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A Bit O’ Blog

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

We are now coasting into the Memorial Day weekend. Be honest! You don’t have time to read one of my blog epistles…. Right?

So, I am posting some pic o’s for thought as you head into the weekend. I hope you have a wonderful and thoughtful weekend… and I will be back on Tuesday morning!

 

So, here’s some lion wisdom:

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Some Croc:

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And some animal humor among “friends”:

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Courtroom Interrupting

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

What happens when a lawyer won’t stop talking? The Las Vegas Review-Journal tells us the answer.

Tensions began to mount during a Monday morning hearing. Zohra Bakhtary, a Las Vegas deputy public defender, had been in front of Judge Peace Conrad Hafen (Yes… Peace) for at least one day a week during the past year. Perhaps proof that familiarity does breed contempt.

Attorney Bakhartary was arguing to keep a man out of jail, who had violated probation on petit larceny charges. At some point, the judge told her to “be quiet.”

Here’s how the transcript reads:

Told by Judge Hafen  to “be quiet,” she kept talking.

“Zohra,” the judge said.

“You’re making—” she said.

“Do you want to be found in contempt?” the judge asked her.

“Judge, you’re asking—” she responded.

“Now. Not another word,” the judge said.

“Judge, you’re—,” said Bakhtary, who was cut off by the judge’s order to his marshal to handcuff her: “Travis, right now. I’m tired of it. Right now.”

Hafen then sentenced Bakhtary’s client to six months in jail. He then had the attorney handcuffed. Then she sat in the jury box, alongside inmates wearing jail clothing, while the judge finished his remaining docket.

Her client,  who had been arrested on theft charges, was found guilty and ordered to spend the next six months in jail on a probation violation

“And then, Travis, go ahead and un-cuff Zohra,” Hafen said. “I think she’s learned a lesson.”

Apparently, life has moved on. The attorney’s boss was interviewed by the reporter and explained, “I don’t think there’s going to be a hangover from this,” Kohn said. “She’s tenacious. It’s probably why today happened. But I don’t believe for one second that this will deter her from doing her job zealously. I know that she will continue to fight for her clients. As far as I’m concerned, it’s behind us.”

No word on how her client felt. Must have been curious to see her sitting… right there among the crowd!

And for pic o’ day, this just seemed applicable:

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History of May 25

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

This day of May 25 stands as a day of significance in the history of our country. In 1787, delegates from every state of the newly formed 13 independent states, except Rhode Island, met in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. There, they began to consider amendments to the Articles of the Confederation.

It was a heated debate. Some wanted a document that gave more power to the Federal government, while others argued that a strong federal government would mean taking power from the states.

The delegates finally reached an agreement on the wording of the Constitution to satisfy both concerns.  This Constitution was agreed upon on September 17,1787. That’s no 45 minutes of disagreement. It’s what you call “a long argument”!

To this day, there is continuing argument on how much the government should be doing versus states and individual rights. It sounds a lot like our Presidential candidate debates. Philosopher George Santayana reportedly once said that, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it”. It’s been also quoted as “that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. The argument continues!

And for pic o’ day, I thought this was timely because of the NBA playoffs…

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Tuesday Notebook

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Yesterday’s blog turned into a novel so I am writing a “shorty” today. I can feel your sigh of relief!

Here’s a few thoughts from the notebook:

American Revolution General John Burgoyne disciplined his men in an unusual method. Those who misbehaved were not flogged or imprisoned. They were simply made to wear their coats inside-out. Yet, history reports that his men had so much respect for him, that his troops had the lowest disobedience record of any soldiers in the war. Curiously, he went on to be an accomplished playwright. (I thought this was an interesting note on motivation… but I had no idea how to work it into a motivational blog.)

Here’s a tip! The word “tip,” meaning a gratuity, was originally an acronym for “To Insure Promptness. It’s curious to me that you are insuring promptness… at the end of the meal!

The name Wendy was used in the story of Peter Pan. Before that story, there was no one named Wendy. (I am not sure how they verify that fact but I guess there was no Wendy’s Frosty… before Wendy’s… Boom!)

And now my favorite… Amy M. sent pic o’ day, and this really made me laugh!

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The Other Side of Adversity

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

If you drove to Siberia (maybe not a good idea to drive!) and interviewed every inhabitant about art, they probably have all heard of the Mona Lisa.   Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is without doubt, the most famous painting in the world. There’s been a movie named Mona Lisa Smile, where Julia Roberts earned 25 million; which reportedly is still the highest salary payment for a female movie actress. Nat King Cole recorded a song by the same name.

It’s the “why she is famous” that  tickles our fancy. It’s not that it’s the most amazing piece of art ever painted; or even the most talented artist to ever paint. In fact, there were artists during his time period like Michelangelo, who were even considered more talented.

Certainly observers have been captivated by her slight smile, or who the artist was using as a model for the painting. It supposedly was Lisa del Giocondo, a member of a wealthy family and husband to a silk merchant. Even that has come under question.  It does make for a great gift if he the merchant commissioned a painting that was a lady for My Lady.

The reality is, that the Mona Lisa is famous because of her adversity. Famous then, for being famous.

Originally it was languishing in obscurity until it was stolen from the Louvre in 1911. Then, the hunt for the payment was a public search that lasted over two years until an Italian maintenance man at the Louvre, Vincenzo Peruggia, was identified as the thief after being caught trying to sell the painting to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. His arrest was covered by the news all across the globe.

History tells us that the painting was moved by Louis XIV to the Palace of Versailles. After the French Revolution, it was moved to the Louvre; but for a brief time, even hung in the bedroom of Napolean. The travels of the Mona Lisa are described well in Wikipedia.

It was hidden during World War II. It has had acid thrown on it in 1956, and even was chipped by a rock near the left elbow, that same year.

The metaphor to this is what I have seen in clients. Many have faced tremendous adversity because of an injury or loss. It’s what I see on the other side that is the constant challenge to me. The report of an accomplishment or even the post of some event on Facebook.

It’s not that they have laughed in the face of adversity; but they have risen above. Leonardo da Vinci said, “I love those who can smile in trouble”. Mary Tyler Moore on adversity, “You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you”.

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take. Hen He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

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Judge Judy’s Son

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Which blog title is more eye-catching? Judge Judy’s Son or A Prosecutor Gets Sued? Obviously, I went with the first title but here’s the real story:

What recourse does someone have when they feel as though a prosecutor went after them without just cause. This is what one lawyer did.

In a civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, attorney George Galgano claims that former Putnam County District Attorney, Adam Levy, conducted a “campaign of serial perjury, evidence fabrication and gross abuse of power” by pursuing two criminal cases against him with no evidence to support the charges. (The  Journal News)

The lawsuit claims that Levy, who was defeated in a November election (and is Judge Judy Scheindlin’s son) wiretapped Galgano and  improperly intercepted client communications without any legal reason. He claims that Levy did it as a politically motivated prosecution.

Galgano had been originally indicted under a charge of bribing an alleged sexual assault victim, so that she wouldn’t testify against one of his clients. Once a judge dismissed the charges brought by Prosecutor Levy, he flew into a rage, according to another attorney/whistleblower in the District Attorneys Office.

The article and lawsuit go on to detail on the actions that Levy then took to still go after Galgano. Ultimately, all those actions of misconduct came to light and Levy ended up resigning from the District Attorney office. That’s when the Civil suit was then filed.

Every prosecutorial agency in America should study this case and use it to show their prosecutors how not to do their jobs,” said attorney Robert Altchiler, who defended Galgano in the original criminal prosecution. “It was shocking as it was happening, it was shocking after the cases were dismissed and it’s still shocking now.”

It took someone inside the office to bring this to light. The wrongdoer just happened to be the son of a “TV Judge celebrity”.

I hope you have a great weekend! The days are only Cloudy when you want them to be!

And for our weekend pic o’… some photos make you look twice. Guess it could have been worse… could have been wearing a tank top!

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The Goodness of Routine

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Have you dined with us before?” or how about “How was everything?”. I consider these two questions to be in the top five of worthless restaurant questions… and I cannot come up with three more.

I have noticed that no matter how I answer those restaurant questions… I get the same response. No response! So, I have taken it upon myself to try to answer in a way that causes the person asking, to at least pause.

I could answer the “Have you dined with us before” question with an answer of “Yes, 45 minutes ago” or “Yes, back in the early 50′s“. That usually gets some attention!

How was everything?” usually causes me to answer, “Great, how was I as a customer?”.

The point of those observations is that everyone gets in a routine. I know that my observations of mindless routines sound a bit sarcastic… but I do like routine.

In our injury cases, it’s easy to only look at the value of the injuries and the medical bills. But, I also think that the concept of routine… and being knocked out of routine… is also a damage.

At the end of vacation, many people say that “I am so glad to be home”. What they are really saying, is that they are glad to be back to their routine.

All said, I am a fan of routine. And, I am probably stating the obvious.  Kinda like the guy who said that a computer once beat him in chess, but the computer was no match for him in kickboxing. (OK, I just wanted to throw that in, it really has nothing to do with the blog)

Still, the next time someone at the cash register looks down at something and mumbles, “How was everything?” without looking up, I hope you will think about these thoughts on routine… and then ask them “Great… How was I as a customer?”!   It will knock them out of routine!

And for pic o’ day, giraffe routine:

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Politics of Obituary

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch comes a classic obituary. It started with this message:

NOLAND, Mary Anne Alfriend. Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the age of 68.

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Even her picture makes you believe that she had quite a sense of humor… even on Cloudy days!

I guess she just thought that Trump and Hilary

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I’m not working on a “last blog”… but this “last message” made me laugh. Well done Mrs. Noland!

And for pic o’ day…

 

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“Eye Witness”

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Uncle D said yesterday that he doesn’t like when I start with a coffee pic o’… so I will be brief!

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Here’s a good ole-fashioned trial story.  A lawyer was cross-examining a man who had witnessed a car crash. His questioning of the witness went as follows:

Did you see the man on the trainYes sir.

Where was he? About thirty cars back from the train engine.

At that time, where were you? I was in the train car behind the engine.

At this point, what time of night was it? About eleven o’clock.

Are you trying to tell me that you could see a man who was thirty cars away from you, especially as dark as it was? Yes sir.

How far do you think that you can see at night? I would guess about a million miles… cause I can see the moon at night too.  

And now for pic o’ day… some positive thinking!

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The Reminder of Human Cork

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

And to get us started for Monday…

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I saw an article in this weekend’s edition of Pilot Online about the Human Cork, Angelo Faticoni.  He traveled to Tidewater to beat a world record of buoyancy by attempting to break the world’s endurance record for swimming in saltwater. His goal was to beat the already attained  86 hours.

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What got my attention, beyond the curiosity of the story and the pictures that included him just casually reading the paper, was the fact that crowds gathered at the Norfolk city park. They were there just to watch him float.

 

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Reading the article and seeing the picture of the crowd reminded me of what was entertainment “back in the day”. In fact, courtrooms would also fill up when a jury trial took place. In the classic movie To Kill a Mockingbird, the entire town gathered to watch a criminal trial. In 1995, the O J Simpson murder trial was considered the trial of the century, as people across the nation would tune to their TV for the day’s trial events. Basically, it was the start of reality TV.

That is really the exception. In reality, I now root hard for a short jury trial. Last year, I was thankful to settle a case that was originally set for six weeks. I  was concerned that no one could take time to sit as a jury for that long. And of course, I knew that there would be no packed gallery of spectators. We all have shorter attention spans and much more,  trying to grab our attention.

Finally, are you wondering if the Human Cork broke the record?  Remember, the record was 86 hours. I’d love to tell you what you want to hear. Unfortunately, Cork only stayed in the water for 71 hours and 19 minutes. Too bad for Cork! Right?

As a side benefit, the article did note that he lost 35 pounds during his “flotation”. After the unsuccessful try, he weighed a svelte 307. You can also click the pasted site for him to see what secret he took to his grave. (That’s called a blog tease!)

That also begs the question, does a 1000 pounds of cork weigh less than a thousand pounds of steel?

And now our pic o day…

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