Mike had been doing a commendable job of straightening out his life. As a teen, he had been a substance abuser, drug pusher, suspended from two high schools, and kicked out of his parent’s home. At age 23, Mike was charged with a felony, but managed to get a deferred adjudication. Technically he was not a convicted felon, but potential employers would not hire him as the deferred adjudication was still visible on his record.
Mike caught a lucky break when he learned that he could file a motion for non-disclosure which sealed his criminal history in a way that allowed the State to keep the record (in the event that Mike got into trouble again), but kept Mike’s felony conviction from being disclosed to the general public or potential employers! This is not as good as having his conviction expunged which amounts to a permanent erasing, but would still aid in improving his job prospects.
The motion for non-disclosure was granted and he found an excellent job. He met the love of his life, was married and at age 29 was grateful for the positive reversal his life had taken.
But as Alanis Morissette warns us, Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you. On the way home from work Mike was involved in a car accident and sustained an injury that made it impossible for him to work. The nature of the accident was nebulous and it was hard to establish fault. Mike only carried the minimum car insurance(liability) that the law required. The other driver was uncooperative, but it was discovered that he had the ways and means to compensate Mike fully for his injuries.
Mike’s wife worked as a paralegal and emphatically urged her husband to pursue contingency or no win no fee litigation. She helped him find a personal injury lawyer who agreed to represent him for a minimal good faith fee I believe. This particular attorney was confident he could win the case and be compensated by a percentage of the settlement.
There were some bumps and dips, but Mike while limiting his out of pocket expenses won a substantial settlement even after the PI lawyer got his cut! Mike is still unemployed, but the settlement has provided him with the latitude to take his time selecting a new career path.