Mark Judson guest column: Talk is cheap, unless it’s ‘law talk’

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, November 24, 2021

By Mark Judson

Guest Columnist

Law Talk is on the air! The Southwest Louisiana Law Center has launched its new, radio ask-a-lawyer call in talk show appropriately named “Law Talk.” It’s on every Saturday afternoon from 2 – 3 p.m. on 104.1 FM Lake Charles, 98.5 FM in Lafayette and all points in between on 1530 AM, or you can download the app at Newstalk 104.1 FM. Listeners can dial 337-706-0113 and have the legal questions answered.

The show is hosted by Law Center attorneys Jonathan Fontenot, also known as “the Law Dawg,” and yours truly also known as the “the Director.” All self-respecting radio talk show hosts have to have “handles.” Jonathan, “the Law Dawg,” grew up in Cameron Parish. He is a former felony prosecutor who now enjoys a varied civil practice from personal injury to environmental law cases.

The Director (i.e. me) has had a general civil practice with lots of experience in real estate and family law matters. Law Dawg has little patience for emotions and side stories and likes to get to the crux of the matter. The Director, on the other hand, likes knowing the back story behind the legal issue and all feelings involved before suggesting a resolution. Law Dawg likes to say that the two of us combined make a pretty good lawyer.

In the short time we’ve been on the air, we’ve had great questions from callers ranging from a lady in Lake Charles whose landlord was not making hurricane repairs to an unfortunate reveler in Lafayette whose pickup was towed under questionable circumstances at the Lafayette Brew Fest. One of my favorites was a caller who asked if he should record his will in the courthouse records or could he just post it up on the refrigerator with a magnet. In case you are wondering about this one, both options have their advantages, unless your spouse constantly suggests that you eat too much. In that case, your end of life plans should probably be posted somewhere else other than the door of the refrigerator.

In addition to fielding listeners’ questions, Law Talk has special guests and live reports that pertain to goings and comings in the legal community. For example, on election day we had Calcasieu Clerk of Court Lynn Jones talk about turnout, poll commissioners, and do’s and don’ts around the polling places. We have broadcast live on location at Crying Eagle Brewery for the Young Lawyers Annual “OktoBARfest” – chili and gumbo cookoff fundraiser that benefits their secret Santa program known as “holiday helping hands.” This coming Saturday, we will have Law Center paralegal Tonda Moreland give tips on the best ways for clients to maximize their dealings with a law firm. We will also have Lake Charles family law attorney Randy Fuerst discuss expectations parents should have when engaging the legal system to resolve child custody disputes.

Ordinarily, I would advise against “airing” your legal issues to the public, but you may wish to make an exception for Law Talk. See you on the radio.

Mark M. Judson is executive director of the Southwest Louisiana Law Center, Inc. Contact him at 436-3308, or mjudson@swla-law-center.com.