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Carl Kanowsky: Your prospects if you fail to plan

Posted: July 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Star date: 55367 (I have no idea where they come up with that number), nearing the Galaxy LitigationRus, home to those much worse than the dreaded Romulans or the detestable Kardassians. This is the home of one of the most feared races in the Universe – the PlanNot-ians.

In all of my many years of space exploration as a Star Fleet Commander, I have yet to encounter a more confounding, self-contradictory people than the PlanNot-ians.

They possess an amazing ability to draw in unsuspecting innocents into the dilemmas they’ve created as a result of their lack of preparation. What was once just their problem becomes yours and many others as well.

Consider the famous case of Clive the Clueless. He decided to go into business with his dim-witted childhood friend, No Worries Warren. They were going to conquer the financial world by selling gloves that no one wanted, to people who could not afford them. Brilliant.

Of course being PlanNot-ians, they didn’t draft a business plan, put together a partnership agreement, or actually read the long-term lease they both signed and personally guaranteed.

And talk to someone like a Counselor? Forget about it – why spend $3,000 to help them get a handle on exposure of $250,000 or greater?

Now, this is where the PlanNot-ians are the most dangerous.

Somehow, despite all expectations to the contrary, Clive and No Worries actually sell enough gloves to barely stay in business for a year. Then the consequences of their laissez-faire attitude crop up.

Because they didn’t read their lease or get help negotiating it, they begin getting hit with numerous charges for common area maintenance (“CAM”) items they never anticipated. They reel from that impact.

Then, because Clive’s Plan Not-ian roots run deep, and there was no partnership agreement, things get worse when Clive’s wife, Martha, came home with a staggering surprise.

First, you need to know that the government of PlanNot has adopted community property law (I know, it’s a backwards society) which throws a wrench in this case.

Martha announces that she’s going to leave Clive for a glove manufacturer, Magic Fingers Freddie. In doing so, she also takes half of Clive’s interest in the business.

Clive, No Worries and Martha are now bickering constantly about what should happen with the company. At the same time, the company’s not paying its bills or employees because it’s run out of money paying all of the CAM charges.

As a result of their clumsy business practices, Clive, Martha, No Worries, and the company are all in bankruptcy court trying to sort things out.

Also in court with them are their employees, suppliers, the landlord, the government for unpaid taxes, and a legion of lawyers.

The $3,000 Clive thought he was saving? He’s now spent over $30,000 with different lawyers, with no end in sight. (By the way, all of these same facts have actually happened.)

PlanNot-ians are so disorganized and short-sighted that this scenario has repeated itself endlessly. The inhabitants of LitigationRus have lived up to the galaxy’s name.

The reach of this societal collapse goes far beyond the galaxy’s planets. It has entwined the Federation. Now, even though our Prime Directive instructs us not to mettle in other planets’ affairs, I’m tempted to simply blow them all away.

But I will make this one last effort – as the old saying goes, Plan to fail; Don’t fail to plan.

Otherwise, you might get a visit from the Starship Enterprise, commanded by a captain that has lost all shred of patience.

Kirk, out.

Carl Kanowsky of Kanowsky & Associates is an attorney in the Santa Clarita Valley. He may be reached by email at Mr. Kanowsky’s column represents his own views, and not necessarily those of The Signal. Nothing contained herein shall be or is intended to be construed as providing legal advice.


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