Monday, September 29, 2014

#RE2pect: The Captain Steps Away

Today was the end of the Derek Jeter era of my NY Yankees. If it couldn't have ended in NY then I am glad it happened in Boston. That was the city where I became a Yankkee fan. It is the home to half the greatest baseball rivalry RedSox v. Yankees. It's where I saw Derek play. 

The send off was magnificent, and you can look it up. You can look up his wonderful final game at Yankee Stadium last Thursday night, you can look up his stats. What you cannot count is the enormous amount of smiles his play created. You cannot count the kids who have decided to turn away from steroids and drugs b/c of Derek Jeter and you cannot estimate what would have become of the game of Baseball had a kid from Michigan not come back to his birthplace and handled the hardest city to succeed in sports after the strike debacle, and the during the "Steroid era".

Competitive, and talented, but at the end, what he had mostly, was Class. He had it in kilograms. He had it in tons. He shared it with the rest of us. He didn't jam it down our throats, he didn't say "look at me! I'm the one to emulate." He just did his thing as best as he could in quiet dignity, everyday, and in doing so, taught another generation about "the code". What code? The code of being a man: work harder, be responsible and take responsibility, take ownership. Treat others,ALL OTHERS, as you would wish to be treated, laugh, know whom to trust and remember that a secret stays a secret when only one person knows it. Conduct yourself in all matters, as if everyone is watching, do not burn bridges, be loyal to a fault, be honest, be humble, be appreciative.  Know your value but do not wear it on your sleeve, listen to others, set the example and set your personal bar high, remember, your mom is watching, but moreover, so are the children, the men and women of the next generation.

Respect, the game, your team, your teammates and your fans, your woman, your kids, and mostly respect yourself, and you too will earn #Re2pect. Thank you Captain.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday News Dump: Obama Justice Dept. Will Ask SCOTUS to Support Marriage Equality

Good news for civil rights advocates, the Justice Dept. Civil Division through the Solicitor General's office will urge the Supreme Court to grant full marriage rights to all adults. From where I sit this is good news for a bunch of reasons. 
1. While I prefer the government to stay out of the whole marriage business, if they are going to grant privileges to people who contractually agree to live with each other and potentially raise families, then those rights and privileges should be available across the board. 
2. Additionally, there are personal rights that are denied a non married partner that that can and has caused great emotional pain and which are just unfair .i.e. When families reject a homosexual or transgendered person, and that person begins a life with someone else but then gets sick and dies, the family will often step in and bar the partner from seeing their loved one in the hospital or in deciding anything about the funeral etc.
3. Every time we expand privileges to others, we protect our own and we encourage further assimilation. I already do not see people based on thieir skin tone or sexuality I don't look at somebody and say "see that black gay guy over there?" I simply say "see that fellow over there in the red sweater".  When we begin to stop seeing the things that make us physically different, we can believe that prejudice is dying. 

I don't say this often (and for good reason) but "Bully for you Mr. Obama!"

Hattip: Brian Williams NBC Nightly News.

Friday, September 26, 2014

More on Holder Decision to Step Down and Some Thoughts on Who's Next

Now that AGOUS Eric Holder has decided to step down, there are many things to say about one of the longest and tumultuous tenured US Attorney Generals in History.
The negatives abound: Fast & Furious; Contempt of (and for) Congress; Authority for Killing American Citizens abroad; the foot dragging on the IRS scandal to name a few off the top of my head.

It is tougher to really point up his positives, but his decision not to defend the DOMA; his office's record on Civil Rights and Voting Rights although checkered (a rush to judgement in Ferguson and his failure to pursue the New Black Panthers voting suppression case) is a bright spot in a controversial career. I respect holder for what he didn't do: He turned away from the Stupid Pornography prosecutions of the Bush Administration, and he tried but failed to bring the terror trials to NYC. I firmly believe Guantanamo is and always has been wrong and frankly it lends a blot on our International reputation. Had Holder been successful, there would be no Guantanamo and most if not all the detainees there would be convicted and serving time. Of course his cover for Obama's dreamers is also something I support. In this Administration, finally his willingness to stop some of the more draconian Bush policies of using sentence enhancement arguments to force pleas and agreeing to substantial reductions in drug sentencing laws are real accomplishments.   in this time in our History, I doubt sincerely one could have done a better job. That is not a glowing endorsement of Mr. Holder, more than an acknowledgment that it could have been much worse.

As for a replacement that could get through Congress, Soliciter General Vermincelli would be my choice. He is bright, hard working, and while occasionally awkward, could bring a different less political bent to the office potentially healing some wounds with Congress. An Italian American AG would be nice too. Deval Patrick would make for a good choice in that he too could work with some of the key players in D.C. And possibly mend a fence or two also. Both would likely follow Obama's agenda which while for me that isn't a positive, he did win the election he is entitled to his cabinet. Better to have somebody who could work with the Capital building than be hated in it.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


The New York Times is reporting that Eric Holder the Attorney General of the United States of America is going to announce his retirement from office (an office he has held for 6 years making him the longest serving Attorney General in decades and the fourth longest serving in American History) tomorrow.
I hope to discuss some of his accomplishments and failures later today. For now, one if not the most controversial US Attorney General's in US history is resigning tomorrow according the the Grey Lady.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A New Beginning

Hi folks. It's been nearly 100 months since I was last here. A lot of stuff has happened, some of it quite sad (you know deaths loss etc.) but I'd rather dwell on positive stuff so here goes:

That's right, I am now a Partner and Trial Lawyer at the Firm of Raiser & Kenniff. We have locations in NYC and in Nassau and Suffolk County's on Long Island! I will still be handling cases in all federal courts and in NY state courts and will still focus on federal and state criminal law and Civil Rights Litigation, but I have 3 new partners and about 8 associates and another half dozen staff to back me up!

If you want to reach me I am at
Raiser & Kenniff PC
300 Old Country Rd.
Suite 351
Mineola, NY 11501
Phone 516-741-3400 (direct line)
Cell 516-316-1519 I prefer text messages.

I will be around here more too!! I want to build this blog back into the " juggernaut" it once was. :)