created by: Striver Ray | Aug 6, 2012

Harlan, KY

47 votes

Do prisoners serving life sentences have the right to procreate?

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  • Yes
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1 - 20 of 20 Comments Last updated Aug 9, 2012

Since: Aug 12

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#1
Aug 6, 2012
 
I read a case where the argument was made that prisoners have the right to procreation. I was personally think the idea is ridiculous, but I would like to see other opinions and the reasoning behind the opinions.
disagree

Jonesville, VA

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#2
Aug 6, 2012
 
The only reason I can think of at the moment why they should is to save the life of another one of their children. This would be quite rare.

Since: Aug 12

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#3
Aug 6, 2012
 

Judged:

1

That is an interesting thought. Since medical expenses are provided for the prisoner does that mean that taxpayers should foot the bill for insemination?

The case that I was reading was of a woman in FL who married a man convicted of murder. He was serving life in prison when she married him, and now she is fighting for the right to reproduce with him. Her claim was that she had reproductive rights, and that she should be able to have a child by her husband. Of course the FL court has denied her assertion, under the basis that her rights are not being infringed upon because she is free to reproduce, he is not. Of course she is appealing the lower courts decision.

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Since: Sep 09

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#4
Aug 7, 2012
 
I'm not thrilled about it to be honest, but I do think prisoners should have the right to procreate with their wife, regardless of the sentence handed down.

Why should the wife be denied a basic right of child bearing with her husband?

If not, then all conjugal visits should also be disallowed in all prisons.

That is, if conjugal visits are allowed to those prisoners that have life time sentences.

I just do not see how a lifer in prison has given up his rights of his body fluids to the government/state.

I'm not thrilled about it, but the law should be interpretated clearly about this matter.

My vote is yes, even thought I am not thrilled about it.

“Survive and Thrive! ”

Since: Sep 09

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#5
Aug 7, 2012
 
One other thing or two.

I doubt if prisoners on death row can procreate. I'm not really sure.

However, after futher thought, Conjugal visits might give prisoners motivation to have good behavior. If they're not behaving well, their conjugal visit gets taken away.

I'm also not sure about this, but I think it is against a prisons rules for an inmate to masturbate as well.

Now, I think that is totally off the wall, and creates more hostility and resentment.

Since: Aug 12

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#6
Aug 7, 2012
 
What if a woman married a man already in prison? She knew that she would be giving up certain rights when marrying that man, would that alter your opinion?

What about the Judge's opinion that the wife is still free to procreate, and her rights are not being infringed. The prisoner just does not have the right to procreate.

I have actually been looking into conjugal visits and most states do not allow them, and Federal prisoners are denied conjugal visits. I haven't been able to find a Supreme Court decision as of yet, on the issue but I did find a case in Ohio that said prisoners do not have the right to conjugal visits.

I am really concerned where this could lead. If you give men the right to procreate while in prison wouldn't you have to do the same for women? At that point the state would have to pay for prenatal care.

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Since: Sep 09

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#7
Aug 7, 2012
 
Striver Ray wrote:
What if a woman married a man already in prison? She knew that she would be giving up certain rights when marrying that man, would that alter your opinion?
What about the Judge's opinion that the wife is still free to procreate, and her rights are not being infringed. The prisoner just does not have the right to procreate.
I have actually been looking into conjugal visits and most states do not allow them, and Federal prisoners are denied conjugal visits. I haven't been able to find a Supreme Court decision as of yet, on the issue but I did find a case in Ohio that said prisoners do not have the right to conjugal visits.
I am really concerned where this could lead. If you give men the right to procreate while in prison wouldn't you have to do the same for women? At that point the state would have to pay for prenatal care.
This is an interesting legal subject matter.

I think it would alter my opinion under that scenario depending what the law says about this.

You know, if a woman was married to a man already in prison, it sure would seem like the woman must know, or should know she is not entitled to the same marital rights as a man not in prison, due to the rules set in the respective state.

This is a good think piece for sure.

I wish I had some law books here at the house so I could dig into this more, but I don't.

Hey, what about Wikipedia?(Kidding) LMAO.

Your question is a good one for sure.

Who knows, this may take the Supreme Justices to figure this one out, and make a ruling, since an appeal may be pending.

Since: Aug 12

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#8
Aug 7, 2012
 
Well it is only on the state level now. It will have to finish the appeals process through the state, and then the US Supreme Court could be petitioned. I don't know that the Court would agree to hear the case though.

Lucky me I get to use Westlaw through my office and we have an unlimited account; so I can use it for personal use as long as I am not making money off of it.

Of course I have only found the California case and they denied prisoner procreation rights, however California I believe allows for conjugal visits and wouldn't really be able to prevent it.

“Survive and Thrive! ”

Since: Sep 09

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#9
Aug 7, 2012
 
Striver Ray wrote:
Well it is only on the state level now. It will have to finish the appeals process through the state, and then the US Supreme Court could be petitioned. I don't know that the Court would agree to hear the case though.
Lucky me I get to use Westlaw through my office and we have an unlimited account; so I can use it for personal use as long as I am not making money off of it.
Of course I have only found the California case and they denied prisoner procreation rights, however California I believe allows for conjugal visits and wouldn't really be able to prevent it.
I don't know if the Supreme Court would accept this or not with the busy docket they have now.

On the flip side, don't women prisoners in most states already enjoy conjugal visits, and the state pays for their health care during pregnancy, and all post delivery expenses?

Change of subject here:

I think if I would have accepted the law school acceptance offer in San Diego (UCSD) in 1973, and I finished, and passed the Bar, I would have ended up being a prosecutor, rather than a defense counselor.

I do not think I could defend with a clear conscience, a guilty person, even though every defendant deserves a fair, and speedy trial.

My best friend is a District Attorney. I love picking his brain just for fun at times when we visit. He said I should have been an attorney, since I have a driving curiosity, and a certain way with words. lol

Can a person that is not an attorney purchase those expensive law books, and court procedure books for a certain state?

Since: Aug 12

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#10
Aug 7, 2012
 
I think that most states do not allow conjugal visits. If a woman is sentenced to prison she is given prenatal care if she is pregnant but from what I can tell most states do not give conjugal visits. So far I have only found that California, and Mississippi allow for them. I am sure more states do I just haven't researched it enough.

As for defending someone who is guilty, I have a buddy who is a criminal defense attorney and he told me that you never ask your client if they committed the crime. As an officer of the court you are not allowed to lie, and if you know they are guilty you cannot ask questions trying to dissuade the jury they are guilty. He says that you are truly not guilty of a crime until a jury says that you are guilty of the crime (I know it sounds like a line but I guess it helps him sleep) I myself do a lot of contract work and for Pro Bono I work with Veterans.

As to the third part of your post, yes. Amazon honestly has an excellent selection of law books, and ebay if you do not mind slightly used. Each State has different publishers for their law books. Tennessee uses LexisNexis while the Federal Government uses West. Go to Lexisnexis.com and they have shop broken down by subject or jurisdiction. For Thompson West I think the average non-legal person can access the shop through westlaw.com (please don't quote me on that one). My firm actually provides any book that I request.

Is there a particular area of the law that you would be interested in? If you are just looking for the actual laws and not the cases you can access those on your State's website generally. If you are interested in cases I recommend one of the free case law sites. They are not as advanced as LexisNexis or Westlaw, but they are free and they have the same cases, you just won't have key cites or be able to Shepardize the case.(FYI key cites and shepardizing is a way to see if the case is still good case law.) Being that we are a common law nation it can change rather quickly.

If you are trying to learn the law, like you would in law school I recommend getting a couple of casebooks. Although casebooks can be tedious reading it shows the progression of the law and can make it easier to understand. Just know that court opinions are filled with a lot of dicta (basically fluff that is not important) because Judges like to prove they are the best writers in the world. For a legal dictionary I recommend Black's Law. If you are going to get casebooks anything for property/wills go with Dukeminier; anything for Civil Procedure go with Spencer; and for Con Law Chemerinsky. They are all the top of their field. Also if you are just going to read cases to learn about the law I recommend anything by Richard Posner; or Judge Kent. Be advised that although Judge Kent from Texas is absolutely hilarious in what he writes; he is no longer a judge because of a scandal of some kind. I can't really remember at the moment but he is worth looking into. For the Supreme Court justices just be aware that they really like to write pages, and pages where really they could have summed it up neatly in about a paragraph. Scalia is the worst for this, although he is in fact probably the best writer on the court. He uses language that most people will never in their life come into contact with, and his opinions can be quite sarcastic. Also note that every Justice also loves to write their own dissent.

I think that is all of the advice I have at this time.

“Survive and Thrive! ”

Since: Sep 09

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#11
Aug 8, 2012
 
Striver Ray wrote:
I think that most states do not allow conjugal visits. If a woman is sentenced to prison she is given prenatal care if she is pregnant but from what I can tell most states do not give conjugal visits. So far I have only found that California, and Mississippi allow for them. I am sure more states do I just haven't researched it enough.
As for defending someone who is guilty, I have a buddy who is a criminal defense attorney and he told me that you never ask your client if they committed the crime. As an officer of the court you are not allowed to lie, and if you know they are guilty you cannot ask questions trying to dissuade the jury they are guilty. He says that you are truly not guilty of a crime until a jury says that you are guilty of the crime (I know it sounds like a line but I guess it helps him sleep) I myself do a lot of contract work and for Pro Bono I work with Veterans.
As to the third part of your post, yes. Amazon honestly has an excellent selection of law books, and ebay if you do not mind slightly used. Each State has different publishers for their law books. Tennessee uses LexisNexis while the Federal Government uses West. Go to Lexisnexis.com and they have shop broken down by subject or jurisdiction. For Thompson West I think the average non-legal person can access the shop through westlaw.com (please don't quote me on that one). My firm actually provides any book that I request.
Is there a particular area of the law that you would be interested in? If you are just looking for the actual If you are interested in cases I recommend one of the free case law sites. They are not as advanced as LexisNexis or Westlaw, but they are free and they have the same cases, you just won't have key cites or be able to Shepardize the case.(FYI key cites and shepardizing is a way to see if the case is still good case law.) Being that we are a common law nation it can change rather quickly.
If you are trying to learn the law, like you would in law school I recommend getting a couple of casebooks. Although casebooks can be tedious reading it shows the progression of the law and can make it easier to understand. Just know that court opinions are filled with a lot of dicta (basically fluff that is not important) because Judges like to prove they are the best writers in the world. For a legal dictionary I recommend Black's Law. If you are going to get casebooks anything for property/wills go with Dukeminier; anything for Civil Procedure go with Spencer; and for Con Law Chemerinsky. They are all the top of their field. Also if you are just going to read cases to learn about the law I recommend anything by Richard Posner; or Judge Kent. Be advised that although Judge Kent from Texas is absolutely hilarious in what he writes; he is no longer a judge because of a scandal of some kind. I can't really remember at the moment but he is worth looking into. For the Supreme Court justices just be aware that they really like to write pages, and pages where really they could have summed it up neatly in about a paragraph. Scalia is the worst for this, although he is in fact probably the best writer on the court. He uses language that most people will never in their life come into contact with, and his opinions can be quite sarcastic. Also note that every Justice also loves to write their own dissent.
I think that is all of the advice I have at this time.
Thanks for all of the good information.

I want to address a few things, but I am waiting on a heating and air conditioning man to come any second now to do a bi-yearly checkup on things.

I hate writing something in detail to someone, then having to wait for days for a response, if, I even get one. lol

I also have to drive a few hours to our mountain cabin when he leaves, so I will try to respond to this ASAP when I get back to the mountains.

Hey, I do appreciate the great source of information you shared with me.

Since: Aug 12

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#12
Aug 8, 2012
 
No problem. One more thing I didn't think to tell you, if you live near a University find out if the law library is a government repository. If it is they have to allow members of the public into the library. You can't take the books with you, but it will allow you to browse many subjects to see what you might be interested in acquiring.
Curious

Manchester, KY

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#13
Aug 8, 2012
 
I just kill them all no need to let them breed a waste of tax payers money.

“Survive and Thrive! ”

Since: Sep 09

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#14
Aug 8, 2012
 
Sometime late at night I watch MSNBC. They have a program called "Lock Up," I think the name is. On some occasions, I have seen prisoners have conjugal visits. I haven't a clue what states allow this.

Once, my District Attorney friend told me that he had a case where he asked the defendant if he took the money that he was accused of for conspiracy to embezzle? The guy said, yes, I did take the money. My friend told the accused that he still has a conscience, because most would say, no, I did not do it. My friend said, since you told me you did take the money, I cannot put you on the stand, because I cannot put you in the position to commit perjury.(This was when my friend was a practicing criminal attorney before being voting in as District Attorney.

You asked me what area of law I would be interested in.

I guess I am more interested in the area of law that deals with human rights, and environmental protection. I cannot stand to see a person's civil rights be infringed upon for any reason.

I tip my hat to you for doing Pro Bono work, and especially working with Veterans. I say this because I am a Vietnam Vet, and I do know some of the difficulties the Vet goes through.

Thanks again for giving me the information about the legal books.

I also agree that Justice Scalia is the best writer out of all of the Justices in the Supreme Court. It almost takes a Constitutional lawyer to interpret his writings however...lol

I constantly shop Amazon, so I might start there seeking law books for my personal collection.

I use to go to the public library, and went to the lower level. They have a law library down there, and anyone who has a library card can go in there. Like you said, the law books have to stay there, and cannot be checked out.

I want to say something hoping it might help in some kind of way.

When I first came here to Topix by invitation, I only asked a question about a TV show that Diane Sawyer, a KY native herself, reported on about poverty, drugs that was rampant in KY, and a few other things.

I asked people on here how did they feel about what Diane Sawyer reported. This is when the messenger got attacked,(me), rather than the message. This is what started all of the bickering on Harlan Topix from that point.

After a few days rolled by, I thought, they are blasting me, so I will have a little fun back in a twisted kind of way, but not trying to really hurt anyone.

I thought calling a person a moonbat, which there is no such thing, and using other strange language like using words like stink-weed, whistle britches, skid britches, bottom feeder, etc....would get a laugh or two. I guess it created more hostility than anything.

Some on here I have made friends with on a personal level.

In fact, this fall, I might be meeting a person here that is attending a wedding that my wife and I hope to attend. So, this place has not been all bad for me. I have met a few people from Harlan in public places for coffee, or dinner. It was nice.

Lastly, I want to apologize to you for the cruel things I said about lawyers etc....You seem like a very educated young man with a lot of talent in law from what I read from you.

I get so blasted in here, no matter how sincere my intentions are, but that is how the Internet forum system works I suppose.

I should not have said as a joke about the Schizophrenic and Tourettes statement the other day. I did cross the line there.

Like I tell people, if I am wrong, I will be the first to stand up, and apologize. It's the right thing to do. I come from good people, and I was reared better than that.

Again, I apologize for what I say in haste to you last Sunday.

You seem like a nice guy in all reality.

Lastly, it is almost stunning to seeing the user name Striver Ray, since that was my dad's name and his user name. I guess in a way, it keeps me balanced when I see my deceased fathers name in here.

Take care, and thanks again for your recommendations concerning the law books.

“Survive and Thrive! ”

Since: Sep 09

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#15
Aug 8, 2012
 
Oh, UK is a fine college for the record.

If I lived in Kentucky, and attended college, that is where I would go.

They sure have one helluva basketball team year in, and year out.

I miss Paterno and Tubby sometime...lol

I am more a football fan over basketball.

My favorite football college team is LSU, since my dad played linebacker for them a long time ago. I had no other choice when I was a kid, or my dad would have killed me....lmao.

I played football for 8 years in school. I was my high schools quarterback, 1st string. I also played baseball and basketball. I enjoyed football more than the other two sports.(I know this is thrilling news...lol, but I am trying to share a little about me with you, rather than just being a smart azz on Topix.)

I attended college in California and Colorado.

I forgot what type of law you said you practice. I'm not sure if know what type of law that is in the first place truth be known. lol

Take care.

Since: Aug 12

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#16
Aug 8, 2012
 
It is kind of funny because I did pick Striver Ray to throw you off. Like I said as an attorney you play the man; but Ray is actually an old family name for me. I have several uncles with the name, and great-uncles.

Don't sweat last Sunday it was fun. It was actually quite easy, I googled your email address and that pretty much provided me with everything I needed.

Amazon is a great source for legal books. In law school when I had to read a Scalia opinion or dissent I sat down with a dictionary because he uses words that most people have never heard. Also if you want to learn more about our common law system I suggest starting with William Blackstone.

On another note I should not have made the Alzheimer joke, it was in poor taste and I knew it when I used it.

“Survive and Thrive! ”

Since: Sep 09

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#17
Aug 8, 2012
 
Striver Ray wrote:
It is kind of funny because I did pick Striver Ray to throw you off. Like I said as an attorney you play the man; but Ray is actually an old family name for me. I have several uncles with the name, and great-uncles.
Don't sweat last Sunday it was fun. It was actually quite easy, I googled your email address and that pretty much provided me with everything I needed.
Amazon is a great source for legal books. In law school when I had to read a Scalia opinion or dissent I sat down with a dictionary because he uses words that most people have never heard. Also if you want to learn more about our common law system I suggest starting with William Blackstone. On another note I should not have made the Alzheimer joke, it was in poor taste and I knew it when I used it.
I use to post, and still do post my email address in here so people can write me.

infinity_777@comcast.net. I don't mind giving it out.

I do get a lot of mail almost daily from people in Harlan Topix.

I've placed so many pictures of myself, my wife, my house, and RV etc...just trying to prove I am who I say I am. Also trying to humanize Jimmy Rants. I am not very well loved in here by many, but that is understandable. I'm a hard egg to crack.

My father was an avid writer, extremely intelligent, a philosopher almost. He was an English major graduate. He ended up in law enforcement at the state level until he retired.

He died in my house 15 months ago tomorrow from a massive heart attack. His 3rd, and final. It's still hard to talk about it.

Once he passed away, I almost stopped posting about religion for about a year. I just did not feel like discussing religion for some reason.

He chose that user name "Striver," because he strived to be the best goodwill server as possible. He was a humanitarian.

Ray is also a common name in my family. My grandfather's name was also Ray, and his father was as well.

I do agree there is a lot of psychology concerning the practice of law. That's exactly why I think I would have been good as an attorney. There is a skill in asking many questions that are the same question in reality, but asked in many different ways, but, nevertheless, it's the same question. It trips people up that are lying.

I do it in here all of the time.

I also love using the "Socratic Method" in debating. That's answering a question by asking a question. It works who you are debating literally to death. I'm only defining this for people who might not know what the Socratic Method is.

I will check out William Blackstone. Thanks again.

That was funny about having to break out the dictionary when Scalia writes an opinion/dissent. I've done the same thing. lol

It's actually nice talking to a professional person in here. lol

Take care.

Since: Aug 12

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#18
Aug 8, 2012
 
The Socratic method is great until you have a professor staring you down. People ask me what it is like to go to law school, and I tell them "Have you ever seen The Paper Chase or Legally Blonde? The Professors are really like that." I didn't mind law school but I sort of wish we educated lawyers in the British manner of just getting a Bachelor's degree. A JD is overkill, and I hate having to explain to people that although JD stands for Juris Doctor, I am not a doctor I do not know what is wrong with you.

I am a transactional attorney basically I handle commercial transactions. Everything from contracts, how to finance a start-up, to the sell of a company. It is really humdrum work to most people, but I love it.

“Survive and Thrive! ”

Since: Sep 09

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#19
Aug 8, 2012
 
Striver Ray wrote:
The Socratic method is great until you have a professor staring you down. People ask me what it is like to go to law school, and I tell them "Have you ever seen The Paper Chase or Legally Blonde? The Professors are really like that." I didn't mind law school but I sort of wish we educated lawyers in the British manner of just getting a Bachelor's degree. A JD is overkill, and I hate having to explain to people that although JD stands for Juris Doctor, I am not a doctor I do not know what is wrong with you.
I am a transactional attorney basically I handle commercial transactions. Everything from contracts, how to finance a start-up, to the sell of a company. It is really humdrum work to most people, but I love it.
I just wrote this long winded post, and I hope it shows up.

Hmmmmmmmmm...Topix is slacking.

I wrote a book almost.

Strange. lol

“Survive and Thrive! ”

Since: Sep 09

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#20
Aug 9, 2012
 
Striver Ray wrote:
The Socratic method is great until you have a professor staring you down. People ask me what it is like to go to law school, and I tell them "Have you ever seen The Paper Chase or Legally Blonde? The Professors are really like that." I didn't mind law school but I sort of wish we educated lawyers in the British manner of just getting a Bachelor's degree. A JD is overkill, and I hate having to explain to people that although JD stands for Juris Doctor, I am not a doctor I do not know what is wrong with you.
I am a transactional attorney basically I handle commercial transactions. Everything from contracts, how to finance a start-up, to the sell of a company. It is really humdrum work to most people, but I love it.
I was waiting to see if the long post I wrote earlier, would show up, but it looks like it's not.

One of my all time favorite TV shows was "The Paper Chase." That professor Kingsley was pure hell now. What a great show indeed. Houseman was a great actor, and that was his part.

Have you ever seen a movie called: "A Time to Kill?" Another great law movie.

There's also a pretty good movie called: "Other Peoples Money." You might enjoy that one since it is about hostile corporate take overs. It's a comedy, but it is a very good movie. I have to toss in "Wall Street" as well as the sequel to "Wall Street." I cannot remember the name.

Sounds like you do everything from real estate contracts to corporate mergers.

If you love what you do, then you have it made in the shade.

You're right about the Socratic Method, especially if a professor is waiting on an answer like now...lol. It does work good in here, because it keeps your debate opponent always researching and digging for information.

I have had a few in here to thank me for making them have to study their bible more. So, I guess that is a good thing from their perspective.

LOL that you have a JD and cannot tell people what is medically wrong with them. That was funny.

I sure wish my post would have made it in here. It covered a lot about mineral royality right law as far as trying to become an executor of a will in several states at one time, since a family member died with many years of past royalties being owed to me. My uncle had a sister, and she was next in line, but she passed away, and I am executor of her estate, which entitles me to my Uncle's estate.

We recently discovered that my uncle had many gas mineral royalty checks that have been building for years and years (15-20 yrs. worth in holding), but he is dead now, and we did not know about all of the scattered wells he was once drawing from. Once he died, I had to prove that I am the executor in at least 3 states for me to get the money. One proof of me being an executor in one state, is not binding in another state for some reason. What a hassle. I am trying to become executor in TX, OK, and Kansas, so we can have the money released. It's expensive to do this stte by state, not counting the attorney fees.

We had to hire a Texas lawyer to help us locate all of these producing wells that my uncle owned. Luckily, our attorney is legally qualified to work in these 3 states, or I would have to have 3 separate lawyers working on this.

I won't bore you with all of this mess, more than I have.

People truly need to have wills, and their financial affairs in order, or it can cause a lot of hassle down the road.

I'm pretty tired now, and most likely did a poor job explaining about this mineral right ordeal from my deceased relative.

You have a good one.

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