Sunday, May 27, 2007

Working on The Weekend.

And right now, all I can hear is Colonel Tigh in my head.

Colonel Tigh
: Yes, we're tired. Yes, there is no relief. Yes, the Cylons keep coming after us time after time after time. And yes, we are still expected to do our jobs!

(Artwork borrowed from Grant Gould)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Do I have FNG tatooed on my forehead?

So the other day, I was at court on a family law case, on a child custody dispute. Yay. Always a lot of fun.

My client, as a bit of background, has restricted access to their child because the opposition inserted in its last "supplemental" filing that they believed that my client was going to harm themself and their kids because of the client's despondency over the break up of the marriage. The court, upon seeing this ordered that my client lose custody of their child and have only supervised visitation for an indefinite period of time.

Did not matter that the client has no history of trying to hurt themself (i.e. commit suicide). Did not matter that statement which the basis for the oppositions believe that my client was a suicide risk came about during one of only 2 marriage counseling sessions which the opposition showed up for... and was explored by the then therapist who concluded that there was no danger of harm to my client or the client's children. Nope, the court simply cut off access (probably fearing an Andrea Yates situation) and said that the client could only see kids through a supervised visitation center.

Why did this court do this? Mostly because my client is not terribly articulate and was effectively ambushed by the other party and their attorney.

So today, the first time I am active in the case, I have the opposing counsel come up to me. Now I know what opposing counsel must have been thinking. It probably went something along the lines of, "I don't know him and since I've been practicing when Blackstone was still lecturing on law he must therefore be a) new and b) stupid."

I'm used to this. Mostly because I am still, comparatively in the world of law, a new face. However, when opposing counsel thinks like this, it leads them to make ludicruous statements. Just like today.

Opposing counsel stated, while we were talking about the case before going back before the judge, "We never had any intention of interfering with your client's custody."

Never had any intention? Let's think about this. Virtually the entire supplemental declaration which was filed before the lasting hearing dealt with one thing: my client's alleged mental instability and likelihood that my client was going to commit suicide or harm the children and then committ suicide. None of it, mind you based on anything that a mental health professional had said, all based on statement alleged, by the petitioner, to have been made by my client, the respondent. And I'm to believe that there was no intent on their part to make a grab for full custody this way? Especially when they neglected to include a return date by which the professionals who would supervise my client's contact with the children would provide a report regarding how my client interacts with their children?

The more I deal with family law practitioners the more I dislike most of them. Sure there are a few goods ones, like my cousin or the minor's counsel, I have dealt with on another matter, but so far the majority of them are starting to make understand why family law lawyers get shot by their clients so often.

Give me a landlord's attorney. At least they don't pretend to be your friend while they try and put the screws your client.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Finally the purpose of the UN discovered...

Apparently it is to negotiate cease fires to prevent governments from rooting out terrorist groups in its midsts. At least, that seems to be what is going in Lebanon.

The Lebanese government, finally coming to the conclusion that allowing terrorist groups to remain within its territory is not a good policy if it wants to actually rebuild itself after years of civil war, began a campaign against one of the terrorist groups making its home within Lebanon's borders.

Yes, it appears to be only one group. But if we discourage them now, then they will go back to not caring. And that means Israel has to do the job. And since it is clear that Lebanon (as well as virtually anyone who is either a) Islamic or b) kowtowing to Islamic interests) does not appreciate Israel's efforts to rid southern Lebanon of terrorist groups, we are back to supporting Lebanon. Yes, it is like having a Bush regulate the oil industry, but baby steps.

In any event, now that Lebanon has gone on the offensive against a terrorist group (in this case Fatah al-Islam, which has been linked with Al Qaeda), the U.N. wants a cease fire. The UN, officially, has control over the camps where the fighting is taking place. Officially, the camps are not supposed to be bases for violence. Of course that does not stop the terrorists from using the camps as bases of operation against or from firing on government troops.

So rather than be part of the solution and allowing the government to clear out the terrorists from the camps, the UN wants a cease fire. A cease fire which can only benefit the terrorists.

Good job UN, showing your true colors once again.

At least in Israel, it looks like the Arabs are starting to run out of rockets. According to Israellycool, there have only been 3 rocket attacks during the latest day of the current bombardment of Israel's civilian population. Could it be because Israel has using its military to strike back at the launching sites or because Israelly stopped targetting those trying to kill its people, like it did when it withdrew from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Southern Lebanon?

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Sderot is a modest-sized town of about 20,000 people. It is near a modest-sized (approximately 8000 students) university. It is also just on the Israeli side of t

And in the last year it has been hit by approximately 3000 rockets.

That does not count the 13 rockets that fell on Sderot yesterday between 9am and 10pm. (Hat tip: Israellycool).

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Belief Will Have To Be Postponed Until Next Year

The Warriors run is over, falling to the Utah Jazz tonight 3 games to 1.

But the last memory of this series, for Bay Area sports fans should be...

Especially after what Benitez did tonight in the Giants-Astros game.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How Do Terrorists Celebrate Holidays?

If you are an Arab terrorist in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, you celebrate Naqba by firing rockets into Israel aimed at civilians. Despite the fact that a few days earlier, your leadership stated that it specifically does not target civilians.

Because of course, Hamas and other Arab militias never would do such a thing.

Of course, it could be argued that the real way to celebrate Naqba is to shoot and kill other Arabs in an unending series of fratricidal gunfights to determine who gets to be in charge the next time there is a chance for a renewed campaign against Israel.

Either way, the PA is deserving of Western aid and support why?

In any event, their "celebrations" have resulted in at least a mother and her child being wounded when one of the rockets fell on their home.

(Hat tip to Israellycool and Elder of Ziyon)

So I am trying to think of something nice to say....

But I really can not for the life of me think of something nice to say about the late Reverend Jerry Falwell. I mean... he was such a contributor to our national life. For instance he:

1) Said that the antichrist was alive and most likely a Jewish male.
2) Blamed the 9/11 attacks on feminists, minorities, and liberals.
3) Who, if not instigating, then inflamed the culture wars by consistently castigating and blaming homosexuals for the ills in society.
4) Founded a university to spread his ideals to others.

About the only thing I can say that is nice is that that he apparently went quickly.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Bar Mitzvah From Hell

Hat tip to Israellycool for the following:

City ordered to pay for bar mitzvah from hell

Pierrefonds resisted apologizing for 4 years after drunk janitor ruined family's party

ALAN HUSTAK, The Gazette

Published: Monday, May 14, 2007
A bungled bar mitzvah reception in Pierrefonds four years ago has cost the city of Montreal more than $27,000 in damages.
Quebec Court awarded West Island pediatrician Peter Neumann moral and legal damages for what Neumann describes as the bar mitzvah from hell.
Neumann paid more than $1,000 to rent a room in the Pierrefonds Cultural Centre on Aug. 31, 2003, to celebrate his grandson's coming of age. Two caterers were hired for the 350 guests.
Things started to go wrong even before the party started when a drunken city janitor stole party ice from an ice machine, padlocked it in a freezer, then tried to sell it back to Neumann.
When guests twice got stuck in the elevators, the janitor, identified in court documents as Alain Blanchette, was of no help. As the evening wore on, the pianist on stage suffered a heart attack, but the custodian was nowhere to be found.
He appeared again just before 10:30 that evening and abruptly ordered the dance band to stop playing even though the room had been rented until 2 a.m. Then he threatened to lock everyone out of the building at midnight.
To add to the discomfort of the event, Blanchette didn't bother to fill the centre's toilet paper dispensers, and Neumann had to supply his own.
When Neumann complained to the city about the behaviour, a city investigator suggested he didn't have a case. After Neumann filed for damages, he learned that someone in the city's legal department advised the city that he didn't have a case because his grandson, Ace (Alexander), wasn't even Jewish.
Two months ago - almost four years after the event, and a month before the lawsuit was to be heard in court - he received an apology from Pierrefonds borough director Jacques Chan. By then, Neumann said, he had no intention of dropping the suit.
"For four years the city took us through hell. No explanations, no apologies, no nothing. I wasn't about to back down," Neumann said.
The court awarded Neumann $22,000 and four years' interest, at five per cent, in damages. In his written judgment, Judge Henri Richard said the allegation filed by the city that the bar mitzvah boy was not Jewish was "manifestly unfounded," and was "an unnecessary source of distress" to the family.
Neumann said he received the cheque this month and will donate it to charity.
"This was always about the principle, never about the money," he said.
The janitor was fired.

I Didn't Vote For Him

But he finally did the right thing when it comes to rejecting a request for clemency/pardon. That's right the Governator has said he will not consider Hilton's request for a pardon. Let this be the end of it.

In other areas, has anyone seen how CNN's Headline News is treating this? They have a countdown clock going and have a host of talking heads discussing ever aspect, including her psychiatric status. I'm guilty of this to an extent, but this madness has to stop. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would think that Paris Hilton is a red herring by the establishment to divert the public's attention much like the bread and circuses of the Roman Empire.

We could be talking about a host of other issues including, but not limited to, whether the Democratic lead congress is taking the right course by holding up funding, the trial of the alleged terrorist going on in Florida, and whether there is cause to be alarmed by recent pronouncements from the Kremlin (and you thought the Cold War was over).

But the best we can do in the U.S., apparently, is to read foreign news outlets since our own are obsessed with Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Lindsey Lohan.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Is this for real?

I had not heard this before I was snooping over at Lowering the Bar today. Apparently there is a drive to petition Governor Schwarzenegger asking that Paris Hilton receive a pardon. So far there are 15,510 signatures.

I had not realized there were that many worshippers at the altar of celebrity who could sign their names.

In case you have not heard, Paris Hilton has been sentenced to 45 days in LA county jail for driving wihtout a license and for violating the terms of her probation. She was on probation for September 7 arrest for reckless driving. When she was pulled over, she blew a .08 on the brethalyzer test. In California, that means she legally drunk while driving.

However, as a first time offender, she received the standard probation terms (each county's DA does it a little differently but they all are very close from what I have seen). Fine, treat her like everyone else in the county.

She then was pulled over two more times while on probation and could not manage to fit in the time of her staff's schedule to get herself registered in the court mandated alcohol program. The first happened on January 27 when the CHP pulled her over and gave her a written warning, which she signed, informing her that her license had been suspended and that she was not supposed to drive. That signed acknowledgement was apparently in her car when she was pulled over on February 11 by the LAPD for speeding and driving without her lights on at night.

So what we have here is someone who got probation. Violated the probation. Racked up some more violations, including reckless driving, driving without a license, and she is supposed to just walk on that? I spent Monday afternoon over in the criminal courts doing some appearance work for someone who was in trial. I saw an awful lot of people getting similar sentences for equivalent violations of their probations.

And we are supposed to hope that the Govenor will pardon her because she

1) Doesn't listen to what the court tells her when she is sentenced.

2) Doesn't listen to the officers who inform her that she is violating the law.

3) Doesn't listen to her attorney who should know what the legal situation is.

And to top it all off, she says that the sentence is unfair. Tell that to the guy I was representing who went back into custody on third-hand hearsay because the judge was pissed at his attorney (not me).

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Crazy Bear Finally Goes Home

Thank goodness... the nightmare is over: Billy Ray Cyrus is voted off Dancing with the Stars.

But can someone please explain to me how Joey and Kymm ended up in the bottom two? Is there a conspiracy (a la Sanjay) to vote out one of the top two couples in favor of some clearly weaker competition?

So Maybe I Need To Re-Think How I Do Things

So I had another of the last minute hurry up and prepare for trial in an unlawful detainer case. The case wawas referred to me via the Bar Association. Although it looked like there was no hope for a deal, I managed to get one.

And for that reason, I have failed.

I did not intend to get a deal for this client. I was prepared to fight it out, even though there was a good chance of losing this case. The deal he ended up taking was not particularly good, considering hsi situation. However, I could not give the client that guarrantee that he needed in order to go all-in on the trial.

Was I scared to try my first case? Yes, absolutely. That, however, was not stopping me from giving the client that assurance. Its just simply the way I was taught to do business.

Normally that way works. I deal with a lot of disturbed people who, if I don't talk them down, will end up doing themselves more harm unless they realize the reality of the situation. In this case, the client had a good graps of the reality of the situation. He had a case, though it was not a bulletproof one.

I think what it comes down to is this: I think I may have allowed the client to choose homeslessness. And a homeless client represents a failure on my part.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Did I Anger the Powers That Be?

I mean really. What did I do? I waited. I followed the rules. I did not start celebrating early.


So why am I now sitting here, looking at my mail and finding the appellate brief in the case that on Wednesday was dismissed? The docket now shows that the appeal has been filed and all is well.

They missed their extension. They did not file their frakking appeal until more than 2 weeks after it was due.

And the Court of Appeals is going to hear this? Un-frakking believable.

This is the equivalent of the bad guy coming back after his ship blows up in a bad movie.

Ok. Time to do the Grant thing after the Wilderness. This has been a bad revelation, but not fatal. In the morning, we move south on Richmond.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Where Is My Secret Service Detail?

It seems like they are just handing them out these days to anyone. The latest recipient: Barak Obama. Last I checked, he was simply a U.S. Senator and candidate for his party's nomination for the presidential election in 2008.

Am I missing something? Is there something so important about this one particular candidate over all the others? In fact, why should any candidate receive secret service protection? This is not some rant, this is a serious question.

This is supposed to be a country based on democratic principals as expressed through a republican form of government. This is not supposed to be monarchic society, there are no lords or ladies, nor are we supposed to be creating an oligarchic society where there is a class of people who are deemed the leaders.

Yes, I suppose there is the argument that we live in a world where there are terrorists, people who walk into dorms and shoot people, and general misanthropes. However, I do not see why we should say that elected leaders are somehow so irreplaceable that we need to protect them to an extent that we are forced to abridge our rights and personal freedoms solely to accommodate their security.

Very few people are irreplaceable. It does not seem that the ones who would count in the irreplaceable (say Einstein for instance...), does not get the secret service protection.

But there is another reason I am not happy with this obsession about security. Now, I am not advocating that we just throw caution to the wind. However, it seems that everything that this country does lately is governed by the dictum that no lives may ever, ever be lost and if there is a loss, then that means failure. For more than a century and a half, people from this country attempted things. Initiatives were embarked upon, and followed through upon, even when there was a loss of life.

Am I advocating a Stalinistic callousness towards the value of human life? Not in the least. But we are, or have already, developing a culture in which the primary value is life itself rather than quality or experience that life represents. In a way, we are becoming like the technologically superior side in the Arthur C. Clarke story "Superiority".

Now if I could find a way to withhold that portion of my taxes that goes to the Secret Service operations that protect people I would.

Warriors Win

All I can say is: Wow!

Congrats. And to those Warrior fans out there, I'm glad your nightmare is over.

To Charles Barkeley.... Yeah, I'm glad your "national nightmare" continues. And you look so warm and cuddly in that Warrior's shirt.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Yes, Its Time For More Dancing With The Stars Talk

Most Underserved Score of the Week: Laila and Max's Samba

I'm sorry, compare this supposedly perfect Samba with say... by Stacy Keibler.

Or Mario's...

I think I understand why they are inflating Laila's scores. She is the only female star left and they want to keep her on. Now, not to slander (or more correctly libel) her dancing, but the dances she did were not worth those scores.

Most Underserved Save of the Week: Billy Ray and Karina. When will the madness end!!!!!! Is this the revenge of American Idol? Now that Sanjay is off, they are working on having the worst in the finals? I would much rather have watches Edyta and John Ratzenberger (who can dance as opposed to Billy Ray watching Karina do all the work.

Please, do Karina a favor, put her out of her misery and stop voting for Billy Ray.

At What Point Does the Bush Administration Realize He Is A Bozo?

I am serious.

If you believe him, he has no recollection of participating in the firing of 8 U.S. Attorneys. Of course, his aides remember that he did. So... either he has no control over the hiring and firing of his top subordinates or he just does not want to own to be doing it.

His handling of the firing has been so bad, that it has caused Republicans to agree with Democrats that he should go. I think I may now need to start using my toes to count the number of things that these two parties have agreed upon during Bush's terms of office.

Now we have Gonzales appointing U.S. Attorneys to districts he never intends the U.S. Attorney to work. What am I talking about? Apparently, after firing other U.S. Attorneys for not being in their territory enough (though some have said it was for other reasons), the U.S. Attorney for the district of Montana has apparently been exempted from this rule. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana is a gentleman by the name of William Mercer.

However, Mercer's primary job is not overseeing prosecutions of federal criminal charges or defending U.S. interests in civil action in his district. Apparently, it is serving as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General. Prior to that he was serving as the Assistant Attorney General for the Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs. This meant it was his job to shepherd legislation through the U.S. Congress.

Now, understandably, the U.S. District Chief Judge Donald W. Molloy wanted to know where the U.S. Attorney was. Our Attorney-General answered him that Mr. Mercer was in compliance with the law. The only thing was, he was going to be in compliance since the law was in the process of being changed. App

But that is neither here nor there really. What I find really interesting is that the Bush Administration, and Gonzalez in particular seems to say one things and do another. If the position of Attorney General is viewed as being so important that you have to have the right people there, then why do you not have the right people there? Is Gonzales saying that there is no one else who can kowtow and prosecute (since it appears that is what is called for to be a U.S. Attorney)?

Of course, since Gonzales is living up to his reputation as Bush's yes-man, what more could we have expected from him?