Thursday, December 31, 2009

Heavy Weather-Happy New Year!

Well, less than two years to go, and counting down.

It's been very cold in OurTown, certainly not unseasonably, but Global Warming had me envisoning a snow free winter.  The last week has disabused me of that false hope.  Lost's of snow, shovel-ready stimulus snow. This morning there's been a bit of melt, not much.  My POS/SUV has been in the shop allegedly to repair suspension issues.  My mechanic returned it to me this morning further depleting my assets by the GDP of Tobago--and the suspension noises and vibrations that were to be repaired are worse than when I dropped the car off 10 days ago.

I was running errands for the "Super Lawyer"--when I got back to her hovel, here, on the Lake, the mailman had left me a certified mail notice.  The mail truck was still on the curb several houses down, and so I trudged through the snow to claim my certified letter from the Supreme Court.  Mr. Postal Delivery-guy was in the holiday spirit asking me about how great the "law business" is.  I could only laugh.  You should see my face, now as I type, a wry smile, a sour smile?

Blessed are the poor in spirit! 

Thus far I'm haivng a blessed 2009,  Thank God, it's over! 

I do hope 2010 is healthy, prosperous and happy for you, your friends and your families.

Feed the Children?

The Oklahoman is reporting on developments in he scandals surrounding the "christian" charity, Feed the Children and it's founder, evangelist, Larry Jones who was fired/resigned his leadership of the organization.  Jones filed a wrongful termination lawsuit on November 10th after being forced out by a board of directors that Jones tried to overthrow with a slate of prominent ministers hand-selected by him.  Instead, the Board fed up with scandals relating to bribery and kickbacks to Jones from the media group that receives millions of doallars to mount the charity's television commercials nationally--forced Jones' resignation. 


According to the American Institute of Philantrophy, Feed the Children, one of the nation's richest charitable groups has long received an "F" from it and other watchdog organizations for precisely the sort of financial irregularities that prompted the dismissal of Jones.

Now, attorneys for the Board are revealing evidence seized a sweep of Jones' office at the charity which include a cache of hardcore and incest pornography.  The Oklahoman reports, "Evidence of other wrongdoing was found after his termination, the charity and its attorneys said. 'The unexpected discovery of pornographic material, along with other personal items found in his offices, leaves this board of directors saddened, but certain the right decision was made,' the charity said in its media statement Tuesday. In the countersuit, the charity’s attorneys described the material as publications and excerpts from publications ranging 'from hardcore pornography to incestuous sexual family relationships.' The attorneys said the material was found hidden in his charity office and a nearby private area. The attorneys identified some of the publications as Family Affairs, Taboo’s Family Heat, Best of Family Touch, Penthouse Secret Fantasies, The Penthouse Sex Files, Penthouse Forum, Best of Forum Letters, Penthouse Letters, Penthouse, Penthouse Variations and Playboy." 

The Rev. Jones, says he was just "doing research."  Yeah, good luck with that. 

Don't Call 911, Expecting a Taxi to the Next Whiskey Joint


According to Tampa, Fla. local news reports Robert J. Oras of Oldsmar, Fla. repeatedly called 911 in an effort to arrange a ride to a local bar.  Before the night was out, Mr. Oras had assaulted the officer who reponded to his call, got his ass tased, and as you can see from the accompanying picture: booked. 

Nice, tats, Bro!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

13 Will Get You 20, Ashley Jo Beach Goes to Jail


Meridian, Idaho Middle School teacher Ashley Jo Beach had sex with a 13 yer old boy and has been sentenced to 20 years in priosn. 

According to the Idaho Statesman report Mrs. Beach admitted to "inappropriate" contact with 5 other middle school students.  Married, with small children, Mrs. Beach will be required to do at least 4 years before she will be eligible for consideration to be heard by the Idaho parole authorities. 

Inmate Lap Dances, That'll Get You Fired


The Dallas News is reporting that Dallas County Jail guard Kytrina Lewis ended her correctional career recently by asking 20 year old inmate, Gregory Miller for a lap dance.  Mr. Miller, a former high school acquaintence of the Officer Lewis accomodated the request.

Apparently when something like this happens in the County Jail keeping it on the q.t.--is IMPOSSIBLE.  It seems that the next time, Officer Lewis asks about a "shake" it will be from her perch in at the McDonalds' drive-thru. 

Just a journalistic aside, the level of detail included in the Dallas News article is impressive.  Big tip of the ten gallon hat to reporter, Kevin Krause for his incisive look at this situation. 

Litigant Guru of Gwinnett, Georgia Loses Lawsuit


Litigation has not proved the path to spiritual enlightment for self-described guru, Annamalai Annamalai, who goes by the title Dr. Commander Selvam according to the report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Apparently Fulton County, Georgia Superior Court Judge Kimberly M. Esmond Adams dismissed the Gwinnett County, Georgia Guru's defamation lawsuit against Gita Kotecha and Basant Tariyal, two leaders in the local Hindu community who criticized Dr. Commander Selvam on a local news show.  The defendants said that "Annamalai, who charges fees of hundreds or thousands of dollars for prayer services and horoscope readings -- gives Hindu priests a bad name and does not represent the Hindu faith."  The Superior Court not only dismissed the Guru's lawsuit but Judge Adams imposed $11,000 in sanctions against both the guru and his attorney.  Apparently this lawsuit is one of dozens the guru has filed against former followers and critics.

The Bad Lawyer Gets Whacked!

"The [Our State]Supreme Court, today imposed a 24-month suspension against the license of [an] OurTown attorney...for engaging in a pattern of misconduct in which [he] commingled his own funds with client funds on deposit in his law office trust account, and improperly used the trust account as a personal bank account and operating account for an extended period in order to avoid collection actions by his creditors for unpaid judgments and delinquent taxes.


In a 6-1 decision, the Court voted to adopt findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that [the attorney] engaged in fraudulent trust account practices and deliberate deceptions between January 2006 and May 2007. Specifically, [he] violated the rules of professional conduct that require an attorney to maintain a trust account in which only client funds are held, to avoid commingling of his personal funds with monies held for clients, and to keep full and accurate records of all funds deposited to and withdrawn from his trust account. The Court also found violations of the disciplinary rules that prohibit attorneys from engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice and conduct that adversely reflects on an attorney’s fitness to practice law.

The Court adopted the disciplinary board’s recommended sanction of a 24-month license suspension, and imposed as pre-conditions for reinstatement the requirements that [the attorney] complete six additional continuing legal education hours in law-office management and accounting and fully pay or provide evidence that he has entered into settlements of 12 court judgments currently outstanding against him totaling nearly $25,000."

Let me add that the Our State Supreme Court adopted the findings of the disciplinary board that the [Bad Lawyer] had never been previously disciplined in twenty-eight years, nor had he ever taken or misused client funds.
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When I started the Bad Lawyer Blawg, it was my intention to tell you everything.  I did many wrong things in the management of my law office over the years, I did not do bad things.  I mistakenly believed that the distinction between the wrong things that I did (versus the bad things that I did not do);  and, the wrong things I omitted to do were not going to catch up with me.  I believed that if my acts and omissions did catch up with me the violations would not result in disciplinary action.  I did not appreciate the gravity of my actions.  I did the things that resulted in my suspension. 

My special insight as a blawg-er is the fact that for twenty-eight years I practiced law at the ground level-the street level.  I reached a level of prominence in Our Town and in Our State--and, I accomplished many overall positive results for clients.  I cared about pushing the law in the direction of helping to make positive change, particularly for victims of child sex abuse. 

I am personally, ashamed, and disgraced.  I do have a conscience and as I said when this all started sleep has been difficult.  The feeling is surreal.  Since I don't drink, or do drugs prescription or otherwise, there is no bufffer on my feelings, the emotions are full force. I am suffering and surfing on and through wave after wave of guilt and remorse.  My dear friends are caring and supportive.  Whether I will be able to professionally return remains another matter--I liked to and I plan to, but who knows, even a brief suspension is like a professional drowning.  Not to overdo the metaphor, but the last two years have been not unlike a professional waterboarding, so at least that's over, I hope.

The Bad Lawyer blawg will continue in its own snarky way to give you news and views of all things--> law.  At the same time I'll also try to document, my humiliations and my fight to survive and return to what I did, proudly once--represent people in Our State who need an advocate who gives a damn about the law, and the people, the courts and law impact. 

Thanks for following the Bad Lawyer Blawg.

Awwwww, Let's Have a Pity Party

This from the Associated Press via the Lodi News the lawsuit filed by Stephen Bier who went by the stage name "Madonna Wayne Gacy" a former keyboard player for Marilyn Manson (who was born Brian Hugh Warner) was settled without payment of the $20 million judgment the keyboardist initially sought, according to court records. 

In his lawsuit Mr. Bier alleged that Manosn (pic) was hiding money from bandmates which Manson in turn spent on a "lavish lifestyle" that included acquisition of Nazi regalia.  The lawsuit was prolonged because a law firm that originally represented Mr. Bier sued to collect fees it claimed it was owed out of the modest settlement with the parties.

As you can see from the second link, this is the sort of lawsuit that makes a big splash because the lawyers who draft the lawsuit frame the complaint with language designed to make a splash.  No doubt, Mr. Warner, aka Manson is what he holds himself out to be--a pathetic, limited talent, derivative, petty neo-fascist, sociopath; but it's equally difficult to get worked up over the pissing contest between Mr. Warner and Mr. Bier.  Mr. Warner owns a business entity that allegedly screwed an employee.  Warner's penchant for fascist fashions and a lavish lifestyle apart from the sensationalism aren't terribly relevant to the employment dispute between the parties. 

Shocked?  No? Me either.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Killer Lawyer Pleads Guilty


Daniel Patrick Willsey, 49 is a killer.  A Montrose, California attorney, he was high as a kite on meth careening around in his BMW.  Willsey drove headlong into an SUV driven by Kern County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Hudnall, 43, who was killed when the Sheriff's vehicle plummeted down a Kern Rive canyon ravine. Grace Brown, 18, was being transported and was injured. 

This piece of work (pic, left) with a law license had the 'nads to sue the County for $5 million dollars for his injury.  He didn't collect. 

When the toxicology reports came back, Willsey was charged with vehicular homicide.  According to Bakersfield.com the games stopped, when Kern County Superior Court Judge Gary T. Friedman indicated what evidence the jury will hear at trial.  Mr. Willsey promptly entered a plea to gross vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of drugs. The judge immediately directed Willsey into custody--this clown has been out on bond for three years filing frivolous lawsuits while Deputy Joe Hudnall's been taking the dirt nap, and his widow was grieving.

Classic Schemes to Defraud

Where I live, the local government was so corrupt that the voters threw the entire system into the trashbin in favor of a "reform" which I am sure we are hoping works out to the benefit of the taxpayers/citizens.  The Bad Lawyer has always been poitically moderate, although my rightie friends think, (and my late-father thought) I'm a socialist/commie.  My friends on the left are equally aghast at my politics--oh well.  My education and life experiences have biased me towards "representative democracy" so I tend to view reform as anti-democratic--elites choose your representatives instead of you.  While I am repulsed by the overall quality of the elected judiciary; I am deeply suspicious of merit-selection schemes.  The new local government "reform" has me deeply suspicious, but I can't argue with the need to do something to rid ourselves of the crooks who are fleecing the folks they were supposed to be representing. 


In Boston.com (website of the Boston Globe) has this article describing the indictment of the Massachusets Speaker of the House, Salvatore Di Masi (pic, right) and a number of his cronies for what they term, "classic schemes to defraud."  According to the Boston Globe, "DiMasi and the other defendants are charged with steering two contracts worth $17.5 million to [. . . ] a Burlington firm, in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments, including $57,000 for DiMasi. Also indicted were DiMasi’s friend and former accountant Richard Vitale; DiMasi’s friend and [ . . .] lobbyist Richard McDonough; and [a . . . ]former sales agent, Joseph Lally."


"Defense lawyers argue that their clients did nothing wrong and that the money paid to DiMasi and the other defendants represented legitimate legal, consulting, or lobbying fees."


Recently, prosecutors in New York State prosecuted former State Senate majority leader Joseph L. Bruno (pic, left) who had turned his office into a lobbyist boiler room.  His decades-long legacy, a legisaltive institution that is openly mocked on the editorial pages of the leading newspapers of New York as a carnival of greed heads, crooks, and ego maniacs. 

I have a friend who likes to say that you get the government you deserve, I find that notion, absurd and reductionist.  These people like Bruno and DiMasi are old school guys who came into power motivated by decent impulses.  We enable their exploitation by not requiring them to serve us, and not special interests, corporations, and lobbyists.  If we care about representative democracy we will take radical steps to reign in the system of private finance of our politics. 

As a young lawyer, I was frequently stunned by the easy corruption of political and judicial figures.  Years ago I stood in shock as opposing counsel openly-pandered a Judge's visit to his lawfirm's lodge for skiing and drinking in front of me as we argued the repective merits of competing motions to this Judge.  The Judge granted his pal's motion for summary judgment and it took two years to obtain an appellate court reversal with an award of attorney fees.  Think about this.  My client was screwed by a corrupt judge.  It took two years to undo the damage--what if we lacked the resources to pursue an appeal?  What if the court of appeals panel had not done its job as it so often does not?   The corrupt judge, ran for the court of appeals, his campaign poster touted his "integrity."  He won.

I Don't Make This Stuff Up!

Christropher Todd Cady shot his step son in the chest with a pellet gun to teach him a lesson. 

The St. Lucie County, Florida man was charged with felony child abuse according to the report at TCPalm.com.  According to the report, the step son received the pellet gun as a Christmas present.  The recipient of the pellet gun went outside to "play" with his new gun;  promptly shooting his autistic cousin in the ass.  Moron, "Dad" then decided on the course of corrective action of deliberately shooting his son. 

Nice.  I'm guessing this is a mobile home community you might want to avoid.

Dr. Earl B. Bradley, Pediatrician-Monster

The Bad Lawyer has been following with horror the story of Earl B. Bradley, M.D. (pic) a Lewes, Delaware pediatrician.  If true, this pediatrician's abuse of children is unprecedented outside the crimes of pedophile priests. Delawareonline reports at length on this unbelievable, ghastly story of sex crimes by Dr. Bradley against his patients which he videotaped in some instances with multiple cameras. 


Let me give you a sense of what we're talking about by quoting Delawareonline's story:

"Former Delaware prosecutor Ferris W. Wharton, who at times directed the state Justice Department's rape and sexual-offense unit, said the possible scale of the crimes dwarfs any in his experience.


'Obviously, the potential number of victims that has been put out there exceeds any that I've heard of in Delaware before,' said Wharton, now in private practice. "It's an order of magnitude greater than what I'm familiar with.'

Because of that, defense and prosecution teams could face an extra challenge in focusing on the legal issues of the case 'without allowing their feelings about what the allegations are to override,' Wharton said.

Bradley's arrest capped months of suspicions and unsettled investigations into his conduct at BayBees Pediatrics, 18259 Coastal Highway, that were prompted by complaints. Police said after the arrest that Bradley had six cameras that recorded apparent crimes involving children, including one incident in which he appeared to be 'violently enraged.'"

Once again we confront the worst that we are capable of, as humankind. What was the professional and educational failure that permitted this sociopath to slide through?  What systems failed that permitted him to again and again victimize these children?   Help me understand how this happened?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Eye-Popping Jury Verdict--Damages

A Clayton County, Georgia jury returned a $17.7 million dollar verdict for Lynn Wheeler, who sustained injuries resulting in quadriplegia as a consequence of a car accident on Christmas day in 2005.  This eye-popping verdict against the Ford Motor Company includes "punitive damages."  According to the Atalanta Journal Constitution report  the Wheelers were hit head on by another vehicle; Mrs. Wheeler was wearing the lap belt which was the only available "occupant protection system" in this 2002 Ford Explorer. 


This verdict raises a host of questions that I'm sure an appellate court will explore and which are not answered by the sketchy details in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article.  By definition, Ford Motor did not cause the acccident, remember we talked about Palsgraf.  How does Ford get on the hook for $17.7 million dollars including "punitive damages?"  We can only speculate, this being the Bad Lawyer, we'll go for it. 

The law of damages fills text books big and heavy enough to secure your boat in hurricane weather.  The definition in Black's Law Dictionary runs several pages and inludes many subparts.  Generally speaking damages in tort law are in two categories: compensatory and punitive.  Compensatory damages are exactly what they sound like, compensation for damages caused by the defendant.  In Mrs. Wheeler's case, she has suffered catastrophic injuries, and her husband has likewise suffered catastrophic injuries even if his physical injuries are slight.  Her damages include: medical costs: past and future; lost wages; loss of future wages;  lost enjoyment of life; foreshortened life expectancy; and pain and suffering.  Mr. Wheeler likewise has similar losses including loss of consortium which includes all aspects of the changes in his marital relationship with Mrs. Wheeler.  The good lawyer presenting a tort claim involving catastrophic injuries will present all kinds of evidence including videos, photos, economist testimony, medical experts on all the issues pertaining to the injury and aftermath. 

Always bear in mind that the Judge decides in the first instnce what issues the jury will consider, in the case of the punitive damages also called "exemplary damages" whether the jury will hear evidence going to "punitives" and render a verdict.  Since,excessive jury awards of "punitive damages" are frequently reversed it is a plaintiff's attorney mistake to think it necessarily desirable to obtain a large punitive damage verdict--only the most outrageous or flagrant cases of defendant misconduct merit punitive damages.  These are the cases that "shock the conscience" that "cry out for condemnation," because of the defendant's "violence, oppression, malice, fraud, wanton and wicked conduct"demand punishment.  Punitive damages are designed to make an example of the defendnat to deter future similar wrongdoing. 

I the case of the Wheelers, we can conclude that the jury heard evidence about the callous disregard of Ford Motor Company in providing passenger compartment safety.  A simple lap belt, when a shoulder strap or an airbag might mean that Mrs. Wheeler would not have sustained catastrophic injuries?  This was an outraged Judge and jury.

Noooooooo! Third Small Child Shot Over Holiday Weekend!

This story from San Antonio, Texas.  Mysanantonio,com reports on the Pipe Creek, Texas moron cleaning his loaded handgun resulting in the shooting of his 2 year old in the head.  Amazingly 2 year old Kalia Wallace did not die;  remarkably she is recovering and she is listed in stable condition following the accidental shooting.  Two other small children were in the mobile home at the time of the accident.  Sheeesh! 

Shane Buggy Files a Lawsuit

Shane Buggy, (real name I swear) is suing the underage punk that kicked his ass, the bar that served the underage drinker, and the NYC cops that drove by and did nothing to help him. 

According to the Gothamist Mr. Buggy filed his lawsuit in state court alleging that  "Brian Tierny roughed him up. The suit goes after the watering holes Ulysses Folk House on Pearl Street and Hook & Ladder II on John Street for allowing Tierny to drink despite 'prior knowledge of both his age and his penchant for violence.'"

The Gothamist report was based on the original NewYork Post report, at the link.

Detroit, Pay the Lawyers!



Mlive.com is reporting that state court Judge Robert Colombo, Jr. issued an order that the City of Detroit is to reimburse nearly a half-million dollars in fees incurred by the Detroit Free Press when it successfully sought the production of public records denied to it by its corrupt former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (pic). 

Now here's the thing, we the people own the public records.  That is why these records are called "public records."  What is going on when our elected officials play games like this?  That anyone in Detroit tolerated this bullshit is outrageous. 

Detroit has been and is on welfare-life support, so Detroit, where does any elected official in Detroit get off refusing to produce public records?  Where does any elected official authorize the expenditure of reesources to fight a request for the production of records that already belong to us?  There is no debatable principle.  None.

Detroit Man Shoots 4 year Old Step Son While Cleaning His Gun

Mlive.com is reporting on the Detroit man who shot his 4 year old Step Son while cleaning his handgun.  'Cause God knows, you just can't wait until the brat's in his crib to take care of these important Second amendment-protected chores.

I think this makes two toddlers, this holiday weekend, alone!  Damn.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Good Judges Grappling With Meaningful Sentences

The Tennessean has a report today about two good Judges grappling in their own way with sentencing alternatives at the level of the misdemeanor crime intended to transform criminal outcomes into learning and rehabilitation in the first instance.  Judge Eisentein uses essays, and the best essays are read from the podium to his courtroom filled with minor offenders.  Judge Fishburn orders perpetrators to meet with the victims of crimes and seek non-monetary ways of helping victims.  Cool, huh?  Good judges, creatively addressing crime.  Small law, it can change your perspective and your life.

Lawyer Laundry Operations in Ohio


According to the Associated Press, two Columbus, Ohio-area lawyers will enter guilty pleas to money laundering charges as the outcome of a major drug smuggling ring that engaaged in transporting drugs from Arizona into Ohio.  I'm sure there will be updates to this tale of attorneys gone criminal, but the time being here's the link to the initial story on these two crooks.  Charles W. McGowan, 41, and Kyle Hunter, 40, are expected to enter their guilty pleas to charges of laundering money for "the Donald Dailey Jr. Drug Ring" on Jan. 6.  They are looking at serious prison time. 

Explanation:  these are lawyers who got involved with Donald Dailey, Jr. who was making so much money from importing drugs into Ohio that he had to find a way to convert his ill-gotten gains into usable cash.  These attorneys provided that process through their IOLTA accounts or sham businesses.  In either event the attorneys became active participants in the drug-running schemes.

 A month or so ago someone sent me a link to the story of a Akron-area attorney, Frank Pignatelli with a similar situation.  Cleveland.com reports that Pignatelli who was doing the same thing as McGowan and Hunter was sentenced to 16 months.  I didn't use the item, then; but a pattern seems to be emerging makin git comment worthy--the recession seems to have Ohio lawyers scrambling for green.

A Long, Long Time, Ago

The Dallas Morning News reports on the case of 30 year old Charles Ray Sempe who was busted for a pocket full of marijuana and jailed in the Dallas County jail because he didn't have the $200 bail.  Shoved into an overcrowded holding cell, he changed the channel on the television set and was killed by a blow from behind by an enraged cellmate.  Dallas County had turned its jails into profit centers, housing every miscreant they could lay their hands on from neighboring jurisdictions to derive revenue for the county.

Sempe's family sued (Chris Sempe holds a picture of his father in the accompanying image.)  Twenty years later, after every conceivable antic, er, delay pulled by the County's outside private (billable hour attorneys)--the wrongful death action is scheduled for trial in February. 


There is so much that is outrageous embedded in this story.  When a civil lawsuit is filed and languishes as this case did, and is carelessly and wrongly dismissed then reinstated and then delayed and delyaed--the law is made to look like an ass.  That defense attorneys involved in this matter have obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars from the citizens and ultimately may have nothing to show for it other than a perversion of justice--is outrageous. 

The Sempe case is literary, a man jailed for a minor misdemeanor killed for changing a television channel in an overcrowded jail cell, the sheer grinding of the jusitice system, children now adults seeking justice.  Good luck.

Dumb Bastards with Guns

Gilbert, Arizona resident, Ryan Maes was playing video games with a buddy, drinking, and somehow the dumb bastard shot his finger with his .40 caliber hand gun, "while he was trying to put it away." 

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/12/23/20091223pistol1223-on.html

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rights of Gun Packing Lawyer, Not Violated


Prominent Massachusett's defense attorney Gregory Schubert (pic with client) who packs heat, although he has a permit, sued Springfield, Mass policeman, J.B. Stern.  Patrolman Stern who pulled over Mr. Schubert spotted a weapon beneath the attorney's jacket, and reacted by pulling his service revolver on the lawyer and placed in the patrol car.  Attorney Schubert was inconvenienced by having to sit in this patrol car for ten minutes.  He sued.  Mr. Schubert's lawsuit was dismissed.

According to Boston.com  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit said that the "simple undisputed fact" that Officer Stern observed the gun meant that Mr.Schubert's civil rights were not violated by Officer Stern.

If you haven't heard me lately come down on asshat attorneys for frivolous lawuits, consider this post my penance.  Mr. Schubert, grow up.

Hillbillies With Guns!

The other day I found it necessary to defend  my use of the ethnic description, "Hillbilly." 

I am a hillbilly.  I was born in the deep south, I grew up in rural areas, places where the resurgent Klan flourished in the 1920(s).  At various times I worked and I lived in the South throughout my adult life.  I vacation in the South.  Everyone in my family if not actually a hillbilly, sounds like a hillbilly 

Many members of my family own and shoot guns.  I owned and shot weapons of all sorts both in and out of the military service, although I won none now.

But, hillbillies with guns, especially drunk hillbillies with guns, give me the willies.  And let me be clear, all drunk white people waiving gusn around are "hillbillies with guns."

 

Today, the Charlston Gazette is reporting that 24 year old, Hannah Danielle Workman's 4 year old toddler was shot in the lower leg by her 16 year old boyfriend in what appears to be an "accidental," Christmas day shooting.  The authorities have charged Mom with neglect, and they're looking for the boyfriend.  No word from the NRA, yet.

Small Law

The Bad Lawyer has lived around the world, and has practiced law, after a fashion, in some pretty glamorous venues, including at least one mayor's court that was in a converted garage. 

One of my pet peeves over time has been the obsession of law journals, major newspapers, and in the digital age, legal-centric websites with Big Firm law, federal and felony level litigation.  For the average person, the attention given to this sort of legal mattter is utterly unhelpful unless they are called to jury duty.  While traffic, municipal court, and justice of the peace offices are boring, this is in reality where the action is for most law-abiding citizens.  And despite what I just said, what happens in these courts is not boring.   Sometimes, what happens in these courts is not justice as the New York Times series called "Broken Bench" on New York's Justice Court system demonstrated convincingly, in 2006.  This last year we had the Lousiana Justice of the Peace who refused to perform an interracial marriage, as reported by CNN.

Frequently the "judges" in these small courts are not lawyers, and are not otherwise trained in the law.  OurState decided to raise revenue by instituting a "red light camera."  The "super lawyer" that shares a house with the Bad Lawyer tends to get invoices arising out of driving through these lights and speeding through these speed zones.  Being the Bad Lawyer that I am, I perceive some issues that make these seelf-actuating tickets problematic, for instance where's the expert to certify that these machines are accurate.  On the "super lawyer's" behalf, we contested a few of the citations that arrived in the mail.  Who heard the case?  Not a lawyer.  Where did this traffic magistrate obtain his training in the rules of evidence, rules of civil or criminal procedure, traffic laws?  He did not.  The due process infirmity underlying this revenue-generating business for municipalities may continue to be a issue in the law for a long time. 

The bigger point is that when we tote up our experiences over the course of a year, this major trial, that Supreme Court decision, this scandal, that verdict in the news, on television, or the web--really doesn't effect most citizens.  We take our collective eyes off the ball, when we neglect small law.  Small law is where most people most of the time interact and obtain their impressions of justice in America.  Small law matters most to most people, but you would not know it from the important day-to-day coverage of Balloon Boy's parents, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Michael Jackson's doctor's case, Anna Nicole Smith's paternity, the Fort Hood Shooting, and on and on. 

You want to know what's happening in the law, go sit in the local municipal courtroom for an hour or so on a Monday morning.   If your lucky you will see good and bad lawyers, you will see good and bad judges, if you live near a Mayor's court, you might get to watch non-lawyers pretend to be judges.  Trust me this is far more entertaining that Judge Judy.  These are your neighbors, businesses, bar patrons, and town druggies.  This is highly entertaining stuff, it's free; it better be open to you; don't take popcorn; and take your hat off, please.   Ladies and gentlemen, it is your government, for better or worse in action.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

May you and yours enjoy the holiday, meet me back here on Saturday, December 26 for more Bad Lawyer!

Physical Injury

Physical injury, sounds like a redundancy?

There is a requirement in federal law that an inmate who's been sodomized who subsequently seeks to sue the prison and officials in charge of his safety prove "physical injury."  The New York Times in an editorial, Combating Prisoner Abuse addresses the absurdity of the requirement; and, supporting legislation proposed by Rep. Robert Scott, Democraat of Virginia.

I encountered this requirement while representing victims of sexual assaults at work who sought compensation through workers' compensation systems.  It's a ridiculous rule that I know to be a vestige of the hyper-concern that people with "non-physical" injuries can fake claims to get compensation.  Let's be clear, fraud happens all the time.  Sometimes the perpetrators of fraud are Judges, lawyers, and law enforcement as I document, here, all the time.  The notion that we should not compesate genuine injuries arising out of sexual assault because there might be fraud is sickening.  Surely, we are sufficiently sophisticated in this country to work through efforts to game the system in order to compensate truly traumatized individuals. 

Depriving someone of their freedom, their family and friends, incarcerating them with other criminals seems to me to be adequate punishment; adding sodomy; that's probably one of those things contemplated under "cruel and unusual" punishment, well... maybe not for 'Nino.

Free Pass for Drunk Cop

There will be no DUI charges for the Ogden, Utah police officer Jared Tongsaeng Ingalsbe who crashed into two power poles, four cars and a house.  According to the Salt Lake Tribune report, Officer Ingalsbe tested positive for a prescription sleep medication and alcohol.



The Salt Lake Tribune report documents some incredible bullshit from the local prosecutor, "Deputy Weber County Attorney Christopher Allred explained this week that the totality of the evidence did not support, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Ingalsbe was driving while impaired. [ARE YOU CRAZY?] Allred said he could extrapolate backward from Ingalsbe's blood-alcohol results to show it exceeded -- just slightly -- the legal limit of 0.08 at the time of the June 30 crash. But Allred said he decided that proving a DUI in court would be 'very difficult.' The crash occurred at 10:40 p.m., and Ingalsbe's blood was not drawn until 1:03 a.m., according to police reports, meaning 143 minutes had elapsed. Ingalsbe's blood-alcohol content measured 0.05 at the time it was drawn. Using a standard burn-off rate of 0.015 per hour, police and prosecutors calculated Ingalsbe's blood-alcohol content was 0.0857 at the time of the crash."

Perhaps Prosecutor Allred should find another calling, he apparently doens't feel competent to prosecute drunk drivers double up on prescription drugs.   Watch out Ogden, Utah!

Acting As Your Own Lawyer, Bad Idea


Here at Bad Lawyer, I've repeatedly talked about how ill-advised it is to act as your own attorney.  This is true, not only for lay persons;  but, the advice is equally, if not more true for lawyers.  Look there is just too much at stake when you are in the courtroom--you need objective insight and detached cool.  While self-representation is not impossible to pull off as the great former Youngstown, Ohio congressman and currrent Indian Casino-spokesman, James Traficante demonstrated, well, once--unless you are as batshit crazy as Jimmy, don't do it.

KansasCity.com reports onSt. Joseph, Missouri burglary suspect, Arthur Monk, age 52.  Mr. Monk did not have the wisdom of the Bad Lawyer readily available to him, and proceeded to trial in Buchanan County having fired his public defender.   It did not go as well as Mr. Monk might have wished.  Just as a professional note, when your trial judge is named Judge Dan Kellogg you might want to stick to "your Honoor" or "Judge," calling him Kelloggs (sic) probably isn't going to endear yourself to him. 

Also when your girlfriend comes into court and says you did the crime, and testifies that you told her that you did the crime, the correct response is not to call the testimony "hearsay."  First using a legal word, gives the impression that you know-what-the-fuck you're talking about when in reality your are a complete ignoramus.  Secondly, hearsay is a doctrine that applies to out of court declarations that are offered into evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted;  and, guess what, Ace, they come in agasint you under the well-recognized "exception" called "admissions against interest."  Did you ever notice, confessions are offered at trials all the time?  You see, there are things like Rules of Evidence that a prospective trial lawyer might wish to have some capacity to properly invoke.   Another thing, when "hearsay" is offered at trial, you might want to address the truth/content other than dismissing the testimony, as "just hearsay." 

Finally, when there is a video of you committing the crime, you might want to offer some evidence challenging the proposition that the person in the video is you.

In all seriousness, I was in court the other day and a scowling young man was sitting at the lawyer's table with a veteran lawyer who had obtained the offer of a plea deal that guaranteed that this young thug--also caught on video doing the deed he was accused of doing--would after all was said and done, still be able to get out of prison sometime in his remaining reproductive years.  The young thug told the judge that he and his lawyer were not "seeing eye to eye,"  and would the court please fire the lawyer and appoint a new lawyer for him.  The judge patiently explained to the defendant, that if he, the Judge, were charged with the crime, not only would he want this lawyer to represent him, but that he would listen to the lawyer's advice.  He then continued the scheduled trial for two hours.  When last I heard, the young criminal defendant came to his senses and took the plea deal. 

Every person involved in a legal proceeding as a party is in peril in the courtroom, do not act as your lawyer--the adage is true:  the pro se litigant has a fool for a client, and a fool for a lawyer.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sanity for Maricopa County, Arizona?

The trainwreck that was the Rule of Law in Maricopa County, Arizona caused in large part by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his sweetie/ally, County Attorney Andrew Thomas may finally be reaching its end.  It certainly reached its nadir with the arrests of County Judges and racketeering lawsuits filed last week by Thomas against most of the county officials not named, Joe Arpaio.  As you will recall I offered the opinion that Thomas may have erred in invoking the jurisdiction of the federal court; as it turns out the Arizona Supreme Court decided to act, as we say in the law: forthwith.


Chief Justice Rebecca Berch of the Arizona Supreme Court appointed her predecessor, former Chief Justice Ruth McGregor as "special master" for all things Maricopa.  In her order granting broad jurisdiction to former Chief Justice McGregor, Chief Justice Berch alluded to a "public safety emergency" in the offing generated by the allegations and counter charges that could result in disqualification of the very people the citizens of Maricopa County elected to administer their county adn criminal justice system.  By the way, Maricopa County--this is what you got when you bought into Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the demagoguery of "the toughest sheriff in America." 

The reason I obssess about clowns like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is that he is the poster boy for official thuggery wrapped in the flag of patriotism.  He is a petty tyrant who given reign by the citizens of Maricopa County demonstrated that he and unprincipaled lawyers can shut down a democratically-elected govenrment.  It's an amazing spectacle, we should not soon disregard the example of Maricopa County if we care about representative democracy.

Good luck Chief Justice McGregor.

Cops Demand Nude Cyclists Wear Protection


This just in, New Zealand police are stopping nude cyclists and demanding that they wear helmets.  The report from the New Zealand Herald is pretty bare, but one can infer that personal protection is motivating the concern of authorities, downunder.

Poperly equipped cyclsits are pictured, left.

I Won't Run Away, I Promise, Judge

Taney County, Missouri Circuit Court Judge Tony Williams is not running for reelection according to reports in the Springfield, Mo News-Leader.  His Honor, inadvertently, announced this decision with his ORDER releasing a Florida fugitive on the lam for 30 years on a "pair of $12,500 bonds."   Richardson who has been running a lawn care business in Branson, Mo. for many years was picked up after Florida renewed a fugitive search program that had not been pursued in many years.

Oscar Eugene Richardson (pics), 61, walked away from a Kissammee, Florida prison farm while serving time on weapons charges.  Richardson was an armed robber.  He had 8 years remaining on the ten year term he was serving.


The head-scratcher, here, is what the hell is Judge Williams thinking?  Really, the purpose of bail or bond is to guarantee your appearnace in court.  Mr. Richardson has already objectively flunked by virtue of his escape from the Florida peanl system.  Wow.

Prison-Bound Pimp Lawyer



San Antonio lawyer, Ted Roberts is off to the penitentiary for extorting money from his wife's many lovers.  According to MySanAntoinoLive.com's report, Robert's obtained $100,000-$200,000 from 4 separate men who were sexaully involved with his wife, San Antonio lawyer, Mary Roberts.   Mr. Roberts will serve 5 years and choose a new calling, upon release. 

This story gives new meaning to the claim, my lawyers are a pimp and a ho.

Adding Up the Cost of Bad Ass Law Enforcement



The Harris County Commissioners have agreed to close the books on a lawsuit relating to their "Tough" Sheriff's deputies--wrongful arrest and deprivation of the rights of Harris County residents, Sean Carlos and Erik Ibarra.  That'll be $4 million dollars, thank you citizens of Harris County. 

According to the Houston Chronicle report Harris County Commissioner voted to approve final payment of attorney fees stemming form the incident, well let me quote the Chronicle:  "sheriff's deputies stormed the [brothers'] home, drew their guns, arrested them and seized their cameras after one of the brothers photographed a drug raid on a neighboring house. The county paid a $1.7 million settlement to the brothers. A judge also ordered the county to pay $1.4 million in fees to their attorney. Additional bills related to the case brought the tally to more than $4 million."

As I said before, this is one of the unanticipated results that the taxpayers get when they fall for the demagoguery of the "tough" law enforcement-bs. Like Arpaio and his boys in Arizona, stealing legal documents from public defenders deprives the rights of criminal defendants who can challenge any subsequent conviction based on this misconduct with the result that they are free to commit crimes they would not have committed if Arpaio and his deputies had played by the rules. We give up our ideals in exchange for violating rights, and worse paying the attorney fees of victims of the abuse of police power.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Official Oppression: Judge Jackson Off to the Slammer


Ariana Venegas was charged with drunk driving in Harris County, Texas (Houston) according to the reports in the Houston Chronicle

On Monday, Criminal Court Judge Donald Jackson (pic, left) was given 30 days in the slammer for attempting to seduce the defendant in exchange for obtaining a favorable disposition on her matter.  They call this crime "official oppression." 

This sordid matter is covered comprehensively at the Houston Chronicle website (see link) with video of the Judge, victim and lawyers. 

I handled a matter years ago involving a barfly who was accosted by a newly-elected municipal court judge who had been a "family law" practioner.  This asshole Judge was notorious for cruising the local divorce court looking to prey on women in the throes of divorce, custody, and child support woes.  While Judge HotPants was still a practicing attorney, he met my client in at a TGIFridays (we will leave for another time a discussion of where one should and should not solicit clients)  agreeing to represent her.  When she was unable to pay his fee, he demanded sex.  As you might imagine this did not end well for his judicial career.

Maricopa County, Arizona Prosecutorial Misconduct?


Maricopa, Arizona "County Attorney" Andrew Thomas is the Butt Buddy of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a favorite subject, here on Bad Lawyer

The LA Times has a decent summary of the most recent Stalinist antics of Arpaio and his sycophant prosecutor, Andrew Thomas. 

In sum, Arpaio and Thomas are conducting a coup in Maricopa County by arresting, prosecuting and suing all of the county elected officials, including sitting Judges--that they, Arpaio and Thomas dislike.  These elected officials are accused by Prosecutor Thomas of a massive conspiracy agasint Arpaio; and, Prosecutor Thomas has filed a racketeering lawsuit in federal court.  

Arizona Central is reporting on a rally of local attorneys against prosecutor Thomas and Arpaio.  Since the drafting of this post, last night,  Arizona Central has updated it's article.

Perhaps all of this an encouraging sign for Maricopa's citizens?  It's reminiscent of the attorney-uprising in Pakistan that led to the reinstatement of that country's Chief Justice and for the time being, the return of the rule of law in a country formerly dominated by Musharraf and his military dictatorship. 

Dictatorship is not too strong a word for what's happening in Maricopa County.  Good luck, gentlemen--Bad Lawyers all!

Georgia Is Missing Its Sex Offenders


According to reports, Georgia is missing 250 sex offenders.  Yes folks, these are the registered sex offenders that Georgia keeps it's laser-like executive eyes on--somehow, a search for these registered felons has failed to turn up these fellows.

The Associated Press which based it's report on the Atlanta Journal Constitution article says, "nearly one-tenth of the [Atlanta] area's registered sex offenders who are not in jail are listed as 'absconded.'  That means law enforcement authorities has lost track of them, despite a strict law intended to keep such offenders under close supervision and away from potential victims." 

Just a thought, but considering the time of year and all, have the Georgia authorities checked with the Mall Santas?

Guns In Bars, Part Two

As reported, here, at Bad Lawyer the hillbilly state legislators of Tennessee enacted over the Govenor's veto, a bill that enabled morons with gun permits to pack heat in Tennessee bars and restaurants serving alcohol.  Because, nothing says "welcome to Junior's Bar-B-Q" like a little gunsmoke.  Within a month of the enactment, a state court judge struckdown the legislation.

Well according to our friends at the Tennessean, why little a common sense get in the way of a good time, they are reporting, "Sen. Doug Jackson, the Dickson Democrat who sponsored the original bill, said he plans to file legislation that would allow handgun carry permit holders to take their guns into restaurants and bars that are licensed to sell liquor by the drink. The legislation, which is being reviewed by Senate staff attorneys before it can be filed, would not apply to places that serve beer only."

I worry about the dying out of representative democracy and then you come across this sort of thing, and it gives me pause.  Maybe, representative democracy is overrated.  These dumb bastards in the state legislature of Tennessee are going to ruin a fantastic and fun tourist industry with their NRA-posturing demagoguery.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Why I Hate the Cops-Part 51



Police Officers who take the time to steal are a wonder to behold.

Phoenix, Arizona "retired" a thirty year veteran police officer and fired his partner after it came to light that the patrol officers were stealing sports cards (44 in all including, the Ernie Banks card, see pic) glued to the doors in a foreclosed house in the Phoenix.  On a list of sins, this is pretty small cheese--but, it raises a couple of questions: namely,  while the officers in the foreclosed home were brandishing knives to meticulouosly remove these collectabile treasure, how many donuts remained uneated? 

Here's the other question, the serious one:  Al Jackson, the officer with 30 years on the force--how many time do you think he did this over the years?  And, I'm not talking sports cards--how much stuff did Officer Jackson steal from homes, cars, commercial properties while he was on patrol around Phoenix, Arizona during his 30 years on the force.  Just a hunch, but I'm betting a lot of property that turned up missing over the years ended up in Sergeant Jackson's hands. 

More at AZCentral.com.

Above The Law--Expands on the Bad Lawyer Scoop!

Above the Law is THE best law Blawg--and the clearinghouse for almost all lawyer disasters and scandals.  I feel blessed that ATL has run several of my scoops, now it ran Bad Lawyer's Memphis lawyer/vampire with a link to this site.  Let me say, that site skews towards Big Firm material as opposed to my focus on the street level experience of Bad Lawyers. 

ATL now has the expanded follow up on Lawyer who masticated the man in the Memphis restaurant restroom.  You might find it valuable to load ATL into your Google Reader--which is how I follow all the law follies.

Products Liability, um Sex Toys

The Toronto Sun is reporting that Canada is getting serious about the dangerous Chinese plastics in baby bottles, more importantly sex toys. 


The Sun article nicely cuts to the chase, so let me quote, "[Amy and Kim] Sedgwick [who are] sisters want to know why chemicals that are banned in products like baby soothers are allowed in sex toys, putting womens' health at risk. [The Sedgwick sisters] -- owners of the Red Tent Sisters sex shop -- are working hard to clean up the sex toy industry and now have federal Liberal health critic Dr. Carolyn Bennett in bed with them.

 "The sex toy industry is unregulated. They are considered novelties, so they are not intended to be used, but they are," said Kim, who has a bachelor's degree in gender studies from King's College. Chemicals like bisphenol A and phthalates -- used to make plastics soft and flexible -- have been banned by Health Canada for use in baby teethers and bottle nipples but are still used in dildos. These chemicals are linked to health concerns ... breast cancer and there are infertility issues." "We would like them banned, or at least have labelling that says which chemicals there are," said Amy, who has a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy from U[niveresity] of T[oronto.]

All I'll add is, ... nah.

Student Drinking at Penn State

I was listening to This American Life over the weekend, which ran or re-ran a broadcast that looked at State College, Pennsylvania the great college town where Penn State is located.  PSU is routinely voted the nation's number one "party school."  Translation: student drinking.  Alcohol is complicated.  The great American experiment with prohibition didn't work out all that well.  Alcohol is social lubrication, helping the socially inept (including moi,) mate since time immemorial--but, an utter disaster for many as most of us know;  alcohol is the cause of so many social and family tragedies. 

Part of the TAL episode that I heard looked at the details of the death of freshman,  Joe Dado who died from alcohol poisoning; as well as the legal aftermath for his close friend, Jack Townsend.   The TAL broadcast analyzed the relationship between binge drinking and the college athletic dollar.  To his credit Penn State College President Graham Spanier submitted to tough questioning about alumni fundraising, athletics, and alcohol.  President Spanier's statement on the death of Joe Dado and another underclassman can be read at the link. 

On the heels of this episode is the report from the Centre Daily News that a local State College bar agreed to a voluntary 22 day shutdown, and a reform of its alcohol-service practices in light of a investigation into the provision of alcohol to three nearly incoherent female patrons.  One customer served in this bar had vomit on her dress. As a Bad Lawyer I've litigated lots of alcohol-related deaths and injuries.  A recurring theme is the utter denial of persons providing alcohol that they just might aiding and abetting the death or injury of someone who is drinking abusively.  Yeah, right, I know what you're thinking, why should "denial" be the exclsuive province of the drinker.

According to the This American Life report, if I'm remembering correctly,  approximately 1700 university kids drink themselves to death each year.   The statistics are telling: most of the incidents occur at the beginning of the school year, among mostly freshmen, and the research establishes the strong correlation between "availability of alcohol,"  incidents of binge drinking, and injury.  Duh.  But then again maybe this isn't such an obvious point.  If the schools, and authorities come down hard on campus drinking, fraternities and sororities, off campus parities, and public intoxication, it is shown that fewer kids get injured and die.  Simple.  The problem arises, when these efforts conflict with alumni weekends, and drinking in and around sports.  Alumni organizations give crates of money to the university--anti-alcohol efforts often run headlong into fundraising. 

I don't purport to know or advocate for solutions apart from those discussed in the episode of This American Life.  I do think it might not be a bad idea to make this ATL edition required listening for incoming freshman.  Hell, there's plenty of time to screw up your life without killing yourself as a college freshman. 

Cheers!

Why I Hate the Cops-episode 48


The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has this story of Fort Worth, Texas Officer Jesus Cisneros, who drunk and out of his mind, operated an undercover cop car into the PT Cruiser driven by local kidney dialysis technician, Sonia Baker.  Officer Cisneros killed Sonia Baker. The young woman leaves two chlldren and a grieving husband.

Cisneros, has a history.  The Star-Telegram reports, "[i]n 2006, Cisneros accepted a 20-day suspension after an internal investigation determined that, while intoxicated and with a passenger in his private car, he fired a single shot through an open sunroof, civil service records show."

Gaile Owens--Death Row

Gaile Owens killed her husband and Tennessee is preparing to kill her.

Mrs. Owens fate is subject to a riveting analysis by the Tennessean's John Siegenthaler which you should read for yourself at the Tennessean website.  Siegenthaler compares and contrasts the Owens case to the nearly identical case of Mary Winkler..  As you will recall Winkler killed her husband and following 67 days of incarceration has custody of her children following her acquittal for murder.  Owens lost her last court appeal and will be put to death if Tennessee's track record holds. 

Can we add arbitrary and capricious to the death penalty debate, here on Bad Lawyer?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just Because You're Paranoid Doesn't Mean They Don't Have You On a List

Tempe, Arizona citizen Eleanor Holguin is a long-time resident and gadfly critic of Tempe's mayor and police chief.  If reports are true, she might be a little paranoid, for instance she has a security camera outside her house.  Recently her father became ill at the residence and 911 was called for medical assistance.  Police cars showed up along with the ambulance, why?  Turns out she's on a local law enforcement "HAZARD LIST."  What is a hazard list, you might ask?  Apparently it is this Orwellian listing of addresses deemed by the authorities to present a hazard to law enforcement who might find themselves responding to a call at the location.  And, get this...you can't find out why you're on the list.  Huh?

Thing is,this is not just an invention of Tempe, Arizona--this system is in use nationwide.  It is designed to provide safety forces with informtaion about addresses where they might encounter dangerous situations based on--well, who knows?! 

In Mrs. Holguin's case there is no known reason apart from the fact that she is an outspoken critic of local government, particularly the chief of police, according to The Arisona Republic.  To her credit, and the credit of the Tempe police they sat down with her and hashed out the situation and she was removed from the "Hazard List."  Paranoia strikes deep, the question is:  who's paranoid Mrs. Holguin or the cops.  If you're reading this or you've read any of the posts, here at Bad Lawyer, you know where I'm putting my money.

Good Lawyer



John Galligan, Col. US Army, ret. is Major Nidal Hasan's attorney.  Colonel Galligan is an experienced uniform code of military justice (UCMJ) practioner.  I saw his interview with CNN cable hack, Wolf Blitzer live within days of the Fort Hood shootings.  I offer it to you now, because it represents in my mind a good lawyer talking about the highest ideals of the legal profession. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

DC Cop Pulls 9mm at Snowball Fight!



A DC cop caught in the crossfire of a holiday weekend snowball fight got out of his Hummer with eyewitnesses present pulled his gun according to the Washington DC City Paper.  That's a 9mm in the Detective's hand.  The unnamed plain clothes dectective re-holstered the weapon when uniform cops arrived on the scene in response to panicked cell phone calls.

I talked about this very issue this week, these folks view the world as "us versus them," and as I siad, they're armed and dangerous.  Further proof.

The City Paper report is chilling, that this guy didn't shoot and kill someone is miraculous.  As you notice the episode and parts sequencing of my series "I Hate the Cops" is not sequential, because I could post all day, everyday--with instances where your local police, armed by you, to protect you are abusing police power, because they can; and, they will whenever possible get away with it.

NJ Strip Club Busted for Prostitution

The Doctors Obvious, er Police of Manville, New Jersey have concluded a MONTH-LONG investigation into Delilah's Den of Manville, NJ, with the arrest of 27 year old Radka Trotta.  Apparently these detective-genuises at the Manville police were able to obtain an offer of sex in exchange for money (gasp!) NJ.com is reporting that Miss Trotta a dancet at Delilah's Den was arested Tuesday and released on her own recognizance.

Update on he Judge Porteous Impeachment

New Orleans Online features an update on the Thomas Porteous impeachment proceedings before the House of Representatives.  Porteous, a popular federal judge appointed by President Clinton will probably become only the 8th federal judge in US history to be impeached. 

I've previously posted about this Judge, and it looks pretty grim for him.  As you will recall, Porteous is being brought low by his addiction to alcohol and gambling--and all the rotten shit he did to service those addictions.  Tragic, yes.  Especially for the litigants who were screwed by his antics.

Ridiculous Moments in the Law--the Fairfax, Va Prosecution of Indecent Exposure

The local affiliate of Fox News in DC is reporting that Fairfax, Virginia's  Eric Williamson is guilty of indecent exposure for being nude in his own house.  This crazy story is just one of those ridiculous moments when nosy neighbors and municipal authorities with too much time on their hands make a mockery of personal liberty. 



TheAssociated Press'  print report is at the link and that report explores the Court's reasoning.  I would like to see an appellate court opinion on the issue. As annoying as this guy Williamson appears to be, how something like this occurence ends up being charged and prosecuted escapes me.  I don't want to be hyperbolic and compare local authorities to the Taliban, but c'mon folks--don't we pride ourselves on personal liberty.  Mere nudity is not "indecent exposure"--I see more (unintentional?) indecent exposure at the local grocery store--let's not even talk about Wal-Mart!

Welcome to Traffic Court in Indiana!


Marion County, Indiana Superior Court has a policy, if you challenge your traffic ticket in court--Judge William Young will make you paymore,  a lot more!  Yes, folks God forbid you actually expect the local government to treat you justly and actually hear your case.  Let's guess, how often you'll beat a ticket in Judge Young's courtroom?

An Indianapolis attorney Paul K. Ogden is challenging the poicy in what the IndyStar.com calls a "class action" lawsuit.  Get this, another Indianapolis taffic court is reported to be issuing a policy assessing a $2,500 surcharge on tickets for motorists who challenge their tickets.  Oh, right that'll pass constitutional muster. 

Good luck attorney Ogden. 

Source: class action

Exonerated Gynecologsit


According to the London, Daily Mail, Bibi Giles accused her gynecologist Dr. Angus Thompson of intentional giving her two "knee buckling" orgasms.  Mrs. Giles filed a civil claim in Worcester County, England.  The trial on the matter was set to conclude, Thursday when another doctor who had previously treated Mrs. Giles came forward and revealed that he too had been subject to sexual advances by Mrs. Giles.   Dr. Thompson was exonerated, and the wealthy Giles couple agreed to pay 30,000 pounds to Dr. Thomspon for his attorney fees.   

"Perry Mason-like revelations" rarely happen in court, because of "discovery" rules.  In virtually all jurisdictions (locations) rules of civil procedure govern the initiation, service of papers on persons, investigation, and preparation as well as dismissal and judgments in lawsuits.  These local Rules of Civil Procedure are modeled after the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP).  The section of the rules called "discovery" is intended to assist the lawyers and litigants prepare their cases, narrow the issues, and eliminate surprise.  Discovery is not a replacement for investigating the "good faith" basis for a lawsuit which the lawyer "certifies" by his or her signature when they file lawsuits and other pleadings (papers) with the court.  Nonetheless, the rules of discovery permit written questions and answers upon the parties (interrogatories), exchange of documents, computer files, pictures, recordings, videos, and depostions.  The idea is that by conducting discovery the parties can figure out in advance if the case should go to trial, be settled or dismissed.

Discovery presents many opportunities for good lawyers;  and, discovery can be used as an oppressive battering ram by assholes.   But situations like the one involving Mrs. Giles rarely occur, because the design of our system is such that these sorts of revelations which do happen all the time, happen before the matter goes to trial.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Help Me, A Lawyer Just Bit Off My Nose!

What a week, first we have the bat-wielding maniac attorney from West Virginia, then the superlawyer/party boy the pedophile President-elect of the Minnesota Bar Association, now we have the WMCTV-Memphis report of the Memphis lawyer who bit off a portion of a man's nose during a scuffle in a downtown Memphis restaurant.  Attoreny Mark Lambert is admitting that he bit the man's nose off, but denying that he swallowed.  Oh, thank God.  Lambert is claiming self-defense, uh, huh?  Original.  The report:
  

That's a lawsuit!