Saturday, June 1, 2013

Change.org,


Will the people who told my children they are ENTITLED  to  happiness at all times, forever, please identify yourself so you can be shot?

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Change.org - Start, Join, and Win Campaigns for Change 

www.change.org/
Change.org is the web's leading platform for social change, empowering anyone, anywhere to start petitions that make a difference.

The largest site for change in the world. Where one person CAN make a difference.


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About Two-Thirds of Parents Want Their Kids to Be Lawyers(Relatedly, About Two-Thirds of Parents Don’t Read the News)JOB SEARCHES

About Two-Thirds of Parents Want Their Kids to Be Lawyers
(Relatedly, About Two-Thirds of Parents Don’t Read the News)

These people have very high hopes for their special little snowflakes.

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Kindergartner Is Interrogated For Two Hours By Police and School Officers Without Calling His Parents — For Bringing Toy Gun To School

by jonathanturley
Calvert_county_md_sealWe just discussed a story of a kindergartner who was disciplined for a LEGO gun that he brought to school that was smaller than a quarter. Now we have another kindergartner who was suspended for the rest of the year (10 days) for bringing an orange-tipped toy gun to school. Rather than simply discuss the matter with his parents, school officials called police who proceeded to interrogate him for hours without calling police -- a growing problem that we discussed in another story today. The toy was in the boy's backpack and he was pulled into an interrogation with police. I cannot imagine what officers did for two hours in questioning a 5 year old child but it is clear that Calvert County police have zero crime and even less judgment. During his detention with the officials and police, the boy wet his pants.
Editor: Please. Will someone arrest the police?

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Illinois Teacher Disciplined For Telling Students Of Their Fifth Amendment Rights Before Survey On Drug Use

by jonathanturley
logo280px-BataviahsJohn Dryden, a social studies teacher at Batavia High School in Illinois. It may have been his social science background or his concern for basic rights of students, but Dryden felt that he should mention that students have constitutional rights not to incriminate themselves in a school-mandated survey. The survey, after all, was asking the student if they had used drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. In response, the school disciplined Dryden and docked his pay.




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Supply And Demand Demonics: Vatican Exorcist Claims To Have Sent 160,000 Demons To Hell

by jonathanturley
220px-Exorcist_the_Beginning_movieThe Catholic Church's top exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth is calling on Pope Francis to relax current limits on priests performing exorcisms. He insists that the demand of the faithful for exorcisms is rising and the Church needs to increase the supply of the rites. For his own part, Amorth now claims to have sent 160,000 demons to hell -- that is over 1818 a year or roughly 5 a day or one demon every 4.8 hours every day every week every month.









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MSNBC Political Analyst and Georgetown Professor Calls Holder “The Moses Of Our Time”

by jonathanturley
holdereric170px-rembrandt_harmensz-_van_rijn_079-1In the last couple weeks, it has been astonishing to watch Democrats once again abandoning a core principle -- in this case the protection of the free press -- to excuse another abuse of the Obama Administration. The new talking point for defenders of the Obama Administration is that it is really not that bad to seize the records of journalists or label a journalist a potential criminal co-conspirator so long as they are not actually prosecuted. None however are quite so adamant as Georgetown Professor and MSNBC Political Analyst Michael Eric Dyson who called Eric Holder our "law giver" and "the Moses of our time." In this case, of course, Moses came down from the mountain and endorsed the killing of any citizen deemed a national security threat, allowed warrantless surveillance, blocked public interest challenges to abuses of power, and attacked the free press.



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Regular Session Ends and Special Begins 
On Monday afternoon, the 83rd regular session of the Texas Legislature adjourned sine die. Shortly after adjournment, Governor Rick Perry called for a special session on redistricting to begin at 6:00 p.m. that evening.  Click herefor the press release.
Governor Perry has until Sunday, June 16, to sign or veto bills passed during the last 10 days of the regular session. Legislation not signed or vetoed by the deadline will become law automatically.

2014-15 Budget 
A two-year $197 billion state budget was approved by legislators and sent to the Governor. Funding in Article IV for the judiciary is appropriated at $727.9 million over the biennium. The conference committee report for SB 1 is available for review on the Legislative Budget Board’s website.

Basic Civil Legal Services 
HB 1445 by Thompson (D-Houston) relating to the distribution of certain civil penalties and civil restitution received by the attorney general (AG) was signed by the Governor on May 28. HB 1445, also known as the Chief Justice Jack Pope Act, increases the cap for penalties in certain civil cases received by the AG and transferred to the Supreme Court to fund basic civil legal services.
In addition, the budget for the 2014-15 biennium allocates $17.6 million in funding for basic civil legal services.

Of Interest
The following bills have been sent to the Governor. If you are interested in the final status of a particular bill(s), visit Texas Legislature Online.
  • HB 1711 by Fletcher (R-Houston) relating to civil liability for prohibited barratry;
  • HB 1847 by Carter (R-Dallas) relating to continuing legal education in ethics or professional responsibility for prosecutors;
  • HB 2302 by Hunter (R-Corpus Christi) relating to the establishment of the statewide electronic filing system fund and to certain court fees and court costs to fund the account;
  • HB 2772 by Rodriguez (D-San Antonio) relating to an interim study regarding the method by which district judges and appellate justices and judges are selected;
  • HB 3153 by Lewis (R-Odessa) relating to the creation and composition of district courts and statutory county courts and county courts at law;
  • SB 209 by Huffman (R-Houston) relating to the functions and operation of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct;
  • SB 390 by West (D-Houston) relating to the effective date of a new court cost or fee or of an amendment to the amount of a court cost or fee;
  • SB 462 by Huffman (R-Houston) relating to specialty court programs in this state;
  • SB 1630 by West (D-Dallas) relating to the protection of defendants against vexatious litigants; and
  • SB 1908 by West (D-Dallas) relating to a study conducted by the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System and the repeal of certain court fees.

State Bar Legislative Program 
The following bills, included in the State Bar 2013 legislative program, were passed by the Legislature during the regular session and have been sent to the Governor.
Family Law Section:
  • HB 389 by Thompson (D-Houston) relating to the enforcement of spousal maintenance agreements and property distribution agreements incident to divorce or annulment;
  • HB 845 by Lucio (D-Brownsville) relating to possession of or access to a child;
  • HB 847 by Lucio (D-Brownsville) relating to the enforcement of an order to pay child support by contempt and the awarding of costs and fees in certain proceedings; and
  • HB 1366 by Lucio (D-Brownsville) relating to certain procedures in family or juvenile law proceedings.
Real Estate, Probate, and Trust Law Section:
  • HB 2080 by Thompson (D-Houston) relating to guardianships, including the assessment and payment of attorney's fees and other court costs in guardianships, and to court-created management trusts for persons who have physical disabilities;
  • HB 2912 by Thompson (D-Houston) relating to decedents’ estates;
  • HB 2913 by Thompson (D-Houston) relating to trusts;
  • SB 649 by Rodriguez (D-El Paso) relating to the exemption of certain property from seizure by creditors (signed by the Governor on May 18);
  • SB 651 by Rodriguez (D-El Paso) relating to a medical power of attorney (signed by the Governor on May 24); and
  • SB 848 by Carona (R-Dallas) relating to assignment of rents to holders of certain security interests in real property.

Just For Fun
The following resolutions were passed by the Legislature this session.
  • HCR 31 by Eiland (D-Galveston) designating the Kemp's ridley sea turtle as the official State Sea Turtle of Texas;
  • HCR 36 by Smith, W. (R-Baytown) designating February 16 as Texas Homemade Pie Day for a 10-year period beginning in 2013;
  • HCR 53 by Farney (R-Georgetown) designating pecan pie as the official State Pie of Texas;
  • HCR 84 by Springer (R-Muenster) designating Floydada as the Pumpkin Capital of Texas;
  • HCR 87 by Springer (R-Muenster) designating the pumpkin as the official State Squash of Texas;
  • HCR 96 by Button (R-Garland) designating Garland as the Cowboy Hat Capital of Texas; and
  • HCR 102 by Miller, D. (R-New Braunfels) designating peach cobbler as the official Cobbler of Texas.

Annual Meeting
Make plans to attend the 2013 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Dallas on June 20-21. The Annual Meeting will feature a legislative update track on Friday, June 21. Click here for more information.








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The New Yorker
May 31, 2013
ShareSHARETweetTWEETForwardFORWARD
ANDY BOROWITZ

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In the latest scandal to rock the Obama Administration, a leading Republican congressman accused the President today of using his position to obtain free government housing for himself and his family.…
Read more at newyorker.com.



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This week at the Court in Plain English

Wow!  If you were following the LiveBlog yesterday, you didn't even have time to refill your coffee cup in between the announcements of the Court's five "“ yep, that's right, five "“ opinions. If even if you weren't on the LiveBlog, here's the rundown in Plain English.
Many Court watchers were pretty excited on Thursday because we finally got a number of particularly interesting opinions.  Yesterday's biggest case? J.D.B. v. North Carolinaa case about kids and Miranda rights.
Let's start with a very brief explanation of what Miranda does. If you have ever seen any crime or police show on television, you probably know that a landmark case known as Miranda (arising under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution) requires police to advise suspects of their rights, especially with respect to self-incrimination. Miranda only applies, however, when a suspect is in "custody" and being subjected to "interrogation."   In other words, if a police officer just walks up to you to say hello, and you confess to a crime, you are out of luck because you were neither in custody nor interrogated "“ that's pretty clear.  But what is less clear, and has been the subject of a lot of Supreme Court litigation over the years, is what exactly it means to be "in custody" or "interrogated."
J.D.B. was a case about the "custody" requirement "“ specifically, whether courts can consider a minor's age in determining whether a minor is in custody and therefore deserves to be read his rights. Over the last fifty years, the Court has held that to determine whether a suspect was "in custody," courts should look at whether the reasonable (or average) suspect would think that he is free to leave.
In this case, J.D.B. (the Court uses his initials because he was a minor) was a thirteen year-old who was pulled out of class and taken to a conference room at his school, where "“ among others "“ a uniformed police officer questioned him about some stolen goods.  J.D.B. eventually confessed to stealing the goods.  Later, though, he argued that his confession could not be used because police had not read him his Miranda rights.  The North Carolina Supreme Court rejected that argument, however, and he filed a petition for certiorari in which he argued that because he was a minor, he would not reasonably believe that he was free to leave when confronted by a police officer.
Yesterday the Court agreed with J.D.B. and reversed.  In a five-four 4 opinion authored by Justice Sotomayor, it held that a minor's age can be relevant when determining whether he is "in custody," in part because of the psychological differences between minors and adults.  It continued, however, to explain that a minor's age will not always be relevant, but at the very least it will be when the suspect is obviously young  young or when a police officer knows that the suspect is a minor "“ a scenario that was clearly the situation here, when the officer was questioning J.D.B. at his middle school.
Although you might think that a defendant would win if the Court ruled in his favor, that's not always the case.  For example, even though the Court agreed that the lower courts should have considered J.D.B.'s age in determining whether he was "in custody," he will not necessarily get a new trial.  Instead, the Court sent back the case back to North Carolina for courts in that state to decide whether he was in custody under the new rule.








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karla












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Disbarred Lawyer Sentenced to Prison, Restitution

Texas Lawyer
June 3, 2013
Disbarred lawyer Steven L. Rushing of Longview was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $929,076.29 in restitution after he pleaded guilty to mail fraud.
U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider of the Eastern District of Texas, who sentenced Rushing on May 22, ordered him to report to prison on July 22.
Rushing did not return a telephone message left at his home. His defense attorney, Kenneth Hawk II, a federal public defender in Tyler, says the sentence is within the agreed punishment range specified in Rushing's plea agreement with federal prosecutors. The plea agreement is sealed.
"It's entirely fair based upon federal law and the facts of the case," Hawk says of the sentence. He notes that his client has cooperated with investigators.
Prosecutor James Noble IV, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Texas, says he is "satisfied" with the sentence.
"It's a sad story," Noble says.
As the federal government alleged in the Feb. 15, 2013, information filed by the Office of Eastern District Attorney John Bales, Rushing devised a "scheme" to "obtain funds from insurance providers through fraudulent representations, and maintain those funds for personal use."
The information alleged that, from about January 2007 through December 2011, Rushing, who represented clients in personal injury suits stemming from accidents, would negotiate settlements with defendants or insurance providers. The information alleged Rushing would represent to the insurance providers that his clients, in exchange for settlement payment, would use a portion of the proceeds to pay for some or all of the clients' outstanding medical bills.
The information alleged Rushing would deposit settlement checks into his account, provide his clients with a disclosure document that would detail how the money would be used to pay medical providers, and pay his clients a " 'client net' amount."
"Mr. Rushing would then execute checks payable to his client's medical providers, but then fail to actually forward said checks to the provider. As a result, Mr. Rushing converted the portion of the settlement proceeds intended for his client's medical providers to his own use," the information alleged.
He was charged with one count of mail fraud for sending a letter in June 2011 to an insurance adjuster, representing that a client's medical bills would be paid out of a $6,836 settlement, but Rushing "did not, then and there, intend to, nor did he ever, pay any of said liens with said proceeds."
Rushing, who was disbarred by the State Bar of Texas in November 2012, according to State Bar online records, pleaded guilty to the criminal charge on Feb. 15, the same day the information was filed.
His sentence of 41 months in prison is less than the maximum sentence of 20 years that the information lists as possible for the mail fraud charge.
Noble says that, while the government has identified nearly $1 million in unpaid invoices to medical providers, there could be more.
"There are probably some clients that may have gotten the proceeds from their settlement, but they don't know that their providers haven't been paid," he says.





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Trey Apffel Gets Agreed Mistrial in Judge Dupuy's Court

Texas Lawyer
June 3, 2013
   

Few Texas litigators will be able to top the war stories recently collected by Trey Apffel during the course of a single week.
On Wednesday, May 22, the medical-malpractice case the League City solo was trying concluded with an agreed mistrial, because the presiding judge was indicted. The next day, Apffel was elected president of the State Bar of Texas in a heated runoff election.
Apffel says he started his work week on Monday, May 20, in the Galveston County courthouse, representing a plaintiff in a medical-malpractice jury trial in County Court-at-Law No. 3. Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., presiding Judge Christopher Dupuy told the jury and the two lawyers in the case that he had a “scheduling conflict” and ended testimony for the day, advising that he’d let them know if the conflicts continued, Apffel says.
By Wednesday, May 22, Apffel says he and his opposing counsel figured Dupuy probably wouldn’t be back on the bench. Dupuy had been indicted on two felony and six misdemeanor criminal charges by a Galveston County grand jury that day.
“Word travels fast. I spoke with the defense counsel, and it wasn’t going to be pleasant for anyone,” Apffel says. “He [Dupuy] was being a super gentleman during the course of the trial, and he was not letting it interfere with his work in the case. So, when we approached, we asked the court to declare a mistrial so he could take care of personal matters,” Apffel says.
When Dupuy agreed, it was a relief to both lawyers, Apffel says, because they were preparing for a day filled with expert testimony — something neither lawyer wanted to repeat later during a new trial.
It was a good call, because on Thursday, May 23, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued an order of suspension against Dupuy, taking him off the bench without pay, effective immediately. That same day, Apffel got word that he had won his race for president-elect.
Deanna Lovett, of counsel in Houston’s Ryan & Dawson who represents the defendant in the case, did not return a call for comment. Dupuy did not return an email request for comment.






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4,256 Hits, Millions in Autographs

Pete Rose Works Full-Time Selling His Signature in Las Vegas; the Occasional Sports Bet


Las Vegas
A few steps from the casino at the Mirage, baseball's all-time hit king sits behind a table in a memorabilia shop, pen in hand. Through a glass wall, Pete Rose sees revelers and gamblers, shoppers and visitors. To him, they are all potential customers.
Baseball's all-time hit king is now America's king of autographs. Pete Rose, the man banned for betting on baseball, is now working in the gambling capital of the world. Geoff Foster has details on Lunch Break. Photo: Isaac Brekken for The Wall Street Journal.
"They might not look like they're going to buy anything," Rose said. "But they will."
In 1985, Rose collected career hit No. 4,192, breaking Ty Cobb's major-league record. (Rose finished with 4,256.) Now, in the 24th year of his lifetime ban for betting on baseball, Rose is chasing another title: America's autograph king.
Isaac Brekken for The Wall Street Journal
Pete Rose doing what he does best at the Mirage in Las Vegas.
Since 2005, he has spent several hours per day, 15 to 25 days per month, 12 months per year signing his name for money. He signs and poses for photos with anyone who buys memorabilia from his business partners, with items such as baseballs and photos ranging from $75 to $800. And for this, Rose earns more than $1 million per year.
"Pete's job is to be Pete Rose," said Joie Casey, president of Hit King Inc., which manages Rose's autograph ventures. "And he's the best Pete Rose there's ever been."

Vote & Discuss


When Rose and Casey went into business together in 2005, it was only about a year after Rose publicly admitted to betting on baseball, which he denied for more than a decade. At that point, Rose, the Cincinnati Reds icon, was hopeful that his confession would lead to his reinstatement. He wanted to manage again.
But nearly a decade has passed without a change in his status. And in that time, Rose has gone from a frequent visitor to a fixture on the Strip, where he is as omnipresent as the Fountains of Bellagio.
Rose, whose proclivity for paid appearances and autograph signings dates to his playing days, believes he is unrivaled. "I must say that what I do, and I don't mean to sound arrogant about this, but what I do, I think I'm the best at it," Rose said.
"Willie Mays is not going to do this, because he don't want to do it. Hank Aaron is not going to do it. Carl Yastrzemski is not going to do it. Some guys do shows. They do card shows. No one is going to try to do this 15 days a month."
Rose, 72, has a zeal for selling his signature that is unmatched. A willingness to schmooze with his customers doesn't hurt, either.
When a man named Nick approached his table Tuesday, Rose asked where he was from. "New Jersey," the man said. "Yankee Jersey or Phillie Jersey?" Rose said. "Actually for me, it was Mets Jersey," the man said, to which Rose responded, "My sympathies. God bless you."
Rose, who lives in a condo just off the Strip, is fuzzy on some basic facts. He says he doesn't remember when he moved to Las Vegas. He could not even offer a guess. But he knows every detail of his business.
He knows that when he and Casey got started, they cleared around $3,000 per day in sales, a figure they quickly quadrupled. He knows that 2007 was their best year, with total sales reaching $3.6 million. And he knows that business travelers buy more memorabilia than partygoers. "I need conventions," he said.
Rose also knows how it looks: the man banned for betting on baseball working in the capital of gambling. But he said his gig would not work anywhere else.
"Every three days, there's different people," he said. "People come here and they have money and they shop and they spend money."

As he walked past a row of blackjack tables, Rose pointed to one and said, "See, I don't know anything about this." The only parts of casinos he frequents are sports books. Every so often, Rose said he still bets on other sports, but not on baseball. "I just don't want to bet on baseball," he said. "That cost me too much."
Rose's status remains a contentious issue within the sport. Many fans want Major League Baseball to reinstate him, which would make him eligible for the Hall of Fame. But commissioner Bud Selig has yet to formally rule on Rose's application for reinstatement, which he filed in 1997. When asked recently if he planned to make a ruling before his term ends in 2014, Selig said, "I keep saying it's under review, and that's where it is. I'll let you draw your own conclusions."
Rose called Selig "a good man" and said "guys like me make his job harder." He blames himself for his exile. But he also expressed frustration. "Just do this for me: Say yes or no," he said. "Why do you keep me hanging?"
Either way, chances are Rose isn't going anywhere. He recently signed a multimillion-dollar contract with Hit King Inc. that runs through 2017. The company, which is co-owned by Casey, does little other than sell Rose-signed memorabilia. Though his autograph has become the opposite of a rare collector's item, in-person sales remain strong.
And if nothing else, Rose is at home here. Because Hit King Inc. partners with a memorabilia dealer with shops in several casino malls, the location of his autograph table changes periodically based on where they think the market will be strongest. As a result, Rose has become friendly with service workers all around town. He sees himself as one of them, Charlie Hustle in a city of hustlers.
"I'm like they are," Rose said. "I just have a bigger name. Everybody works in this town."
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