Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cash Party!

Pam: "Oh Rickey, can't we execute on another night? The girls are having a party. A cash party!"

Rick Scott's impression of a mammal is near spot on.

3d DCA Watch -- This Actually (Did Not) Happen!

Here's an actual exchange between an unnamed bunkerite and a loyal law clerk:
Judge:  Where is everybody?  The bus for Schnedbly's leaves in two minutes!  We can't be late!

Clerk:  Your Most Honorable, Resplendently Robed One Who Speaketh in Gravest Tones, they are busy writing important opinions on sophisticated and complex legal matters so that lawyers and the public can learn and be guided by your wisdom.

Judge:  Pshaw!  Hand me my Royal iPad!

(types furiously)

"Affirmed.  See random case."

(hits copy and presses cursor repeatedly)

Now get on the bus -- btw, who's got the nachos??

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spencer on Mediation!

"The first thing you do, is to try to dress like Nucky Thompson."

Of course I kid -- here he offers good advice to those unfamiliar with the legal process.

Nice to see him back!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rule 11, Rule!

This is how it's done.
"The decision that I make today is based on legal conclusions rather than policy considerations. I believe the first duty of the AG is to be a good lawyer. Lawyers live under rule 11, which provides it is unethical for a lawyer to file a pleading for the purpose of delay rather than to achieve a result. The probability of the 9th Circuit reversing today's district court decision is ZERO. The probability of the US Supreme Court accepting review of the 9th circuit decision is also ZERO. Therefore the only purpose that would be served by filing another appeal would be to waste the taxpayers' money. That is not a good conservative principle. I have decided not to appeal today's decision, which would be an exercise in futility and would only serve to waste the taxpayers' money."
Do you hear that Pam Bondi? It's the sound of integrity.

Question: Does This Seem Libelous?

According to newly-invested Judge Bloom (congratulations!!), it just might:
What in Tarnation is a Surrogate Dibble, No way this can be a real human beings name, low class redneck pig excrement, redneck asshole, PATHETIC, LOWCLASS, INBRED REDNECK SCUMBAG, venom-spewing, mud-sucking, LOW-CLASS REDNECK, REDNECK LOSERS, SON OF A BITCH, SCUMBAG DRIBBLE, Now do us all a big favor and go play some Russian Roulette with SIX rounds in the chamber
WHAT IN TARNATION IS A SURROGATE DIBBLE, This low-class, inbred, half-witted, redneck, idiot, horse’s ass, bully, CHEAPSKATE AND ASSHOLE, venom-spewing, mud-sucking clown, NON-CUSTOMER, pig-farmer, miserable redneck loser, Surrogate Dibble yo-yo, son of a bitch, SCUMBAG DRIBBLE
Ok, purely as a wordsmith -- this has a certain rhythm. 

But the judge says it could have something more:
Defendants contend that Avrich’s offending statements amount to nothing more than rhetorical name-calling or expressions of opinion which cannot be construed as statements of fact. Therefore, they argue, the statements cannot constitute actionable defamation. Defendant’s comments stem from his apparently strongly-held convictions about Plaintiff’s name. This may turn out to be a case about literal name calling. But, Defendant’s publications also contain statements about Plaintiff’s intelligence, class, ancestry and business-relevant qualities. As examples of the latter, Defendant allegedly stated that Plaintiff might not be a real person, is a cheapskate, a “non-customer,” and lacks any credibility. Compl. ¶ 10.

Construing the allegations in the Complaint in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the Court cannot conclude at this stage that Defendant’s comments are mere rhetoric and cannot constitute defamatory publications. See, e.g., Presley v. Graham, 936 F. Supp. 2d 1316, 1325-26 (M.D. Ala. 2013) (finding, at pleading stage, that statement that plaintiff was “a supervisor’s nightmare,” even if opinion, could be interpreted by a reasonable reader as a fact-based summation). In our age of anonymous internet trolls and the often-uninformed echo-chamber of the blogosphere, maybe no reasonable reader would take Defendant’s statements as asserting facts rather than just one more outspewing of thoughtless rhetoric. But the Court is not willing to say, as a matter of law, that Defendant’s insults are incapable of being interpreted as false facts.  Visitors of may understand Defendant to be stating that Plaintiff is in fact inbred, or not a real person, or, at the very least, someone you wouldn’t want to do business with. The Complaint fairly and plausibly alleges as much. Whether it is true requires the Court to consider a factual context for the parties to address and develop in discovery. Plaintiff’s allegations of defamation will survive Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss.
Anonymous internet trolls and thoughtless rhetoric -- where have we heard that before?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Plan B

Should Amendment 1 and other efforts to prevent the end of all life on Earth fail, it's good to have a Plan B!
Don’t worry about climate change guys. If we destroy this planet, we’ll just move to another one! Well, not exactly another planet, but another planet’s moon. According to a paper to be published in the prestigious Science journal on Friday, scientists have reason to believe that one of Saturn’s “Death Star” moon, Mimas, houses an underground ocean. Either that, or something else strange is going on underneath its cratered surface. And if that something is indeed a body of water, then we may be looking at our Plan B for humanity, in case we fail to address global warming and other environmental issues. And though Mimas might not be nearly as pretty as Earth — a gray, crater-ridden moon doesn’t have much on the greens and blues of our planet — we’re in no place to be particularly picky. 
In case you didn't notice, this Mimas place is a very low rent district. The whole surface area of the moon is about the same as Spain and the complete lack of a breathable atmosphere makes pool days few and far between.

Let's protect what we've got.

How Do You Execute Against a Terrorist Organization? Plus "Bad Judge" Friday!

It's Friday, so let's keep it light with the 11th Circuit discussing FARC:
On February 13, 2003, Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Thomas Janis were flying over Colombia while performing counter-narcotics reconnaissance. Members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) shot their plane down and, after the plane’s crash landing, captured the group. FARC immediately executed Janis and took the survivors hostage, holding them for over five years. After they were rescued and returned to the United States, Stansell, Gonsalves, and Howes—along with Janis’s wife, Judith G. Janis, as personal representative of his estate, and his surviving children, Christopher T. Janis, Greer C. Janis, Michael I. Janis, and Jonathan N. Janis—(collectively, Plaintiffs) filed a complaint against FARC in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida under the Antiterrorism Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2333, naming FARC and a number of associated individuals as defendants. After court-directed service of summons by publication, FARC failed to appear, and the district court entered a default judgment in favor of Plaintiffs in the amount of $318,030,000 on June 15, 2010.

Because of the difficulty inherent in the direct execution of a judgment against a terrorist organization, Plaintiffs sought to satisfy their award by seizing the assets of “agenc[ies] or instrumentalit[ies]” of FARC....
Of course there's always a bank involved!

Speaking of FARC FAWL, this "Bad Judge" show seems really stupid: 
"Over the past 35 years, the mission of Miami-Dade FAWL has been to promote the advancement of women in the legal profession. Unfortunately, 'Bad Judge' is a step in the wrong direction," said the letter from FAWL president Deborah Baker.

Among the examples FAWL complained about are a reference to a "muffin-top judge," a bumper sticker stating "If you are rich, I am single" and having sex with an expert witness in her chambers before court.
Ok, that's just hackneyed writing.

And have you seen most expert witnesses?

BTW I really like how assertive Ms. Baker has been as FAWL President -- keep it up, Deb!

Yes On 1

Do you drink water? I drink water. I like water. Water is good. When you break life down to its most basic essentials, water is right there with food, air, shelter, and love. That is why I'm supporting Amendment 1. (Notice I left out clothing. That shit just gets in the way.)

The summary of the amendment reads:
Funds the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to acquire, restore, improve, and manage conservation lands including wetlands and forests; fish and wildlife habitat; lands protecting water resources and drinking water sources, including the Everglades, and the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; beaches and shores; outdoor recreational lands; working farms and ranches; and historic or geologic sites, by dedicating 33 percent of net revenues from the existing excise tax on documents for 20 years.
I grew up a city boy in Miami but I spend most of my time these days in the gorgeous, unspoiled places where I am more likely to see a deer or a gator than another person. I'm often troubled by the very real fear that I may be one of the last people to see these places in their pristine condition.

We made enormous strides on the environment in the 1970s. That tree-hugger Nixon brought us the EPA. There was widespread public recognition of the mistakes that we made in the early days of the industrial revolution and we took bold steps to correct them.

But somewhere along the way we lost our way. Junk science has replaced environmental awareness and we are now entering into what many fear may be our next mass extinction event. Fracking is poisoning our aquifers, radiation is contaminating our vast oceans, and even the Pentagon recognizes the clear and present danger of climate change.

Amendment 1 isn't going to fix all of that. I fear it may be too little too late. But it's something and we should do something. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why Does the State Continuously Try and Lose Citrus Canker Cases?

Not a fan, but perhaps this is an occasion where using the word "seriatim" might make sense:
Doherty is expected to allow $12.9 million in prejudgment interest through Oct. 6 when the final judgment was entered. This would bring the total award to $31.7 million, Gilbert said. This was the fourth plaintiff win on compensation. A Lee County jury award $7.9 million on July 3, and $5.6 million was added Aug. 18 in prejudgment interest.

Previous verdicts favored plaintiffs in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Those judgments were upheld on appeal on the issue of liability. Because of that, Gilbert is seeking a motion for summary judgment on liability in the Miami-Dade Circuit class action. The hearing is set for late November.
This is my favorite part of what has turned out to be a decade-long, near-continuous legal blood bath:
Defense case: Parsons did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.
Is there any more that needs to be said?
Are these cases lumbering on like the "dead hand" Soviet anti-nuclear strategy, or is there someone/anyone in charge who can bring these things to a rational end?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

3d DCA Watch -- Holy Crap Edition.

I'm not into kicking anyone when they're down, but it is true that this opinion exists and unfortunately it's the only opinion of significance this week.

Boy I'm going to take a break and get some coffee.