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Showing posts from March, 2011

4th DCA Affirms That Plaintiff Is "Master of His Domain."

I really enjoyed Seinfeld and appreciated its groundbreaking comedy, but when I see lawyers who are insufferably uncool reference the show I start to feel that maybe it's a bit too obvious.

For example, when walking along with your 92-year old Grandma you never want her to turn to you and say "and by the way, they're real and they're spectacular"!

But with respect to this 4th DCA opinion from yesterday, it does seem to fit.

Apparently the plaintiff sued her employer in tort for battery and negligent retention and supervision, but the defendant argued the complaint was "actually for sexual harassment and discrimination" and plaintiff was trying to plead around the Title VII pre-suit requirements.

You hear this a lot in state court.  Parties are always trying to argue what the other party "really is doing" and lawyers frequently spin out fanciful narratives to explain why one count got dismissed, or why someone amended, yada yada yada.  (Oops!)…

Judge Seitz Wants Barry Minkow to "Work on His Soul."

Like Rumpy I have a few actual legal matters to attend to, so I apologize for not providing an outlet this morning for everyone to waste their time.

So let's do that now!

Nobody takes a longer better plea than Judge Seitz, and you can always count on her to say something interesting.

Following up on her "Kingdom of God" admonition to some idiot who badly -- I would say tragically -- overpaid for dinner, the Judge yesterday turned her ecumenical eye on poor Barry Minkow, an habitual con man who the feds just can't seem to quit:
Minkow said among his college degrees were a master's of divinity and a bachelor's degree in church ministries.
Seitz asked, "Given all those degrees, how did you get involved in this?"

Minkow conceded, "I'm not too wise, ma'am."

Seitz responded, "You need to work on your soul, sir."She added, "but first get to work on your short game."

Oh I kid.

But she's right -- everyone truly does n…

3d DCA Watch -- Approaching a Bunker Meltdown.

It's a hot, sweltering day out there, but due to budget cuts the bunker is legally mandated to maintain a constant year-round temperature of precisely 87 degrees.

Damn you, Tallahassee!


St. Louis v. FIU:

Judge Shepherd reverses a jury verdict against FIU for racial discrimination and retaliation, basically finding the whole shebang should have been out on sj:
St. Louis, a Trinidadian man, was hired in November 1997....Hey, is this a racial or ethnic origin case?

Last I checked, there are lots of folks in Trinidad of Indian origin, a story that has been fascinatingly told (and retold) by the truly great author V.S. Naipaul (even if he is mighty cranky and a skirt-chaser to boot).

In Re: Name Change of Imad Doujieji:

Why would Judge Espinosa Dennis deprive Mr. Doujieji of an opportunity to change his name?  You try giving that name out on the phone to your plumber!

(Dear readers -- it has come to my attention that Doujieji is the name this person actually wants to be known as.  …

Spencer Aronfeld Has a Breakfast Club!

I'll leave it to others to figure out who in the above clip is the Princess, the Jock, the Troubled Bully, and the Brain.

Isn't it great in the movies how everyone has one single definable character trait or flaw, and that by simply recognizing and addressing that single trait/flaw all previous issues which flowed from that flaw are miraculously resolved?

Note to Spence -- I love ya buddy but you gotta do something about that conference room.  I'm pretty sure I've seen it serve as the backdrop for a least one Sasha Grey romp.

Either jazz it up a little or maybe hold the next one at Einstein's Bagels?

Just an idea.....

Kudos btw to Spence and his team and everyone who contributed and purchased items at the silent auction for Japan that Lawyers to the Rescue put together.

Chief Justice Roberts Has a Funny Idea About Admissible Evidence!

Sheesh, I thought this guy was a corporate litigator -- oh yeah that means he never got to try a case:
“I checked the Citizens Clean Elections Commission Web site this morning,” the chief justice said, “and it says that this act was passed to, quote, ‘level the playing field’ when it comes to running for office. Why isn’t that clear evidence that it’s unconstitutional?” Um, I don't know, because your morning browser history is not part of the record on appeal?

Centennial Symposium Blawger Update -- David Markus Action Photo!

We really did have a lot of fun and a lively discussion at Friday's Centennial Symposium.

And, as lawyers often do, we all tried to one-up each other and prove we were the "Big Dawg" in the room with pithy comments and wry observations.

In fact, after a particularly witty remark by David O, I happened to snap a photo of Markus just enjoying the moment.

It's certainly nice when you can experience high points like that during the day:

11th Circuit Affirms Guts of YoPlus Class Cert Decision.

Judge Huck's Yoplus class certification decision was closely watched, and no doubt gave some indigestion.

Insert groan here.

Yet the 11th, via Judge Fay, has affirmed its reasoning and Judge Huck's "scholarly" analysis, though it was kicked back to remove any reliance element from the class definition:
The district court’s analysis in its Order on Motion for Class Certification is sound and in accord with federal and state law. The reasoning reflected therein is well within the parameters of Rule 23’s requirements for certification of a class. And, if the definition of the class had been in accord with the legal analysis, we would have readily affirmed.1 However, at the end of the district court’s Order, it defined the class in a manner which seems to conflict with its earlier sound analysis. In its analysis, the district court repeatedly stated that a plaintiff need not prove reliance on the allegedly false statement to recover damages under FDUTPA, but rather a pla…

Donald Trump Is Too Busy Talking About Obama's Birth Certificate to Appear at Mediation.

I completely agree with Judge Jordan -- why should Donald Trump have to appear at a mediation when he can send a lackey his Assistant GC Alan Garten?

Question -- does "Mr. Garten" have a true live birth certificate, or just a ginned-up-in-Kenya fancy-dancy chardonnay-stained certificate of live birth?

Or maybe it's as phony as Mr. Trump's own "birth certificate"?

Let's just put it on the table -- just who is this mysterious "Mr. Garten" and why does he have Mr. Trump's "full authority"?

I'm just asking the question!

Here's Your Chance to Complain About PACER!

I know you have a staff of thousands to deal with pesky CM/ECF issues, and probably have numerous "auto-forward" redundancies so that you never miss a deadline ever.

But in the event your keyboard has actually made real live intertubular contact with PACER, you may have a suggestion or two for how to make the danged thing work better.

There is an initiative under way to improve how PACER operates.  It is headed up by Judge J. Rich Leonard, from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the ED NC, who chairs the perfectly Gov-speaked "Additional Stakeholders Functional Requirements Group" (a/ka ASFRG).

You can fill the survey out anonymously here, or do like me and have the survey automatically forwarded to your secretary and the associate who used to work with you but who left a few months back.

(That should pretty much take care of it.)

Adorno Yoss Requiem -- Slinging the Animal Poop.

The intrepid one proves once again why she is the best in the business with this devastating post-mortem of the demise of AdornoYoss:
The final decision apparently was forced on the firm by its bank, Wells Fargo, with which firm leaders were in negotiations the week of March 7. Former partners said the firm owed the bank $8 million. The week ended with a closing announcement, after attempts by Yoss to secure a merger over the last two months failed.

In a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice filed with the state March 17, Yoss placed its employee count at 91, under the 100 threshold that would trigger severance pay with less than 60 days' notice. Plantation-based DJSP, a foreclosure processing company that recently dissolved, listed 96 employees at the time of dissolution and was hit with a class action suit by employees who claim they weren't given adequate notice or pay under federal law. Five former employees said the Yoss firm does not plan t…

Centennial Symposium Recap!

I must echo Rumpy and David O -- Robert Kuntz and Tim Ravitch put together a creative, informative and highly entertaining panel discussion today on "new media" and the 24-hour news cycle.

Kudos on a job well done.

In fact, it was so hip we actually got into a Twitter fight while making our presentations, and David managed to upload camera pics of the exciting, nonstop action.

A few highlights:

1.  Rump's voice-synthesized "I am Stephen Hawking" shout out.

2.  Brian Tannebaum calling this blog "a scabrous tumor that must be violently excised from the South Florida legal community before it slowly and inexorably kills us all."

(Brian, did I quote you right?)

3.  Eddie Dominguez of the DBR on their progressive and collaborative approach to new media, bloggers, plus how they all differ.

BTW, let me repeat -- we are extremely fortunate to have the DBR as our local professional and business newspaper, you guys are the best and we depend on you daily (on t…

Ernie Mullins Has a Question for Steve Zack!

Apparently tired of publishing my pal George L. Metcalfe's "Messages from Leesburg," the Florida Bar News has turned to Kissimmee lawyer Ernest J. Mullins for some fresh insights:
Here’s my question to Mr. Zack: “Hey Steve, when you were coming over here from Cuba, how many southbound rafts did you see?” Oh, and then there’s this: “We cannot fight to establish the rule of law around the world and watch it jeopardized in this country. When 80 percent of poor people, mostly women and minorities, have no access to the court system, we do not have the rule of law.”

Will somebody tell me what that even means? I go to court every day. I’ve been going to court every day for the last 25 years. I don’t know how many millionaires I’ve seen in there, but it’s not too many. When I go to court, I see mostly women, poor people, and minorities in there. Where is this 80 percent coming from? Is he kidding? Nobody, in 25 years, has said to me, “Gee, I tried to get into court…

Time To Donate More Old Gym Equipment!

I agree with Fifth DCA Chief Judge Monaco, this is simply too stunning for words:
The state House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee has targeted state judges for an 8 percent salary cut and plans to reduce their judicial assistant staffing by one-quarter.

“They did not cut salaries to any other elected officials,” said Circuit Judge John Laurent, chairman of the state court’s Trial Court Budget Commission.

Laurent, a Polk Circuit probate judge, said the subcommittee chaired by state Rep. Richard Glorioso, R-Plant City, offered no justification for the salary cut proposal other than a general comment that they had to cut somewhere.Why stop there?

Maybe we should hold a fundraiser for the court system, though I thought that was what our taxes were for.

Or firms can start sponsoring judges, and we can put our logos on their robes so everyone can see who we're supporting when they come out on the bench.  Then we can have the judges box each other and we can raise some more mo…

Florida Supreme Court "Clarifies" Offer of Judgment Statute.

I've said this before, but Florida case law governing the offer of judgment statute, along with its cute little tag along sister Rule 1.442, is hopelessly -- I would say irremediably -- screwed up.

That's why, for example, two DCAs could come up with diametrically opposed outcomes on a nearly identical set of very discrete facts.

How do you think that makes the schleppers feel?

Indeed, if it were within my power, I would just hit the "re-set" button, do a full System Restore and start the whole thing again from scratch.

Which brings us to today's Florida Supreme Court opinion, dealing with whether or not a party who accepts an offer of judgment is the "prevailing party" for purposes of a later fee application -- in this case under Mag/Moss.

Frankly, how the 4th DCA could blow the answer to that question is a complete mystery, but here's what they thought:
The Fourth District affirmed the trial court, holding that ―"[t]here simply was no court-o…

Novel Solution to Judicial Funding Crisis -- Pay Judges to Work Faster!

I swear this year's legislative proposals affecting the judiciary are among the most bone-headed in memory.

Take this doozy:
Republican Sen. J.D. Alexander, the influential budget chairman from Lake Wales, wants to pay trial court judges up to an additional $12,000 a year if they meet specific numerical quarterly performance goals. The extra money would be dished out in $3,000 increments.

“I’m very serious about it,” Alexander said. “What we’re trying to do is create some incentives for the courts that are fair and reasonable and save us a lot of money.”

Alexander’s so-called Judicial Workload Incentive Plan is expected to be part of the proposed Senate budget to be considered next week, but it’s already receiving a mostly hostile reception among senators who directly oversee the judicial branch’s budget.

Despite Alexander’s unmatched clout when it comes to legislative spending, senators aren’t shy about openly lampooning his idea.

“Judges don’t need this,” said S…

Lawyers Who Missed Answer Deadline Accuse Opposition of Making "Bricks Without Straw."

Bricks Without Straw

Wachovia's counsel comes out swinging and gets downright Biblical:
Defendant stresses that it has given a true and legitimate explanation for the default. As set out in the Declaration of Carl S. Burkhalter (Exhibit B to the Motion), the February 17, 2011 deadline was not docketed due to the unique confluence of an associate's resignation and a computer problem.

Plaintiff quibbles with this explanation, asserting that it does not explain the failure of two other attorneys to take action: Inge Selden (with Maynard, Cooper & Gale) and Jay Thornton (local counsel with Hunton & Williams). Regarding Mr. Selden, Plaintiff misses the point: Ms. Escalona and Ms. Juarez were responsible for sending a notification of the February 17th deadline (via Microsoft Outlook) to all the Maynard, Cooper & Gale attorneys on the file – that is, to both Mr. Burkhalter and Mr. Selden. In other words, Messrs. Burkhalter and Selden were in the same boat; the deadline was…

3d DCA Watch -- Elizabeth Taylor Special Edition.

RIP you insane, crazy and remarkable lady.

On to the swillers......

Castillo v. Castillo:

I propose a one-year moratorium on any further citations to Canakaris -- it has to be one of the more unpleasantly named yet seminal Florida decisions to have to repeatedly see in briefs and orders.

Reid v. Estate of Sonder:

Judges Shepherd and Wells have an very interesting disagreement over the significance of record evidence.

I say "very interesting" but remember this is a probate case we are talking about.

State Farm v. Puig:

In a bad faith action are you entitled to the entire claims file including attorney-client protected communications?

You would think the answer to that question would be settled law, but remember this is Florida state court we are talking about.

Here is what Judge Rothenberg has to say:
We agree with the First, Second, Fourth, and Fifth Districts. In Ruiz, the Florida Supreme Court held that in the bad-faith context, the normally automatic work product protection …

Simply Amazing! And the Beat Goes On!

Simply Amazing! Order

I can't adequately do this Order justice, you'll have to just read it yourself.

A few highlights and questions.

(1)  Like the "Tale of Two Cities" intro.

(2)  Shouldn't sanctions orders have findings?

(3)  "Simply amazing"!

(4)  "Almost laughable"

(5)  "not in this instance"!

(6)  "caught with their hand in the cookie jar"

(7)  Federal Rules and Local Rules "mere suggestions."

(8)  Deft switch to criticizing defendant's response.

(9 ) ... wasting "trees".

(10) "The history of this case is self-explanatory."

(11)" .... and the beat goes on."

(12) Sanction includes letter being introduced without authentication -- ouch!

Seriously, though, the sanctions as ordered seem like they will be difficult in practice to actually implement in a trial setting, but who knows -- things have turned out pretty well in this case so far.

South Florida Legal Blawgers To Waste Everyone's Time on Friday!

Yes it's true, kids, a veritable murderer's row of your favorites, all ready to answer important questions about why everyone wastes their time reading these stupid things:

Ripped from the Headlines: Eleventh Judicial Circuit Honors 100th Anniversary with Symposium on Media and the Courts
* * *
            The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Centennial Committee, Joseph H. Serota, Chair, is pleased to present "Ripped from the Headlines: The Vital, Tempestuous and Changing Relationship between the Court and Media."
             Symposium Chairs Robert Kuntz and Timothy M. Ravich will present a 3-part, half-day symposium showcasing important trials throughout the history of the Miami-Dade County judiciary and focusing on what the future holds as court cases are actively covered by new and emerging media sources.
Part I – A multi-media historical presentation by the 11th Judicial Circuit’s Court Historian Judge Scott J. Silverman. This presentation will focus on the …

Vote, You Plebes!

Today is the last day to vote for Florida Bar President and for open seats on the Board of Governors:
Schickel is part of a three-way race for president, which hasn’t happened in 26 years. The 1984 race saw Patrick Emmanuel of Pensacola win in a runoff with William Trickel Jr. of Orlando. Michael Plunkett was third.
Schickel is running against Walter Campbell Jr. of Fort Lauderdale and Gwynne Alice Young of Tampa. All three are members of The Florida Bar board of governors.
The winner needs 50 percent of the vote plus 1, so, with three candidates, it is likely there will be a runoff.
“This is the first contested race since 2000, when Herman Russomanno of Miami was elected, and the first three-way race I can remember,” said Howard Coker, 1998 Florida Bar president. “I fully expect there to be a runoff.”
Coker ran unopposed, so he didn’t have to campaign as much as Schickel, his fellow partner at Coker, Schickel, Sorenson & Posgay has.
“This is what I call an old-fashioned e…

Prominent Lawyers Get Special Treatment at Joe's -- All is Well With the World!

My Herald gag reflex usually doesn't kick in until Tuesdays (for obvious reasons), but it came a day early this week.

Let's see -- we're now in the middle of three wars and there is an unprecedented nuclear crisis in Japan, in addition to thousands lost and many more suffering from the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Not to mention unemployment, gas prices, global warming yada yada yada.

And all the President wants to do is work on his bracket!

But do not fear, my childrens, because Akerman's Mike Abrams has his very own gold plaque and table at Joe's:
Don’t see his name on it? Look to the right, on the wall, where there’s a gold plaque – the only one like it in the place – that reads very clearly, “Reserved for MIKE ABRAMS.”A gold plaque?

In my view that's quite humble and modest -- remember, it could have been platinum.

Ok, I'm all for Joe's and lunch there frequently.  The food's great, the atmosphere is very New York busy, and you do see …

SFL Friday -- Please Help.

I'm sorta past these Friday afternoon posts but it's probably worth bringing back for a one-off given the magnitude of the situation in Japan.

So donate here, or Crowdrise here, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 and I promise I won't make any too many jokes about my "spent fuel rods."

David J. Stern Can't Afford to File Proper Motions to Withdraw.

Something about this story really irks me:
Legal rules don't just allow attorneys to walk away from a case. They are supposed to file motions to withdraw, or the new attorneys are expected to file a notification that they are the new counsel.

"Florida Rules of Civil Procedure require that attorneys file a proper Motion to Withdraw from any case which they no longer plan to represent," said Eunice Sigler, a spokeswoman for the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County. "We are currently researching various options, including any remedies available through the Florida Bar."

Palm Beach County Chief Judge Peter Blanc said this week he's also trying to figure out how to proceed."Stern has provided notice he will no longer be attorney of record, but the court is unable to recognize it," Blanc said. "I'm told we're getting more stipulations of substitute counsel but not anywhere near the number we should have."

Blanc s…

These Proposals Seem Terrible!

What the hail are they doing in Tally:
Cannon wants to break the seven-member Supreme Court into two separate five-member tribunals, one to handle only civil cases and the other to hear only criminal cases, similar to systems in Texas and Oklahoma. That would give Gov. Rick Scott three appointments to the state’s highest court.

Cannon’s plan would require the three most senior justices — Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince — to join the criminal appeals court. Hmm, just a coincidence?
It gets worse: A fourth bill by Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, would require all of the governor’s judicial appointments to the Supreme Court and to the five District Courts of Appeal to be confirmed by the state Senate. It passed on a party-line 10-5 vote. That bill would also abolish appeals court-level judicial nominating commissions, which recommend finalists to the governor. What is the point of abolishing the JNCs?  So the flow of informed advice on judicial candidates ends…

Judge King Defaults Wachovia for Blowing Deadline -- Time to Take REALLY Deep Breath.

Mere hours after Judge Gold's excellent FBA speech on mindfulness, Judge King reminded counsel -- including heavyweights at Hunton & Williams and Birmingham's Maynard Cooper & Gale, that it's probably a good idea to double or triple calendar dates to respond to an amended complaint -- even if someone else is supposed to be handling it.

Why, you might ask?

All the Judge did was sua sponte enter a default against Wachovia for failing to respond to the Amended Complaint in an auction rate securities action!

The next day, after much deep breathing exercises I am sure (ed. note-- and possibly a call to the carrier), Birmingham lawyer Carl S. Burkhalter took one for the team (he also referenced his secretary and departed associate):
Defendant has not filed a timely answer to Plaintiff’s amended complaint. The reason for that failure, as explained below and in an accompanying declaration, is that the deadline date for answering Plaintiff’s amended complaint was not entere…

Who Else is Excited About Purim?

What, is there another holiday today?

Can't get that judge from The Verdict -- indelibly played by character actor Milo O'Shea -- out of my mind this morning.

This is one of his finest scenes.

Surfside Hires Gerald Houlihan For Only $750 an Hour!

Boy do those schleppers in Surfside know how to cut a deal.

For example, after getting hit with a federal lawsuit over a refusal to make some zoning changes to accommodate an expanded synagogue, the town attorney allegedly recommended they hire a federal lawsuit "specialist" who she -- according to this New Times article -- also just happens to be "dating," none other than dashing Gerry Houlihan:
This past December, Young Israel of Bal Harbour — a Jewish congregation that is actually based in Surfside — filed a lawsuit against the town after the town commission voted no to make zoning amendments that would have allowed the group to establish a new synagogue on an 8,000-square-foot lot it had purchased for $1.5 million. Young Israel claimed this was a violation of its members' religious rights, and demanded $5 million in punitive damages.

This sounds like a job for that town attorney. Except Dannheisser opined that the case required a specialist in federa…

3d DCA Watch -- I'm Sick to Death of This.

The 3d DCA is really starting to get on my nerves.

There they sit, in their temperature-controlled bunker, working out in their plush mechanical room with borrowed olddecrepitrefurbished gym equipment, luxuriating in their bolted down washrooms, emitting written utterances wantonly and with reckless abandon as they swill their cold bitter brew.

They've almost got it as good as Wisconsin public school teachers!

So yada yada yada, let's hear what these hoity-toity high-falutin' high-steppers have to tell us about what we did wrong this week:

Beltran v. Kalb:

Boy, Judge Shepherd really likes the homestead exception:
The will of the people, as expressed by them in their constitution for more than 140 years, was fulfilled—the property was preserved for the benefit of the family.What is this, Bonanza?

"They saved the Ponderosa, Hoss!  Tell Little Joe!"

Juba & Juba v. Milceus:

Judge Shepherd holds his nose and relieves counsel from screwing up in responding to a mot…

Judge Gold's Mindfulness Campaign is Already Working!


Last week at the FBA luncheon Judge Gold delivered a tremendous message of mindfulness in the practice of law, and we're already starting to observe concrete, positive results.

For example, after I served a purely tactical 57.105 motion on opposing counsel the other day, the lawyer called me blabbering on as usual about my "bad faith."

Rather than getting into a shouting match about professionalism I simply asked "how does my motion make you feel?" and we suddenly had a really nice dialogue about organic yogurt and green tea.

So I think David Pollack's skepticism is unwarranted.

Also, per Dennis Kainen's question, I see judges are likewise starting to jump aboard the mindfulness bandwagon.

Here's a recent order from Magistrate Judge Brown that denies a motion for clarification "AS ABSURD":
The Court finds this motion totally disingenuous. One need not be a lawyer to understand that all responses to all discovery propounded by …

Someone Moved Howard Srebnick's Voting Site!

I almost forgot there was an election today, but not Howard Srebnick:
Few problems were reported throughout the day at precincts, according to the county’s elections department.

But on Miami Beach, a number of voters were angry that several polling places had been moved.Elections spokeswoman Christina White said the department notifies all voters via postcard when their precincts are relocated, and that advertisements are placed in newspapers.

But Howard Srebnick, a Miami Beach resident and prominent criminal defense lawyer, said the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, the city’s largest polling site, was shut down “without notice.”

“This is a scandal,” Srebnick said, noting that a number of voters who usually cast ballots at 2000 Convention Center Dr. are elderly and without transportation.

A sign at the Botanical Garden polling station redirects voters of precincts 30 and 34 to another polling site, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 621 Alton Road – 15 blocks south. White …

Breaking -- DCBA to Shutter Courthouse Night Box!

Like many of you, I received a note this morning from the DCBA, marking yet another passage of an era:
The Dade County Bar Association will no longer provide a filing box at the Dade County Courthouse for Third District Court of Appeal filings. All filings can now be made at the Third District Court of Appeal, in the night filing box located adjacent to the entrance steps at the Third District Court of Appeal, which is located at 2001 SW 117 Avenue, in Miami, Florida.  
Attorneys can now file directly at the Third District Court of Appeal throughout the evening and early morning. Documents place in the box prior to 8:00 a.m. will be clocked in as being "nightbox" filed as of the previous business day. There is no fee for using the filing box at the Third District Court of Appeal.
Since 1976, the DCBA has maintained a night filing box for the Third District Court of Appeal, located in the Clerk's Office at the Dade County Courthouse. Due to budget cuts affectin…

Dwyane Wade Gets Full Custody!

Maybe this will make the Heat play better, but regardless it's good news for Wade as the Chicago court that has been laboring for two years has awarded him full custody:
Still, the 102-page ruling had some sharp words for Wade's ex-wife."This court finds that (Siohvaughn Wade) has embarked on an unstoppable and relentless pattern of conduct for over two years to alienate the children from their father, and lacks either the ability or the willingness to facilitate, let alone encourage, a close and continuing relationship between them," read a portion of the ruling entered by Judge Renee G. Goldfarb.Wade's attorney, James Pritikin, said the custody trial "was one of the longest ever in Cook County history."These are strong factual findings, which will make it hard to overturn on appeal (the ex-wife's attorney has already stated one is forthcoming).

Yoss Restructuring Complete!

Wow, I don't think anyone saw this coming:
In an e-mail sent to employees Friday, managing partner George Yoss notified employees that the firm would be winding down its legal practice and laying off all employees by the end of the month.

“As we are sure you are aware, these have been extremely difficult times for the firm,” stated Yoss in the e-mail. “After meeting with the bank and evaluating the firm’s status and financial position the decision was made to wind down its operation.”Thanks to a tipster, we have managed to obtain an early draft of the email:
Oh f*&k.  F*&k f*&k f*&. F*&k a duck! Why maintain the ruse any longer?  We're f*&ked.  So f*&k you all and the horses you rode in on.  You think this s*&t's easy?  You try it.  Thank you to our loyal clients who stuck with us through the good times and bad.  That's f*&king sarcasm you dimwits.  Now good luck finding a job in this economy.  Did I mention we're f*&ked…