Monday, April 13, 2015

Police are Humon ~by Legal Pub

Humans make mistakes.  Cops are human. Mistakes are therefore made by officers.  The video is graphic.  But it also shows a mistake, not intent to kill. Reserve officer Deputy Robert Bates did not appear to intend to hurt Eric Harris.  The 72 year-old deputy just made a huge mistake which costs the 44 year old Harris his life.

The April 2, 2015 video shows the Tulsa County deputy chase and tackle the suspect.  (Harris was suspected of trying to sell an illegal gun to an undercover officer.) Bates instructs Harris to comply and says, "I need you to roll on your stomach."  A woman's voice is also heard to say, "Stop fighting."  During the struggle, a gun shot is audible. The surprised deputy says, "Oh, I shot him.  I'm sorry."

73-year-old reserve deputy, Robert Bates, has told authorities that he meant to use his stun gun.  It appears to be a mistake.  Unfortunately, it is an inexcusable mistake that cost a man his life.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Can't Michael Jackson Rest in Peace ~by Legal Pub

Has not the pop icon paid enough?  Has not his legend been tarnished to the point of no return? There are two new lawsuits against Michael Jackson's estate claiming that the pop star sexually abused them and paid money to cover up the allegations.  The suit even asks for punitive damages, as if Michael's family and legacy have not already suffered enough.

According to the New York Post, the lawsuits allege at least 20 victims and payout reaching nearly $200 million to keep it all quiet. Report  Plaintiff's lawyers hope to get evidence of the payoffs and the "bad acts" into evidence.  They also hope to introduce a taped deposition of Jackson.  (Interestingly enough, the deposition testimony denies the allegations.)

One of the alleged victims has been identified as James Safechuck.  He claims multiple abuses at the hands of Michael Jackson when James was only eight years of age. Safechuck's lawsuit alleges that his father was given a one million dollar check to keep quiet. Fortunately for Jackson's estate, there may be a procedural defense.  It appears that the cases were not timely filed against the estate.  A Los Angeles court should decide soon if the cause of actions are barred.  In the mean time, the loss suits further remind the public that Jackson can't rest, not even in death, from public scrutiny. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Guidelines For Lawyers and Litigants ~by Legal Pub

Lawyers and those involved in litigation need help.  They tend to be unhappy folks.  While Legal Pub can't prescribe Prozac, we can give a few tips to improve the mood of attorneys and parties involved in litigation matters.

1.  Improve your health.  Stop smoking.  Nothing good happens to smokers.  Wrinkles from frowning over litigation are bad enough.  Who needs wrinkles, heart disease and cancer? Stop. In place of smoking, improve your diet and exercise. Enough said.

2.  Abandoned your negativity well before you reach the courtroom.  The glass is not half empty, it is half full!  Optimistic people enjoy better emotional and physical health.With the right attitude, your blood pressure may normalize without medication.

3. Avoid bad mouthing your opponent.  No one believes that you are a better person or a superior attorney just because you can point out flaws in the opposition.  Let your character and abilities speak for themselves.
4.  It is okay to turn down prospective clients if your abilities, comfort level or morality does not make you the right attorney for the case.  There is no reason to add to stress levels becoming involved in cases that cause you undo stress or discomfort.  Attorneys, concentrate on cases you enjoy handling.  You will do a better job and have higher client satisfaction if you follow this basic principle.  Litigants, don't get talked into court if you prefer to amicably resolve your problems.  Litigation is seldom an enjoyable experience, especially when you don't want to be pursuing this method of conflict resolution.  Mediation where parties amicably resolve their dispute is almost always a healthier alternative.
5. Avoid the natural inclination to overreact.  Losing a motion, a hearing or even the case is not the end of the world.  Lawyers have many cases and overtime will win their fair share.  Furthermore, both litigants and parties need to understand that there are at least two sides to every dispute and sometimes, justice is simply not on their side.
6.  Win or lose, don't hold grudges.  Anger and resentment will only diminish the quality and length of your life.
7.  Don't take yourself too seriously.  Often times the most severe critique in the room is oneself.  If someone pays you a compliment, smile and say thanks.
8.  Be the life of your own party.  This is the most important of all suggestions.  Learn to laugh.  Have fun.  Live an interesting life.  This will not only lead to more enjoyment for the litigant or the attorney, it will also lead to more enjoyable life for those around you!
Follow these principles, live a better professional and social life and you will avoid the traps and pitfalls of those who do not.  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Something is going wrong with today's pilots and co-pilots.  Exactly what is unsure; however, Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appears to be an example of a problem.  Lubitz was the 28 year-old co-pilot of the plane that crashed en-route to Germany.  Lubitz's "intention (was) to destroy this plane," Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said to the press after investigation into the crash of Flight 9525 was shared with the public.
Airbus A320 was flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf when it manually began to descend from an altitude of 38,000 feet until it crashed into the side of a mountain.  All 150 on board died instantly on impact. Apparently the pilot had left the cockpit and the co-pilot Lubitz locked the door preventing the pilot's return.  Investigators revealed that the door could only have been blocked intentionally by the co-pilot. "The most plausible, the most probably, is that the co-pilot voluntarily refused to open the door of the cockpit for the captain and pressed the button for the descent,"  Brice Robin told the press.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Shoe Bandit Finally Caught? Will Durst Be Found Innocent? Suspects Come With Differing Financial Statements ~by Legal Pub

Shop Our White Shoes for WomenRusty Wayne Sills, is a 56-year-old Largo man who is accused of being the Pinellas Park Shoe Bandit.  Is a man with an alleged footwear obsession guilty of burglary? A woman from the 8000 block of 43rd Way North complained that shoes left outside her home were disappearing and in their place, another pair of shoes was left behind.
After a few alleged shoe exchange incidents, the residents allegedly purchased a surveillance system to monitor the front door and exterior of their home. Subsequent video allegedly shows a man taking the shoes around 4 a.m.  Saturday morning a suspect, Rusty Wayne Sills was detained until police arrived. Sills has been charged with burglary and may be involved in some other similar cases. During a police interview, Sills apparently told police that he buys and sells shoes at a local flea market. Sills apparently denies that he is the individual depicted in the surveillance video.  Even if Sills is the man on the video, is burglary a bit severe charge for an entrepreneur with an obsession or perhaps even a passion for footwear? Does leaving replacement shoes mitigate the crime?
Sills, like all suspects, is to be presumed innocent until it is otherwise proven in a Pinellas County Court.  His bond is set at $10,000. 

3-17-2015:  In other developing news, the poor are not the only ones who become suspects. Millionaire, Robert Durst was arrested over the weekend and charged with having 150 grams of marijuana in his hotel room.  A gun was also found.  Just the day before, Durst was charged with murder of Susan Berman who died 15 years ago after being shot in the back of the head near Beverly Hills. (Durst was acquitted of murdering someone else in Texas many years ago, so he could be innocent in murder trial number two as well.)  Unfortunately, in a T.V. documentary about Durst's life, he allegedly mumbled about he "killed them all"  while in the bathroom. Perhaps more incriminating is an analysis of hand writing from a letter from Durst to Susan Berman a year before her death to a post death writing providing information as to the location of the body. (While the writing looks similar, Durst may not be the only person who does not know how to spell Beverly Hills.  

Durst, 71, was charged Monday in Los Angeles with first-degree murder.  If convicted, he could be sentenced to death. Durst is represented by Attorney Dick DeGuerin who wants an expedited hearing in Louisiana.   A hearing is scheduled for next Monday.
Will the words, "There it is. You're caught... What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course" ever be heard by any juror?  Perhaps not as it may violate his expectation of privacy as he did not know the microphone was operating.  Furthermore, a jury may never know that Durst's first wife, Kathleen, was declared dead after she vanished in New York in 1982. The difference between accusations, evidence and facts?  Legal scholars will disagree.
Durst claims he is innocent of all killings!  He is to be presumed innocent unless a court of law finds otherwise.  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Police Excessive Force? by Legal Pub

Another killing? More evidence of police violence? No not the Wisconsin clash with police.  This time, a young mountain lion was killed in Southern California despite its only offense of showing up at the Promenade Mall in Temecula.  Riverside County Sheriff’s Department claims that they received several calls of a large cat roaming in the parking lot at the mall.  Deputies subsequently observed the 150-pound kitten (mountain lion) near Macy’s.  Fish and Wildlife officials allegedly attempted “to safely corral the animal” around 7 a.m. The cat, however, died shortly after its capture.
Those screaming and threatening protest say that the kitten was not aggressive and was unarmed. Police responded, “When we do dart that animal, we are doing so with our best intentions of the animal’s life.”
Intentions indeed.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Judge Terrence Berg Assaulted ~by Legal Pub

Product DetailsSometimes justice is eluded in the courtroom and other times it escapes outside the federal building.  Recently U.S. District Judge Terrence Berg was injured during an attempted robbery outside of his Detroit home.  Two men confronted the judge around 9 p.m.   A struggle occurred and one of the suspects shot the judge in the leg. Berg was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries according to the Detroit Free Press. Judge Berg has been on the bench since 2012.  Prior to his appointment he served as assistant U.S. Attorney in Eastern Michigan.