Monday, August 20, 2018

Ready or not...

Surprise, surprise!You know how somethings come at you in life that you never saw coming?  I mean right upside the head it smacks you and there is nothing to prepare you for that moment.  You can't practice for it or rehearse and there are no do-overs.  You are either ready to deal with the situation or not.

A few years back, I had that experience when I was in a bank robbery.  Laying face down with a Glock to the back of my head, I can still remember the feeling that in mere moments, life for me would end.  I remember the young lady laying across from me was crying that she would not see her daughter again.  

I have often reflected back on that scenario and thought how I could have been better prepared and have come to the conclusion that I could not.  I am what I am and the best I can do is get ready for the next cataclysmic event, whatever that may be.

Such was the thoughts going through my mind when a young-ish guy came into the library.  Guy had that I-just-got-punched-in-the-gut sort of look and tells me that his fledgling company had just been stolen from him.  

Seems he and a buddy of his launched a small tech start up a couple years back.  With a bevy of investors, guy and buddy worked tirelessly to make the company successful.  

While the company should have been turning a profit, it wasn't and, in fact, it was floundering.  After a while, guy found that college buddy had been funneling company secrets to a competitor.  

Before guy knew what was happening, buddy quits and starts working with competitor.  Shortly thereafter, competitor and buddy come out with a product exactly like guy and guy's business died an ignominious death.

Can you blame guy for feeling all out of sorts?  His buddy steals his ideas and jumps ship only to stab him in the back and cause his baby to fail?  

How can anyone possible plan for that kind of personal sabotage?  Guy sure wasn't, but walking into my library was probably the best thing he'd done all day because in less time than it took to write this blog, I suggested guy take a look at:
and guy, calmer now, went off to plot a course to success (and the demise of his buddy).

Yep, sometimes things come at you sideways and you never see them coming.  Good thing there are people like your local county law Librarian who can help you make sense of it all when you find yourself laying in a heap in a gutter somewhere.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Torture: unreliable at best

Tortured confessions are unreliableAs the old saying goes, "If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything."

A few days back, I picked up the LA Times to read an article: "Friend says he and Manafort were criminals" wherein Richard Gates testified that he and Paul Manafort (former Trump Campaign Manager) had engaged in criminal activities.  Note: The testimony was that Gates and Manafort conducted criminal activities - not Trump (which goes back to the Judge's comment a while back that this case against Manafort was a witch hunt and not a drive to arrive at justice.

I hadn't gotten past the 4th paragraph when the word "TORTURE" popped in my head.  I mean, why would anyone admit to having committed criminal activity in a Federal case unless they were being coerced into confessing?  Or course, this brings us to the concept of "torture." 

See, at least twice weekly, I have someone come into my library who has committed some kind of felony (that's "felony" as in over a year in prison).  Thing is, it doesn't matter if it's arson, rape, murder, or treason - NO ONE ever admits that they actually did the crime.  It's always someone elses fault.  "They" got the wrong person.  "They" are prosecuting the wrong wo/man.  

Morale:  No one ever confesses to anything unless someone is twisting their arm.

Soooooooooooooo, who is twisting Gates' arm?  Of course, this goes back to when Robert Mueller was "asking" a Federal judge to grant immunity to five (5) witnesses. 

Why grant immunity? Because torture is illegal, that's why.  The problem with torture, is that it produces unreliable information and that that anyone will say anything to stop the pain.  Don't believe me?  Ask any five year-old who just stole a cookie.  They'll cave in mere seconds just to avoid the ensuing interrogation.

So, like him or hate him, I doubt seriously that Manafort did anything technically wrong.  Why?  Because Gates was tortured into saying what he is saying; with immunity, he can say whatever he wants without fear of torture and/or further pain.  

Frankly, anyone that believes anything that Mueller (the torturer) or Gates (the torturee) has to say, well,....I have a bridge to sell you situated out in the Florida Everglades.  

No, really!  I built a bridge that spans the ocean to Cuba and I'm selling it for a mere $4,000,000.  Don't believe me?  Well, that's probably for the best.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Word of the Month for August 2018: Connivance

Some people should just hit the mute button
Do you remember the movie Hall Pass?  Basically, a straight to DVD mid-life crisis flick about two guys who are given a "hall pass" by their wives to do whatever they want for a week.  That's right, whatever they want.  What do you think is going to happen?!  What do you think the wives thought was going to happen?!?

I suspect the wives figured their husbands would shake out their mid-life blues and get on with life (or realize that the marriage is over and to get on with their lives).  Either way, there are going to be problems with the granting of a "hall pass" in that one "someone" is going to have hurt feelings.

Before we get too far into our story of the month, let's define the word of the month: CONNIVANCE.  According to Black's Law Dictionary, CONNIVANCE  is:
the act of indulging or ignoring another's wrongdoing, esp. when action should be taken to prevent it.  Family Law.  A defense to divorce, one spouse's corrupt consent, express or implied, to have the other commit adultery or some other act of sexual misconduct.  Consent is an essential element of connivance.  The complaining spouse must have consented to the act complained of.
While most states have no-fault divorce, it can still be a thing. Take, for example, the Guy who came into my library a while back.  Seems that after 15 years of marriage, Guy's wife was getting tired of his amorous advances.  

I say, "Wait - your wife - the woman to whom you are married - is tired of your advances?!?"  That's right, he said.  So, the wife tells Guy one weekend to go crazy and find someone to "play" with.  That's right, she gave him a hall pass and that's "play" as in  nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Fast forward a few weeks later and wife is talking with a neighborhood friend who mentions her tryst with her husband while he was on the hall pass.  Wife freaks out, the police summoned, relationships were severed, and wife filed for divorce.  

Guy is now in the library looking for help on how to protect himself now that he and wife are on the outs.  Wait - didn't wife say go forth and conquer?  Does she not remember the hall pass?!?  

So, when the wife says do whatever you want, she doesn't actually mean do whatever you want; she means DON'T do anything; stay home and be miserable.  Apparently, Guy is a literal type of person (which is probably why he's getting divorced). 

 Anyway, I suggested guy take a look at:
and off Guy went developing a response to his soon-to-be ex-wife's petition for dissolution.

The problem with all this is that this is ALL wife's fault.  All of it.  

Regardless of the fact that women are all a bunch of hormonal basket cases and rarely (if ever) tell you what the real problem is, she has no one to blame but herself.  Had she been forthright and upfront with what was going on, there would have been no divorce and life would have been as it was (or, in the very least, wife should have explicitly said the marriage is dead and let's get on with life).

Jeesh!  Grant a hall pass and flipped out?!  Some people's kids.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Unreasonable Expectations

What a good woman
When I was a kid, my folks would often say things that really didn't make sense to me (as a kid) but make sense now that I'm an older kid.  Things like:

  • A penny for your thoughts
  • Back to the drawing board
  • Don't count your chickens before they're hatched
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket
  • He can't cut the mustard
  • He missed the boat
  • He's in the catbird seat
  • It takes two to tango
  • She's being the devil's advocate 
  • Take it with a grain of salt
  • That's a blessing in disguise
  • That's going to cost an arm and a leg
  • That's the best thing since sliced bread
  • That's the last straw
  • The ball is in your court
  • You can't judge a book by its cover
  • You hit the nail on the head
  • Your eyes are bigger than your stomach
  • Your guess is as good as mine
  • You're barking up the wrong tree
In fact, I had a person say to me just the other day that my eyes were bigger than my stomach and it got me thinking about an attorney who came in the other day.

Seems attorney represented a client in a negligence matter.  Seems client had taken their car to a mechanic who had failed to properly re-install the brake line.  One thing led to another and client found themselves flying down the road without brakes up and over hills, through intersections, a few red lights - all without incident (or accidents) - and client was finally able to slow down enough and pull to the side of the road.  Scary ride, huh?

Client wants to sue the living blazes out of mechanic.  Problem is/was, what are client's damages?!  The car wasn't damaged (well, except for the brake line, the car body was in pristine condition), and client wasn't damaged (no whiplash or anything).  Client doesn't care.  Client wants money - LOTS of it - and attorney wants to get paid.  So, I lead attorney over to:
and attorney spends the next several hours looking for some way to collect damages when the are no damages.  Yeah, good luck with that.

Bottom line, you need help finding something, odds are your local county law library is the place to find it - or not.  I mean sometimes the best (or only) answer is NO and it's best to know that before you spend countless hours or dollars on fruitless litigation.