Sunday, November 30, 2008

Some Fun on the Blogosphere: Kicking Back

Photo courtesy of The Perrysteins (Congratulations on the Baby!!)

This has not been a relaxing start to the Christmas season. Today was the first Sunday of Advent and I am not thinking Christmas Music. I am thinking death, destruction and doom. Hence it is time to change the Music in my head. Here are my favorite pick me up posts from this week.

Speaking of Music this post teaches you how to pimp out Pandora which is a pretty neat music site. Entitled 15 ways to get more out of Pandora. The writer saves a little surprise for you if you read the article to the end.

Staying on lists I thought these two posts were interesting:

A. This one has 8 hints on how to be a better blog writer. I will do my best to follow each of these tips. Hattip

B. This Post gives you a list of things you need to know to map out a successful marketing strategy. I think this one is not meant for guys like me, but it has a few ideas if you are marketing against another firm. I try to stay above that and market with less focus. Maybe I ought to rethink that. Hattip: the Rainmaker Institute

Here is bonus list:

From Matt Homman comes the list of Ten Rules of Legal Technology. Remember this you techie lawyers. There is some sage advice in these rules
Hattip: The Billable hour, which is where these rules actually came from. To the Person or people who write that Paralegal Prof site, learn to attribute. It is one thing to link or even republish, it is a whole other thing to Plagiarize!

Ok, moving right along, Blawgger extraordinaire Robert Ambrogi's Lawsites blog has the Top Ten List of ESSENTIAL PODCASTS FOR LAWYERS. I know that Robert's podcast Lawyer2Lawyer is always a very interesting show and he also acknowledges Monica Bay's Law Tech Now and the ABA Litigation Sections podcast as well. I have an Apple Ipod. Time to start downloading.
Hattip: Robert Ambrogi's Legal Lines

My last list post is my favorite list. It is the Fifty Things You Need To Know How To Do. The post names the 50 things and then links you to websites that explain how to do them. I already know how to do 20 solid and 10 more I am more than familiar with, however I could brush up. See how many you know and see if you think there is anything that should be added to the list. Let me know how you did. Hattip Marc and Angel Hack Life

Updated to reflect Matt Homman and the Non-Billable Hour blog as the true author of the 10 Rules of Legal Technology. Sorry Matt, Thanks for letting me know.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Porn Stars In the Classroom, Hookers Right Next Door, Here I Am Stuck In The Middle With You

This story and this blog post caught my attention. In their own way, each is about the same thing. Unlike the way sex workers are portrayed in the movies or on TV (especially during a "sweeps" month), most of the people in the trade are not really different than the person in the next apartment.

In the news story, a woman who earlier in her life was known to the world as Crystal Gunns, a porn star, was unwittingly hired by a local school to be an aide. She works part-time. She earns less than Six Thousand Dollars a year and works on the play ground and as a lunch aide.

Now though she is not shy about her past, she has also put it behind her. She is 32 now not 22. She may be a mom. I don't think I would have named her for others to deride her, as she has committed no crime but only sought to earn a living. I know had she been in another business the press would not have named her.

Parents want her fired. The Superintendent of her school district wants to fire her too (
Superintendent Charles Ottinger, who is of the same mindset as (Principal)Giordano, says they have been advised against firing the teachers aide, “Not that we don’t want to.”)

It is just that you see, Ms.Gunns would be able to sue the living daylights out of the school district. After all, what has she done wrong? Adult films (as opposed to Pornography) is legal. It is also a way that some men and women make money. Sly Stalone was in an adult film, as was Jackie Chan. There is no crime and thus there is no reason to fire her unless she is inappropriate with the kids. Interestingly, the kids would have not had any idea this is happening at their school but for someone publicizing it.

Now on The Debauched Domestic Diva's blog, Dee blogs about having lived a double life. She was a sexy women cheating on her husband and exploring her sexuality while leaving the chains of a dead marriage, and was his Mrs. Cleaver at home and work. (I'll leave out the Usher lyric). She talks about how she feels now that she can be more of herself. She had recently "come out" to some of her friends and now she feels she has a better relationship with her friends and is more close to them now she can be honest with them about her sexual affairs.

Now this immediately got me thinking about a blog post by Rebbeca Dios that dealt with how she would now handle being part of a community that would not accept her decisions nor recognize her needs. It comes as no shock to me that being outed has disturbed her income and negitively affect her family. She was threatened, and shunned in her small town. She fears for her husband and children. Rebecca is an enormously brave woman who faces illness in her home and her choices of how to deal with those choices straight on.

Then I remembered this post that really began me blogging occasionally of the people I represent that work in the sex trade.

It has been three years since I wrote those words and the fact of the matter is that I was right then and now. What makes me laugh is that these women are the same people who shop with us, and bowl with us, and eat at the table in the restaurant right next to us.

I am representing women now who work in the sex trade who also hold down full time jobs as teachers, nurses and secretaries in big Multi-national companies. These are not women who have left the adult business, but who are still "transitioning." I have represented women who serve on Congressional staffs.

I know one who is actually quiet religious and intends to join an "order" when she returns home (Latin America) but right now she sells herself (she is a stripper who offers "extras" because she is caring for a sick mother and father both of whom require serious surgeries at home.) She is well aware that she is sinning. So is her priest. She is honest with him. She fears being shunned at home, but more, she fears being arrested here and returned to home before she makes enough to pay the doctors and hospital and thus gets her folks thrown into the street. She is a beautiful young woman who is bright and earnest. She just cannot earn the money she earns here at home, and she cannot get a job here without being thrown out. So she "goes" to school and gets decent grades and strips at night and works for tips. She goes to Church on Saturdays and admits her sins, and on Sunday to pray for forgiveness. She is back at her "job" on Tuesday night.

I even represent a police women who has a very active though very exclusive escort life which she takes out of town.

There is a very competent lawyer I know who used to act in "B" movies with a lot of sexual tension and nudity. At first the men she worked around snickered. Maybe some still do, but that is likely before she beats their sorry butts in court.

Not one of the women I have represented or know, if others knew of their other job, would be able to work in their day jobs. (the exeption being the lawyer who interestingly works as a criminal defense attorney) On the other hand, not one of them is not outstanding in their work. I know, I have spoken or met co-workers, bosses and seen grades and met teachers. Sometimes these women come to me through those referral sources.

From all that I can see being somewhat of an outsider, sex work is neither easy nor is it "fun". It is work. Now I did not say it is drudgery. For most of these women it has its good times and bad. The one thing I have not seen is how it negatively affects their ability to be good teachers, nurses, or employees. I do not see why once they give it up, it should stygmatize them and make them unable to serve children food or watch them play.

For whatever reason a person enters the work of sex, their should also be a way to exit the world and join the ranks of those with less "interesting" jobs. When are we as a society going to look at people for who they are and not what they do. Yes I know that part of what we are is what we do, but just because someone doesn't view the world the way we do doesn't disqualify them to live next door.

It is funny but I know of people who have in my opinion done far worse things than agree to have sex with others. I know people who cheat their clients, who lie to the court, who are sworn to secrecy but can't keep a secret for all the tea in Boston. I know people whose ideas of right and wrong include telling their minions that stealing and obfucation are just part of the job. Yet many of these mostly men are lauded by colleagues and hired at quiet a good price. I know men who will beat or rob or rape a sex worker knowing that she cannot go to Police for fear of "outing" herself.

That is the normal way I these clients find me. They are not usually arrested. They are victims of assaults. They come to me because they fear reprisals from authorities. I often tell them they shouldn't but I will admit there have been times when they should and I am glad I or a staff member was there to stop some SOB from refusing to listen to their story or from firing them for their job. Fear of lawsuits and crusading lawyers is a good way to keep certain types(like School Superintendent Ottinger and Principal Giordano above)in check. (I remember Professor Monroe Freedman on the first day of classes telling us that from the minute we entered the room that we were going to be feared by all the other professions in the world, that as lawyers we were the ones they most worried about. He taught me to use the strength of our profession to do good. I try every day.)

What is funny, is that I have had potential clients who have not hired me, because I will not abandon these sex worker clients and won't keep the fact that I take such cases a secret. They feel it makes me something less of a lawyer. If anything, it makes me far better a lawyer, but I am not upset. They can keep their fees and their lawyers who look down on these clients and maybe me too. Everynight I can look at myself and feel like I have really helped someone who if not for my effort would have had no one to fight for them, no one to protect them.

Frankly however, it shouldn't have to come down to the largesse of a few hearty souls like the men and women of NACDL or FALA. People even sex workers, have a right to be protected and to expect that the law will not punish them for seeking to be protected. They should have a right to re-enter "straight" society when the time comes and to be judged on who they are and what they know and not on how they earned a living.

There is a March in Washington on December 17, 2008. The National March for Sex Worker Rights . It is a day when those of us who believe that no one should live a life of fear of attack nor fear of reprisal for being a sex worker will lift our collective voices and call on our leaders to bring an end to this kind of hate.

If you are available, you might want to check this out. You never know, the person you fight for, may be someone you know, and love, but is afraid to tell you about her choices.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Breaking News Black Friday Tragedy : Disturbing Video

OThers bloggers are turning their attention away from India and onto the "Black Friday Tragedy" that killed Jdimytai Damour of Jamaica, Queens.

This is a very disturbing Video (Hattip: Anderson Cooper 360)

Newsday has a story about the kind of guy Jdimytai was. A gentle giant of Haitian roots he grew up on Long Island. He was the kind of guy who loved poetry and his family.

Money quote from his distraught father: "I don't know what happened to him. He's gone. Only God knows what happened to him," said his father, Ogera Charles.

Savages At The Gates: Walmart Shoppers Stomp Store Security Guard To Death On Long Island

"They kept shopping. It's not right," a hysterical co worker said. "They're savages."

Jdimytai Damour of Jamaica, Queens a 34 year old man was stomped to death as alleged shoppers stormed into a Walmart store to get at early morning "Black Friday" sales.

The facts are easy. There is so much blame to go around it is hard to say just who is really responsible. In blamiing Walmart we in fact fail to recognize that there is a personal responsibility that is just missing from the people who went to the store this morning.

Kmart had people at a frenzy, they had too few security guards and they had no security lines. They also failed to understand how people can get together become such fools.

People lined up outside decided they had waited long enough for the store to open at five in the morning so the people in the back pushed and the others pushed and the door came off the hinge and a sea of flesh ran over the guy who was supposed to stop them and killed him. Dead, a human life exstinguished so some neaderthal could get at a video game 2 minutes sooner.

As workers and police asked the throng to step out of the store now crime scene, they just kept on shopping. THEY KEPT SHOPPING!!! A detective on the scene called the scene "Complete Chaos".

The Walmart press flack said the usual horse hockey that hacks have to say. From down in Arkansas he said:

"The safety and security of our customers and associates are our top priority." Yeah I bet. It is there right after saving the bonus, getting more money to put fuel in the company jet and wondering who will win the SEC Football championship.

Oh yeah, back to blame:

Then you have the stompers. They just kept stomping on the guy. I am told they couldn't have stopped walking because you had people pushing from behind and they had to flow into the store or be stomped themsleves. That makes sense. Too bad I wasn't there with my friends George and Pete. 1100 lbs of bodies and muscle will put a stop to any crowd. IN ITS TRACKS. Which leads me back to Kmart. Where the hell were the baracades? The Jersey Blocks? I know that this kids death is probably going to go down to a Worker's Comp. claim, but they were so, so ridiculously unready that it ought to rise to the type of gross negligence that allows it to go to civil suit.

Then you have the Pushers. The true jackasses in the back of the line who just had to get in. I bet they thought it was hysterical. Push on in and get those sales. It's always funny until it gets someone gets "KILLED"!! This is why you teach children to wait their turns. This is why you have to tell kids don't run in the hall. This is why you have to disipline kids who don't learn. Because when they become adults, they are still untrained juveniles.

Maybe every person who walks into that, or any tri-state area Walmart should have to pay an entrance fee of a buck to give to the estate of Jdimytai Damour before they are allowed to get at those amazing sales.

I have an idea. If I were this family's lawyer I would look at those Security tapes and I would match up the sales receipts with the pictures on the tapes. I would then bring a lawsuit against everyone who I could match up. Even if I don't get them all, just a few would likely stop this stupid behavior or at least put a little justice into the situation. Let them find the other idiots that killed a man today because they never learned or at least couldn't practice simple civil behavior.

Nassau DWI Arrests Spike on Thanksgiving Eve: Some Thoughts From That Lawyer Dude

Nassau County Police announced that their DWI arrests spiked by 300 percent. Nassau Police usually average about 10 arrests a night however on November 25th police arrested 35 people in Nassau County alone. Suffolk County numbers are not available.

Nassau Police are targeting bars and restaurants in Nassau over the Thanksgiving Holiday season. They have increased patrols and are "sitting" on bars waiting for patrons to stop.

Attorneys in Nassau have told me, (and I have heard from prospective clients) that Nassau police are stopping cars as they leave these bars and restaurants frequented by students. After the stop, if they do not suspect a DWI they let the drivers go.

What is the probable cause for these other stops?? While it may be important to keep drunk drivers off the road, it should not be done at the cost of liberty for those that are not drunk. It is often said that DWI appears to be an exception to the US Constitution for police and prosecutors.

If you are stopped for at either a DWI Checkpoint or by a police officer "sitting" on a bar or restaurant whether you have been drinking or not, I tell my clients:

1. Be polite. Sit in your car and roll down your window. Allow the officer to speak and if asked be ready to produce your License and Registration quickly. Police take fumbling as a sign of intoxication.

2. If asked if you have been drinking, and if you have been drinking, ask if you are under arrest. If the answer is no, then ask if you may leave. If the answer is no then refuse to answer the "have you been drinking" question without first speaking to a lawyer. (Invoking your 6th amendment right to counsel.)Whatever you do, DO NOT SAY HOW MUCH YOU HAVE BEEN DRINKING. Remember it is not illegal to drink and drive (unless you are under 21 years old). It is however illegal to drink and drive drunk. DO not offer to give any amount of drinks. It will not help and always ALWAYS hurts.

3. If asked to get out of the vehicle to perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST), again ask if you are under arrest. If the answer is no, then politely tell the officer you do not want to participate in those tests. If you are told that the officer is conducting an investigation, you should again tell the officer you do not wish to participate in these tests as a violation of your 5th amendment right to remain silent.

4. If you do take the SFST listen to the instructions carefully. An SFST is a series of tests. So even if you do well on one or two you can still "fail" the test. Also Remember: You will fail the test even if you do everything the officer said to do, if you do not do it exactly as he says to do it. REMEMBER, YOU ARE NOT ONLY BEING JUDGED ON WHAT YOU DO, BUT ON HOW YOU DO IT. THEY WILL FAIL YOU FOR THINGS THEY DO NOT TELL YOU ABOUT.

For example, they will fail you if you use your arms to steady yourself even though they do not tell you that. They will fail you if you do anything they do not tell you specifically that you can do. In other words, even though they seem to be testing your ability to do certain tasks, they are really testing your ability to do ONLY the task the way they want you to do it. Any change in the way they tell or show you to do the test will result in your failing the test.

5. If asked to follow a pen or pencil or light, refuse the test under your fifth amendment right. You are not required to provide evidence against yourself. You do not have to participate in the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)exam. It is not an accurate test. Do not take the test as there is no record of how you did on it except for the police officer's recollection. This is exceptionally unfair. Do not take this test.

6. If arrested or detained, you do not have a right to refuse the actual breath test. However, do not take a portable breath test. It is so notoriously inaccurate that it is not allowed as evidence at a trial. IT IS Allowed in during a pre-trial hearing or even a bail hearing. It is better to refuse the Portable test (which is a hand held device not connected to a bigger machine)and take the actual Intoxylizer or Breathylizer test.

7. If you are in a car accident and THINK you will fail the test, . I recommend to my clients that they DO NOT TAKE IT. Yes you will not have a license for 1 year, and yes you will not get a plea offer in Nassau or Suffolk, but, if you are in an accident you will not get an offer anyway and you have a better chance of winning at trial if you do not have a Blood Alcohol Content (B.A.C.) reading above the limit which is .08 If you have been drinking and are in an accident and do not want to have a criminal record, plan on going to trial. Yes it is costly, so is having a criminal record and so is being convicted of a driving arrest. Going to trial is in the long run less expensive. You have a good chance of winning your case if you go to trial despite what the media and the "Mothers" (MADD) say.

IF you want to increase your knowledge of your BAC log on here

8. Finally, the faster you get a lawyer the better. Once you are arrested, the police will take your cellphone from you so having a lawyers number in your phone will not help. Either memorize the number or put the number in your wallet or purse. (I advise my clients to tattoo it to their feet.)JOKE!! (kinda)

9. If you do not have a lawyer and are arrested in NYC (you know, Manhattan, Booklyn, Queens Bronx or Staten Island) or on Long Island
(Nassau or Suffolk Counties) or even anywhere else in the state of New York, you are welcome to call me at 516-741-3400 I am at 180 Froehlich Farm Blvd Woodbury NY 11797 and this paragraph is a legal Advertisement.

You can follow my daily tweets on Twitter by logging into (no spaces). If you don't know what I am talking about, Find out about twitter.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving: Why I am Thankful

Image originally by Norman Rockwell.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends.
Things I am Thankful for:

My Family. It is especially good to have my Son Salvatore home from college. I miss him a lot when he is gone. I wish he was staying longer. The house has more music when he is home.

My clients, so many of whom have tremendous problems, but they trust in me to make it better. They are also an amazing group of people who though they have their own problems never fail to ask after me and my family. I really appreciate their loyalty to me.

I am thankful for my colleagues. Especially my two associates, Amy Hsu and Noel Munier. Amy is leaving me to go forward in her career. She is joining Acting Supreme Court Justice Tory Modica in Queens as his Principal Law Clerk. It is a tremendous opportunity for her. Amy has been an outstanding associate and is a part of our family now. I am going to miss her like one misses a limb, but I am happy that she will be going to a place that is the next step in what I am sure is going to be an outstanding career. Good luck.

I am thankful for my friends. There are so many that come through for me in so many ways. I could never have the practice I have and the life I lead were it not for the unselfishness of these folks. I especially want to give Thanks for Doug Reda who is always there to help me in a pinch. Sometimes Doug will run my practice and handle more of my work than his own. He asks nothing in return. Our friendship goes back 25+ years and I cannot thank him enough. Everyone should have a person like Douglas Reda in their lives. This is a man for whom God saves a special place in Heaven.

I am thankful for the Doctors who care for my wife. They are a special breed of people who are always so concerned for her well being. They are truly professionals in every sense of that word. I will pray for their continued success in finding a cure to Scleroderma.

I am thankful to be a citizen in the greatest Country in the world. A place where there is always a potential for success even when times seem tough. I truly believe that great things lie ahead for our nation. I promise to continue to work toward us having a better nation. I am hopeful that our new president-elect will have a tremendous presidency and I am thankful for the sacrifice and service of our present President George W. Bush, Although I disagreed with him on so many points, If men and women do not step up to do this job, our nation will fail to be the great beacon of light that it is. The thanks I give for both of these men, should be shared by those that worked with them and their families.

Finally I am thankful for all of my readers. I enjoy your feedback and your twitter posts and your blogs too. Please all have a very happy Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Women Wins Blind Date, Sues Radio Station: Win A Date,. Get Raped, Sue!

A That Lawyer Dude Quick hit.

ABA Journal News Now Blog has a story about a woman who entered a radio station contest to win a date with a guy who is a "great guy but too busy to find love". Yeah great guy my foot. He was twice convicted of Breaking an Order of Protection and he sexually abused the woman in the case at bar. He pled guilty to Sexual assault 1*. A gem of a guy.

Of course one has to ask themselves, how stupid can you be to agree to meet a total stranger in their home for pizza when he is supposed to be taking you on a paid date??? In fact who the heck answers these contests anyway?? Instead of winning "The Bachelor" sounds like she is going to be crowned "World's Biggest Loser".

Banned in Simpleville: Bye Scottie Boy, It's Been Ok To Know You.

Seems that I have struck a nerve with one of the "Bloggers" who attacked me yesterday. I have been refused the right to reply under my blog name on his blog and I am now subject to editing of my posts if he feels I am "marketing myself." I guess that means if he feels that I am driving readership to That Lawyer Dude by leaving messages on his site, he will ban it and label it as "Marketing" (I wish I could add the sinister music you hear in the movies when someone says something evil on a soap opera).

Now I should point out that this blog pretty much always averages about 60 readers a day. As I was mentioned (attacked?) on three blogs yesterday and I had 77 readers (and today 90) I guess he gets credit for sending about 6-10 new people to my blog. I doubt it was because of my replies to his attack so much as it was his timed attack on me with other bloggers. Frankly he can keep his 10, I get more hits from people searching for "Hanna Montana Nude"...

Scottie writes:
The many who disagree with me, I truly don't care. This is my belief, and this is my blog. To those who say that if I won't let you play the game your way, you won't come here anymore, I can only say goodbye.

Well let's see how you play this game:

1.You conspired with three other bloggers to attack me in flame posts;
2.You mischaracterized my original post;
3.Insulted me in your posts and comments;
4.Then you changed my comments and took off the links to my blog, and;
5.Then you have the nerve to add a stupid editor's note to my mostly friendly response to your post which scolds me?? Not to mention calling a friend who agreed with me SCUM???

WOW Scott you can imagine how sorry I must be to be uninvited to reply to your "blog".

Here is the truth. Your blog is a LAWYER ADVERTISEMENT. Delude yourself all you like but unlike That Lawyer Dude, your blog links to your website. You tell people that if they want your "advice" they have to pay you (sounds like an ask for work to me but I'll let you define your own motives, something you begrudge me)and you(like I) announce your posts on
Oh yeah, That Lawyer Dude is also honest with its readers, I admit this blog can be construed to be an advertisement.

Blogging is a conversation. You treat it as a one way street. You have so little concern for your readers that you feel no obligation to them to allow them to express themselves in a way that you disapprove of on your blog. ( and no I am not talking about Spam mail or vulgar language whatever that is...)
Scott wrote:
"I reject the notion that because (my blog) has developed a following I somehow owe it to others to provide them with an opportunity to post their thoughts here as well. I do not."
Clearly you don't understand the idea of blogging any more than you understand the difference between advertising and marketing. (B/t/w/ since you hate self promotion so much, I took the liberty of taking the name of your blog out of this quote.)

Well my Simple friend you said it best when you wrote:
"For those of you who think I'm overbearing, or just plain wrong about this, no one forces you to come here. This is not fodder for debate or discussion, at least not here, so please do not tell me what you think. This is how I intend to run my home, so your choices are limited to accepting it or going elsewhere."

So long Scott...

Shameless plug #1. You can follow me on Twitter by going to
Shameless plug #2. I will be speaking about Discovery and Motion Practice in a Criminal Case before the NYS Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section for their wonderful "Bridge the Gap" session at the Annual Mtg of the New York State Bar Association Meeting on January 29, 2009 at 9:30am. Don't worry, I will plug it again in the future.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Public Defenders, If You Don't Want Clients To Think They Get What They Pay For, Give Them Value: That Lawyer Dude responds to S.Greenfield and Gideon

All day there has been a lively discussion on blogs and on Twitter between myself, Scott Greenfield over at "Simple Justice" and Gideon's Trumpet over at "a public defender."*

What started this discussion was a combination of this post and the comments by the anti-lawyer marketing Mr. Greenfield and then my reply to this post on Accident Prone by Miriam. My sarcastic response to Miriam was then challenged simultaneously by Gideon and by Scott. Well it was almost simultaneous, Gideon got off to a late start.

So if you cared enough to follow all of this, and are still interested, this post is my response.

Miram in her original post (which was brought to my attention through Twitter about 3 weeks after she wrote it) was upset because a client came to her and told her that another lawyer (allegedly a paid or private lawyer) told him w/o knowing any facts that he (the pvt lawyer) could get him a misdemeanor. Now her client is giving her a hard time.

Her response was to scold all Private Counsel and tell us not to tell clients what we could do for her client if we are not going to take the case. I have some sympathy for her plight. After all I am a former Legal Aid Lawyer and I also still take a few Assigned counsel cases each year. On the other hand, it is not all lawyers who put down public lawyers and it is not even always private counsel's fault. I mean unless the lawyer is in the hallways offering unsolicited advice, and unless he is wrong about it, the client must have come to him and asked why his "League Aid" or "P.D." was giving his case such a short shrift. Not only did Miriam paint all of us non-public lawyers with the same broad brush, but she absolutely took no personal responsibility for her client's feelings.

I responded to her sarcastic open letter in kind. I pointed out that Private lawyers often have more experience with the law and with the Judges and Prosecutors than do Public lawyers. I also pointed out that we often engender more trust/value because the client is gets a value if he hires the right lawyer. For example, many, maybe most, public lawyers do not have after hour services. Most paid lawyers do. Many Public Defenders don't work on court holidays but most private lawyers do. Many PD's do not give cell phone numbers but most paid lawyers do.

In other words, I pointed out to Miriam and others that there is a value that paid lawyers provide a client. How many times does a person hear "You get what you pay for." In the context of law, clients who have public provided attorneys feel that they must not be getting very much. That is untrue. They feel that these public lawyers do not care, also not true. They feel like one of a herd of clients and that the free attorney doesn't have time for them. Sometimes true, but sometimes, that is an appearance. (see Miriam's response to my reply on her site).

Why does the client who is getting a free lawyer think that the lawyer he has is not on his side?

Well let's look at the reasons. The Client comes into the arrangement already thinking the worse about your ability. How many times are you able to spend more than a few minutes with the client? Do you work to meet the clients after hours? Do you stay more than three hours after the day is done? Do you have weekly after hours? How do you expect to engender trust in a person you barely know or only know as a file?

Do you or your office take the time to give the client a folder for his things? Do you copy him on all correspondence? Do you give him a chart or a letter explaining the system? How can a client think you know the system if you don't show him you know it? Is he supposed to go with sheer faith. When one is looking at a five year sentence that is asking an awful lot of faith.

How do you and the client best communicate? If he hasn't a computer, he cannot send you e-mail. If he doesn't have a cellphone, he cannot text you. Do you ask your clients if there is a relative? Someone else you can speak to? No? Do you not think that the client might be so scared he needs to have another person available to listen and help him make decisions? If you won't take the time to speak to his family, then why should he believe you care about him anywhere near as much as I do?

Have you gone with a client the first time you send him to Alcoholic's Anonymous meetings? The first time can be scary. Will the client think you are shoving him off to a meeting rather than help him with the problem yourself? Will he think that you are too busy to work with him so the meeting is an easy way for you to rid him of your schedule?

How active in the Bar are you? Do you write articles? Do you give lectures? Many PDs are fond of saying they have the most experience in the courthouse defending cases. That may be if sheer numbers are going to be our measure. If you are not however investing in your profession, then how does the client know if you are respected by your peers and the courts? How does the client know if you are as good as you say you are and not just robotically processing cases to plea?

I guess what I am saying is that public lawyers need to see what they did or didn't do that made her client doubt her. Too often Legal Aid lawyers think that the fact that they are a free lawyers is enough for the client to think them inferior. I do not agree. Even though they are skeptical of you, your clients want and need to believe in you. You however have to earn that belief.

One thing I will agree with, is that lawyers have no right to put down a Public lawyer's ability anonymously. On the few cases where I am approached by a Legal Aid Society client on a case, I obtain their permission to conference the case with their present counsel. On the other hand, do not expect me to back you up if your work has been less than stellar. Usually, thank goodness, the Legal Aid member has done a good job on the case, but hasn't built a relationship with the client. In my call I ask about that too, and I try to help them with that by both explaining the lawyer's position and by acknowledging their needs as well. That is not only good practice, but it is also good marketing. Which leads me to my next issue.

My friends Gideon and Scott think that when I write things like this I am marketing myself. That my interest in feeding my family and paying my staff "makes me dirty". Scott especially is of the opinion that marketing lawyers do a disservice to the profession. I heartily disagree. I think I am a very good lawyer. I also refer cases to lawyers I think are very good. I do not think most criminal clients have a clue as to who to ask for a recommendation nor what they need from the lawyer. If all I have is a website, that is no better than an ad. I am not teaching them anything about myself. On the other hand, my blogging and my tweeting and my question answering, all go to educate the client as to not only what I am writing about but also as to who I am. I am not saying "Hire Me I am good for you." I am saying "read what I write and see if that is what you want and if you will be comfortable with me." That is marketing, but is in my opinion talent related and legitimate. I feel I have a duty to help potential clients find a good lawyer.I am that person, and if I am not, I probably know who is.

I think Scott is deluding himself into believing that he is not marketing his talents by writing a blog. He says that since he is not trying to get clients from the blog, he isn't guilty of marketing. That marketing is but a by product of his more altruistic attempts to educate the masses.

Scott, if that is the case, Shut down the blog and write anonymously. Hell you know people are going to want to hire you. You have a disclaimer on the page that clearly says "
Nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice. This is free. Legal advice you have to pay for."
You then provide two links to your website one that links to a page where highlighted is the comment
"If your goal is to achieve the best possible outcome, you need a lawyer who can get the job done.
" That page lists your accomplishments including your rating and your Martindale rating. (Both very impressive btw)

Now Scott, Gideon, if I were marketing, wouldn't I link my blog to my Homepage? Nothing on the front of my blog links you directly to my website. Further, even if you click onto my name when I leave comments, it links you to a page on my site that links to my blogs and does not mention one of my accomplishments (Stop snickering I have one or two!)If I were using the post at Accident Prone or this post only to market, I am doing a lousy job of it.

No I wrote the post to help Miriam and other PDs to see that advice is not all that they are good for. That clients value a relationship and knowledge and clout. That your poor clients and my wealthy ones both want a value to the representation given them. Just because your client cannot afford me, does not mean he doesn't want that experience. I wrote "harshly" because that is how I felt she wrote her original post. I am sure she can take as good as she gives. Nice of you guys to come to her defense by completely misstating the motive of my reply though.

Funny but I am not seeking, nor are many lawyers I know seeking legal aid clients. If they can afford me, they shouldn't have Legal Aid to begin with.

By the way, I am far from perfect. I don't always provide the value that I have described. I try to however, on every case. At least I acknowledge what the value is. Miriam's original open letter didn't seem to me to even see that maybe she needed to engender a more supportive relationship with her client. I also took her letter to be offensive to hard working Private lawyers. Do not "paint" me with a broad brush if you don't want to be "Spackled" right back.
After all, I am from New York.

* This column is not about twitter or blogging, but it is interesting to note how we three bloggers have used both the blogs and Twitter to enhance the conversation. IF you want to read some of the back story you can follow Scott Greenfield at and Gideon at Of course you can follow me at Get on Twitter and follow the discussions.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

That Lawyer Dude Talks Tech,Law Office Management and Internet Marketing: Some Favorite Posts in the Blawgosphere

My friends and families think I am so tech savvy because I blog, tweet, and have done a few podcasts. I market through, The Virtual Loop, The Attorney Store and I use the computer for educational reasons. Some even think it is wild that I have 2 E-Mail Accounts. I have news for you all, I am a tech idiot. That is why I follow Blogs by Dennis Kennedy, and Tom Mighell among others.

I do however read tech blogs and blogs about the Internet, and sometimes even understand them. Here are my favorite posts from this last week:

1.I just received the gift of a great new computer from my mom(Thanks Mom.) One of the things that used to drive me nuts with my old one however, was how slow it would become over time. This post will help you to keep your computer from giving up all its memory to disk fragmentation and other useless waste of space.

2. Now as for taking up space on your computer... This post teaches you how to backup your Gmail account using a free app called aptly enough Gmail Backup. How convenient. I would suggest that rather than take up a lot of memory on your computer's hard drive you move all this stuff to a thumb drive. It is inexpensive and you can store it offsite... like in your pocket.

3. These three posts don't really qualify as techie per se, but I think they belong in this post so here they are;

a.) 100 blogs That Make You Smarter... ok they forgot That Lawyer Dude but the others are pretty good.

b) Speaking of learning stuff, Our friend Ernie the Attorney has another blog called PDF for Lawyers. In this post he speaks about production of Electronic Discovery (specifically e-mail). It is an important short little post. I found the decision interesting because the ability to search material has become so prevalent that paper is no longer considered a viable medium.

c.) And finally a review of which claims to surf videos and makes it easier to find video on sites like etc. Seems the idea is good, but not that reliable. You can find the review here courtesy of the Wall Street

4.Understanding how to get your blog or website a lot of hits and learning to drive traffic to that site so that you can get potential clients to your site means understanding SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Here are a couple of posts that take the mystery out of the initials:

a).One of my Favorite Bloggers is Carolyn Elefant. Her post at Nolo's Legal Marketing Blog is about do it yourself Search Engine Optimization. Carolyn makes it seem easy to get better Google ranks ethically and without costing yourself thousands of dollars. You can follow Carolyn on Twitter by clicking

b.) Mike Fruchter has a post over at that has a few ideas not covered in Carolyn's piece. You can follow Mike at By the way, Louis Gray is a wonderful website if you want to stay on top of and ahead of what is happening on the Internet.

5.Speaking of, Twitter is one of my favorite tools and occasionally a pleasant diversion/distraction. It has been driving readers to this blog (thanks and welcome) and it has provided quick information and some real friends. If you don't know what Twitter is, go to and find out. It is really a lot more than what you think it is from watching the videocast. It is a way to connect, share information and let others know what interesting (and not so interesting things) you are doing. Yes, tweeters (people who use Twitter) want to know all about you, so keep it interesting.

Here are a few blog posts to make the whole experience more interesting.

a.)The beautiful and intelligent Sarah Evans has these two self-explanatory posts on how be a useful tweeter that others want to follow. These are the Do's and these are the Don'ts. pay attention, this is good advice and you will soon find out that you too can have a great Twitter following. That following will turn into readers and sooner or later many will become people who help your career.
Follow Sarah Evans at

b.) As you build your following, you can drive traffic to your blog and to your website. "Pro Blogger" Darren Rowse uses this post to teach you how to use Twitter to turn your website Go Viral.
Follow Problogger at

c.)This post will help you find Government tweeters. I think you can use it to find people to follow who will educate and inform you.
Here is their mission statement:

We want the GovTwit directory (below) to include all facets of government: state and local, federal, contractors, reporters, academics and more. The list below will be a living list, and we hope to keep it updated via our own research, as well as your submissions.

To start, we have included only Twitter IDs and links to official government blogs and URLs noted in Twitter bios

And that is my Tour of Tech posts for now. Let me know if you found this helpful and I may make it a regular part of this blog, either monthly or weekly. Let me have your input.

Speaking of following people on Twitter...You can follow
Tom Mighell at You can follow Dennis Kennedy at, you can follow Ernie (The Attorney)Svenson at And...

You can follow me on Twitter by going to

Friday, November 21, 2008


UpDate: AG Mukasky was released from the hospital. According to news report he did not have a stroke, but no diagnosis was given for what happened to him. Although I sometimes criticize the Justice Department I am glad the judge is doing better and hope he continues to improve.

At 10:30 EST while giving a speech to the Washington DC chapter of the Federalist Society, USAG Michael Mukasey began to fall into his podium and collapsed. Observers said he suffered what appeared to be a stroke. Mukasey's security detail stopped him from falling to the ground but it was clear he was very ill. Mukasey was speaking about the Bush legal legacy and the judges that would remain on the bench appointed by the President after Bush leaves office.

Mukasey himself was a judge when Bush tapped him for the job of US Attorney General after prior AG Alberto Gonzales left the job amid harges of corruption in the US Attorney firings. Mukasey was credited with stablizing the Justice Dept after Gonzales left office.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

People v. Jason Z. A Win For That Lawyer Dude: False Confessions Are More Frequent Than We Want To Admit

I achieved another big win for a client in Queens! This one was in the Grand Jury. No true bill equals not enough evidence for the Grand Jury to believe that my client committed a crime. In other words, my client was falsely arrested and held in jail for quite sometime.
Why? Because Queens Burglary Detectives coerced a false confession from him.

Here is what happened. My client is home "chillin'" and his buddy asks if he can drive him and his friend to the friend's girlfriend's house. He lets the kid drive the car since he knows where they are going. When they arrive, the second kid asks if my client will stay a second while he goes to see if anyone is home. Needless to say, these two "friends" are really trying to burglarize the home. They fail. They come back to the car and are acting strange. When Jason asks what is wrong, they tell him of their real intent. They are in a gang and they are pulling burglaries. My client tells them he is not interested in helping them and an argument ensues. Finally the second friend pulls a revolver from his waistband and tells my client he knows where my clients wife (who is pregnant) lives. The gunman tells my client to drive them somewhere and then to look out for them. He will give my client Five hundred. If the client says no, he will give him a bullet to the head. My client drives to where he is told. He hands over the keys and goes to the corner where he is to look out. He never stops however. He keeps walking to the Boulevard, catches a cab and goes home.

Should he have called the police, probably. Was he afraid of what might happen if he didn't tell? Absolutely. Like I said he is a kid, 20 years old, is married to his HS girlfriend and is expecting a child. He was holding down two jobs and going to college and pulling good grades. Never in trouble before, and scared.

Later that day, when his friend doesn't show up for the car, he starts to worry about where it is. He calls the friend but no answer. He calls his cousin and the cousin tells him that he will pick up Jason's wife from work and will get the key and go with her to pick up the car. Why would his cousin do this? He feels responsible because he introduced the two idiots who are gang-banging to Jason.

When they go to get the car, Police, staking out the car, arrest the cousin and my clients wife. They later also arrest my client's dad. My client gets a call to go to the Precinct and tell them what happened or they will keep the other three in jail. My client's mom calls a lawyer (sadly not me) and he advises the client to go down and not to speak to police. Right!! He didn't go with him to the precinct to protect the client's rights. He didn't call the cops to tell them not to question the client. He didn't want to get really involved until he got paid. I understand, but I do not agree. When I get a call like this, I tell the client I will meet him at the office and go with him to the precinct or I get him a lawyer who will be willing to go to the precinct and work out a payment plan with the client. I never advise anyone but a cop to go to a police station without a lawyer ever!!

My client arrives and he goes to the detective squad where he sees his pregnant wife crying. Cops tell him that if he doesn't tell them what happened, they will hold his wife and put her in Riker's to have the baby. He tells them what happened. That won't do. You will confess or she and your elderly father go no where. She has the baby in the jail. On the Floor. She will be in general pop (general population) where other gang girls will try to kick the baby out of her stomach as a gang initiation. My client has no idea that they are lying through their teeth, that they don't have a leg to stand on to hold his wife or his dad. He has no idea that there is a medical facility to help with pregnant women prisoners. His wife is hysterical she doesn't want to have her baby in jail, she doesn't want them to take her baby away from her. She did nothing and was at work all day (a fact that didn't seem to matter to the police) Jason is nothing if not an honorable kid. He signed the confession they dictated so his wife would be allowed to go.

Jason's lawyer (the one that let him go down to speak to the police alone)wanted Jason to plead guilty and go to jail for 8 years. Eight birthdays for his newborn missed, eight years that will dash any chance for him or his family to have a decent life. He decided to fire that fellow and he hired me. I heard the story and immediately told Jason that he had to go into the Grand Jury and tell them what happened. He did. The result was a "No True Bill." That means there wasn't enough proof to give the police cause to arrest my client.

How can this happen?? It happens because the police believe that a confession will end the issue. Juries always believe these stories and lawyers don't believe in their clients so the case will get pled out and no one will be the wiser. After all they are the police, they are always right no? NO NO NO.

One reason false confessions happen is because the police are allowed by the courts to lie. They are allowed to lie to defense lawyers, they are allowed to lie to defendants, and ultimately they lie to the court. It is an unspoken part of the game called testilying. Judges over look those lies in hearings and lawyers believe that if the confession is not knocked out in a hearing, it is going to hang the defendant at trial.

Another reason is that the police use internally coercive investigatory and interrogation techniques. The latest use of such subtly coercive techniques is in the interview of an eight year old who is accused of killing his father and father's friend. Look at how they investigators continue to play on the child's feelings. How they say "now is the time where we promise to be honest with each other... except they are anything but honest. They lie and tell the child about witnesses who will say something different from the child. They ask him the same questions over and over until he gives them the answers they want then they move on, a way of getting the accused to know how to get their approval. I don't know if the kid killed his father or not, I do know that if I was on the jury I wouldn't rely on the "confession" in that case to convict the child, and I wouldn't put much belief into cops that lied to a suspect and now claim to be telling me the truth.

Hattip to Gideon over at A Public Defender Blog

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Simple Justice May Be Taking A Too Simple Approach To Lawyer Marketing: That Lawyer Dude Responds.

Scott Greenfield is the author of Simple Justice. His is a NY Criminal Law blog. Sometimes he comments about other things. I love the blog and I urge my readers to look at it. Scott writes well and posts often.

With that said, however I take umbrage. Scott seems to think that all lawyers do on the Internet is market themselves and that doing so makes us no more than "used car salesmen" (actually he thinks us lower than used car salesmen.) I do not agree. Not only do I think it is our right to market ourselves but I feel it is a duty. Here is my response to Scott's post.

I doubt anybody who blogs for meaning does so only for the work, or only for the clients. For me, my blog and my tweets and my meetings, and my answering questions on Avvo and Lawguru and my time spent on Listserves and bulletin boards and writing articles and speaking at CLEs are all opportunities to teach others about something I love doing...practicing law.

I also like to post about my victories and good ideas (the few I have)because what we do is difficult and often demoralizing and reading about someones win or good idea is a way to encourage others to keep at it.

That said, I would not be able to do all of this other work without the fact that doing this stuff is a way to get clients.

There was never a time when lawyers didn't market. That is how Martindale-Hubbell came to be. The truth is that Big-law always had the upper-hand in marketing so they made the rules about lawyers not advertising. Not because there was some altruism to it but because that would have given "unworthies" (i.e. Jews, Italians and minorites) a chance to flourish. I remember my great uncle telling me the story of the first of his SCOTUS wins (he won 7 times) they wouldn't let him sit in the well because when they asked him his name, they couldn't believe he was really a lawyer. Legal advertising only evened the playing field a little. It allowed lawyers with money to invest to be seen. Of course we were limited to the Yellow Pages and those guys ripped off the young and solo lawyer with their ridiculous fees and bait and switches.

The Internet has been the great equalizer and any lawyer who is worth the work is cheating clients if he doesn't let them know about his services. Instead of seeing marketing as a bad thing for our profession, maybe we need to get off of our pedestals and see that it is the best thing that ever happened to consumers of legal services. Great lawyers who no one ever heard about now had a chance for small investment of time and funds can now compete with the biggest of the advertisers for clients and clients are getting to pick from among a greater and more diverse group of lawyers than ever before.

Clients are not stupid, they can tell the difference between someone who is trying to make a difference and someone who is trying to make a buck. Just like the guy on Twitter who tweets only his own blog or accomplishments is soon a very lonely tweeter, the lawyer who only pushes his own "brand" at people without backing it up will be seen as the fraud he is, now far sooner than in days of old. For the betterment of the profession and the consumers, long live the ethical & intelligent marketing lawyer.

In the name of being an ethical and hopefully intelligent marketing lawyer, you can find my website at, and can follow me on twitter at

Tuesday, November 18, 2008



Garcia's anticipated resignation came today at 5:30. He is leaving after just 3 years as the lead prosecutor and US Attorney in Manhattan to join a law firm (rumored to be Kirkland and Ellis )

Garcia has presided over the investigation into the Prostitution ring that brought down NY Governor Elliot Spitzer and the corruption case of Former NYS Assemblyman and AFL/CIO leader Brian McLaughlin. Thereafter, McLaughlin rolled on Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio who was also indicted.

Two weeks ago, Garcia announced that he would not indict Elliot Spitzer. It was rumored that such an agreement was secretly reached with Spitzer in order to assure he resigned as Governor.

If Hillary Clinton were to be appointed Secretary of State, Garcia would be considered a leading Republican candidate for NYS jr. Senator.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Around The Blogosphere The Week of November 11, 2008 Part III of III* : Of Women, Music and All That Jazz.

*I know I previously said four. I reserve the right to consolidate because I am tired.

Here is my last installment from the Week of November 11, 2008.

1.Two Sex-Workers Talk About the Sex Trade.(Links are NSFW).

I spend a lot of time representing men and women who are involved in the Business of Sex. Some of their pursuits are legal, some not legal, some straddle the boarder. Occasionally I write about the experience. I also however keep up with what some of the people in the provider and "hobbyist" side of the field are saying.

This week the New York City Sex Bloggers rolled out their 2009 "pinup"calendar to benefit the Sex Workers Awareness (an education and outreach program)which I am told is a non-profit organization I have seen the way people treat Sex workers. I have seen the way that police discount them and how they have been marginalized though many are smart and hard working mothers, caretakers, students, and just regular folk. I would not treat a dog the way our criminal justice system treats these people. Hence I am giving their calendar a shout out here. I would have been at the rollout party last night but for a pressing and late breaking personal issue.

Meanwhile I thought I would highlight two posts from Sex Workers blogs.

A. This one at "The Real Princess Diaries" is about the way most sex-workers view their clientele. It doesn't apply to all and it doesn't apply to the entire strata anymore than any opinion piece can sum up the position of all workers in any field. It is indicative of how most of the clients I have see the scene.

B. Renegade Evolution is a blog, and from what I can gather a person too. She is a sex blogger and worker. She is opinionated, blunt and usually succinct. In this post she talks about a fact in the sex field that makes it hard to help sex workers (providers) and stops them from uniting. It is the Sex Worker Caste System and I see it everyday.

Stop a topless dancer and tell her she is a sex worker, she will tell you she is involved in a legal business and she is a good girl but that escorts are whores. She will tell you all she does is expose her body and people give her money for the privilege of seeing the Hand of God in her beauty.

The High end Escort will tell you that the stripper is the real whore, selling her body and teasing her clients for a buck here or there. She on the other hand does not expose herself before countless others. She only "dates" nice wealthy men who she would likely sleep with anyway if they met under other circumstances. In addition unlike the Porn star or stripper, her work is done in private and is "confidential".

The Porn Star thinks they are both insane. She will tell you she sleeps with men she knows and many whom she loves, she makes a lot of money far more than the others and she is engaged in a safe and legal field where the women call a lot of the shots.

Renegade Evolution thinks they should put away the Bull and unite to help each other. I have to say I agree with her. It is about time workers in the field get out of each others way, acknowledge the business they are all in and try to improve conditions for all. The fight is like criminal lawyers not acknowledging the work of litigators or transactional lawyers. It is all law just different...

2..The Music Scene

A. Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) have been celebrating Louis Armstrong and Thelonious Monk. Two of my all time favs. Here is a link to the post about the Armstrong speech and this one on e nights of Thelonious Monk tribute concerts.

B. Probation in Plea Deal for Blogger Who Leaked Guns N’ Roses Songs. Blogger streamed 9 G'n R songs on his blog, busted for the Copyright Infringement. Getting Probation, hasn't told where he got the songs from... still may however. I wonder if he had streamed only snippets of each song if that would have been protected speech??? IP Genius' any ideas?

C. "Tuba Man" Murdered by Teens, Seattle Mourns

Every city has a person or two who are as big if not bigger than that city itself. He is half village idiot, half sage, but he is beloved and the city adopts him. In NY it is the "Naked Cowboy", In San Francisco it's Frank Chu, In Washington DC it is President Bush, but in Seattle Washington it was Edward Scott McMichael aka "Tuba Man". He was a "busker" a man who made his living making his music on the streets. He was a guy who seemed to pop up everywhere, asking "DO YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF IT?? Who didn't want to be a part of it. He could take your worst day and make you smile with the "Um pa pa" of the Tuba.

"Tuba Man" was murdered allegedly by a group of teens who didn't recognize him. He didn't have his Tuba with him that day.
Story from the NY Times

Money Quote: “Ed would ask in his unmistakable baritone, ‘John, do you want to be a part of it tonight?’ ” Mr. Tangeman recalled. “This statement was part of the genius of Ed, as if contributing to Ed’s efforts, one was not only being a part of Ed’s life but being a part of something much larger, something almost unobtainable.”

That's it for now. I may or may not post another part later. If I do, consider this III of IV. Otherwise, who knows.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Round the Blogosphere Nov 11, 2008... Part two of four." Lawyers in Trouble the Good The Bad and The Stupid.

Part II of this little job around the Blogoshere is about Lawyers in trouble.

Here they are:

A.The Good:

From what people are telling me, this poor guy is getting screwed because the US Attorney in Southern Florida is still pissed off at Roy Black for winning a drug case where DEA Agents died. I may blog more about this as time goes on. At the recent NACDL meeting, this was all anyone could talk about. Maybe there should be a rule that prosecutions of Criminal Defense Lawyers can only be handled outside of the US Attorney's office which is handling the initial investigation.


B: The Bad:

This post is about a lawyer who had a gambling addiction and stole her clients money to fund her gaming...Then she sued the casinos for doing what casinos do, letting her bet. She lost her suit, and now she is indicted for stealing the money. If you are a lawyer and you have an addiction or a problem that is causing you to do things that will hurt your family, practice or yourself, then help is available to you. Just click this link and you will find people who care about your family and practice, clients and you. Please before it is too late.

C. The Stupid

This lawyer thinks he is a controversial freedom fighter. I think he is a scar and embarrassment to the practice of law on Long Island. He is a self aggrandizing publicity seeking buffoon.

He clearly overstepped his bounds in this case it seems, and is punished for it. In representing a client, and trying to get a quote in the newspaper, he over did it and may have slandered the victim suggesting that the client who embezzled money from his brother's law firm was only doing what the bosses there did. They sued the lawyer, he then improperly impleaded the plaintiff. The judge hit him with legal fees for having brought a frivolous action. The amount? FOURTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!!! STUPID.

Interesting Stories From the Blogosphere week of November 11, 2008 Part I of IV. Technology and You (and Pres-elect Obama too!)

I read a lot of blogs and online newspapers every week. I love the Internet and find it a source of information and relaxation. I get most of my ideas for my blog from other writers as I do not often have the time to run the stories down myself.
Sometimes I come across posts that would make a nice mini post on my blog, but I am not willing to write a whole post about them. I'd rather comment and link. I save them up for the week and put them into my around the Blogosphere posts. Still, I like to have themes. So for the first time, I have broken them up so you can look at the stuff that interests you most and ignore the rest (at your peril).

1. Obama the YouTube President"

This first post then for the Week beginning on November 11, 2008 deals with our President-elect Barack Obama. He is not only our first part Afro-American President, but also very tech savvy. Presidents since FDR have been doing regular radio addresses. Most of us only get snippets from new shows because we can 1. never find the actual address when it is played and 2. What's a radio??.

Obama however has solved the problem by doing a weekly podcast.

The Blogosphere is agog with the use of the Internet by President Elect Obama. In its latest form. The President-Elect has started a weekly podcast. Here is an article concerning the podcast from WaPo and here is the actual podcast . Should be a very interesting Presidency for so many reasons.

2. Speaking of Tech, Here is what the Internet has for the rest of us.

A. Since almost everyone who reads this blog voluntarily seems to have a better read blog than I do, I thought I'd help you all out. Here are 16 Essential PC Apps for Bloggers. No this is not about political correctness.
Hattip: ProBlogger

B.If you are on (and you probably ought to be) you will want to have friends follow you. Here are 10 suggestions on how to get a bigger following of "twitterati" from Alltop's Guy Kawasaki.

C. RSS is a useful tool for keeping track of things important to you. I use it for example to put all the blogs I want to track in one place. You just click the Rss box on top of the blog and add it to your reader (I use Google Reader) and viole` you have it all in one place. Here are 29 more uses for RSS.
Hattip: Where you go if you want to stay ahead of the crowd, or the crowded Internet.

D. My final tidbit for this segment The Boys over at tell you about an I-Phone application that helps you figure out if you are too drunk to drive. I would tell you that it is an inacurrate calculation or rough calculation at best and if you are anywhere near danger (that is to say .o3 or less from an arrest situation) don't take the test. Yeah you will lose your license immediately for one year, but you can beat the case and save a small fortune. Not to mention how hard it is to get a job with a criminal conviction on your record...

Now onto the Legal part of our trip. Go to my next post.

What Would Happen If There Were a Disaster At the Inauguration?: A Potential Flaw in the Rules of Succession

I often worry about disasters. I am not sure why. I think I am an optimist. On the other hand, Lawyers are planners and one of the things Mrs. Lawyer Dude always compliments me on is that I usually see things happening down the road and I always have a contingency plan. Hence I have been thinking a lot about Inauguration day. I mean it is going to be the most historical one in the last century. It is also going to stir up a lot of idiot people who have an ax to grind, or think they do. Further, we always have those cave dwelling morons from Al Qaeda , looking for a reason to blow our big party. It occurred to me that everybody who is anybody is going to want to (and probably can) be there, on the podium. I mean we will see the Pres. The Pres-elect, VP and VP elect, Chief Justice and presumably the entire Supreme Court, the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader as well as the Senate Majority and Minority leaders and a host of Senators and Congressmen and Cabinet members. So, who will be watching the store and what happens if the worst happens and all these people are unable to serve for a while.

OK Before you all get on me for being a damp cloth, the guys and gals over at the Wall Street Journal "Law Blog"have been wondering about this stuff too.Their post "President Condoleezza Rice" explains how the title could come true. They however are smarter than me, cause they have some potential answers. The real answer seems to be however, that if a Bush Cabinet Member survives, and President-Elect Obama is not inaugurated, the Bushie is President for the next four years. That would thwart the Will of the People it seems. It is a good thing lawyer types like me worry about things like this.

BTW Follow me on Twitter
and Check out my new Website
Kennedy Inauguration Picture above provided by Wikipedia under a Common License.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Fierce Beauty of Nature: The Teacup Fire in Santa Barbara

This is a dramatic picture of the fires that rage in Santa Barbara California. It is fierce and crazy and beautiful. This photo is amazing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bush and Paulson Impose More Rules on Internet Gaming: They Just Can't Help Themselves Deep Down Inside, They Just Aren't Really Conservatives

Gambling has gotten the Republican Party in trouble before. After all the Jack Abramoff Scandal was all about the Republican lobbyist paying off Republican Congressmen to protect his client's (Indian Casinos) interest. That included curbing Internet gambling.

In the waining moments of the Republican congressional majority the Party bosses and the President passed a law ordering the Treasury to develop rules to ban credit card companies from permitting Americans to place bets on Internet gaming sites. This of course angered Poker players. It is also just not what the majority of Americans want. OTOH it is very popular among Christian Right leaders and the so called Republican base.

Well now that Bush is about to finally go off to that great Presidential Library in the west... Paulson (Treasury Secretary) has promulgated Rules that effectively ban any Internet gambling (except the free kind which is fine for me but not very satisfying for most poker players)from the US.

I haven't the time to rail against the Bush Administration right now, but read about the matter here.

I never thought I would say these words. Rep. Barney Frank is right. (Was that thunder I just heard?) Lord help us when we have to look to the Democrats to enforce our liberties...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Stuff I Missed Blogging About: Obama, Neo-cons, Smart and Stupid Conservatives.

While I was without a Laptop, and couldn't really post the way I wanted to, a lot occurred. The last week of October and the first week of November of an election year has got to be the worst time of the year to have your laptop stolen. Here is what I would have linked to had I been able to (and a few I can link to in a more timely fashion).

To Filibuster or Not to Filibuster That is the Question

I thought these two posts were interesting. Sen. Kyl has announced his plan to filibuster any Obama judicial nominee that he feels will be too liberal. (I should note that Tomás de Torquemada was too liberal for Kyl.)
Kyl said if Obama goes with empathetic judges who do not base their decisions on the rule of law and legal precedents but instead the factors in each case, he would try to block those picks via filibuster.

With the federal judiciary almost 25% under its need, I might suggest that Kyl be careful about what he filibusters. I wonder how Kyl feels about the fact that the gang of 14 ruined his good time by nixing the "nuclear option" now? Anyway, I think if he intends to tie up the judiciary as it has been tied up over the last 16 years, he think again. I think he has a good chance of destroying the careers of many of the Republican Senators he works with now. He has the ability to filibuster the Republicans into irrelevance.

Here is Johnathan Adler over at Volokh Conspiracy, kind of seeing it the way I do and here is Jerry Merrit at TalkLeft discussing the issue too. Who said I can't be fair and balanced?

No Son, You Can't Watch 'Sesame Street' in Prison."

While reading TalkLeft I also noticed this tidbit about an 8 year old who may have killed his abusive dad...The Police in Arizona think the kid should be charged as an adult. That would expose this 3rd grader to a sentence of life in prison.

You know, I don't remember conservatives being so wasteful or so stupid. No guys, even if an Eight year old knows right from wrong, it should not open him up to prison. In fact, I am not even sure it should be handled in court at all. If he is uncontrollable, he may need to be taken out of the home and placed in a foster care situation that would provide a great amount of supervision, but I don't think it serves the child or the state to warehouse someone for the next 70 years. Who raised the adults calling for adult treatment?? How can their be such a disconnect between the northeast and the southwest and our sensibilities? Arizona has one of the worst records for rehabilitation in the country. What hope would that leave for this child?

Conservatives With Brains.

Patterico Pontifications talks about the Decency of Barack Obama. Patterico, who is a very conservative assistant district attorney in S. California takes the time to really look at the man who ran for and is now the President Elect of the United States of America. It is clear that Obama is a decent if somewhat politically misguided. Patterico recalls all of the things that Obama did throughout the long campaign to try to tone down the rhetoric of the campaign and focus on policies. Patterico suggest that conservatives spend their time focusing on policy issues and bury issues of personality. At least Patterico gets it. America is tired and can ill afford four more years of personality assassination.

On the issue of how the Republicans go from rulers to the minority in two of the three branches of government, a wonderful piece in this week's "Weekly Standard" by P.J. O'Rourke. O'Rourke is a conservative raconteur but he is dead on in his description of the way the conservatives sold out the Regan Mandate by allowing the Neo-conservatives to set and dominate the agenda. My only disappointment is that while playing the story for a laugh, he sometimes falls into the same type of talk that cost the Republicans the Presidency. (Knocking Bill Ayers, John Edwards fidelity, etc.) His description of the Abortion albatross is right on. We need to tone down that rhetoric too and work to overturn Roe to return the issue to the states where it belongs. While we are at it, maybe we should start to find a way to limit the Commerce clause and keep the feds out of state and local issues. In the end thought O'Rourke is absoulutely right "We Blew It".

Not Too Bright Conservatives
Then there is the decision of Elizabeth Dole and her campaign to lie about her opponent's religious practices. Just because one understands the First Amendment and has a extreme view of the separation of Church and State does not mean the person is Godless. The good People of North Carolina took note of the dirty tactic and through Lizzy right out of office... Sorry but it was a deserved defeat. Kay Hagen (Dole's opponent, a Sunday School teacher)was irate, now she is elected.
Hattip: The Agitator

One other cool thing. Friday's blog post was picked up by the Wall Street Journal. That is pretty cool I think.

More later this week till then follow me on Twitter:

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Just When You Thought It Was Safe

So I was on this blogging roll getting a post out on a somewhat regular basis, and what happens? My laptop gets stolen out of my luggage on a trip to Tampa. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) my ass!! All that garbage at the gates of our airport is Bull hockey. We are no more safe or secure at our airports than we were on September 10 2001.

TSA is a home for crooks and thieves. They now have a license to rifle through our luggage, touch our clothes and tolietries and steal whatever they want. It is such a known fact that no one and I mean no one will insure anything you check... So I had to buy a new laptop and I missed blogging the biggest story in US political history... Well I am back now, wiser about the garbage that is the TSA and I still hate air travel.

I know my libertarian friends will hate me for this but GO AMTRACK!!! Any dollar that the government takes from me to build high speed trains throughout this country is money well spent. At 200 mph We can go from NY to LA in about 24 hours (stopping in Philly, Cleveland Chicago Denver and Vegas)Sign me up!

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