Posts Tagged ‘legal’

Counselor’s Tales: Making A Man Cry

[Note:  This file has now been closed.  I wrote this post some time ago and waited until the proper time to post it.]

The instructions from my client to me were clear: make this guy cry.

The guy (we’ll call him “Rush” based on his fondness for Oxycontin) was making a claim for an injury he sustained on the job.  Let’s just say that there were questionable circumstances surrounding his fall from a truck.

One man's gold.

Additionally, Rush’s history as documented by his medical records did not qualify him for automatic induction into the Hall of Greatness Continue reading


What the Supreme Court Really Said

On March 2, headlines like these were splashed across newspapers throughout the country:

“Supreme Court Upholds Westboro Church’s Military Funeral Protests”  — McClatchy Newspapers

“Supreme Court Protects Hateful Speech Near Funeral” — U.P.I.

“Justices Side with Funeral Picketers” — USA Today

With attention-grabbing headlines like that, it is difficult to understand what the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) ruling the in Snyder v. Phelps decision really means.

Plus, it is my view that news coverage in this instance was actually calculated to stir up emotions to gather more readers or viewers. Continue reading

Farewell Atticus

I came upon this obit recently in the Maycomb, Alabama Guardian & Register:

Finch, Atticus — Aged 91.  Attorney in practice for over 50 years.  Although Mr. Finch was known in Maycomb as a general practitioner, he gained notoriety as a criminal defense attorney in the case of People v. Tom Robinson.  He later occasionally took on civil rights clients, championing the causes of the downtrodden and afflicted.  Husband of the late Agnes Gertrude (La Petitmain) Finch.  Mr. Finch is survived by: a daughter, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch (Donald) Knowles; a son, Jeremy Atticus “Jem” (Margaret) Finch; 5 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.  Private cremation.  A service of celebration will be held at the Holy Redeemer Episcopal Church on February 17, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Maycomb County Bar Association Defense Fund.

Poor old Atticus.  It’s hard to say good-bye to him.  He is one of the reasons that many of us considered becoming attorneys.

However, as George Harrison beautifully sang, All Things Must Pass.  Even Atticus.  Even Gregory Peck.  For that matter, even George Harrison. Continue reading

The Future

Where will my kids go to school? What about global warming? And what am I going to make for dinner?

I’ve always loved that word — future.  It’s totally appealing.  In French, l’avenir, and in Italian, l’avvenire, mean “what’s to come.”

Despite my fondness for the word, I admit to occasional bouts of that middle-aged man malady, fear of the future.

Just when everything is going well, you stop and begin to despair about the future.  If you’re like me, you worry about whether your children will have the opportunities that have existed up until now.  I also worry about what type of planet they will inherit.

Of course, fathers have been preoccupied with thoughts like this since we emerged from primordial slime by walking on our fins.

We have difficulty intellectualizing that, although things will certainly be different in the future world, new opportunities and fresh innovations will develop.

I guess it comes down to one of my favorite John Hiatt lyrics, We can live in fear or we can act out of hope.  I try to choose the latter. Continue reading

Counselor’s Tales: 27 Jan 11

Today’s depositions lasted many hours.

Fortunately, there were two lighter moments.


Lawyer:  Sir, the court reporter needs to be able take down all of your responses.   So your answers need to be verbalized in the form of a nice, clear “yes” or “no” where appropriate.  This means no “uh-huhs,” “uh-uhs” or head nods or shakes.  Do you understand?

Witness: Uh-huh.


Lawyer:  And what did you say at the scene right after the accident?

My client (a bus driver):  I said that I never should have taken out that vehicle.

At this point, my other clients (the vehicle fleet supervisor and the owner of the company) and I started to sweat.  We were thinking to ourselves, “What is he going to say now?  Will he testify that the brakes were bad?  Will he state that the bus had severe mechanical problems?

Lawyer:  Why didn’t you want to take out that particular vehicle?

My client:  You see, that vehicle is #13, and I’m superstitious.  I knew something bad was going to happen.

You could hear a collective sigh of relief uttered by three men, followed by a fair amount of giggling.

— The Major

You are the jury

May it please the Court.  Ladies, Gentlemen and other Kay Nou readers,

You’ve read the accusations.  You’ve now seen Running Girl’s defense.  It is up to you to render a verdict in this matter.  I submit that it was Running Girl and Running Girl alone who improperly placed Island Boy’s shoes in Running Girl’s cubby on October 20, 2010. Continue reading

Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court


Judge Robert Russell (Photo by Don Heupel, USA Today)


At last count there were at least 41 veteran treatment courts up and running in the United States of America.  They have all been modeled on Buffalo’s Veterans Treatment Court.  Recently, visitors to the Buffalo’s court have included: VA Secretary Eric Shinseki; Colonel David Sutherland, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; visiting judges and court personnel from many U.S. states; as well as Members of Parliament from the United Kingdom.  Virtually all visitors have concluded that Buffalo’s Veteran Mentor Program is the key component in assuring Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court’s success. Continue reading