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The Evidence Sniffer!

A Labrador Retriever named Bear  (which is more relaxing than a bear named Labrador) was enlisted to “sniff out” a computer thumb drive in the home of Jared Fogle. The thumb drive played a key role in  child pornography charges being filed against the former Subway spokesman. (NBC News) It was evidence that humans had failed to find during a  July search of Fogle’s house.

The “talent” that was in search of the Fogle evidence acquired this special skill because a chemist named Jack Hubball tested flash drives, circuit boards and other electronic components, and determined that there was a common chemical that was found in all of them. Then, Hubball trained three dogs to recognize that scent; Much the way that other dogs can pick up the scent of a fugitive, or cocaine stashed in a car compartment or piece of luggage.

“Digital Detective” Bear can smell the components of electronic media. It doesn’t matter if it’s stuck in a drawer, as small as a micro-card the size of a fingernail. The hope is that dogs will also be able to be trained in weapons of terror. The new war on crime with the assistance of man’s best friend.

And for our weekend pic…


Sadness and Mental Anguish

Huffington Post recently wrote about Dennis the Dachshund, who had ballooned up to 56 pounds. He had been on a diet of White Castle burgers and pizzas.  When a nursing student saw his condition, she talked her relative into letting her adopt Dennis.

With a new diet of dog food and a bit of exercise, Dennis dropped 44 pounds. He was now down to an appropriate size and weighing 12 pounds.


Unfortunately, he continues to deal with his excess skin after his weight loss. In the good news department, his owner says that his personality is shining through and he no longer seems depressed.

There’s an advertising campaign for that makes me laugh every time. Captain Obvious states the obvious about travel and making plans. Usually in the ads, someone will tell him, “thanks, Captain Obvious”, after he has stated the obvious.

I feel, to some extent, that I am about to state the obvious. People who suffer injuries in car accidents feel down and sometimes truly depressed. They no longer can do the things that they did before. Unlike Larry the Dachshund,  this is caused by someone else not because of a diet of White Castle burgers.

When discussing damages to an adjuster or a jury, I try to focus on the damages on the inside rather than just the outside. I believe that the damage of sadness and mental anguish is greater than the damage of wearing a cast.

I’m not sure that I have always done a very good job of conveying such damages. However, I am always curious when someone suggests that “Isn’t a case worth three times medicals?”. The longer I practice, the more I realize that such loss is not a mathematical equation. In almost every case, the client will usually say along the way, “I just wish that I was back to where I used to be”. That is a better measurement of the true loss.

And for pic o’ day, I am posting a picture that was just sent to me, from a “few” years ago. It’s my parents all dressed up for Thanksgiving. Now that makes me smile!


Best of Bieber- Parking Lots and Patience

Joel is in Richmond Circuit Court for trial; therefore, the following blog is one from “Best of Bieber”. That means that Joel took a short blogging break and the JB Social Media team picked out the following blog. Plus… there is a new pic o’ day, but no one is taking responsibility for that. Hope you will read for the first time… or read again.

Parking Lots and Patience

I am an injury lawyer. That could mean cases from auto accidents, truck accidents and even cases against drug companies. It also sometimes includes parking lot cases.

If I told someone that I was a parking lot accident lawyer, I think that they would probably arch their eyebrows and ask, “So how’s that working out?” John Grisham likes picking on lawyers in his novels, as ambulance chasers; but I bet he hasn’t even considered “Parking Lot lawyers”.

So far, I know that this hasn’t grabbed you. Although, almost everyone has had a close call in a parking lot. Police can be called, but accident reports are most likely not filled out because the accidents usually occur on private property.

I do have some interesting parking lot cases currently pending. This isn’t a blog to sell the excitement of parking lot cases. But, many times, there are surveillance cameras that help establish fault.

The attachment below is something that I saw from a parking lot surveillance camera. It’s not from a case, but it’s good stuff. I hope you can click and watch. I think the ending will make you smile.

[youtube cfK74nuhEy4]


Now for pic o’ day..


What’s Up Blog?


I suspect that you are not sure what to expect when you come to the blog. Some days, I have a new blog and other days they post “Best of”. Well, I really want new blogs but I have been scrambling on some cases.

My mom sent the above picture from her cousin, Phyllis. I thought that it probably reflects your expression when you come to the blog and see the old stuff. I promise new. We just figured that we could borrow a little from the past 1000. Thanks for staying with me through the repeats and the new.

The Power of a Yawn


In every jury trial, the Judge reads instructions of the law to the jury. In Virginia, the Judge reads those at the end of the evidence and right before closings.

One instruction always read in reminds that the verdict is not to be based on sympathy. Still, the power of persuasion can’t be removed because we all are subject to the power of many influences.  That takes me to the outside influence: the power of the yawn.

Every Monday morning we have a Firm attorney’s meeting that starts early. This past Monday, one of the lawyers sat down and I immediately noticed that he looked a bit tired. Within a few minutes of the meeting, he began to yawn.

Even though I was directing the meeting, I still caught myself yawning and I wasn’t even tired. I did the old “look away and fight it”. In fact, as I type this, I almost feel a yawn coming on as I look at that picture next to this. When I saw a recent article on dogs and yawning, I thought that it was blog worthy.

Now there’s science to link Dogs to the yawning power of suggestion. The Washington Post reports that a recent study finds that dogs yawn, even when they merely hear the sound of humans yawning. According to the finding, this constitutes the strongest evidence yet that canines may be able to empathize with us.

The study “recruited” 29 dogs who had been living with their owners for at least six months. During the research sessions, each dog heard recordings of yawns. On average, dogs yawned five times more often when they heard humans that they knew, as opposed to yawns that were not from their owners.

A representative from the Duke University Canine Cognition Center added that from other studies that Duke has conducted, “As in humans, dogs can catch this behaviour by using their ears alone”. Still, everyone in the dog behavior community agrees that just because a dog looks guilty, does not mean that they are feeling guilty.

Just thinking out loud, if I see someone crunching on potato chips, it does make me hungry for chips. Wait a second, that sounds more interesting than blogging on yawning. (Note to self, yawning probably does not help in blog reading alertness).  It does remind me of the old saying, “Be alert, we need more lerts”.


Guess we all empathize

That Time of Year

I’ve been hustling, trying to get some year-end cases resolved. For some reason, it seems that insurance companies decide  they want to “close the book” on some cases. So, it made me a little short on blogging.

I’ll have to rely on you to send some good comments. I guess it’s too much to ask for comments on nothing to comment about.

Well, at least I have pic o’. Nothing like a boxer dressed as an elf for the holidays.

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