Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fridge Food

Breaking News. If Republican candidates, who previously vowed to support their nominee, now say they won't vote for their party's' can they expect us to?  I think America shares their disgust.  

Not sure Trump could fulfill his Presidential duties if elected, what with being a witness in so many trials across America.  Of course he may abolish all trials unless he's the one that brings the suit.

Thinking about taking a midnight train to Georgia. Woo woo


Why women live longer than men.


The Fridge Laser That Detects Bacteria Crawling All Over Food
MIT Technology Review - 21 hours ago
Spotting the bacteria that causes food poisoning has always been a time- consuming and expensive business. Until now.


Donald Trump, Revoking a Vow, Says He Won't Support Another G.O.P. Nominee


Asked at a forum hosted by CNN if he still pledged to support the nominee if someone else wins, Donald J. Trump said, "No, I don't anymore," and added he had not been treated fairly.


13 Detroit School Principals Charged in Vendor Kickback Scheme


A federal prosecutor said $2.7 million of about $5 million in supply orders over several years was fraudulent.


The Big Lewandowski: Trump Campaign Manager Charged While Video Confirms That He Grabbed Reporter

by jonathanturley
Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 1.27.40 PMJust when you thought that this campaign season could not get more weird, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has been charged with misdemeanor battery over allegations he grabbed the arm of then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. A video does in fact show Lewandowski grabbing the arm Fields though it seemed to pass fairly quickly (though Fields showed a bruise left in the aftermath). That might not matter for the misdemeanor charge. While many might not have pressed charges, it can meet the definition of assault. The video is below.



A Fort Bend county judge has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

Judge Larry Wagenbach was supposed to take the bench in Fort Bend County Tuesday morning, filling in for a judge who was unavailable, but he made arrangements for someone else to take over following his arrest.

Wagenbach retired in 2006 after 14 years of service. Ever since he's been a visiting judge, helping out where needed.

A DPS trooper pulled over Wagenbach Monday night, and the 75-year-old was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Investigators are not providing much in the way of detail about the stop. It occurred at 11:19 p.m. near Pitts Road and Hughes. That's within a couple miles of the judge's home.

"I have nothing to talk about," Wagenbach told abc13. "You woke me up. I was arrested last night if that's what you want to ask me."

"Can you tell us if you were intoxicated?" we asked.

"I have no comment on that and you'll have to talk to my lawyer," he replied.

Wagenbach saw countless cases during his time on the bench. Among them are DWI cases. He posted bond after his arrest and was then released from the Fort Bend County Jail. His arrest raises a number of legal, ethical and strategic issues.

"All people, regardless of their position, should be held to the same standard and have to clear the same protocol as everyone else. There should be no special circumstances for anyone," Fort Bend County resident Carl Burch said.

Among the issues: Can a judge who might know or work along side Wagenbach fairly oversee his case? what happens if the prosecutor on his case were to one day end up trying a different case in his court?

Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey would say only, "We are going to do the fair thing by the judge and the people of Fort Bend County in this case."

What we still don't know is specifically why the judge was pulled over in the first place. DPS has not said, other than telling us he appeared intoxicated. Sheriff's office officials say Wagenbach was taken to a local hospital for a blood draw during the arrest. We are hoping for more on that soon from DPS.
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Posner says Bluebook is '560 pages of rubbish,' suggests changes to improve jury trials

jury box
Image from Shutterstock.
Judge Richard Posner acknowledges his reputation as a “naysayer” and “faultfinder” yet proceeds to find fault withThe Bluebook (it is “560 pages of rubbish”) and the uneven quality of trial lawyering.
Lawyers often differ greatly in quality, and that distorts the trial process, according to Posner, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A uniform system of lawyer pay—funded by the government—could reduce uneven quality, Posner says in an article (PDF) for the Green Bag. His one-paragraph pay suggestion is part of a broader analysis of problems with jury trials and appellate litigation.
“Differences in the quality of lawyers wouldn’t matter a great deal,” Posner writes, “if, for example, they were compensated as judges are: with a uniform government salary unrelated to outcomes or the relative wealth of the respective parties in a case. (The analogy is to a ‘single payer’ system of medical care.) There would then be no contingent fees and no $1,100 an hour billing rates. My pay isn’t docked if I’m reversed by the Supreme Court, and neither do I get a bonus if the Court affirms a decision of mine.”
Posner goes on to quote a commentator who says commercial lawyers are working in a “zero-sum tournament” in which additional legal effort purchased by a party increases the chances of winning, rather than generating more justice. In a footnote, Posner says he wouldn’t limit the critique to commercial lawyers.
Posner calls the legal profession “complacent, self-satisfied” despite a legal system that has proven ineffectual at dealing with a host of problems. Among them: problems in delivering useful legal training at bearable cost, and in providing representation to “the vast number of Americans who are impecunious or commercially unsophisticated (so prey to sharpies).”
Posner goes on to propose changes that could improve jury trials. He endorses judges appointing neutral experts in cases involving difficult technical issues, giving jurors transcripts of testimony that can be read simultaneously with the testimony, and allowing trial judges to do Internet research (as long as lawyers can contest the results).
Posner also suggests that judges eschew pattern jury instructions that are “largely unintelligible to jurors.” Posner says he writes his own jury instructions when he conducts trials as a volunteer in his circuit’s district courts.
Posner also dislikes The Bluebook. He has his own instructions on citation format, consisting of two pages in an office manual he gives to his law clerks.
“The first thing to do,” Posner writes, “is burn all copies of the Bluebook, in its latest edition 560 pages of rubbish, a terrible time waster for law clerks employed by judges who insist, as many do, that the citations in their opinions conform to the Bluebook.”
Posner also criticizes appellate opinions, which “tend to be overlong, crammed with irrelevant facts and repulsive legal jargon.”
Hat tip to @AdamLiptak.

Once an opening act for Kid Rock, law student looks forward to new career

Mar 28, 2016, 3:55 pm CDT


Lawyer known for porn-downloading litigation hid $178K in closet, trustee suit says

Mar 28, 2016, 12:00 pm CDT


Supreme Court won't hear appeal by former Illinois governor Blagojevich

Mar 28, 2016, 9:41 am CDT



GM lawyers won't face Michigan ethics probe

General motors building
Image from Linda Parton /
Michigan won’t open ethics probes against lawyers for General Motors who were fired following an internal probe into the automaker’s handling of faulty ignition-switch issues.
Michigan’s Attorney Grievance Commission refused in February and March to consider whether a half dozen lawyers should be sanctioned, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports.
The lawyers lost their jobs after an internal probe found a pattern of incompetence but no intentional cover-up of ignition switch issues. Some of the fired lawyers had settled ignition-switch cases; other handled engineering and safety issues for the automaker.
Tennessee retiree Jay Gass had sought the ethics review. Gass’ daughter died in 2014 when her car, which had a defective ignition switch, crashed into a tractor trailer. In letters to Gass, the commission supported lawyers’ decisions not to reveal confidential information, according to the article.
New York University law professor Stephen Gillers, a legal ethics expert, told the Wall Street Journal that Michigan does not require corporate lawyers to reveal client confidences to warn consumers at risk of death or bodily harm. He also said lawyers weren’t likely to face discipline for failing to alert senior executives without a complaint from GM.

Young Public Interest Lawyer Killed During Brussels Attacks
By Staci Zaretsky, Tuesday, March 29, 2016 10:59 AM
She was only four years out of law school.






Free Rolling Stones concert in Cuba was Curacao lawyer's idea

Mar 30, 2016, 8:52 am CDT



Defrauded builder claims convicted lawyer enjoys lavish lifestyle despite restitution order

A Wisconsin homebuilder defrauded by its former CEO claims a lawyer convicted in connection with the $20 million scheme is living a lavish lifestyle and moving assets to avoid paying remaining restitution.
Bielinski Brothers Builders is seeking dismissal of a bankruptcy action filed by the lawyer, Michael Gral, formerly a partner with Michael Best & Friedrich, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Gral served less than two years in prison for his role in the fraud. In a Feb. 26 filing (PDF), the company says at the very least the bankruptcy should be suspended while a state court action plays out.
Gral has paid more than $2 million in restitution but still owes “another couple of million or so,” according to the Journal Sentinel.
Gral has a luxury home in Wisconsin and a condo at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami, according to the article. Court documents allege Gral engaged in bad faith by moving assets in intertwined legal entities and siphoning value from the holdings.
Gral regained his law license in a 2010 disciplinary opinion that said his wrongdoing in the fraud case consisted of failing to check whether Bielinski Brothers was aware that its then CEO, Robert Brownell, had taken company funds for real-estate transactions with Gral.
Gral’s lawyer, Brad Hoeschen, told the Journal Sentinel that Belienski Brothers’ recent pleadings are overly accusatory, and the legal entities targeted in court fiilngs are “a garden variety set of real-estate companies.” Hoeschen said Gral had trouble making restitution payments after the recession affected his real-estate business.
“Bielinski Brothers want the court to believe it’s all cloak and dagger,” Hoeschen said. “They just don’t understand the real estate business.”


Pro se plaintiff awarded $203K in mixed jury verdict in employment discrimination case

Mar 29, 2016, 4:45 pm CDT


Must have been a very patient federal judge.  Remains to be see what happen on appeal.


Pro se plaintiff awarded $203K in mixed jury verdict in employment discrimination case

Brian Vukadinovich says a number of lawyers were interested in representing him in an age-discrimination and retaliation case against his former employer.
But the Indiana teacher and former law firm employee has long had an interest in legal matters and wanted to represent himself at the weeklong trial of his 2013 lawsuit against Hanover Community School Corp., reports the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune.
The result in the Hammond case was a mixed verdict earlier this month. A federal jury found for the school district on Vukadinovich’s age-discrimination and retaliation claims, but awarded him $203,840 after finding that his due-process rights were violated.
Vukadinovich said he was “very pleased” with the fruit of the thousands of hours of work he estimates he did on the litigation.
As the jury began deliberating, “I felt very confident because I knew I had the truth on my side and I knew I had the law on my side,” he told the newspaper.


Man admits to Facebook threats against federal judge, agrees to 366-day prison term

Mar 29, 2016, 12:50 pm CDT

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