Insurance Cost, AI & Law, How Tarun Lost $1,500 in Poker

Insurance Cost, AI & Law, How Tarun Lost $1,500 in Poker

April 2024 Newsletter

Rana Law Group Newsletter

In this issue:

  • The Cost of Auto Insurance
  • AI in the Legal Profession
  • Just for Fun: How Tarun Lost a $1,500 Poker Hand in Law School (and how it relates to trial work)

The Cost of Auto Insurance

In prior issues, we explained the many reasons car insurance rates have been rising for customers even when they do not make a claim (such as natural disasters, driver monitoring appssafe driving apps and inflation of the cost of vehicle parts and repairs).  Evidently, where a person lives has an even bigger impact on premiums than anyone outside the industry expected.  Bankrate recently published an exceptional article that examined the cost of car insurance across the country.  Missouri did poorly – when accounting for the cost of living, the state ranked 46 of 50, with rates typically $258 more than the national average.  The St. Louis area had one of the largest increases in the country.  2024 rates increased an average of 73% over 2023 premiums.  Illinois premiums were slightly better, ranking 28 out of 50 with rates $233 less than the national average.

The article also broke down the increased premiums associated with certain driving events:

*This increase also illustrates the importance of hiring a lawyer to have traffic tickets changed to non-moving violations.  It is more expensive up front both in terms of fines and fees but less costly overall when points on your license can increase premiums by the amounts in the above chart.

Since most people will not move just for lower vehicle insurance rates, the next best thing to do is drive safely (not getting traffic infractions or causing accidents), keep a high FICO score, choose the right vehicle (one that has a high safety rating and is cheaper to repair), and lastly (if you can avoid it) do not add a teen driver to your policy, which can double premiums.  It may be better to get a separate policy for the teen so you do not get punished across all your insurance policy rates (such as home owner’s and other vehicles/driver policy).

AI in the Legal Profession

Just like in every other industry, we fully expect AI to revolutionize the practice of law, however, the technology needs to become much better before it can consistently be used reliably.  Recently, there have been news stories of lawyers getting sanctioned for using AI when submitting briefs to the court (one example involves Michael Cohen).  Reliance on technology is nothing new, however, lawyers are held to an ethical standard involving competency and candor to the court.  It is shocking that these lawyers did not check the validity of what the program generated.  Any lawyer using an AI program has a basic obligation to their client and the courts to critically evaluate whatever is generated and check all citations for accuracy, similar to if a younger lawyer or law clerk did the work.  With AI, though, an added issue stems from the software sometimes fabricating legal precedent and inventing citations to back up the position of the requester.  Even the AI creators do not seem to know why the system invents facts and case law that does not exist.  This hit close to home when a Missouri court recently issued sanctions against a business owner who filed briefs generated by AI that contained false case citations.Researching opinions and prior case law is time-consuming, however, it is a crucial step in all of our litigation cases because precedent is typically binding on a trial court.  Finding legitimate case law that backs up our preferred position can mean the difference between winning and losing a case.  Not only that, but using fake cases can result in losing all credibility in front of a particular judge, which could impact other rulings in the case.  We look forward to seeing how AI evolves in general and, more specifically, how it addresses its tendency to fabricate information.

Just for Fun: How Tarun Lost a $1,500 Hand of Poker in Law School (and how it relates to trial work)

As some of you know, when not working, Tarun’s hobbies include being outdoors on the water, playing poker and following the Cardinals.  In law school, Tarun had a brief run at playing poker regularly and it went really well.  One night, however, he lost a $1,500 hand (see below for the story).  There are a lot of parallels between trial work and poker.  In both, the person cannot be afraid to lose and, often, the side willing to play chicken the longest without folding ends up in the best position at the end.  Even when faced with a loss, it is best to have a “closer’s mentality”.  In baseball, the closer has to go out there almost every night and is expected to perform, even if he got shelled the night before or, in the case of Brad Lidge, had a psyche destroying homer off the bat of Albert Pujols.This mindset landed our office in spot #63 of the Missouri Lawyers Media Top 100 Verdicts and Settlements of 2023 for Plaintiff wins.  This is a tremendous honor and was fantastic recognition of all the hard work put in by everyone here.  But to get there, Tarun went in unwilling to back down, even when the mediator, a former judge, told him “you will never get that.  If you do, they will put up a statue of you outside St. Louis County Courthouse.”  Challenge accepted.   To put a feather in his cap, Tarun ended up getting 28% MORE than what the judge initially said was “impossible”.

Now for the poker story: After his first semester in law school, Tarun came home for winter break with not much to do.  The break was too short to get a job so Tarun began playing poker regularly at Ameristar and Harrah’s (now Hollywood).  Poker is a grind – often, a person can go 20-50 hands with no action.  The key is knowing how to play a hand when you get a good one.  Soon, Tarun was winning most nights, logging wins of several hundred or even thousands of dollars in a night.  He quickly learned – in order to succeed at poker, he could not be afraid to lose.  The fear of losing a hand or money can result in imperfect poker play, whereas dispensing with that fear allows a person to independently assess the right move on a hand and know it was the right move, EVEN IF the person loses.

It was during this stretch of poker play that Tarun found himself at Harrah’s playing a no limit Texas hold ’em cash game (in Texas hold’em, a player gets dealt two cards and then uses a combination of 5 additional community cards to make the best 5-card hand).  He worked up his chips to around $1,500 from about $300, so things were going really well.  This was typically a good time to cash out but a young man (let’s call him “Bob”) with a $500 chip sat down, claiming he only came once a year to gamble and was ready to lose this money.  For those who play, “Bob” is precisely the type of player you want at your table because he is easy money.  Soon, “Bob” was recklessly raising every hand, taking down pots left and right with his aggressive style.  When faced with this type of aggressive opponent, the best strategy is to play tight (meaning, only play good hands and only stay in if you hit your hand.  The idea is that you are not likely to bluff a player like “Bob” and you do not know if “Bob” actually has a good hand or a weak hand).

The next hand came around and, as usual, “Bob” raised big.  Tarun was dealt an Ace of spades and a 7 of spades which is a very profitable hand in poker, if you hit, because it can get you the highest flush (all the same suit).  With that intention in mind, Tarun called, as did another player (let’s call him “Charlie”).  The flop (the first three communal cards) came Ace, King, 7, which meant two pair (Aces and Sevens) for Tarun.  Two pair is a strong hand against an aggressive opponent.  While “Bob” could have had anything, Tarun knew he was likely in the lead.  “Bob” bet, Tarun called and so did “Charlie”.

The turn (the 4th communal card) brought another 7 – Tarun had a full house, 7s full of Aces (using the Ace and 7 in his hand, and the Ace and two 7s from the community board).  “Bob” bet, Tarun raised and “Charlie” went all-in.  “Bob”, realizing he may have bit off more than he could chew on this hand, folded his hand (as expected).  Tarun was staring at the board – could “Charlie” have called with Aces or Kings, the strongest two possible starting hands, in the hopes of disguising his hand, just to be in the position like here?  Tarun thought surely not since “Charlie” would have wanted to try to raise before the flop to try to get only “Bob” in the hand and get other players (like Tarun) to fold.  But Aces and Kings were the only two hands that could beat Tarun’s very strong hand.

A big problem in poker is the inability of a player to fold a strong hand, even when the player knows there is a chance they could be losing.  As discussed earlier, a player can go MANY hands before seeing even a playable hand, let alone one this strong and with so much money on the line.  It is easy to fall in love with a hand and not be able to walk away by folding.  Tarun convinced himself maybe “Charlie”, knowing Tarun does not play a lot of hands, was hoping to push Tarun out with pure aggression (making a big bet) in the hopes of winning the hand.

With all of this going through his mind, Tarun ultimately could not fold his full house and called, knowing he may be beat.  “Charlie” had two Kings, which gave “Charlie” a higher full house (three Kings and two sevens).  The only way for Tarun to win the hand is if an Ace came out as the last card, which would have given Tarun an even higher full house (three Aces and two sevens).  Sadly, no Ace came to bail out Tarun and he was left with a sick feeling, similar to what happened in the movie Rounders.  While that hand did not pan out for Tarun, playing scared would have been even worse and Tarun emerged a stronger, more confident player.  The ebbs and flows of that hand was just a warm-up for all the ebbs and flows of a trial!

Case Referrals  

From time to time, clients call and ask which type of cases we handle.  Our practice is built on referrals from satisfied clients.  We know that if we work hard and do a good job for our clients, they will tell their friends about us.  The best compliment from a former client is that client entrusting us with the potential case of their friend or family.  Our office specializes in the following cases:

  1. Personal Injury (auto collisions, trucking, motorcycle, slip and fall)
  2. Work Injuries
  3. Traffic tickets and DUI/DWI

If you know someone that meets these criteria, please have them call our office.  If someone does not quite fit the above criteria, please still have the prospective referral give us a call as we can usually help the person find the right attorney via a referral.

Share the Love – Reviews

Thank you very much to everyone who already left a review, we appreciate it!  If you have not left one and have some kind words, we would appreciate the time.
  1. For Google: simply click on the link.
  2. For Facebook: please “Like” and “Follow” the page and then click on “Reviews” on the left-hand side
  3. For Avvo: click on “reviews” and then “Review Tarun Rana”

Copyright © 2024 The Law Offices of Tarun B. Rana, LLC dba Rana Law Group, All Rights Reserved.

We value your privacy.
If you would like to change how you receive these emails, please click one of the links below.
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Rana Law Group, 655 Craig Road, Suite 318, St. Louis, MO 63141
Phone: 314-329-7690

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.