Thursday, December 15, 2016

Facts Don't Matter

Technically I didn't exactly say Trump was litigious, what I said was that some counties have grown to be dependent on the filing fees.

Seems like yesterday I was just a head strong kid in my sixties. 

Turns out being an ol' gray headed man in Court has its perks even if I don't say much.  Probably BECAUSE I don't say much.



Can a nonlawyer judge send you to jail? Supreme Court is asked to hear case

Dec 15, 2016, 7:00 am CST

  • Law student shot and killed by police officer was unarmed

    Dec 14, 2016, 10:52 am CST
  • Judge in Cosby case tells shouting lawyers that deputies will be called if they can't be civil

    Dec 14, 2016, 9:39 am CST
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    A Grinch Named Grisham: Texas Minister Abuses Parents and Children Waiting To See Santa

    by jonathanturley
    screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-8-52-34-amThe_Grinch_(That_Stole_Christmas)There are times when one almost wishes that Santa had more of an edge in dealing with the most naughty amongst us.  If he did, Pastor Dave Grisham would be at the top of the list for a Santa beat down.  The whacked out evangelical minister decided that it was not enough for him to preach in his own ministry against the concept of Santa.  Instead, he went to the mall in Amarillo, Texas where he filmed himself (below) yelling at children how there is no Santa and their parents are lying to them.  It is a disgusting display as Grisham dismisses the right of parents to make such decisions for their children.


    Video: San Diego Police Allow Police Dog To Bite Naked Man For 40 Seconds

    by jonathanturley
    police-dog-attack-1213The police have belatedly released a shocking tape from 2015 that was the basis for an almost $400,000 settlement with a man who was found naked and high on LSD.  Even though the man clearly did not have a weapon, the police proceeded to order a K-9 to attack him and bite him for 40 seconds.  The disturbing videotape is below.  There is no record of any officer being fired for this clearly excessive use of force.


    The Brief: Texas executions, death sentences trend downward in 2016

    by Alex Samuels and Robert Inks




    Donald Trump (by Ali Shaker/VOA)
    What does the election of Donald Trump mean for in-house lawyers?
    Read more →


    Fifth Circuit Affirms Sanctions Against Texas Lawyers Who Failed to Turn Over Recorded Evidence

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has affirmed sanctions leveled against two Texas civil defense attorneys who failed to initially disclose recorded phone conversations they later used to impeach a plaintiff who alleged she was sexually assaulted by an employee while incarcerated in a privately-run jail.
    The background to the Fifth Circuit's recent decision in Olivarez v. GEO Group is as follows according to the opinion:
    Lisa Velasquez Olivarez alleged she was sexually assaulted on multiple occasions in 2012 and 2013 while incarcerated at the Maverick County Detention Center, a facility that was then operated by the GEO Group Inc. Olivarez alleged she was sexually assaulted by Luis Armando Vallandarez, who was a GEO employee at the time.
    Around the time of the alleged assaults, Olivarez made a series of phone calls to her mother and a friend using the detention center's phone system, which recorded phone calls and notified inmates of that during prerecorded messages. During these phone calls, Olivarez discussed her encounters with Vallandarez in ways that might be construed to suggest that Olivarez consented to the sexual conduct.
    Olivarez later filed a federal civil rights complaint against GEO and Vallandarez, raising claims related to the alleged sexual assaults. The defendants responded by arguing Olivarez had initiated consensual sex with Vallandarez and that the purported sexual encounters did not deprive Olivarez of her civil rights.
    Shawn K. Fitzpatrick, a San Antonio attorney who represents GEO, and Timothy Flocos, an Austin attorney who represents Vallandarez, submitted their client's initial disclosures to the plaintiff under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26, but neither of those initial disclosures mentioned the audio recordings of Olivarez's conversations with her mother and her friend.
    The attorneys later deposed Olivarez and questioned her extensively about her conversations with her mother and friend and later played the recordings of her conversations to impeach her tesimony.
    Olivarez later filed a motion requesting the district court to impose sanctions against Fitzpatrick and Flocos for failing to include the audio recordings in their clients' initial disclosures, citing Rule 26, which requires the disclosure of all documents and electronically stored information unless its use is solely for impeachment.
    The parties settled the civil rights case while the motion for sanctions was under consideration. And the district court later issued a sanctions order against the attorneys holding that the audio recordings did "not solely contain impeachment evidence" and were therefore required to be disclosed under Rule 26 and required the lawyers to pay a $1,000 fine each.
    Fitzpatrick and Flocos appealed the sanctions order to the Fifth Circuit, arguing that the district court incorrectly applied Rule 26 among other things.
    In his decision Monday, Judge Ed Prado wrote that the district court was correct in sanctioning the attorneys because the audio recordings were not solely used for impeachment purposes—they also had substantive value, which requires disclosure under Rule 26.
    "The recordings of Olivarez's phone calls likely had some impeachment value because they were at least arguably inconsistent with Olivarez's testimony during the deposition regarding her conversations with her mother and her friend ..." Prado wrote. "But the recordings also had substantive value because they seemed to suggest that Olivarez may have consented to the sexual encounters with Vallandarez."
    "The recordings tended to establish the truth of a key issue defendants raised as a defense in the case—that Olivarez had 'initiated consensual sex' with Vallandarez," Prado wrote. "Accordingly, the recordings were, at the very least, in part substantive, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that appellants were required to disclose the recordings under Rule 26."
    Fitzpatrick, a partner in Fitzpatrick & Kosanovich, said he disagrees with the Fifth Circuit's decision that the recordings sole use was for impeachment and is considering filing a motion for reconsideration before the appellate court.
    "We're disappointed about it," Fitzpatrick said. "Clearly it was impeachment evidence. Their point is it is also substantive evidence."
    Flocos, of Brustkern Flocos & Associates, said he is considering asking for the court to rehear the matter.
    "We're disappointed that the court chose not to address our argument distinguishing impeachment by prior inconsistent statement from substantive evidence and the law we relied on good faith to do so," Flocos said.





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