Try Writing Your Way Out Of This Paper Bag: Judicial Opinions At Their Worst
Real Media versionHere's the videocast above in Real media.
JAMS Reverses Restrictive Policy On Class-action Lawsuits; Agrees To Hear All CasesMIPTC brought you JAMS' old policy of not hearing cases involving contracts that contained prohibitions against filing class-action suits. Then, we brought you the resulting uproar over JAMS' apparent lack of neutrality.
On Friday last week, JAMS recanted, and will now continue to hear all cases without prejudging the outcome. According to the press release, "JAMS is withdrawing its policy for the following reasons: The initial statement of the policy suggested to some that JAMS had deviated from its core value of neutrality. We want to reaffirm to all of our constituencies that we have a fundamental responsibility and commitment to absolute neutrality and the highest ethical and professional standards." The release also cited the varying law on this point across numerous jurisdictions.
Good move, JAMS.
The Trend Toward Ethical Wills - Why Wait?Here's one you don't see every day: A lawyer recommending that you don't use a lawyer. Yep, you heard it here first. Surprise, surprise.
To draft a will. Not just any will, though, an ethical will. An ethical will allows you to use a written document to pass along your values. What concerns me, though, is why the need arose in the first place. If you are truly going to pass along your values, ask for forgiveness and the like, wouldn't it be better to do that while you're alive? Isn't that what we've been teaching our children all along?
For the will that you use to pass along money and property, yes by all means use a lawyer. But for an ethical will, which is not enforceable by the Courts, you can DIY.
Well, they're your values, aren't they? Who better to write it than you?
For some who are not good writers, there are resources available. For those who want an ethical will that is written well, certainly a well-trained lawyer should be able to help you.
But be careful if you elect to write one on your own. The FindLaw story from the Associated Press (first link, second paragraph above) cautions that you should only write what you are willing to have others read, and you will want to be thoughtful and "not script others' lives." Certainly, you should not use an ethical will in an attempt to transfer money or property.
Maybe you should use a lawyer after all.
Liven Up Your Online Brochure With FlashYou may be wondering how to jazz up your website. Well, have no fear. It's relatively easy. Just try flash.
Yep. We did it. Have a look here, and click on "Firm Introduction."
You can start a weblog. That'll bring readers to your site, assuming you've got something interesting to say.
But once they get there, you can use flash to liven up your "online brochure."
Courthouse Security Procedures Need Revamping, But How?Courthouse security will be the focus of attention in the coming months. We can expect that it will begin to look more like airport security, but even so, that won't stop the shootout that happened in Atlanta last week.
Put people with guns in a courthouse, and ... well, think about it. Should we be surprised? Not at all. In fact, the Atlanta situation isn't the first time a defendant grabbed a Deputy's gun. Can it happen where you live?
The main courthouse here in Orange County has a bulletproof bench area for the judge, but that leaves everyone else in the courtroom exposed. Unlike Baltimore courthouses (first link of the last paragraph), I don't think there are trap escape doors for the judges. How do we solve those problems?
Handcuff criminal defendants? What about the other non-criminal defendants who bring guns to court? And what about outlying courts? Here in "The OC," there are four other courthouses that have no security at all. Only the main courthouse and the family/juvenile courthouse have security in place.
In fact, when I was in one of these non-secure courthouses last week, a deputy noticed a large backpack next to someone in the courtroom. The deputy questioned the owner: "Do you have any weapons in there? Any bombs?" The owner shook his head no. No searches, no look in the backpack. Nothing.
Wow. Made me feel secure.
Heck, it's not even safe to go to church anymore.
Some courtwatchers have proposed two deputies, one unarmed that handles the inmate, the other - who doesn't come near the inmate - is armed. Sounds logical to me. It doubles the labor costs of a trial, but given the consequences, it certainly seems worth it.
Should we be arming judges and court clerks so they can defend themselves? Should the deputies be completely unarmed? Should we move criminal trials to the jailhouse where security is tightest?
Atlanta gets to do it all over again sometime this coming week, when the shooting suspect returns to court. Something tells me security procedures will be different this time.
What do you recommend to solve this problem?
MIPTC Speaks Your LanguageIf English is not your primary language, never fear. MIPTC is now available in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. Look to the left navigation bar, scroll down and pick the flag of your country.
We were thinking about adding an Elmer Fudd translation, too, but I put my fwoot down. MIPTC is bucking the conventional wisdom. That last link is a federal court ruling that hospitals don't have to provide translators for people that don't speak English well. Good thing you're only looking for some legal information.
As you can see from our External Links page (see the "Categories" links on the right), MIPTC is featured on several foreign blogs, including German, Russian and Spanish legal blogs.
We thought we'd return the favor and speak in the same language. If you have suggestions for other translations, please let me know.
MIPTC's Friday Series: Grape Radio - Winemaker Spotlight: Brian Loring – Loring Wine Company - Part 1As a companion service to MIPTC's Friday At The Movie series, my other buddies want to encourage you to drink some wine with that popcorn. So, give a listen to their podcast spotlighting Brian Loring and Loring Wine Company. Here's what the guys have to say:
Grape Radio #11: Brian Loring, founder of the Loring Wine Company has rocketed to success as one of California’s top Pinot Noir winemakers. In fact, Wine Spectator Magazine recently profiled Brian as one of “California’s New Generation”. In today’s show he walks us through the story of how he got started. This is part 1 of a 2 part series. Part 2 can be found at Grape Radio
To contact: Loring Wine Company
MIPTC's Friday At The Movie Series: Reel Reviews Looks at: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo GarciaIt's Friday again, and time for another installment in the Friday At The Movies series, brought to you by my friend Michael Geoghegan. Here it is:
Reel Review #29: “Nobody loses all the time.” Well, actually sometimes they do. This Sam Peckinpah classic is a tough film, a difficult film and one that rewards the viewer. Almost universally panned upon its release, by all but a few critics that saw the greatness hidden behind it tough exterior, today it is recognized as a classic. This is Peckinpah’s most personal film and one in which Warren Oates gives a performance to be remembered. The best synopsis of this film I have seen is: “the story of two losers who challenge destiny". Time to see Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - DVD at Amazon