Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad!  It's been 40 years and you are still setting an example for us!

Quote for the Week

Politics is supposed be the second oldest profession. I have come to realise that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

Ronald Reagan

Friday, October 29, 2010

Toxic Shock

I hate vegetables.  But, I am trying to change that.

This morning, I ate four baby carrots for mid-morning snack.  My body is in shock.  It has no idea what to do with the nutrients.

Must. Have. Caffeine!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

That's Mr. Lawyer with a Gun, BS, JD, LMNOP To You!

Hat tip to the excellent Tam for this:

Call Me Senator from RightChange on Vimeo.

Don't forget to take out the trash on November 2.  We've worked hard for this.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


If this is true, it's, at the very least, an interesting development.

Justice Scalia takes Justice Kagan skeet shooting.

Now, I in no way believe that a single trip to a gun range will change a lifetime of ideas.  However, I do believe it will have some positive impact.

I've taken more people to the range than I can count.  I've introduced many friends to the sport of shooting.  Some have become converts, and all have left the range with a wide, permanent grin.

Here's to hoping this trip makes at least a small difference!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No Thanks!

Funny what happens when you turn down the government's assistance.


Government help doesn't come with strings attached.  It comes with a heavy chain and asks for the deed to your freedom.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quote for the Week (late edition)

One day of practice is like one day of clean living.  It doesn't do you any good.
Abe Lemmons

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Censorship Via Political Correctness

Not to name drop, but I know Juan Williams.  Although he may not remember me from Adam, I had the privilege of serving as his VIP liaison when he came to speak at a conference here some years ago.  During the couple of days I got to spend with him, I was impressed with him, though I did not always agree with him.

Now, he has fallen victim because of the idea that in order to be heard, you must only speak that which is approved.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Polite Society

Given the issues we had over the past couple of weeks (water heater, washing machine, truck), I called for backup and asked a friend to come help. Since the truck gave up the ghost at my job, we started there, and once the truck was going again, we stopped by Subway on the way to the house.

As we were turning left into an empty parking spot, a vehicle behind us decided to pass us--on the left.

Physics being what it is, both vehicles could not occupy the same space at the same time. She, of the compact car, wisely deferred to us of the large work van.

She did however, note her objection for our record. And for the record of everyone else in the busy parking lot. There was lots of hand waving, lots of expletives, even the gratuitous one-fingered salute. We had the A/C going and the windows up, but we still were treated to her lengthy monologue. After her speech, she pulled around the other side and pulled into a nearby parking spot, now going into part two of her animated diatribe.

We pull into our spot, and get out. Now, my friend is not a small fellow, so he cuts quite the imposing figure. She begins to tone down her delivery.

Then, when I get out, our dissenter becomes incredibly docile, and is suddenly preoccupied with something on the dashboard. She remained so occupied until our business was done.

I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that I was open carrying.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Two weeks ago, I met with a potential client and before I walked in, I had no hopes that it would turn out well.  I gave her some very candid advice, since, as I have mentioned before, I don't like to beat around the bush and hide my advice.
This one was particularly painful for me because she is someone I know and the facts of the case, most of which were not her fault or under her control, are disturbing.   However, she has kept some measure of control over what has happened since then, and that is the subject of the upcoming court hearing.

I laid it out for her, politely placed the blame of recent events squarely on her shoulders, and told her what it would cost for us to be there in court with her.  I also told her what she needed to do, most of which involved getting out of the way.  I did not have a good feeling when it was over, and I'm not sure she appreciated my advice.  She did not retain me.

In today's mail, I received a Thank You card from her.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quote for the Week

Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.

George Washington

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Money's Worth

Well, I think I've tamed the former satan spawn, and she's now sort of a cross between a wolverine, a badger, and a fluffy stuffed teddy bear.  I'm convinced Mia loves me, with outstretched paws... and bared teeth.

We have wood flooring and tile on the first floor of the house.  Depending on her speed, Mia sometimes has a spot of trouble keeping traction as she scoots everywhere.

She loves rubber balls.  We have this big multi-colored one that she'll chase until the day is done.

I'll take the ball and throw it down the hallway.  She chases after it.

It's all legs, paws, skids and crashes, with the occasional belly slide when the parts don't work well together.

Heck, if I have to buy the food, she's bringing the entertainment.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Speaking to the Police

So, I get this from a colleague, who is representing this scholar.  I present it with a mild disclaimer.  I wasn't there, and a small part of me wants to think that our clients are really not that clueless.  But then again...


The defendant is driving too fast, and gets the attention of the local police. 

Officer:  Do you know why I pulled you over?

Future Scholar (fidgeting nervously):  Maybe because you want to search my car?

Officer:  No.  I pulled you over because you were speeding.  Do you know how fast you were going?

Future Scholar:  No!  But you're just trying to use that as an excuse to search the trunk of my car.  I know how you guys are!

Officer:  I'm not trying to search your car!  Let me see your license and registration.  [Disappears for a moment, then returns with a ticket.]  Can you please sign the ticket here?

Future Scholar:  Huh...Then you'll ask me if you can conduct the search.

Officer:  (now clearly aggravated) Fine, if you insist.  Do you mind if I search your car?

Future Scholar:  No, since it's what you wanted to do in the first place.  I'm not dumb!

So the officer pops the trunk open and what do you know?  Inside there are several bags of marijuana.  Large bags.

Future Scholar:  @$%#&!!!!  I knew that's why you wanted to search!  You set me up!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have a live feed of the mine rescue on one of my monitors at work.  One website is running the raw feed, so I'm avoiding the tripe time-wasting commentary.

I have to say, this is quite emotional and encouraging.  This has been an international effort and it's good to view some good breaking news for once.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Defending the Poison

Wetback.  Spic.  Foreigner.  Illegal.

I've been called all of those, just because I am Hispanic.

Bigot.  Racist.  Hatemonger.  Intolerant.

Yep.  Been called all of those, too, just because I am a Christian.

I have walked into stores, only to be followed around by store clerks.  I have walked into places and have been told to leave. "We don't like your kind here."  I have felt the heat rise up the back of my neck and my face involutarily redden.  I have sensed the anger boiling inside of me while I have forced myself to walk away, even as my hands ball into fists.

Personally, I don't like those experiences.  But, really, I'm not that special.  We all have our lists of shame.  We have all at one point or another been insulted and offended, some for reasons much more personal and deep than any of mine.

I got to thinking about this as I read the briefs and heard the oral argument on Snyder v. Phelps.  I believe Westboro Baptist Church is immoral, classless, offensive (on more levels than I can count), repulsive, and morally indefensible.  However, I would, without a moment's hesitation, defend their legal right to be unrepentant, ignorant fools.

Walk this through with me for a minute.  Many people want to ban the church's antics because they are offended.  That's not a good enough reason.  We have all offended someone at some point.  Watch me for a moment, and I'm sure I'll find a way to offend someone else.  It's what humanity is made of.  And it's what the First Amendment was enacted to protect.

Asking the courts to come in and protect us from insult can backfire.  It makes no sense to sharpen the sword of governmental power, when you remember that "our" side (whatever that is) will not always be the one holding the sword.

Whack-a-mole is only fun if you're holding the hammer.  And yet sometimes, we are the moles.

We cannot run to the government every time we are offended by some narrow-minded, neanderthal, self-important bigot.  Because, ultimately, we are all that to someone else.

The First Amendment is not a guarantee to protect the thin skinned, milquetoasty, limp-spined among us.  No, we are Americans. As offensive as it may be to us, it is that very exchange of discourse that has made this country great.  Let's defend that.  Even if, in the end, all we are doing is defending someone else's right to spread verbal poison.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Quote for the Week

Things that will destroy man: Politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; worship without sacrifice. --Mohandas Gandhi

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Half the Story

What I will not see:

The owner of a 2010 Cadillac CTS-V will argue with the dealership that sold him the car.  He will point to the trunk of his brand new, $60,000 luxury car.  Inside will be his ruined golf shoes, soaked leather golf club bag, dozens of important papers, all drenched in water.  The carpet in the trunk will be soaked, and there will be some water puddled in the low spaces.

The dealer will insist that the weatherstripping is not defective.  The owner will argue that it is, since the contents are soaked.  Much arm waving and vigorous disagreement will ensue.

What I did see:

After hours of a drenching downpour, I walked outside to get to my car.  Right in front of the door there was a cream colored 2010 Cadillac CTS-V.  The owner had left the trunk lid open, allowing the trunk to collect gallons of water.  I quickly looked around for the owner and saw no one.  I waited around for about a half a minute and then ran around to the back of the car to close the lid.  Inside I saw a fancy pair of golf shoes, a beautiful golf bag with a nice set of clubs, and an open briefcase with papers exposed--all getting drenched.  I looked around for a moment, then reconsidered the wisdom of staring.  I shut the lid, ran to my truck, and headed home.

Good luck at the dealership!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Empty Handed

I've been preparing for a case I've got this morning.  I have nothing.  It seems like the less I have, the more I have to prepare.  Today, the facts are not on my side.  The law is not on my side.  To some extent, I'm not on my side (sorry--need to hike up the dose on my meds).

[Cue dramatic music]  So today, I will swing for the fences.  I will stand proud and deliver my monologue...

And I will have my rear end handed back to me.

I will let you know how it goes.

Monday, October 4, 2010

BRRReaking News!

Shooting to Wound

"You're only going to shoot to hurt someone, right?"

"You don't really want to kill anyone, do you?"

"Why don't you just aim for the arm or leg or something?"

I get those questions all the time.  I could, of course, write an answer here, but I won't.

Someone else has done a much better job answering the question.  Listen to me.  Put down the bagel.

Brigid's post is titled:

If you or a loved one read any post this month, read this one.

She is oh-so-on-the-money.

Seriously.  Her post is an eye-opener, and unlike anything you will read here, could keep you from making a huge mistake.

You must take the time to read it. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quote for the Week

Let every man, every corporation, and especially let every village, town, and city, every county and State, get out of debt and keep out of debt. It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times.

Rutherford B. Hayes

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Birthday Gift!

Yeah!!!  I got it!

After much research, I have chosen this as my birthday gift.

Umm... yep, that's not a gun.  The water heater in the house has given up the ghost.

A moment of silence please.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to complain.  Well actually, I am... but only to the extent it's fair to complain.  I still have a gorgeous wife, two beautiful daughters, a job with a future, etc...  I've been blessed with a place to live, a lot less debt than I had a year ago, and a multitude of friends.  We're all a happy, healthy, and only mildly dysfunctional family.

I'm going to be 38 years old on Tuesday.  I still have clients asking me how long I've been practicing, and whether they'll actually get to meet with an attorney instead of a paralegal.  At least once a week, I'm told I'm too young to be an attorney, even though I've been practicing for 10 years.

Sooooo, I don't really have anything to complain about, but I still would have preferred a gun instead of a water heater.

Oh, well...

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Day

I live on the east coast, and as you may know, we’ve been working extra hard to destroy single-day rainfall records.  One of my paralegals finally located her oars and was finally able to escape her home and come to work.  I just barely dodged having to buy a boat just so I could make it to court on time. Today’s hearing was in a court four cities away, so it would have been quite the haul.

By coincidence, I managed to score a court hearing on the day the court is discussing the bankruptcy of a well-known professional athlete. No one from the press was there, thankfully. I have nothing against reporters; I just like to keep them at arms length when it comes to official business. Actually, that case wasn’t my business anyway, so they would have taken no interest in me. Still, the hearing was steeped in legal issues, so, though of interest to me, it would have put the general public to sleep (just like I do here!).

On top of that excitement (eyeroll), the court had lost power, so the building was running on the emergency generator. It gave the courtroom a very cozy, romantic, low light feeling. Actually, given what they were doing to debtors inside, the ambience may have been appropriate. Anyways. Apparently, the generator in this new building was barely adequate, because the lights alternated between dim, fading, and going out altogether. The judge just kept looking down from his bench, and saying, “Let’s keep going.” So, there was a lot of reading ahead on case notes in the event my case was called while we were on the dark side.

Finally, I get back to the office, where I meet with a client who needs to pin down the value of his house. I suggest that perhaps he may know a Realtor who can help. He looks down and says my daughter was a Realtor.

“Maybe she can still help you,” I say with great eagerness, not noticing that he's shaking his head.

“Well, she just passed away.”

Shoe leather tastes nasty