Monday, June 30, 2008

Canadian 12 Year Old Daughter Sues Dad to Avoid Punishment of Not Being Able to Go On Class Trip & Frederick McKaney's Alleged Assault of His Own Mom!

Ms. Calabaza supplied some references for stories as the chief editor of Legal Pub is once again away being a real trial lawyer. In the first story originating out of Toronto, readers learn that divorce parent's difficulties with their children are not limited to the United States. While Alec Baldwin may have made inappropriate comments to his child (LINK), children can say and do inappropriate things too. In Quebec, a judge ruled that a father had no right to stop his 12-year-old daughter from going on a school trip. The father has filed an appeal of the decision even though the girl has already gone on the trip.

In May, the 12 year old girl who was living with her dad had a disagreement with her stepmother. As a result, the girl's dad forbid the girl to go on a three-day outing with her class. In order to avoid the punishment, the girl moved back into her mother's house and went on the class trip. The parents are divorced and the father had legal custody at the time the daughter moved back in with her mom. Quebec Superior Court Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier ruled the girl could attend the outing despite her father's wishes. Kim Beaudoin, the father's lawyer filed the appeal even though the girl has already gone on the trip because the judge's ruling raises unsettling questions for families. "It's dangerous to let kids play their parents. They have to learn to respect rules," Beaudoin said. Beaudoin seems to correctly argue that the judge had undermined the father's authority. Legal Pub thinks that Judges need to be cautious that their decisions do not take away appropriate punishments and facilitate one parent being allowed to say come live with me and you can avoid that punishment.

The other side of the coin is that in most jurisdictions including Quebec, even if a parent has legal custody, both parents retain parental authority. In other words custodial parents, "even if one parent has custody, the parents still have to make decisions jointly." This is a nearly universal law that too many custodial parents illegally ignore.
The girl's lawyer was Lucie Fortin. Ms. Fortin apparently feels this is an isolated ruling with no ramifications for others. Ms. Fortin, you miss the point. It has great presidential value for this child's future interaction with her father.

The second story about parent-child interaction takes place south of the Canadian border in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Fredrick McKaney, age 40, is accused of stabbing his mother with a fork and hitting another woman over the head with a frozen chicken. Mr. McKaney was arraigned in a Jackson courtroom on Thursday on two felony assault charges. The first count is for assault and battery and the second is for resisting an officer. So why did he apparently assault his own mom? According to the assistant prosecutor, Mark Blumer, "He stabbed his mother in the back of the neck when she refused to give him money, and then, an hour later, he attacked a neighbor woman with a chicken." (Ann Arbor news)

What do these two stories have in common? A total disrespect of a child (regardless of the age) for his parent.
Update 4-8-09: The Quebec father featured in this story lost his case to his 12-year-old daughter has no lost his appeal. Grounding his daughter was determined to be too harsh of punishment. Quebec Superior Court rejected the Gatineau father's appeal of a lower court ruling that said his punishment was too severe. Needless to say, the appellant is "flabbergasted," according to his lawyer Kim Beaudoin. (see CBC News story.) For those interested, the province's court of appeal declared the girl was caught up in a "very rare" set of circumstances, and good old Dad didn't have sufficient grounds to contest the court's earlier decision.
Happy parenting...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Justice Scalia Writes Supreme Court Opinion Striking Down Washington D.C. Ban on Handguns

While North Korea has blown up its nuclear power plants cooling stack, the U.S. Supreme Court has blown up Washington D.C.'s ban on handgun ownership. The U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision overturns D.C.'s handgun ban. The ruling reinforced the Second Amendment ratified in 1791. In 1939, our Supreme Court declared, "We cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear" arms. But this historic 2008 ruling hods for the first time that the Constitution confers an individual right to gun ownership. According to Justice Scalia, the Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home."

While gun advocates danced in the street in Washington, D.C., in Chicago they filed suit to overturn Chicago's ban on hand guns. Major Dailey publicly expressed his displeasure with the Court's ruling on the D.C. law. He publicly questioned whether this will lead to going back to a time that disputes were settled on the streets with guns. Open up your eyes major, the Chicago law has not taken guns out of the hands of criminals or gang members. Quite simply, criminals who break the law most likely break hand gun laws too...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chinese Mistresses Kissing and Telling on Officials Lands Dongguan City Officials in Jail? ` by Legal Pub

Not surprisingly, in the one country that blocks access to Legal Pub, corruption runs a muck. Is there a correlation? China has recently been busting its own governmental officials thanks to mistresses turned tattle tails. According to a recent report, 80 percent of the Dongguan city officials arrested for corruption were exposed by their mistresses. (Legal Pub suspect this is what the old saying "Don't get caught with your pants down" really means.)

To its credit, the China Daily has reported the story in the press. Zhou Yuefeng, deputy director of Dongguan's anti-graft bureau, supplied the information about the arrests to the news paper.
Recently, Beijing has been trying to clean up its image of corruption. But how they are doing it is not a way that a free society condones. Chinese law mandates that government officials found to have mistresses be dismissed from their posts. (Can you imagine what would happen if the free world had such a law? Would there be many publicly elected officials left?)
Motivation for the law was to address several highly publicized corruption cases involving officials who allegedly stole to support their mistresses. Officials accused of accepting bribes were also incidentally arrested in Dongguan. (One other example of Chinese politics being misdirected?)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Robert Williams, 31 Year Old Ex-con Guilty of Attempted Murder and Rape -by Legal Pub

Another example that prisoner reform does not always work has surfaced in the mass media. Tuesday, Robert Williams, was found guilty of the rape and torture of a Columbia University graduate student. The victim endured 19 hours of torture during which she was scalded with boiling water, bleach poured into her eyes in an attempted to blind her and then left to burn to death. Robert Williams was convicted of attempted murder, rape, kidnapping, arson and other charges in the attack.

Robert Williams, 31, is an ex con who does not seem to care about anything other than himself. According to the victim, the torture was so prolonged and severe, that she begged Williams to kill her. Williams apparently made her swallow multiple painkillers, ordered her to gouge out her eyes with scissors, sealed her lips with glue and duct taped her before torching her apartment. Williams did not bother to attend court to hear the verdict. Apparently, when Williams was later told about the guilty verdict, he simply rolled over in his jail house bed. Williams was represented by attorney Arnold Levine.

Williams, who previously served eight years in prison for attempted murder, could get a life in prison as his sentence when he appears at his July 24,2008 hearing. The prosecution is represented by Ann Prunty. Evidence of the victim's DNA on William's shirt played an important role in his conviction. During the three-week trial, the defendant was in court for only a few hours. He showed up on the day the victim testified and she identified him for the jury as her rapist and tormentor. Cases like this, one can make even protestors of the death penalty think twice.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

L.S. Was Right, FEMA Actually Does A Good Job - by Legal Pub

Is East St. Louis, Illinois much diffent that New Orleans? When floodwaters knocked out the water treatment plant in Mason City, Iowa, FEMA was ready. FEMA promptly set up an account with a Pepsi bottler to supply bottled water. FEMA officials quickly moved into a vacant building and began distributing goods.

City Administrator Brent Trout said, "We really started seeing FEMA people showing up to see what was going on in town and puttin,g out the word on flood assistance."
Nearly three years after Katrina, most homeowners, politicians and community leaders say that the agency is doing a heckuva job with midwest flood victims. Perhaps through controvercy, even the Government can learn and improve.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin Dies in Hospital While Surfers Fight Paparazzi For Beach Real Estate? ~by Legal Pub

George Carlin died over the weekend. It would be a more interesting story if he had been involved in the beach brawl cpatured by However, the 71-year-old Carlin went to an L.A. hospital yesterday afternoon for chest pains. He died around 6:00 in the evening. I can imagine Carlin joking, "it just goes to show you that hospitals are bad for you." Carlin is best known in the comedy-legal arena for his impact on freedom of speech. Carlin's comedy involving his "Filthy Words" routine went all the way to the Supreme Court. In large part due to Carlin, comedians are now free to disguise profanity as "art." While he will forever be known by some as a potty mouth comedian, Carlin has etched his place in history. George, R.I.P.

Another weekend and another beach brawl? From the beginning of time to the present, someone is always trying to kick sand in someone's face. Recently, paparazzo in Malibu trying to photograph Matthew McConaughey at the beach got in a scuffle with some surfers. One of the paparazzo had his camera deposited in the ocean. Actor Matthew McConaughey was not involved in the alleged attack.

According to Los Angeles County Sheriff spokesperson, Steve Whitmore, "There was apparently a fight, and the photographer gave a statement that he received injuries." ( One photographer apparently got a broken nose.) McConaughey was not involved in the fight. Web site posted a video Sunday showing approximately 12 men in swim gear approaching a group of paparazzi. The so called "surfers" were yelling and swearing. One of the photographers returns insults and a scuffle ensues.

Another photographer says, "We'll draw a line in the beach, and we'll fight for the beach. If you guys win, you can have the beach." When one member of the group shouts at a photographer, "Get a ... real job," the photographer replies, "This is a real job. What do you do?"
The surfer smiles and says, "I just drink beer and party." At least the surfer gets points for honesty. While a battery investigation has been opened, there appears to be no charges brought by the prosecution. Had George Carlin been present, he may have had a few choice words for the Paparazzi including "The Seven Words You Can't Say on T.V."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Is John Freshwater A Modern Day John The Baptist Inappropriately Spreading The Word In A Public School? ~by Legal Pub

Has a teacher once again gone too far? No, not another teacher - underage student relationship. This time it is a public school teacher professing and teaching the fundamentals of Christianity.

A small central Ohio School Board voted unanimously to fire John Freshwater, a Mount Vernon Middle School teacher accused of preaching Christian beliefs. Freshwater is also accused of temporarily burning the image of a cross on students' arms. School board attorney, David Millstone, said Freshwater has a right to appeal the dismissal.

John Freshwater denies any wrongdoing and will request a hearing to appeal the decision. Attorney, Kelly Hamilton, told the Mount Vernon News, that the decision to fire Freshwater was made shortly after a family filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Freshwater and the school district. The law suit claims Freshwater burned a cross on a child's arm that remained for three or four weeks. Dave Daubenmire has been quoted as defending his friend, "With the exception of the cross-burning episode. ... I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district." (See Friday's edition of The Columbus Dispatch.) Several students told investigators that Freshwater is a "great guy" and their "favorite teacher." But district director of teaching and learning, Lynda Weston, apparently shared with investigators that she there have been numerous complaints about Freshwater for over the past several years. Superintendent, Jeff Maley, claims he unsuccessfully tried to find another position for Freshwater.

John Freshwater is accused of using a high-frequency generator to burn images of a cross on students' arms in December. However, Freshwater claims he simply was trying to demonstrate the device on several students and described the images as an "X," not a cross. (Pictures appear consistent with a cross; however, see Legal Pub's story about the stolen cross, Jesus and the plus sign LINK.) Freshwater is also accused of teaching that "carbon dating" is unreliable to argue in favor of evolution.

John Freshwater raises a few issues. One is John Freshwater a modern day John the Baptist who baptizes with high-frequency instead of water? Two, for those of you who support John Freshwater and his teachings, would you feel the same if he was preaching fundamental Muslim values?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Five Feet On Beech, Sixth A Hoax. Anyone Want to Buy Beach Front Property on The British Columbia Coast? ~by Surfer Dude

Why can't a nose be 12 inches long? Because then it would be a foot! What was believed to be the sixth human foot to wash up on the shores of British Columbia turned out to be a nose... I mean a "sketonized animal paw" placed in a sock and athletic shoe. Doesn't it make you want to take a romantic stroll on a Canadian beach? Better yet, what a way to add to the Candian real estate crisis with depressed property values.

The coroner office discovered the hoax while examining DNA and other forensic test results.
The coroners service, a forensic pathologist and an anthropologist all declared the sixth foot to be a hoax. "It is the position of BCCS that this type of hoax is reprehensible and very disrespectful to the families of missing persons," indicates a written statement.

Five other severed human feet that have been found along the Canadian coast in the past 11 months. Possible origins of the feet include foul play, missing fishermen, drowning victims or victims of a plane crash. The first four feet contained no tool marks and were therefore deemed not to have been severed. A left foot still in a shoe was found Monday on the shore of Westham Island, south of Vancouver. The first four feet were all right feet. The sixth, according to Sgt. Mike Tresoor of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was apparently found by a woman who said she found the shoe with a foot inside it. The foot appeared to have been deliberately severed with the bones " cut clean across."

An ankle joint can come apart easily if a body decomposes at sea. A buoyant athletic shoe can float several hundred miles. DNA testing and matching could take months. In the mean time people wonder if there is any relationship to scores of young men who have been reported missing over the years. Other, speculation questions some connection to five men who were in a plane crash three years ago in the waterway. Kirsten Stevens, whose husband David died in the crash was at the Campbell River site on Wednesday. Naturally, relatives like Kirsten are looking for closure and do not appreciate the recent hoax. On a personal note, as a surfer I would be disappointed if I had to start dodging dead animal parts littering the California coast. (It is tough enough just dodging tourists and land sharks!) Have a great weekend, surfs up!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

13 Year Old Scam Artest Who Goes By the Name of Victoria Tanner Fraudulently Soliciting Donations For Multiple Sclerosis Society?

Ohio Police are looking for a 12 or 13 year-old girl who calls herself Victoria Tanner. The girl is suspected of scamming "hundreds of people" by soliciting donations for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. NewsNet 5 video indicate that Scam victims believe the girl is being coached to enter a restaurant and asks permission to solicit funds. She then promises season passes to Cedar Park Amusement Park in exchange for their donation. The girl's parents may be coaching her. She allegedly told victims that "... her dad manages Cedar Point and will give you a free season pass for $40."

Heather Lobello of All Paws Pet Grooming in Parma has allegedly been waiting for over a week to receiver her free pass.. When the number given by the girl is called, a person on the other end said 'you've probably been scammed. The alleged scam has covered a 360 square mile area over the past week. In the mean time, Parma police have apparently identified an adult male involved in the recent Cedar Point ticket scam that has bilked hundreds of dollars from people in several Cleveland-area communities. In the mean time, police issued a misdemeanor warrant for James L. Tanner, 59, of the 2100 block of West 44th Street, Cleveland. Tanner and a 13-year-old girl are believed to be the two involved in the alleged scam. James Tanner could face additional charges of theft and fraud.

Apparently, parent and child entered several local bars and stores seeking donations for a MS charity bike event. In exchange for a donation, donors were offered discount tickets to Cedar Point. Police suspect the two pocketed the cash and fabricated both the charity event and the discount tickets. Anyone with knowledge of Tanner's whereabouts are encouraged to contact the Parma police at 440-885-1234.

Say it is not as alleged! Victoria Tanner, come forth and show the world that it is not a scam and that your father really does manage Cedar Point. Show the world that all funds are being donated to help in the fight against M.S. Otherwise, Cinderella, come forth and tell the world that there is no ferry God Mother, only evil adults that have corrupted you into doing something bad under the vise of philanthropy. Cedar Point, are you listening? Here is an opportunity to step up and make this girls promises true with a corporate matching funds donation that would be more cost efficient than any advertising on the planet! This world still needs to believe.

NBC Anchor, Tim Russert, Died of Heart Disease Dispite A Normal Exercise Stress Test? ~ Dr. B. Interview

Doc B. returns with comments on heart disease, pharmacological stress tests and the recent unexpected death of Tim Russert.

L.P.: What is the latest on NBC anchor, Tim Russert's sudden death from heart disease?
Doc B: His heart doctor, Dr. Oz was on Larry King. Dr. Oz explained that with heart disease, you can never really tell in advance how to prevent it. What are the odds that Tim could have done something different? Dr. Oz explained that "Of the 450,000 people a year who die of heart attacks in this country, probably half of them never knew they were at risk of a heart attack. It's because the heart doesn't really have pain fibers. In fact, the only reason you ever feel any pain when you're having a heart attack is because the nerves in the heart cross other nerves -- from your chin, your arm or from the chest and the spinal column. And they short-circuit each other out. And that creates this referred pain that in cardiology and cardiosurgery we recognize to be angina."

L.P.: If the plaque is not limiting blood flow is that really such a big problem?
Dr. B: Dr. Oz also explained this issue pretty clearly, "... this is a big wake-up call for a lot of Americans, as well -- is that a lot of the plaques that we have are not flow limiting. And by that I mean they don't cause a limitation on the amount of blood that courses through the veins that go to our heart.... "

L.P. : How did that cause the death of Tim Russert?
Dr. B.: Based on what I have read, Tim had a cardiac arrest. It was probably an acute dissection, rupturing plaque that's causing a blockage of a coronary artery. The temporary blockage caused a heart attack -- a fatal arrhythmia.

L.P. Did they try to save Russert?
Dr. B. Dr. Michael Newman told Larry King that a defibrillator, a heart-shocking device, was unsuccessful in saving Russert. "
L.P.: Can't stress tests determine the condition of a patient's heart?
Dr. B.: After releasing autopsy results, Dr. Michael Newman said Russert had passed a stress test on April 29. He had even worked out on a treadmill the morning of his death.
"Russert, age 58, was known to have asymptomatic coronaryartery disease (atherosclerosis), which resulted in hardening of his coronary arteries," Newman said. "The autopsy revealed an enlarged heart and significant atherosclerosis of the left anterior descending coronary artery with (a) fresh clot which caused a heart attack resulting in a fatal ventricular arrhythmia."

L.P.: Did Russert have any symptoms?
Dr. B.: As I understand it, Russert's stress test on April 29 was "normal." Dr. Newman said. "At a high level of exercise he had no symptoms." Newman said Russert's blood pressure and cholesterol were "well-controlled." see,,...

L.P. : Which is better, pharmacological stress testing or exercise stress testing?
Dr. B.: Imaging tests are more sensitive than the exercise ECG in the detection of severe (three vessel and left main) disease . . . the sensitivity for severe disease was 93 to 98 percent with planar thallium imaging, stress echocardiography, and SPECT perfusion imaging compared with 86 percent for exercise ECG testing. Furthermore, it you have arthritis or are in poor physical condition, you may not be able to exercise at a high enough level to adequately stress your heart without the pharmacological agent.

L.P.: What is the best nuclear pharmacological stress test?
Dr. B.: The modern nuclear pharmacological testing of choice is rapidly becoming the Adenosine stress test. The test can help determine if there is adequate blood flow to the heart during activity versus at rest. Adenosine does not increase your heart rate. Adenosine dilates blood vessels leading into the heart, increasing blood flow, therefore simulating exercise for patients unable to exercise on a treadmill. It is the fastest acting pharmacological agent and while it may produce symptoms of shortness of breath, within seconds of discontinuing the Adenosine, the symptoms almost always stop.

L.P.: Are there any contraindications to using Adenosine.
Dr. B.: The only major restriction is not to use Adenosine if a patient is actively wheezing with Bronchial Asthma. If the patient is not actively wheezing, most facilities such as the Cleveland Clinic will go ahead and proceed with an adenosine stress test despite the patient having a history of asthma. Some will opt to use a Dobutamine stress test instead if the patient does not have tachycardia (fast heart rate) or hypertension (high blood pressure.) The Journal of Nuclear Cardiology 2007 14:827-34 has reported a new study that 6 minute Adenosine infusion can be safe in patients with mild asthma or COPD. In my opinion, it really is a judgment call for the physician based on his training and experience with no wrong answer.

L.P. What is the best advice to reduce your chance of heart disease?
Dr. B: Exercise. Eat a low fat diet. Keep your cholesterol level low. Keep your blood pressure low. If you have diabetes, keep your sugar levels under control! Have regular check up with your doctor. And, last but not least, do not smoke!

L.P. Thanks, Dr. B.

Disclaimer: This article should not be used as a substitute for medical advise or treatment. As always, if you need medical treatment or advice, immediately consult your physician.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Want to Marry a Rich Man? Dye Your Hair Brown ~ by Blond Bombshell

Men must think women sit around just dreaming of marrying a rich man. Why else would they do research and write stories revealing that 62 percent of billionaires have wives with brown hair. Who cares? Certainly not me! So, am I supposed to dye my hair brown because Microsoft head honcho Bill Gates' wife, Melinda French Gates is a brunette? Sorry, Melinda, you can keep him.

The study goes on to say that only 22% of billionaires wives were blond and only 16% were raven-colored hair. No billionaire was married to a redhead. Like we should panic. Hey girls, before running down to the salon to dye your red roots, why not just accept the fact that you may be stuck with a multi millionaire instead of a billionaire? Believe it or not, this is not the first totally worthless study on the subject. In 2004, Florida State University determined that men prefer long, thick and brown hair on women. Why? Sexist egg heads claim it's biological. Men are "programmed to find a fertile mate"according to Dr. Kelley Kline. (Kline would be more enlightened to state that men are programmed to have sex. Men typically take the path of least Resistance which is the quickest way to satisfy their own selfish desires.)

Kline opines that long, thick hair is a signal that a woman is strong, young and healthy. (Dr. Kline, perhaps by your way of thinking I should neglect to shave my arm pits and legs. Let me give you a hint: the way to attract a man is to show cleavage and interest in him.) This expensive study also thought it prudent to study hair length. Both men and women found long hair to be "overwhelmingly" more attractive than the short or medium-length hair. (Kind of refutes the theory of biological programming to breed when it comes to other women, don't you think doc...) The FSU study concludes that neanderthal pigs consistently prefer brunettes over blondes. "At least in our study, gentlemen do not prefer blondes. They prefer brunettes," Kline told Reuters.

Dr. Kline, who cares? A woman's appearance should be based on her own preference and not based on how to best attract a man. Otherwise, all a woman needs to do to attract a man is to hold up a sign that she is ready, willing and able.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ms. Calabaza Makes A Guest Appearance to Supply An Urban Myth of A Legendary Cross Examination

Urban myths exist in every profession. Ms. Calabaza supplies us with a classic attorney police officer cross examination which has probably been told at each police academy for several decades. While the whit is worth reading, like Surfer Dudes story of the lawyer who smoked cigars and then filed an insurance claim for fire loss (LINK) it is an urban myth that likely never happened.
Q: "Officer -- did you see my client fleeing the scene?"

A: "No sir. But I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender, running several blocks away."

Q: "Officer -- who provided this description?"
A: "The officer who responded to the scene."

Q: "A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust
your fellow officers?"
A: "Yes, sir. With my life."

Q: "With your life? Let me ask you this then officer. Do you have a room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?"
A: "Yes sir, we do!"

Q: "And do you have a locker in the room?"
A: "Yes sir, I do."

Q: "And do you have a lock on your locker?"
A: "Yes sir."

Q: "Now why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with these same officers?"
A: "You see, sir -- we share the building with the court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room." The courtroom EXPLODED with laughter, and a prompt recess was called.

Ms. C., thanks for the contribution. Actually, Abraham Lincoln's story of not ever asking a question that you don't know the answer to is equally funny and actually true. Lincoln was cross examining a witness and asked questions similar to the following:

Q: It was dark and you were actually 500 feet away from the victim when the alleged attack occurred, correct?

A: Yes.

Q: Now you did not actually see the defendant bite off the victim's nose, did you?

A: No sir. ( He should have stopped here!)

Q: Then how can you come into the court room so confident that the defendant did it?
A: Because I saw him spit it out!

Growing old has now been set to video music: LINK

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Shock Art Judge Alex Kozinski Pauses the Ira Isaacs Obscenity Trial While the Judge's Website is Reviewed ~ by Legal Pub

When does art constitute pornography? Judge Alex Kozinski may not be the one to decide since he has granted a joint motion to suspend the Ira Isaacs "shock-art" trial after the prosecution requested time to look at the judge's Web site. The jury is to return on Monday. (Judge Kozinski is in the first photo.)
So far the jury has seen several hours of videos depicting bestiality and extreme fetishes.
Judge Kozinski is chief justice of the 9th Circuit but is serving as a trial judge in the obscenity case of Ira Isaacs. Isaacs allegedly produced and sold movies depicting bestiality and sexual activity involving feces and urine. His own attorney, Roger Jon Diamond, finds it disgusting but argues that it is a constitutionally protected form of art.

Information on the judges site can be found at: LA Times: Judge has sex site?
Additional coverage of the trial can be found at: " Watch more on the art vs. porn debate »

Isaacs is 57. He is a Los Angeles advertising agency owner. He calls himself a "shock artist." He claims that he is, "...fighting for art." He plans to testify as his own expert witness. One can expect a rehash of previous obscenity battles involving authors James Joyce and D.H. Lawrence.
Isaacs argues that his art has therapeutic value for people with fetishes depicted onscreen.
At times, Isaacs sold as many as 1,000 videos a month at $30 apiece. The FBI then shut him down. An indictment was issued against Isaacs on a variety of obscenity charges, including importation or transportation of obscene material for sale. Such prosecutions have become more common since the U.S. Department of Justice Obscenity Prosecution Task Force was created.

The test of obscenity still hinges on a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held that a work is not legally obscene if it has "literary, artistic, political or scientific value."
Each of the four counts against Isaacs carries a five-year maximum prison sentence. Isaacs could also be ordered to forfeit assets obtained through his video sales. Similar cases are likely to be brought against others if Isaacs is convicted.

It seems that if people did not purchase the porn, there would not be a market for its production. A market place of moral consumers would greatly reduce the perceived problem. However, one can not help but observe that under the 1973 definition, much of what our politicians say and do could be declared obscene since it lacks "literary, artistic, political and scientific value." In this day and age of scrutiny, jokes that may once have been considered humor no longer produce as many laughs...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Taylor Paschal-Placker and Skyla Whitaker Executed in Rural Oklahoma ~ by Legal Pub

Taylor Paschal-Placker, 13, and Skyla Whitaker, 11, lives were needlessly taken this week. Both girls were found shot to death in their rural community, along a dirt road. These two friends often used this road to play and to walk to sleepovers. Peter Placker, Taylor's grandfather, found their bodies after Taylor did not answer her cell phone.
The girls were sleeping over at Taylor's house. They decided to walk down the road Sunday afternoon. Peter Placker found the girls' bodies about a quarter of a mile from his house near Weleetka. The girls were each apparently shot multiple times in the head and chest. A $14,000 reward was being offered for information about the killings. Please help authorities bring their killer to justice.
Update 8-14-08: Skyla's autopsy indicates that she was shot eight times in the neck, arms, shoulders, chest and abdomen. There were two different caliber bullets.
"There is one damaged copper coated bullet appearing to be small in size (gunshot wound #8, neck) and [a] damaged copper jacketed bullet appearing to be medium in size (gunshot wound #5, [chest]), recovered," according to the autopsy.
Taylor's autopsy details five separate gunshot wounds to the face, groin and hand.
"The two gunshot wounds of the left side of the face are individually potentially fatal... The gunshot wound of the right cheek may not be fatal with prompt medical intervention. The gunshot wound over the left groin is potentially fatal. There is entrance gunshot wound perforating the right third knuckle and finger with compound fracture

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Acanthamoeba Keratitis From Contact Lens Solution? FDA To Intensify Investigation While Lawyers Prepare Class Action Suits? ~by Legal Pub

Contacts are suppose to help improve one's ability to see. Multipurpose contact solution is suppose to make it more convenient for 34 million Americans to enjoy clearer vision. However, federal regulators are likely to mandate stricter testing requirements for contact lens solutions because two popular formulas have been linked to eye infections. The Food and Drug Administration is considering proposals aimed at improving the safety of solutions. But will the FDA go far enough?
New testing standards for contacts and updated labeling are likely to include instructions to gently rub lenses during the cleaning process. (Will Optometrists also be sued for not instructing their patients to do so?)
Multipurpose solutions effectiveness has been questioned since Bausch & Lomb and American Medical Optics removed their products from the market in 2006 and 2007 after an outbreak of eye infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that Bausch & Lomb's MoistureLoc solution played a key role in 180 Fusarium keratitis fungal infections. (This infection can cause blindness.) Bausch and Lomb and the FDA want to ensure that the current product, Renu Multiplus, remains safe. Renu's labeling does not currently advise patients to rub their contacts. The FDA will decide if such labelling should be mandated. The FDA will also decide whether solutions should be tested against a wider range of bacteria. (Acanthamoeba keratitis is not currently among the bacteria and fungi FDA requires products be tested against.)

Dr. Elmer Tu, professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, reports that infections have continued despite AMO pulling its product off the market. He believes that competing products may also be susceptible to the same type of infection. "If the outbreak is continuing and the current solutions are not working than there needs to be more research into how to reduce that risk," explains Dr. Tu.
In the mean time, T.V. ads encouraging contact wearers to contact the advertising law firm to join in possible class action lawsuits. What do optometrists have to say about potential litigation? So far, most have remained silent...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Peering Through Obama's Window of Opportunity Reveaks That The Electoral College Will Determine Our Next President- by Legal Pub

During an electrifying speech to a fifth grade class last year, the process of how our President is elected became a focal point of heated discussion. "Popular vote does not necessarily win the Presidential election," I tried to explain. "Electoral college? My dad says that is a bunch of nonsense," said one fiery eyed young Democrat in training. But the fact is, the magic number for Obama is 18. Obama needs to add 18 electoral votes to the 252 won by John Kerry four years ago. If he does, he will be enjoying one heck of an inauguration.

How likely is it that Obama picks up 18 electoral votes? Peering through Obama's window of opportunity, the answer is apparent. If Obama wins Iowa (7) and Missouri (11) without losing any Kerry states, Democrats are dancing on the White House Lawn. Even more likely states for Obama may be Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado. Another strong possibility is winning Virginia, which Democrats typically do not win.

On the other hand, McCain will try to target Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, and New Hampshire which voted Democratic in the last election. If McCain loses Nevada, New Mexico and Iowa (all Republican states in 2004), then McCain and Obama would tie at 269 electoral votes. In the case of a tie what happens? The House of Representatives votes, with each state delegation having one vote. Since Democrats control more state delegations than Republicans, Obama wins. Will we have a President elected who does not win the majority of the popular vote? It may all depend on who each candidate selects as their Vice Presidential running mate. So far, neither side has contacted Legal Pub...
Update 11-6-08: Barack Obama wins in a near electoral landslide!
U.S. President - Electoral College
Obama (D) - 349
McCain (R) - 147 270 votes needed for presidency

Popular vote - 48 states reporting

McCain (R) 46% 55,386,310
Obama (D) 52% 62,443,218
Barr (I) 0% 480,180
Nader (I) 1% 641,044

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Insurance Companies Cringe As 100 Year Rain Hits South Western Indiana ~by Walter P. Rat

Insurance companies cringe as the hundred year rain devastates South Western Indiana. A hundred year rain is defined as six inches of rain in 24 hours. Vermilion and Vigo County accumulated 6.9 inches of rain in about seven hours. The result is wide scale flooding and power outages. The U.S. Coast Guard and Indiana National Guard are on the scene to help with water rescues from vehicles and homes. This historic flooding continues to ravage portions of central Indiana with many areas praying that levys will hold.

A barrage of thunderstorms early Saturday morning dumped as much as 10 inches of rain on already saturated ground, prompting severe flooding in areas primarily south and west of Indianapolis. The worst of the flooding appears to be in Brown, Morgan, Johnson, Monroe, Shelby, Clay and Vigo counties.
It is now much easier for Midwest residents to understand the suffering of hurricane victims. Many of the affected home owners are without flood insurance.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Should Citizen Apathy And Lack of Sympathy in Hartford Be Held Accountable If Angel Arce Torres (Pedestrian) Dies? by Legal Pub

Should apathy and lack of sympathy in Hartford be punished? Angel Arce Torres, a 78-year-old man was a hit-and-run victim in Hartford, a city of 125,000 people. Torres laid motionless on a busy city street and drivers and pedestrians did nothing! One driver stops then gets back into a line of traffic. Another man on a scooter circles the victim then drives away. Streetlight surveillance captures the disappointing lack of humanity. Police chief Daryl Roberts said, "We no longer have a moral compass.... We have no regard for each other."

Police hope to identify the hit and run driver and make an arrest. But how about arresting the bystanders who did nothing? Angel Arce Torres is in critical condition. If he dies, his blood is not only on the hit and run driver, it is on everyone who did nothing. All that evil needs to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

If anyone saw a tan Toyota with a dark Honda chasing it in Hartford, please contact the Hartford police.
A new James Pence Video appears to be right on point when it comes to apathy and a new form of terrorism. Video

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Did Thieves Motivated By Mathematics Steal Crucifix in Detroit? ~ by Legal Pub

Thieves who stole an 8-foot statue of Jesus Christ off a crucifix on the Church of the Messiah in Detroit were most likely mathematics enthusiasts. Why? Well, did you hear the story of the small boy who started third grade at a public school. He was failing math so his mom switched him to another public school. Again he failed third grade math and his mom enrolled him in parochial school. At the end of the semester he had an "A." The mother asked her son why he suddenly did so well at math. The son responded, "when I first went to the school and saw the priest in charge of the school, I saw they had a man nailed to a plus sign. That made it pretty clear that they took math serious at St. Catherine."
Contrary to Legal Pub's theory, police think the thieves may have stolen the statute thinking it contained copper that could be sold as scrap. But that theory is crap because it is made of plaster.

The Rev. Barry Randolph said the statue looks like copper, but it is only plaster. In the past few months, thieves have damaged copper pipes and stolen aluminum gutters at the church. The congregation has dwindled over the years from about 350 members to about 50.
The church has made a public plea for help. "It is so crazy," Randolph said. Yes, Reverend, a crazy way to motivate kids to do better in math.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Should Drew Peterson Move To Dismiss Weapons Charges? Update 7-31-08 by Legal Pub

This is intended for legal scholars. It is not about Stacy Peterson, nor is it about whether D.P. is guilty of murder. A poster questioned whether the weapons charges were legitimate. On or about 5-21-08, Peterson was arrested for having an illegal weapon. The weapon had been seized shortly after Stacy's disappearance. One gun had a barrel 3/16 of an inch too short. D.P. claims he owned this gun while he was a police officer and therefore he should be excused. Charges remain pending. Joel Brodsky issued a press release: "The allegation is that Drew Peterson had ... an AR-15 assault rifle that had too short of a barrel. According to Illinois law, the barrel of a rifle may not be shorter than 16 inches. State police say this particular ... barrel ... was 3/8 of an inch too short. This weapon ... was used by Drew while he was a Bolingbrook, Ill. police officer. Under Illinois state law, police officers are exempt from barrel length requirements for duty weapons... Authorities seized the weapon ... while Drew was a sergeant and a member of the SWAT team... He did not resign until after the weapons were seized..."
Consider the following Motion to Dismiss...

Now comes the Defendant, ... and pursuant to 725 ILCS 5/114-1, and the inherent authority granted under People v. Newberry, 166 Ill. 2d 310 (1995) moves this Court to enter an order dismissing the above referenced charge. In support of this motion the Defendant states:
1. Defendant is charged with Unlawful Use Of A Weapon under 720 ILCS/24(a)(7)(ii), to wit: having possession of a rifle, a Colt Sporter Lightweight AR-15 .223 Caliber Serial# SL025365, with a barrel length less than 16 inches in length on November 1, 2007.
2. On November 1, 2007, there was in full force and effect a law enacted by the Congress of the United States which states at 18 USCS 926B: (Exhibit “A”)
“§ 926B. Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified law enforcement officers (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof, an individual who is a qualified law enforcement officer and who is carrying the identification required by subsection (d) may carry a concealed firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, subject to subsection (b). (b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that--(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property... (c) As used in this section, the term "qualified law enforcement officer" means an employee of a governmental agency who--(1) is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law, and has statutory powers of arrest;(2) is authorized by the agency to carry a firearm;(3) is not the subject of any disciplinary action by the agency;(4) meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;(5) is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and(6) is not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm.(d) The identification... is the photographic identification issued by the governmental agency for which the individual is employed as a law enforcement officer.(e) ..."firearm" does not include--(1) any machine gun (as defined in section 5845 of the National Firearms Act [26 USCS § 5845]);(2) any firearm silencer (as defined in section 921 of this title [18 USCS § 921]); and
(3) any destructive device (as defined in section 921 of this title [18 USCS § 921]).”

3. The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, exempts qualified law enforcement officers from the application of state laws regarding carrying of concealed firearms.
4. Drew Peterson was a “qualified law enforcement officer” within the meaning of 18 USC 926B on November 1, 2007.
5. On November 1, 2007, Defendant Drew Peterson had photographic identification issued by the Village Of Bolingbrook Police Department required by 18 USC 926B.
6. The firearm identified in the complaint is not any type excluded by 18 USC 926B(e). It is not a machine gun, does not have a silencer, and is not a destructive device as defined by 18 USC 921.
7. The firearm was shipped or transported in interstate commerce since its manufacture at Colt’s factory in Hartford, Connecticut and its seizure by the Illinois State Police in Will County, Illinois on November 2, 2007.
8. The firearm identified in the complaint is capable of being carried in a concealed manner.
9. That since the enactment of this statute on July 22, 2004, Congress has preempted the laws of the individual states and their political subdivisions concerning law enforcement officers accountability to state and local firearms laws.
10. Congress has made it legal for qualified law enforcement officers to conceal and carry any weapon, (other than a machine gun, a silencer equipped gun, or destructive devise), despite any state or local law to the contrary, preempting and superseding all such state and local laws.
11. As a direct and necessary corollary of the right to carry such a weapon in a concealed manner is the necessary right of the said officers to possess, transport, and store said firearms while they are not carrying them.
12. Therefore, Defendant was entitled by Federal law to carry, possess, transport and store said weapon despite contrary state law.
13. Because of this federal exemption, Defendant is immune from prosecution for Unlawful Use Of A Weapon under 720 ILCS/24(a)(7)(ii) for possession of said weapon on November 1, 2007. This Court lacks jurisdiction to prosecute the Defendant for the state offence of Unlawful Use Of A Weapon under 720 ILCS/24(a)(7)(ii). Consequently, the complaint fails to state an offence for which the Defendant can be charged and convicted.
WHEREFORE, Defendant Drew Peterson prays that this Court enter an order dismissing the the charges against him with prejudice and discharge his bond without further delay.

If Joel A. Brodsky and Andrew Abood file such a motion, should the judge dismiss the charges? What do you think?

Update 7-31-08: Joel Brodsky on behalf of Drew Peterson moved to dismiss the charges based on Law Enforcement Safety Act of 2004 enacted by Congress as 18 U.S.C. Sec. 926b (LEOSA.) On 7-30-08, Circuit Judge Richard C. Schoenstedt ruled that Peterson was a qualified law enforcement officer under LEOSA. He further ruled that the Peterson maintained a right to carry a concealed firearm pursuant to LEOSA. The court did not yet make a definitive ruling on whether Peterson can still be charged with possessing an illegal firearm regardless of the protection he is afforded under LEOSA. Since this was a motion to dismiss a charge pending pursuant to a Bill of Indictment presented by the Grand Jury, "the burden is on the defense to show this Court by a preponderance of the evidence that even taking matters in the best light for the State, as a matter of law the Bill of Indictment is so insufficient that it must be dismissed. For the defense to be successful at this stage, this Court would be required to make certain assumptions on behalf of the defense, and against the State as to the intent and meaning of LEOSA. Given the burden as described, this Court declines to do so. " (In sum, the charge survives for now, but it looks like the State won't be able to meet it burden at trial on the gun charge.)

Update 8-18-10: The UUW Gun case is set for hearings on Peterson's motion to dismiss on Monday August 23

Enough is Enough! $7 Million Dollars To Persecute Polygamist Parents Is Ridiculous! ~ by Legal Pub

Perhaps to no surprise of any lawyer in America (except for Nancy Grace) the children have been returned to their polygamist homes. But at what cost? Removing 460 children from the polygamist compound and then reuniting them with their families ended up costing Texas tax payers $7 million. (Based on estimates from the state Department of Family and Protective Services.) Was it worth it to be so wrong?

Almost any lawyer who has tried CHINS cases anticipated that the children would be ordered to return to their families. After all, this should be the ultimate goal of any such case. However, it occurred earlier than perhaps some anticipated because the Texas Supreme Court found that the state did not have enough evidence to show that abuse was happening at the compound. Despite not having evidence of true abuse, the State continued to fight to retain custody and determine parentage through DNA testing. (One suspects that another motive was for the State to gather DNA evidence to prosecute certain leaders for their polygamist beliefs.)

The $7 million price tag does not include more than $500,000 spent by local government agencies involved in the April 3 raid of the compound owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Child welfare officials claim a "pervasive pattern" of sexual abuse through forced marriages between underage girls and older men. On the other hand, members have denied that any sexual abuse occurred. One can only suspect that their is a ring of truth to members claims that they are being unfairly prosecuted because of their religion.

Apparently, legal costs are in excess of $2.2 million. While oil is the toast of Texas, it appears that this is an unnecessary burden on the tax payers of Tom Green County and Schleicher County, where the ranch is located. According to Judge Ben Woodward, neither county has the money to cover the legal costs.

Additional costs were incurred before the Texas 3rd District Court of Appeals. (The appeals court overturned the district court's ruling that the children should remain in state custody.) To show what a huge waste of resources this has been, $7 million would pay for 137 police officers at a salary of $51,060 or it could fund 180 new teachers at the average statewide salary of $38,857. CPS responded to questions of the cost with a statement that CPS "has one purpose in this case: to protect the children. Our goal is to reunite families whenever we can do so and make sure the children will be safe."

But what were they thinking? This was the largest removal of the children in the nation's history. It was their chance to make headlines. And what is the recourse for a wrongful taking? Nothing. CPS is immune. That in and of itself is a source of the problem.

District Judge Barbara Walther, decided last month that the state would retain custody of the children, also ordered DNA testing. Some 599 DNA samples were taken. What was the probable cause for such an order? DNA from only 36 adult males were obtained. CPS will soon have DNA results which one speculates will be given to prosecutors to make their case against key individuals.

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state had no right to seize the 460 children. However, CPS, will use other means to monitor the FLDS. Think back to 1953. Arrests of more than 400 FLDS members in Short Creek on the Utah-Arizona state line occurred. About 200 children were snatched from crying parents and placed in foster care. The raid backfired and Governor Pyle was voted out of office in the next election.

Polygamy is wrong. But this country has a Bill of Rights which calls for freedom of religion and separation of Church and State. Our country was founded so that those fleeing religious persecution had a place where they could be free to worship in the religion of their choice. Some where down the road, our local government has become so paternalistic that constitutional issues such as due process of law (innocent until proven guilty) have been abandoned in the pursuit of the greater good. In the words of Patrick Henry, "Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the cost of chains and slavery... I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Is Kevin Wayne Faulkner An Innocent CarJacking Victim Falsely Accused Of Murder? ~by Georgia Peach

Kevin Wayne Faulkner, 33, says that he has been falsely accused of fatally shooting a man and dumping his body. Faulkner maintains that he too is a victim. Faulkner apparently did in fact report that his van had been carjacked prior to being arrested on Saturday. (Faulkner is currently held in the Houston County jail without bond. He is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.) So what exactly happened on the night that the lights went out in Georgia? What we do know is that the body of Emmanuel Antonio Dawson, 22, was found east of the railroad tracks along the shoulder of Houston Road off Ga. 247 on Friday evening. Dawson died of a bullet wound to the head. We also know that early Saturday morning, Faulkner reported to Fort Valley police that a family member's blue Chevrolet conversion van was carjacked in Warner Robins. We also know that the van was discovered at a gas station on U.S. 341 in Fort Valley. It contained traces of blood in the passenger seat. (Is there a gas station video showing who got out of the car?)

Faulkner apparently told police that he was giving Dawson a ride when they stopped at a Warner Robins convenience store. A third person got in the van, and carjacked the vehicle. The carjacker supposedly dropped Faulkner off at a Fort Valley hotel and drove off with Dawson. Police did not buy Faulkner's story and arrested him on Saturday. Faulkner is accused by prosecutors of killing Dawson in a drug-related robbery. (Dawson was killed by a small-caliber bullet to the head.) Speculation is that Dawson was dealing drugs and that Faulkner was a customer. But can that be proved? Is Faulkner's story plausible? If so, did they arrested the wrong guy?

Authorities ask that anyone who may have seen a blue van in Warner Robins, Georgia after 4 p.m. Friday to please contact the sheriff's office at 542-2085 or 542-2080.

Update 4-8-11: Faulkner was arrested May 31. The state is represented by District Attorney George Hartwig. Debra G. Gomez, a Macon attorney, is representing Faulkner. A jury has been selected.

Update 4-9-11: Give the defense some credit for doing their homework. Prentiss Jackson, in jail on a murder charge himself, testified that his half-brother is a cousin of the victim. Jackson testified that while he was incarcerated with Dwayne Crew, he heard Crew say that he (Crew) shot Dawson in the back of the head. If true, reasonable doubt seems to be present. Read:

A Houston County jury found a Perry man guilty of felony murder in the killing of another man for crack cocaine and cash in 2008. Kevin Wayne Faulkner, 37,  was also found guilty of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in the shooting death of Emmanuel Antonio Dawson, 22, of Warner Robins.  He was found not guilty of malice murder, another charge of felony murder and aggravated battery.  Superior Court Judge Katherine K. Lumsden presided over the trial.

In 2014 the Appellate Court affirmed the conviction.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tatum O'Neal Breaks Down On The Road To Sobriety After Hitting a Crack In New York? ~by Legal Pub

Sobriety can be an elusive target. This may be true for Tatum O'Neal, an Academy Award-winning actress. Tatum was arrested Sunday for allegedly buying crack cocaine in New York. She was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Tatum O'Neal may have an insanity defense. After all, she is the ex-wife of tennis star John McEnroe. (They have three children and one can imagine that they argue every one of their mom's every day rulings in their sibling disputes.)

Unfortunately for Tatum, the 44-year-old actress, wrote a 2004 memoir about her long road to sobriety. One questions if she will write about the latest detour. Apparently in New York crack is so common that possession of a controlled substance is only a misdemeanor.

Did everything happen too fast for Tatum? At 10, she won an Oscar in "Paper Moon."
She is the daughter of actor Ryan O'Neal and seemed to have the world by the tail. Her marriage to McEnroe was perhaps the first hint of bad judgment. Nevertheless, she seemed back on track in 2004 when she wrote of her quest to reach sobriety. Let's hope the sequel will be better then the original.