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Archive for The Human Spirit

Oh That Glove!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

During game 1 of baseball’s 1996 American League Championship series between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees, a fan impacted the result of the game.

The Yankees were trailing the Orioles 4-3, going into the bottom of the eighth inning. Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter hit a high fly ball to right field. Oriole right-fielder Tony Tarasco moved back toward the fence and waited to catch the towering ball.

Just as Tarasco was about to catch the ball, a glove from the stands appeared over the fence and snatched the ball, before it came down into Tarasco’s glove and the field of play.

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The play was ruled a home run instead of fan interference. OK… I can tell that you think that I am just a bitter Orioles’ fan. Here’s another angle.

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Now do you believe me? The baseball rule that applied states that if “a spectator reaches out of the stands, or goes on the playing field and touches a live ball” spectator interference is to be called.

Right field umpire Rich Garcia immediately ruled the play as a home run, which tied the score at 4-4. The Yankees ended up winning the game in the 11th inning,  showing the impact of that call. The 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier had changed the game and and the series.

The umpire later admitted that there was spectator interference, but he maintained that the ball was not catchable anyway. According to the rules, had the umpire determined at the time that there was fan interference, he would have then used his own judgment to determine the likely outcome of the way… whether it be an out or awarding Jeter a hit such as a double.

Here’s the transcript of the announcer for Orioles baseball as he called it in real time:

There’s a high fly ball to right, deep…Going back is Tarasco, to the warning track, to the wall, he’s under it now…AND IT’S TAKEN AWAY FROM HIM BY A FAN, AND THEY’RE GONNA CALL IT…A HOME RUN! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! Richie Garcia is calling it a home run, and Tarasco is out to argue! A terrible call by Richie Garcia! IT’S ALL TIED UP! —Jon Miller Orioles radio.

     The next day, that umpire was shown along the Yankee sidelines as he signed autographs for the fans. That just added insult to injury for O’s fans. Umpire Garcia instantaneously became a New York celebrity. Meanwhile Jeffrey Maier also became a celebrity. A local newspaper gave him tickets behind the Yankee dugout for other playoff games and he appeared on national talk shows.
     In February of this year, the Maier glove was auctioned by Heritage Auctions. An anonymous buyer paid $22,705 for the cowhide glove that interfered.
     Going back to that 1996 game, at the time, Orioles manager Davey Johnson came racing out to argue the call. He was ultimately ejected for arguing. A Baltimore reporter for MASN recently asked him about that call and getting ejected in light of the glove’s reported sale.

     “You need breaks and that was a big one for the Yankees. And I don’t know how I could see it from about 300 feet and Richie was right next to it, looking up, and couldn’t see that. That got me thrown out,” Johnson said.

Did Johnson consider bidding on the glove?

No, I don’t want anything to do with that glove, before or now,” he said. “It cost me money, so why would I pay for it?”

     When I read about this, I was reminded of what usually transpires at the end of cases that I handle.  I will ask my client whether they want their file; or more specifically, do they want the photographs and various drawings that might have been part of the evidence. Almost always, clients will express similar sentiment as manager Davey Johnson was about that glove. They will tell me that they just want to put it behind them and want no reminders of their claim.
     Now… I just wish I could forget about that cowhide glove!

And for pic o’ day, a bit of toothbrush sampling!

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An Apple to Court

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Apple has announced that it will start delivering its Apple watch on April 24.

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I know that Apple wants us to get all excitedIMG_1467

but my initial reaction was to simply ignore it. I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to watches. I consider a watch as part of the outfit.

The watch’s sellling points include the ability to send messages, update such sites as Facebook, interact with the searching information Siri, and operate all the apps that become available. Plus, you can use it to exercise and it somewhat allows us to avoid carrying the phone in the purse or pocket.

Ok, I will stop sounding like I’m selling this watch for Apple  because I still am not sure if I will ever buy one. However, it does take me back a bit to what used to be allowed in the Courtroom.

There was a crossover time of technology. For the longest time you could not bring your cell phone to court. Some courts still have that sign. Then, phones became more than just phones. Lawyers carried their calendars on them. When the Judge would try to schedule a trial, most of us would have to say that we didn’t know if we had those dates available… because we could not bring our phone to the courtroom.

Moving forward, iPads became the item of planning choice including the ability to load trial presentations and depositions instead of bring huge boxes of files. Of course, the iPad is still in use and I skipped several technology steps including the introductory Blackberry that got us all started with emails. It became irritating to watch lawyers who couldn’t help themselves and just continually checked their emails.

The point of all this is that I wonder if that device on the wrist will be replacing all that. Will a judge be leaning over to ask someone to stop viewing their Facebook or pinning on Pinterist?

Life is changing and so is technology in the court! Calendars and quick legal research might be just a click away… on the wrist.

And for pic o’ day, just asking for friendliness between rock, paper and scissors!!!!

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Just Another Wednesday

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Here’s some trivia. Who was the highest ranking Union soldier to die during the Civil War? Answer: Major General John Sedgwick. IMG_0129

Unfortunately, his death was the result of false confidence, bad planning and bad leadership. Part of the reason for his confidence was probably because he had previously been wounded in the Battle of Glendale and then shot three times during the Battle of Antietam. I’m guessing he started to believe that he was untouchable. Unfortunately, here’s how history records his death.

      Major General Sedgwick chastised his men for acting scared of nearby Confederate sharpshooters. He had directed the soldiers in placing ammunition and artillery around them in preparation for what later would be known as the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse.  It irritated him that they were acting so squeamish.

With Confederate sharpshooters only about  1,000 yards away from them, the soldiers kept running for cover every time a bullet would be fired.

History tells us that Major General Sedgwick walked right out in the open and was quoted as saying, “What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line?” Apparently, his confidence did nothing to calm the soldiers, which only incensed him more.

He then hollered, “Why are you dodging like this? They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” (From the book Who’s Who in the Civil War and historian Gordon Rhea)  Reports then say that he was shot moments later, under his left eye. There, he fell down dead from a sharpshooter’s bullet. Despite being on the opposing side, even General Robert E. Lee expressed sadness over losing his old friend.

And for pic o’ day, just taking it easy… or something like that:

summer day

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Dr. Bill

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Bill Whitehurst was dressed in his “Sunday-go-to-meeting” suit because he really was in church. At the time, he was Congressman from Virginia’s second district and I worked for him in the Norfolk district office. Just as many others, I knew him as Dr. Bill.

As a backdrop, I had come to work for him as a summer intern. He then asked me to continue on staff while I attended college during my junior year. So, everyday I would race from my classes to work half-days at the Congressional office. That meant that I usually would answer mail and phone calls. Which brings me back to that Sunday morning.

He had been invited to my church that morning to briefly speak. When I saw him come through the church door, I made a beeline toward him. That’s when he greeted me and also handed a few of letters to me. They were letters that I had prepared for his signature.

Usually, he would come back from Washington on weekends and personally sign each letter that had been prepared for him during the week. He always wanted to personally sign his mail even though most other elected officials used those signature machines. It was a lot of letter signing each weekend.

These were the days before spell check and computers. When he handed me my prepared letters, I noticed that a couple had corrections on them with an attached instruction note. He asked me to make some changes that included spelling… which I did. I couldn’t help it, it made me laugh out loud because that was his personality. He actually brought the mail to church because he wanted to get it right and get them mailed out the next morning.

When I had first come to work as an intern, the office manager, Rena Wasserman, had given me some words of advice in working there. She did so with a smile. One recommendation was to never drive him in my car. Whenever he wanted me to drive, I would just hand him my key. It was true, he was a terrible “backseat driver”.

Years later, I now have a note and a letter from him that are framed together. One is the note that was attached to those letters that he gave me on that Sunday, asking me to make changes. The letter framed beside it was the thank you that he sent me after my last day of employment.

His thank you meant a lot to me and the note of corrections reminded me to pay attention to the details.

letter W.

Dr. Bill made a lasting impression on how I work. He never felt that it was necessary to stand on the floors of Congress to make speeches. Instead, he emphasized taking care of those that he represented. That was emphasized to everyone that worked for him.

He once told me that the best part of working in Washington was seeing it in his rearview mirror each weekend, as he headed back home to Tidewater. It’s too bad that there aren’t more of our elected officials less consumed with Washington and more consumed with the detail of doing a good job and taking care of those who elected them.

I decided to write about Dr. Bill when I read Philip Walzer of PilotOnline.com , who wrote an article about Dr. Bill receiving the First Citizen Award from the Norfolk Cosmopolitan Club. And, this Thursday that he is also going to be celebrating his 90th birthday.

He attributes his long life to not smoking, “pushing away” from the dinner table and teaching, because “students energize you” according to the article. He continues to teach at Old Dominion University.

You’ll learn a great deal about Dr. Bill in this well written article from the Pilot. It brought back some great memories. A man who has influenced many including me.

A couple of years ago, I was fortunate to attend a dinner that honored Dr. Bill. Following that night, he sent me another letter to tell me that he is proud of me. Yes… I have that letter framed too!

And for pic o’ day…

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Writing on Anything

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

With the craziness of the weather, it caused me to want to write about something I wanted to write about. So I thought, “What do I want to write about?”. Time ticked on.

Then I thought that I would figure out a way to write about baseball. Still, I couldn’t figure out how spring training belonged in a legal blog. Boom… it happened.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced that they are going to be selling the Churro Dog during the season. Right then, I knew what I needed to blog about. Somehow, I needed to make this a contract matter. The Churro Dog!

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It is described as a “warm cinnamon churro sitting inside a Long john chocolate-glazed donut which is then topped with frozen yogurt, caramel and chocolate sauces”. The estimated calorie count? 1117 calories.

That’s when I realized that I had my contract. For $8.50… 1117 calories.

Last year, Arizona announced that they were selling a D-Bat Dog for the tidy sum of $25.

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It’s described as an 18-inch corn dog stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and bacon. And, served with a side of fries. So, I suppose that they are counting on people to start out with the dog and finish off with the Churro. That’s a meal that will separate us from the herd!

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Just as a side note, the Texas Rangers first introduced a $25 dog in 2012 that was 2-feet-long. They called it the broomstick. They sold over 20,000 of them that season. So…. there is a market for those fix ins’.  And for me… a blog that makes me hungry on a Thursday. Well, maybe just a little hungry.

And for pic o’ day, I imagine that some are also saying “Really?” But others might be saying…

ex

 

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Last Words

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

I always try to give you something to think about for the blog. Especially a mid-week blog.

James D. French was executed in Oklahoma in 1966He had been sentenced to jail with a life sentence but couldn’t bear it. So, he wanted to commit suicide but was but was too afraid. He concocted a solution to his fear. He murdered his cellmate so that the state 0f Oklahoma would execute him.

Sure enough, he was convicted of murder and was sentenced to death. At his execution by electric chair, he was asked if he had any final words. His reply?  How’s this for your headline… French Fries.  

Steve Jobs’s sister claims that his last words were Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow. Now, people wonder what he saw before he died.

Surgeon Joseph Henry Green was checking his own pulse as he lay dying. His last word… Stopped.

Poet Emily Dickinson was famous for phrases as “it is better to be the hammer than the anvil”. He last dying words… I must go in, for the fog is rising.

Inventor Thomas Edison awoke from a coma, opened his eyes and said these words before dying, It is very beautiful over there.

Something to think about for the blog… Last words.

And our source of wisdom in pic o’ day…

Internet

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Deciding the Value

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

We start the Monday blog with a picture that Mom sent that needs no real introduction… if you have been living with snow:

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And now a sweater story from ESPN. A reminder that something is worth what someone will pay for it.

A man walked into a Goodwill store and found an old West Point sweater that caught his attention.

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He took it to the front to be weighed because that’s how they determine the price. The price of the sweater was 58 cents… so the man got change from his dollar plus a sweater.  No one had looked on the inside of the sweater. Inconspicuously written on the tag at the neck area was Lombardi 46.

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The man took the sweater home and didn’t think much about it until he was watching a documentary on the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi. On the documentary, he noticed that Lombardi was wearing the sweater that the man had bought. That’s when he pulled the sweater out and noticed the name written on the tag. It was the sweater that Lombardi wore at West Point while coaching there from 1949-1953.

He eventually decided to turn it over to Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas. This past Saturday it was auctioned and ultimately sold for a bid amount of $43,020. A sweater that had a value of what it weighed until it was determined that it had been owned by the most famous football coach of all time.

One final note. When I ask a jury to consider the damage of pain and suffering in a personal injury case, sometimes it’s difficult to put a value on pain and suffering. However, an old sweater reminds that whoever gave that sweater to Goodwill… is probably feeling a bit of pain and suffering and maybe even some mental anguish in an amount of at least $43,020

And finally, a password idea:

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I Do…6 to 10 Years

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Maybe it’s a perspective of happiness that’s a bit hard to understand. But, it’s a “love story” that belongs in the Friday blog. The kind of story that makes you take a second look.

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From the Associated Press and Yahoo comes the story of Israel Silva, who got married and then sentenced. And, his attorney warned him before it all took place.  ”There will be no, ‘You can kiss the bride,’ or whatever they say when people get married,” Silva’s defense attorney, Sarah Miles, said before her client’s impromptu wedding on Feb. 11 in Park County’s District Court.

Israel Silva wore his orange jail jumpsuit and shackles while his bride-to-be stood the mandatory 15 feet. The judge married the lovebirds before one became a jailbird. The ceremony lasted about a minute and then the judge directed them to sit down.

Next, Judge Cranfill sentenced Silva to six to 10 years in prison for a drunken crime spree which included crashing two trucks, firing a  stolen gun at other oncoming cars and leading the police on a car chase that was reportedly up to 110 m.p.h. The chase ended after Silva ran over an irrigation pipe and got stuck in a muddy barley field. At the time, he was already out on bond for another misdemeanor charge.

Silva pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, property destruction and a third conviction of driving under the influence Somehow, all that was apparently attractive enough to woo his lady to get married… at the courthouse… well, you know. And he didn’t even wear a tie with his orange suit.

Despite the cold, I hope this pic o’ makes you smile into the weekend:

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Some Valentines

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

It’s Friday and it’s Valentine’s Day weekend. I know you didn’t come to the blog for some Valentine’s meaningful writing. Let’s roll with it!

First,

first

And,

second

Finally,

third

I know… that last one is over the top!

I do hope that you have a great Valentine’s Day and a wonderful weekend!

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A Barber’s Punishment

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

From time to time I have posted a pic o’ day that is taken of a pet who has committed some mistake in the house. They are called pet shame pictures.

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A picture like this where their owner prints a sign next to their pet.

Now a new form of shame punishment has been introduced. The Washington Post is reporting that a barber is offering to give your child a haircut as punishment for misbehaving. The barber calls it the Benjamin Button Special with a nod toward the movie.

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The barber and owner of a shop called A-1 Kutz says that he offers this form of haircut for free, to parents who want to try a novel form of punishment. Supporters believe that it is the perfect cut for kids who need to “act grown”.

Supporters for this kind of punishment will say that these parents are creatively doing whatever it takes to teach their kids a lesson. And at least there’s no “physical hitting”.

I’m no psychologist, but a lesson that lasts until the hair grows out and subjects a child to ridicule seems more than just discipline to me. I don’t see this as hilarious lesson teaching. That’s just my 2 cents. I say someone should trim this barber’s nonsense.

And for pic o’ day, here’s an animal with no shame!

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