Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Snoop Dogg


Snoop Dogg for Prez.  Who's with me?
Dog the Bounty Hunter for VP! Let's make it a canine year. Show some love.



Trash talking each other. I hope Democrats are taking notes fast enough.


You heard it in the debate just now.  Cruz wants to mess with sugar farmers.  I KNEW sugar is going to be on our hit list next. Please don't make it illegal during my life time. Sugar is sacred to this country despite its ill effects!  Personally it's a cornerstone of my right to pursue happiness.

Last night Cruz misspoke and said he wanted to eliminate, among others, the Department of Commerce Twice( he meant Department of Education).  Wouldn't be a big deal but for Perry's "oops"....reminds us that Texans get so excited about "abolishing" Departments we can't remember them all. I guess ESPECIALLY Dept of Commerce.

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special people in my life, though they barely know me:




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Largest public database of Chicago police misconduct debuts

Nov 10, 2015, 10:00 am CST


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Kasey









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8-year-old boy is charged with murder in toddler's death; mom faces lesser charge

Nov 11, 2015, 7:51 am CST

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Judge accused of making false residency claim is convicted


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A former Louisiana judge accused of making a false residency claim has been convicted by a New Orleans jury.
In its Tuesday verdict, the jury found former Orleans Parish Juvenile Court Judge Yolanda King guilty of forging election documents and filing false public records, WVUE reports.
Witnesses at trial included a private investigator who testified that he saw King on several mornings exit a St. Tammany home in which the state contended that she actually lived, rather than the New Orleans home in which she claimed to live. An assessor also testified, saying that King obtained a homestead exemption in St. Tammany.


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Law firm marketing chief hits a home run with World Series photo


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Lisa Simon doesn’t consider herself an ace photographer, but the Lathrop & Gage client development chief took a few photos from her 22nd-floor office in Kansas City as a huge mass of fans celebrated after the Royals won the World Series.
Posted on the law firm’s Twitter account, one of the photos soon went viral as news organizations shared it with their followers, the Denver Business Journal reports.
“I wish I could tell you I had an eye for it, but I think I just got lucky and got a great shot,” said Simon, adding: “We caught it early and put the right hashtag on it to be a part of the whole conversation that was happening. We just hit it and it took off in ways we never imagined.”
Crunching the number of views, the firm estimates that it would have had to pay $50,000 in advertising costs to get the same impact as the tweeted photo.






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TRIALS & LITIGATION

Given 20 days for contempt, lawyer blames judge and says he would like to sanction jurist


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A Michigan lawyer has been given 20 days for contempt after a judge said he “defiantly refused to answer” questions on Friday about a loud conversation that took place near a jury room.
The sentence is to be served by attorney Tim Barkovic at the conclusion of an ongoing criminal trial in which he is representing a man accused of mistreating his elderly parents, the Detroit Free Press reports.
As Macomb County Circuit Judge Edward Servitto on Tuesday recounted his version of events in court and detailed the attorney’s contempt sentence, which will also include a $250 fine, Barkovic took issue with the jurist’s perception of events, the newspaper reports.
“I think it would be appropriate if I could sanction you,” the lawyer told the judge at one point, contending that Servitto has been unusually “intemperate” throughout the case.
“Would you listen? Would you listen? Would you treat me with courteousness?” Barkovic loudly asked Servitto at another point. “Quit belittling me and acting as if you are totally out of control.”
Underlying the contempt sanctions was a loud conversation between Barkovic and a prosecutor near a copy machine a short distance from a jury room, the Free Press reports. The judge said he asked the prosecutor on Friday if the conversation had any relationship to the case, and she said it didn’t. When the judge tried to ask Barkovic the same question, fireworks erupted.
Barkovic “defiantly refused to answer” the judge’s questions and went to the back of the courtroom, flinging his hands about and saying that he was ready to go to jail, according to the judge. He also accused Barkovic of calling courtroom deputies “goons.”
Servitto said this is the first time he has ever fined an attorney. Barkovic said his voice is naturally loud and has been that way since childhood.
The attorney is facing an unrelated personal case in which he is charged with stalking and disturbing the peace for allegedly harassing his Harrison Township neighbors over a period of a year or more. Barkovic has called this case “totally unfounded” and accused the county prosecutor of retaliation.
See also:
ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer Charged with Assault and Battery in Courthouse Cop Scuffle”
ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer Asserts His Cop Taunts Are Protected by the First Amendment”


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LAW FIRMS

Law firm taken off school district list after firestorm over defense in teacher sex case


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For the first time in almost 30 years, a California law firm does not appear on a list of dozens of legal shops recommended by the in-house legal department as outside counsel for the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The omission of Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt follows a firestorm over a controversial defense in a civil suit brought over a teacher who is accused of sexually abusing a student and has been criminally convicted in a related case. After public criticism of the district’s defense argument in the civil suit that the 14-year-old student shared the blame in the case because she concealed the relationship, the district said it was removing attorney W. Keith Wyatt from over a dozen cases. However, Wyatt was subsequently assigned five cases this year, the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.) reports .
Now it appears that Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt will not be doing any more work for the school district for the next five years, because the firm is not included on a list of recommended private counsel to handle matters that the district cannot oversee in-house. Such contract work has been waning in recent years, though, the article notes.
David Holmquist, the district’s general counsel, says more work is being handled in-house. That has helped the district to reduce its annual budget for outside counsel from $22 million in the 2001-2002 school year to $6.4 million last year.
Related coverage:
ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer taken off 14 cases after furor over trial claim that teen consented to sex with teacher”


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CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Lawyer is sentenced in attempted murder of his wife; his law firm found hit-man research


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A Tennessee lawyer was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Monday after entering a plea to charges he tried to murder his estranged wife.
Lawyer Fred Auston Wortman III of Collierville entered a “best interest” plea, also known as an Alford plea, to charges of attempted first-degree murder and solicitation of first-degree murder, report WMCActionNews5 andMyFoxMemphis. A best interest plea accepts punishment but does not admit guilt. The Memphis Commercial Appeal also has a story.
Wortman was accused of trying to poison his wife with tainted toothpaste, trying to hire a hit man who turned out to be an undercover officer, and then, when in prison, trying to hire an inmate to kill her.
Wortman entered the plea in Fayette County court on Monday and was expected to enter a plea in Shelby County court on Tuesday, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. His Shelby County sentence would run concurrently with the Fayette County sentence.
Colleagues in Wortman’s law firm had found evidence on office computers that he was researching hiring a hit man and paying him with Bitcoins, according to the Commercial Appeal.
Authorities told Wortman and his estranged wife in February that he was under suspicion based on the computer research, prompting his wife to recall that she had become sick from tainted toothpaste. Testing found the toothpaste contained a plant-based poison called Aconitum. Wortman was arrested in June for allegedly trying to hire the hit man who turned out to be an undercover agent.
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CIVIL RIGHTS

Largest public database of Chicago police misconduct debuts


Citizens Police Data Project
A screenshot of the Citizens Police Data Project website.
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After a decade of litigation, the Invisible Institute of Chicago on Tuesday launched theCitizens Police Data Project, the largest public database of police misconduct allegations in the country.
“It’s a historic moment,” says Craig Futterman, clinical professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School and partner on the project.
The database, which includes 56,000 allegations of misconduct against 8,500 Chicago police officers, was largely made possible through Freedom of Information Act requests and civil rights litigation. It was created to bolster the conversation around reform and oversight of the Chicago Police Department.
“This is the first time there has been a complete universe of this data,” says Jamie Kalven, an independent journalist and executive director of the Invisible Institute, the journalistic production company behind the database.
The data itself sheds new light on the Chicago Police Department’s disciplinary outcomes, which Kalven says illustrates that “complaints are not being properly addressed.” For instance, the user-friendly database shows that only 2 percent of officers who received misconduct complaints between March 2011 and September 2015 were punished.
In addition, Kalven says, the database revealed that when punishments were levied, they were not proportional to the offenses. For example, the average leave for a sustained administrative violation was 16½ days, while the average punishment for a proven rape or sex offense was just six days.
Futterman says that complaints are created by a small number of officers, and that the department is not “overwrought” with bad cops. The data backs him up. “Repeat” officers, those with more than 10 complaints, make up 10 percent of the force, but 30 percent of all complaints.
The genesis of the project dates to the early 2000s. Futterman and his clinical students at the University of Chicago connected with Kalven, who was working in the Stateway Gardens public housing complex in Chicago’s South Side.
While there, Kalven says she witnessed a high concentration of “problematic officers.” The officers’ conduct ranged from over-policing and harassment to under-policing when an emergency arose, along with incidents of racism and sexism. Compounding the situation was the lack of official oversight. “I witnessed what impunity looks like,” Kalven says.
These complaints led to a number of civil rights suits brought by Futterman’s Mandel Legal Aid Clinic. One case, Bond v. Utreras, inadvertently created the database.
Diane Bond, a resident of Stateway Gardens, claimed she had been repeatedly harassed by Chicago police officers. While the case was ultimately settled, the city provided significant information about police misconduct during discovery. This information, however, was under a protective order and not public.
In a last-minute intervention, Kalven asked that the documents be released because they were public information. The trial judge sided with Kalven, but the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision because Kalven lacked standing.
In a subsequent suit, Kalven v. City of Chicago, the Illinois Supreme Court found that the discipline records requested were public documents and should be released.
“This is a watershed decision,” Kalven says. It opened the door on decades of privacy around police misconduct records. Because of this case, the city of Chicago went from being an adversary to partner in this work.
“The city deserves credit,” says Futterman, who notes that the local government worked at a “granular level” to ensure the decision was appropriately implemented. City government officials did not respond to requests for comment.
The project includes three different datasets: officers with more than 10 complaints between May 2001 and May 2006; officers with more than five excessive force complaints from May 2002 to December 2008; and all officer complaints from March 2011 to September 2015.
Prompted by a freedom of information request by the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, Chicago recently attempted to release all officer complaint information going back to 1967. This release is held up by a temporary injunction brought by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, a police union, and a subsequent appeal. The injunction allowed only the four most recent years of information to be released. The Fraternal Order of Police and the Chicago Police Department did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Futterman argues that the common set of information will open up the public conversation. He also strikes a cautious tone. “This database provides a powerful tool for reform, but it’s not self-executing. The release of this information doesn’t suddenly make racism or sexism within the police department go away.”

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