Trump Tax Endgame?

The Supreme Court heard argument today in a number of consolidated cases that seek release of Trump’s tax returns. For a man who appears to commit crimes and abuse power in public view ALL THE TIME, the tax returns have proven to be quite a sticking point. Trump demonstrably has no shame whatsoever, yet is fighting tooth and nail to keep the taxes secret. Could this be the smoking gun that finally brings down his presidency?


Live from the District, it’s SCOTUS

Will live argument change the way we understand justice in the United States, or will greater accessibility to the high court’s inner workings increase our partisan divide?

It’s a big day. For the first time in history, anyone can listen in on Supreme Court oral argument as it happens. Yes, the public could previously go into the hallowed chamber, but only so many were able to obtain such privilege. Starting today, however, anyone with an internet connection can access the audio live. …



I’ve promised my employers a management plan memo in the next few days. This will serve as the initial road map for how I might bring some quality control to the practice of law. It is all well and good to spout aspirational platitudes, but it is quite another thing to put the proverbial money where they proverbial mouth is.

I think, in their short term, I need a more diffuse monitoring system. I continue to believe that the “task” is  the correct conceptualization of our unit of work. As a result, task management may be, temporarily, set up outside the existing (potentially inadequate) law firm practice management software. That may ruffle feathers, but it will give me a modicome of control, both symbolic and actual.

All the deliberate steps and implementation are bound up with the assertion of confidence. It should be no fiction. I’m taking control.

A burdensome madness

I’ve pretty much lost it.  My mind, I mean.  It’s not such a bad thing to have happen, so long  as it’s temporary, so long as no one gets hurt.  I came damn close to that line on Friday morning, even crossed it a little.  It was almost “bye-bye, job.”  But I’m getting reeled in now, with lots of help.  This long weekend is well-timed, even with the “insane” (pun intended) amount of writing I have to do.  There are certain things I can live with, certain fears, both rational and otherwise, I can tolerate.

At work, I’m going to bite the bullet and endure several weeks of “unpleasantness” in the name of a much needed quality push.  I’m seriously considering whether I can leverage my suffering in an attempt to indulge thoughts that came up (perhaps serendipitously) earlier in the week.  Maybe I can make some of those flights-of-fancy into reality.  Alternatively, it could make a bad situation worse – trying to force people to do something they don’t want to do while I’m being forced to undergo my own (heretofore referenced, though not fully described) unpleasant process of transition.  Well, I’m getting to a stage where I don’t really care.  If my place in this smal law practice is going to disintigrate, I’d prefer it to happen while I fight to do better and fight for what I want.  So, that’s how it’s going to be.

And also, I’m going to start listening to Uriah Heep.  That should help as well.

Can victims of catastrophic brain injury have ‘awareness’ of their plight?

A recent study in The Lancet, as reported in the New York Times, suggests that, at least some patients in a vegetative state do have awareness.

[S]aid Joseph T. Giacino, the director of rehabilitation neuropsychology at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, who was not involved in the research. “…it sure looks as if there’s not just a little bit of consciousness but a lot” in patients who had been deemed unresponsive.

In proving damages to help benefit victims of catastrophic injury, this study could potentially be used to support a finding of conscious pain and suffering, which is compensable.

On Trial Again!

Another short one, this time in the beautiful new court facility in Woodbury, New Jersey.  Closing arguments will start sometime around 9:45AM tomorrow in Courtroom 305, so you can all come on down, if you like.  Really, I’m very impressed with Gloucester County’s new building.  It’s wonderful to have such great facilities.  Also quite impressed by the staff and Judge McCaffrey.  It’s my first trial in front of him.

We’ll have a verdict tomorrow, probably early afternoon.

Court, Deposition, Court again

Trial list this morning, but they weren’t ready for us. That means we could get called to pick a jury and get started at any moment between now and Wednesday. Luckily, I have an understanding, and patient client.

Now I’m in a deposition trying to pin down the exact location of a slip and fall accident. There’s lots of confusion and this witness isn’t helping. In this city there are lots of property lines right next to each other.

Tomorrow, if my trial doesn’t start, I go to Court in Media, Pennsylvania to meet with the Judge about a trial the will start sometime next month. I’m hoping we can settle.

In a holding pattern…

Trial was scheduled to start today.  I’ve got nine witnesses in my case, so it’s a pretty big deal for me – could take as long as two weeks and I’ve got over $1.5 million in lost wages to show the jury.  Also, a significant sum has been offered, but it’s not enough.

New Jersey trial courts are extremely congenial and the Judges and their staff are terrific to work with.  One problem is that the state has had to cut down on the number of judges, so cases have to wait to be tried.

On the one hand, I could get all grumpy about spending so many hours last week and all weekend getting it ready and being mentally prepared to get the show on the road today.  That being said, that’s just not how my job works.  So, whenever I get the call, whether it’s tomorrow or next month – I’ll just tighten everything up, call my witnesses and go do what I do.

My opinion of civil justice and our jury system is, temporarily, quite low

I just finished a two day trial and got an horrendous result. Disappointment is part of the reality of trying cases; I know no attorney who has won every trial. Sadly, my clients were two of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve had the privilege of knowing, let alone working for. But it is the nature of the beast that I sometimes get very good results for less deserving clients and much worse results for folks like the couple I worked with this week.

My greatest annoyance right now is that the jury did not give the case proper consideration. They made a VERY wrong decision on one aspect of the case in order to avoid even discussing the other issues. They did themselves a favor and took a shortcut, just to wrap up their duty a little quicker. I know this because the Judge spoke with them after and then explained to me once they left. Perhaps this jury would have reached the same decision if they had given proper consideration to all aspects of the case, but that’s not the point. They were lazy and took the easy way out. It was appallingly disrespectful to my client who was injured in an automobile accident and her husband, who was by her side throughout the trial.

Even with this disappointment and outrage, I continue to feel that trying cases is the most exciting aspect of my job. I had wonderful clients to work with and all my examinations and PowerPoint presentations went smoothly. There will be more inattentive and lazy juries in the future, but I will keep fighting for my clients and finding new and better ways to prove their cases.