years, I've done many things. But, as my stache' has grown so has my freedom to choose my cases. I've begun to choose cases that trigger my "spider sense" for deep injustice.

I don't want to share too many details, so you'll have to take the ones I give and trust the overall idea. The prosecution was of a man who had no criminal history, supported a family, had purchased a home while working in construction and only came to the attention of law enforcement when federal authorities contacted his family as victims of crime. A minor in the family was a victim of online sexual abuse and "enticement."

But, while they were conducting this investigation, ICE agents thought the client being "illegal" and working in construction was sufficient basis to prosecute federally for crimes that won't cause a long prison sentence but will permanently disqualify an immigrant from ever legally immigrating or regularizing their status. He could then be branded a "felon" and "illegal criminal." Those labels are then used to justify many things. In this case, the result would be the destruction of a traditional nuclear family of five. The minor sex crime victim already thought everything happening was "his fault."

On top of all that, defending an "illegal" immigrant in a deeply conservative area of our country is no small task. But it has been my task for years. This happened in a midwestern state who would surely produce a high percentage of Trump voters and white people for the jury. I mean, we are a mostly white community and I am a white man. It was a federal prosecution and our United States Attorney is a Republican and was recently appointed by the Trump administration. These are just facts.

In my dealings with the federal government, I set the conditions for the resolution of the case. At least for me, that is a role reversal. Usually it is the feds that set the conditions. But, as it was, I set the conditions and then, when they refused, I proceeded to plan for a trial. A trial for an illegal immigrant in front of a theoretically hostile jury. In case you didn't know, over 97% of federal prosecutions result in plea agreements. It is not common to refuse even terrible offers.

For one, I knew from the beginning I would have to fight to the end on this case. I knew it would take time and effort. I knew the client didn't have the resources for the defense he would need. But, because of my growing stache' and financial security and the strength of my belief that this was a real-life tragedy, I figured I would just go tilt at windmills, Quixote style.

I did all kinds of things that were totally the product of Mustachianism. For one, I took the time to challenge everything at every turn with pre-trial litigation. I got the federal government to pay for a private investigator to get more facts, witnesses and clarity about my client, the government witnesses and the reality of the situation. I went on walks to daydream and theorize about my voir dire, opening statement, witness cross-examinations and, most importantly, the attitude I would have to cultivate in order to win in front of a jury of my peers (not a jury of the accused's peers, you might notice).

I just had the time and financial security to give all of this to my client.

Anyway, yesterday, on the eve of trial and after one year of effort, the federal government gave me what I asked for nearly a year ago - a resolution that will preserve the family. A resolution that will allow a minor child, sex crime victim to have a positive role model and avoid carrying the burden of destroying his own family.

When I called the client to tell him, he broke down crying. I don't think he is the type of man who cries often.

I feel a debt of gratitude to MMM and this community. I know that I couldn't have done it years ago when I was chasing every dollar and spending it on something other than personal freedom. I don't think that level of effort is something you can give if you are saddled with the burden of debt payments and luxurious office overhead costs or a legal job that doesn't let you follow your heart. I've been Mustachian since April 2013 when MMM was featured in the Washington Post. I've applied the ideas to my personal and professional life. It has been awesome and, for now, the new peak is challenging and beating the feds. Or, better stated, discovering the attitude and effort it takes to have a chance at beating them. I'm permanently more capable after all of this.

I hope there are more battles, victories and defeats. I hope the security and confidence I feel, because of my stache' and the badass attitude it has cultivated, will blossom and lead to more opportunities to fight for what I believe is justice.

« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 09:09:42 AM by FIREby35 »

lexde

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2018, 09:14:59 AM »
This is completely inspiring. I became a lawyer because I wanted to help people and do things like this (albeit likely on a much smaller scale) and, like many young attorneys, found that the dream and the reality do not often align.

Once the debts are repaid and the ‘stache grows, I would like to do work like this and eventually retire and handle exclusively things like this pro-bono. You did an incredible thing for someone. You changed more than one life in the process. Truly badass.

ToTheMoon

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2018, 09:16:15 AM »
This is amazing - and easily the best thing I have read on here for a long time.

Thank you for what you did, and for acknowledging how you were able to achieve it.  I hope others will learn from your example, and follow your lead where they can. I know I am inspired!

geekette

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2018, 09:16:28 AM »
Bravo!

onlykelsey

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2018, 09:17:05 AM »
That's amazing.  I'm also a lawyer, and my pro bono efforts pale in comparison.  I'm constantly trying to figure out where I can do the most good.

hops

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2018, 09:33:23 AM »
This is amazing - and easily the best thing I have read on here for a long time.

Thank you for what you did, and for acknowledging how you were able to achieve it.  I hope others will learn from your example, and follow your lead where they can. I know I am inspired!

Agree completely. I got a little teary-eyed reading it.

JGS1980

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2018, 09:37:54 AM »
Well Done!!!!!!

Nice to see this on a Friday, Congratulations

JGS

ToTheMoon

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2018, 11:04:12 AM »
This is amazing - and easily the best thing I have read on here for a long time.

Thank you for what you did, and for acknowledging how you were able to achieve it.  I hope others will learn from your example, and follow your lead where they can. I know I am inspired!

Agree completely. I got a little teary-eyed reading it.

I got a bit teary eyed as well.  :D

Glenstache

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2018, 12:36:06 PM »
Bravo!!!

DS

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2018, 12:36:39 PM »
Yeehaw!!

LifeHappens

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2018, 12:40:13 PM »
That's amazing work. Thank you for using your powers for good.

Zoot

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2018, 12:40:23 PM »
Where is the "like" button, that I may press it a billion times?

Thank you for being such a conduit of goodness and grace in the world.  You have changed that family's life forever, and the goodness and grace will just keep snowballing as a result.  And thank you, MMM, the FI blogosphere, and all who have gone before in that space for getting the message of frugality out there, which has helped to make things like this possible.

I've often said that all this frugality has to be FOR something--and that being in a position where the money just doesn't matter gives us the opportunity to do good for the world in a way that we couldn't do otherwise.  You have done just that.

I also know in my bones that this "good" that we can do is not just on the personal level, but on the collective level, as well.  I don't know how that will play out, but I want to be there, and to be a part of it, when it does.

(edited for spelling)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 01:57:35 PM by Zoot »

fatcow240

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2018, 12:49:21 PM »
This should get a full write up on the MMM blog.

DS

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2018, 12:49:58 PM »
This should get a full write up on the MMM blog.

Paging @MMM

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2018, 01:53:22 PM »
This is the most badass thing I've read on the forum. Thank you for taking the time to share.

lexde

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2018, 01:59:29 PM »
This should get a full write up on the MMM blog.
Seriously. This is what MMM is all about. I’d love to read a full post on this.

weston

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2018, 02:11:19 PM »


Anyway, yesterday, on the eve of trial and after one year of effort, the federal government gave me what I asked for nearly a year ago - a resolution that will preserve the family. A resolution that will allow a minor child, sex crime victim to have a positive role model and avoid carrying the burden of destroying his own family.

When I called the client to tell him, he broke down crying. I don't think he is the type of man who cries often.

I feel a debt of gratitude to MMM and this community. I know that I couldn't have done it years ago when I was chasing every dollar and spending it on something other than personal freedom. I don't think that level of effort is something you can give if you are saddled with the burden of debt payments and luxurious office overhead costs or a legal job that doesn't let you follow your heart. I've been Mustachian since April 2013 when MMM was featured in the Washington Post. I've applied the ideas to my personal and professional life. It has been awesome and, for now, the new peak is challenging and beating the feds. Or, better stated, discovering the attitude and effort it takes to have a chance at beating them. I'm permanently more capable after all of this.

I hope there are more battles, victories and defeats. I hope the security and confidence I feel, because of my stache' and the badass attitude it has cultivated, will blossom and lead to more opportunities to fight for what I believe is justice.
Congratulations! Great work.

Just curious about the part where you got the Federal Government to give you a resolution that preserved the family. What was that resolution? According to what you said earlier the client was (your words) an "illegal" immigrant. Isn't he still  subject to removal proceedings as a result of this illegal status notwithstanding your successful resolution of his criminal matter?

BrightFIRE

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2018, 02:46:00 PM »
Who's cutting onions in here? Sniff. You are awesome, and I'm so glad people like you exist in our legal system. Keep fighting the good fight.

FIREby35

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2018, 03:31:22 PM »
First, thanks to everyone. I was genuinely shocked by your reaction. I actually came back to delete the post because I am so used to feeling isolated on my Quixotic journey I was imagining a bunch of political comments and feeling I should I have just kept it all to myself. It's not like its a victory that shows up on the front page. It's just a personal victory.

As for the question about my description of the resolution, I'm sorry to say that's all the detail I can share.  It is true there are more obstacles to clear. But this was a big one, and it feels very good today. I feel confident in the future prospects of this family.

stoaX

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2018, 04:03:56 PM »
Congratulations.  You took the time to the deep work..and that resulted in doing your job well.  So much work, at least in my world, is a half-assed race to bust it out and move on to the next thing.  I can only imagine the satisfaction you must feel.

Jaayse

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2018, 04:14:42 PM »
This is AWESOME!  Thank you for this, it is such an inspiring and motivating story.  I hope that someday my efforts that set me up for the future can be turned to making others futures better and brighter. 

What you've done for that family is life altering and beautiful, and you are a hero.

Pizzabrewer

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2018, 04:16:22 PM »
This family is so lucky to have found you.  Their chances for a good outcome in today's climate would have otherwise been close to zero.

Kudos.

Erica

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2018, 05:43:20 PM »
Wow, you are amazing.
Both this family -and- you yourself are blessed for this experience.
If you are ever in Hospice on Deaths Door, you will have this to comfort you
Thanks for sharing it :)  and caring about others

shuffler

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2018, 09:51:00 PM »
I've been around long enough to remember some of your prior badass-ity.

How amazing is it that you were once able to badass for yourself, and you can now badass for the benefit of others?!?

Congratulations on this coup, and best wishes for many more to follow.
I only wish I had as moving of a story to tell from my own career & frugality.

Lathome

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2018, 04:38:51 PM »
Thank you for sharing - totally inspiring and good to remember the point of the freedom to choose!

Dicey

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2018, 04:44:49 PM »
Like shuffler, I've been following your journey for some time. Who knew back then that following your heart and making the leap would include such gratifying rewads? Bravo, you badass!

clifp

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2018, 05:01:27 PM »
Ditto on the awesomeness.  Thanks for sharing the story, and congratulations.   

We are a nation of laws, but we call the department in charge of enforcing those laws. The Department of Justice, I always like to think there is a good reason for that.  Even if the reality is the justice system works better for rich folks.

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2018, 09:37:17 AM »
This should get a full write up on the MMM blog.
Seriously. This is what MMM is all about. Id love to read a full post on this.

Yes, agree 100%!

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2018, 09:43:12 AM »
Congratulations and thank you for being so dedicated and making the world a better place!!

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2018, 01:04:31 PM »
One of the keys to happiness is meaningful work. This is simply impressive and inspiring.

FIREby35

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2018, 05:10:16 PM »
I've been around long enough to remember some of your prior badass-ity.

How amazing is it that you were once able to badass for yourself, and you can now badass for the benefit of others?!?

Congratulations on this coup, and best wishes for many more to follow.
I only wish I had as moving of a story to tell from my own career & frugality.

Hey Shuffler, I was a little embarrassed you connected the two stories. I'm not going to be able to call you all internet strangers anymore.  You know more details about both of those stories than my real life friends!

But, I guess you are right. I'll consider this most recent episode to be compound interest earned from the original FU moment. I was able to strike out on my own because of FU money and a little baddasity and now I'm able to go even further for others.

Loren Ver

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2018, 05:12:05 AM »
Thank you for both doing and posting.  This is remarkable.

LV

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2018, 12:22:42 PM »
Man, FUCK YEAH! You should be rightly proud, and you're fully entitled to boast anonymously on this forum! Good on you and good for that family.

There is a Facebook group called "Lawyers for Good Government." They could use your wisdom and presence. Do consider joining. There are over 125k members sharing information and challenging the whimsical forays of the current administration.

Rosy

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2018, 10:58:54 AM »
Wow - blinking tears away. Thank you for using your MMM inspired wherewithal to do what only you could do.
Congrats on winning your case and being a fine human being.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2018, 11:09:36 AM »
Im so glad you exist.

Unique User

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2018, 11:26:23 AM »
Wow - I'm so impressed.  You are an inspiration and I'm sure your karma meter is overflowing. 

thesis

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2018, 10:35:31 AM »
Awesome! Thanks for sharing this. This is such a great reminder of what can be accomplished much more easily when one is no longer a slave to work or money :)

DirtDiva

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2018, 02:56:06 PM »

myemail1045

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2018, 03:28:07 PM »
We are all so proud of you fellow mustachian. and look up to what you have been able to do.. making the difference.. I guess this must be the ultimate happiness.

big_slacker

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2018, 05:03:50 PM »
I just want to pile on. Lawyers get a lot of crap but this is definitely an example of the power of the law used for good. Hopefully you'll have a follow up later with the man getting on the path of getting legal so he never has to deal with this again.

jlcnuke

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #40 on: November 05, 2018, 03:09:30 PM »
I don't expect I'll see a better story on these forums this year. Congratulations on a difficult accomplishment, and having achieved the means to make it possible. I wish you every success in the future.

Peachtea

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #41 on: November 05, 2018, 07:34:46 PM »
This is really inspiring and uplifting, thanks so much for sharing. And congrats!!

imolina

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2018, 01:29:31 AM »
simply great, thanks for helping a family in need!!!

Livingthedream55

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Re: I beat the federal government...
« Reply #43 on: November 16, 2018, 12:58:12 PM »
WOW ... just WOW  You truly moved and inspired me at a sit in my windowless office counting down the days till I can add "RE" to my "FI"

thank you for posting this story!!