IN part III of this trip around the Blogosphere I found myself looking at some of the things happening in legal life around "here." ("Here" is Long Island and the five boroughs of NYC)
1. In the News on Long Island; Freaky Driving stories:
A. From Newsday (off twitter feed): A Long Island woman jumps from a moving SUV because the driver didn't want to take her to a bar. He wanted to eat dinner. She died. I heard of dying for a drink, but this one is ridiculous.
B. Also from Newsday Suffolk County Cops taze a 62 year old driver who is experiencing bleeding on the brain. He refused to follow orders of cops, they pull him over, he won't get out of car, they taze him, have to then take him to the hospital and wind up saving his life... Now that is making Lemonade from lemons.
2. The Agitator has this post on the indictment of a NYC Police Officer who attacked a guy on a bike, then arrested the guy for running into him!! The officer probably would have succeeded in getting the bicyclist busted on Felony charges had there not been somebody there with a camera phone taking a movie of the incident. The camera man gave his recording to reporters and the cop is now the first cop to be indicted for "Testilying" in as long as I can remember. Radley of course uses the indictment as a teaching opportunity. He scolds Pennsylvania prosecutors for using an old privacy law to allow cops to prosecute people who take photos of them while they "fail" to do their jobs.
3.NYS Governor David Patterson will be appointing a new Jr. Senator from NY to replace Hillary Clinton if she becomes the new Secy of State. So far we have Caroline Kennedy and Fran "The Nanny" Dresher. I would love to throw my hat in the ring too, as it seems the only qualification you need is that you have no qualification...
Ok you have to be at least Thirty years old.
Anyway, Kennedy is campaigning for the job (Dresher was on Larry King but she has a snowball chance in hell of getting the job unless she runs for it and gets a voice coach) Now here is the thing
In this story Caroline says she is a "Clinton Democrat". Now that does nothing for me but assuming it does something for a democrat, How can she call herself a Clinton Democrat when she supported Barack Obama against Clinton for President??? (Maybe Caroline is more qualified for the US Senate than we think, she clearly already knows doublespeak.)
Then I notice her voting record in general elections is "spotty". That means sometimes she doesn't chose to vote. Now while it is popular to say that it is everyone's duty to vote, I for one do not agree. I refuse to vote when I think that I am voting for the lesser of two evils. That is usually how I feel when I vote for President and sometimes Governor but at least there are lesser offices I might care about. I also do not vote when I don't know anything about the candidates or their opinions. I see nothing wrong with that. (About not voting, not knowing positions is a different post entirely, sometimes that is not my fault.)
Ms. Kennedy-Schlossberg is not unqualified to be a Senator from NY because she has missed votes, nor because she has never held nor run for public office. She is unqualified because she knows nothing of the needs of New Yorkers and we do not need another celebrity senator coming from this state when there are a number of people who do know what they are talking about and what to do about the issues. Unfortunately none of them are even in Congress right now.
Finally there is this interesting choice for US Senator, one that the Governor should really think about, one who has served our state very well over the last 20+ years and who is well aware of the needs of the people of our state. I think Eric Turkewitz of New York Personal Injury Attorney Blog is on to something when he recommends Chief Judge Judith Kaye who retire in 2 weeks to be our new Junior Senator. The only qualm I have with Eric's post is that he compares Ms. Kennedy with Pres. G.W. Bush. I am sorry Eric, there is no comparison. Caroline was an excellent student and a very good child. She has always been thoughtful and concerned about others while she guarded her privacy. Comparing her to Bush is like comparing the Pope to Saddam Hussein. Still I think Judge Kaye would make a great democrat possibility for US Senate.
4. Finally, The New York State Bar Association has a general Practice committee. It has a blog. The blog written by Leonard Sienko has a lot of important stuff on it. You don't have to be a member of the State Bar to read the Blog. So READ THE BLOG!!
Two important posts:
A. NY has finally adopted the Model Rules for Professional Conduct. It goes into effect in March 2009. I will be blogging on that I imagine a lot in the next few months.
B. The IRS is willing to help struggling homeowners refi and sell their homes by allowing Federal Tax liens to take a secondary position to some mortgages. It's a start anyway.
5. Over at the Divorce hotline, Janine Barbera (aka MatMaven) has a post about the way some judges just lord over a court, forgetting the people that use the court are not there to serve them so much as to be served by them. The post is short on facts but that is fair, Janine wants to be able to continue to practice law. Besides if any judge she appeared before in the last couple of days sees himself, then he should CHANGE HIS WAYS!!!
Q: In the meantime here is a quiz... What is the shortest time span known to man??
A: The period of time it takes for a newly minted judge to forget he was ever a practicing lawyer...
Ok that is a generalization, but sadly it is true way too often. Maybe it is something they should address in judge's school.
OK so much for Part III.