La rivoluzione russa        
La mattina del 20 settembre 1871, il Maestro Franz Liszt si esercitava al pianoforte nello studio della sua sontuosa magione di campagna vicino Budapest, quando fu interrotto da un confuso e concitato vociare proveniente dal portone d'ingresso.

"Che succede, Pierre?" chiese mentre raggiungeva il suo maggiordomo, il quale, bloccando con il suo corpo l'accesso alla casa, stava palesemente cercando di convincere un ospite indesiderato ad andarsene.

Quando Liszt, avvicinatosi dietro le spalle del suo domestico, poté scorgere l'aspetto dell'intruso (un uomo sui sessant'anni, calvo, barbuto, che sembrava assai malmesso, ma parlava un francese forbito con marcato accento parigino), quest'ultimo troncò subito, lasciando una frase a metà, il suo litigio con Pierre e, volgendo speranzoso lo sguardo al padrone di casa, così lo apostrofò:

"Maestro Liszt! Maestro! Vi prego, degnatevi di concedere udienza ad un vostro grande ammiratore, giunto or ora dalla Francia solo per avere l'inestimabile onore di fare la Vostra conoscenza!"

"Padrone!" diceva intanto il maggiordomo, "lasciate che cacci via a calci nel sedere questo vagabondo che pretende di farsi ricevere da Voi! E' inaudito! Come se qualsiasi pitocco potesse..."

"Va bene, Pierre, lascia pure entrare Monsieur... di grazia, come vi chiamate?"

Il viso dello strano ospite si rasserenò. "Mi chiamo Eugène Pottier. Da Parigi. Poeta. Per servirvi. Sapevo che avreste... oh, grazie, mille grazie, Maestro!"

"Potete chiamarmi semplicemente Padre. Come forse saprete, non sono che un umile servitore di Santa Romana Chiesa... Ma accomodatevi nel mio studio, ve ne prego, e raccontatemi di voi..." diceva Liszt mentre accompagnava il suo ammiratore lungo il corridoio. "Venite da Parigi, avete detto?", qui il musicista scoccò uno sguardo sospettoso sul suo interlocutore. "E dove siete diretto, se posso..."

Mentre Liszt tornava a sedersi al suo pianoforte, Pottier si accomodò su un'ampia poltrona disposta in modo da fronteggiare il lato destro dello strumento. Come in una sala da concerto, pensò Pottier un po' a disagio. "Maestro, cioè scusatemi, Padre. Avete già capito. Sono un combattente della Comune. Sono in esilio, ramingo per l'Europa, da ormai quattro mesi. Ma non voglio annoiarvi con il racconto delle mie tribolazioni. Sono venuto qui, attratto dalla vostra fama di grande artista e di uomo già attento alla questione sociale, perché ho un testo, da me composto, che vorrei chiedervi di porre in musica".

Ci furono alcuni secondi di silenzio, durante i quali le palpebre di Liszt si aprirono e si chiusero spasmodicamente per una ventina di volte. "Monsieur Pottier... vi rendete conto, spero, del rischio a cui state esponendo voi stesso e me. Mi è difficile comprendere come siate potuto giungere fin qui dalla Francia. Ma, che la vostra sia stata fortuna o incoscienza, sappiate che la polizia asburgica non è affatto indulgente con quelli come voi, né con chi dà loro rifugio."

Pottier si raddrizzò sulla poltrona. "Né fortuna, né incoscienza, Monsieur Liszt. Siamo stati sconfitti, è vero. Ma abbiamo compagni ovunque, pronti a dare il loro silenzioso contributo alla Causa. E' grazie alla loro solidarietà che sono riuscito a sopravvivere e ad arrivare a voi. La musica che porto con me" - a questo punto Pottier tirò fuori da una tasca della giacca un fascicolo spiegazzato, ingiallito e sgualcito, e lo tese a Liszt - "mi induce a confidare anche nella vostra solidarietà".

Sempre più stupito, ma senza offuscare la politezza dei suoi modi da gentiluomo, il musicista prese l'opuscolo che lo strano visitatore gli porgeva. Era uno spartito a stampa che recava sopra il pentagramma il titolo Lyon e il motto: Vivre en travaillant, ou mourir en combattant. Che si potrebbe tradurre, a un dipresso: Vivere del proprio lavoro, o morire combattendo.

"Dove l'avete trovata?" chiese subito Liszt. "Questa composizione non fa più parte della raccolta delle mie opere. Non viene più ristampata da..."

"Dal 1837" lo interruppe Pottier. "Me la regalò mio padre, il giorno del mio ventunesimo compleanno. Mi spiegò che un grande musicista l'aveva composta per celebrare il ricordo della rivolta degli operai disoccupati di Lione. Mi disse: se vuoi davvero fare l'artista, prendi esempio, figlio mio, e ricordati sempre da quale parte della barricata devi stare!"

Liszt guardò fisso il suo ospite, che ricambiava lo sguardo con fermezza. Poi sospirò. "Monsieur Pottier, i tempi sono cambiati. Persino quella testa calda del mio amico Wagner se n'è reso conto, ed è passato (come direste voi) dall'altra parte della barricata. L'epoca delle rivoluzioni è finita. Per sempre. Anche voialtri, col vostro folle tentativo laggiù in Francia, lo avete dimostrato. Datemi retta: la vostra cosiddetta questione sociale non ha alcuna soluzione. Non su questa terra, almeno. La sola cosa che posso fare per voi è scrivere due righe al priore del convento francescano che si trova a una lega da qui. E' mio amico. Vi darà ricetto e ospitalità, fino al giorno in cui Dio, nella Sua infinita misericordia, illuminerà la vostra mente, come già fece con la mia. Allora anche voi comprenderete, e vi rassegnerete alla Sua volontà".

Pottier rimase in silenzio. Poi fece per rimettere in tasca l'altro foglio di carta che ne aveva tratto poco prima e che stava per consegnare al grande musicista. Ma gli tremava la mano e, senza che lui se ne accorgesse, il foglio cadde per terra. Infine disse: "Bene, Monsieur Liszt. Vi chiedo scusa per l'incomodo e per il rischio che vi ho fatto correre. Mi ero sbagliato sul vostro conto. Ora non vi importunerò ulteriormente e, col vostro permesso, riprenderò il mio viaggio."

Stava per uscire senz'altro dallo studio di Liszt, ma quest'ultimo lo richiamo: "Aspettate, Monsieur Pottier. Non fatemi il torto di rifiutare la mia ospitalità, almeno sino a domattina... Tra poco sarà servita la colazione. Frattanto, accomodatevi, e siate così gentile da attendere che abbia finito i miei esercizi. Fra l'altro, suono meglio quando ho un pubblico ad ascoltarmi. Posso chiedervi inoltre, nuovamente, qual è la meta del vostro viaggio?"

Eugène Pottier si risedette. "Credo che andrò in Russia. C'è molto lavoro da fare, laggiù".

"In Russia!?" esclamò Liszt. Stava per aggiungere: voi siete pazzo, ma si trattenne. "Voi non sapete quel che dite! Ogni giorno, ogni giorno lo Zar incarcera, spedisce in Siberia o manda sul patibolo gente come voi! Ecco, guardate" - Liszt prese in fretta dallo scrittoio una rivista - "guardate questo giornale che mi è arrivato ieri da San Pietroburgo. Sapete leggere il cirillico? Ecco l'elenco dei terroristi che sono stati impiccati il mese scorso per avere cospirato contro la monarchia: Rodion Raskolnikov, Nikolaj Stavrogin, Aleksandr Uljanov... Va avanti per un'intera pagina! E voi volete andare in Russia?"

Pottier ribatté con calma: "Terroristi, avete detto? Uhm... no, non è questa la strada. Noi vinceremo, ma seguendo un altro cammino."

"Ah, sì? E quale, se mi è concesso chiederlo?

"Non lo so. Forse la strada non c'è. Ma so che c'è da camminare".

Liszt sospirò. Guardò Pottier. Poi guardò il giornale russo. Poi guardò il suo pianoforte. Infine ci si sedette e, senza dire niente, attaccò a suonarlo.

Suonava già da un quarto d'ora, e le tortuose armonie della Sonata in si minore si dipanavano con sicurezza sotto le sue dita, come un filo di lana in un labirinto, quando Liszt sentì un suono inconfondibile provenire dalla poltrona del poeta. Liszt portò a termine l'esecuzione della Sonata, poi si alzò dal pianoforte e risistemò delicatamente il poggiatesta imbottito sotto la tempia di Pottier. Quest'ultimo smise di russare, ma non si svegliò. Poi il musicista si chinò a raccogliere il foglio di carta che era caduto dalla tasca di Pottier. Si risedé al pianoforte e lo lesse. Era scritto in versi e iniziava così:

"Debout, les damnés de la terre
Debout, les forçats de la faim!
La raison tonne en son cratère
C'est l'éruption de la fin.
Du passé faisons table rase.
Foules, esclaves, debout, debout!
Le monde va changer de base.
Nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout!"


Il poema andava avanti su questo tono per un'altra decina di strofe. Liszt lo lesse con attenzione. Poi sbuffò forte col naso, mise il foglio da parte e si rimise al piano. Attaccò a suonare una sua composizione che s'intitolava Funérailles. Si interruppe dopo poche battute. Poi, per la prima volta dopo decenni, dalla cassa armonica rintoccarono le possenti note iniziali di Lyon. Ma anche questa esecuzione fu lasciata a metà.

Liszt si prese la faccia tra le mani. Cosa gli stava succedendo?

Infine il musicista sembrò distendersi. Riprese in mano il foglio con la poesia di Pottier e lo pose sul leggìo. Iniziò ad improvvisare. Si udì una melodia piuttosto bella, allo stesso tempo vivace e solenne, in ritmo giambico. (Molto tempo dopo, qualcuno l'avrebbe descritta come una via di mezzo fra Oh, my darling Clementine e La cucaracha).

Subito iniziò a variare. Mentre un ritmo lento, profondo e pauroso rombava nella parte sinistra della tastiera, la melodia si trasformò in un canto popolare slavo che sembrava provenire dall'inizio dei tempi.
Poi il ritmo si fece più veloce, incalzante e sincopato, come di tamburi africani, mentre la melodia, stranamente deformata in semitoni, diede l'allucinante impressione di provenire non più da un pianoforte, ma da una tromba con sordina, o da qualche altro strano strumento a fiato non ancora inventato.

Poi ancora la stessa melodia, resa esile, sottile e tintinnante, si stagliò nelle zone alte della tastiera, sullo sfondo di colpi molto distanziati, come di un gong, che provenivano dalla mano sinistra. Senza soluzione di continuità, questo tintinnio si tramutò nel canto di un muezzin. Poi fu come se, prodigiosamente, tutte queste versioni della stessa identica melodia risuonassero insieme. Pottier, che nel frattempo si era svegliato, non credeva ai propri occhi. Le mani di Liszt si muovevano ad una velocità sovrumana, producendo una fittissima gragnuola di note di ogni altezza, che scemava e poi di nuovo s'intensificava, fino a scoppiare in un'onda di energia di terrificante violenza. Infine, mentre le ultime risonanze dell'esplosione ancora si dissolvevano, la melodia iniziale ritornò piano, semplice ed infantile, lenta, simile ad un carillon che suonasse una ninna-nanna.

La straordinaria esibizione di Liszt aveva intanto richiamato tutta la sua servitù, che si era raccolta ad ascoltare in un piccolo drappello dietro la porta dello studio: erano anni che non lo sentivano suonare a quel modo. Fra di loro, c'era una famigliola composta da una giovane coppia con la loro bambina di tre anni.

"Hai sentito, Sandor?" disse la moglie. "Tu dicevi che il vecchio si era ormai completamente rincitrullito..."

"Sì, Hannah, te lo confermo: il vecchio si è totalmente rimbecillito. Ma per sua fortuna, le mani ce le ha ancora buone. Vieni, Milena!" prese in braccio la sua figlioletta, "ascolta. Un giorno anche tu dovrai suonare così".

Pubblicato il 7 ottobre 2010, qui: http://www.evulon.net/news.php?extend.3549


          12-yr-old: I Yelled at Him, Please, No, Don’t Shoot My Dog! Finally, Hartford Pays for Trespass, Unjustified Fatal Shooting        

Via AP: The $885,000 settlement, approved by the city council on Monday night [2-27-17], includes damages and legal costs. The Hartford Courant reports it also indemnifies the officers.







  • Schoenhorn: We have a Constitution for a reason








  • BACKGROUND, 11 years of stonewalling and despicable maneuvers ...

    Dog killer, found liable, empties most of bank account - court filing


    Hartford police officer JohnMichael O'Hare -- found liable for violating the Fourth Amendment, trespassing and fatally shooting the pet dog of a 12-year-old Hartford girl -- has removed most of the cash from a savings account that had been attached by a federal court, according to a filing in Hartford's U.S. District Court.

    The court filing by the girl's attorney on Nov. 21, 2016 stated U.S. Magistrate Donna Martinez had ordered O'Hare and fellow officer Anthony Pia not to transfer assets. Attorney Jon Schoenhorn asserted in the filing that O'Hare's account shrunk from $23,508.06 to $1,383.40 this fall. Prior to that, a jury awarded a total of more than $200,000, including $32,000 in punitive damages for this Fourth Amendment case. Litigation costs and attorney fees are also to be awarded after eight years of litigation and are anticipated to exceed $700,000.

    The Associated Press has reported that the city of Hartford reversed its position to indemnify the officers. At the same time, according to the filing, the city continues to pay attorney's fees and defense costs.

    Attorneys for the police officers and the union did not respond to messages left Tuesday.

  • Jury verdict and background, column


  • Statement from Glenn Harris, 2-27-17:

    The law and the civil rights of the community should not be interpreted differently because of where a family chooses to live or their ethnicity. If it had not been for Attorney Schoenhorn’s perseverance and refusal to sit idly by as injustice sought to prevail, my family may have never gotten even the smallest sliver of justice. Our families in this city need to be treated with the dignity and respect that we deserve. It’s better for everyone who works and lives here to just treat people better. We are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers. We deserve better than to be simply treated as an afterthought, suspects, or insignificant.



    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.



              Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        

    UPDATES:





  • Water Protector Legal Collective Files Suit for Excessive Force against Peaceful Protesters


  • Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters



  • Oceti Sakowin encampment on Oct. 6, 2016. The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.








    Story and Photos by John Briggs

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: OK to repost, courtesy of John Briggs and The Cool Justice Report.







    Corporate – Government Alliance Versus the American People

    Native Americans from tribes across the country have gathered on the windswept plains of North Dakota to pray with Mother Earth to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from pumping 500,000 gallons of oil a day beneath the Missouri River. The natives know the pipeline will most certainly leak or break, as have most U.S. pipelines, fouling the water for the Great Sioux Nation and 18 million non-Natives downstream.

    The standoff -- which began in April -- continues as a new U.S. administration ascends to power with a president-elect who campaigned denying human-caused climate change and threatening the Paris Climate accords. This remains the overriding reality despite a mini walk back by Donald Trump pledging an open mind to The New York Times this week.

    Standing Rock illuminates the brazen alliance that has developed between corporate and government interests. Viewed from the front lines, the law has been turned into a fig leaf for repression and suppression. Only the discipline and spiritual clarity of the water protectors and the native elders has kept people from being killed or seriously injured since April when the movement began.

    The fused police-DAPL force is doing everything it can to incite a violent reaction from the resisters so as to crack down, clear the camps, imprison, or even gun down the natives. More than one commentator has found the atmosphere at Standing Rock similar to what led to the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 when 300 Sioux were murdered by government troops who mistook their prayerful Ghost Dance for a war dance.

    A great deal is at issue at Standing Rock. The Sioux and their numerous native and non-native allies face a militarized force whose composition tells us something dark about the complex façade that U.S. democracy has become and suggests the proto-fascist zombi lurking beneath. More deeply, Standing Rock also emblemizes a struggle that is taking place at this moment in human history between two distinct modes of human consciousness.

    One mode is the familiar anthropocentric (human-centered) consciousness that the dominant culture most of us were born into favors—a consciousness that assumes reality is a collection of objects to be extracted, owned, and branded. Humans are the focus of this consciousness, meaning that our concerns about climate change focus primarily on the fate of our own species.

    Distinct from this anthropocentric mind-set is a second, ancient and spiritual mode of awareness that understands that the earth and its landscapes are not objects; they are relationships, including the tangle of relationships that gave us birth. This ancient mode of consciousness is potential in everyone, but for most it has been buried beneath the piles of conceptual objects that we have come to believe constitute our reality.

    The Indigenous Peoples gathered at Standing Rock are guided by this ancient, holistic, earth-mind consciousness, and so they understand that humans are not the most valuable living objects on the planet: we are not in control of the planet; it is not our job to manage nature; rather, our sacred task is to work with Mother Earth and other beings as members of Earth’s family. If we don’t, Mother Earth will make us face this spiritual truth one way or another.

    Guided by their ancient, earth-mind awareness, Native Americans have taken up a role as “water protectors.” “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life” is the slogan of the Standing Rock movement.

    Every day scores of Sioux from North Dakota, South Dakota and nearby states, along with Paiute, Shoshoni, Diné, and a sampling of other Natives from the 300 or so tribes whose flags fly at the Standing Rock encampments set out to pipeline construction sites in a convoy to engage in “actions” on the “front lines.”

    There the protectors sing and pray in the face of physical harassment and arrests by heavily armed police fused with a corporate security force.

    DAPL and their overlord company, Energy Transfer Partners, have lavished campaign contributions on politicians in North Dakota and the U.S. Congress so that they could use the state’s eminent domain powers to force purchase of land for the pipeline all across North Dakota, beginning in the Bakken fields in the northwest corner of the state where the fracked crude oil is extracted. Similar eminent domain arrangements were achieved in other states through which the 1,200-mile line traverses before reaching a river port in Illinois. The company promised Congress and the public that the pipeline would carry oil for 100 percent domestic use only, but it is clear from reporting done by the website The Intercept that the oil will be sold on international markets.

  • Though Promised for Domestic Use, Dakota Access Pipeline May Fuel Oil Exports


  • The DAPL line, now virtually complete except for permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to fill in the link that crosses under the Missouri River, passes just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The DAPL construction runs through sacred burial and archeological grounds that the Lakota people were given free access to by treaties with the U.S. Government in the 19th Century. In mounting their resistance to the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux have been turned into “trespassers on their own land.”

    In late August, the tribe’s lawyers filed a stop work petition in federal court detailing areas where sacred sites would be disturbed if construction continued on its planned trajectory. The federal judge routinely forwarded a copy of the filing to DAPL. Over Labor Day weekend, when the company would not have been expected to work, pipeline crews leapfrogged to the disputed sacred and preemptively bulldozed them under. Too late, the judge granted the Sioux an emergency restraining order, but, then in a curious move, allowed construction in some areas where sacred sites have been discovered. DAPL has ignored a request from the Obama administration not to work in buffer areas on either side of the river. No fines have been imposed for intentionally bulldozing the disputed sacred sites.

  • The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline


  • Burial ground at center of police confrontations is known historical site


  • In recent live-stream videos from the front lines, DAPL-police snipers can be seen perched on top of a sacred mound called Turtle Island, their high-powered rifle crosshairs trained on the water protectors who are standing in prayer in the frigid lake below.

    North Dakota wants the federal government to pick up the tab for the massive expenditures required to keep the Native Americans under their guns. Alternatively, the CEO of Energy Transfers, Kelcy Warren, has offered to pick up the millions-of-dollars tab.

  • ETP CEO Kelcy Warren Says They Have Offered to Pay Protest Related Expenses


  • Native media have documented that DAPL has already been supplying military-style equipment, drones, armored vehicles, riot gear, water canons, concussion grenades and other armaments. The tax-payer-funded and corporate-sponsored front lines phalanx is led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, which has local jurisdiction, reinforced by North Dakota State Troopers, North Dakota National Guard units, sheriffs and police from six nearby states—all interpenetrated by DAPL security (while the FBI lurks in the background). A contingent of Hennepin County, Minnesota, Sheriffs’ Deputies were recalled following protests back home. Residents in the state of Ohio are writing letters and calling legislators to express their distress that their law enforcement has been enlisted into this repressive force.

  • Hennepin Co. sheriff's deputies leave Standing Rock protest


  • Native media’s live stream videos show DAPL security teams in mirror-visor helmets and black ops body armor with no identification, mingling with the police, sometimes directing them when and who to mace or pepper spray. They point out media making video for arrest. The big fossil fuel company evidently has plenty of experience dealing with protestors around the world. In their blank, reflecting visors we can see the soulless Darth Vader face of the government-corporate proto-fascist state the U.S. is becoming.

    Of course, this struggle with the Wasi’chu (Lakota word for the white man, meaning literally “takes too much”) is an old story for Native-Americans. In the 18th and 19th centuries it took the form of the Sioux nations trying to hold back the tsunami of colonizers flooding into their ancestral lands, occupying and despoiling them. The big difference now is that the fire-power of the state (think Custer’s 7th Cavalry or present day militarized police) has been fused with vast profit centers dependent for their existence on plundering the earth in the name of energy-squandering lifestyle survival.

    The provocations the water protectors endure take many forms. There is the psychological pressure of constant surveillance: the heavy police presence on the roads around tribal and reservation lands, the DPLA helicopter and a small plane that circle constantly above the encampments; there is the Bureau of Indian Affairs station set up on a knoll to suck out data from the cell phones of anyone in the area. There is the pepper spraying and tasing of water protectors who are praying. There is the more recent blasting of the protectors with freezing water canons in sub zero weather. There is the constant threat of weapons pointed at them. One twitching trigger finger could set off a slaughter.

    The water protectors are unarmed. The resistance movement does not allow guns in the encampments. One day, at one of the front line actions, an armed man showed up with a pistol and began firing. Possibly he was paid by DAPL to create an incident. The Natives are aware of paid provocateurs or agitators passing through the camps, pulling dirty tricks, looking to start something. Antimedia reported about the man with the gun: “According to an official statement from the tribe, the man fired several shots from his gun before being peacefully apprehended by tribal police. Witnesses at the scene say he pointed his gun at several protesters. The man was clearly trying to provoke violence that could later be used to demonize protesters who have so far remained peaceful.”

    The news site added, “The Morton County Sheriff’s Department circulated a false report claiming the man was shot, presumably by protesters… [As images show], the man was not harmed. The Sheriff’s Department has since retracted that report. Anti-Media’s attempts to obtain clarifying comments from Morton County Sheriffs were ignored.”

  • Dakota Access Caught Infiltrating Protests to Incite Violence, Funding Trolls Online


  • On a hill overlooking Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the Standing Rock encampments, an old army tent houses the field office of the rotating teams of lawyers who come to Standing Rock to help out. They use donations made to the resistance to bail out protectors who have been arrested; they try to negotiate with the police so the protectors can be allowed to pray. The constant arrests on trumped-up charges are an ongoing harassment—people maced or beaten, violently thrown to the ground and zip-tied. Often activists are charged with trespass and “riot” on the Morton County Sheriff’s novel legal theory that if several people are arrested for trespass that must signify that they were engaged in a riot.

    All this naturally requires court time and money to defend, incarceration in usually unpleasant conditions, including dog kennels. (Though the white allies who are arrested seem to get better treatment.)

    Arrests are to be expected as a consequence of civil disobedience. But some arrests are directed at chilling speech. One lawyer who came to Standing Rock from the Oregon-based Civil Liberties Defense Center, an activist defense nonprofit primarily involved in climate protests, https://cldc.org/ told Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network that often after the day’s action was over, police would stop the last cars in the caravan. They would then make “snatch and grab” arrests, impounding the cars of people who had come to support the water protectors but had no expectation that they’d be arrested when the action was over and the police told them to leave. They have to pay heavy fines ($900) to get their cars back. She said the arrests and impoundment fines for their cars are unlawful. “The intention with those types of actions is to scare out-of-towners from being comfortable coming to these actions. So they’re trying to chill the rights of others to come and participate in these protests.”

  • Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues




  • The authorities regularly characterize the natives as terrorists, and local radio spreads false rumors of farm animals being slaughtered and stolen, reported vandalism—the kind of thing you would expect from psychologically projected homesteader fears about savage Indians of earlier centuries.

    Yes, Magazine on Oct. 31 reported: “The county sheriff is claiming the water protectors were violent and that police were stopping a riot. But hours of live video feed from people caught in the confrontation showed instead a military-style assault on unarmed people: police beating people with batons, police with assault rifles, chemical mace, guns firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, tasers.”

  • Why Police From 7 Different States Invaded a Standing Rock Camp—and Other Questions


  • The UN has sent human rights observers. According to Salon, Nov. 16, 2016: “The U.N. special rapporteur said that American law enforcement officials, private security firms and the North Dakota National Guard have used unjustified force against protesters.

    “ ‘This is a troubling response to people who are taking action to protect natural resources and ancestral territory in the face of profit-seeking activity,’ [Maina] Kiai [U.N. special rapporteur] said in his statement, which was issued by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and was endorsed by several other U.N. experts.

  • Native Americans facing excessive force in North Dakota pipeline protests – UN expert


  • “At least 400 activists have been detained and often have been held in ‘inhuman and degrading conditions in detention,’ Kiai added. Some indigenous protesters have said they were treated like animals and even held in dog kennels.

  • Dakota pipeline protesters say they were detained in dog kennels; 268 arrested in week of police crackdown


  • “ ‘Marking people with numbers and detaining them in overcrowded cages, on the bare concrete floor, without being provided with medical care, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment,’ the U.N. expert said.

    “ ‘The excessive use of State security apparatus to suppress protest against corporate activities that are alleged to violate human rights is wrong,’ he continued, noting that it violates U.N. guidelines on business and human rights.

    “Amnesty International USA, which has repeatedly criticized authorities for not respecting the rights of protesters, issued another statement on Tuesday noting that U.S. authorities had put up roadblocks to prevent journalists and human rights observers from documenting the protests and the official response.”

  • U.N. experts call for halt in Dakota Access pipeline, blast “excessive force” against protesters


  • Living on Earth reporter Sandy Tolan reflected: “You know, at times I felt I was back reporting in the West Bank, and not the Northern Plains…”

  • Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux


  • The Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians

    Compare the government response at Standing Rock with the response occasioned by Ammon Bundy and his gang of armed militants when they occupied Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for over a month in January 2016. Imagine if the Bundy gang had been pepper sprayed, beaten, hit with water cannon, tased. But the Bundy crew were taking over the refuge to proclaim their belief that public lands should be given free to the profit-making private ranching business. In other words, the Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians.

    The mainstream corporate media has largely ignored the stand-off at Standing Rock. Rallies have taken place around the world at places like Tokyo, Stockholm, and Auckland, but the sad truth is many foreigners have heard more about Standing Rock than Americans have. Not surprising. The news editors, working for corporate media conglomerates, choose what they believe we should know and what fits the larger corporate agenda, and so they devote massively more play to Brad Pitt, to the gossipy politics of who’s-on-first, and to whatever the latest glittering consumer thing is than they do to climate change and issues highlighted by the poor and the powerless, like Standing Rock. What coverage that does exist is usually cursory and misleading.

    Fortunately, alternative media have been on the scene and active at Standing Rock. As someone who taught journalism for more nearly 20 years, it has been refreshing for me to see what the alternative press is accomplishing.

    Amy Goodman of the webcast Democracy Now brought the prayer-resistance movement to national attention over the summer. She was arrested and charged with riot in absentia for her live reports of water protectors being set upon by dogs. The charge was later dismissed in court.

    Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network has done searching interviews and incisive commentary from the scene.

    But my absolute favorite news source at Standing Rock is Myron Dewey’s Digital Smoke Signals. Dewey does updates every day, which he posts on Facebook. I highly recommend anyone who has a Facebook account to “follow” him. I went to Standing Rock on Oct. 4-11 with two friends and I have since been able to keep up with developments on the ground through Dewey’s Facebook broadcasts. He posts live stream unedited clips that constitute what he calls an ongoing “documentation” of what is happening day-to-day at the movement.

    Here is Dewey at night standing on a hillside next to the Oceti Sakowin encampment. His face appears in the glow of his screen. Then he’s panning and zooming in on a large grassfire as he’s telling us about it. His finger appears in the screen and points out where the fire started. He says the helicopter which constantly circulates over the camp suddenly disappeared 20 minutes before they saw the first flames. He zooms to the area where he and the person he is with first spotted the fire. He says, “It looked like someone using a drip torch.” He says they called 911, but it’s been over an hour and the Morton County Fire Department hasn’t shown up. He tells the people in the camp, his audience, not to worry, though. It looks like the fire was started by DAPL employees to scare them or hurt them. But the Oceti Sakowin is full of Indians who supplement their income by wild-land firefighting, work that also benefits Mother Earth; he mentions that he is himself a “hotshot” firefighter [one of the elite crews]. He and his fellow firefighters can tell by the wind direction that the fire won’t harm the camp.

    Now here’s Dewey on a bright morning walking along the road by Oceti Sakowin. A young man appears on screen, and Dewey asks him who he is and why he’s here. He’s from the Paiute nation. “I’m here to protect the water,” he says. Dewey asks him to sing a Paiute song. The young man closes his eyes and sings.

    In another nighttime broadcast find we ourselves looking through a car windshield, headlights illuminating the highway, centerlines whizzing by. We hear voices talking in the backseat. The car drives on and on. We’re just watching the road. Then ahead is a police roadblock. The police van looms. Dewey gets out with his camera and calls over to the officers, asks them where they’re from, inquires about where the road blocks are, what are the open routes. At one level it’s a mundane exchange between a citizen and police, but you experience the edginess of the situation. More deeply, you feel the riskiness and pathos that is involved any human interaction. Dewey firmly exercises his right to have these protect-and-serve police respond to him civilly; he is cordial and respectful in a way that reinforces to them and to his viewers that he is after all not their enemy but a fellow human being. Dewey asks more questions and the lead officer says he doesn’t want to be filmed; Dewey offers to turn his camera away from them and onto himself. The distant officers disappear from the screen and Dewey’s face fills it. The contact officer walks nearer; we can hear his voice. Dewey can’t resist a joke, though. He asks the officer if he’s sure he doesn’t want to become famous by putting his face on Dewey’s screen? You realize these are just guys doing their job. Dewey understands that, but he also wants to educate them about the water protectors’ mission. He never misses an opportunity to educate his adversary, as well as his own people about the larger dimensions of the Standing Rock resistance. When he gets back in the car, someone in the back seat says “Let’s get out of here; this is enemy territory.” Dewey laughs, turning the car around, “It’s not enemy territory.”

    I believe you learn more about Standing Rock by watching Dewey’s unedited video than you ever could from watching any number of dramatically produced, commercially constricted reports on CNN, complete with the drumb-drumb latest crisis theme music.

    Dewey explains to his viewers that what they’re seeing is a “documentation” that’s not edited. “It’s not scripted. It’s not acted out.”

    After a month of watching Dewey’s daily reports I realize more fully than I ever have before how ghastly and vacuous mainstream news reporting is: a production where facts have been emptied of the humanity of real encounters, replaced by the shallow performances of reporters and news sources, slick, clichéd phrasing, behavior slotted into ready made categories, events analyzed and even predigested. The news about reality comes to us compartmentalized in trays like tasteless microwave dinners. Rarely is the reader or viewer allowed to simply experience the event unfolding through the reporter’s eyes or camera. The stories are crafted and slickly packaged. Their very polish and stimulating presentation sabotages their meaning and replaces it with a meaningless, artificial understanding.

    Note that I am not saying that the news these days is politically biased. Some obviously is, but the left or right bias charge is a serious red herring, a mis-direction. In fact, in mainstream media’s very effort to appear neutral and unbiased means events are chopped up and pieced together to fit the templates of a few hackneyed forms of storytelling: the winner-loser story, the conflict story, the individual overcoming obstacles story, the facing bad choices stories, he-said, she-said stories, scandal stories, hypocrisy stories. You’ve seen them all, repeatedly.

    Most of these templates come plated with a cynicism, skepticism, superiority, or sentimentality that grabs our attention by adding a dash of disgust. The current journalistic manner of telling stories reduces and dismisses the story in a way that sometimes makes the commercials and pop-up ads come as a relief. None of the common journalistic templates or attitude has much to do with real life as it’s lived in the moment. It’s not what people really experience in their lives. Instead, it’s how they’ve been conditioned to wrap up experience afterward in a dramatized way that leaches out the nuance, that leaves out the moment-to-moment uncertainty, or as the Lakota call it, the Wakan, the deep mystery of relationships that permeates every event. And that’s what Dewey’s broadcasts have in abundance. You get to see him interacting with the people who show up on his screen. You get to feel his humanity and the mystery of everyday relationships taking place at Standing Rock that he brings to light. It’s certainly not dramatic or melodramatic. It’s not interesting or stimulating in the usual way. It does seem really important.

    So when Dewey sits in his parked car and does an update video on “10 things to know about DAPL” (Nov. 18, 2016), there’s no editing and no script, meaning that you get to see him thinking through what those top 10 things might be. Some points he makes are incisive and comic, others not so much. But the not-so-much ones can lead you to thinking about gray areas, the imprecise observations we all make. He asks a guy who just got in the car to help out with his list and the guy, William Hawk Birdshead, goes immediately serious on him until Dewey says, “I was trying to keep it light.” So the Birdshead says, “Laughter is good medicine.” Suddenly they’re off. Dewey mimics the shifty-eyed look of the FBI guys lurking around the area and denying they are FBI, the DAPL security characters trying to look all steely and tough. We learn that in the encampments they say that “DAPL dresses up like Ninja Turtles.” You can tell that it’s DAPL undercover because those guys never drive rez cars, which are rusted and dented. Nobody is spared. Dewey describes the water protectors just arriving from California as dudes who’ve “got their animal spirits on… They’re all furred up. They’re coming in all mystical and crystals.” He and his buddy laugh, which Dewey says is laughter “in a good way,” because the whole thing going on at Standing Rock is deadly serious but you need laughter, because that’s good medicine for healing. And healing and praying are about “getting reconnected with the Earth.”

    This points to a major difference between anthropocentric prayer as most of us know it and earth-mind prayer. In the prayer that most people are familiar with, an individual seeks intercession for human needs with a transcendent being. The Native prayer is about healing not getting. The prayer is a community ceremony or song or ritual to maintain or restore the balance between and among beings, both animate and inanimate. Prayer is to all my relatives, all my relations, the birds, the water, the wind, the buffalo, my family, even those who oppose me as enemies. Mitakuye Oyasin is an important Lakota phrase that means “all my relations.” When you’re watching a Dewey update from Standing Rock you’re experiencing Mitakuye Oyasin in action. It’s newscasting as a kind of prayer, in the earth-mind sense. Whether he’s engaging in laughter or educating about the spiritual importance of water, you can see that what he’s getting at is healing relationships. Watching and listening, you get to be part of that healing.

    What Dewey does goes way beyond advocacy journalism.

    Our traveling companion for our visit to Standing Rock, Lakota elder Tiokasin Ghosthorse, also provides a good way to keep up with developments through the interviews he conducts for his weekly syndicated broadcast from WPKN in Bridgeport Conn. and WBAI in New York City. On Oct. 31, 2016, Tiokasin interviewed a young man who was seized on Oct. 27 when a frontline camp was destroyed by police. Trenton Joseph Castillas Bakeberg, in the bloodline of Crazy Horse, was praying in a sweat lodge when the militarized police swept through the camp. They yanked him out of the sweat lodge and arrested him. The young water protector told Tiokasin:

    “I pray that we’ll be able to keep a state of prayer and peace, as we have been… Although there’s some people on our side are more likely to tend toward violence. But there’s also people on our side to stop them. Don’t start a fight. That’s what it’s all about, keeping it peaceful because the elders told us in the beginning that all it takes is one single act of violence, one person attacking a police officer and they’ll unleash the fear on all of us. This wrath that we have with our military overseas, we’re beginning to see it now in the heart of our own country. All for the greed and the corporate interests of this government. They say we’re a democracy but it’s not showing anymore. The people didn’t want this pipeline, but this foreign entity that they call a corporation, Energy Transfers, is saying, we don’t care. We want this money. We need this for economic stability of the country and that somehow trumps the interests of our communities and our nation as a whole….We’re standing up to this corporate machine with prayer and love.”

  • Forcibly removed from prayer at Standing Rock


  • Against a heavily armed, corporatized democracy designed to ensure that only powerful business and political elites rule the land and possess the wealth of its objects, the Native-American people at Standing Rock stand in defense of Mother Earth armed with songs, prayers, and an understanding that Earth’s objects are us, and we are them. They are our relatives. It seems better armament than most of us Wasi’shu possess. Webster defines fascism as “a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.” It’s an incendiary word, and readers might think ill of me for introducing it here. Certainly we are not a fascist state yet. But for the prayer-resistance at Standing Rock, the clear alliance between corporate and government interests to quell their opposition under color of the law has a fascist flavor.

    It should not surprise anyone that the new US president reportedly holds stocks that directly fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and that the DAPL CEO Kelcy Warren gave the Trump campaign a substantial donation.

  • Trump's Personal Investments Ride on Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline


  • This is how the proto-fascism works. Ironically (or perhaps absurdly), Trump may have been elected by people hoping he would somehow counter the tightening grip of multinational corporations on their lives. One might wish for that to happen.

    At a deep level, Standing Rock may suggest that such absurdities as a Trump presidency occur because our mode of consciousness is impaired or inadequate to the situation it has created on our planet at this historical time. Too many of us have gone dead to the natural world we come from. Our obsessive anthropocentric mode of consciousness has reduced nature and reality at large to a bunch of things we have names for—things that feed our greed. Fortunately, many Indigenous people have retained an acute and ancient consciousness that we are those rocks and trees and clouds, and birds and water that we see outside our windows, and that restoring our relationships with them is incumbent on us.

    John Briggs is emeritus distinguished Professor of Writing and Aesthetics from Western Connecticut State University. He was the English Department’s journalism coordinator for 18 years and was one of the founders of Western’s Department of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process. He is the author of several well-known books on chaos theory, fractals and creativity. He lives in the hilltown of Granville, Mass., where served as a Selectman for five years and as reserve police officer for 10 years.


    When people at Standing Rock talk about the black snake they mean the pipeline, referring to an old Sioux legend about a black snake that will threaten the end of the world. The Lakota prophet Black Elk said that in the seventh generation, the Sioux tribes would unite to save the world.

    Media covering the Standing Rock resistance movement:

  • Digital Smoke Signals


  • Myron Dewey, Facebook


  • The Antimedia


  • Democracy Now


  • The Intercept


  • The Guardian


  • Censored News


  • Unicorn Riot


  • Living on Earth


  • The Indigenous Environmental Network


  • Status of Standing Rock court claim



  •           UPDATE, 9-30-16: Damages awarded for unjust killing, 4th Amendment violation        

    BULLETIN:
    Hartford federal jury awards $170K compensatory damages & 32K punitive damages in 4th Amendment / fatal dog shooting case. Costs and attorney fees to be awarded after eight years of litigation expected to total $500,000 - $700,000, possibly more.


    “This verdict is a strong statement from the jury that privacy rights of city residents are just as important as those of suburban homeowners,” said attorney Jon Schoenhorn for the plaintiffs.

    9-17-16 column below




    Judge orders attachment
    of personal assets
    of cops who trespassed




    By Andy Thibault

    This is the haunting voice of trauma inflicted on a 12-year-old girl:

    “That day never goes away. It’s like I can’t really escape it, no matter how hard I try. I should have done something – anything – to stop that bullet from hitting him in the head.”

    And here is some police scanner chatter about the shooting:

    “Have you got anybody hit?

    “Negative, negative, just a dog.

    “We’re all set, shut down the lights. I don’t want a scene here at the, uh, neighborhood.”

    The shooting occurred after school on Dec. 20, 2006 on Enfield Street in Hartford’s North End. The girl, known as K. Harris, suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and became suicidal.

    The U.S. Second Circuit of Appeals ruled two years ago that the cops were trespassing and ordered a trial just to determine damages. The Second Circuit ruling overturned a 2012 verdict by an all-suburban jury in Hartford U.S. District Court supporting the home invasion by police.

    The appeals court also opened the door to both compensatory and punitive damages. Now – as a trial on the amount to award the plaintiff is scheduled to begin Monday – the city is trying to weasel out of its obligation and in the process throwing the cops it promised to indemnify under the bus.

    The Associated Press reported over the weekend that the city of Hartford had reversed its position to indemnify the officers found at fault by the appeals court. Hartford Police Union President Richard Holton told the AP that officers Johnmichael O’Hare and Anthony Pia had been “hung out to dry.”

    Friday afternoon, U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Martinez ordered the officers’ personal assets attached in the amount of 1.4 million – O’Hare at $750,000 and Pia at $650,000.



    In a documentary which premiered this summer at the Toronto Film Festival, K. Harris recalls letting her dog – a St. Bernard named Seven – outside after school and then hearing a commotion in her front yard.


    “There was a police officer standing over Seven with a gun pointed at Seven. I yelled at him, please, no, don’t shoot my dog!

    “He looked at me dead in my eyes for like a second and then he took a step and then he shot Seven in the head. The police officer was like, ‘I’m sorry, Ma’am, your dog isn’t going to make it.’

    “My life ended right there.”

    Because the officers lacked a warrant or probable cause to invade the Harris property, they violated the family’s Fourth Amendment rights ...

  • Complete column via CtNewsJunkie









  • Documentary Filmmaker Andrea B. Scott’s ‘Just a Dog’










  • more COOL JUSTICE







  • Recent columns:

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  • Judges who played role in murder probe squelched access to key testimony


  • UPCOMING:


  • Book news @NorwichBulletin @HartfordCourant #moreCOOLJUSTICE #SpraguePublicLibrary Thursday, Sept. 22, 6:30 pm



  •           Attorney Fees in NJ Litigation        

    The American Rule In the United States, each party is responsible for its own legal fees.  This is known as the “American Rule.”  In other countries, the U.K. for example, the loosing party is responsible for the winner’s legal fees.  This critical difference in approach to the general legal framework explains why litigation in the United […]

    The post Attorney Fees in NJ Litigation appeared first on Blog: News & Legal Articles from Our Team.


              Even Divorce Lawyers Can’t Afford to Hire a Divorce Lawyer        
    It should come as no surprise to anyone that most Canadians cannot afford a lawyer. In fact, lawyers often joke that if they had to pay a lawyer, they too couldn’t afford it. Nowhere is this dilemma more obvious than in family courts. It is now commonplace to see self-represented litigants dueling with lawyers in … Continue reading Even Divorce Lawyers Can’t Afford to Hire a Divorce Lawyer
              Abogado Jose W.Vega        
    El Abogado Jose W. Vega habla español y representa a personas en asuntos de inmigración, casos penales y civil. Es un abogado litigante con mas de 13 años de experiencia ademas, es certificado por la mesa de Especialización Legal del estado de Texas en asuntos de Inmigración. Informes a Tel. 713-223-3332, Fax. 713-223-2929
              Can a Prelitigation Screening Panel’s Findings Be Used As Medical Malpractice Evidence in Maine?        

    In the recent Maine Supreme Court case of Estate of Nickerson v. Carter, a man’s wife appealed from a judgment in favor of a doctor and a primary care facility after a jury found that the doctor was negligent, but that his negligence was not the legal cause of the man’s death. The estate argued […]

    The post Can a Prelitigation Screening Panel’s Findings Be Used As Medical Malpractice Evidence in Maine? appeared first on Maine Personal Injury Lawyers Blog.


              Arbitrating Custody Issues        
    September 3, 2009 Arbitration has been commonly used in many types of court cases, but until recently, was never viewed as a method for resolving custody disputes.   However, as more and more parties seek alternatives to litigation to save time and money, it was inevitable that eventually someone would want to turn over their custody decisions to […]
              INFELIZ NAVIDAD 2009        
    Hola! Acá estoy de vuelta. La razón de mi ausencia ya no hace falta decirla. Estaba estudiando para los finales.

    Voy:

    LA EXTORSIÓN DE FETAP TUVO EFECTO OTRA VEZ

    Ahora el boleto de transporte urbano vale $2. El cospel aumenta siempre (los salarios de los choferes también), pero el transporte mejora a veces.

    No he escuchado que Giacomino vetara la ordenanza del boleto estudiantil, pero igual las empresas chicanean para no implementarlo. Recien ahora se acuerdan del contrato de concesión.
    Citan el punto que dice que los descuentos en los abonos no debe ser superior al 50%; pero ¿recuerdan el que dice que el promedio de antigüedad de la flota debe ser de 5 años o menos? Y creo que el contrato también estipula que las frecuencias deben ser de 5 minutos (o alguna cifra menor que la actual). Tal vez haya otros detalles, pero no puedo encontrar el contrato en internet.

    Espero que la suspensión de trabajadores y la baja de frecuencias no pase de ser una simple amenaza extorsiva, ahora que lograron que nos exprimieran cada vez más a los usuarios.


    EL CAMBIO EN EL SISTEMA DE PUNTAJE DOCENTE

    ¡Ah, bueno! Ahora al Gobierno de la Provincia no le importa que los docentes estén bien capacitados, sino que trabajen gratis.

    Supuestamente para evitar la venta de puntos, redujeron a 1/5 del valor original los puntos correspondientes a cada curso que realizan los aspirantes a ascender de jerarquía docente. Muchos docentes que hicieron esos cursos de buena fe (invirtiendo tiempo y dinero, con el sacrificio que esto significa) se encontraron con que tenían más de 2000 puntos menos de los que les correspondían, y varias posiciones abajo en el ranking.

    Miren este detalle: 1 día de trabajo ad-honorem ahora equivale a 20 horas de cursos de capacitación (4 puntos = 20 x 0,2 puntos). WTF?
    Están tan traumados con los reclamos de aumentos ( Grahovac traidor! :@ ) y las extensiones del ciclo lectivo por los paros, que ahora valoran más que trabajen gratis, sin importar su capacitación (aunque el puntaje máximo por año es 500 para cursos y 200 para trabajos ad-honorem).

    Ministerio de Educación, sean más considerados y reconozcan el esfuerzo de estas docentes para darle una mejor educación a nuestros hijos.


    UN WTF? DE LA LEGISLATURA

    Cuando quisieron destituír a Miguel Ortiz Pellegrini (casi te diría que lo lograron, porque renunció) por litigar contra el Estado, salieron los legisladores lameculos de Unión por Córdoba dándole con un caño en cada medio.

    Pero cuando salió el pedido de sanción de Domingo Carbonetti por ejercer como abogado mientras formaba parte del jury que mantiene a los fiscales y jueces corruptos amigos, y que destituye a jueces y fiscales honestos; nadie salió a dar la cara.

    Y para completarla, mantienen en el cargo a Horaldo Senn, acusado de delitos de lesa humanidad, y nadie da una explicación al respecto.
    Passerini, Falo, y el resto de UPC: ¿por qué no dan la cara ahora? ¡hijos de mil puta!


    Para los demás:

    FELIZ NAVIDAD Y PRÓSPERO AÑO NUEVO
              Why are we still refusing to fully honour the spiritual and cultural relationship that traditional owners have to the land in Australia?        

    It doesn’t matter to the Turnbull Government that science declares that Aboriginal Australia has existed since time immemorial or that indigenous culture has existed on this continent longer than any other culture which is now part of multicultural Australia -  it stubbornly refuses to genuinely honour the spiritual and cultural relationship that traditional owners have with the land.

    June 15, 2017

    MEDIA RELEASE
    14 June 2017
    Traditional Owners slam passage of Native Title amendments
    Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s proposed coal mine have expressed profound disappointment at the passage of Attorney General Brandis’ amendments to the Native Title Act, stressing that while Mabo’s legacy has been diminished they will continue to fight for their rights.
    Senior spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Adrian Burragubba, says, “Adani’s problems with the Wangan and Jagalingou people are not solved this week. The trial to decide the fate of Adani’s supposed deal with the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners is scheduled for the Federal Court in March 2018.
    “Our people are the last line of legal defence against this mine and its corrosive impact on our rights, and the destruction of country that would occur.
    “Senator Brandis has been disingenuous in prosecuting his argument for these changes to native title laws, while the hands of native title bureaucrats and the mining lobby are all over the outcome.
    “This swift overturning of a Federal Court decision, without adequate consultation with Indigenous people, was a significant move, not a mere technical consideration as the Turnbull Government has tried to make out.
    “It is appalling and false for George Brandis to pretend that by holding a ‘workshop’ with the CEOs of the native title service bodies, he has the unanimous agreement of Traditional Owners across Australia. No amount of claimed ‘beseeching’ by the head of the Native Title Council, Glen Kelly, can disguise this.
    “The public were not properly informed about the bill, and nor were Indigenous people around the country, who were not consulted and did not consent to these changes.
    “We draw the line today. We declare our right to our land. There is no surrender. There is no land use agreement. We are the people from that land. We’re the rightful Traditional Owners of Wangan and Jagalingou country, and we are in court to prove that others are usurping our rights”, he said.
    Spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Ms Murrawah Johnson, says, “Whatever else this change does, we know that the Turnbull Government went into overdrive for Adani’s interests.
    “Brandis’ intervention in our court case challenging the sham ILUA was about Adani. Most of what Senator Matt Canavan had to say in argueing his ill-informed case for native title changes was about Adani. The Chairman of Senate Committee inquiring into the bill, Senator Ian McFarlane, referring to the native title amendments as “the Adani bill” was about Adani. And the PM telling Chairman Gautam Adani that he’d fix native title was about Adani”.
    “We are continuing to fight Adani in court and our grounds are strong. If anyone tells you this is settled because the bill was passed, they are lying”, she said.
    Adrian Burragubba says, “The Labor Opposition seems to understand this, even though they supported passage of the bill. Senator Pat Dodson went so far as to say this bill does not provide some kind of green light for the Adani mine, as some suggest.
    “Pat Dodson acknowledged that W&J have several legal actions afoot against Adani and we are glad that in the midst of this dismal response to the rights of Indigenous people some MPs, including the Greens who voted against the bill, recognise the serious claim we have to justice.
    Mr Dodson said in the Senate that: “most of this litigation will be entirely unaffected by the passage of this bill. In particular, there are very serious allegations of fraud that have been made against Adani regarding the processes under which agreements with the Wangan and Jagalingou people were purportedly reached. And those proceedings, which may impact on the validity of any ILUA, will only commence hearings in March next year. Other legal action is also underway, including a case challenging the validity of the licences issued by the Queensland government.”
    This week researchers from the University of Queensland released a report titled ‘Unfinished Business: Adani, the state, and the Indigenous rights struggle of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council‘.
    For more information and to arrange interviews:  Anthony Esposito, W&J Council advisor – 0418 152 743.


              Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act (H.R. 3220) Slashes IRS Waste        

    With Republicans controlling every branch of government, eliminating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) inefficiencies should be a no-brainer. Rep. Jason Smith’s (R-MO) Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act, H.R. 3220, will do just that. This bill eliminates wasteful tactics used in IRS audits and evaluations of tax disputes.

    When the IRS notices a discrepancy between an individual’s reported income and information from third parties, it issues a notice of deficiency. A notice of deficiency indicates that the taxpayer has 90 days to either agree to a proposed increase in tax liability or appeal to resolve the discrepancy by providing previously unreported information. Far too often, appeals processes are funneled into Tax Courts rather than the IRS’s own Office of Appeals established for this precise purpose. Litigation burdens both taxpayers and the IRS with unnecessarily expensive procedures.

    H.R. 3220 eliminates this tautology by establishing a legal right to have disputes heard by the IRS Office of Appeals before litigation is considered. It also creates stricter criteria for the IRS to designate cases for litigation, permitting only those involving recurrent legal abuses that impact many taxpayers, not just individual income disputes.

    Another wasteful practice fixed by this bill is the use of designated summons during corporate tax audits. A designated summons forces a corporation, or relevant parties, to appear before court and provide information. When ordered, a designated summons unilaterally and indefinitely suspends an audit process. Sometimes, the IRS uses these summonses to compel information from a corporation without evidence of wrongdoing or noncompliance. An indefinitely suspended audit process can last for years. Under H.R. 3220, the IRS will only authorize designated summonses when a corporation is notably noncompliant.

    Lastly, H.R. 3220 prevents the IRS from hiring outside lawyers to conduct or take testimony in a tax audit. The IRS has its own staff of government tax law attorneys for this purpose. One of the promises of the IRS Office of Appeals for deficiencies and audits is an objective and unbiased process. This is not possible when private firms, which have their own interests and clients, handle information explicitly intended for the government. H.R. 3220 rectifies this potential privacy breach.

    The Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act is a necessary reform that eliminates government waste, defends taxpayers’ legal rights, and protects privacy. There’s no justifiable reason to oppose any of these objectives, which is why a bipartisan group of cosponsors joined Rep. Smith in introducing this bill, four Democrats and three Republicans. If members of Congress support efficiency and accountability, they must support this bill.


              Have Big Jury Verdicts in Discrimination Cases Suddenly Become the New Normal in Iowa?        
    It’s been a difficult three months for central Iowa employers.   May, June, and July each saw a million dollar plus plaintiff verdict in an employment discrimination lawsuit.    One such verdict in these parts is notable, but three in three months is unheard of until now.  Back in January, we noticed juries in other parts of...… Continue Reading
              Eleventh Circuit the Latest to Rule Title VII Does Not Cover Discrimination Based Upon Sexual Orientation        
    Whether Title VII protects employees from discrimination based upon sexual orientation is one of the most contentious employment law issues being litigated in the federal courts today.    EEOC contends Title VII covers sexual orientation, and a handful of district courts have agreed.  But, as of today, every U.S. Court of Appeal to consider the question...… Continue Reading
              What to Make of Big Verdicts in Employment Cases: Aberration or Harbinger of Things to Come?        
    Last month in Jackson County, Missouri (Kansas City), two different juries issued eye-popping plaintiff verdicts in employment discrimination cases.    In one case, a jury awarded Deborah Miller $450,000 in compensatory damages and a whopping $20 million in punitive damages.  Miller sued American Family Insurance for age and sex discrimination and retaliation after she lost her...… Continue Reading
              Clean Kali: All eyes now on govt        
    Teaser: 
    The water of East Kali is heavily polluted. It would hopefully change with the NGT taking notice of it.
    The polluted Kali river. (Image source: Neer Foundation)

    Rampura, situated in Bulandshahr district in western Uttar Pradesh, is one of the 1,200 villages on the banks of the 300-km long East Kali, a tributary of the Ganges. The river is named after goddess Kali who, according to the Hindu mythology, is fierce and fights evil by ingesting it.

    Till the 1980s, the river was a symbol of purity. Things have changed now with the river turning into a nullah brimming with industrial effluents. “We used to drink its waters when young. Today, it's so toxic that forget drinking, I dread touching it,” says Devendra Kumar Sharma, a resident of Panwadi, a village in Meerut district. The river’s toxic water now symbolises death and not life.

    Foul flows in streams

    As per a study by Neer Foundation, a Meerut-based non-profit working on environmental issues, as the river is polluted, the groundwater of the area which gets replenished by the river too has turned into a receptacle for toxic waste. Unsuspecting people, however, continued to draw water through the handpumps till recent studies rang an alarm bell.

    The study conducted in 2015-16 reveals that in Rampura, the groundwater recorded a total dissolved solids of 1760 mg/litre, way above the permissible standard of a maximum of 500 mg/litre for drinking purposes. Soil stratum was harmed as iron and lead contamination spread from river water to aquifers (underground reservoirs that hold groundwater) that are recharged by it.

    A study by Neer Foundation reveals that the pollution load in the river is unmanageable. (Image source: Neer Foundation)

    Lead is recognised as highly toxic, and damages the nervous system in humans while iron is therapeutic in low doses but lethal when present in excessive quantities.“This toxic water gets distributed and is used for drinking and irrigation purposes in rural areas. This has a severe health impact on us and our animals. The outfall of water from nullahs to the river must stop,” says Satish Kumar, a farmer from Jalalpur village in Meerut district.

    The water from handpumps has shown iron concentration measuring up to 0.35 parts per million, which is enough to cause water to turn reddish brown in colour. Lead concentration too was high at  0.5 parts per million in Rampura. According to Indian standard drinking water specification 1991, the highest desirable limit of lead in drinking water is 0.05 parts per million. “The possibility of geogenic contamination i.e., naturally occurring contaminants in the water, too cannot be ruled out. The Central Ground Water Authority is studying these aspects,” says Atulesh Yadav, regional officer, Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board, Meerut.

    Rampura is one of the several villages of the eight districts of western Uttar Pradesh where people’s lives at one time depended on the river water for everything--from drinking to irrigation. The village that once boasted of lush green guava orchards has no original water left in its river. The prime villains in this regretful story are the ceaseless discharge of industrial wastewater and municipal sewage into the river.

    “The three main cities of Meerut, Hapur and Bulandshahr through which the East Kali passes have several sugar mills, allied alcohol manufacturing distilleries, paper industries, dairies, tanneries and textile mills that discharge their effluents into the river,” says Raman Kant, director of Neer Foundation. The effluents from the sugar and paper mills are highly toxic and these two industries are enlisted among the 17 most toxic waste releasing industries by the standards provided under the Environment Protection Rules, 1986.

    The pollution load in the river is unmanageable and it can barely assimilate the pollutants. Dilution with freshwater isn't a viable treatment option any longer. In most villages--right from Antawada in Muzaffarpur where the river originates, to Kannauj, its confluence with the Ganga--the water, laced with industrial toxins, is lifted from both the river and under the ground for irrigation. “Water flows from the underground caverns in the forest adjacent to our village forming a river that used to collect rainwater. Once a life-giving force, the river is dry at its origin and gets polluted by industrial effluents a few kilometers downstream,” says Bilam Singh, a farmer from Antawada. “The effect of this on our food is mostly unknown. It is possible that some of the most toxic chemicals like cancer-causing dioxins and organochlorines released by factories are present in the water that is irrigating the farms,” says Raman Kant.

    Water flows from the underground caverns in the forest at the origin of the river. (Image source: Neer Foundation)

    In 2001, Neer Foundation tested the water quality in government accredited laboratories which showed the presence of persistent organic pollutants or PoPs in the two samples near Saini village, downstream of Nanglamal sugar factory. PoPs are known for their impacts on human health and the environment as they are resistant to environmental degradation. “Farmers knew of the contamination but continued to irrigate from the river,” adds Raman Kant.

    “It is only on the river’s downstream stretch as it crosses the city of Aligarh that its pollution level declines as freshwater is added to it from the upper Ganga canal. Besides this, industrial wastes are not added in the river’s stretch between Aligarh and Kannauj,” says Raman Kant.

    The green court takes note

    Many civil society groups have raised the issue of river clean-up. Come monsoon and stretches of the effluent-laden river turn red as it passes through industrial sites. An otherwise seasonal river has now turned into a perennial one, thanks to the discharge of industrial and municipal wastewater into it. For years, this has been a concern as villagers were left with no option but to drink this contaminated water. The union environment ministry had in 2012 directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to monitor the quality of the river water and the major wastewater outfalls. “The Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board too does regular monitoring of the river waters,” says Yadav.

    Yet small pockets of industries are polluting the waters of the predominantly rural catchment that is largely dependent on the untreated water from the river as well as the ground. This is leading to the spread of cancer and various other life-threatening diseases. Seeing the impasse, Raman Kant put up a public interest litigation (PIL) which was heard by the principal bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, chairperson, National Green Tribunal (NGT). Neer Foundation had two demands--the Environment Protection Rules, 1986 that prescribes the standards for effluent discharge is followed and municipal authorities who are responsible for managing municipal wastes adhere to the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2016.

    “The industries not only abstract large volumes of water during their manufacturing processes reducing dilution of pollutants present within the surface water bodies but also contaminate the river by draining their effluent wastes into it,” the PIL states.

    The NGT has, in an order dated May 24, 2017, asked the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board to test the groundwater along the course of the East Kali river. The order is applicable to districts of Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Kasganj, Aligarh, Kannauj and Farrukhabad through which the river passes. The NGT has directed the authorities to test the water immediately and seal those handpumps that supply contaminated water. The PIL also says the Kali clean-up is a prerequisite to cleaning the Ganga. The green tribunal’s order has come as a temporary respite for thousands of villagers living along the river. They are nonetheless waiting for the government to establish long-term policies to resolve the crisis. This could be in the form of a comprehensive action plan for cleaning the East Kali river.

    “The Supreme Court had in 2014 transferred a public interest litigation by noted environmental activist M.C. Mehta, pending since 1985, to the green tribunal. It deals with issues of the river Ganga, especially those involving discharge of domestic sewage and other sources of pollution in the Ganga. This is the larger case which is being heard on a daily basis by the tribunal. As a result, some of the prayers of the petitioner in the case of Kali river were not heard separately,” says advocate Adarsh Srivastava, one of the applicants on behalf of the petitioner.

    “We hope to get an official assessment of the water quality in the riverside villages as per the present order on the East Kali river soon. However, since we have been working on the river’s revival, we look forward to the tribunal’s orders on the Ganga pollution case. The court is likely to give directions on strict measures and penalties to prevent hazardous materials and pollutants from being dumped into the rivers,” says Abhishek Tyagi, secretary of Neer Foundation.

    Without this, it is hard to tell whether the issue of pollution will be resolved in the near future.

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              Watts Guerra Craft LLP Files Motion to Consolidate Pradaxa Litigation        

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              State of the Industry: Looking ahead to 2014        
    Expanding access to FBI database, school security loom large for 2014
    12/18/2013
    Leif Kothe

    IRVING, Texas—The past year on Capitol Hill will be remembered for legislative inaction and partisan rifts so deep they culminated in a 16-day government shutdown. Time will tell if the inertia and division will persist in 2014, but the fact that it’s an election year promises to make things a little hectic for the security industry, John Chwat, director of government relations for ESA, told Security Systems News. 

    So what’s on the agenda in the face of the midterm turbulence? Chwat says the ESA will focus on four main priorities in 2014. 

    FBI Database Access

    It’s no secret that, from a legal standpoint, alarm companies enjoy the fact that a properly written contract produced by a qualified attorney generally ensures they end up on the right side of a court decision. Those in the industry are increasingly becoming aware that it’s in their best interest to avail themselves of an alarm attorney who knows the ins and outs of limiting liability and writing enforceable exculpatory clauses.

    It’s precisely the industry’s wariness of being exposed to litigation that underpins the ESA’s top priority in 2014, which is to get the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Judiciary Committee to pass a bill that would permit security companies in every state to access the FBI federal database. This, Chwat said, helps companies get a criminal background check on prospective employees, thereby limiting the legal risk they might absorb when, unbeknownst to them, they hire a convicted felon. 

    Passage of the bill, Chwat says, will “allow us to begin negotiation with the Justice Department to develop regulations to permit us access.”

    Right now, companies in about half the states do not have access to these federal records. The bill’s provisions were previously intertwined with the far more polarizing issue of gun control legislation, which gained traction after the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in Dec. 2012. The industry’s concerns are “distinct” from the gun control measures, Chwat says, and it is his hope that the bill will be passed once the industry’s specific requests for open access are unencumbered by the political baggage of gun control.

    At the ground level, the bill could have a substantial impact for companies in states that currently don’t have access to the database, Chwat says. “Then we can say members have vetted and done due diligence on all employees,” he said. 

    School Security

    Protecting schools is a topic that’s intensified at both the state and federal levels since the Newtown shootings in Dec. 2012. ESA is engaged with SIA in a joint effort to “secure federal support for school districts, through either a grant program or through funding directly,” Chwat said, to help them acquire certain types of security systems for elementary and secondary schools, including “monitoring, panic bars, door hardware, electronic security systems and CCTV.”

    Chwat conceded that limited funds might impede the progress of the initiative, but added that school security is going to remain a charged topic in 2014, and the joint effort with SIA could bear fruit. “We think we’ll be able to achieve something there,” he said. 

    Surveillance and Elder Abuse

    In 2014, Congress is set to vote on a 1,000-page bill, called the Older Americans Act Reauthorization bill. One major provision of that bill, Chwat said, pertains to elder abuse—an issue on which ESA has been on the forefront, and which Chwat himself has sought to amend. The amended provision would give relatives of nursing home patients the option to have CCTV systems installed in rooms. 

    “Surveillance is used in preventing child abuse and crime, so preventing elder abuse and nursing home abuse has become a hot topic,” Chwat said. 

    There’s a fair amount of momentum developing with the issue. In 2013, Oklahoma and Virginia passed laws similar to what ESA is proposing on a national level, Chwat said. Texas, New Mexico, New Jersey and New York all have pending legislation on the matter as well, he added.  

    Fire Legislation

    A pair of more “esoteric” bills concerning sprinkler installation is slated to be introduced in the coming year, Chwat said. Both pieces of tax-based legislation that could impact installers, the bills have garnered the attention of the ESA. 

    The first bill would provide tax expensing for the installation of sprinklers, while the second would offer a tax credit of up to $50,000 for the installation of sprinkler systems in historic landmarks. Chwat said the ESA has been in close interaction with the House tax writing committee, endorsing the organization’s longstanding belief that some semblance of balance between detection and suppression installation should be maintained. “We’ve made our positions known to the tax writing committee that we’re not in favor of these bills unless they have a balanced approach,” Chwat said.

     

              Normer och förväntningar...        
    Hur lÃ¥ngt fÃ¥r man tänja gränser? När gÃ¥r man över dem? 
    I Sverige - precis som i mÃ¥nga andra länder, men väldigt mycket just i Sverige - "fÃ¥r" en trädgÃ¥rd inte se ut hur som helst. Inte heller en balkong. Ja ni fattar, man bör följa normen liksom... 

    Mitt bidrag till Årets Balkong på Nordiska Trädgårdar har delat publiken i två starka läger. De som verkligen ÄLSKAR min fantasi och gärna vill bosätta sig i den (de flesta), och de som tycker den är alldeles TOOO MUCH.
    Väldigt fÃ¥ har gÃ¥tt förbi utan att TYCKA nÃ¥got. Och det är verkligen bra och KUL!

    Det har varit väldigt roligt att stÃ¥ i närheten och lyssna pÃ¥ alla sorts kommentarer, spontana förtjusta utrop, lätta suckar och eftertänksamma tankar kring mitt bidrag (som verkligen är MYCKET av allt).


    "Kalasfat" som jag själv gör och säljer under namnet "Polkadot Girl"....


    Min tanke var att visa ett uterum/balkong hos en familj som bor på ett mörkt, blåsigt läge och som inte är särskilt intresserade av varken blommor eller grönsaker... Men de älskar svamp, träd och mossa.
    Dessutom bor de i en balkong (med inglasad vägg och under tak) som de har inrett med många loppisfynd. Ullmattor täcker golven och passar bra här, för de är tjocka och varma, helt enkelt utmärkta i en fuktig miljö på norrsidan.
    Balkongen fungerar lite som ett ombonat extrarum och man kan fika där nästan året runt. Balkongen används också som ett spelrum, och yngsta sonen ligger ofta på golvet och ritar.


    Mitt Balkongbidrag är flitigt fotograferat, speciellt vänsterväggen, ofta går det inte att komma fram till montern....


    Av någon anledning har mitt bidrag provocerat. "Det är inte en balkong - det är ett vardagsrum" har jag hört flera gånger. "Så där mycket kan man ju inte möblera på en balkong" säger andra indignerat. "Det finns ju inga växter här" säger många "Det går inte att ha det så! ... skulle man bära in allt när det börjar regna då??"
    Det är många där ute som helt enkelt vet bättre än jag, hur jag vill ha det på min balkong... ;-)

    Några stycken ur publiken har blivit nästintill aggressiva och ifrågasättande (det har varit äldre kvinnor på 65+). Mycket intressant tycker jag! Att man inte gillart är en sak - att man blir så provocerad en helt annan.


    Odlingsglädje behöver inte vara tomater i en hink, utan kan vara svampar i en låda...



    En bloggkollega uttrycker sig så här i sin blogg:
     Hillevis (Tankar frÃ¥n TrädgÃ¥rdsmästaren) monter var full av prylar och väldigt kul att se pÃ¥. Väckte härliga minnen! Björkstammarna gillar jag ocksÃ¥. Jag fÃ¥r dock inte riktigt ihop balkongtanken med hennes trädgÃ¥rdsdesign. MÃ¥nne finns det ändÃ¥ en röd trÃ¥d.

    Svaret får bli:
    Näe, det var inte tänkt att finnas nÃ¥gon röd trÃ¥d till min TrädgÃ¥rdsdesign. Varför i hela världen skulle det finnas det?  En Balkong kan väl fÃ¥ ha en helt egen identitet, inte behöva jämföras med TrädgÃ¥rd?!



    * * * 

    Mitt bidrag var tänkt som ett försök att peka  pÃ¥ den ängsliga normen "hur det bör se ut" som finns för balkong (och trädgÃ¥rd - men där har det börjat lossna mer) och det har det gjort.


    Job well done, alltså... ;-)


    Kram! Och varmt taaaack till alla som kikat in bÃ¥de här och pÃ¥ mässan!
    You make my day!


              Alabama Prisoner Facing Eighth Execution Date Claims Innocence, Challenges Execution Procedures        

    Tommy Arthur (pictured), an Alabama death-row prisoner whose 35-year journey through the court system has frustrated both proponents and opponents of the death penalty, is scheduled to be executed on May 25, 2017, the eighth time Alabama has set an execution date in his case. Arthur—whose conviction and death sentence has twice been overturned by the courts and was sentenced to death by his trial judge based upon a non-unanimous jury sentencing recommendation—has steadfastly maintained his innocence in the 1982 murder of Troy Wicker. Most recently, an evenly divided U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of execution four hours after Arthur's execution was set to begin on November 3, 2016, so the Court could consider whether to review Arthur's challenge to Alabama's use of the controversial drug midazolam and his request to be executed by firing squad. The Court ultimately declined to review both that claim and Arthur's separate challenge to the constitutionality of Alabama's non-unanimous sentencing practices. Arthur has repeatedly raised innocence claims, seeking new forensic testing of evidence from his case. Judy Wicker, the wife of Troy Wicker, who was charged with hiring Arthur to kill her husband, testified at her trial that her husband had been murdered by a burglar who beat and raped her. After Ms. Wicker's conviction, she changed her testimony when a prosecutor, who had previously represented her at a parole hearing, offered her early release if she testified against Arthur. The rape kit taken from Ms. Wicker at the time of the murder was lost or destroyed without being tested for DNA and, according to Arthur's current lawyer, Suhana Han, “[n]either a fingerprint or a weapon, nor any other physical evidence connects Arthur to the murder of Troy Wicker.” Hairs found near the victim have also never been tested with modern DNA technology. Arthur has also argued that his trial counsel was ineffective, and continues to litigate issues relating to Alabama's lethal injection protocol. He currently has an emergency motion pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, challenging the state's planned use of midazolam, a drug that has been linked to many problematic executions, including that of Ron Smith in Alabama in December 2016. He has also challenged the state's refusal to disclose records related to the Smith execution, which his lawyers say may provide critical evidence for his lethal-injection challenge. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals issued a preliminary ruling in Arthur's favor on a separate issue on May 23, reversing a Montgomery Circuit judge's order rejecting Arthur's claim that the legislature, rather than the Department of Corrections, should determine the state's execution method. But that procedural ruling will not delay his execution. His motion stated, "The role of the legislature is particularly critical given the controversial nature of the ADOC's current midazolam-based execution protocol. ...The choice of the first drug (midazolam) to be used is critical, because without an effective anesthetic, the second and third drugs would cause unbearable pain. But the drug the ADOC chose (in secret), midazolam, is not used in medical practice as a general anesthetic; rather, it is an anti-anxiety sedative in the same drug family as Valium and Xanax, and its use in lethal injection has been extremely problematic." [UPDATE: Alabama executed Thomas Arthur near midnight on May 25. He was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. on May 26. Media witnesses reported no visible indicators that the drugs had failed.]

    (A. Blinder, "Alabama Inmate Hopes to Dodge Death for an Eighth Time," The New York Times, May 24, 2017; E. Pilkington, "'It's mind over matter': Alabama prisoner faces execution date for the eighth time," The Guardian, May 24, 2017; K. Faulk, "Court reverses ruling in death-row case, but AG says execution still on," AL.com, May 23, 2017.) See Arbitrariness and Innocence.


              Ã–ver Atlanten i lastbÃ¥t        
    Över Atlanten i Lastbåt
    av
    Lena Blom


    Lena Blom går ombord

    Att resa till Kanada utan att flyga eller anlita dyrt passagerarfartyg var lättare än vi trodde.
    Min man Kjell satte sig vid datorn och sökte efter resor med lastbåt från Europa. Han fick snart napp. Förmedlingsföretaget Cruise People i London gav oss prisuppgifter och avgångstider för olika fartyg.
    
    Vänta pÃ¥ mig! Jag vill ocksÃ¥ följa med...
     Detta var i september 2007 och i maj 2008 skulle vÃ¥rt val, containerfartyget M/S Flottbek, avgÃ¥ frÃ¥n Antwerpen.
    Vi betalade genast in anmälningssumman och sedan började papperna dyka upp. Vi fick försäkra rederiet om ditt och datt, bland annat att inte ställa ekonomiska krav vid eventuella missförhållanden.
    Vi fick också skicka läkarintyg på att vi var friska – lastbåtar har till skillnad från de stora passagerarfartygen ingen läkare ombord och resan beräknades till tio dagar.
    Ett par månader före avresan betalade vi slutsumman och var därmed garanterade hytt med måltider ombord.

    VÃ¥r hytt
    Vi kom sent en kväll till Antwerpen, övernattade på ett vandrarhem och dagen därpå tog vi taxi till
    hamnen. Efter diverse kontroller skjutsades vi vidare till båten där några filippinska besättningsmän tog emot oss och visade, kånkande på vårt bagage, vägen till vår hytt uppe i den höga akterbyggnaden.
     Framför den sträckte sig det långa däcket – båten var nära 170 meter
     â€“ där lastningen av containrar pÃ¥gick.
    Vår hytt var större än vi väntat oss och det gick lätt att installera sig i den. Äntligen var vi på plats för resan över havet!

    Strax efter oss dök ett tyskt passagerarpar i trettioårsåldern upp. De hade cyklar med sig och tänkte när de kommit fram cykla tvärs över Kanada; från Montreal till Vancouver!
    
    Kommandobryggans
    manöverutrustning
    
    PÃ¥ bryggan...
    Vår båt lämnade Antwerpen i nattmörker för en avstickare till Liverpool, England, där ytterligare containrar lastades. I Liverpool anslöt ett pensionerat engelskt par och vi blev nu sex passagerare. Det engelska paret var mycket miljömedvetna och vägrade flyga, de var också imponerade av Sveriges insatser i miljöfrågor.

    
    Fartyget går sakta in i "the lock" i Liverpool. Millimeterpassning!
    
    Bye, bye Liverpool!
    Från en old shanty = an´ I was a gaddam
    fool, in the port of Liverpool, at the first time
    that I came home from sea -
    Oh, dirty Maggie May, you lov´d my heart away...

    Från Liverpool sattes så kurs på Kanada. Besättningen var övervägande filippinsk, förutom två tyskar, en lett och en rumän. Den trettionioårige tyske kaptenen hade bland annat semestrat i Sverige på motorcykel och var mycket förtjust i vårt land.
    Alla måltider intog vi i officersmässen och den lille tjänstvillige filippinske stewarden frågade varje morgon hur vi ville ha de stekta äggen – ”sunny side up”? Han var så söt. Vi fick röra oss fritt på båten så länge vi inte var i vägen för arbetande sjömän. Efter någon dag ute på öppet hav gick larmet i vår hytt, dock bara för en livbåtsövning. I full mundering; varma kläder, hjälm och flytväst fick vi dubbelvikta ta oss in i den täckta livbåten som hängde med fören lutande nedåt en bit över vattnet. Vi fick god hjälp av besättningen men hade det varit på riktigt vet jag inte hur det skulle ha känts.
    
    Den tyske kaptenen
    Dagarna liksom det lugna havet flöt förbi, allt under givande och intressant samvaro med
    besättningen och de andra passagerarna. Under hela resan besvarade kaptenen gärna våra frågor och berättade själv en och annan episod från sitt sjömansliv. Två kvällar ordnade manskapet glada karaoke-kvällar i sin mäss. Många av dem var fantastiska sångare och det serverades öl och vin. De unga männen bjöd flitigt upp oss tre kvinnliga passagerare till dans och var mycket artiga. Över huvud taget var de mycket lättsamma i det dagliga livet ombord och skrattade ofta. Särskilt när de under frivakter tittade på den kultförklarade filmkomedin ”S/S Martha” (med engelsk text), vilken Kjell köpt från Sjömansservice Media och gett dem.
    När vi slutligen närmade oss den amerikanska kontinentens fastland gick vi in i ett par dagars dimma. Här fanns också risk för drivande isberg och på bryggan hade man extra bevakning. När dimman lättat sprang vi dit upp och såg mötande fartyg, delfiner och valar som tumlade om i vattnet och massor av fåglar som omgav oss. Fastlandet framträdde allt tydligare och sista kvällen ombord gled vi förbi ett upplyst Quebeck, en magnifik syn. På morgonen var vi vid kaj i Montreal och två tull- och immigrationsofficerare kom ombord. De kontrollerade pass och frågade ut oss passagerarpar var för sig. När de frågade mig och min man vad vi tänkte göra i Kanada visade Kjell dem ett gruppfoto av alla hans nio kusiner där och förklarade att vi skulle besöka dem. Det blev inga fler frågor, bara några stämplar och ett ”Welcome to Canada”…
    Vi tog farväl av våra vänner ombord. Efter ett par byten i en hypermodern tunnelbana kunde vi kliva på en Greyhoundbuss som trettiofyra timmar senare släppte av oss i Winnipeg, i hjärtat av indianernas och präriernas land, där den första kusinen väntade. Men det är en annan historia.

    Tack Lena!

              Delivery Dilemma        
    Blue Art Limited, a UK company (“Blue Art”), is suing art dealer David Zwirner and his gallery, a contemporary art gallery in New York and London, for breach of contract and fraudulent concealment and inducement, regarding an unnamed piece by an undisclosed artist.  Blue Art is owned by Old Master art dealer Fabrizio Moretti who...… Continue Reading
              Civil Trial Paralegal        
    FL-Fort Myers, Banker Lopez Gassler P.A. is seeking an experienced civil litigation paralegal for their busy Fort Myers office. This position focuses on automobile negligence, property damage litigation, premises liability litigation and personal injury litigation. Duties and Responsibilities: Researches sources such as statutes, judicial decisions, legal articles, constitutions and public records. Conducts witn
              Associate Attorney        
    FL-Miami, Entry level attorney - Required to deal with all areas of Foreclosure Defense, Commercial Litigation, Real Estate litigation, Probate matters, Bankruptcy, and preparation of pleadings, discovery, and attendance at mediation, motions, and trial. In Bankruptcy cases, the attorney must be able to handle all aspects of those proceedings, including attendance of 341 meetings and hearings. There will be
              Winston & Strawn Continues Expansion of IP Litigation Practice With Addition of Two Partners        
    Winston & Strawn LLP announced in recent days it has added Alfred Fabricant and Lawrence Drucker as partners to its New York office. Fabricant will head the firm’s IP practice in New York. Both attorneys join from Dickstein Shapiro, LLP.  Both have cultivated a robust IP litigation practice through their representation of clients in cutting-edge […]
              Abogada en intestados guadalajara        
    “si tienes un intestado pediente por arreglar” no dejes que tus difuntos anden penando…. Arregla de una buena vez tu intestado!! soy una abogada con 22 años con amplia experiencia en el litigio y trámites de sucesiones testamentarias e intestados, lo que te garantiza que tendrás la asesoría legal que necesitas, así como la seguridad que tu intestado se resolverá en corto tiempo. Si fallecieron tus padres o abuelos y la casa en que vivían y que les pertenecía quedo intestada, si me contratas promoveré el intestado. Si lo prefieres te informare de los requisitos para otorgar tu testamento. Haz tu testamento, no heredes problemas. El costo de u
              Comment on ITC Affirms Garmin victory in Pioneer Patent Litigation by Jared        
    A patent is referred to a set of rights granted to an individual or business by the state that gives them public disclosure of a new invention for a specific amount of time. This grant does not actually give the holder the exclusive right to practice the invention, but simply the right to preclude other outside parties from using or imitating it. <a href="http://inventors.generalpatent.com/inventor-resources/patent-litigation" rel="nofollow">Patent Litigation</a> is a controversy or disagreement between two independent parties regarding a dispute of intellectual or physical property.
              The Legal Needs of Emerging Online Media: The Online Media Legal Network after 500 Referrals        

    The Digital Media Law Project is pleased to announce the release of its report, The Legal Needs of Emerging Online Media: The Online Media Legal Network after 500 Referrals.

    Executive Summary

    Since December 2009, the DMLP has operated the Online Media Legal Network, a free attorney referral service for independent, online journalists and journalism organizations. The OMLN has served as a fundamental part of the legal support structure for online journalism, assisting more than 260 clients with over 500 separate legal matters.

    As a result of that experience, the DMLP has been in a unique position to observe the nature of these new journalism ventures and their legal needs. This report collects these observations, including the following:

    • Those who have sought help from the OMLN overwhelmingly create their own original content, rather than aggregate the content of others. Many also provide support services to other journalists, platforms for users to talk to one another, or tools to access primary source information.

    • While some clients report on niche issues, many more are focused on reporting news of general interest, either to the public at large or local audiences. Non-profit clients show a greater focus on reporting on social issues such as health and education than for-profit or individual clients.

    • OMLN clients show significant evidence of forward planning. They are more often proactive than reactive to legal issues, frequently seeking assistance with intellectual property, content liability, and corporate questions before crises occur.

    • Individual clients not employed by an organization, and those clients who reported on businesses or to consumer audiences, sought help defending against legal threats more often than other clients. This indicates a particular need for greater litigation assistance among these categories.

    • The advice sought by OMLN clients with regard to intellectual property matters shows a near-perfect balance between protecting their own content and using the content of others.
    While the client survey revealed some areas of concern, it was also consistent with the growth of a vibrant online news ecosystem comprised of journalists who, more often than not, address broad informational needs and are thinking ahead about the viability of their ventures.

    You can download the report in PDF format here.

    Subject Area: 

    Jurisdiction: 


              Yelp, Inc. v. Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, Inc.        

    Threat Type: 

    Subpoena

    Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

    Yelp, Inc.

    Type of Party: 

    Organization

    Date: 

    07/02/2012

    Status: 

    Concluded

    Type of Party: 

    Organization

    Location: 

    Virginia

    Location of Party: 

    • Virginia

    Disposition: 

    Subpoena Enforced

    Location of Party: 

    • California

    Jurisdiction: 

    • Virginia

    Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

    $1,500.00

    Source of Law: 

    • United States
    • Virginia

    Court Name: 

    Circuit Court for the City of Alexandria

    Legal Counsel: 

    Paul Alan Levy and Scott Michelman (Public Citizen Litigation Group), and Raymond D. Battocchi (Raymond D. Battocchi, P.C.)

    Court Type: 

    State
    On July 2, 2012, Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, Inc., a Virginia rug cleaning company, filed a complaint for defamation and conspiracy to defame against seven anonymous Yelp reviewers in the Circuit Court for the City of Alexandria. Hadeed claimed these users'... read full description

    Case Number: 

    Trial: 12003401; Appeal: 0116-13-4

    Relevant Documents: 

    Content Type: 

    • Text

    Publication Medium: 

    Social Network

    On July 2, 2012, Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, Inc., a Virginia rug cleaning company, filed a complaint for defamation and conspiracy to defame against seven anonymous Yelp reviewers in the Circuit Court for the City of Alexandria.

    Hadeed claimed these users' reviews were false and defamatory because it "had no record that the negative reviewers were ever Hadeed Carpet customers." Additionally, Hadeed noted that many of the negative reviews contained similar "themes" (for example, that Hadeed had doubled the price) and that one of the reviewers was from an area where Hadeed does not do business. Based on this evidence, Hadeed alleged that the authors of the negative reviews "acted together for the purpose of willfully and maliciously injuring Hadeed Carpet's reputation." Hadeed requested $1.1 million in punitive and compensatory damages, attorney's fees and costs, and a permanent injunction.

    On July 3, 2012, Hadeed issued a subpoena duces tecum to Yelp seeking information identifying the anonymous commenters.

    Yelp responded with a written objection to the subpoena on July 19, 2012. It contended: (1) that Hadeed had not complied with Virginia's procedure for subpoenas to identify anonymous Internet users, Code § 8.01-407.1, because it did not list the allegedly defamatory comments with adequate specificity; (2) that the First Amendment prevented disclosure of the defendants' identities because Hadeed had failed to present a prima facie case that their speech was defamatory; and (3) that the subpoena could not be enforced against a foreign non-party company.

    On July 30, 2012, Hadeed filed a renewed subpoena that complied with the procedural requirements of Code § 8.01-407.1 by attaching documents allegedly establishing the basis for Hadeed's belief that the challenged posts were actionable. In its accompanying Notice of Filing Supporting Material, Hadeed asserted that "determining whether or not Defendants were customers of Hadeed is centrally necessary for Hadeed to advance any defamation claim."

    Yelp filed written objections to the renewed subpoena on September 5, 2012. Yelp again asserted that Hadeed had failed to meet the appropriate legal test for obtaining identifying information about anonymous speakers because it had not "produce[d] evidence sufficient to make out a prima facie case" of defamation. Yelp noted that numerous appellate courts, most notably in Dendrite v. Doe and Doe v. Cahill, had held that that this was the proper test under the First Amendment, and argued that to the extent that Virginia had set a more permissive standard than Dendrite, Virginia should "join the national consensus standard on this issue." Yelp also asserted that it was not subject to personal jurisdiction in Virginia because it had no property there, and because Hadeed had consented to exclusive jurisdiction in California by agreeing to Yelp's terms of service when it chose to advertise on Yelp. Finally, Yelp argued that the subpoena was overbroad because Hadeed sought all documents Yelp possessed for the users that "relate[d] in any way" to Hadeed, which could encompass private communications subject to other legal protections or not reasonably accessible to Yelp.

    On September 26, 2012, Hadeed moved to overrule the objections and enforce the subpoena. Hadeed argued that the proper legal standard for obtaining information about Yelp's anonymous users came from Virginia Code § 8.01-407.1 and was satisfied by its good faith claim that "it reviewed its own detailed customer files and c[ould] find no evidence that these specific seven persons were ever Hadeed customers." Hadeed also claimed that its attempts to obtain those identities through publicly available information or through discussions with Yelp had been unsuccessful. Hadeed also maintained that it had properly subpoenaed Yelp's records by serving the subpoena on Yelp's registered agent for service of process in Virginia, and argued that "Yelp conducts business over the internet in Virginia, and is present in Virginia through its registered agent." Further, Hadeed argued, it had not waived jurisdiction in Virgina, claiming that Yelp's terms of service only pertained to disputes arising out of the advertising relationship. Finally, Hadeed argued that the subpoena was not overbroad, as it only requested "postings" relating to Hadeed, not "communications," and Yelp's objection that the subpoena might encompass private communications was therefore unfounded.

    On October 22, 2012, Yelp filed a memo in support of its objections to the subpoena and opposing Hadeed's motion to compel discovery. Yelp reiterated that the First Amendment "provides special protections for anonymity on the Internet," and argued that the court should apply the Dendrite test. The subpoena could not be enforced under this test, Yelp argued, because Hadeed had "failed to produce any evidence that any of the statements made about it are false." Yelp also continued to assert that it was not subject to jurisdiction. It argued that "predicating personal jurisdiction on the mere fact that Yelp enables its users to make statements accessible in Virginia through the Internet offends traditional principles of state sovereignty."

    Hadeed responded to Yelp's objections on Oct. 31, 2012, reiterating its previous arguments.

    The trial court held oral arguments on November 14, 2012, and enforced the subpoena on November 19, 2012. According to the court, it had jurisdiction over the motion based on service of the subpoena on Yelp's registered agent. The court added, however, that "even if a registered agent alone was an insufficient basis for jurisdiction," the court had jurisdiction "in light of Yelp's conduct directing electronic activity in Virginia and business relationships with Virginia companies and residents." The advertising agreement between the parties, the court held, did not deprive the court of jurisdiction, because the motion to compel was not a dispute between Hadeed and Yelp but rather a dispute between Hadeed and the anonymous reviewers, parties not governed by the agreement.

    Finally, the trial court held that the proper standard for compelling the identity of anonymous speakers was laid out in Virginia Code § 8.01-407.1, which requires a showing that the statements "may be tortious" and that the speaker's identity is "important" or "relates to a core claim." Hadeed had met the statutory standard, the court held, because "the statements [we]re tortious if not made by customers" and "the identity of the communicators [w]as essential to maintain a suit for defamation." The court found no constitutional problem with this result. Although the court "recognize[d] that anonymous speech and even false speech is entitled to protection under the First Amendment," it stated that such speech is "not entitled to the same level of protection as truthful or political speech." Without citing Dendrite or Cahill, the court therefore ordered Yelp to produce information identifying the anonymous speakers.

    Yelp refused to enforce the subpoena and, on January 9, 2013, the court held Yelp in contempt and imposed a $500 fine and $1000 in attorney fees. The sanctions were stayed pending appeal.

    Yelp appealed to the Court of Appeals of Virginia and filed its opening brief on May 7, 2013. Yelp argued that the circuit court violated the First Amendment by ordering Yelp to identify the defendants, because Hadeed should have been required to do more than articulate a good faith belief that the speech "may be tortious." Indeed, Yelp asserted, the constitution requires "a factual showing, . . . that the statements are actionable and that there is an evidentiary basis for the prima facie elements of the claim." Yelp also argued that the court erred in concluding that the speech at issue did not warrant First Amendment protection because it was defamatory, because that argument begged the question by relying on the defamatory nature of the speech to compel evidence to prove its defamatory nature. Yelp also pointed to the constitutional requirement of proof of fault in defamation cases.

    Yelp next argued that, even if Hadeed had made a sufficient showing that the reviewers were not Hadeed customers, the statements were not actionable. The parts of the reviews that Hadeed alleged were false -- the identities of the reviewers -- were not the parts of the reviews that could negatively impact Hadeed's reputation. Under Fourth Circuit precedent, Yelp claimed, "the falsity of a statement and the defamatory ‘sting' of the publication must coincide" for a statement to constitute defamation. And in this case, "Hadeed never allege[d] that the substantive problems set forth in the reviews, such as charging twice the advertised price, [we]re themselves false." Additionally, Yelp argued that Hadeed was libel-proof and could not sue for defamation because, in light of the large number of negative Yelp reviews of Hadeed that were not included in the lawsuit, a few more negative comments "would [not] cause Hadeed any incremental harm."

    Yelp finally argued that, if the statements could be actionable, Hadeed had not presented a sufficient factual basis for the subpoena. When a party is "seeking discovery of information protected by the First Amendment," Yelp claimed, it should be required to show that "there is reason to believe that the information sought will, in fact, help its case." Hadeed had failed to make this showing, Yelp stated.

    On May 8, 2013, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the American Society of News Editors, Gannett Co., and The Washington Post filed a brief in support of Yelp. They argued that: the court should recognize "a heightened standard for compelled disclosure of identities" consistent with a consensus that has developed in the courts; allowing plaintiffs to compel the identity of authors "of any speech that ‘may be tortious' simply based on an unsupported allegation is inconsistent with the First Amendment"; and a "heightened standard is important to news organizations and other Internet publishers in creating a meaningful exchange of ideas on their web sites."

    Hadeed filed its appellee's brief on May 30, 2013, arguing that the Virginia statute "clearly meets the minimal constitutional protections required under the First Amendment." But even if the Dendrite test were constitutionally required, Hadeed contended that the test had been satisfied because its complaint had "provided the actual statements, and if the posters are not customers, their statements are defamatory per se." Even under Dendrite, Hadeed argued, it was not required to present "all evidence necessary to survive a tough cross examination, summary judgment, or even . . . a jury verdict." Hadeed claimed it could not present more detailed information rebutting the Yelp reviews because it "serves 35,000 customers per year and its staff encounters all variety of circumstances," and the experiences of its thousands of other customers would not be relevant to "whether one specific person was defrauded through a bait and switch." Hadeed also contested Yelp's argument that it was libel proof, arguing that the many other negative Yelp reviews were not reliable.

    Yelp filed a reply brief on June 27, 2013. It asserted that "even apart from the fact that a state statute cannot overrule the requirements of the First Amendment, there is no inconsistency between section 8.01-407.1 and the Dendrite-Cahill line of cases." Under the statute, Yelp claimed, it "is not enough for the plaintiff to show good faith; it must have a ‘legitimate' basis for claiming that the speech was tortious." Yelp argued that Hadeed had "alleged defamation, but ha[d] of yet proved nothing," and pointed out that Hadeed had not filed an affidavit from any employee actually denying that Hadeed engaged in the misconduct alleged in the Yelp reviews.

    The Court of Appeals of Virginia, by a vote of two to one, affirmed the trial court's decision on January 7, 2014.

    First, the court stated that although anonymous speech is protected by the First Amendment, "defamatory speech is not entitled to constitutional protection." Therefore, the court stated, "if the reviews are unlawful in that they are defamatory, then the [reviewers'] veil of anonymity may be pierced." Further, the court found that the speech at issue was commercial speech, as it was "expression related solely to the economic interests of the speaker and its audience." Because courts have recognized a lower level of First Amendment protection for commercial speech," the court held that the anonymous reviewers' "right to anonymity is subject to a substantial governmental interest in disclosure." In contrast, the court stated, a "business's reputation is a precious commodity."

    The court also rejected the argument that the reviews were non-actionable opinion. "Generally," the court stated, "a Yelp review is entitled to First Amendment protection because it is a person's opinion." However, the court explained, this protection "relies upon an underlying assumption of fact: that the reviewer was a customer of the specific company and he posted his review based on his personal experience with the business. If this underlying assumption of fact proves false, . . . then the review is not an opinion; instead, the review is based on a false statement of fact."

    The court next turned to Virginia law. It held that Virginia Code § 8.01-407.1 provided the proper test for uncovering the identity of an anonymous Internet communicator. The court noted that it was "reluctant to declare legislative acts unconstitutional" and ultimately refused to do so, because there was no constitutional infirmity that was "clear, palpable, and practically free from doubt." The court also refused to "adopt persuasive authority from other states," including Dendrite and Cahill, noting that the Virginia legislature had considered that authority and ultimately made its own policy decisions.

    In applying the Virginia statute, the court held that Hadeed presented sufficient evidence to show that the reviews were or may have been defamatory by "indicating that it made a thorough review of its customer database" and could not match the defendants' reviews with customers. Further, the court believed that Hadeed acted on a "legitimate, good faith belief that the Doe defendants were not former customers," and "took reasonable efforts to identify the anonymous communicators." Finally, according to the court, the reviewers' identities were "not only important," but "necessary" because "without the identity of the Doe defendants, Hadeed cannot move forward with its defamation lawsuit."

    The court also concluded that the trial court properly exercised subpoena jurisdiction over Yelp because Virginia statutes "explicitly allow for service on a registered agent of a foreign corporation that is authorized to do business in the Commonwealth."

    Senior Judge James Haley dissented. Judge Haley agreed that Virginia Code § 8.01-407 provided the proper framework for analysis, and stated that correct analysis under the statutory framework properly "balances the First Amendment protection of an anonymous speaker and the right of redress for defamation." However, he concluded that, in this case, "the balance envisioned by [the statute] should weigh for the protection afforded by" the U.S. and Virginia constitutions. Judge Haley noted that Hadeed had not "claimed that any of the substantive statements [we]re false," and, at oral argument, "candidly admitted that it [could] not say the John Doe defendants are not customers." By arguing that the reviewers "may not have been customers, and, if they were not, the substantive statements may be tortious," Hadeed failed to provide sufficient supporting material to justify the subpoena, he asserted. Instead, Judge Haley said, Hadeed's claim was merely "a self-serving argument -- one that proceed[ed] from a premise the argument [wa]s supposed to prove."

    Subject Area: 

    • Defamation
    • Anonymity
    • User Comments or Submissions

              Lawyers in the Vortex: When Attorneys Become Public Figures        

    There was substantial media coverage of the defense verdict in the recent "twibel" (i.e., libel via Twitter) case against singer Courtney Love. Although the case attracted attention for the medium in which the allegedly defamatory statements were made, the dispositive issue was a long-standing element of libel law that did not depend on Love's use of Twitter.  Specifically, the jury found that plaintiff Rhonda Holmes, a lawyer who briefly represented Love in disputes stemming from the estate of Love's husband Kurt Cobain, had not proved the degree of fault on Love's part necessary for Holmes to win the case.

    Curiously, the level of fault that the court required Holmes to prove was "actual malice," i.e., knowledge on Love's part that the statement was untrue, or reckless disregard by Love for whether it was true or not. Under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the actual malice standard is applied when the plaintiff is a public figure.

    There are two types of public figure plaintiffs: "general purpose public figures," who are so prominent and well known that they are public figures for all purposes; and "limited purpose" or "vortex" public figures, who become -- usually voluntarily -- involved in a particular public issue to the extent that they become public figures for statements regarding that public issue, but not for other matters. If a plaintiff is neither of these types of public figure, then s/he is considered a private figure, who does not have to meet the stringent standard of actual malice. (Private figure plaintiffs must still demonstrate fault on the part of the defendant in order to win a defamation case, but the specific level of fault that a private figure plaintiff must show varies from state to state.)

    Meanwhile, the District of Columbia's Court of Appeals is facing a similar issue in another case involving a lawyer as defamation plaintiff. In that case, the court is considering the attorney's status in connection with a decision as to whether her suit against anonymous Wikipedia editors should be blocked under the District's anti-SLAPP statute.

    We are used to the idea of celebrities and government officials being treated as public figures, but should their attorneys fall into that category as well? As it turns out, courts have long struggled with the question of when an attorney's involvement in a prominent case or controversy makes him or her a public figure in the defamation context; this post examines some of these decisions.

    U.S. Supreme Court

    The U.S. Supreme Court has considered three cases in which a lawyer's involvement in a prominent case led to questions about the lawyer's status as a defamation plaintiff. In all three cases, the Court held that the lawyer was not a public figure.

    In Time, Inc. v. Firestone, 424 U.S. 448 (1976), the Court held that a lawyer who was a prominent member of local society did not become a public figure due to his divorce by a court in Palm Beach, Florida. The Court found that the plaintiff did not voluntarily choose to make aspects of his life public by electing "dissolution of a marriage through judicial proceedings," since the court procedure was required for the divorce, and that the divorce itself was not a public controversy which made the plaintiff a public figure.

    Similarly, the Court held in Rosenbloom v. Metromedia, Inc., 403 U.S. 29 (1971) that a lawyer who represented a convicted criminal on appeal was not a public figure. In Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974), the Court held that the lawyer for a family involved in controversial civil litigation was not a public figure.

    But since determinations of public or private figure status are highly fact-specific, these decisions are not necessarily determinative in subsequent cases. So state courts and lower federal courts have issued a variety of rulings on the public or private figure status of lawyers who are plaintiffs in defamation cases.

    Involvement in Prominent Litigation

    Despite the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in Rosenbloom and Gertz, other courts have held that an attorney's representation of a party in a prominent case can, under certain circumstances, justify a finding that the lawyer was a public figure.

    • In Della-Donna v. Gore Newspaper Co., 489 So. 2d 72 (Fla. App. 1986), the Florida Court of Appeals held that an attorney involved with a millionaire's estate became a limited public figure when a bequest to a university became a public controversy.
    • In Ratner v. Young, 465 F. Supp. 386 (D.V.I. 1979), a federal district court held that defense attorneys in a highly publicized murder trial were public figures because they had come to the Virgin Islands from New York to represent the defendant for free, thus injecting themselves into the case, and held press conferences to generate support for their client.
    • Similarly, in Hayes v. Booth Newspapers, Inc., 97 Mich. App. 758, 295 N.W.2d 858 (1980), a Michigan appellate court held that an attorney who had turned a criminal trial in which he represented the defendant into a cause célèbre was a public figure.
    • In Bandelin v. Pietsch, 98 Idaho 337, 583 P.2d 395 (1977), a lawyer prosecuted for contempt of court stemming from a probate matter was held by the Supreme Court of Idaho to be a public figure in a subsequent libel suit over coverage  because of the prominence of that prosecution.  The Idaho court discounted the lawyer's prominence in local politics several years before as a factor, after which he had gone into relative obscurity.

    Public figure status due to involvement in a prominent case does not necessarily last forever, however. In New York, a lawyer who once represented a notorious criminal was held to not be public figure years after the representation. Polakoff v. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 3 Media L. Rep. 2516, aff’d, 67 A.D.2d 871, 413 N.Y.S.2d 537 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., App. Div. 1st Dept. 1979), appeal dismissed, 48 N.Y.2d 714, 422 N.Y.S.2d 378, 397 N.E.2d 1182 (1979).

    Other courts have held that a lawyer's involvement in a prominent case did not, in itself, make the lawyer a public figure. The Michigan Supreme Court took this stance regarding an attorney in a publicized criminal trial, Peisner v. Detroit Free Press, Inc., 364 N.W. 2d 600 (Mich. 1984), as did the Arkansas Supreme Court is a case involving a lawyer who represented a witness in the 1990s “Whitewater” investigation, Little Rock Newspapers v. Fitzhugh, 330 Ark. 561, 954 S.W.2d 914 (1997). Even a prominent lawyer such as Gerry Spence, who advocated for famous and controversial clients, can be a private figure. Spence v. Flynt, 816 P.2d 771 (Wyo. 1991).

    Involvement in Political and Public Controversies

    Lawyers who work for the government -- as judges, prosecutors and public defenders, for example -- have often been held to be public officials who must show actual malice in a libel suit. But non-government attorneys have also been held to be public figures due to their involvement in political issues, at least for purposes of the specific public issue in which s/he was involved.

    Thus a former city attorney and counsel for a local redevelopment agency who had initiated a recall of local public officials was found to be a public figure. Weingarten v. Black, 102 Cal. App. 3d 129, 162 Cal. Rptr. 701 (Cal. Ct. App. 1980). So was a prominent private lawyer who represented many public school districts. Schwartz v. Worrall Publications, Inc., 258 N.J. Super. 493, 610 A.2d 425 (1992).

    A politically connected law firm was held to be a public figure when the firm sued a county legislator who accused it of over-billing the county and trying to hide a county official's miscounduct. Crowe Deegan v. Schmitt, 12 Misc. 3d 1152(A), 819 N.Y.S.2d 209, 2006 NY Slip Op 50870(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Nassau County Apr. 14, 2006) (unpublished), aff'd and modified in part on other grounds, 38 A.D.3d 590, 832 N.Y.S.2d 242 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., App. Div. 2d 2007).

    But some courts have ruled the other way. In ZYZY Corporation v. Gloria Hernandez, 345 S.W.3d 452 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2011), a lawyer who spoke publicly as representative of an Indian tribe, which client constituted 10 percent of her business, was held not to be a limited purpose public figure. 

    Involvement in Other Legal Matters

    While an attorney's involvement in a prominent legal case can be sufficient to make the lawyer a public figure, courts have not generally held that attorneys' involvement in other legal matters gives them public figure status. 

    Accordingly, in Denny v. Mertz, 100 Wis. 2d 332, 302 N.W. 2d 503 (Wis. Ct. App. 1981), aff'd, 106 Wis. 2d 636, 318 N.W.2d 141 (Wis. 1982), an attorney who thrust himself into the forefront of a corporate stockholder battle was held to not be a public figure because the corporate matter was not a public controversy which affected the “general public or some segment of it in an appreciable way.”

    This also applies to administrative matters regarding attorney admission and discipline. Controversy over a lawyer's suspension and subsequent taking of the bar exam for re-admission to the bar was not sufficient to make the attorney a public figure in Little Rock Newspapers, Inc. v. Dodrill, 281 Ark. 25, 660 S.W. 2d 933 (1983). Neither was discipline of an attorney for practicing law in violation of his probation. Littlefield v. Fort Dodge Messenger, 614 F.2d 581 (8th Cir. 1980). 

    Local Prominence

    Aside from being involved in a prominent case, a lawyer -- like any other member of the public -- can become a public figure by his or her general prominence in the community.

    In Durham v. Cannan Communications, Inc., 645 S.W.2d 845 (Tex. Civ. App. -- Amarillo 1982, writ dismissed), the court held that whether a lawyer's noteriety in the community made him a public figure was an issue for the jury to decide. Other courts have been more certain. In Partington v. Bugliosi, 825 F.Supp. 906 (D. Haw. 1993), aff’d on other grounds, 56 F.3d 1147 (9th Cir. 1995), the court held that a well-known criminal defense lawyer was a public figure. The court in Steere v. Cupp, 226 Kan. 566, 602 P.2d 1267 (1979), held a lawyer to be a public figure because of his prominence as a social activist.

    Public figure status for a prominent attorney can also last for some period after the prominence recedes. In Lewis v. Coursolle Broadcasting of Wisconsin, Inc., 127 Wis.2d 105, 377 N.W. 2d 166 (1985), the court held that an attorney and former legislator who was still well-known in the community three years after leaving office remained a public figure.

    Lawyers as Public Figures

    Lawyers tend to be prominent in their communities, and are likely to be held to be public figures if they are are involved in local politics or community efforts. But in most situations, an attorney's representation of a client in a prominent case is not, in an of itself, sufficient to make the attorney a public figure.

     

    Eric P. Robinson is co-director of the Program in Press, Law and Democracy at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. He has taught media law and ethics at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Baruch College, and the University of Nevada, Reno, where he was also Deputy Director of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Courts and Media. He has also been a  staff attorney at the Media Law Resource Center and a legal fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In addition to his posts here, he maintains his own blog at bloglawonline.com.

    (Image courtesy of Flickr user RyAwesome, pursuant to a Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 license.)


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              Liberalism, secular religion, vulnerability        
    There is a terrific review of a new book on liberalism over at First Things. The book is by a Polish philosopher named Ryszard Legutko, who was a dissident under the communist government and who believes that communism and liberalism share a similar secular religious framework.

    The review, by Adrian Vermeule, is difficult to improve on, so I will limit myself to some commentary on one of the key points raised and then encourage you to go and read the whole thing yourselves.

    What I found most interesting was the discussion of some contradictions within liberalism. For instance, liberalism emphasises both a materialist determinism (i.e. everything we do is predetermined by forces of history, genetics etc.) and a belief in the radically autonomous individual, including the idea that individuals, absent certain social conditions, will use this autonomous freedom to choose the good. How can you have a radically self-determining individual if you believe that everything is materially predetermined? One part of liberal philosophy insists that the individual is radically predetermined, the other that he only has dignity if he is radically self-determined.

    The most interesting contradiction discussed, and one that is complained about all the time in alt-right discussions on social media, is why liberals seem uninterested in seriously illiberal policies in places like Saudi Arabia but come down heavily on mildly illiberal policies in places like Hungary. I think the answer given by Legutko, as summarised by Vermeule, is very interesting:
    Why do Western liberal academics and EU technocrats object so stridently to the mild illiberalism of the Fidesz parliamentary party in Hungary, while saying little or nothing about Saudi Arabia and other monarchical or authoritarian nations, nominal allies of the West, who routinely control, punish, and dominate women, gays, and religious dissenters? Why are the EU technocrats, whose forte is supposed to be competence, so very bumbling, making policy mistake after policy mistake? How is it possible that while the sitting president of the United States squarely opposed same-sex marriage just a few years ago, the liberal intellectuals who supported him passionately also condemn any opposition to same-sex marriage as bigotry, rooted in cultural backwardness? Why was the triumph of same-sex marriage followed so rapidly by the opening of a new regulatory and juridical frontier, the recognition of transgender identity?

    Legutko helps us understand these oddities. We have to start by understanding that liberalism has a sacramental character. “The liberal-democratic mind, just as the mind of any true communist, feels an inner compulsion to manifest its pious loyalty to the doctrine. Public life is full of mandatory rituals in which every politician, artist, writer, celebrity, teacher or any public figure is willing to participate, all to prove that their liberal-democratic creed springs spontaneously from the depths of their hearts.” The basic liturgy of liberalism is the Festival of Reason, which in 1793 placed a Goddess of Reason (who may or may not have been a prostitute conscripted for the occasion, in one of the mocking double entendres of Providence) on the holy altar in the Church of Our Lady in Paris. The more the Enlightenment rejects the sacramental, the more compulsively it re-enacts its founding Festival, the dawning of rationality.

    Light is defined by contrast, however, so the Festival requires that the children of light spy out and crush the forces of darkness, who appear in ever-changing guises, before the celebration can be renewed. The essential components of the Festival are twofold: the irreversibility of Progress and the victory over the Enemy, the forces of reaction. Taken in combination, these commitments give liberalism its restless and aggressive dynamism, and help to make sense of the anomalies. Fidesz in Hungary is more threatening than the Saudi monarchy, even though the latter is far less liberal, because Fidesz represents a retrogression—a deliberate rejection of liberalism by a nation that was previously a member in good standing of the liberal order. The Hungarians, and for that matter the Poles, are apostates, unlike the benighted Saudis, who are simple heretics. What is absolutely essential is that the clock of Progress should never be turned back. The problem is not just that it might become a precedent and encourage reactionaries on other fronts. The deeper issue is that it would deny the fundamental eschatology of liberalism, in which the movement of History may only go in one direction. It follows that Brexit must be delayed or defeated at all costs, through litigation or the action of an unelected House of Lords if necessary, and that the Trump administration must be cast as a temporary anomaly, brought to power by voters whose minds were clouded by racism and economic pain. (It is therefore impossible to acknowledge that such voters might have legitimate cultural grievances or even philosophical objections to liberalism.)

    The puzzle of the EU technocrats, on this account, is no puzzle at all. They are so error-prone, even from a technocratic point of view, at least in part because they are actually engaged in a non-technocratic enterprise that is pervasively ideological, in the same way that Soviet science was ideological. Their prime directive is to protect and expand the domain of liberalism, whether or not that makes for technical efficiency.

    Liberalism needs an enemy to maintain its sacramental dynamism. It can never rest in calm waters, basking in the day of victory; it is essential that at any given moment there should be a new battle to be fought. The good liberal should always be able to say, “We have made progress, but there is still much to do.” This is why the triumph of same-sex marriage actually happened too suddenly and too completely. Something else was needed to animate liberalism, and transgenderism has quickly filled the gap, defining new forces of reaction and thus enabling new iterations and celebrations of the Festival. And if endorsement and approval of self-described “gender identity” becomes a widely shared legal and social norm, a new frontier will be opened, and some new issue will move to the top of the public agenda, something that now seems utterly outlandish and is guaranteed to provoke fresh opposition from the cruel forces of reaction—polygamy, perhaps, or mandatory vegetarianism.

    If this is true, then it gives liberalism both a strength and a weakness. The strength is that people hold to liberal beliefs like a religion, and therefore as a source of meaning that is difficult to step away from. The weakness is that the force of the religious belief depends on an "eschatology" in which there is always a progress toward an ever more radical application of liberalism in society. Therefore, once liberalism is forced back it is vulnerable to collapse. In other words, if liberalism is seen to be obviously stopped, and some aspect of traditionalism restored, it is likely to trigger a psychological demoralisation amongst liberalism's adherents.

    Liberalism needs opposition, it needs a force of reaction to battle against, but it needs to always win.

    So we must not be content with being "house traditionalists" who exist merely to play a role within "the liturgy of liberalism." We need to be serious about building to the point that we are obviously regaining ground. At that point, liberals become vulnerable to psychological confusion and demoralisation. There may not be great depths of resistance once they lose a sense of inevitable progress.
              Red, White & Green         

    PRESIDENT Bush's new education plan, "America 2000," is bringing the federal government around to the role it does best. By using a small amount of money in the key leverage points, it can encourage and stimulate a great deal of state and local district action. But not everyone is encouraged by the new plan. Some describe it as a bugle call from the White House, with the "feds" coming again to save American education. They point out that the states and local governments are already rescuing United States schools by paying over 90 percent of the bill and that since 1983, states, on their own, introduced more reforms than education has seen in 100 years. Others note that in the decade of the 1980s, states increased funding for education by more than 30 percent w h

    ile the federal government reduced its share of the contributions.

    But therein lies the nub of the problem. After all of this effort, student achievement and other indicators such as dropout rates have shown little sign of improvement. Thus, says Mr. Bush in "America 2000," an education improvement strategy is needed that focuses on national education goals that set standards, that provides flexibility in exchange for more accountability, and in general "pushes and prods" the nation's 110,000 public and private schools into improvement.

    Creating a more productive education system is both the nation's responsibility and the nation's gain. While states and local communities carry a major portion of this burden, most educators and state policymakers welcome a more active federal partner.

    But as in all cooperative endeavors in business and government, the newest and most junior partner needs to pull its chair up to the discussion table carefully. Respect for what has been tried and what's in process is paramount. In more than half the states, legislatures and governors have passed mega-reform laws. Some of these have been in operation for nearly a decade.

    While reform efforts to date have not produced the desired results, assuming that nothing is happening in the states, or assuming that a handful of federal bureaucrats can write a plan in 60 days with little input from the people it's designed to help, is setting us all up for a new round of "Hi, I'm from the federal government jokes.

    There is also a concern that some of the federal education-reform designers want to use a choice/voucher system to direct federal money to private and parochial schools. The goals are enrollment freedom for parents and competition for the monopoly held by the public schools.

    The American education system, however, has been built on the principle of separation of church and state. Breaking this tradition could turn the control of education into a court litigation nightmare and further detract from the reforms that are really needed.

    More thought and discussion are needed to bring the federal plans in tune with state reality. Governors are key to the process, but former state governors may also be an untapped resource. The Education Commission of the States, the National Governors' Association, and US Sen. Terry Sanford (D) of North Carolina, a former governor of that state, suggest bringing these individuals together in an ongoing series of small seminars designed to further a mutual understanding of federal and state education nee d

    s.

    These seminars will involve several sitting governors with several former governors now serving in the US Senate. Each seminar will probe an education issue in depth. At the table will be another former governor, Lamar Alexander, the secretary of education.

    At the first of these seminars, Gov. Roy Romer (D) of Colorado pointed out that the No. 1 problem facing this country is education. He then said that our priorities were off because this country was directing the narrowest of resources (the local property tax) to solve the problem.

    It is clear that the federal government will have to play a stronger role in reforming education. Maybe the emphasis that was put on math, science, and foreign language instruction following the launch of Sputnik is a federal model that needs to be revisited. The National Defense Education Act mixed federal money with state and local resources and in short order had a visible influence at the classroom level.

    The states have assumed a stronger education presence in the last decade. It may be time for a new federal-state-local partnership. Bush's "America 2000" plan could be a step in that direction, but it has to be a step in the same direction the states are going.

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              Kyuss is Dead, Long Live Vista Chino - An Interview with Brant Bjork        
    M.DREW: You’re releasing “Peace,” under the title Vista Chino. Walk me through this album, how did this album come to be?
    BRANT BJORK: In 2010, John Garcia called me and said that he wanted to get Kyuss back together, and he wanted Bruno Fevery to play guitar. I said ‘sounds great, let’s do it.’ I wasn’t expecting that phone call and I think that was part of the excitement.The first day I jammed with Bruno and Nick [Oliveri] and John in Los Angeles was the day that I discovered that Bruno wasn’t just a guy that could get on stage and respectfully play the Kyuss material, but was an exceptional guitar player. I immediately felt a musical chemistry with him, I think we all felt that. So that first day of rehearsing for what was to become the Kyuss Lives! tours, we knew right then and there that we wanted to pursue fresh material and record a new record. So we worked with that concept and started the creative process while we were touring as Kyuss Lives!, getting ready to make a new record. When we finished our tour cycle, we went right to it. Started putting the record together.
    M.D: What did you hope to achieve with “Peace?” What does it mean for you?
    BB: I been playing music my whole life. I’m a professional musician, it’s what I do. This is my passion, it’s my love, it’s my talent. For me, like a lot of people, I like challenges, I like to challenge myself. For me, I thought getting Kyuss back together and recording new music with a different guitar player would be a challenge. “Peace” is a record that represents the adventure of pursuing the unknown. That’s what it is for me. Where there once wasn’t something, there’s now something and we’re quite proud of it. It was an adventure, it’s a lot of fun.
    M.D: For clarification purposes, what is Nick Oliveri’s status with Vista Chino?
    BB: Nick obviously left the band not long after the lawsuit was filed against us and we understood the situation. Nick had another lawsuit going on in his personal life, so he stepped out of the band. When it came time to do the record, we were able to come back together and he recorded on the record. He played great, we were one happy family again. We were getting ready to go down to Australia to do the Soundwave festival, which was the last Kyuss Lives! show, and he got into some more trouble and wasn’t able to go to Australia. At that point, I was quite frustrated. So I just shot for the moon and called one of my favorite bass players, Mike Dean from Corrosion of Conformity and said ‘here’s the situation.’ Mike’s been with us ever since. It’s a situation where if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. We feel like we’ve arrived in a place where there’s a harmonious driving vibe within all the members of the band. Musically, fundamentally, spiritually. We’re just all on the same page. We love Nick, I grew up with Nick, I’ve known him my whole life and love him like a brother. We still talk, we’re still buds and maybe some time in the future Nick returns, we don’t really know. We’re not concerned with that right now, he’s a busy guy with his own thing going on and we’ve got Mike Dean in the band and we’re doing really well. Like I said, it’s just jiving and we’re going with that.

    M.D: I will only ask this briefly because I’m sure you’re sick of talking about it. You mentioned the litigation – how comfortable are you with the outcome of that, and do you feel like it gives you some closure for that chapter?
    BB: It was a very stressful and frustrating experience. Sometimes you gotta go through hell to get to heaven. For us, it was like a process of purification for our band. Kyuss was a band that was a good band, we made some good records, made some good music. But internally, we weren’t all on the same page, we didn’t share a common perspective on what we were doing and why. It’s not a coincidence, there’s no irony that it was John, Nick and myself that put the band back together. We were always the three guys amongst the six that never had a problem, and always felt like we doing it for the righteous reasons. So we knew going into it that there was potential beef, but we didn’t want to look back in our careers and say we didn’t do that because we feared there was going to be conflict. We’re not the kind of people that live like that. In short, no one tells me what to do [laughs]. So we moved forward, we had a great time, we’re still having a great time, and the good news is that, as I said, it’s a purification. We’re Vista Chino now, we still get to celebrate our love for the Kyuss classics, but we have a bright future with a new name and the new material, and we don’t have to deal with the negative elements. That stuff has been washed away. In a weird way, it’s kind of a blessing. But there’s no doubt that it was a frustrating, sad experience.
    M.D: You mentioned that you’ve got a new name and a new brand, the word you used was purification. Does this give you a feeling like you’re starting your career over again?
    BB: No, not really. To me, my career is about dedicating my life to the path of being a musician, making music in general. All kinds of music, with all kinds of musicians. But a purification and a renewal for this band of brothers and this spirit that we came from. John was born a singer in Kyuss and I was born a drummer in Kyuss, Nick was born a bass player in Kyuss. We had various musical projects prior to Kyuss as kids, but really, the truth is that Kyuss was where we were born. That spirit, that camaraderie, that essence, that’s what this is, a return to love. Being in a band, I’ve been a solo artist for over ten years and it’s awesome to return to a band with the original guys that we all came up together. It’s awesome, it’s just John and I now, but even to just have John Garcia by my side to tap into that love and that creativity that fueled our entire initial adventure back in the early ‘90s, I feel very, very lucky and grateful to have that opportunity and be experiencing that right now.
    M.D: This may be a strange question to try and answer, but it merits asking. With all of that behind you, and now you have a new name and the whole bit, do you feel like you’re enjoying yourself more than you have in a while?
    BB: I’m a man who loves what I do, I enjoy music, I enjoy recording, I enjoy writing, travelling touring and of course performing. There’s always the general enjoyment and excitement of being able to pursue my passion. That’s my job and my living. But, right now, we’re dealing with the rebuilding of something and the transition from a band being dragged through a lawsuit and having to do a rebranding from scratch. And we knew we’d take a hit. It’s gonna take time for people to acknowledge and understand what’s going on, it must be very confusing for the fans. The numbers are definitely much lower, and those are just realities that we all knew were going to be part of this adventure. But, we love playing, we played Seattle last night…I’ll be frank, we played Seattle as Kyuss Lives! to probably thirteen hundred people in 2011. We played Seattle as Vista Chino, there was probably a hundred people. You know what? Those hundred people were as stoked if not more so than those thirteen hundred back in 2011. The feedback was incredible. We’re playing at a level we’ve never played at before. Those are the reasons why we do what we do. For us, if we can pay the bills and continue to do this, that’s what it’s all about. We don’t need five thousand people screaming in a venue for us to feel validated or like we’ve arrived in some kind of successful place. We’re a success in our minds because we get to do what we do and do it on our own terms, create the kind of music we want to create. The high road is the long road, it’s going to take time to get back to that place where people are understanding and able to participate with this trip. We’re ready for the long haul, man.

    M.D: Couple friends of mine were over the other night and I played them “Peace” without telling them who it was. After a couple songs, they asked me if it was a new Kyuss record. Is that an association that you want, or is it something you’re trying to avoid?
    BB: Well, neither. I don’t think we want it, and I don’t think we try to avoid it, either. John and I and Bruno, we wanted to make a great rock record, an honest rock record. This is the style of rock music that we make. Kyuss was something that I helped, and John with the voice and Nick, create Kyuss and make Kyuss what it was. There’s not a thought or expectation to try and return to a specific sound or song. This is what we naturally did. I don’t know how else to explain it [laughs]. If there’s similarities or parallels, well, I helped develop it.
    M.D: You’re commonly credited as the inventor of ‘Desert Rock.’ What does that sound mean to you?
    BB: As much as I’m very proud to be from the desert and proud that many people call Kyuss and Vista Chino desert rock, I think I’m almost in some ways more comfortable with ‘stoner rock.’ When you mention ‘desert rock,’ there were a lot of bands that came from our scene, some of the best bands I’ve ever seen in my life. For us to be credited with desert rock, it’s a little hard to swallow that pill. I know guys that were slugging it out years before we were in the desert that certainly would be more qualified to hold that title of creating desert rock. But stoner rock, at the time I heard it, and I’d already been out of Kyuss and Kyuss had disbanded by the time I heard the term, as silly as I thought it was at first, it was really quite authentic. I mean, we were a bunch of guys smoking grass and playing rock music out in the desert. Being credited with stoner rock, I don’t know. It’s flattering to be said that you created anything.
    M.D: If you can, talk about John Garcia, because he’s really been through the wringer with you. What’s it meant to always have that one guy you can lean on?
    BB: My relationship with John goes back to him coming up to my house to watch us rehearse or jam when we were freshmen in high school, John was a little older. He had a driver’s license and a car and he was going to the store to pick up some beer and some smokes and I went with him. When we were in the car, we were listening to The Cult’s “Electric,” that record was still pretty fresh. It had come out the year before. John was singing along to it, and I told him he had a great voice, and we don’t have a singer, we need one, why don’t you sing for the band? He said no, he couldn’t even think of that, he had never pictured singing in a band, but I knew he had a great voice. Eventually he did it, the rest is history. John and I have always had a very close bond. We respect each other, respect our differences, love our similarities and respect our space. We have similar moral compasses and I just think he’s a great friend. I couldn’t have asked for a better dude to go through that kind of situation with.
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    It’s been a long, convoluted and indirect career path for Vista Chino co-founder Brant Bjork. Most readers probably associate Bjork’s name with the seminal band Kyuss, but after a long series of bitter fights and court battles, Bjork has started Vista Chino with fellow veteran John Garcia and is on the forward path again. Hoping to ignite a new chapter of his career with his new brand and familiar faces, Bjork sat down for a few minutes to talk about this chapter of his musical life, the past litigation and what desert rock means to him. Read on!

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              Album Review: Vista Chino - "Peace"        

    By this point, the saga of Kyuss has been fairly well reported. To tell the story fully would require a documentary film of appreciable length, a flowchart with Cliffs Notes and a very long afternoon. What began simply as the band that invented and molded desert metal became a long and drama-ragged tale of music and litigation.

    The upshot is this: out of the ashes of short-lived revival Kyuss Lives! comes Vista Chino, spiritual successor to the original Kyuss and composed of that band’s co-founding members Brant Bjork, John Garcia and occasionally the enigmatic Nick Oliveri.

    Even without the accompanying press release and annotated history, it’s pretty easy to determine that Vista Chino is at least related to Kyuss. Their debut record “Peace” is every bit a resuscitation of desert metal as we used to know it. It’s too easy a hole to fall into to say that Vista Chino’s music is ‘dry,’ but that doesn’t mean it’s incorrect to do so. “Peace” as a total work is parched, strung out and physically exhausting to listen to. In a rare twist, I mean all of those things as compliments.

    The magic of the formula is the album’s single-minded pacing. Never given to a sprint and never confused for standing still, “Peace” grinds forward inevitably, one chord at a time. There are feelings of a massive construct being pushed into motion by a straining crew throughout the duration. Even a comparatively fast song like “Dargona Dargona” feels like the ungainly thrashings of a mammoth beast. The atmosphere of “Peace” is both undeniably well executed and idiomatically perfect.

    What keeps the discipline of Vista Chino on track is the establishment of tone at the outset of each cut. There is always a pace car within the thick sound, and it can vary depending on the song. The guitar of “Planets 1 & 2” are the lead for that song, while the humming bass rhythms of “Mas Vino” lead to visions of a smoky underground club in the late forties. This all helps keep the controlled tempo intact from end to end.

    Not altogether different from its cousins doom and stoner, desert metal sacrifices virtuosity in favor of reducing music down to its core elements, making notes that feel more like waves of imposition rather than strokes of a paintbrush. “Peace” is highly accomplished in this regard, producing the gritty power of “Dark and Lovely,” a song that sounds easy to replicate but is still mysteriously difficult to dissect.

    The repetition of the same basic musical style that Kyuss began does raise a small red flag; is it possible that this genre has played itself out? Given the small number of bands making desert metal, the empirical answer may well be no. Yet the listener’s ear subconsciously asks for a little more once “Peace” is over. It may well be time for this brand to evolve and show something new. Nevertheless, these are not questions that Vista Chino is charged with answering, nor should they necessarily be asked to. The market for “Peace,” certain to be considerable, will dictate the genre’s ongoing value. Vista Chino rightfully is concentrating on making music, leaving ancillary considerations for others to ponder.

    Kyuss fans rejoice, Vista Chino has produced an effort worthy of commendation in a genre they have long championed under different names. “Peace” is hypnotic, a swaying tree in a dry breeze, an album that shambles and lumbers but does not stumble. Worth the effort for long time fans or those who have never tasted the genre before.

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              Cleveland-Marshall Names Brent M. Buckley Chair of Board of Visitors        
    Prominent local attorney and alum is managing partner of Buckley King

    Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law is pleased to announce that Brent M. Buckley, managing partner of the law firm of Buckley King, has been appointed chair of the law school’s Board of Visitors.

    In that role, Buckley will serve as a senior advisor to the dean, assisting in developing and implementing the law school’s strategic plan. Buckley previously served as the Board’s vice chair.

    “Brent is one of our most distinguished alumni, and has built his practice into one of the best law firms in Ohio,” says Lee Fisher, dean of C|M|LAW. “I look forward to working with him to further enhance the reputation and quality of C|M|LAW, for the benefit of our students and the community as a whole.”

    Buckley is the managing partner of Buckley and King, a firm he started in 1984. He is nationally recognized for excellence in both corporate law and commercial litigation, including being named among the prestigious "Legal Who's Who" as one of the nation's top attorneys for high-stakes litigation. In addition to his service with C|M|LAW, Buckley is vice chair of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Institute of Music and vice chair of the Board of Directors for the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.

    The C|M|LAW Board of Visitors comprises more than 70 attorneys, judges, business and community leaders from across the nation who work together to advance the 120-year-old law school, its national influence and its innovative research and education initiatives.

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              Trump’s Legal Team Is No Match for Mueller’s        

    Trump’s Legal Team Is No Match for Mueller’sThe president could learn from Bill and Hillary Clinton’s years of litigation.



              Comment on A Dangerous Idea by Christina        
    Interesting! One of the earliest critiques I received (from experienced litigators on an opening statement I was rehearsing) was not to write it out word-for-word, but to speak more naturally. It's advice that I am glad I never took. I need to write it out, word-for-word, memorize it, and THEN wing it. Only then do I feel comfortable and confident enough to sound natural. Juries too often mistake nervousness for signs of lying. I think you're right that the words need to be the witnesses words, but they need to be practiced, as well.
              Co-op’s Indelible Mark        

    Paul Gavin, Ed’72, has never stopped telling stories about his three co-ops as a science educator at Boston’s Museum of Science. Take the one about the seven-legged frog. The mutant amphibian came to Gavin in a shoebox, a gift to the museum’s Live Animal Care Center from a woman and her young son. No sooner had Gavin cracked open the box than the creature leaped out—only to be snared in midair by a resident alligator. When his laughter subsides, Gavin, who majored in secondary education, turns serious. “Co-op taught me to speak before hundreds of people, put complex ideas in simple terms, and solve problems,” he says. One such problem involved coaxing an anaconda down from the rafters while calming an audience. Co-op earned Gavin the School of Education’s “Co-op Student of the Year” award and a con­tract to teach math and science in Australia. It also inspired him to take risks. After earning a law degree, he founded a firm specializing in divorce litigation and mediation, and became one of the top 1 percent of trial lawyers in the country. Last fall, Gavin pledged $300,000 to co-op through his estate plan. His gift will launch the Gavin Fam­ily Endowed Co-op Fund to support undergraduates in co-ops that are underpaying yet empowering. The fund will come as a surprise to his brothers, all Northeastern alumni. John, E’70, William, E’76, and Philip, LA’82, enjoy successful careers in telecommunications, precision manufacturing, and publishing, respectively—thanks, of course, to co-op. While on co-op as a science educator at Boston's Museum of Science, Paul Gavin (near right) explains the mysteries of electricity to a visiting class of schoolchildren.       
              Mom In Indiana Sues Teacher And Principal For Making Her Son Recites Pledge of Allegiance        

    One Indiana mom,Jamie Porter is not happy with the Elementary teacher and principal of his son's school after they allegedly forced the boy to recite the pledge of Allegiance.

    Porter said that the teacher removed her boy from class when he refused to recite the pledge in March, and according to a lawsuit by the ACLU, the boy decided not to recite the pledge because he was protesting the government.

                       

    The lawsuit stated;

    He was doing it to protest the government of the United States, as it was racist, greedy and does not care about people.

    Kelly McFarland, the teacher of the boy after hearing the reasons for the boy's behaviour took him to Principal Mary Beth Harris office, and 20 Minutes later was asked to go back to class, but the principal did not stop there after he went back to the boy before the end of the day, and took him out of the class to"practice" how to recite the pledge of allegiance.

    The lawsuit reads that the student "was extremely upset at this treatment by his teacher and the principal as he was made to feel that he had done something terribly wrong and was in trouble." And Porter believes forcing her son to recite the pledge is infringing on her son's First Amendment rights. 

    Porter said they are seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the incident.

    A spokesperson for the school district responding to the issue said "We are currently reviewing the complaint with our legal counsel and have been advised not to comment on pending litigation." 

     

    Categories:


              La Lumaca – storia di un litigio        

    Teatrulla presenta a Moncalieri il nuovissimo spettacolo La Lumaca ovvero storia di un […]

    L'articolo La Lumaca – storia di un litigio proviene da Teatrulla.


              Technical Trainer/Help Desk Technician        
    CA-Century City, Katten is a firm of first choice for clients seeking sophisticated, high-value legal services in the United States and abroad. Our nationally recognized practices include corporate, financial services, litigation, real estate, environmental, commercial finance, insolvency and restructuring, intellectual property, and trusts and estates. Our more than 650 attorneys serve public and private companie
              Dossier Tapie : l’ordre d’un arbitrage venait de l’Elysée, selon Stéphane Richard        
    TF1 News – Olivier Levard le04 juin 2013 Crédit Lyonnais par un arbitrage est venu de Claude Guéant lui-même, déclare l’ancien directeur de cabinet de Christine Lagarde. L’ordre de régler le litige entre Bernard Tapie et le Crédit Lyonnais par … Lire la suite
              Yes, but what do you DO?        
    “I’m an attorney.  More specifically, I’m a litigator.  Even more specifically, I’m a products defense attorney.”  Great – that’s the type of law that you practice, but what do you DO? The general type of law that you practice is … Continue reading
              Sandoz Ordered To Pay $38.1M To Mississippi For Inflating Wholesale Drug Prices        
    RANKIN, Miss. - A Mississippi state chancery judge on Sept. 2 ordered generic drug manufacturer Sandoz Inc. to pay $38.1 million in compensatory damages, civil penalties and punitive damages for causing the state Medicaid program to overpay for prescription drugs by falsely reporting drug prices (In the Matter of: Mississippi Medicaid Pharmaceutical Average Wholesale Price Litigation, Master Docket No. 65586-65632, 66312, 66313, 66314, State of Mississippi v. Sandoz, Inc., No. 65622, Miss. Chanc., Rankin Co., 10th Chancery Div.). Full story on lexis.com
              Judge In Fosamax MDL Trial Dismisses Claim For Punitive Damages        
    NEW YORK - The fourth bellwether trial in the Fosamax multidistrict litigation will be limited to a claim of design defect after the presiding New York federal judge on Aug. 30 granted summary judgment on the plaintiff's claims of failure to warn, fraudulent concealment and concealment, breach of warranty and punitive damages (In Re: Fosamax Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1789, No. 06-md-1789, Linda Secrest v. Merck & Co., Inc., No. 06-1789, S.D. N.Y.). Full story on lexis.com
              Conflict Resolution website        

    Most of my blogging deals with alternative dispute resolution, including alternative ways to practice litigation. Sometimes I re-print those posts here, but usually they remain on a separate site, called Conflict Resolution, which can be found at mediate-la.com . I’m pleased to announce that my main blogging site has now been re-modeled and moved to a...

    Read More

    The post Conflict Resolution website appeared first on Law Offices of Joseph C. Markowitz.


              Conflict resolution, not litigation        

    I prefer to describe my practice as “conflict resolution” rather than “litigation.” It’s not because I have any objections to filing or defending lawsuits, and I am not at all adverse to taking cases to trial. But “litigation” connotes a lot of activity in between that is not only wasteful, but actually counter-productive to the...

    Read More

    The post Conflict resolution, not litigation appeared first on Law Offices of Joseph C. Markowitz.


              Meet and Confer        

    For those who still think that litigation must always be conducted in an adversarial manner–that litigants must oppose anything suggested by the other side, and bring every dispute before the court for resolution–consider that the courts are telling you otherwise. It’s not just that the courts routinely encourage settlement, and discourage trials; it’s also that...

    Read More

    The post Meet and Confer appeared first on Law Offices of Joseph C. Markowitz.


              $2.47bn at stake in US case: Shell/Exxon v Nigerian National Petroleum Corp        
    By John Donovan Provided below are links to a selection of US court documents I have published online about a dispute being litigated in the US courts involving Shell, Exxon and the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC). A gigantic sum (including interest) of $2.47bn USD is at stake. In an echo of the Esther Kiobel […]
              Support the Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act, H.R. 3220        

    On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act, H.R. 3220, introduced by Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.). The bill would bring necessary reforms to allow taxpayers to resolve tax disputes with the IRS without being forced to litigate in court which is inefficient, expensive, and time consuming for taxpayers, the IRS, and the courts.

    Conservatives have long called for an overhaul of the IRS and IRS practices. Now, with an administration that believes in reigning in government bureaucracy, there’s a great chance to end inefficient IRS actions.

    The Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act would establish the legal right to bring tax disputes, to the IRS Office of Appeals before being forced to litigate in tax court. It would also limit the IRS power to issue a “designated summons” to unilaterally suspend the time for conducting an audit unless the IRS proves to a court that a taxpayer was uncooperative.

    Lastly, the bill would ban the IRS from hiring outside law firms for conducting tax audits and taking testimony in a tax audit, a dangerous practice that puts private information in the hands of non-government employees.

    One of FreedomWorks recurrent goals for Congress is to pass common sense tax reform that puts money back in the hands of the people, not government. This goal cannot be achieved unless our tax laws are administered ethically and fairly. This bill is an important step towards allowing taxpayers an opportunity to resolve tax disputes in the IRS Office of Appeals before being forced to litigate in court which is inefficient, expensive, and time-consuming for taxpayers, the IRS, and the court and also a waste of government resources.

    For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act, H.R. 3220.

    Sincerely,

    Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks


              eNL - LSE: Tax Litigation Solicitor        
    Benefits: eNL - LSE: Tax Litigation Solicitor 4+ years pqe, London - Famously passionate, both in the UK and overseas this "can do" global firm have a requirement for ... England, London
              Austen Lloyd Limited: Tax Litigation        
    Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd Limited: TAX LITIGATION - HIGHEST QUALITY COMMERCIAL FIRM - A rare high quality opportunity for a Solicitor with experience in the field of Taxation Litigat... CITY
              Interlink Recruitment Limited: Tax Litigation Solicitor        
    Competitive: Interlink Recruitment Limited: Our client is a litigation powerhouse across multiple sectors.   They are seeking to recruit a bright disputes lawyer to join their contentious tax... London (Central), London (Greater)
              Religion in the Public Schools        

    Millions of dollars are spent on litigation annually over disputes about religion in the public schools. A great many of these lawsuits could be avoided if school officials and parents had a better understanding of the key laws and court decisions governing this area. Fortunately, a book has just been published which can promote such an understanding and help all parties comply with the law and minimize litigation. It is entitled Religion in the Public Schools: A Road Map for Avoiding Lawsuits and Respecting Parents' Legal Rights. The author is Anne Marie Lofaso who teaches in the College of Law at West Virginia University. (1)

    • Religion in the Public Schools deals with all the hot button legal issues in our public schools, including prayer, moments of silence, meditation, and invocations,
    • dress codes,
    • Bible study groups,
    • censorship of student publications,
    • use of school facilities by non-curricular and non-school groups,
    • alternatives to evolution such as creation science and intelligent design,
    • courses on religious scriptures or world religions,
    • requests to accommodate religious holidays and religious dietary practices, and
    • the right of students to opt-out of material in classes to which they or their parents object, among others.

    Let's focus here on just one of these, prayer in the public schools. Professor Lofaso points out that decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts place strict limits on prayer in school because of the Establishment Clause in the U.S. Constitution which prohibits government entities from endorsing or promoting religion. She writes:Under Supreme Court decisional law, it is unconstitutional for public school officials to write prayers for recitation by students, select prayers for recitation by students, start each day with a reading from the Bible, set aside moments for silent prayer or meditation if the purpose of such a moment is clearly to foster prayer, invite outside clergy to graduation to give a prayer or an invocation, or develop a selection process for students to vote on which students may give a prayer...before high school football games over the school's public address system. (2)Even prayer at school board meetings is unconstitutional. (3) Does any prayer on school property pass constitutional muster? Yes! An individual student may pray on his or her own at any time "before, during, or after the school day." (4) Further, prayer which is initiated by students and which is voluntary, such as early morning prayer meetings around a flagpole or a pre-game prayer, is permissible provided that school officials, including coaches, do not promote or lead it. (5)

    Professor Lofaso's book should be required reading for future public school administrators and teachers who are matriculating in the nation's colleges of education. It should also be read and kept for reference by superintendents, principals, members of boards of education, attorneys who practice public school law, teachers, and parents. It is thorough, accessible, clear, and extensively documented. Indeed, Religion in the Public Schools is a model of discipline-related public service for which Anne Marie Lofaso deserves the gratitude of everyone with an interest in public education.


    1. 2009, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. ISBN 978-0-615-31001-5.
    2. Pages 26-27.
    3. Page 33.
    4. Pages 37-38.
    5. Page 38. "Where the conduct is genuinely student-initiated activity and not fostered or supported by public school staff, that conduct is constitutionally permissible." (Page 37) At the same time, though, there is no consensus among the courts whether teachers and other school representatives may legally participate in such student-initiated prayer meetings. See pages 38-39.

    © 2009 Tom Shipka


              163: The End of Medium-Format?        
    People magazine angers photographers, the Adams Trust litigates and Canon ups the ante with an 120 megapixel sensor.
              If Donald Trump Implements His Proposed Policies, We’ll See Him in Court        

    If Donald Trump Implements His Proposed Policies, We’ll See Him in Court

    https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/if-donald-trump-implements-his-proposed-policies-well-see-him-court

    By: Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director
    Date: 2016-11-09

    This morning, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States, and the ACLU has a message for him.

    President-elect Trump, as you assume the nation’s highest office, we urge you to reconsider and change course on certain campaign promises you have made. These include your plan to amass a deportation force to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants; ban the entry of Muslims into our country and aggressively surveil them; punish women for accessing abortion; reauthorize waterboarding and other forms of torture; and change our nation’s libel laws and restrict freedom of expression.

    It's time to fight

    These proposals are not simply un-American and wrong-headed, they are unlawful and unconstitutional. They violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and 14th Amendments. If you do not reverse course and instead endeavor to make these campaign promises a reality, you will have to contend with the full firepower of the ACLU at every step. Our staff of litigators and activists in every state, thousands of volunteers and millions of card-carrying members and supporters are ready to fight against any encroachment on our cherished freedoms and rights.

    One thing is certain: We will be eternally vigilant every single day of your presidency. And when you leave the Oval Office, we will do the same with your successor as we have done throughout our nearly 100 years of existence. The Constitution and the rule of law are stronger than any one person, and we will see to that. We will never waver.

    Read our Constitutional analysis of the public statements and policy proposals of Donald Trump



    The article is reproduced in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
              amori e neuroni        
    il letto sembra enorme.

    sul soffitto non accade nulla, come al solito, anche se lo sguardo corre eternamente sulla stessa pista. mi sembra di non conoscerlo affatto.

    musica spenta, luce spenta
    solo il respiro di lei, che attende che il mio male passi
    una parola sarebbe il segnale, forse
    cambia posizione spesso, dev'essere scomoda
    la vedo, non è che non la veda, come se gli occhi avessero una coda, ma resto inesorabilmente immobile
    la prima frase arriva, forse non sto dicendo nulla
    tra una frase e l'altra, sempre il suo respiro

    si intravvedono appena le tende muoversi nella brezza serale di un giugno insolitamente fresco.
    alle 22:23, guardo l'orologio per conferma, ma sono sicuro, comincia la commedia inesorabile dei vicini, in replica ogni sera. la loro tagliente e ostinata ottusità manda in frantumi ogni pensiero.
    la moglie apre il portone, dopo pochi istanti arriva l'auto del marito, chiudono portone e garage, e iniziano a litigare

    la mia ultima parola non è mai arrivata, so di essere stanco.
              Dickinson to leave bench.         
    Governor Phil Bryant issued the following statement.


    Dr. David A. Chandler will retire as commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services on Sept. 15.

    Gov. Phil Bryant announced today the appointment of Chandler's successor, Mississippi Supreme Court Presiding Justice Jess H. Dickinson. Dickinson's appointment will be effective Sept. 18.

    Chandler, a former state Supreme Court justice, has held his current post since December 2015. Under his leadership, CPS became a stand-alone agency dedicated to serving Mississippi's foster children.

    "Dr. Chandler has done a remarkable job leading Child Protection Services," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "He has dedicated himself to improving the lives of our most vulnerable children. Our foster care system has made significant progress under his direction, and I wish him the best upon his well-deserved retirement."

    Earlier this year, Chandler led negotiations with plaintiffs in the Olivia Y litigation that resulted in CPS being removed from oversight by a federal court monitor. In May, Chandler received the Warren and Mary Alice Babineaux Award, which honors individuals and organizations that have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure children experience the love and stability that come with a permanent foster family.

    "Governor Bryant gave me an opportunity to serve the citizens of our state in the most meaningful way possible - working to secure the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable children," Chandler said. "I now ask Governor Bryant to allow me to step aside from my official role as Commissioner, but remain committed to helping Mississippi's struggling families cope with their daily challenges."

    Dickinson has served on the state Supreme Court since January 2004, representing District 2, Place 1. Prior to that, he was a Forrest County Circuit Court Judge.

    "I am confident Justice Dickinson will build on the progress made at CPS," Gov. Bryant said. "He has proven himself a compassionate and capable jurist, and that experience will serve him well in his new position. I am delighted he has accepted this appointment. Providing our foster children the care and treatment they deserve will remain my administration's top priority the rest of my term."

    His first year on the Supreme Court, Dickinson was awarded the Chief Justice Award for his work to advance the administration of justice. He received the award again in 2010 for his efforts to improve access to justice for the poor in Mississippi. In 2009, the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project awarded Dickinson its Pro Bono Pioneer Award.

    "I am committed to lead the Department to comply with all the benchmarks and requirements associated with the Olivia Y litigation, but that is not my ultimate end," Dickinson said. "Rather, I am determined to use every available resource to achieve our shared goal: making Mississippi a place where not one single abused or neglected child is overlooked, forgotten or unserved."

    Dickinson has served on the adjunct faculty of William Carey College and Mississippi College School of Law, whose students elected him Adjunct Professor of the Year in 2009. He served two terms on both the Ethics and Professionalism Committee of the Mississippi Bar Association. Dickinson also serves as the Mississippi Supreme Court's liaison to organizations providing legal services to the poor, and is a charter member of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission.


    Sent from my BlackBerry Priv

              By: Marc J. Randazza        
    No, you're my groupies! (Just kidding) And anon is right... I *am* a little biased. My bias does come from personally observing the evidence and facts, but it is true that the Ciolli case in E.D. Pa. is just an unanswered complaint at this time. Nevertheless, there has not been "court ordered anonymity." The "two does" filed as "Doe I" and "Doe II." Droney had no part in that, and as of yet, no defendant has challenged it. My guess is that Droney would remove the anonymity if asked to. All a defendant would need to do is use the memorandum of law that defeated AK47's request and add in a little discussion of how even the Does attorneys didn't know which Doe was which through two revisions of their complaint. And finally, nobody has "outed" the Does. Everyone knew who they were. Their quest for "privacy" is belied by their rush to the spotlight. Just as the pseudonymous defendants in their action should be identified and forced to answer for their words, the Does should be required to answer for their bad faith litigation. "You break it, you buy it" applies to everyone.
              By: 12XU        
    I have the utmost sympathy for "the does." However, I also deeply sympathize with Mr. Cioli. He did nothing tortious, nothing even remotely immoral to either of the does, yet they name him as a defendant, refuse to serve him, refuse to negotiate with him or his attorney, and allegedly offer to dismiss him if Mr. Cohen (an unrelated third party, not named in the litigation) meets their demands. I therefore hardly think it's at all fair or accurate to accuse Mr. Cioli of attempting to name and shame the does.
              By: zbk        
    Careful, I think you misconstrue Mr. Randazza's comments. I don't think he is fully advocating that we go out and do anything we can to publicly shame the girls. However, he is implying that this type of shaming is a comeuppance that they should've expected when filing lawsuits against one of the original D's in teh Autoadmit litigation (namely the one they summarily dropped after publicly shaming him).
              Silent NYC Animation on Turner Classic Movies!        


    Tune in to Turner Classic Movies on the evening of 
    Sunday, October 21, 2012

    The news has been circulating for some time, but it's with great pride that I finally report here that Turner Classic Movies will be broadcasting some rare, early New York Animation from the collection of yours truly. It's a rather rare event, and one that's wholly exciting: early, rare, and obscure animation is being spotlighted on a major television channel. Turner Classic Movies is one of the finest outlets for this type of material, as it's the most highly-regarded source for classic and early film on television.

    Meeting and talking with TCM staff led to the concept of their showcasing some items from my early animation collection. With the help of close friend and research colleague David Gerstein, I put together a selection of films that will be outlined below. Gerstein was also responsible for research and overseeing musical scores, which were beautifully executed by Robert Israel and Ben Model. It's incredible how well a new musical score can enhance the experience of viewing a silent cartoon.

    Jerry Beck (r) on the TCM set with host Robert Osborne (l)
    In a very appropriate turn of events, though, TCM staff connected with Jerry Beck--practically a celebrity in the field of animation history research--who consulted with them to turn this broadcast concept into an entire evening of animation showcases. As you'll find in Jerry's introductory posting here, other highlights of the evening will be Max Fleischer's landmark feature films, as well as a selection of UPA cartoons topped off with the broadcast of Lotte Reiniger's historic, early silent animated feature The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926).

    Now, for the details Cartoons on Film blog readers want to read...some notes on the cartoons showcased as part of the New York Animation hour. Like the other showcases for the evening's broadcast, this segment is prefaced with a brief conversation between TCM host Robert Osborne and Jerry Beck, who reappear to introduce different sections of the show.

    Please see the bottom of this post for a special message!

    Silent Era Animation from the collection of Tom Stathes at 12 midnight Eastern/9pm Pacific

    All films have been digitally remastered, in HD, from 16mm film prints. Film scans and restoration by Process Blue. Further post production, editing and restoration carried out by Steve Stanchfield of Thunderbean Animation; to you I am extremely grateful.  

    The Farmerette
    The program begins with The Farmerette (1932).  Produced by the Van Beuren Studios as part of the Aesop's Fables series, The Farmerette was chosen as the header for this program as a symbol for familiarity; the type of early black and white cartoon most would associate with the early New York animation studios. The storyline is simple: a dismayed farmer calls in a 'Farmerette' to perk up the depressed, despondent animals on his farm who refuse to work. The Farmerette, upon arrival, gets the animals' attention quickly--she sings, dances, and is a parody (or more likely, a blatant copy) of then animation sex symbol Betty Boop. The animation is sometimes crude, the drawings are sometimes laughable--as is the case for much Van Beuren product, but the cartoon is funny as hell and the music is catchy, to say the least. Although the subject matter deals with 'down home' farm and animal troubles, The Farmerette is a prime example of the New York animation output of the early 1930s, and it serves as a segue to go back in time to the earliest days of animation production in this city.

    From the beginning...

    Lightning Sketches
    Lightning Sketches (1907). Produced by J. Stuart Blackton at Vitagraph Studios. This very short film is one of the earliest, and few, surviving examples of a filmed 'chalk talk.' Early studios like Edison had filmed extremely brief clips of artists, such as Flushing, Queens resident R. F. Outcalt of Buster Brown fame sketching on a drawing board. In a similar but more notable case, Blackton took a popular vaudeville act of the time, the chalk talk, in which an artist draws humorous sketches for the audience, and adapted it for the screen. By using basic editing-in-camera techniques, Blackton produced crude, novel animated effects concerning the subjects he has drawn, such as a caricature of a man smoking or a seltzer bottle spritzing its contents into a glass of wine. Lightning Sketches, although extant for some time, has been a rarely-seen Blackton entry post-dating his famous and oft-seen Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906). Music by Robert Israel.

    The Haunted Hotel
    The Haunted Hotel (1907). Produced by J. Stuart Blackton and Vitagraph Studios. The Haunted Hotel is one of several early films, produced by various studios in America and abroad, that depicted the then-popular vaudeville act of the same title. A wanderer in the night, played by William V. Ranous, finds himself in a haunted hotel. Mysterious figures appear and objects in the room move on their own; on stage this was achieved using thin wires, but again basic editing was used for the illusion of things moving or disappearing in this early film. A mostly live-action film, this Vitagraph novelty is especially notable for its extensive stop-motion animation sequence. A loaf of bread is cut by a knife, a drink is poured, all on their own. A toy clown--clearly from the Humpty Dumpty Circus, a popular toy set of the early 20th century--walks around the table without any aid and smokes a pipe. Ranous' character, continuously flabbergasted throughout the film, suffers a most unfortunate fate at the end of this surreal early trick film and stop-motion animation gem. Music by Robert Israel. Special Thanks to the Library of Congress.
    The Artist’s Dream

    The Artist's Dream (1913). Produced by J.R. Bray. Proudly presented by yours truly as well as the Bray Animation Project, this film was Bray's first successful animation project. For a few years prior to 1913, Bray had attempted animating his wildly popular Little Johnny and the Teddy Bears comic strip. He later reminisced, albeit glumly, that it would take far too much time and effort to make an animated cartoon--without shortcut techniques--especially considering that there were backgrounds and more than just one character to reproduce in each frame. By 1913, Bray had discovered (and patented) a process by which backgrounds could be printed and only the areas of the frame or character(s) that needed to move in a particular frame could be painted or drawn on top of that sheet, accordingly. This process was likely 'adopted' from Winsor McCay by Bray after a visit to McCay's studio, and the infamously litigious Bray later took legal recourse against McCay who did not take out a license on Bray's patent. In this novelty film, featuring live-action sequences intercut with animated segments, Bray plays an artist who draws a dachshund on his easel. Shocked, upon returning to the easel various times after the dog has either moved around or stolen sausages placed above a cupboard (during the animation sequences), Bray summons a friend to take a look at the situation. In the final animated segment, the dog explodes after eating more sausages. It turns out this was all a dream--at the end of the film, Bray is awoken by his actual wife, Margaret, who thinks he should quit napping and get back to work. The Artist's Dream was a highly exciting offer to Pathe at the time, who did well with the film, and signed Bray on to produce many more animated cartoons at a time when there was no such product regularly offered in theaters. Dream was the beginning of an animation empire, and more about its (and Bray's) significance can be found at the Bray Animation Project website. In the 1940s or 50s, Bray gave the film an alternate title; The Dachshund and the Sausages, and replaced all of its main and inter-titles. New close-up shots of the dish containing sausages were also added to aid continuity in viewing an already aged and problematic print. These changes are present in this newly remastered version, as no original version of the film has surfaced to date. Music by Robert Israel. Special Thanks to Cinematheque Quebecoise.

    Pioneers

    Down on the Phoney Farm
    Down on the Phoney Farm (1915) Produced by Paul Terry. Phoney Farm is a relatively new and highly significant discovery made within the last two years. It had been assumed that none of Terry's earliest animated works survived, at least none of the cartoons predating his Farmer Al Falfa series produced at Bray Studios (which now survives almost in its entirety). The find occurred when David Gerstein and I were viewing a reel of unidentified film clips preserved at the Library of Congress. After some pondering, initial excitement and then checking against period reviews, it became obvious that the primitive fragment of a crude farmer character we were watching was indeed Terry's second film, Down on the Phoney Farm. I was unaware that Farmer Al had been featured in an animated cartoon prior to the Bray series, so this was indeed an exciting find. Farm was the second of two cartoons distributed by Thanhouser in 1915, after an unsuccessful earlier attempt that Terry made to distribute his pilot works. What is presented here seems to be a fragment, but may be close to complete. Farmer Al waters the ground and out of it grows a frothy mug of beer; shortly thereafter he suggests that his cow drink a cocktail. Al is then chased around the farm, and bows at the end after outsmarting his drunken farm animal friend. The film is both primitive and fascinating; one very intriguing technique used is that a new scene is fully “drawn” from scratch, but without showing an artist’s hand, as was common in certain silent cartoon series. This very historically significant cartoon was the debut of a character whose appearances spanned more than forty years; throughout several hundred cartoons in the silent and early sound period, as well as in color cartoons of the 1940s and new television spots in the 1950s. Farmer Alfalfa is often remembered by some baby boomers as “Farmer Gray,” an alternate character name given by some TV kid show hosts in the 1950s who were showing the silent Aesop’s Fables cartoons as part of their programming. Music by Robert Israel. Special Thanks to the Library of Congress.

    Bobby Bumps Starts for School
    Bobby Bumps Starts for School (1917) Directed by Earl Hurd and produced by Bray Studios. In animation history, the Bobby Bumps series is of utmost importance. Bumps was the creation of innovator Earl Hurd, who developed the cel system. The series was actually adapted from an earlier comic strip of Hurd’s, entitled Brick Bodkins’ Pa. Some have described Bobby as the Bart Simpson of the silent cartoon era; and this is a fairly true assessment. The youngster was seemingly always in some kind of trouble; a dreamer and creative type who usually annoyed the family (or their maid Goldie) upon executing various schemes or adventures with his dog Fido. In Starts for School, Bobby would very much rather be playing baseball with Fido than concentrate on his history lesson at school. So, to try and prolong recess, he (and Fido) go up into the bell tower and prevent the bell from being rung by physically hanging inside of it. Mayhem ensues, the bell tower collapses onto his teacher (who has fallen off of the roof!), and the finale of the film finds Bobby and Fido bringing flowers to the teacher’s hospital room. For more information on Bobby Bumps, visit the Bray Animation Project page dedicated to the series. The print presented is a version with television-era main and end titles, circa 1950. Music composed and performed by Ben Model.

    Trip to Mars
    Trip to Mars (1924) Directed by Dave Fleischer and produced by Max Fleischer. An entry in the Out of the Inkwell series, Trip to Mars finds Max sending Ko-Ko the clown up to Mars...against his own will, of course! Out of the Inkwell and its star clown character was, like Bobby Bumps, an immensely significant fixture in the silent-era animation scene. Max Fleischer, an inventor and technical artist, got his start at Bray animating technical and educational films dealing with World War I technology subjects as well as general science films, such as The Electric Bell and Eclipse of the Sun. As far as his early work is concerned, however, Fleischer is best remembered for patenting the rotoscope animation technique, and, as the fable goes, tracing film footage of his brother Dave who was a clown at Coney Island, to produce a new form of animated films. Out of the Inkwell cartoons were first released as part of the Goldwyn-Bray Magazine in the late 1910s and the series eventually led to the Fleischer brothers starting their own studio. The rest of what the Fleischer studio accomplished later in the sound-era--Betty Boop, Popeye, Color Classic, Superman, Gulliver’s Travels--is history. Special thanks to Mark Kausler for providing a circa 1930 reissue soundtrack for this film.

    Characters

    Fireman Save My Child
    Fireman Save My Child (1919) Produced by Bud Fisher, possibly directed by Charles Bowers. In this early Fox release, Mutt and Jeff are firemen. As one would expect, the wildly famous comic strip characters of the day get into quite jam as firefighters; Mutt spends some time hanging off a building. Jeff is wholly contented with frying some eggs over by the horse-drawn fire truck, and feeding the horse too, of course...while everyone else is consumed by the mayhem. At least two or three hundred Mutt and Jeff cartoons were produced in the silent-era; though most of the pre-1925-1926 Dick Huemer-era titles remaining elusive today. Some have resurfaced in France; though it is difficult to properly identify French prints as no copyright synopses exist (the series was seemingly not copyrighted), release titles given were often vague, and most of these particular cartoons were not reviewed by trade papers of the time. This cartoon was sourced from a 1930s French Kodascope print, with new main, end, and intertitles recreated by David Gerstein. Music by Robert Israel.

    The Bomb Idea
    The Bomb Idea (1920) Produced by International Film Service for Bray Studios. Likely animated by Vernon Stallings and/or Walter Lantz. The Bomb Idea is an entry in the Jerry on the Job series, started first at International Film Service and then produced for and released by Bray Studios in 1919 thru 1922. The plot is simple: Jerry, Mr. Givney, and other locals become worried when, after reading a newspaper article about the threat of Bolshevism, a strange man arrives at the New Monia station carrying what appears to be a bomb. As it turns out, the man is a “Champion Bowler” and is wandering around, practicing his bowling skills, but he is scared away after the New Monia clan begin fighting in a dust cloud out of primal fear of this strange, possibly dangerous man. This is one of many examples of Bray cartoons preserved by Keystone Manufacturing Corporation’s 16mm prints produced for home use in the 1940s, and it is presented with its Keystone introduction title accordingly. Music composed and performed by Ben Model.

    Scents and Nonsense
    Scents and Nonsense (1926) Directed by Bill Nolan and animated by Jack King. As the legend goes, it is purported that in 1948 or thereabouts, one Margaret J. Winkler made a very unfortunate decision. Winkler was a pioneer, perhaps the first female film distributor, who was very active in the 1920s and handled series Out of the Inkwell, Felix the Cat, Disney’s Alice Comedies, and Krazy Kat at one point or another. Unlike a couple of her contemporaries, Winkler did not have the foresight to understand that her old film stock would have value as time slot filler material in the burgeoning new medium of television. Winkler ordered her film negatives destroyed so she could finally eliminate storage bills, and an entire series of silent Krazy Kat cartoons were part of the stock that was burned. As such, most of these cartoons have been difficult or completely impossible to see today, though some have survived in rare, original nitrate prints or very obscure 16mm prints made for home use. Scents and Nonsense concerns Krazy’s scheme to make money by selling furs of captured animals to a Jewish furrier, but his plan doesn’t go so well when he tries to sell a raccoon and then a pig to the gent. Music by Robert Israel. Special Thanks to the Library of Congress.

    Springtime
    Springtime (1923) Produced by Paul Terry. Earlier in the program, we showcased a very rare and significant Terry cartoon, one of his first and the debut of Farmer Alfalfa. The program concludes with a more familiar Farmer Al; that of his 1920s incarnation as part of the Aesop’s Fables series. In this very funny entry, Farmer Al is dismayed that he can’t get the attention of a couple women at the beach. When the women ogle at a bow-legged man and then a “sun-burnt” gentleman, Al sets out to destroy himself with the aid of a cat sidekick in hopes of mimicking the other men so that he, too, could hopefully catch a stare from the ladies. The plan fails, of course, but the cartoon doesn’t end before Al winds up roasting on a spit and gets chased by a lovesick monkey who confuses Al for a long-lost mate. The print presented was originally part of the Kodascope Film Library, an early film rental service and is presented with its 16mm rental titles. Music by Robert Israel.

    It’s time for that special message I mentioned earlier!

    If you support seeing this kind of material on television, please make your concerns known. Turner Classic Movies relies heavily on viewer feedback and sentiments expressed on their online forums. If you enjoyed this broadcast and want to see more, definitely say so here. Jerry Beck also strongly urges you to share your thoughts with TCM. I thank you kindly for your support!

    For those of you who caught this broadcast, I hope you enjoyed it thoroughly and were able to appreciate the lovely high-def transfers, restoration work, and brilliant new music scores. Any of you who have questions or concerns about these early cartoons or my work in collecting, archiving and sharing them, can definitely contact me at cartoonsonfilm (at) gmail (dot) com.

    -Tom Stathes
              Legislation to stop huge legal fee payments to environmental litigation factories        
    Two senators propose legislation to stop huge legal fee payments to litigious environmental groups like the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians. Just as important would be for people to stop giving these organizations donations. They aren’t helping the environment in any way, and are probably doing it harm by creating anger and distrust against environmental groups.
              Avoiding regulatory pitfalls: Lessons learned from litigation        


    © Shutterstock
    Special to Philanthropy Journal
    Hugh P. Quinn, Esq. and Jack L. White, Esq.
    Far too often, well-intentioned and well-managed nonprofit organizations find themselves under intense scrutiny and unnecessary litigation brought on by various regulatory authorities. While these organizations often have experienced advisors, learned counsel and competent accountants, there are certain guidelines that are useful in their endeavors to avoid needless legal hassles.
    Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) is a charitable organization that for more than 42 years has helped in the recovery of wounded, sick and disabled American veterans. Through a settlement permitting HHV to continue helping veterans reclaim their lives, this veterans service organization and its board of directors prevailed in a lawsuit brought by the California attorney general. Based on the experience of HHV’s counsel from Fluet Huber + Hoang PLLC during this investigation and litigation, the following lessons learned will assist charitable organizations in remaining focused on their mission – not needless litigation.
    Lesson #1: Regulatory agencies – not former employees, competitive nonprofits or disgruntled donors – present the greatest risk to your continued viability as a nonprofit organization. Charitable organizations face a wealth of challenges along the path to fulfilling their core purposes. Yet the threat posed by regulatory authorities and their ability to derail progress toward charitable objectives can be quite formidable, indeed life-threatening. Each charitable organization must be deliberate in the actions it takes to avoid excessive scrutiny from regulatory agencies.
    Lesson #2: A charitable organization’s leadership will be held responsible for the information the charity presents to the public, whether on tax information returns, solicitation materials, public pronouncements or otherwise. A charitable organization’s donor base benefits from a mosaic of regulations and accounting principles that ensure accuracy in information provided. Take measures to ensure that all information presented publicly on behalf of the organization is accurate and not reasonably subject to ambiguity.
    Lesson #3: Relying on information presented to the board by officers and consultants of the organization can present risk for violation of your duties as a director, regardless of your volunteer status. Directors of nonprofits often serve on a voluntary basis and rely heavily (and appropriately) on information provided by officers and other advisors in reaching significant decisions regarding a charity’s conduct. Most state statutes recognize this reality of nonprofit governance; however, this recognition does not absolve nonprofit directors of their fiduciary obligations. While the ordinary nonprofit director should not be required to understand the intricacies of sophisticated accounting pronouncements, regulatory authorities will indeed require them to perform their fiduciary duties. Trust but verify the information presented to you by accountants, attorneys, officers and consultants; perform your due diligence.
    Lesson #4: Drafting detailed meeting minutes of board meetings might seem like a good idea, but it can present issues when closely examined for evidence of breach of duties as a board. Opinions differ as to the level of precision that should be included in meeting minutes. Insufficient detail may sacrifice the benefit of specificity with respect to deliberation and the rationale for various collaborative actions. Excessive detail sacrifices the benefit of collective resolve, providing a trail of breadcrumbs leading inadvertently to points of contention that might have been resolved during deliberations. While neither approach provides absolute cover from litigation, it is our opinion that less is more with respect to meeting minutes. Keep your board meeting minutes focused, with only the essentials included.
    Lesson #5: You can get in trouble for failing to follow protocol found in applicable statutes and your organization’s governing documents. Most states have statutes that define nonprofit directors’ fiduciary duties with reasonable clarity. Most charitable organizations intentionally draft their respective articles of incorporation, bylaws and other internal regulatory documents in a manner that sets forth organizational and individual responsibilities with adequate precision. Knowing what the organization can and cannot do and what the organization’s leaders can and cannot do is an excellent center of gravity for any charitable nonprofit. Where guidelines or proscriptions require adjustment, make the appropriate adjustments. But, follow the rules. Read, understand and follow applicable statues and your governing documents.
    Lesson #6: Sometimes it’s not what you did but rather what you didn’t do as a board member that can present risk for a violation. Many charitable enterprises benefit from leadership comprised of like-minded individuals who share a common philanthropic agenda. Over time, this unity of purpose can inadvertently be transformed into an unwelcome sense of complacency that permits unwelcome acquiescence to practices that belie an organization’s ultimate objectives. Among any charity’s leadership, a willingness to gracefully identify and address potentially problematic practices should be embraced. And leadership should not be afraid to do so. If something doesn’t feel right, take the initiative, and address it.
    As our clients, volunteer directors for HHV, frequently lamented, “No good deed goes unpunished when dealing with state regulators.” Charitable organizations engage in some of the most honorable enterprises imaginable. The honorable nature of philanthropic service, however, does not obviate the need for vigilance in your organization’s governance and regulatory compliance.
    Hugh P. Quinn, Esq. is a partner, and Jack L. White, Esq. is counsel at Fluet Huber + Hoang PLLC, a values-based law firm that serves as advocate, counsel and champion for clients worldwide.

              Skatt eller skräp? / Treasure or rubbish?        






    Det är helt ofattbart så mycket man samlar på sej genom åren, i synnerhet om man har tillgång till skapliga förrådsutrymmen.

    Vi har haft skapliga förrådsutrymmen och är troligtvis dessutom ovanligt välförsedda med samlarinstinkter. Här kastas ingenting i onödan inte, och i synnerhet inte om det haft något med barnen att göra.

    Tack och lov har vi flyttat ett antal gånger genom åren, så en viss utrensning har trots allt skett, på något sätt har vi lyckats byta ner oss för varje flytt just vad det gäller förrådsutrymmen. Det vi har nu är mikroskopiskt, och lådorna har staplats från golv till tak som tegelväggar, i flera led. Vad som gömmer sig i alla dessa lådor är en väl förborgad hemlighet – än så länge! Men att det är övervägande leksaker, barn- och ungdomsböcker och gamla juldekorationer tillverkade på dagis har vi nog en rätt klar bild av.

    Och det är här verkligheten kommit ikapp oss! Det är ju nu allt är sparat till, det är nu våra barns saker ska lämnas över till deras barn. Det är inte vid vår bouppteckning någon gång i en diffus framtid detta ska delas upp, det är nu, helst i går!

    Vi har varit uppe och skrapat lite på ”väggen”, tagit ner någon enstaka låda i taget, till absolut ingen som helst nytta. Men så äntligen kom vi på lösningen: RUT! Det finns ju hur många hemserviceföretag som helst nu som för en högst human summa åtar sej just sådana uppdrag. Och för några dagar sen kom det hit två pigga, starka och raska ungdomar som på en timme tömde hela vinden och snyggt och prydligt staplade upp lådorna i gästrummet. Nu kan vi i lugn och ro gå igenom låda för låda, kasta efterhand och sortera på lämpligt sätt. Tjejgrejer till Poppy, killgrejer får delas i tre lika delar, böcker efter åldersgrupp o.s.v. Däremot tror jag inte någon vill ha de gamla, nu tämligen tilltufsade smällkaramellerna som tillverkades av hushållspappersrullar och crêpe papper på dagis. Så ej heller tror jag våra gamla 70-talsgardiner kommer att efterfrågas i någon högre grad, eller gammalt utrangerat uddaporslin som satts undan – men det var ju trots allt helt, inte kan man kasta sånt?


    It is unbelievable how much you collect over the years, especially if you have access to decent storage spaces.

    We have had decent storage space and are probably unusually well-stocked with collecting instincts. Nothing will be thrown away if not absolutely necessary and especially not if it had anything to do with the kids.

    Thankfully we have moved several times over the years, so a purge has after all taken place now and then. We have managed to get smaller and smaller storage spaces for each move. What we have now are microscopic, and the boxes are stacked from floor to ceiling as brick walls, in several stages. What is hidden in all these cases is a well hidden secret - so far! But I think we have a fairly clear picture of that it mostly is considered by toys, children's books and old Christmas decorations made in kindergarten.

    And this is where reality caught up with us! It's now everything is saved for, it is now our children's things to be handed over to their children. It is not in our inventory at some point in some vague future that will be divided, it is now, preferably yesterday!

    We have been up and scratched at the "wall", taken down a single box at a time, to absolutely no avail. But then finally we got the solution! There are many home services business now that as a most humane sum commits exactly that kind of missions. And some days ago a couple of young and strong men came, in an hour emptied the whole attic and neatly stacked up the boxes in the guest room. Now we can calmly go through the boxes, throw afterwards and sort appropriately. Girl stuff for Poppy, boy stuff may be divided into three equal parts, books by age group, etc. However, I do not think anyone wants the old, now rather disheveled Christmas decorations produced from paper towel rolls and crepe paper in kindergarten. So neither I think our old 70's curtains will be in demand to any great extent, or old odd porcelain set aside - but it was, after all, unbroken, no one can throw that away?










    Men den här bara måste jag visa! Det är min brudklänning, som det nu är 40 år och en månad sen jag använde. Det var min mamma som stickade den. Inte som brudklänning, hon hade börjat på den redan under hösten, men så slumpade det sej så att den blev klar just i tid och passade alldeles utmärkt för ändamålet. Men sen dess har den aldrig blivit använd, stickade klänningar – eller klänningar överhuvudtaget – har väl aldrig varit min melodi. Förstår faktiskt inte varför mamma fick för sej att sticka en till mej. Hon var inte ens någon särskilt flitig eller entusiastisk stickare. Ja, ja, ett av detta livets mysterier.


    But this I just have to show you! It is my wedding dress. It is now 40 years and one month ago I was using it. It was my mother who knitted it. Not as a wedding dress, she had started it already in the autumn, but then it was finished just in time and fitted perfectly for this purpose. But since then it has never been used, knitted dresses - dresses at all - has never been my melody. Really do not understand why my mother decided to make it for me. She was not even a particularly busy or avid knitter. Well, well, one of the mysteries of life.
              What Happens When You Are Facing a Claim for Monetary Damages?        
    Unfortunately, sometimes our clients are faced with tough luck situations where a business deal or loan goes bad and a creditor seeks to collect monies that are allegedly owed.  Erik Bashian, head of the Bashian & Papantoniou litigation department, has successfully represented numerous clients in the settlement of such claims without the need for long and […]
                      

    Man skulle kunna tro att jag glömt bort lösenordet för att komma in på min blogg....men det gick den här gången med! Vet att jag inte är den flitigaste här men det har sina förklaringar såklart. Otroligt mycket jobb och den lilla tid man har över vill jag ha med min familj så därför blir det väldigt sällan några inlägg här. Nu åkte kameran fram iallafall och jag fick äntligen till ett litet snabbt inlägg. Vi jobbar på med reportage, inreder showroom och plåtar katalog. Och så finns jag på instagram också som mariedelice och det är ju så snabbt och enkelt där. Plåta med mobilen och vips med ett litet knapptryck så är bilden upplagd. Smidigt och bra för en som mig.
    Ha det gott och kram
              Comentariu la ProbaÅ£iunea ca un fum de Maghita Foca        
    Catalin poti sa-mi spui ce inseamna conditia bunei reputatii pt admiterea in probatiune? Am dat anul asta examen si am picat la proba eliminatorie vreau sa dau si examenul viitor cand se vor mai scoate posturi dar sunt amenintata de partenerul meu ca daca-l parasesc intenteaza actiune de partaj si adio cu probatiunea mea. Ce parere ai sau ce sfat poti sa-mi dai caci eu stiu ca e o aberatie intrucat partajul nu inseamna infractiune si consilierul de probatiune este si el om ca toti oamenii si are dreptul la partaj, divort sau orice alte litigii civile ca si restul lumii atata timp cat nu se intra in penal.As vrea sa stiu parerea ta.
              European Union        
    They had signed the Protocol of Kyoto, set of means of litigating that stipulated the reduction in 5,2% of the emission of gases greenhouse, in relation to the 1990 levels, between 2008 and 2012. In meanwhile the United States, responsible greaters for the emission of these gases, if had denied to sign it for the impact that it would cause in its economy. In December of the passed year, in Copenhagen, Conference of United Nations occurred 15 on Change of the Climate. Although it has found the same impediments seen in Japan (with the reinforcement of the European Union), what if it saw in the Danish capital raises was it of the emergent countries, between which Brazil, for the adoption of measures emergencies. Moreover, weight names, as United States former-Vice-President and Prize Nobel of the Peace Al Gore and cineasta Canadian James Cameron, are engaged in this fight, what it still confers one weight bigger to the question. New power plants are searched incessantly. In Portugal, the government of Jose Scrates determined, in 2006, that if it searchs more efficient a economic growth from the use of reduction and power plants you renewed of the emission of the .causing gases of the effect greenhouse. In Iceland, of the impronuncivel volcano Eyjafjallajkull, 80% of the energy of the country is renewable, being 80% of this total generated for geothermal plants and 20% of the plants hydroelectric plants, and intention is that, in a well next future, if reach the totality of what it is consumed in the country. In Brazil, our Etanol already supplies 100% of the cars manufactured from 2005 and the Brazilian Biodiesel is the alternative most efficient to the oil diesel extracted of the oil, therefore it is renewable and biodegradvel. Still thus, the exploration of energies you...
              Portland Metro Urban and Rural Reserve Decision Reversed by the Oregon Court of Appeals: Seven Years and Counting        
    Yesterday, after three years of planning, followed by four years of state review and litigation, the Oregon Court of Appeals sent the Portland Metro Urban and Rural Reserve decision back to LCDC, Metro, and the three Metro counties, for another round of planning and local decision making, followed by another round of LCDC review, and... Continue Reading
              Making Paris the leading European Financial Centre post-Brexit        
    Prime Minister and Paris Region officials
    10 July 2017

    Making Paris the leading European Financial Centre post-Brexit

    On 7 July, at the Monnaie de Paris, Edouard Philippe, Prime minister, presented measures to all relevant stakeholders to establish Paris’ Financial Centre as a European financial centre of reference. The aim is to strengthen attractiveness and competitivity in collaboration with local and regional authorities through three watchwords: amplify, simplify, welcome.
     
    In the context of the United Kingdom’s upcoming exit from the European Union, Paris shows great potential for the relocation of financial activities within the continent. With the reshaping of the European financial landscape, Paris is the only financial capital, after London, to provide a complete ecosystem in one place. “France has a unique opportunity to seize the potential of our financial centre, to make Paris the leading European Financial Centre post-Brexit”, declared the Prime minister before Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, Valérie Pécresse, President of the Île-de-France region and Patrick Ollier, President of the métropole du Grand Paris (Grand Paris metropolitan authority).
     
    The goal of all of these actors is to make attractiveness France’s fundamental driving force for growth and financial independence. Though multiple European partners are ready to take on the position, Paris’ Financial Centre has many solid strengths:
    • a complete financial ecosystem for which the quality of regulations and supervision is unanimously recognised on a global level;
    • scientific, legal and financial training courses of the highest quality;
    • a high level of interconnection provided by transport in the Parisian region (Eurostar).
    The Government has plans for new measures, which attest to the city, region and métropole’s common determination to strengthen this attractiveness and make Paris the leading European financial centre.

    Measures to enhance Paris’ attractiveness

    The plan to enhance the attractiveness of Paris’ financial centre rests on three words – amplify, simplify, welcome – which provide the basis for the key measures announced by the Prime minister.
     

    Amplify the policy on competition regarding the cost of labour

    • Abolishment of the increased rate of 20% for the last tranche of payroll tax, to promote the creation of direct and indirect jobs.
    • For some employees in finance (traders or risk takers), exemption of deferred bonuses in the calculation of their severance pay.

    Simplify our legal and fiscal framework, for better legibility

    • Reduction of corporate tax to 25% by 2022, compared with 33.3% today.
    • Reform on capital taxation: the solidarity tax on wealth will be replaced by a wealth tax on real-estate assets tightened around property assets, and a single tax rate of around 30% on savings interest will be implemented.
    • Abolishment of the extension of the financial transaction tax base to intraday operations.
    • Fight against over-transpositions of European economic and financial directives in French law, in order to ensure fairness for all on the single market.
    • Creation of a chamber, within the Court of Appeals of Paris, specialised in the legal handling of international business litigation.

    Welcome those who wish to come and work in France

    • Development of international education facilities, to respond to the challenge of the arrival of new pupils and students to school, particularly through the opening of three international high schools in Île-de-France by 2022.
    • Development of academic pathways with a strong linguistic diversity (binational baccalaureates, international sections, etc.).
    • Strengthen the list of languages available in academic pathways (particularly bilingual facilities) as early as the French 3rd cycle (so from the last two years of primary school), followed by the French 4th cycle (secondary school) and in high school.

    Our Ambition for Paris’ Financial Centre

    Press release - 7 July 2017... [Read more]
    7 July 2017
     
     

              France’s method of working on European issues        
    European and French flags
    15 June 2017

    France’s method of working on European issues

    In a statement to the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Minister for European Affairs presented the method of working adopted by France with regard to Europe.
     
    Negotiations which are vitally important for this country, especially trade and economic negotiations, are taking place at European Union (EU) level. France must take part in all these talks, both with conviction and with method.

    Thorough preparation for the negotiations

    Preparations for the European negotiations are made well in advance. This entails:
     
    • approaching the negotiations in consultation with the various European stakeholders and all of France’s partners;
     
    • treating the consultations held by the institutions before each proposal as key policy drivers for directing European work to best serve France’s objectives and values.
     
    Defining the guidelines for the European negotiations hinges on interministerial work to ensure the coherence of French positions and of France’s action in Europe.
     
    The negotiations are not over once the Member States have reached a position: the European Parliament plays an essential political and democratic role that must be fully taken into account. France’s presence in all European institutions is therefore an ongoing priority.

    Correct transposition of texts adopted in French law

    The correct transposition of adopted texts is a political as well as a legal issue. Transposition that is effectively carried out, within the required time, makes it possible to:
    • show that commonly adopted rules are applied;
    • operate within a stable and predictable legal framework;
    • eliminate the risk of litigation that is detrimental to the country.
    The incorporation of Community provisions in the French legal system must avoid any over- transposition, a factor which leads to an administrative burden for citizens and businesses, as well as to financial expense and mistrust of the EU.
     
    Europe is a structure founded on balance: the Government’s action must allow France’s influence to be maximised so that the consensus reached is as close to its own positions as possible. It is therefore vital to resist the futile temptation to make a scapegoat of the European institutions, as the EU is not imposed from above.


    The agenda for European work: an agenda for the protection of citizens

    The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Minister for European Affairs have recently presented the agenda for future Eu... [Read more]
    1 June 2017


     

              Comment on Gathering Ideas for Legal Arguments by Domino        
    U.N. Conventions These may not be constitutional considerations, but the U.S. is bound by its treaty obligations, and I expect that the United Nations’ human rights covenants in particular would command constitutional-like scrutiny by U.S. courts. It is my understanding that alleged violations of the U.N. covenants need to be litigated in national courts before being referred to the U.N., so there is that additional level of ultimate appeal which would bear down on all levels of U.S. court in which these matters might be heard. It’s a pity that the U.S. has not ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as our concerns are primarily economic in substance. However, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the U.S. has ratified, states in Article 1 paragraph 1 that: All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Being that it’s Article 1 paragraph 1, I would argue that it frames the entire covenant with a consideration for individuals’ economic rights. One of the primary objections among those subject to CBT is the feeling of discrimination based on citizenship. Of course the U.S. constitution prohibits such discrimination; except possibly for discrimination based on U.S. citizenship. It may be a hard task to argue that the constitution prohibits discrimination based on U.S. citizenship when the entire constitution is predicated on such discrimination; namely that it exists to protect American citizens and not the citizens of other countries. A U.N. covenant, by contrast, presumably transcends that national restriction. Article 2 paragraph 1 states: Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. I’m concerned by “all individuals within its territory” as this might preclude Americans abroad, although I’m sure that the U.N. never intended to exclude, and probably never anticipated, the United States’ extraterritorial jurisdictional claims over its citizens. Even if this does preclude us, Article 26 states, similarly but without territorial restrictions, that: All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. This might provide the necessary legal standing for those whose tax obligations are based purely on birth in the USA, particularly if they have no other connection to the country. The national or social origin provision might help those born abroad who acquired U.S. citizenship through their parents. In a different context, I see a prohibition against discrimination based on property. I guess this may seek to prohibit a privileged political status conferred on individuals based on their property ownership, which was common in centuries gone past. Could a prohibition on political privileges based on the ownership of certain property be used to argue for a prohibition on penalties (FBAR, PFIC etc.) based on the ownership of certain property? I’ve also always felt that the FATCA requirements for foreign banks to search their records for those with a U.S. place of birth constitute unacceptable discrimination, but here too the constitution might not help as the law is only applied extraterritorially by foreign nations through their IGA agreements, which are beyond constitutional consideration. Our only resort would be to launch legal action in each of 100 or so countries. But perhaps the U.N. covenant might help here to, as the drafting this legislation requiring other nations to commit such discrimination might violate the covenant; effectively collapsing 100 lawsuits into one. Finally, the U.S. ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009. In this regard I have one particular case in mind, being the case of Carol Tapanila’s son. While the U.S. tax law chooses to recognise regular Canadian Pension plans, the same doesn’t apply to special arrangements that the Canadian government has made for those with disabilities. In the circumstances the savings of average Canadians are beyond the reach of the IRS, while Carol Tapanila’s son has apparently had his savings taxed by the U.S. With millions of American living abroad, I doubt he is the only one subject to such discrimination, which (without having read it) must surely violate the disability covenant.
              Ga. NAACP Tries To Keep Utility Discrimination Suit Alive        
    The Georgia State Conference of the NAACP told a Georgia federal court Wednesday that its allegations that the City of LaGrange, Georgia’s utility policies discriminate against African-Americans and Latinos should not be dismissed, arguing a move to do...(read more)
              Pa. Justices To Mull Contractor Liability In Fall Case        
    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Wednesday it would consider whether entities responsible for the design and construction of a sidewalk that passed through an area that allegedly left it prone to icing could be held liable for injuries a woman sustained...(read more)
              Tyson Can't Move Chicken Price-Fix Suit From From Florida        
    Tyson Foods Inc. cannot transfer from Florida to Illinois a chicken restaurant franchisor’s antitrust suit alleging that the poultry giant fixed the price of broiler chickens, with a Florida federal judge ruling on Wednesday that only the Judicial...(read more)
              Time-Share Co. Says Atty Induces Owners To Break Contracts        
    Time-share company Westgate Resorts Ltd. accused a law firm in Florida federal court Wednesday of fraudulently inducing Westgate time-share owners to stop making payments on their vacation contracts, alleging the firm is earning large prepaid retainer...(read more)
              Pa. Justices Snub Town's 7-Eleven Franchisee Fee Tax Appeal        
    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear an appeal by a suburban Philadelphia municipality, agreeing that it had improperly taxed 7-Eleven Inc. after wrongly concluding that fees paid by franchisees in the state were exclusively the...(read more)
              Judge Declines To Ax Forbes Award Over Ukrainian Magazine        
    A New York federal judge on Wednesday denied a pair of companies’ bid to vacate an arbitration award that blocked them from publishing the Ukrainian edition of Forbes, rejecting their contention that the arbitrator acted unfairly by declining to...(read more)
              Insurers Say They Owe Businessman Only Partial Defense Costs        
    Two insurers being sued by the former chairman of Indian property firm Hirco have told London’s High Court that they are only liable for a tiny percentage of the nearly £29 million ($37.7 million) he racked up defending himself from fraud...(read more)
              9th Circ. Won't Restore TCPA Claims Against Car Warranty Co.         
    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday declined to reinstate consumers’ telemarketing lawsuit against a company that sells car warranties, finding that Royal Administration Services, Inc. could not be held liable for unsolicited calls made by independent contractors...(read more)
              LED Patents Nixed On Bad Expert Testimony, Fed. Circ. Told        
    Nichia Corp. urged the Federal Circuit in oral arguments Thursday to revive two LED semiconductor patents it says were invalidated by a jury relying on expert testimony from its rival that doesn’t line up with the prior art for making LEDs in the desired...(read more)
              Fed. Circ. Shuts Down NC Lottery’s ‘First Tuesday’ TM Bid        
    The Federal Circuit on Thursday affirmed the rejection of a bid by North Carolina's lottery to register “First Tuesday” as a trademark, holding that the phrase simply describes the day that a new set of scratch-off tickets is offered each...(read more)
              Valero Says Calif. 'Sandbagging' It With Late Evidence        
    Texas petroleum refiner Valero on Wednesday accused the state of California of “sandbagging” it in the state’s suit to block it from buying two petroleum terminals by introducing new evidence in a reply brief that it has no chance to...(read more)
              CIT Lets Commerce Shift To India Data In Vietnam Shrimp Row        
    The U.S. Court of International Trade has affirmed a U.S. Department of Commerce decision to use wage rates from India as surrogate data when considering anti-dumping margins assessed on Vietnamese shrimp importers, as opposed to data from Bangladesh...(read more)
              Enviros Urge DC Judge To Nix Trump's 2-For-1 Order        
    Several environmental and public interest groups argued for a D.C. federal judge to halt President Donald Trump's executive order mandating the repeal of two rules for each new one at a hearing Thursday, saying the order would require agencies to...(read more)
              Takata's Japanese Parent Seeks Ch. 15, Litigation Halt        
    Takata’s corporate parent in Japan, already under a form of bankruptcy protection in its home country, sought Chapter 15 recognition Thursday in Delaware, opening another front in the company’s quest to halt the firestorm of litigation over...(read more)
              Ex-Nomura Trader Says Hustling MBS Isn't Fraud        
    A Nomura trader who the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleges fraudulently bought and sold commercial mortgage-backed securities has asked a New York federal judge to dismiss the case, comparing himself to a car salesman who used small lies...(read more)
              Pa. Justices To Again Mull 3rd-Party Subrogation Claims        
    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Wednesday that it would consider whether an insurer had properly adhered to a two-year-old decision governing the standards for bringing subrogation actions as it sought to recover benefits paid to a woman who was struck...(read more)
              Ill. Panel Says Patient Didn't Need Expert For Battery Claim        
    An Illinois appellate court Wednesday revived a battery claim against a medical center over the use of a catheter in a suit that had also alleged a needle had been left behind after surgery, finding an expert wasn't needed for a layperson to understand...(read more)
              Tenn. Hospital Can't Dodge Suit Over Blood-Thinner Use        
    A Tennessee appeals court has revived a woman’s suit accusing a nurse at a state-owned hospital of improperly applying a blood thinner while she was being treated for sepsis and renal failure, ruling the hospital was not entitled to special treatment...(read more)
              Ex-Ambassador To Czech Republic Rejoins Quinn Emanuel        
    Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP said Wednesday that an attorney who specializes in intellectual property, white collar crime, securities litigation and appeals, who previously left the firm to serve as a U.S. ambassador, has returned to work...(read more)
              Ex-Ole Miss Coach Can’t Bring Trash Talk Suit In Fed. Court        
    A Mississippi federal judge on Wednesday threw out a lawsuit by former University of Mississippi head football coach Houston Nutt over a smear campaign allegedly run against him by the school related to NCAA rule violations, saying the case would be better...(read more)
              Sexual Health Chain Peekay Plans Sale In Del. Ch. 11        
    Sexual health and wellness retailer Peekay Acquisition Inc. opened a Chapter 11 sale effort in Delaware early Thursday, reporting $72.6 million in debt and launching its bankruptcy with plans for a stalking horse-led marketing of the 46-store business...(read more)
              NYC Looks To Trim School Safety Workers' OT Case        
    New York City plans a dismissal bid to pare down a potentially expensive overtime lawsuit brought by 3,100 public school safety agents employed by the New York Police Department, its counsel told a New York federal judge Thursday. ...read more...(read more)
              Vivian Maier Collector, Estate Agree To Talk in IP Row        
    Counsel for a man who has amassed one of the world’s largest collections of amateur photographer Vivian Maier’s work will meet with the manager of Maier’s estate to discuss settling a long-running dispute over ownership of the photos’...(read more)
              Cheerleader Uniform IP Case Ends With Unusual Settlement        
    Five months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a long-running copyright fight between two cheerleading uniform companies, the case came to a conclusion Thursday with an unusual settlement reached without one party's consent. ...read more...(read more)
              5th Circ. Upholds Arbitration Order In Nigeria Oil Dispute        
    The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday upheld a Texas federal court’s decision to send to arbitration a Nigerian oil company’s $1.6 billion fraud lawsuit against energy giant Chevron, finding that their arbitration agreement falls under an international...(read more)
              Garrett McCarroll Knowles Limited t/a gmk Legal: Litigation Associate         
    Negotiable: Garrett McCarroll Knowles Limited t/a gmk Legal: Litigation Associate England, London
              The Ultimate International Law Guide for U.S. Judges–And Attorneys!        

    Several months ago I argued a case that centered on the finer points of forum non conveniens. The issue comes-up regularly given the large number of international companies doing business here in Miami. While my adversary and I had a firm grasp of the issues involved, the judge wanted to take some additional time to... Continue Reading

    The post The Ultimate International Law Guide for U.S. Judges–And Attorneys! appeared first on International Business Law Advisor.


              4 Reasons Why a Lawsuit Over Flight MH17 Will Not Succeed in U.S. Courts.        

    “I opened the door and it was raining people. One fell in my vegetable patch” –Irina Tipunova, Rozsypne, Ukraine That horrific account captures only part of the tragedy that ended the lives of 298 passengers aboard Malaysia Flight MH17 last month.  Several hundred feet from Ms. Tipunova’s home, dozens more ravaged bodies lay in the... Continue Reading

    The post 4 Reasons Why a Lawsuit Over Flight MH17 Will Not Succeed in U.S. Courts. appeared first on International Business Law Advisor.


              4 Steps to Effectuate Service of Process Under the Inter-American Service Convention        

    Out of the hundreds of articles I’ve written for this blog, one of the most widely read has been 7 Steps to Effectuate International Service of Process under the Hague Service Convention. That’s hardly a surprise given the complex nature of international service of process in general. This post is a logical follow-up to that... Continue Reading

    The post 4 Steps to Effectuate Service of Process Under the Inter-American Service Convention appeared first on International Business Law Advisor.


              Enforcing a Contract in Latin America? Good Luck with That.        

    I got a call recently from a local manufacturer looking to sue a supplier in a Latin American country for breach of contract. Given Miami’s proximity to the region, I see these types of cases a lot. The first thing I’ll do is take a look at the case to confirm that jurisdiction would be... Continue Reading

    The post Enforcing a Contract in Latin America? Good Luck with That. appeared first on International Business Law Advisor.


              Baby Powder Litigation        
    Trial victories against Johnson & Johnson’s over its #talc #babypowder, which lawsuits claim is linked to women developing #ovariancancer, have reached a total of $200 million.
              TEATRO: Ciriaco de Urtecho, Litigante por Amor         






    De Roberto Ángeles y Gino Luque
    Inspirada en el libro homónimo de Fernando de Trazegnies
    Dirección: Roberto Ángeles
    Asisitente de dirección: Gino Luque
    Producción: Comisión de Arte y Derecho

    Estreno: 25 de febrero

    La Facultad de Derecho PUCP y la Comisión de Arte y Derecho, junto a Hayduk Corporación, Banco de Crédito del Perú, Telefónica y el Estudio Payet, Rey, Cauvi, Pérez Abogados se complacen en presentar: Ciriaco de Urtecho, Litigante por Amor escrita por Roberto Ángeles y Gino Luque bajo la dirección de Roberto Ángeles, desde el jueves 25 al lunes 29 de febrero , a las 8:00 p.m. Con doble función el domingo 28 a las 4:00 p.m. y 8:00 p.m.

    Sobre la historia

    En el año 1979 el doctor Fernando de Trazegnies, profesor de la Facultad de Derecho de la PUCP, viaja a Cajamarca para participar en un taller sobre razonamiento jurídico. Un incidente desafortunado (se cancela su vuelo de regreso a Lima) se convierte en la oportunidad para un descubrimiento. Trazegnies, motivado por su pasión por la historia del Derecho, visita el Archivo Departamental de Cajamarca a la búsqueda de expedientes judiciales del virreinato. 

    Allí encuentra uno muy singular. En él Ciriaco de Urtecho, en el siglo XVIII, se enfrasca en un inusual litigio en el que usa ingeniosos argumentos para que el juez declare la compra de su esposa, una esclava, a fin de lograr su libertad.

    Sobre la obra

    Ciriaco de Urtecho, Litigante por Amor es un drama ambientado en la ciudad de Cajamarca durante el virreinato del Perú en el siglo XVIII. Es un litigio entre Ciriaco de Urtecho y Juan de Dios de Cáceres sobre la libertad de una esclava mulata, esposa legítima del primero y propiedad del segundo. Pero es también un drama de amor entre Ciriaco y su esposa Dionisia. Él se propone luchar por su libertad a toda costa y ella se resiste a esa propuesta por el miedo de ser maltratada por sus amos con quienes tiene una relación de familia. Un drama humano en donde el amor, el prejuicio, el deseo de libertad y el Derecho se encuentran.

    El elenco está conformado en su totalidad por profesores y estudiantes de la Facultad de Derecho de la PUCP, es una actividad pro-fondos para el equipo de alumnos de la Facultad que partirá a España a participar en la VIII Competencia Internacional de Arbitraje y Derecho Mercantil – Moot Madrid 2016.

    Elenco 

    Walter Piazza
    Avecita Zapata
    Alfredo Bullard
    Juan Luis Avendaño
    Rafael Muente
    Guillermo Arribas
    Christian Ojeda
    Luis Miguel Dasso

    Sobre la temporada

    Obra: Ciriaco de Urtecho, Litigante por Amor
    Temporada: Del jueves 25 al lunes 29 de febrero 
    Funciones: Del jueves 25 al lunes 29 de febrero a las 8:00 p.m.;
    domingo 28 de febrero a las 4:00 p.m. y 8:00 p.m.
    Lugar: Sala Roja del Centro Cultural de la PUCP (Av. Camino Real 1075, San Isidro).

    Entrada general S/. 50 soles. 
    Entrada de estudiantes y jubilados S/. 25 soles.

    Puntos de venta: Teleticket y Taquilla del Centro Cultural PUCP


              Referendum apolitico? Ecco perché sei un idiota.        
    Idiota: originariamente era colui che stava fuori dalla “cosa pubblica” e non si interessava degli interessi della polis. L’etimologia della parola direi che lo conferma.
    pollo idiota
    Se ti senti offeso riguardo questa mia affermazione, significa che sei anche ignorante e puoi chiudere questa pagina, altrimenti dimmi cosa ne pensi della riflessione che segue.

    Nelle ultime settimane ho seguito molto attentamente la “vicenda referendum”, sia dal punto di vista contenutistico, sia dal punto di vista comunicativo.
    Una cosa che mi ha fatto molto arrabbiare in mezzo alle tonnellate di spam (proveniente SEMPRE da contatti o sostenitori di determinati colori politici NdK) è che, tutte le volte che ho fatto notare che in alcuni ambiti sarebbe meglio lasciar fuori la politica, mi sono visto rispondere: “nucleare, acqua, legittimo impedimento sono questioni apolitiche, non rompere il cazzo”.
    In questo mio precedente post ne abbiamo un esempio lampante (anche se do atto al fondatore del gruppo di aver infine preso le distanze dall’operato dell’amministratore da cui è partito il tutto, il quale invece ha rilanciato la sua posizione)
    Perché è idiota (sempre nel senso etimologico del termine, vedi su) sostenere che questo referendum è apolitico?
    Dunque:
    Quindi la politica è presente… Eccome se è presente!
    Poi, prendiamo la sfera di cristallo e facciamo una previsione di quelli che saranno i titoli dei giornali il giorno dopo del raggiungimento del quorum: gli stessi signori di cui sopra urleranno “Abbiamo vinto!” (poi inizieranno a litigare, perché non si metteranno d’accordo su chi ha il merito della cosa. Ma questo è un altro discorso).
    *disgusto*
    Andiamo avanti. Ritengo di aver intervistato almeno 200 persone, fra quelle che spammano “sìsìsìsì”, alla ricerca di UNO che avesse letto i testi delle leggi che, con la sua preferenza, intenderebbe abrogare. Sapete quanti ne ho trovati? ZERO.
    SU 200 PERSONE CHE FANNO PROPAGANDA REFERENDARIA, ZERO SANNO ESATTAMENTE COSA CHIEDONO DI ABROGARE.
    *avvilimento*
    Mi sembra evidente che chi sostiene che il referendum sia apolitico o è disonesto... O è idiota.
    Non vedo alternative.

    Quali sono dunque le motivazioni di voto che li smuovono a fare pubblicità ad una cosa che ripetono “per sentito dire”?
    Tralasciando l’enorme disinformazione che è stata fatta (ma c’è chi ne ha parlato meglio; se riesco a prepararlo in tempo, inserirò qualche link nel mio prossimo post), che dovrebbe far sentire almeno un minimo l’odore bruciato di politica becera, direi che le posizioni che sostengono il referendum non sono poi molte.
    Riassumendole… Direi che sono quelle rappresentate in questa immagine: 
    motivazioni idiote di voto
    (Non l’ho realizzata io… Me l’ha segnalata l’amico Davide e non so da dove provenga… Se conoscete l’autore, vi chiedo cortesemente di segnalarmelo, così gli posso riconoscere credito)
    Concludo l’articolo a mio avviso in maniera degna citando tale Bacillus, il cui commento è stato inserito anche in questo articolo di Biotecnologie Basta Bugie! (BBB!).
    "Questi referendum sono il fallimento della politica intesa come mezzo supremo di gestione della democrazia. Politica come azione disinteressata al servizio dell'intera comunità. Politica come unico antidoto alla demagogia ed al populismo. Se vado a votare faccio un favore alla negazione della politica, all'arroganza dei capipopolo, ai disinformatori, ai demagoghi ed ai furbi strumentalizzatori. Su questi temi, gestione dell'acqua pubblica e politica energetica, le decisioni devono essere prese attraverso un processo che coinvolge politici, esperti, scienziati, imprenditori, economisti. Gente che ne sa insomma." (bacillus)”
    D’altro canto, anche il non voto può però essere considerato come un’espressione di idiozia (Sempre nel senso etimologico del termine).
    Qualunque cosa facciamo, dunque, sembrerebbe che ci facciamo comunque la figura degli idioti (e qui cito l’amico Gadjet, che dopo questo posto ne ha scritto uno a sua volta con cui l’altra sera parlavo proprio di questo).
    Qualcuno ha qualche idea su cosa fare per limitare la figuraccia?
     
    E voi che siete arrivati in fondo all’articolo e sostenete le ragioni del “Sì”? Avete letto cosa siete chiamati a votare? O avete ritenuto sufficiente la propaganda partitica per prendere decisioni?

              Obviamente... demita-se!        

     

    Depois do que fez - e não fez - com o BES e com o Banif, e dos milhares de milhões que tudo isso custou, custa e vai continuar a custar aos portugueses, o governo de Passos Coelho, há poucos meses e em cima das eleições, reconduziu Carlos Costa na governação do Banco de Portugal. Desde então, falhou a venda do Novo Banco, fez explodir o Banif e, para capitalizar o Novo Banco, não hesitou em deitar a mão a dois mil milhões de obrigações seniores detidas por investidores institucionais, decisão estrategicamente muito arriscada, para não dizer completamente errada, e de duvidosa legalidade, para não dizer muito provavelmente ilegal, como aqui se deu conta no final do ano passado.

    Claro que os atingidos não acharam graça nenhuma à brincadeira e, primeiro que tudo - quer dizer, primeiro que a inevitável litigância, ameaçam não financiar mais bancos portugueses, com sérios riscos de o mercado fechar as portas à banca nacional.

    Admitia-se, e outra coisa não era de esperar, que tinha sido uma decisão concertada com o governo e respaldada no BCE. Nada disso: primeiro - mas mesmo assim tarde, apenas depois das reacções internacionais  - foi o governo a vir dizer que estava frontalmente contra a medida; e logo depois o BCE veio deixar claro que não apoiou aquela decisão, remetendo-a para a exclusiva responsabilidade do Banco de Portugal.

    Como - a não ser em condições muito excepcionais, que nem a excepcional gravidade das asneiras de Carlos Costa contemplam - não se pode demitir o governador do Banco de Portugal, tem que ser o governador do Banco de Portugal a demitir-se. Obviamente... demita-se Sr Carlos Costa! Sabemos que se ganha muito bem, bem mais que o congénere americano, mas também sabemos que as reformas do Banco de Portugal não são nada más... 

     


              Midday open thread: Most sustainable U.S. cities—San Jose, Seattle, Provo; Benghazi emails return!        

    Today’s comic by Ruben Bolling is Twitter bots sticking with Trump:

    1350ckTEASER-twitter-bots.png

    • Study of most sustainable cities put San Jose, Calif.; Provo, Utah; and Seattle at the top of the  list:

    Today, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which co-produces the Global SDG Index, released the first-ever U.S. Cities SDG Index. The Index ranks the 100 most populous U.S. cities, using Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), based on their performance on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Results show that all U.S. cities, even those at the top of the Index, have far to go to achieve the SDGs.

    The U.S. Cities SDG Index uses 49 indicators from 16 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – goals that were agreed upon by all countries at the United Nations in September 2015. The Index provides a more holistic and comprehensive assessment of sustainable development challenges faced by U.S. cities than available through other metrics.

    Sustainable.png

    • As transit ridership nationwide falls, Los Angeles is bucking the trend:

    We’ve seen a general decline in transit riders around the country as the economy has improved, gas prices have fallen, and public transport systems have aged. But Los Angeles is bucking that trend.

    Take the Expo line, which opened in May 2016 and runs from downtown L.A. to the beach. It carried an average of 64,000 riders each weekday in June 2017 — an increase of almost 20,000 riders from a year earlier. Officials had predicted the line wouldn’t get that popular until 2030.

    • 

    • Elon Musk once fired his assistant of 12 years because she asked for a raise.

    • Oh, thank goodness, a judge wants State Dept. to get to bottom of Benghazi emails:

    Adding a new wrinkle to litigation over the 2012 U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, a federal judge put a spotlight Wednesday on emails sent by three aides to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    “This matter is a far cry from a typical FOIA case,” the ruling by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta says, abbreviating Freedom of Information Act. “Secretary Clinton used a private email server, located in her home, to transmit and receive work-related communications during her tenure as secretary of state.” [...]

    He agreed with [the right-wing Judicial Watch] Tuesday that the agency must search the state.gov email accounts of three former Clinton aides: former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, former deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, and former director of policy planning Jacob Sullivan.

    • Trump’s having trouble keeping his promise to kill birth control benefit:

    President Donald Trump boasted in Maythat the lawsuits challenging the birth control benefit accommodation in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were over because the challengers, groups of religiously affiliated nonprofits, had “won.”

    The basis of Trump’s claim? His religious imposition executive order, which he suggested had the force of statutory law and could relieve those groups of their obligations to comply with the ACA. Last week, a federal appeals court reminded Trump he doesn’t actually have the power to unilaterally change the birth control benefit, no matter how many promises he makes.

    On Friday, a split panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Real Alternatives, a so-called crisis pregnancy center, must provide all employees with non-discriminatory health insurance benefits, including birth control. The ruling is the most recent in a series of cases stalled out in the federal courts while Republicans try to find a way—any way—to undo both the ACA and its corresponding reproductive health benefits.

    On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Things may not be normal, but at least the polling is. And Greg Dworkin can prove it. Armando is bummed that the most stupid president is getting advice from the most stupid TV show. And even if we survive, will internal Dem tribalism cost us our bench?

    YouTube | iTunes | LibSyn | Keep us on the air! Donate via Patreon or Square Cash


              Trump's other legal problem: Emoluments lawsuit set for October        

    With the Russia investigation spreading out into every facet of Trump’s business and every member of Trump’s campaign, and with Donald Trump working hard to bury that investigation under a never-ending stream of distractions up to and including threats of war, it’s easy to forget that other Trump investigation.

    A lawsuit contending that President Donald Trump's business dealings with and in foreign countries violate the Constitution is set to get a public airing in October in a New York federal courtroom.

    The suit is just one of several that have been advanced concerning Trump’s use of his position to make gains directly and indirectly through either hosting government activities at his facilities, or encouraging foreign dignitaries to patronize Trump hotels if they hope to get favorable treatment at the White House. Some of these suits are likely to fail on the basis of “standing,” as judges rule that the groups funding the suits can’t show they’ve suffered direct harm. Others will move forward.

    And for all those times when people have said that the Justice Department is not Trump’s private law firm … that’s not always clear to them.

    The Justice Department is defending Trump in the litigation and contends that the foreign emoluments clause does not cover routine business payments, even if foreign governments are involved.

    Which is a handy thing when defending a guy in a business where prices are arbitrary, subject to change on a moment’s notice. $33,000 a night hotel suite? Of course. $100 million for a $40 million house? You got it. And neither one of those is the biggest problem that should concern the judge.

              The Supreme Court Splits the baby in the Scottsdale Crime Lab Cases.        

    The highly anticipated Arizona Supreme Court opinion regarding the Scottsdale Crime Lab scandal was issued yesterday.   In a very Solomon like decision, the Court granted both sides some relief.

     

    The decision contains a lot of legal nuance requiring explanation. Here is a summary and a few thoughts:

     

    Admissible Is Not The Same As Reliable

     

    While the Court decided the blood alcohol measurements are admissible - they did not hold they are reliable. There is a big difference.  As a matter of fact, the Court expressed its concerns with the Scottsdale Crime Lab's "shaky" evidence. 

     

    The Court merely held the prosecution may present the blood alcohol measurements to a jury and argue they are reliable.  The jury will make the final decision.

     

    This standard is similar to a finding there was probable cause for a person's case to proceed to trial.  However, at trial, the same evidence will now need to exceed a much higher threshold - beyond reasonable doubt.

     

    What Effect Did Yesterday's Decision Have On The Lower Courts' Rulings?

     

    There were two lower court rulings: (1) the trial court's ruling suppressing the evidence; and (2) the Court of Appeals ruling reversing.

     
    The Arizona Supreme Court vacated the relevant portions of the Court of Appeals decision and the trial court's ruling.  It then issued a new opinion which provided additional guidance on the admissibility of scientific evidence in a jury trial.
     
    The Legal Boundaries Of The Supreme Court's Decision.
     
    A few years ago, Arizona adopted something called the Daubert standard for the admission of scientific evidence. This was reflected by an amendment to Rule 702 of the Arizona Rules of Evidence.
     
    The Court's holding here was limited to only one of the requirements of Rule 702.  Specifically the ruling is limited to subsection (d) of Rule 702, which focuses on the reliable application of a methodology to the facts.
     
    What Did Each Side Get Out Of The Supreme Court's Decision?
     
    The prosecution avoids mass dismissals of cases where they claim a driver was impaired, but now they have to persuade a jury in every case that the crime lab's forensic malpractice does not matter.
     
    The defense is primarily benefited in two ways: (1) the right to present all the evidence of the crime lab's malpractice is firmly established; and presumably (2) the right to obtain evidence of software malfunctions and errors from the crime laboratory also appears to be affirmed. 
     
    The Court's acknowledgement that the evidence presented at the 17 day pretrial hearing was both relevant and admissible at trial, implicitly holds that the defense has a right to this evidence in discovery.  This is a significant change.
     
    The majority of the evidence presented to the trial court by the defense was not provided by the prosecution.  It was obtained through the collaboration of the defense community and through requests made pursuant to Arizona's public records laws.  
     
    Moreover, before the pretrial hearing, there was a court order requiring the Scottsdale Crime Lab to provide the defense with all the data produced in 2011.  They were given a significant amount of time to comply, but did not even attempt to gather the information. Instead, the prosecution appealed the order, and the Arizona Court of Appeals reversed.  
     
    The prosecution convinced the appellate court that the defense was merely on a "fishing expedition."  However, in hindsight, it turns out there were some pretty big fish in the pond. We can only imagine what we would have found if the yesterday's opinion had been in place at that time.
     
    The holding also appears to clear the way for the defense to present a jury with evidence of the hundreds of catastrophic software malfunctions resulting in unreliable and misleading evidence.  The jury may now discover, that for years, the lab hid this damming evidence.  They may hear of internal crime lab emails from analysts admitting to deleting "incorrect results." 
     
    And yes, prior to this decision, the prosecution vigorously argued the jury should not hear this evidence.
     
    Does This Decision End The Debate Over The Scottsdale Crime Lab's Forensic Malpractice Issues?
     
    Nope.
     
    The issues will continue to be litigated - one case at a time. However, we now have some new rules of the road that empower the defense to present their case.  
     
    In Sum
     
    ...the decision means we can't shop for justice at Costco. While there will not be a bulk dismissal of consolidated cases, we still get to present these issues one case at a time...jury by jury. 
     
    This could take a while.
     
    RELATED:
     
     

              Scottsdale Crime Lab: The Supreme Court's Statement of Issues        

    Today at 11:00 a.m. the Arizona Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding whether to reinstate a trial court's finding that - blood alcohol measurements created by the Scottsdale Crime Lab are unreliable.  You can read a history of this litigation by clicking here.

    A case being selected by the Supreme Court for review is a rare event.  Simple math shows it is unlikely that any particular case will be reviewed by the Arizona Supreme Court.   The Court receives a substantial amount of “Petitions” to review lower court decisions, but it only selects a small percentage of them each year.  However, because the issues in this case (it is actually a consolidation of 11 cases) will have wide-ranging consequences, it was an ideal case for the Court to review.  The final ruling by the Court, regardless of who prevails, will likely affect how scientific evidence will be handled by Arizona courts for years to come.

    While both parties have their own opinions as to what the key issues are, the Court will provide a summary and statement of the issues from their perspective prior to the oral argument.  Last week, as expected, the Court issued its written statement.  Below are the issues as stated in the Court’s summary:

     

    1. Did the Court err by holding that Rule 702(d) challenges are excluded from judicial gatekeeping scrutiny under Arizona law?

     

    2. Did the Court err in using the accuracy of the results as the criteria for a gatekeeping analysis instead of using the trustworthiness of the methodology used to generate the results?

     

    3. Did the Court err in substituting its own judgment for the trial court’s without finding that the trial court’s decision constituted an abuse of discretion?

     

    After reading this statement of the issues, one could jump to a conclusion from the way the issues are framed, that the Court is leaning in a particular the direction.  A word of caution – no one knows how the court is leaning.  The Court’s final opinion could easily list a different set of issues.

    Today’s oral argument is being held at Arizona State University Law School.  The argument is open to the public and starts promptly at 11:00 am.  Everyone is welcome to attend – regardless of which side of the argument you are on.


              Elevbataljon Gotland        
    Försvarsmaktens personalförsörjning och försvaret av Gotland är två ämnen som har debatterats flitigt de senaste åren. Båda är problemområden för Försvarsmakten. Man vill ha fler deltidstjänstgörande och man vill ha trupp på Gotland.

    Här ger vi staten en gratisidé, helt utan konsultarvode, som kan utgöra bas för en nyordning som löser problemen:

    Etablera samarbete mellan Försvarsdepartementet och Utbildningsdepartementet samt mellan Försvarsmakten och Uppsala Universitet Campus Gotland. En gemensam satsning skulle möjliggöra att hugade skulle kunna kombinera studier med tjänst i FM.

    Den enskilde får möjlighet att kombinera militärtjänst med studier och sina högskolestudier betalade.


    Genomförande
    • Elever söker programmet och antas av bÃ¥de FM och Uppsala Universitet Campus Gotland.
    • Elever förbinder sig att genomföra hela studiegÃ¥ngen OCH delta i Försvarsmaktens verksamhet.
    • Vissa kurser och program kopplas till Försvarshögskolan.
    • Kostnader delas mellan departementen och studierna finansieras i sin helhet av staten.
    • Elevbataljon Gotland upprättas med hög beredskap.
    • Elever studerar vid högskolan och tjänstgör vid studieuppehÃ¥ll. Vid behov anpassas studietakten.
    • Allt eftersom kan elever utvecklas i sin tjänsteutövning och kan lösa andra uppgifter, tex instruktör GMU.

    Sverige får:
    • Trupp pÃ¥ Gotland.
    • Kontinuitet i förbandet.
    • En attraktiv anställnings- och studieform.
    • En välutbildad militär.

    Se detta som en grundidé. Det finns många knutar att lösa såsom infrastrukturella problem, rekryteringsförfaranden, lagstiftning, avtalsfrågor, vilka kurser och program som ska kunna sökas, elevbataljonens förmåga och annat. Sånt behöver analyseras fram.

    Idén är inte i stället för andra förband utan som ett komplement och ett sätt att kombinera FM:s behov av personal och försvaret av Gotland.


    Bonus:Efter någonstans 4-6 år på Gotland finns det viss sannolikhet att den enskilde har rotat sig och blir kvar på Gotland.


    Edit 301630: Uppmärksamma läsare har upplyst mig om att Högskolan på Gotland numera är en del av Uppsala universitet. Därav justering i texten.

    Med "elev" avses person som genomgår studier. I Försvarsmakten är man elev även vid högre studier, även om det kanske känns främmande för vissa.

    /C


              Blog Post: Rising Star: Jones Day's Jason Lissy        
    Barely over 30, Jones Day's Jason Lissy has found himself playing key roles in two massive insurance litigations in the past year, one regarding MF Global and the other over the destruction of a soon-to-open $760 million power plant, making him one of five insurance lawyers under 40 recognized by Law360 as Rising Stars.
              San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney        
    San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyer helps you to claim your rights on all your Personal Injuries. Personal Injury Lawyer California specialize in serious personal injury and employment litigation.
              Special Event – April 5, 2017        

    The Intellectual Property Sections of the Bucks County and Montgomery County Bar Associations are holding a joint CLE Program on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 5:30 pm at the Joseph Amber Inn. Location:     Joseph Ambler Inn 1005 Horsham Road North Wales, PA 19454 6:00 pm:     CLE Program: “Patent Infringement Litigation in U.S. District Court: Insights from Judges […]

    The post Special Event – April 5, 2017 appeared first on Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association.


              Nipping a legal problem in the bud        
    CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen urges EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to revise the review process for threatened and endangered species to include broad-based Extending the review beyond the litigants and the agencies to include all parties impacted by the designation to have a voice. Only then can the review incorporate all the topics addressed by experts and affected parties -- people who can help evaluate the science and policy implications for the affected species, as well as for farming, construction, jobs, families, and other species. This article focuses on recent designations of bumble bees.
              Life Sciences Associate - WilmerHale - Palo Alto, CA        
    The IP Department also works with the Litigation/Controversy Department in IP litigation matters at the trial and appellate levels, including international...
    From WilmerHale - Mon, 07 Aug 2017 10:21:57 GMT - View all Palo Alto, CA jobs
              Senior Paralegal, Litigation - Tesla Motors - Fremont, CA        
    Understanding of litigation motion practice, discovery, arbitration, trial and appellate procedure a plus. The Senior Paralegal, Litigation will be responsible...
    From Tesla Motors - Fri, 04 Aug 2017 02:11:17 GMT - View all Fremont, CA jobs
              Litigation Counsel - PETA/ PETA Foundation - United States        
    Develop and manage all aspects of litigation—including outside counsel, pleadings, discovery, motion practice, briefs, hearings, arguments, correspondence,...
    From PETA/ PETA Foundation - Wed, 09 Aug 2017 11:10:34 GMT - View all United States jobs
              Litigation Counsel - PETA - United States        
    Develop and manage all aspects of litigation—including outside counsel, pleadings, discovery, motion practice, briefs, hearings, arguments, correspondence,...
    From PETA - Tue, 08 Aug 2017 17:40:22 GMT - View all United States jobs
              Managing Attorney - Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l - Herndon, VA        
    S/he represents the Association in federal and state court litigation at the trial and appellate levels, at administrative agencies, and in arbitration....
    From Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l - Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:19:19 GMT - View all Herndon, VA jobs
              Litigation Paralegal - Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP - Cambridge, MA        
    Assist with appellate briefs and appendices, cite-check, apply Blue Book rules, format and proof. Hagens Berman is a national class-action and complex...
    From Indeed - Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:28:46 GMT - View all Cambridge, MA jobs
              Staff Attorney - Lambda Legal - Chicago, IL        
    Staff Attorney - Litigation responsibilities include devising litigation strategies, conducting litigation in trial and appellate courts, writing amicus briefs,...
    From Lambda Legal - Fri, 28 Jul 2017 15:21:10 GMT - View all Chicago, IL jobs
              OSHA Labor & Employment Associate - Seyfarth Shaw LLP - Chicago, IL        
    The attorneys in the group have extensive trial and appellate experience litigating against both Federal and State OSHA....
    From Seyfarth Shaw LLP - Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:59:50 GMT - View all Chicago, IL jobs
              Practice Assistant - Commercial Litigation - White & Case - Los Angeles, CA        
    Significant knowledge of Superior and District courts, as well as knowledge of Appellate court systems. Practice Assistant - Commercial Litigation....
    From White & Case - Fri, 14 Jul 2017 00:32:39 GMT - View all Los Angeles, CA jobs
              Paralegal - National Veterans Legal Services Program - Washington, DC        
    Busy appellate litigation team seeks paralegal to manage and master routine litigation tasks, including preparing procedural pleadings and finalizing briefs and...
    From National Veterans Legal Services Program - Thu, 27 Jul 2017 21:59:52 GMT - View all Washington, DC jobs
              Paralegal - Campaign Legal Center - Washington, DC        
    The Paralegal will be a key member of CLC’s litigation team, supporting all of CLC’s trial and appellate litigation....
    From Indeed - Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:00:05 GMT - View all Washington, DC jobs
              By: paul        
    @Copyright V Publishing Almost. A song copyright essentially contains two components: the recording itself and the publishing (lyrics, notes). Of course, the two go together, but what we're talking about here is the recording part. And the laws and statutes surrounding these different parts are often separate and inconsistent. So, the publishing side must be licensed or paid for still in this situation, and was undoubtedly a consideration for the re-release labels already putting their own duplicates into the marketplace. But they do not have to pay the previous owners of the recording copyright, as the 50 year term has lapsed on the recording. Let me give you a totally separate example here. In the US, broadcast radio stations pay royalties for the publishing side, but do not pay for the recording copyrights. That's because of various loopholes and litigatory dealmaking, but it highlights that there are separate licenses applied to each one (even though, again, they are connected). Back to "Love Me Do," as alluded to in many of the other comments, licensing around publishing remains sticky. So, it really depends on the usage as to whether a company can safely release this as the publishing portion is not under public domain. Hope that helps. /paul
              Population Lima Ohio        


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              Franklin University Ohio        


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    Mesothelioma is one city that would limit lower-cost options for consumers when dealing with new homes in Dayton Ohio, just like we did ten years ago? It's an especially relevant question in this state. Typically, asbestos claims refer to claims for damages, losses, injury or medical expenses incurred for the franklin university ohio and fall. The number of obese Ohio citizens is over 28 percent.

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              Bakery Cleveland Ohio        


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              Ticketmaster Cleveland Ohio        


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              Opening the Doors of Justice is Critically Important        

    Should people affected by federal agency actions that impose over ten billion dollars of costs and impact tens of millions of acres for no benefit (and likely cause harm to the intended beneficiaries of the actions), be able to challenge such decisions in court? It’s a matter of simple fairness: the doors of justice should be open to citizens so they can challenge government regulations, especially those that have significant costs and impacts.

     

    In a just-filed amicus brief, in support of Pacific Legal Foundation’s petition to the Supreme Court to hear a case, Reason Foundation, Cato Institute and the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center examined this issue as it pertains to the designation of “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act. Yet the federal agencies that administer the Act maintain otherwise by claiming the agency actions under which critical habitat for species are designated, included which habitat is excluded from designation, are immune from legal challenge.

     

    For a sense of the massive costs, illusory conservation benefits, and even environmental harm, designation of critical habitat entails consider the following from the Reason-Cato-NFIB amicus brief:

     

    Examining the data associated with the designation of critical habitat for 159 species—out of the 793 so treated as of May 1, 2016—reveals the enormous costs and amount of land and water involved in habitat designation. Brian Seasholes, The Critical Nature of Critical Habitat Decisions, Reason Found. (June 1, 2016), http://bit.ly/28e6NsW. The effects are:

    • Total economic impact of up to $10.7 billion (usually over 20 years, following designation);
    • Annual economic impacts of up to $1.3 billion;
    • Hundreds of lost jobs per species;
    • Regulatory burdens affecting 60,169,546 acres of land (11,261,054 privately owned), 83,372 miles of streams/creeks/rivers, and 68,846,720 acres of lakes/oceans/estuaries;
    • Regulatory burdens associated with designating privately owned land adjacent to 27,851 miles of critical habitat streams and rivers.
    • Designations in 37 states and two territories.

     

    Despite these extraordinary costs and impacts for just 20% of the species with critical habitat, “a number of studies have found that critical habitat designation has no discernible influence on whether a species’ status is declining, stable, or improving,” according to the brief.

     

    And here is what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has to say about the conservation value of critical habitat:

     

    In 30 years of implementing the Act, the Service has found that the designation of statutory critical habitat provides little additional protection to most listed species, while consuming significant amounts of available conservation resources. The Service’s present system for designating critical habitat has evolved since its original statutory prescription into a process that provides little real conservation benefit, is driven by litigation and the courts rather than biology, limits our ability to fully evaluate the science involved, consumes enormous agency resources, and imposes huge social and economic costs. 70 Fed. Reg. 46924 (Aug. 11, 2005).

     

    Yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service routinely ignores the costs of designating critical habitat, to the extent of even omitting them from the Federal Register (which is where the official agency decisions for such designations is recorded), as the Reason-Cato-NFIB brief documents:

    For example, in 2015, when the USFWS designated 1,429,551 acres of critical habitat—of which 614,707 was private land—for the Gunnison sage grouse (a chicken-sized bird in Colorado and Utah), it estimated that doing so would have an impact of $6.9 million over 20 years. 79 Fed. Reg. 69347 (Nov. 20, 2014). The agency’s commissioned analysis provides separate estimates of annual impacts of the designation to the oil and gas industry: $160 million and 44 jobs in Colorado and $210,000, 5 jobs, and $62,000 in lost tax revenue in Utah.

     

    In addition to the enormous costs imposed by critical habitat designations, “[m]ounting evidence suggests that some regulatory actions by the Federal government, while well-intentioned and required by law, can (under certain circumstances) have unintended negative consequences for the conservation of species on private lands.” 75 Fed. Reg. 78460 (Dec. 15, 2010).

     

    Or, as the federal government succinctly describes the issue:

    "Many private landowners are wary of possible consequences of encouraging endangered species to their property . . . . Many landowners fear a decline in their property value due to real or perceived restrictions on land-use options where endangered or threatened species are found. Consequently, harboring endangered species is viewed by many landowners as a liability. . . . This perception results in anti-conservation incentives because maintaining habitats that harbor endangered species rep- resents a risk to future economic opportunities. . . . We attempt to ease these concerns through communication and outreach withlandowners; however, we recognize that these efforts are not always successful." 75 Fed. Reg. 78460 (Dec. 15, 2010)

     

    This is the outcome of conservation-by-hammer, instead of carrot, as the amicus brief notes:

    The unfortunate but predictable result of the ESA’s punitive approach to conservation is that species protection is connected to economic liabilities, and landowners seek to lessen these liabilities by denying species habitat.

     

    Furthermore:

    The harm caused species by the ESA is especially damaging on private lands because they are the linchpin of species conservation; 78 percent of endangered and threatened species depended on private land for all or some of their habitat. U.S. General Accounting Office, GAO/RCED-95-16, Endangered Species Act: Information on Species Protection on Nonfederal Lands 4, 5 (1994). Ninety-one percent of all endangered and threatened species have at least some habitat on nonfederal land. Id. And while 50 percent of endangered and threatened species do not exist on federal land, only 12 percent of them exist solely on federal land. Bruce A. Stein et al., “Significance of Federal Lands for Endangered Species,” in Dep’t of the Interior, Our Living Resources 398-401 (Edward T. LaRoe et al., eds. 1995). “Most federally listed species in the United States will not recover without cooperation of non-Federal landowners,” according to the USFWS. 75 Fed. Reg. 78460 (Dec. 15, 2010). 

     

    If all this wasn't bad enough:

     

    Critical habitat designation also harms the environment because “by reducing the density of development in areas deemed to be critical habitat, [it] can change the shape of urban areas and squeeze growth into more remote locations.” Sunding et al., The Economic Costs of Critical Habitat Designation, supra, at iii. “This effect of designation is costly for potential homebuyers and business owners as they are forced to locate to less desirable areas. . . . By encouraging sprawl, critical habitat designation can also lead toregional problems of road congestion and air pollution, in addition to the problem of housing affordability already mentioned.” Id. Yet sprawl is identified as a major threat to wildlife, including endangered species. See generally, e.g., Reid Ewing & John Kostyack. Endangered by Sprawl: How Runaway Development Threatens America’s Wildlife (2005).

     

    So to sum up: critical habitat imposes billions of dollars of costs, across tens of millions of acres, for no discernible conservation benefit, and causes widespread environmental harm, including to the very species that are supposed to be helped. While this may be business-as-usual for the federal government, it cries out for review by the Supreme Court.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


              Limit Regulations on Autonomous Vehicles        

    Autonomous vehicles are no longer a fantasy that appears only in science fiction movies. In theory, the ongoing investments and research should allow many driverless cars to transition out of development and into widespread commercial use over the next decade. However, the typical precautionary principles that accompany new legislation act as a market barrier that will impede the commercialization of the technology. In August 2014, Google, which designed a prototype that removed the steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals, was forced to reinstall these manual driver controls. This is one of the first examples of onerous regulations forcing the AV innovators to take a step back. To prevent these types of setbacks, policymakers should focus on clearing the existing roadblocks preventing the development of AVs and address the excessive restraints concerning the hypothetical dangers of their use. Only then, can the copious social benefits of AV technologies be realized. 

    Autonomous vehicles are vehicles that can drive themselves. In other words, they are capable of sensing the environment and navigating by themselves. In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationreleased a classification system that partitions vehicle automation into 5 levels, ranging from level 0 (no automation) to level 4 (fully self driving automation). The first semi-autonomous vehicles appeared in 1984 with Carnegie Mellon University’s Navlab and ALV projects. Ever since, autonomous vehicle research has been increasing, with major progress by Google, major auto manufacturers, government organizations and universities. In early 2014, IHS Automotive released a study projecting a global total of “nearly 54 million” self-driving cars by 2035, and predicting that “nearly all of the vehicles on the road would be self-driving cars or self-driving commercial vehicles by 2050. 

    In response to these predictions and the pressure to “legalize” the testing of AV technologies, new AV legislation to set policy has been introduced in many states, and enacted in California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada and the District of Colombia, to set policy. One important policy area these laws address is safety. For instance, most states’ rules mandate that a licensed driver be in the driver’s seat at all times during autonomous operation. Another policy area these laws address is liability. Typically, the laws set up a legal framework through which manufacturers can be held accountable for negligence in selling faulty products including strict liability for product defects or misrepresentation of product capabilities. One of the statutes enacted in the D.C., Florida, and Michigan laws contains specific language protecting original manufacturers from liability for defects introduced to the aftermarket by a third party who converts a conventional vehicle into an autonomous vehicle.

    In some very specific and narrow respects, these state-level legislative actions regarding AV safety and liability can be beneficial. However, state laws also have the effect of slowing down the entry of new technology into the market. For example, California’s 2012 law on self-driving cars called for the state legislature to draft rules regarding AV operation by the start of 2015, although by mid-March 2015 there was still no draft available. In addition, the safety law that requires all autonomous vehicles have a human driver prevents the testing of fully automated vehicles. Hence, these laws effectively act as another set of onerous regulations preventing further innovation of autonomous vehicles.

    While the concerns about safety are legitimate and the desire for comprehensive laws is reasonable, there are numerous reasons why it is poor policy to hinder the deployment of these new automotive technologies. First and foremost, self-driving vehicles are predicted to increase safety and decrease the number of accidents. Currently, more than 33,000 people die each year in the United States from automobile crashes. According to U.S. government estimates, as many as 90 percent of all car accidents are caused by human error. As such, the Eno Center for Transportation recently projected that if only 10 percent of all vehicles in the United States were self-driving, the number of accidents each year would be cut by 211,000, and 1,100 lives would be saved. Autonomous vehicles are the latest in a series of technologies that improve safety. For example, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that electronic stability control (ESC) systems, which use computer controls to brake individual wheels on a vehicle losing directional control or stability, saved 2,202 lives between 2008 and 2010. In addition, the legal precedents of products liability litigation established over the last half century provide AV manufacturers with a very strong set of incentives to make their products as safe as possible. Hence, encumbering the legal system with a new set of overly broad federal or state liability statutes relating to AVs is unnecessary.

    Second, studies have suggested that intelligent vehicles can possibly reduce congestion and lower fuel consumption. Self-driving cars could ease congestion because commutes would be quicker, as cars driven by robots could travel at steadier speeds and avoid traffic jams. However, it is also true that the AV technology of Level 3 or higher is likely to substantially reduce the opportunity cost of congestion, hence inducing more people to drive, who would have otherwise not have made the trip. While the two possibilities may be offset and make it difficult to clearly predict the overall effects of AVs on congestion, most experts predict some decrease in congestion. When it comes to fuel consumption, the AV vehicles will allow for fuel efficiency because self-driving cars and trucks will be able to bunch close together at steadier speeds. The Rocky Mountain Institute estimates that the reduction in wind drag alone from vehicles traveling closely together could reduce fuel use by 20 to 30 percent. In addition, AV technology can improve fuel economy by 4–10 % by accelerating and decelerating more smoothly than a human driver. Finally, AVs might reduce pollution by enabling the use of alternative fuels. If the decrease in frequency of crashes allows lighter vehicles, many of the range issues that have limited the use of electric and other alternative vehicles are diminished.

    Despite the social benefits policymakers have slowed down the legalization of AV research by imposing the “precautionary principle” on developing technology, potentially costing human lives. Hence, as argued by Adam Thierer and Ryan Hagemann of Mercatus Center, the optimal policymakers should adopt the “permission-less innovation” attitude towards driverless vehicle technologies and not the “precautionary principles” attitude. “Permission-less innovation” argues that experimentation with new technologies and business models should generally be permitted by default. This open and lightly regulated platform that allows entrepreneurs to adopt new business models and offer new services without first seeking approval from regulators. In this scenario, pre-emptively resolving liability issues would not be a precondition to commercial rollout of autonomous vehicles. Any perceived or actual problems with new technologies could be corrected later through better-informed policymaking. 

    In conclusion, the laws that that encourage overregulation of AV by trying to pre-emptively tackle hypothetical concerns of safety and liabilities will increase the cost of human lives, health, property damages and convenience. As such, the overall guiding principle for policymakers should be that AV technology ought to be permitted if and when it is superior to average human drivers. Safety regulations and liability rules should be designed with this guiding principle in mind. As the 2013 article in the San Diego Union-Tribune stated bluntly: “The issue of liability, if not solved, could delay or even wipe out the vision of driverless cars gaining widespread consumer use.” With this in mind, the ultimate goal of the policymakers regarding the AV should be to minimize government intervention in order to speed up the introduction of the innovation and consumer availability of automated vehicles.


              Wooster College In Ohio        


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              Richmond CARES?        

    Richmond, California's public housing is dilapidated, unsafe and infested with vermin. These were the conclusions of US Department of Housing and Urban Development inspectors and of an investigative report published by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), The San Francisco Chronicle and KQED.

    Problems with Richmond public housing are both disturbing and long-lasting. The CIR investigation reports complaints going back several years, while 2009 media reports still available on line show that bedbugs have been long time occupants of the Richmond facilities. HUD audits and other sources also show that the Richmond Public Housing Authority has misappropriated federal funds and gotten itself into a financial crisis.

    During these years of mismanagement, the Housing Authority has reported to Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and the City Council. These officials make up seven of the nine members of the city's housing commission. Housing Authority business is conducted as part of the weekly City Council meeting.

    Instead of effectively addressing blighted public housing, City officials have spent considerable time debating an untested measure for preventing blight in the private housing stock: using eminent domain to take over underwater mortgages.

    The theory is that foreclosed properties often deteriorate while under bank management, so blight can be avoided by keeping owners in their homes. While that makes sense, the Richmond CARES eminent domain program is poorly targeted at this effect. 

    The initial pool of 624 target homes contained 444 properties with mortgages that were performing six years after they had been underwritten. Mortgages that are in good standing after six years rarely go into default - especially in a rising housing market.

    Further, the pool contained homes in relatively upscale neighborhoods like Point Richmond, the Richmond Marina and the Country Club section.  Forty-three of the homes carried mortgages in excess of $600,000, and a couple even changed hands for more than $1 million before the 2008 downturn.  Since these findings were reported in a Wall Street Journal blog and by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Council decided to exclude high value properties in affluent neighborhoods from the program. But a majority of the affected loans will still be performing and thus in no immediate danger of foreclosure.

    Aside from being an ineffective solution to blight, the eminent domain program has triggered litigation and jeopardized the local mortgage market. Lenders have expressed reluctance to issue mortgages in a community that has demonstrated a disregard for the sanctity of contracts. If mortgage money dries up in Richmond, the result could be additional foreclosures as short sales become more difficult.

    Richmond's private sector ally in the eminent domain program - Mortgage Resolution Partners (MRP) - has agreed to shoulder the city's litigation expenses. But this promise may be hollow:  the company does not appear to have any revenue and the firm's CEO recently moved on to start another venture. If MRP is unable or unwilling to support Richmond's condemnation efforts the city would be liable for large legal expenses and potentially adverse judgments if it chooses to proceed.

    Under the circumstances, the best thing that the Mayor and Council could do for the community is drop the eminent domain project and instead focus their anti-blight efforts where they can really make a difference:  in the city's very own public housing.

    See more from Marc Joffe on Richmond underwater mortgages:


              Viacom hits back against The Game in dating show sexual assault case        
    MTV and VH1 owner Viacom is trying to have litigation filed against it by rapper The Game dismissed via a so called anti-SLAPP motion. As previously reported, The Game – real name Jayceon Taylor – sued the media firm after losing a civil case for sexual assault last year, because the woman he sexually assaulted […]
              Associate Attorney        
    CA-Los Angeles, We are seeking an Associate Attorney to become a part of our team! You will represent clients in legal proceedings, draw up legal documents and advise clients on legal transactions. Responsibilities: Experience in general civil litigation law including public entity and personal injury defense. Represent clients in court or before government agencies Prepare and draft legal documents, including mo
              Myths about Obamacare litigation: Why the ACA is not “here to stay”        

    As Timothy Sandefur announced this week on Liberty Blog, PLF has filed a long-anticipated petition for certiorari on behalf of Matt Sissel asking the Supreme Court to decide his Origination Clause challenge to Obamacare. Tim’s blog post is the most … Continue reading

    The post Myths about Obamacare litigation: Why the ACA is not “here to stay” appeared first on PLF Liberty Blog.


              Guión completo para ocho personajes con tema del fútbol        
    Este guión completo para ocho personajes requiere de 3 actrices y 5 actores, es un texto de Vivian Blumenthal y si quieres montarlo de manera profesional debes ponerte en contacto con la persona que tiene los derechos de la obra (puedes dejarme un comentario y te mando el correo de quien te puede hablar sobre los derechos). Es una obra muy divertida con el tema del futbol, pero también hace una crítica social sobre condiciones de vida pésimas por la mala gestión del gobierno. Espero te guste.





    Guión completo para ocho personajes

    ¡Hoy juegan las Chivas!*


    (*O cualquier equipo se soccer que se desee elegir, tal como: "¡Hoy juega el América!", etcétera.)


    Dramatis Personae:

    SOFÍA: Joven mujer. Casada con Nacho desde hace pocos años.

    NACHO: Ingeniero. Aficionado al fútbol.

    DR. JAIME: Médico de Seguridad Social.

    LIC. HERIBERTO: Divorciado cuarentón.

    MONA DE SERRADO: Esposa de Ulises, con avanzado embarazo.

    ULISES SERRADO: Macho chovinista.

    MARINA: Maestra solterona y metiche.

    ABOGADO: Típico transa.

    (Apartamento reducido, decorado de manera moderna y agradable. Una pequeña sala y cocineta con barra-comedor es la parte visible del inmueble. Al fondo, una frente a otra, hay dos puertas que representan las recámaras. En la pared hay un calendario con la foto de un equipo de soccer. En la sala hay un librero con una televisión, libros y algún trofeo sencillo de fútbol. Otra puerta, la de acceso al apartamento, se nota pintada con grafiti cuando se abre. Hay una ventana muy cercana al proscenio.
        La escena está algo oscura pues empieza a anochecer y no hay mas luz que la de algunas veladoras sobre la mesa de centro de la salita.)

        (Sofía, sentada en la sala, reza con vehemencia y gran velocidad e interrumpe sus oraciones para hablarle directamente al público.)

        SOFÍA: "Dios te salve María, llena eres de gracia, el señor es contigo bendita eres entre todas las mujeres y bendito el fruto de tu vientre Jesús, santa María madre de Dios, ruega señora por nosotros pecadores, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte, Amén. Dios te salve María llena eres de gracia, el señor es contigo, bendita eres entre todas las mujeres, y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre Jesús..." (al público) Quién me viera ahorita, si ni yo misma me reconozco... "Santa María madre de Dios..." - Estoy rezando el rosario, con veladoras prendidas y toda la cosa... "Ruega señora por nosotros pecadores, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte..." (se para en seco) ¿Muerte? ¡No permitas una muerte súbita! Amén. "Dios te salve María llena eres de gracia..." (al público) Esto sí que tiene gracia, yo que no me paro a misa los domingos, que a falta de rosario me estoy ayudando a contar con estos cacahuatitos, sólo dependo de la fe. Recen conmigo no sean así, ya sólo me falta medio misterio. Yo empiezo y ustedes hacen el responso, ¿sale? "¿Gloria al Padre al Hijo y al Espíritu Santo?..." (Esperando respuesta del público) No ¿verdad? Ustedes no vinieron aquí a rezar: ya sé, pagaron un boleto para ver un espectáculo, para que se les cuente una historia. ¡Claro!, si no, se hubieran metido a una iglesia, y gratis además. Bueno, no se preocupen que de aquí no se van a ir sin que se les cuente una historia. La mía, en vivo y a todo color. No sé por donde empezar, si por el principio o por el final...En fin: yo soy Sofía Andrade, casada, pero no esperen que les diga yo soy Sofía Andrade DE García, las cosas han cambiado, ¡uuhhhh! Antes se decía que una se casaba con la familia del marido, pero desde hace tiempo ya no. Ahora una se casa ¡pero con el fútbol!: Sofía Andrade de Chivas, o Sofía Andrade de Cruz Azul o de Real Madrid. Por lo que a mí respecta, el fútbol puede llegar a convertirse en el principal rival de la mujer en el matrimonio, y esta historia, por supuesto, está íntimamente relacionada al fútbol. Y yo estoy rezando para que caiga un gol, ¡un gol!, de la Selección Nacional. (Se persigna) ¡Cuándo me hubiera yo imaginado! La verdad es que si no fuera por el dichoso fútbol, mi vida sería otra cosa. ¿A poco no?: (se escucha música de Jazz ligero. Nacho sale de una habitación y se sienta en la sala escuchando un radio portátil pegado al oído) Un marido cuya pancita no ha menguado sus atractivos, un bello domingo, lleno de promesa de renovación, la oportunidad de salir del estrés, con un día de campo, una salida cultural, o simplemente quedarse en la tranquilidad del hogar viendo una buena película, o ¿qué tal una cena romántica con música de jazz al fondo (Sofía se mueve al ritmo de la música de manera cachonda, jala del brazo a su marido invitándolo a bailar. Nacho con una mano sostiene la radio y con la otro el talle de su mujer, baila completamente fuera de ritmo, y luego se vuelve a sentar.)

        ¡PERO NO! Cualquier propuesta se ve truncada por el clásico domingo futbolero, y por más que quiera una abstraerse, no hay música que sobreviva estas narraciones:

    (Sofía narra gangosamente.)

        "El centro delantero se la pasa a Peróxido Luján, Moctezuma Smith hace un pase de cabeza al Veloz Vélez, Veloz Vélez, al argentino Modesto Rubio, pero es interceptado por Primitivo Madrazo quien lanza un tremendo cañonazo y .…....pegó en el travesaño"

        (Recobra su tono de voz.)

        Al cabo de los interminables dos tiempos extras, tiros de penal, y de reciclar otros tantos cartones de cerveza, olvídate de salir ni a la esquina, los claxon están chillando, las banderas ondean en cada automóvil conducido por un maniático y francamente no se va a poner una al arbitrio de los hooligans... Sólo te queda un marido de aliento alcohólico, que cambia cada cinco segundos el control de la televisión, pues para colmo ¡ve dos juegos a la vez!

        (Se escucha sonido de estadio. Cae un gol, y se oye al locutor anunciándolo vehementemente: "¡GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!" Aparece Nacho cargando un radio portátil, de donde sale la narración futbolística, y bañado en lágrimas abraza a Sofía)

        SOFÍA: ¿Cayó el gol?

        NACHO (llorando): ¡Sí!

        SOFÍA: De los contrarios.

        NACHO: No.

        SOFÍA: ¿De los nuestros?

        NACHO: (asiente bañado en lágrimas.)

        SOFÍA: ¿Entonces por qué lloras?

        NACHO: ¡Fue un autogol!

        SOFÍA: Alto, alto, engarrótateme ahí. (Nacho se congela) Bueno, creo que estoy empezando al revés. Esta parte ya es para finalizar la trama. Pero no se enojen si ya les conté el final, que al fin y al cabo ya nos hemos acostumbrado a los fracasos. Mejor nos regresaremos al día en que me parecía de lo más intrascendente el marcador final de cualquier torneo de fútbol. Mi marido no traía puesta esta gorra, sino este saco (le quita la gorra y le pone un saco en los hombros). Era una noche en la que como de costumbre nos habíamos quedado sin energía eléctrica.

        (Se ilumina de golpe la escena.)

        NACHO (saliendo del congelamiento y poniéndose el saco): Vaya, hasta que llegó la luz, con tantos cortos circuitos se puede incendiar el edificio. Apaga esas velas Sofía. Ya no deben tardar los vecinos (Tocan a la puerta). Te lo dije: ahí están.

        (Nacho abre la puerta y deja entrar a los vecinos, mientras tanto Sofía apaga las veladoras.)

        SOFÍA (al público):Todo empezó con una junta vecinal para quejarnos sobre el deplorable estado de este edificio nuevo. Sí, nuevo, porque aunque está prácticamente en ruinas, apenas y cumplió dos años de construido.

        NACHO (a los vecinos): Pásenle. Siéntense por favor.

        SOFÍA (al público): Esta pareja que viene entrando aquí, son los presidentes de la honorable asociación de matrimonios cristianos, aunque a mí se me afigura que nomás andan desnudando con la vista a todo el mundo. (A los recién llegados) ¿Gustan un refresco?

        MONA: (voltea a ver al marido.)

        ULISES: ¿Tienes Coca Cola?

        SOFÍA: No pero hay...

        ULISES: Ahorita no, gracias.

        MONA (a su marido): ¿Puedo?

        ULISES (a su mujer): Toma asiento. (Mona toma asiento)

        MARINA: ¿Se puede? (Trae una charola que lleva directamente a la barra del comedor) Traje unos sandwichitos, porque "es bueno el encaje, pero no tan ancho".

        SOFÍA (al público): No podía faltar Marina, que está enterada absolutamente de todo lo que sucede en este edificio.

        MARINA: Ahí vienen el doctor Ramírez, recién llegado de una cirugía de emergencia, y Don Heriberto. Los Ascencio, no están, porque los mandaron llamar de la escuela de los hijos, ya ven que son unos vagos...

        (Entran Jaime y Heriberto y toman un lugar en la salita.)

        JAIME: Nada más estábamos esperando a que volviera la luz.

        ULISES: Haber si no hay otro apagón.

        HERIBERTO (tomando asiento): Con permiso.

        SOFÍA (al público): Jaime y Heriberto, además de profesionistas, grandes fanáticos futboleros. Estos apacibles caballeros son capaces hasta de matar al calor de un partido.

        NACHO: Pasen. Pasen por favor, tomen asiento. Bueno, pues que les parece si vamos empezando.

        JAIME: Sí, cuanto antes mejor. (Mirando su reloj) Van a pasar un especial sobre El Mundial en el canal nueve.

        (Todos están de acuerdo.)

        NACHO: Bueno pues, como quedamos en la junta anterior, ya acudí a un bufete jurídico especializado en este tipo de litigios. La constructora tiene que cumplir con lo que prometió. (A Heriberto) Tú, Heriberto, no viniste...

        MARINA: Pero yo ya lo puse al tanto de todo.

        HERIBERTO: Lo más molesto son estos apagones tan frecuentes, y precisamente ahora que está por empezar el Mundial de fútbol.

        JAIME: La instalación eléctrica está para llorar.

        MONA: Y eso que cambiamos al horario de verano, que si no, ya amenazaban con dejarnos de plano a oscuras.

        MARINA: ¡Toco madera!

        MONA: ¿Y qué me dicen de la fachada? La pintura se deslavó con las primeras lluvias. Parece mentira que usen mejor material esos vándalos para sus "ráfitis", ésos sí que no se despintan con nada.

        ULISES (Corrigiendo): ¡Grafitis mujer!

        NACHO: Bueno, como les iba diciendo, de acuerdo con el abogado, necesitamos, en primer término, darle algo al magistrado, unos dos mil o tres mil pesos, para que acelere las cosas, porque si esperamos el curso normal, el litigio podría durar una eternidad. También hay que acercarnos al diputado de distrito. Ya ven como ha criticado esos anuncios oficiales de "La vivienda es deseable para todos". "Vivienda desechable" dice él; ¡ah, y otra tajada a la secretaria de la constructora...!

        JAIME: ¿También a la secretaria?

        NACHO: ... para que nos facilite copias de las evidencias: compras de materiales inadecuados, etc. (A Sofía) Pasa las hojas para que firmen y vean más o menos de a cuánto nos va a salir levantar la demanda. Cuando ganemos, vamos a recuperarlo todo.

        ( Sofía pasa las hojas de los presupuestos, los vecinos las firman, miran, se rascan la nariz, tosen, en fin, manifiestan su espanto al ver la cifra presupuestada.)

        SOFÍA (al público): Ya de que empiezan a toser y a tocarse la nariz, es que no van a soltar ni un quinto...

        NACHO: Bueno, alguien diga algo ¿no?

        ULISES: ¡Ah caray! Yo sí firmo, pero de momento no puedo dar dinero.

        JAIME: No sale tan barato que digamos.

        NACHO: Véanlo como una manera de salvar su inversión. La plusvalía de nuestro edificio es nula en estas condiciones.

        SOFÍA: ¡ Cómo vamos a permitir que nos vean la cara de idiotas! El drenaje tampoco funciona bien.

        HERIBERTO: ¡Para qué gastar en abogados! La inmobiliaria se declaró en quiebra. Ésa era su jugada: pedir préstamos bancarios, usar de pretexto la construcción de viviendas de interés social - que de por sí tienen fama de estar en pie prácticamente con alfileres -, embolsarse tres cuartas partes del dinero, declararse en quiebra y órale, a ingresar a las listas del FOBAPROA: ¡El negocio del milenio!

        NACHO: De acuerdo, pero yo siento que hay una luz, precisamente nuestro diputado de distrito declaró por televisión su total desacuerdo ante la impunidad de los beneficiados por el FOBAPROA...

        MONA: ¡Cómo puede hablar de impunidad ese excomulgado que apoyó el aborto de la niña Paulina!

        JAIME: No me digan que van a entrar en controversias de política y aborto, justamente cuando está por empezar el reportaje especial sobre la Selección Nacional de fútbol.

        ULISES (mirando su reloj): Sí es cierto. Está por comenzar.

        HERIBERTO: Van a entrevistar a Hans Kovasevich, nuestro director técnico, y va a explicar en qué se basó para escoger a los jugadores.

        ULISES: A mí me indigna que no vaya a ir Primitivo Madrazo, solamente porque es un poco agresivo.

        MONA: ¿Un poco? La noche en que golpeó a su mujer y a su amante, el muy cínico, las mandó al mismo cuarto de hospital. A las dos las entrevistó canal 4, y ambas lo justificaron. ¡Yo no sé cómo pueden aguantar tanto!

        ULISES: La mujer debe comprender siempre al marido y por ende saber perdonar.

        MONA (sumisa): Sí mi amor.

        (La conversación aquí toma gran entusiasmo y hablan a la vez, interrumpiéndose.)

        HERIBERTO: Pero van Peróxido Luján y el Veloz Vélez. En las estadísticas nosotros somos el cuarto lugar, según la FIFA.

        NACHO: Ahí están equivocados, porque vamos a dar la sorpresa. Por fin la Raza de Bronce se llevará la presea de oro.

        SOFÍA: ¡Oigan, no cambien de tema!

        JAIME: Depende también del arbitraje, ya ven cómo están de vendidos...

        MONA: Pues no sabré de fútbol, pero yo veo lo que veo: son rete maricones, se revuelcan del dolor, y cuando ves la repetición espontánea, resulta que ni los rozaron.

        ULISES (expresión de enfado e impaciencia hacia su mujer): ¡Repetición simultánea, mujer!

        HERIBERTO: Oigan, si no ganamos es porque somos la peor afición. Nada más criticamos a los pobres jugadores; acabamos con su autoestima. Con tanta mala vibra es imposible vencer ni al equipo de Belice. Otros países llenan los estadios - sin importar la lejanía- en donde va a jugar su Selección. Por eso triunfan.

        (Los vecinos asienten.)

        ULISES: Si no es por falta de ganas que no voy a apoyarlos. (En un arranque de sentimentalismo) ¡Tan bonito que se vería el estadio ondeando nuestra bandera por miles!

        HERIBERTO: Y el himno de nuestra Selección, cantado a todo pulmón: (canta)

        "El equipo tricolor, tiene mucho corazón, y en la cancha lo demostrará..."

        (Todos cantan y terminan con la clásica porra, a excepción de Sofía.)

        SOFÍA (al público): ¡Hay que ver lo patrióticos que son en éste campo!

        MONA: Pues vamos haciendo una rifa. En el colegio de mis niñas, los padres de familia dimos una aportación, y mediante un sorteo se escogerá a una pareja para que asista a la canonización de los mártires cristeros en el Vaticano.

        JAIME (muy interesado): A ver, a ver, ¿cómo está eso?

        ULISES (quitándole la palabra a su esposa): Es buena idea, miren: los aquí presentes, aportaremos una cantidad fija, y luego rifaremos cuál de nosotros se va a ir a Japón a apoyar a la Selección Nacional a nombre de este edificio.

        MARINA: ¿Y como en cuánto saldría?

        NACHO (hace cuentas):Déjenme ver: el pasaje transpacífico, hotel una estrella, alimentación mínima... No pueden ser menos de unos seiscientos dólares por persona.

        JAIME: Regalado. Yo le entro.

        ULISES: Aquí traigo lo del autofinanciamiento, total, Dios aprieta pero no ahorca.

        SOFÍA: ¿Pero qué va a pasar con la rehabilitación del edificio?

        HERIBERTO (ignorando a Sofía): Yo en la quincena sin falta traigo mi aportación, a menos claro, que yo sea el ganador. (Se ríe emocionado)

        SOFÍA: Nacho, ¡hazlos volver a la cordura!

        NACHO (a Sofía): Tráete los dólares que tenemos bajo el colchón.

        SOFÍA (aparte a Nacho): Pero, ¿y las vacaciones?

        NACHO: Pues ¿qué más vacaciones que ir a apoyar a la Selección Nacional hasta Japón?

        SOFÍA (al público):¿Ven? ¿Ven por que odio el fútbol?

        (Sale hacia la recámara)

        NACHO: Vamos haciendo unos papelitos con nuestros nombres. (Utiliza las hojas de los presupuestos para hacer los boletitos de una rifa.)

        ULISES: Mejor algo que vaya de acuerdo con las últimas cifras de la Lotería Nacional...

        HERIBERTO: Eso es muy enredoso y somos pocos participantes. Además, el que gane apenas tiene tiempo de hacer las maletas.

        JAIME: Ahorita mismo debe salir el ganador.

        MARINA: O la ganadora, pues yo también le entro.

        MONA: Qué les parece el que le atine al número de cacahuates que hay en el botanero. El que más se acerque es el ganador.

        JAIME: Se me hace buena idea. En la feria le atiné al número de chicles en una pecera y me llevé una bicicleta.

        ULISES: Yo le entro.

        NACHO: Bueno, está bien.

        HERIBERTO: Pásenlos para ir haciendo el cálculo...(pasan el botanero y todos van                     calculando)No son muchos... yo digo que cuarenta...y dos.

        MARINA (anotando): Don Heriberto cuarenta y dos.

        JAIME: A ver, a ver, yo calculo cincuenta....no sesenta, bueno cincuenta y cinco cacahuates.

        MARINA (anotando): El Dr. Jaime: cincuenta y cinco.

        ULISES: Yo digo que cincuenta cerrados.

        MARINA (anotando): Mona y Ulises cincuenta. Ahora voy yo. Déjenme ver, yo digo que treinta y ocho... (a Nacho) Ya sólo faltas tú de apostar Nacho.

        SOFÍA ( entrando con el dinero): Aquí están los dólares.

        NACHO (a Sofía): ¿Cuántos cacahuates hay en el botanero mi amor?

        SOFÍA: ¿Cómo quieres que sepa?

        NACHO: ¿Tú cuántos crees?

        SOFÍA (hace foco al altar de la virgen): ¿Cuarenta y cinco?

        MARINA: Nacho, cuarenta y cinco.

        (Todos Ad libitum,: "Vamos a contarlos". Se ponen a contar los cacahuates, hasta que llegan al número de cuarenta y cinco.)

        MARINA: Cuarenta y cinco, ni más ni menos. ¡Nacho, eres el ganador!

        NACHO (fuera de sí): ¡Gané, gané, gané! ¡Me voy al mundial! ¡Me voy al Mundial!

        (Los vecinos le aplauden, lo felicitan y abrazan)

        JAIME: Ni hablar. Felicidades vecino.

        HERIBERTO:

        ¡Qué envidia! ¡Y de la mala, de la mala! ¡Qué suerte! Has por hacerte presente ante las cámaras, para verte por la televisión.

        ULISES: No me pesa, porque vas en nuestra representación a apoyar a nuestra Selección, a gritar a todo pulmón, a infundirles ánimo... ¡A defender a la Patria!

        MARINA: Pues a mí la verdad sí me pesa, tenía tantas ganas de conocer Japón. A lo más que he salido es a Mac Allen. Pero bueno, me conformo con que me mandes un saludo por la televisión, ya ves que hay muchos corresponsales entrevistando a la afición. Busca a uno, y dices: "Le quiero mandar un saludo a Marina Loza Sánchez, maestra de la secundaria federal número 66, que cooperó con parte de los ahorros de toda su vida, para que yo pudiera realizar este viaje y así apoyar a nuestra selección nacional"

        NACHO: Es lo primero que voy a hacer.

        ULISES: ¡Ni hablar!

        NACHO: Es cuestión de horas lo de mi salida. Faltan sólo 36 para la inauguración.

        ULISES: Vete sin pendiente, que nosotros acompañaremos a Sofía, y estaremos al pendiente de tu casa.

        NACHO: Gracias, muchas gracias a todos.

        JAIME: Ya son las nueve. Con su permiso, me voy a ver el especial deportivo.

        HERIBERTO: Vamos, vamos.

        MONA: Nos traes un recuerdito: un llaverito, una taza conmemorativa...

        SOFÍA (con coraje): O, ¿qué tal un balón haciéndose el "harakiri"?

        NACHO: Cuente con eso Doña Mona.

        (Los vecinos se despiden y van saliendo)

        ULISES: Apúrate Mona.

        JAIME: Tengo guardia, pero lo bueno es que hay televisión en la sala de terapia intensiva. Luego nos vemos.

        MARINA (asomándose por la ventana): Ya es tarde y no llegan los Ascencio todavía.

    (Todos salen a ver el programa. Nacho le da un fuerte beso en la mejilla a Sofía y va a encender la tele pero ella lo intercepta.)

        SOFÍA: ¿Qué haces?

        NACHO: El programa...

        SOFÍA: Ignacio, espera un momento, tenemos que hablar.

        NACHO (Nacho enciende la TV): ¿Ahorita?

        SOFÍA (al público): Aquí se me pusieron las cosas color de hormiga, pero puse a prueba mi poder de convencimiento, ya no se trataba únicamente de las vacaciones o la remodelación urgente del edificio, quería ver quién tenía más poder sobre mi marido, si el fútbol o yo. Claro, el reto- en términos deportivos- tenía "grado de dificultad diez". Imagínense persuadir a un marido de renunciar a ir, con gastos pagados, al campeonato mundial de fútbol. Probé todo. Primero toda la fuerza matriarcal reprimida por generaciones: (a su marido. Autoritaria) Ignacio, ni te ilusiones porque tú no vas a ir a Japón...

        NACHO ( en tono burlón ): ¡Ja, ja!

        SOFÍA (al público): ¿No funcionó el autoritarismo? Bueno, probemos el uso de la razón y el sentido común (a su marido): Nacho, mira, vamos siendo realistas: por fin tenemos en nuestras manos dinero suficiente para contratar a un buen abogado. Finge que vas al mundial, pero en realidad te quedas aquí, y con el dinero demandamos a esos bandidos de la constructora. No es deshonesto, porque vamos a usar el dinero para el bien común. El torneo futbolero se acaba en unos días, en cambio el patrimonio de nuestras viviendas durará para siempre.

        NACHO (toma el teléfono): ¿Reservaciones 24 horas? Sí, buenas noches, sí, quiero hacer una reservación a Osaka Japón... ¿Abrieron dos nuevos charters? Excelente. Sí espero...

        SOFÍA (al público): ¿Qué tal entonces un poco de chantaje emocional? (A su marido) En todo caso soy yo la que ganó el viaje, puesto que fui la que adivinó el número de cacahuates del botanero. Así que yo decido no ir, y emplear el dinero en otra cosa... por ejemplo, demandar a la constructora.

        NACHO (al teléfono): ¿El paquete incluye entradas a cuatro partidos de nuestra Selección?     (Grito de entusiasmo) ¡Eeeeeeeeh!

        SOFÍA (al público):No quería llegar a estos extremos, pero ahora toca el turno al fatalismo amarillista, algo que le llegue duro y directo (a su marido, en tono melodramático): Imagínate el peligro que corren nuestras hijas, nuestras gemelitas, rozagantes y cachetoncitas. Si el edificio se incendiara, por las fallas eléctricas, moriríamos achicharrados, y si sobreviviéramos tendríamos que volver a vivir a casa de mi mamá.

        NACHO (cuelga el teléfono): ¡Con tu mamá otra vez no! ¿De qué diablos estás hablando? ¡Pero si aún no tenemos hijos!

        SOFÍA (al público): Ahora el tiro directo (Sofía se sienta sobre él, cara a cara, con una pierna en cada costado, dejando ver sus piernas de manera provocativa): Eso quiere decir, que tenemos mucho trabajo por hacer tú y yo en nuestro campo de juego. Tienes derecho a un tiro libre en mi portería, ¿Qué tal si me metes un gol? ¿mmmmmmm?

        NACHO: Eres una diabla, una perversa... (Sofía se desabrocha la blusa) ¡Ay mamá! Un momento: ¿Y a dónde se supone que iré todos estos días?

        SOFÍA: Te quedarás en tu despacho. Total, solamente serán unos cuantos días, porque de acuerdo a las estadísticas de los pasados veinte campeonatos, nuestra Selección estará de vuelta en casa al finalizar la primera ronda.

        NACHO: Eres fría y calculadora.

        SOFÍA (insinuante): Nada de fría. ¿Iniciamos el partido?

        (Se vuelve a escuchar la música de Jazz. Nacho la toma en sus brazos como recién casados y salen de escena hacia la recámara. Cambio de luz. Tocan a la puerta con insistencia. Se escuchan cornetas y matracas. Sale Nacho de la recámara en bata, abre la puerta y entran los vecinos en total euforia cargados de sombreros estrafalarios, banderas y todo tipo de afiches propios de los aficionados al soccer. Se escucha la música de fondo dedicada al fútbol, cantada por Riky Marti: "¡Go, go, go! ¡Alé, alé, alé!")

        MARINA (alarmada): ¿No piensas irte, o qué?

        NACHO: S, sí de inmediato.

        SOFÍA (saliendo de la recámara): ¿Qué pasa?

        ULISES (le pone a Nacho un sombrero enorme, con los colores nacionales, y hasta con un águila devorando una serpiente): Ha estado conmigo en todos los clásicos. (Menciona jugadores de antaño) Hasta está impermeabilizado contra la lluvia ácida... (hace gestos dando a entender que se refiere a los orines, que arrojan en ciertos estadios) ... y adentro tiene un escondite para meter chupe. Llévalo con toda dignidad, como si fuera el penacho de Moctezuma.

        JAIME (pasándole una matraca): Es primera vez que me desprendo de ella (la besa). Cálala para qué veas que potencia.

        (Nacho da una vuelta a la matraca. Mona le pinta la cara con los colores nacionales. Los vecinos son muy ruidosos. Rematan con una porra.)

        MARINA: Ten. (Le da una bandera de buen tamaño) Eres el abanderado de la secundaria 66. Los alumnos están ilusionadísimos con que la bandera de su escuela la verán por televisión, desde Japón. ¡Ah! te traje estos chiles en escabeche para que no olvides los sabores de tu "México lindo y querido".

        (Todos gritan: ¡México! ¡México! ¡México! ¡Sí se puede! ¡Sí se puede! Etc.)

        HERIBERTO: Yo te traje el sarape oficial de la Selección Nacional. Póntelo. Lo acabo de comprar. No me lo vayas a devolver sin por lo menos un par de autógrafos de los grandes. ¿Entendiste?

        (Los vecinos lo cargan en hombros y gritan ¡Sí se puede! ¡Sí se puede!)

        NACHO (desconcertado): Pero, ¿a dónde me llevan?

        ULISES: ¡Cómo que a dónde! Al Aeropuerto, ¿o qué? ¿Te piensas perder el primer partido? (A su mujer) Vieja, tráete su maleta.

        SOFÍA (haciéndole el paro): Lo que pasa es que sale a las tres y media de la madrugada, ya está contratado el taxi y todo. Ustedes saben, los cambios en el horario...

        JAIME (a los demás vecinos): Bueno, en ese caso, hay tiempo de llevarlo a la parroquia para que el padre Ángel nos lo bendiga, ya ven como es de aficionado el señor cura al fut.

        ULISES: Te vamos a pasear por todo el vecindario. (A Sofía) Préstanos un bote para juntar más cooperación, le va a hacer falta.

        HERIBERTO (tomando el último sorbo de su cerveza en lata): No hace falta, usemos éste.

        MONA: Yo pongo la primer moneda para que haga ruido.

        NACHO: Pero, si estoy en bata...

        (Lo sacan en hombros ajuareado con los objetos y gritando con gran algarabía: Alé alé alé. Sofía se queda sola un instante.)

        SOFÍA (al Público): Bueno, como podrán ver, el arranque estuvo algo alborotado. Trajeron a Nacho en hombros como a un héroe por todo el vecindario y recabaron más dinero para el largo viaje. En cuanto mi marido pudo liberarse de esos fanáticos, se refugió en su despacho. A estas horas seguramente ya estaría en el país de los sushis. (Suena el teléfono) Debe ser él. Hola mi amor. ¿Estás bien instalado? ¿Qué te hizo falta? Déjame apuntar: una cobija, cepillo de dientes... Ajá. Sí corazón. ¿Hablaste con el abogado? ¡Qué bien! No vamos a tener que justificar nada. Cuando las cosas son gratis, nadie indaga su origen. ¿Cómo te les zafaste? Yo soy la que no me puedo librar de ellos, desde el mero día de la inauguración no he tenido un minuto de paz: ven los partidos todo el día aquí en la sala, brincan en los sillones, muerden los cojines, vacían el refrigerador... ¡Hasta sueño que estoy en Japón en medio de una multitud de androides! Lo bueno es que nadie sospecha que no estás viendo el partido en vivo a diez mil kilómetros de distancia, sino vía satélite a escasas 50 cuadras de aquí. (Escuchando que se acercan los vecinos) Tengo que colgar. Yo también te amo, hasta muy pronto.

        (Cuelga abruptamente al escuchar que se aproximan los vecinos que saltan de gusto. Se instalan frente a la televisión de Sofía.)

        MARINA (que alcanzó a escuchar las últimas palabras de la conversación): ¿Cómo llegó? ¿Qué tal Osaka?

        SOFÍA (sobresaltada): M-m-muy bien. Cansado, desde luego. ¡Un viaje tan largo!

        (Los vecinos se instalan, prenden la televisión y se disponen a ver el partido.)

        ULISES (a su mujer): Vieja, arrímate unas chelas.

        (Mona se dirige al refrigerador y saca unas cervezas.)

        SOFÍA (al público): Me siento fuera de lugar en mi propia casa. No entiendo por qué no pueden ver los dichosos partidos en otro lugar. Bueno, ni al baño puedo ir porque siempre está ocupado.

        (Se escucha una narración gangosa y muy exagerada, parodiando a los locutores futboleros. Los vecinos reaccionarán con una "coreografía del espectador": se toman de la cabeza, se concentran, se ponen de pie, se vuelven a sentar, protestan, se enojan, se emocionan, sudan, se comen las uñas etc. Finalmente caerá el gol, y habrá la consiguiente reacción.)

        VOZ DEL LOCUTOR FUTBOLERO: "Nuestro equipo está sacando la casta frente a un contrincante preparado para todo, son gladiadores dispuestos a dar la vida si es preciso. Peróxido Luján, controla el balón, cinco africanos furiosos lo persiguen, lo acechan como si fueran antropófagos hambrientos, no lo dejan dar el pase... fuera. Saque de manos. Peróxido se la pasa a Moctezuma Smith, Guandú del equipo africano le mete zancadilla. ¡Fault!, el árbitro lo ignora, Cuautémoc se revuelca en el suelo, el partido continúa, Bandú, se la pasa a Dirau, Dirau corre a gran velocidad, esquiva a Vélez, se le escapa a Luján, tira y.......El portero mexicano ha desviado el potente disparo con la punta del pie izquierdo, por algo se le dice el hombre de chicle, que se estira, que se pega al balón, todo el equipo mexicano brinca sobre de él, lo besan, se le trepan, le han torcido la espalda al hombre de chicle. "Recuerde, la goma de mascar oficial del Mundial es Adams, el chicle que está en boca de los ganadores." Marcel Prust, el árbitro francés, en busca del tiempo perdido, ajusta su cronómetro. Nuestro portero, el Chicle Ortiz lanza el balón al otro lado de la cancha, lo recibe Veloz Vélez con un golpe de cabeza y... GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL de Méx... No señoras y señores, el árbitro está marcando fuera de lugar, y sí, efectivamente es fuera de lugar. Veloz Vélez protesta, hace una pataleta, le sacan, no, no es la tarjeta amarilla sino la tarjeta Américan Express, la llave del mundo. El equipo africano está en estado de trance, no hay quien los detenga, es un juego sucio y antideportivo el que exhiben, meten zancadilla y patadas a diestra y siniestra, Ramírez está en el suelo, herido, revolcándose del dolor después de que Yandrú le ha dado certera patada, en la espinilla, el árbitro por fin reacciona y saca la tarjeta roja para Yandrú que es expulsado del juego. Ramírez es sacado en camilla, ambos equipos juegan con diez hombres mientras que el Director Técnico de México, el señor Hans Kovasevich decide quién entrará en lugar de Ramírez. Es efectivamente el Chichicuilote Chávez quien entra, parece toro de lidia que entra con toda su fuerza al ruedo, tiene el balón, se le esquiva a Guandú, a Velao, y a Macuna Matata, da un tiro con la izquierda y Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool.....

        TODOS LOS VECINOS: ¡Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!

        (Bailan, se abrazan, brincan sobre los sillones!)

        SOFÍA: ¡ No brinquen todos a la vez, miren como se cimbra el edificio, no confío en que aguante la cimentación!

        JAIME (a Sofía): ¿Sabes qué significa este gol?

        SOFÍA: ¿Qué?

        HERIBERTO: ¡Que ya pasamos a octavos de final!

        SOFÍA (casi histérica): ¡Ay no! (Al ser vista por todos con sorpresa, trata de disimular) Lo que pasa es que ya extraño demasiado a mi marido.

        MARINA (con malicia): No es bueno que una mujer extrañe demasiado al marido...

        ULISES: Estoy feliz de que Nacho esté allá. Es muy importante la presencia de los aficionados para animar al equipo.

        MARINA: ¡Miren, ahí está Nacho!

        MONA: ¡Hablando del ruin de Roma!

        (Todos se abalanzan a la televisión.)

        TODOS: ¿Dónde? ¿Dónde?

        MARINA: Allí, tamaño hormiga, pero es él, a unos cinco centímetros del anuncio de Marlboro. ¡Ah, lástima, ya cambiaron la toma!

        ULISES: ¡Mi sombrero! ¿Traía puesto mi sombrero?

        HERIBERTO: Cámbiale al canal 8, ahí pasan los partidos diferidos, y lo podemos volver a ver.

        SOFÍA (al público): ¡Lo van a ver otra vez! Necesito mi privacidad. Esto está peor que si estuviera Nacho viendo el fútbol. Ahora sí que me agarraron en Off side. ¡Parece que ya se mudaron a mi sala! (Súbitamente, se le ocurre una idea, y se dirige a sus vecinos exageradamente amable.) Se quedan ustedes en su casa, tengo que salir. (Toma su bolsa y se pone lápiz labial.)

        MARINA: ¿A dónde tan pintadita?

        SOFÍA: Al supermercado.

        MONA: ¡Qué bueno! Porque tienes el "refri" vacío.

        ULISES: Tengo un hambre atroz.

        HERIBERTO (albureando): Más vale un hambre atroz que un hombre atrás.

        JAIME: Tampoco hay cervezas.

        Ulises: En serio: hace falta más botana.

        SOFÍA (irónica): ¿Algo más?

        (Los vecinos no le contestan; están embebidos viendo la televisión. Sofía sale, y al cabo de unos segundos se va la luz.)

        ULISES: ¡Otra vez el maldito corto circuito!

        HERIBERTO: Pero eso ya no es cosa del edificio, sino de la CFE y a nivel nacional.

        MONA: Por lo menos alcanzamos a verlo en vivo.

        MARINA: Yo quería ver de nuevo a Nacho. ¿Se fijaron si traía la bandera de mi escuela?

        (Algunos niegan con el gesto.)

        HERIBERTO: Bueno, pues lo mejor será retirarnos a descansar. Mañana los juegos se van a poner cardíacos.

        JAIME (a manera de despedida): A propósito, ya me tengo que ir al hospital.

        MONA: Pero doctor, casi no ha dormido...

        JAIME: Me voy a echar un sueñito en la sala de urgencias.

        MARINA: Ni lo piense. Con los festejos del triunfo de hoy, las salas de urgencia de los hospitales van a estar a reventar: congestiones alcohólicas, fracturas por caídas de los monumentos, hasta heridos por balas perdidas...

        JAIME (bostezando): Es cierto. Mejor me reporto enfermo.

        ULISES (a Mona): Vámonos pues, vieja.

        (En cuanto todos salen, vuelve la luz, y entra Sofía sigilosa.)

        SOFÍA: En ésta ocasión no fue el corto circuito (se ríe). Apagué el interruptor general por unos minutos y ¡bingo!: al fin sola, en mi casa, en silencio. ¿Ir al mandado? ¡Imposible! : entre tantas manifestaciones de euforia, remedos de "batucadas", el tránsito está parado, y es cuando rompen los vidrios de los coches. Bueno, es tiempo de acomodar este mugrero. (Sofía recoge platos sucios y acomoda su sala. Música ambiental.)

        ( Al público) Así cumplió mi marido catorce días de estancia en el país Nipón... Bueno, ustedes saben, a fuerza de fingir, hasta yo misma lo creo en Japón...

        (Tocan a la puerta.)

        SOFÍA: Debí haber quitado los fusibles. Aquí vienen de retache. Pero se supone que estoy en el súper. (Se asoma por el ojo de la puerta)¿Quién es?

        ABOGADO (en off): Soy el licenciado Fermín Camarena, me envía el Sr. Ignacio García.

        SOFÍA (abre la puerta, y hace entrar rápidamente al licenciado): Pase, pase, soy Sofía Andrade, su esposa.

        ABOGADO: Encantado de conocerla. Permítame obsequiarle esta bolsa de recuerditos de las elecciones pasadas las perdimos por culpa de esos tecnócratas que no saben de mercadotecnia: jabones, bolígrafos, camisetas, mandiles, encendedores, balones, en fin detallitos que no cae nada mal tener a la mano (mira a su alrededor).

        SOFÍA: Muchas gracias. Tome asiento por favor. Usted dispensará el tiradero, pero con esto del Mundial...

        ABOGADO (entusiasmado de tocar el tema): ¡Qué juegazos hemos visto! Holanda, como siempre se ha lucido, y ¿qué tal los jugadorazos de Brasil? Lo que sí me sorprende es lo de nuestra Selección, que eso de llegar a cuartos de final nunca se había visto: mire que ganarle a Argentina, Italia, Alemania y Uganda... eso amerita estar en el mismísimo estadio...

        SOFÍA (interrumpiendo): Perdone que lo interrumpa licenciado, pero, ¿decía que tiene algún mensaje de mi esposo?

        ABOGADO: Sí, sí señora, precisamente lo dejé en los juzgados, pero nos van a hacer falta diez mil pesos a fin de, como quién dice, "meter nuestro gol de oro" en este asunto.

        SOFÍA: ¡Diez mil pesos! ¿De dónde? Qué raro, Ignacio sabe que a duras penas si llegamos a los tres mil.

        ABOGADO (remendándole): Precisamente señora, si usted me dejara hablar... Ignacio me dijo que viniera por esos tres mil pesos, puesto que él ya consiguió el resto, aprovechando mis contactos y que se pusieron de modo en el juzgado, porque regularmente esto cuesta el triple... ¿Apoco no esta feliz con la noticia señora?

        SOFÍA (sin entusiasmo): México en cuartos de final.

        ABOGADO: Aparte de eso, ¿no le ha dicho su esposo que los de la constructora ya se comprometieron a asignarles un departamento completamente nuevo, y nada menos que en la colonia Providencia?

        SOFÍA: (emocionada): ¡No, no sabía!

        ABOGADO: Perdone señora, seguramente ya arruiné la sorpresa que le tenía su esposo. Qué pena...

        SOFÍA (muy contenta): No se preocupe licenciado. ¿Entonces nos van a dar otro departamento? ¿Y bien construido, o otra cochinada como ésta?

        ABOGADO: Cómo cree señora. Entonces qué caso tendría el cambio. Precisamente, ya le hemos pagado a peritos para que verifiquen el perfecto estado de construcción del departamento nuevo que se les asignó. Ah, pero eso sí: con la condición de que guarden un secreto total con el resto de los vecinos.

        SOFÍA: ¿Quiere decir que la constructora no va a remediar todos los desperfectos que tenemos aquí?

        ABOGADO: La constructora es deudora, y aunque el FOBAPROA ya absorbió todo, dése de santos que a ustedes sí les van a responder.

        SOFÍA: ¿Pero, y los demás?

        ABOGADO: Los demás son unos apáticos. Ustedes son los que se han echado la bronca y han hecho todo el ruido. A la constructora le sale más barato mocharse con ustedes y que no se hagan más olas.

        SOFÍA: Le voy a hacer un cheque por los tres mil pesos.

        (El abogado hace cuentas y luego se pone a leer el Esto.)

        SOFÍA: ¿Dice que Ignacio está ahorita en los juzgados? (Mira su reloj) ¿Pues hasta qué horas trabajan?

        ABOGADO: Por eso le voy a pedir que no me entretenga, que ya nomás me está esperando Rosi, la secretaria, para poderse retirar, pues el documento debe llevar el sello con la fecha de hoy por cuestiones legales. Así que hágalo al portador y con fecha de ayer.

        SOFÍA (dándole el cheque): Sí, sí aquí tiene licenciado Camarena. Le ruego que salga sin que nadie lo vea, porque los vecinos de aquí son de lo más mitoteros...

        ABOGADO: Sí, sí, ya su marido me puso al tanto. Buenas noches, y ¡felicidades!

        (El abogado sale.)

        SOFÍA: Valió la pena. ¡Y en Providencia! ¡El sueño de toda mi vida! Me da pena por los vecinos, pero tiene razón el abogado: a ellos no parece interesarles nada que no sea el fútbol.

        (Mientras habla Sofía, entra Nacho sigilosamente sin que ella se percate. Trae un pasamontañas. La abraza por detrás y ella grita.)

        SOFÍA: ¡Ayyyyyyyyyy!

        NACHO: No te asustes, soy yo.

        SOFÍA: ¡Pero cómo pudiste...! ¿No te vio nadie?

        NACHO: Nadie. Tuve mucho cuidado. No aguanto ya más tiempo en el despacho. Los mosquitos me comen por las noches, los resortes del sofá están acabando con mi espalda y... además, ¿ya se te olvidó lo de las gemelitas? (Se pone cachondo.)

        SOFÍA: Nacho, mi amor, ¡tenemos que celebrar! pero, no debiste haberte salido del juzgado, en este momento el licenciado Camarena va en camino con el dinero.

        NACHO: ¿Cuál dinero?

        SOFÍA: Los tres mil pesos que me pediste para que se nos asigne el departamento de Providencia...

        NACHO (derrumbándose): ¿Le diste dinero a ese pillo? ¡Nooooo!

        SOFÍA: ¿Qué pasa Ignacio?

        NACHO: Que el dichoso abogado nos robó. Me sacó hasta el último centavo según él para repartir entre magistrados, jueces, secretarios, documentación... y todo para nada: la constructora compró al diputado y me tienen amenazado de muerte si seguimos adelante, porque no quieren que el asunto se politice. Creo que la cosa va en serio (se quita el pasamontañas y muestra su rostro golpeado). Ya me pusieron una calentadita para que lo entienda mejor. No he podido hablar con el abogado, parece que se lo tragó la tierra, y ahora me dices que le diste nuestro dinero!

        SOFÍA: ¡Nacho! ¡Mírate nada más! Nunca creí... ¡Cómo pude ser tan ilusa! En este país las ilusiones sólo se experimentan por televisión. ¡Me siento tan culpable!

        NACHO: No es tu culpa, yo también le creí el cuento ese del apartamento nuevecito... Ese cabrón me aseguró que la teníamos ganada, que el juez era su compadre...

        SOFÍA: Quédate un rato. Es peligroso, porque todos los vecinos te hacen en Japón, no salen de la sala, y si te cacharan aquí, no quiero ni pensarlo. Están más fanáticos que nunca con los triunfos de la Selección Nacional. Pero mira: como a eso de las cuatro de la mañana, te retachas a tu despacho. Imagínate si los vecinos se dieran cuenta del engaño... Lo bueno es que ya está por concluir todo.

        NACHO: ¿Concluir todo? Nunca en la historia de este país la Selección Nacional había llegado a las semifinales.

        SOFÍA: La locura es total, Dios nos libre de que pasen a la final, porque entonces sí se paraliza el país.

        NACHO (entra a la recámara y llama a Sofía): Mi vida, ven a consolarme, te necesito tanto...

        SOFÍA: Sí mi amor. Al menos nos tenemos el uno al otro.

        NACHO: Cierra bien las puertas.

        (Se escucha un jazz sensual. Sofía se dirige a la recámara. Cambio de luces. Se escuchan murmullos y movimientos torpes. Es Ulises que entra por la ventana del Apartamento. Luego sin hacer ruido abre la puerta por donde entran Mona y Marina, en ropa de dormir. Hablan en susurros.)

        ULISES: ¿Está segura de lo que dice doña Marina?

        MARINA: Ya decía yo que no es bueno que una mujer joven extrañe tanto al marido...

        (Ulises pega la oreja a la puerta, y escucha ruidos.)

        MONA: ¿Y ahorita mismo está con su amante?

        ULISES: ¡Desvergonzada!

        MONA: ¿Y cómo es el hombre?

        MARINA: Primero metió a un hombre muy trajeado, que salió feliz dando de saltos, y luego lueguito llegó éste otro que es todo lo contrario: háganse de cuenta que es el propio Subcomandante Marcos. ¿No la notaban impaciente, como que quería que ya nos saliéramos de su casa?

        MONA: Es que ya traía su plan. Además de adúltera, nos resultó con nexos guerrilleros... ¡Qué miedo! Mejor nos vamos.

        ULISES (a Mona): Nada de eso. La autoridad moral de mi investidura como presidente de los matrimonios cristianos, católicos apostólicos y amigos de Fox, me obliga a poner en evidencia una conducta a todas luces perversa. De tal manera que, así como Nacho nos está representando como afición en Japón, nosotros lo representamos aquí. Entre todos vamos a desenmascarar a esa puta.

        MONA: ¡Ulises!

        ULISES: Llámalos a todos.

        MONA: Sí, sí, enseguida. Con razón estaba tan renuente a pertenecer al grupo de matrimonios cristianos... (sale encarrerada.)

        MARINA: Pobre Nachito, tan lejos y ni se imagina que le están poniendo tamaños cuernos.

        (Se acercan a la recámara y escuchan jadeos fogosos.)

        MARINA: ¡Ave María Santísima! ¡Están - como dicen los chavos– en pleno "prau- prau"!

        ULISES (le tapa los oídos y se le repega cachondo): No oiga esas cosas. Permítame proteger sus castos oídos.

        MARINA: No crea que porque soy soltera no estoy al tanto en estas cuestiones: con mucha pena le digo que en la secundaria número 66, somos primer lugar nacional en embarazo adolescente... (lo tutea) Necesito un hombre como tú... para dar algunas conferencias en nuestro plantel, a veces me siento tan sola en mi labor...

        ULISES: Me encantaría, la sexualidad es un tema que debe introducirse a los jóvenes, ligado a los principios morales y religiosos para evitar caer precisamente (por los ruidos de la recámara de Sofía) en estas situaciones tan, tan...

        MARINA (se sostiene del brazo de Ulises): ¡Ay perdona! Como que me marié. ¡Esto no deja ser de lo más bochornoso!

        ULISES (abrazándola): Apóyate en mí Marina, una mujer siempre debe tener a su lado un hombre en el que pueda confiar de manera incondicional. Cuando te sientas sola, llámame, que al fin y al cabo somos vecinos y podríamos encontrar un tiempecito para consolarnos de tantas vicisitudes que nos toca vivir en nuestra vida profesional. Siempre te he visto a ti, como un destino vecino al mío, como un ángel generoso y comprensivo que se da sin exigir nada a cambio...

        MARINA: ¡Qué bonito hablas! Somos una especie como de almas gemelas, ¿No es así? (Se abrazan y cachondean.)

        ULISES (cachondamente. Por Sofía): ¡Mujer de la calle!

        MARINA: ¡Adúltera!

        ULISES: ¡Perra!

        MARINA: Todos los benditos hombres son tan puercos...

        (Entra Heriberto, Jaime y Mona. Ulises y Marina se separan abruptamente. Ulises les hace señas de que no hagan ruido. Hablan en susurros.)

        HERIBERTO: ¿Alguien me quiere explicar qué está pasando aquí?.

        ULISES: ¡Algo indignante!

        MONA: Sofía le está dando vuelo a la hilacha. Ahorita mismo está metida en la cama con un guerrillero.

        HERIBERTO: ¿Y para eso me despertaron? En estos momentos estoy muy por encima de todo: nada va a distraerme de este maravilloso sabor de boca que me han dejado los partidos. ¿No se dan cuenta de que estamos a punto de ser los campeones mundiales?

        JAIME: ¡Nada debe empañar esta satisfacción que nos embriaga a todos los mexicanos, en estos históricos momentos! Es como si el tiempo se detuviera: nadie llega a tiempo a trabajar, los bancos y las escuelas cierran a deshoras, la policía se hace de la vista gorda ante los desórdenes y los saqueos... ¿Cuál es el problema?

        HERIBERTO: Con triunfos como éste, ¡que viva la impunidad!

        MONA: ¡Son días de goles, regocijo y perdón!

        MONA: El cambio a llegado hasta para la Selección Nacional.

        ULISES: Está bien. Pero por mi investidura, tengo el deber de informarle a Nacho, con detalle, todo lo que ocurrió en su habitación durante su ausencia.

        JAIME: Bueno ya estuvo bien. Ya han sido demasiadas emociones por hoy, y el juego en vivo lo van a pasar de madrugada.

        HERIBERTO: En ese caso, vámonos ya.

        ULISES (a su mujer): Vete adelantando Mona, yo todavía me voy a entretener un rato más. (A Marina) Te acompaño...

        MARINA: ¡Siento un calorcito que me sube y me baja!

        (Los vecinos hacen comentarios entre ellos y ya para salir se asoma Sofía de la recámara, cubierta con una sábana.)

        SOFÍA: ¡Qué hacen ustedes aquí!

        MARINA (maliciosa): Ya sabemos el secreto que escondes, Sofía.

        SOFÍA (nerviosa): ¿Cuál secreto?

        ULISES: Pobre Nachito, es un verdadero mártir.

        SOFÍA: Pero ustedes merecen una explicación... Aparentemente, se trata de un engaño, pero no es así: Nacho quería cumplir, de todo corazón, pero a la hora de la hora no pudimos... fue mi culpa, yo lo presioné

        JAIME (bostezando): No necesitas explicar nada...

        HERIBERTO: Y disculpa la intromisión.

        SOFÍA (hacia adentro de la recámara): ¿Ya escuchaste Nacho? Son mucho más comprensivos de lo que nos suponíamos. ¡No necesitas esconderte ni un día más!

        NACHO (saliendo de la recámara): Gracias amigos.

        TODOS: ¿¡NACHO!?

        MARINA: ¿Dónde está tu amante?

        SOFÍA: ¡Cuál amante!

        MONA: El guerrillero que se metía por la ventana.

        HERIBERTO: ¿Qué haces aquí?

        JAIME: Te acabamos de ver en la tele, directo desde Japón...a menos que...

        MARINA: A menos que no fueras tú...

        MONA: Porque tú estás aquí...

        ULISES: Y si estás aquí, es porque no estás en Japón, y si no estás en Japón...

        HERIBERTO : ¡Es que nunca te fuiste!

        NACHO: Puedo explicarlo todo...

        ULISES (muy violento): ¡Canalla! ¡Yo te mato hijo de la ...!

        ( Ulises va a golpear a Nacho. Sofía se interpone.)

        SOFÍA: ¡No que no había problema!

        JAIME: Nos dijeron que habías metido a un hombre a tu cama, y eso es asunto tuyo, pero el que Nacho esté aquí y no en Japón, es asunto de todos nosotros: ¡pagamos para que estuviera apoyando al equipo en estos momentos!

        SOFÍA: Nacho sacrificó su sueño de ir al mundial, por un sueño de justicia. Todos los recursos se emplearon en el litigio.

        ULISES: Eso no cambia las cosas, imbécil. (Los vecinos lo detienen) Suéltenme, suéltenme...

        HERIBERTO: Nos engañaron.

        JAIME: Canallas.

        NACHO: ¿Qué les pasa? Yo me sacrifiqué de no ir al Mundial por el bien común, ¿y todavía me quieren madrear?

        JAIME: ¿Y tú quién eres para decidir qué es el bien común? ¿No sabes lo que es una democracia?

        SOFÍA: La democracia se alcanza cuando existe una mayoría que razona, y no con el voto de unos enajenados, manipulados por la publicidad y el fanatismo...

        ULISES: Aquí hubo fraude. Orquestaron todo desde un principio, hasta lo de los cacahuates ya estaba calculado con anticipación...

        SOFÍA: No. Pero, ¿de qué se quejan? Es igual que esté o no esté Nacho allá, el equipo ya pasó a semifinales.

        JAIME (casi en lágrimas): ¡Cuando más necesitan de nuestro apoyo!

        MONA: ¡Regrésame mis ahorros!

        NACHO: Se lo di todo al abogado.

        ULISES: Pues más te vale Nacho que no pierda la Selección, porque si p
              Lombardi Aguilar Group partner to moderate a panel at AmCham Trade & Investment Forum        

    Abril 8 Foro AMCHAM
    Trade and Investment Forum

    Attorney Alvaro Aguilar will be moderating a panel on anti-counterfeiting measures at the AmCham Trade & Investment Forum


    PRLog - April 5, 2015 - PANAMA CITY, Panama -- On Wednesday, April 8, Lombardi Aguilar Group (www.laglex.com) partner Alvaro Aguilar-Alfu will be moderating a panel at the American Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Panama (AmCham Panama) Trade & Investment Forum on  "Challenges and Realities of the Fight Against Illicit Trade". Aguilar will moderate a panel discussing the effects of illicit trade on the pharmaceutical and health industries.

    The forum will have panels and exhibits from:

    - Representatives Intelectual Property Registry (DIGERPI), Judicial Investigation Directorate (DIJ), Intellectual Property Attorney General and other government agencies engaged in fighting illegal trade,

    - Representatives of multinational corporations and local businesses affected by illicit trade,
    - Business Alliance for Secure Commerce (BASC) and local Food & Drug Administration (FDA) representatives.
    - The Director of the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) of the US Chamber of Commerce.

    "The best known forms of illegal trade include manufacturing of counterfeit clothes, shoes, watches, audiovisual media (discs, movies, games)", Aguilar said. "The offering to the public of counterfeit versions of products which failure can cause accidents - such as auto parts, software, and other construction products - should cause concern. In the most dramatic cases, products for human consumption such as food, drugs and cigarettes are regularly altered or forged. The geographical position of Panama and logistical advantages are exploited by the merchants of illicit trade for transferring products to the Americas and other continents."

    Mr. Aguilar is a graduate of Universidad Santa Maria la Antigua (LLB) and Washington College of Law at The American University (LLM). He has 20 years of experience in intellectual property protection and litigation on behalf of local, European and U.S. companies doing business in Latin America.  Mr. Aguilar also serves as Chairman of the AmCham Panama Trade & Investment Committee, which provides a friendly forum for information exchange and collaboration between the public and private sector, strengthening relationships with key groups of stakeholders in the region, including the National Government, embassies and other private-sector organizations.

    The forum and luncheon will be held at Sortis Hotel in Panama City from 8 am to 2 pm.  Those interested in attending this event can register through the AmCham website at:http://www.panamcham.com/es/events/upcoming-events/cal Tel. 301-3881.

    About The American Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Panama (AmCham Panama)

    Founded in 1979, AMCHAM Panama http://www.panamcham.com is a non-profit, non-political, independent, voluntary association supported primarily by its members.  Much of the organization's work is accomplished through the efforts of volunteer member committees which collaborate to help AMCHAM promote free enterprise in Panama. AmCham Panama has over 450 active members, from small local companies to major multinational companies based in the United States.

    About Lombardi Aguilar Group (LAG)

    Lombardi Aguilar Group is a partnership of consultants created as an alternative for clients worldwide who seek fast, innovative and effective solutions to their legal problems. The firm currently provides services to individual and corporate clients in Panama as well in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Its partners maintain a commitment with professional ethics and social responsibility by participating in the board of directors of groups such as the Panama Bar Association, the Alliance Francaise, the German and the American Chambers of Commerce (AMCHAM) of Panama, and the Association of Chinese-Panamanian Professionals (APROCHIPA).

    The firm centers its law practice in private client services and asset protection (Private Interest Foundations, Trusts), business structures (Offshore Corporations), tax planning, real estate and e-commerce. It also advices in areas of Law such as Corporate, Commercial, Intellectual Property, Maritime, Tax, Environmental, Life Sciences and Immigration Law as well as related litigation.

    For more information, contact +507 3406444, e-mail info (at) laglex.com, or see: Lombardi Aguilar Group http://www.laglawyers.com

    See full text in http://www.prlog.org/12442772-lombardi-aguilar-group-partner-to-moderate-panel-at-amcham-trade-investment-forum.html



              Dial M for Murdoch: exhaustive account of the UK tabloids' criminality and the resulting coverup        

    Tom Watson and Martin Hickman's Dial M for Murdoch is a timely, informative, infuriating insider account of the News International phone-hacking scandal that has occupied the news-cycle, off and on, for several years now (and shows no sign of slowing down). Watson, a veteran Member of Parliament -- and frequent target of the Murdoch press and its hackers and snoops -- was an early and consistent voice of alarm over the scale and illegality of the Murdoch tabloids' investigative methods. He's uniquely well-situated to tell this story. His co-writer, Martin Hickman, is a veteran investigative reporter who covered the story for the Independent. They make a good pair, and the narrative is relatively smoothly told and, at times, is very powerfully written.

    The Murdoch papers -- and other UK tabloids and papers -- wield tremendous influence in the halls of British power. Dial M traces the intimate connections between the press and senior ministers, elected officials, and -- crucially -- the police in the UK. As the flagship Murdoch tabloid, News of the World attained the highest circulation of any English-language paper, and seems to have led the world in illegal investigation techniques as well. The early inklings of the scope of the company's criminality were systematically understated by the press, underrated by the police, pooh-poohed by officials (from every party), and buried.

    But the story wouldn't die. There were just too many victims, a sympathetic poster-child for everyone -- dead soldiers and their families, terrorist bombing victims, royals, the families of murdered children, and so on. It was impossible for Scotland Yard to maintain its "nothing to see here" posture, not with so many different stakeholders and so many upwellings of outrage. It didn't help that the most senior police officers on the case were doing various kinds of business with Murdoch, or retiring into cushy sinecures as high-paid columnists and consultants. Neither could the impotent Press Complaints Commission maintain the fiction that it had investigated, censured, and cleaned house.

    Murdoch's many enemies were willing to bring the fight, risking their private lives, risking their personal fortunes. Vindictive Murdoch executives drew up enemies lists, ordered deep background checks on Parliamentarians and attorneys, sent high-powered lawyers to lean on witnesses, set private eyes to follow Murdoch's opponents in secret, or dispatched obvious PIs to watch them openly and intimidatingly. Watson and Hickman are exhaustive in documenting the slimy depths plumbed by Murdoch's high-placed lieutenants and their thugs in their efforts to maintain the years-long suppression of the investigation.

    They were ultimately undone by their own arrogance. You can't defend yourself by throwing your accomplices under the bus forever. Eventually, some of the minions on whom you've pinned the blame will start whispering your secrets to others. Likewise, you can't pin the blame on your fancy lawyers, insisting that they investigated your operation and gave it a clean bill of health -- they won't sit still for it. You can't just hack everyone who accuses you of hacking.

    Indeed, the scale and arrogance of the Murdoch companies' illegality was both their undoing, and is the major problem with Dial M for Murdoch. Despite the authors' valiant efforts to be both exhaustive and engrossing, sometimes the sheer litany of the names of the hacked, the officials who participated in the coverups, the bribes and corruption -- well, it gets a little repetitive. This is the banality of evil, 350 pages' worth. The fact that it's hard to keep it all straight when it's delivered in sequence, with the benefit of hindsight, tells you a lot about how this managed to slip off the front pages so many times over the years. The revelations can be so similar that it's hard to remember that this is actually a fresh outrage, not just a re-reporting of last week's lies and crimes.

    My other problem with Dial M is its unwillingness to set out an explicit agenda in defense of a free press. For all that the tabloids have gotten away with murder for decades, Britain has one of the most censorious and litigant-friendly environments when it comes to press freedoms. This is the land of the "superinjunction," where corporate criminals can order the news of their misdeeds to be vanished into the memory hole. This is the land where spurious libel claims can be used to silence science writers like Simon Singh and Ben Goldacre, who document the (sometimes literally) murderous quackery of "alternative medicine" gurus. Britain has the unwelcome distinction of being the world's center for "libel tourism," a place where despots can come to punish journalists who reveal their misdeeds.

    One consequence of the Murdoch scandal has been a renewal of the call for "press regulation," to rein in the tabloids. But what the tabloids did was already illegal -- it didn't just violate a "code of conduct," it violated the actual statutes on the actual lawbooks. The problem wasn't that they slipped through a legal loophole: the problem was that they had the cooperation of crooked prosecutors and cops, and the collusion of highly placed officials, both elected and appointed. The problem wasn't the absence of a law, it was the absence of legal enforcement.

    For example, Dial M paints Max Mosley as something of a hero of the fight against Murdoch. Mosley, a wealthy celebrity who'd been libeled by the tabloids, refused to settle and refused to back off, and spent a fortune bankrolling much of the legal action against Murdoch. For this, he is justly lionized by the authors. But Mosley also proposes far-reaching Internet censorship rules, and advance notice and "arbitration" whenever the press publishes stories about public figures, and an opportunity for those figures to seek injunctions against publication. I kept waiting for the authors to point out that one risk of the Murdoch scandal is that Britain's moneyed and powerful will seize on the opportunity to reverse the trend toward libel reform and other free-speech rules, and to demand expansions to the already onerous censorship and libel regime the country labours under.

    Instead, Watson and Hickman walk a fine line between praise and condemnation of the press, without ever articulating what a "good" press should do, or what regulation they favour. There are plenty of opportunities for this, too: after all, the Guardian's Nick Davies was a key investigator of the scandal, and the authors credit him with bringing Murdoch to heel, at real personal risk. I wanted them to explain how they would create a policy or precedent that would let Davies investigate Murdoch at full tilt, but not be so broadly defined as to legalize the investigative techniques used by the Murdoch press. Indeed, the book opens with a quote from Bob Woodward, who brought down a president by publishing illegally leaked confidential material -- what system would protect Woodward and not Andy Coulson?

    The other "other shoe" that never dropped in Dial M was a critique of the way that our IT systems are designed to be such juicy and easy targets for scumbags and crooks. It goes without saying that there's no excuse for the Murdoch invasions. But what on Earth are all these rich and powerful people doing sending unencrypted emails? Why do ministers of the government use voicemail servers operated by big, dumb phone companies like Vodaphone, instead of privately maintained Asterix instances run by Parliament's IT department (who, presumably, couldn't be tricked into resetting a voicemail PIN merely by calling up and saying, "It's Bob in tech support, and I'm on the other line with the Home Secretary and she's forgotten her PIN, can you reset it for me, mate?"). How is it that lawyers and clients send cleartext documents to one another, and how is it that ministers and civil servants keep the nation's most important information on unencrypted hard drives? It's one thing for an individual celebrity (or the bereaved parents of a murdered child or a felled soldier) to lack the wherewithal to protect themselves, but when it comes to officials and their staff, it's both inexcusable and inexplicable. Maybe the Murdoch snoops would still have gotten something on them with long lenses and PIs who shadowed them from home to work. But the fact that a crew of creepy dolts were able to sit in their basements hacking thousands of important and official phones and computers at a time is not merely an indictment of their employers at the tabloids. It should be a wakeup call to the establishment to put its house in order, get some training, and use the decades-old technology (that comes stock on every GNU/Linux box) in their official dealings.

    Leaving aside those omissions, Dial M is a fabulous and infuriating read. If you have been trying in vain to keep all the crooked dealings straight, here, at last, is the scorecard you've been looking for. It's the perfect background reading for the nightly news, and I can't wait for a sequel once this business has been resolved (however long that might take!).

    Dial M for Murdoch

              Il Fiore Rosso        
    Presentazione:
    Questo racconto rientra tra i 5 racconti fonamentali, da narrare al Branco ogni anno.
    Evidenzia come il male, irrispettoso di ogni legge, divide e sgretola la comunità.
    Emerge la figura di Shere Khan in tutta la sua malvagità, contrapposta alla forza di chi cammina nella lòegge (Mowgli) e all'umanità pronta al sacrificio (Akela).

    Ricorda:
    l’Ambiente fantastico Giungla aiuta l’adulto ad entrare in relazione con i bambini ma…occorre tuttavia che l’adulto non diventi “solo” bambino, ma che sappia essere anche “fratello maggiore”, consapevole dello strumento che utilizza, parlando in termini giungla.
    In buona sostanza, è bene che si diverta, che sia spontaneo, ma altrettanto che parli con parole maestre per indicizzare comportamenti da adottare, che per primo adotti egli stesso/a detti comportamenti, sapendo dove si può arrivare utilizzando un messaggio piuttosto che un altro all’interno del ventaglio di possibilità offerte dal figurato mondo dell’Ambiente Fantastico Giungla.
    Nello specifico di questo racconto, vi è un notevole grado di maturità ed impegno, da far “assimilare”. Vi è l’impegno, la promessa, la decisione di Mowgli, il Progettare le azioni che si dovranno fare, lo “sperimentare” (…bèh, se prendono in mano la ciotola con il fiore rosso, posso farlo anch’io…)...

    Il racconto viene suddiviso in 3 episodi:
    1° parte: capoversi 1-21
    2° parte:capoversi 22-44
    3° parte: capoversi 45-79

    Cerchaimo di capire la morale indiretta di questo racconto giungla
    Sono individuabili 2 simboli all’interno del racconto:
    il fuoco: come elemento che permette la presa di coscienza a Mowgli della propria crescita. E’ anche segno di una forza che può essere gestita con intelligenza.
    l’alba: simbolo di una nuova vita che inizia

    IL FIORE ROSSO: sequenze
    1. Descrizione della figura di Mowgli che cresce
    2. Dialogo tra Mowgli e Bagheera – L’idea di Bagheera del fiore rosso
    3. La preda mancata di AKela
    4. Il Consiglio della Rupe con i discorsi di SHERE KAN, AKELA, BAGHEERA, MOWGLI
    5. La scelta di Mowgli: Caccerò Shere Kan e poi tornerò tra gli uomini…

    Riflessioni a proposito delle parole maestre:
    Si nota a volte una certa confusione tra le parole maestre e i detti della giungla: per alcuni VV.LL qualsiasi fosse la frase sottolineata in grassetto nel testo era una parola maestra. Ad esempio alcuni capi considerano parole maestre le frasi sottolineate ai paragrafi 10 e 11, ma non riescono a dare valore e pieno significato a queste parole. Lo stesso avviene per la frase “non c’è lupo dei nostri, al quale io non abbia tolto spine dalle zampe”(vv.14); essi la interpretano come parola maestra che esprime riconoscenza per chi ci ha fatto dei favori. Prima agisci e dopo parla (vv.24) parola maestra che invita al fare concreto e ad evitare parole vuote e non accompagnate dall’azione. Qualche chiacchiera di pipistrello (vv.35) viene colta come massima della giungla e non come semplice detto. Ha mangiato il nostro cibo. Ha dormito al nostro fianco. Ha battuto per noi la selvaggina. Non ha mai infranto una sola legge della giungla. (vv.59) In queste parole di Akela vengono descritte le caratteristiche della fratellanza e viene ribadita l’importanza di osservare la stessa legge.vv.62 O piuttosto di un impegno? … Ben a ragione siete chiamati il Popolo Libero per ribadire l’importanza di mantenere una promessa. vv73 vi prometto che, quando sarò uomo in mezzo agli uomini, non vi tradirò come voi avete tradito me come segno di superamento del desiderio di vendetta per mantenere fede alla legge e ai propri ideali.

    Alcuni aspetti emersi dall’analisi del racconto:

    Personaggi e funzioni
    - Mowgli à percorso di crescita;
    - Akela à viene visto come garante della leggePossibilità di ambientare trame di gioco, di inventare utilizzare canti/danze
    All’interno del racconto del fiore rosso emergono chiaramente vari spunti per educare alla cittadinanza e alla politica in branco. Va sottolineato come la politica si debba intendere come servizio per raggiungere l’obiettivo del bene comune poiché, se non c’è il bene comune e non c’è una comunità, vengono meno i pilastri di sostegno della politica stessa. La comunità si definisce come luogo in cui si esercita una democrazia, nella fedeltà alla legge condivisa e mantenendo uno spirito di confronto. Il luogo privilegiato per esprimere tale democrazia e confronto in branco pare essere il Consiglio della Rupe (spunti nel vv.2 e nel vv.76). Nel racconto si può notare come Mowgli e i suoi amici siano disposti ad andare controcorrente pur di mantenersi fedeli alle norme che considerano basilari per una vita pacifica, sana e giustaLa legge (con i principi in essa contenuti) e l’onore sono considerate radicali e irrinunciabili per la vita nella giungla e per la convivenza senza divisioni, egoismi e violenze. Nel racconto poi sono sottolineati anche i temi dell’attenzione al prossimo (ad esempio nel vv.12) e dell’importanza del servizio, declinato in semplici gesti quotidiani, come può essere la Buona Azione.

    Caratteristiche e funzioni dei personaggi in base a quanto emerge dal racconto:

    Babbo lupo
    E’ un maestro della giungla (vv.1) E’ segno dell’amore paterno, che lascia il proprio “figlio” libero di seguire la propria strada (vv.83).

    Bagheera
    Dimostra amicizia (in tutta la storia) e affetto oltre che agilità e prontezza fisica (vv.1). Si rivela anch’essa maestra della giungla, e personaggio dotato di forza che esprime nelle sue cacce leggendarie (vv.3) E’ simbolo di lealtà e di riconoscenza ed è anche tutore della legge (vv.4) Sa dare buoni consigli e mettere in guardia sui pericoli (vv.8-9) Esprime tenerezza (vv.19), disponibilità, ma anche una grande saggezza (2ªparte) Si schiera controcorrente e rimane fedele alla legge. E’ protettiva nei confronti di Mowgli (vv.73)

    Mamma lupa
    E’ un personaggio che esprime e incarna i valori della famiglia: protegge i suoi cuccioli e tutta la sua famiglia, ma è anche sprone per Mowgli. (vv.6) E’ la figura materna che sa comprendere emozioni e bisogni dei suoi cuccioli (vv.33-34) e che sa amare (vv.83) fino al punto di lasciare l’amato libero di seguire la propria strada.

    Shere Khan
    E’ un personaggio infido (vv.6), subdolo, che incarna l’invidia; è sleale, ammaliatrice e ingannevole. (vv.7) E’ simbolo dell’assenza di ogni regola e diviene la causa di divisione del branco (dal vv.47 in poi); crea litigi nella giungla, non sa essere guida per gli altri, ma è solamente un’egoista che vuole perseguire i propri interessi (vv.56ss.) E’ un personaggio perdente: incarna la forza fine a se stessa e dimostra, con quanto gli accade, che gli ideali sono ben più forti della prepotenza. E’ solo apparenza e inganno poiché la sua figura si rivela attaccabile: anche coloro che sembrano più forti hanno un punto debole sul quale si può far leva (in questo caso è la paura del fuoco).

    Akela
    In tutto il racconto del Fiore rosso si nota come Akela sia un personaggio vivo, in evoluzione, perché anche per lui passano gli anni. Egli mostra la sua vecchiaia e debolezza senza vergognarsene, ma accettando il suo status; non è più l’abile cacciatore di un tempo perché manca la preda, ma non ha perso il carisma del capo che, fino alla fine, anche a rischio della propria vita, continua a difendere i valori della legge che sono stati per lui e per il branco riferimenti sicuri e garanzia di vita. E’ severo e segno dell’autorità (o dell’autorevolezza?) (vv.7)

    Baloo
    E’ maestro di vita poiché da consigli e insegnamenti non solo sulla legge della giungla, ma anche sulle abitudini da tenere nel vivere quotidiano(vv.1) E’ un personaggio che esprime il senso di appartenenza ad un gruppo e l’affetto per i componenti del gruppo stesso lo spingono a rischiare la sua stessa vita, in caso di bisogno (vv.8)

    Tabaqui
    E’ personaggio negativo che mostra tutta la sua sgradevolezza (vv.12)

    Mowgli
    Si nota una crescita di Mowgli all’interno del racconto: non è più il cucciolo d’uomo sprovveduto che deve imparare e comprendere ogni cosa e cade anche in errori grossolani, ma è un bambino che sta crescendo, che diventerà un uomo. Mowgli comincia a scoprire e a rendersi conto delle differenze tra lui e i lupi, anche se questa consapevolezza gli procura dolore e avviene attraverso un esperienza dolorosa (vv.75-76).Egli impara molte cose osservando le azioni altrui e sperimentando personalmente (vv.39 e 46)Ha una maggiore conoscenza della legge(vv.49ss.) e dell’onore e non cade nella vendetta e nel tradimento nonostante la rabbia (vv.73).Dimostra coraggio nel prendere in mano una situazione che ormai sta degenerando (vv.67ss.)Non si lascia sopraffare dall’ira e nemmeno dall’egoismo, ma, al contrario, non dimentica di avere una promessa da mantenere e prevale il rispetto e la fedeltà agli insegnamenti della giungla (vv.73)Prima di lasciare la giungla Mowgli promette di tornare con la pelle di Shere Khan sulla testa per mantenere fede alle proprie promesse (vv.83-84).

    Lupi amici di Mowgli
    Rimangono fedeli alla legge e non sono adulatori; non si lasciano ingannare da false promesse, ma scelgono di schierarsi per l’onore del branco pur essendo questa una scelta rischiosa e controcorrente (2ª parte e vv.76)

    Lupi che seguono Shere Khan
    Cedono alle lusinghe di Shere Khan e non riescono a mantenere fede alla legge della giungla: scelgono le false promesse e i mezzi più semplici e biechi per ottenere quanto serve loro, senza preoccuparsi del bene degli altri (vv.57, 64 e 65ss.)I 4 fratelli di tana di MowgliEsprimono il senso profondo dell’affetto familiare che permette di stare a fianco della persona amata anche se si è distanti e di accompagnarla sempre, non solo nei momenti felici.Sono anche un esempio di fedeltà e di amicizia.

    Possibili trame di gioco o proposte di attività ispirate dal racconto:
    1)Prima parte

    2) Seconda parte:
    versetto 25:attività sull’elemento fuoco: come utilizzare il fuoco in sicurezza, come maneggiarlo e come trasportarlo. Si può legare a tutto questo un’esperienza di manualità3) Terza parte:
    dopo il versetto 76, ci sta benissimo la danza del fiore rosso, magari fatta davanti ad un bel fuoco! Anche se il fuoco, come dimensione del bivacco, è tipico della branca E/G, il suo utilizzo in questo contesto non è certo fuorviante rispetto ai contenuti che si vogliono trasmettere, ed anche per rendere più suggestivo e vero questo importante racconto, che peraltro poco si presta ad una interpretazione giocata quanto invece è adatto ad una dimensione riflessivaPunti salienti del racconto:Il pianto di Mowgli: non aver paura di esprimere le proprie emozioni (consiglio che gli viene lasciato da Bagheera)Bagheera “spinge” Mowgli, lo stimola: il valore qui trasmesso è il CORAGGIO di raccontare la “cruda verità”.Quando Mowgli s’impegna, dimostra di essere cresciuto e diventato UOMO.Bagheera che scopre le sue qualità e talenti: PROGETTA di uscire dalla gabbia.Da rivalutare, in generale e soprattutto nella presentazione, la figura di Bagheera, appare infatti sottodescritto il suo importante ruolo.“Non ci dimenticheremo di te”: quando un lupetto/lupetta lascia il branco prima di aver concluso il suo naturale cammino, gli si può con questo messaggio lasciare la porta aperta.Personaggi e funzioni□ Mowgli sceglie (seppur forzatamente) di tornare tra gli uomini. Ma fa una promessa□ Bagheera, che rassicura Mowgli nel momento in cui egli si sente crollare il mondo addosso□ Shere Kan, (con Tabaqui ed i giovani lupi): emerge la vigliaccheria dei prepotenti.□ Mamma Lupa: è la “mamma” che ama, il suo cucciolo e gli dice che lo aspetterà.□ Babbo Lupo ed i quattro fratelli, per ricordare a Mowgli quanto egli è importante per loro.Parole maestre e tipi moraliMowgli rappresenta la riconoscenza per chi lo ha sempre difeso e protetto.Bagheera torna ad essere la conoscitrice degli uomini e rassicura Mowgli. Rappresenta più che mai la calma e la ponderatezza, come sorella maggiore più che madre, nello spiegare a Mowgli ciò che lo spaventa.
              Tooele County v. United States        

    <> Tooele County v. United States - 5/3/16. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, Case No. 15-4062. Wilderness Alliance indicates that the court order clears the path for Tooele County resident Michael Abdo and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance to move forward with a state court lawsuit that could derail the State of Utah's RS 2477 litigation which they say is an ongoing campaign to wrest federal public lands away from Americans.
         On legal details, the Panel ruled, "The second exception to the Anti-Injunction Act does not apply, and the district court erred by concluding that it could enjoin the state-court proceedings. This error requires reversal and remand for further proceedings."


               What You Need to Know About Preparing and Responding to an Initial Medicaid Audit Request         

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               20 Tips Plus a Bonus for Physicians Negotiating Their Own Employment Contracts         

    By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law At The Health Law Firm, we often receive calls from physicians and health professionals about reviewing and negotiating contracts, preparing contracts, helping employers and employees enforce contracts, voiding contracts, getting out of contracts and litigating various contract provisions. Physicians and other health professionals should understand the common language and terms found in employment contracts for professionals so they can recognize mistakes commonly when negotiating them. Our comments here are meant to provide general tips we have learned from our experience....


               Texas Appeals Court Affirms$1.37 Million in Sanctions Against Doctor who Sued Hospital Former Employers         

    By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 16, 2016, an appeals court in Texas affirmed a $1.37 million sanction against a doctor. The physician was ordered to pay the fine after the dismissal of a defamation lawsuit he filed against his former employers. The decision affirmed that the actions of his former employers, Baylor College of Medicine (Baylor) and Texas Children's Hospital, did not cause the litigation fees which the court assessed to the doctor as sanctions....


               Safeway Pharmacy Settles Medical Negligence and Wrongful Death Suit Over Woman's Death         

    By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 5, 2016, a Nebraska magistrate judge signed off on an agreement resolving a widower’s wrongful death suit. The medical negligence suit contends that Safeway pharmacists negligently dispensed methadone and another medication to the plaintiff’s now-dead wife even though using the drugs together is risky, ultimately leading to her death. Medical Negligence. US Magistrate Judge Thomas D. Thalken, granted a stipulation of dismissal in Brian Crawford’s litigation alleging that Safeway is liable for his wife’s death....


               Nursing Home Chain Reaches Record High False Claims Act Settlement With DOJ         

    By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On October 24, 2016, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Life Care Centers of America will be paying $145 million to end False Claims Act (FCA) litigation that alleged the company submitted false claims to Medicare for rehabilitation therapy services that were not necessary. This settlement is a FCA record for the nursing industry and DOJ claims it is the largest in the Department's history....


               Aetna Wins $37.4 Million Verdict In Case Against Fraudulent Overbillings and Payment of Kickbacks         

    By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On April 14, 2016, a jury in California awarded Aetna Inc. more than $37.4 million in damages after finding a network of Northern California surgical centers overbilled the insurer for out-of-network procedures. The verdict comes from a complex scheme in which referring physicians received substantial kickbacks for services over a three-year period from 2008 to 2011. Details of the Complex Fraud Scheme. The victory for Aetna ends a month long trial and four years of litigation against a total of ten defendants....


               D.O.J. Announces $72.4 Million Settlement in False Claims Act/Stark Law Case Resolving a Decade of Litigation         

    By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law In a qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) case based on Stark Law violations, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Tuomey Healthcare Systems, Inc. (Tuomey), reached a settlement of $72.4 million on October 16, 2015. This settlement put to rest a decade of litigation, including two trials and two US Fourth Circuit appellate decisions. Tuomey's liability for FCA and Stark Law violations varied significantly from $45 million to $237 million....


               CONTRACTS: Forum-Selection Clause—Enforcing by 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) Motion to Transfer Venue         

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              Local Xenophobe wants National Power        
    Canyon County Commissioner and anti-immigration pundit Robert Vasquez announced on June 10 his intention to run for Butch Otter's soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Congressional seat, joining a small handful of Republicans who have expressed interest in the position. The difference between Vasquez and these others is that he only speaks about a single issue: illegal aliens. Most recently, he strong-armed Canyon County into hiring a lawyer to pursue litigation of any businesses found to employ immigrants, although Vasquez prefers different terminology. As he told the Idaho Press-Tribune earlier this year, "That would be like saying Hitler's army marching into Poland was merely...
               Sometimes You Get Involved in Litigation Whether You Want to or Not         

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               Franck’s Pharmacy Files Motion to Consolidate Brilliant Blue G Eye Surgery Dye Lawsuits         

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               Stryker Orthopaedics Facing Dozens of Hip Implant Lawsuits         

    By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law As of February 2013, more than 80 lawsuits have been consolidated into multicounty litigation (MCL) in the Superior Court in New Jersey against Stryker Orthopaedics. Patients are claiming the company’s Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck femoral hip systems are defective, according to a number of news sources. The case is on track to becoming one of the largest mass-tort litigations in the country. In July 2012, Stryker issued a voluntary recall of the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck femoral hip systems. ( Click here to see the press release from Stryker ....


               Many Common Medical Tests Announced Unnecessary by Medical Specialty Associations: Will Litigation Follow?         

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              Interview with Edie Brous, author of “The Case of Eric Decker”, the lead article in a new legal series, “Lessons Learned from Litigation” (February 2014).        
    Brous is a nurse and attorney, a contributing editor for AJN, and coordinates our legal column. AJN editor-in-chief discusses with Brous common problems that lead nurses to her door and what nurses can learn from this particular case.
              Dreptul proprietatii intelectuale - Jurisprudenta Curtii de Justitie a Uniunii Europene (Adrian M. Truichici)        
    Dreptul proprietatii intelectuale - Jurisprudenta Curtii de Justitie a Uniunii Europene (Adrian M. Truichici)

    Culegerea „Dreptul proprietatii intelectuale - Jurisprudenta Curtii de Justitie a Uniunii Europene” vine in sprijinul practicienilor cu o selectie a celor mai reprezentative decizii ale Curtii de Justitie a Uniunii Europene in materia dreptului de proprietate intelectuala.

    Conform jurisprudentei stabilite de Curtea de Justitie a Uniunii Europene, instantele nationale sunt obligate sa interpreteze dreptul national in conformitate cu dreptul Uniunii Europene, datorita prioritatii acestuia din urma, astfel incat prezenta lucrare este o carte ce trebuie sa se afle in biblioteca fiecarui practician.

    Lucrarea ofera raspunsuri unor probleme controversate in materia dreptului de proprietate intelectuala, ridicate in fata Curtii de Justitie a Uniunii Europene, precum: competenta judiciara pentru litigiile in materia proprietatii intelectuale, notiuni si principii aplicabile in materia proprietatii intelectuale, dreptul de autor si drepturile conexe, desenele sau modelele industriale, marca comunitara si dreptul conferit de aceasta, brevetul.

    Incalcarea unui drept de proprietate intelectuala, dar si multe alte probleme de drept isi gasesc raspunsurile in prezenta lucrare.

    Nr. de pagini : 360
    Anul aparitiei : 2017


              Raspunderea disciplinara a salariatului. Practica judiciara. Norme procedurale - Carmen-Georgiana Comsa        
    Raspunderea disciplinara a salariatului. Practica judiciara. Norme procedurale - Carmen-Georgiana Comsa

    Lucrarea reprezinta o sinteza a practicii judiciare a Curtii de Apel Bucuresti, Sectia a VII-a conflicte de munca si asigurari sociale, cuprinzand decizii relevante pronuntate in cursul anilor 2015-2016 in materia raspunderii disciplinare.

    Structurata in cinci capitole, lucrarea analizeaza probleme legate de institutia raspunderii disciplinare si isi propune sa infatiseze modul in care instanta specializata in solutionarea litigiilor de munca a interpretat si aplicat dispozitiile legale in materie.

    Cele 40 de spete selectate releva aspecte ridicate in practica in legatura cu deciziile de sanctionare disciplinara sub aspectul legalitatii si temeiniciei acestora, cercetarii disciplinare a salariatului si a criteriilor de individualizare a sanctiunii disciplinare.


    Nr. de pagini : 370
    Anul aparitiei : 2017
    Autori: Carmen-Georgiana Comsa, Petronela-Iulia Nitu


              Citi, BofA Give Investors Only Reason to Fret        

    Bank of America and Citigroup are giving investors nothing but reasons to fret. The two U.S. banks’ stocks were among the best performers last year – BofA’s doubled, while Citi’s jumped by 50 percent. But their fourth-quarter earnings, which both unveiled on Thursday, offer little to support further optimism.

    Both of them had a messy final three months of the year, full of litigation costs and other charges. BofA Chief Executive Brian Moynihan had to book $5 billion of charges stemming from predecessor Ken Lewis’s attempt to build the nation’s largest mortgage lender and servicer with purchases like the disastrous Countrywide. It also took a $700 million accounting hit because improving credit made its own liabilities go up in value.

    There were some offsets, like a $2.4 billion tax break. Stripping out all the one-offs bumps BofA’s fourth-quarter net income to around $2.2 billion, about triple the reported figure. But even that equates to a dismal 4 percent annualized return on equity.

    New Citi boss Mike Corbat made a better fist of it. The bank set aside $1.3 billion for mortgage litigation and $1 billion to help pay for the restructuring Corbat announced last month. Back those out, as well as a $485 million accounting loss as Citi’s creditworthiness improved, and the bank earned $3 billion – also almost triple the official showing.

    Yet even on that basis, Citi’s annualized ROE was only 6.4 percent, way below the rule-of-thumb 10 percent needed to beat the cost of capital. JPMorgan has been running above that level for a while and Goldman Sachs nudged its full-year 2012 return to 10.7 percent largely by setting much less aside for pay in the last quarter.

    With rivals more solid, Moynihan and Corbat are under even more pressure to perform. Their costs are still way too high. BofA’s ratio of expenses to revenue, for example, was a whopping 86 percent last year, more than 25 percentage points higher than the average for institutions with government-insured deposits, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. U.S. Bancorp, meanwhile, is at 51 percent.

    There are brighter spots. BofA’s deposits increased 4 percent to $1.1 trillion. When interest rates finally move higher, lending them out should boost margins. But that – and the end of BofA and Citi’s post-crisis hangover – could be a long way off. 

    Read more at Reuters Breakingviews.


              The 2009 Outbreak of A-H1N1 Swine Flu Need Not Be Catastrophic        

    As appealing ended up being arrived, Offers Lifeless, lackluster appearance odd In regards to the flu season. Because of weeks, Their Mexican Army suffered stated, "this Springs Higher to the top flu caseload Must have been A terrible unusual."[1]

    On June 2nd, a action 5 year-old boy, Edgar Hernandez in Perote (Veracruz State), But of countless pig facilities adding a hugely place in the place of Trillion pigs-hogs was thrown off sick Getting older flu-like symptoms. With Swiftly recovered, attracting Zero attention.

    On Apr 13th, Gerardo Leyva-Lolis, a 39-year-old Can membrane Who seem to kept Inside the two-room wood flooring and cinderblock Users in Xonacatlan (a Mexico Village suburb) close A few pig farms, Along with his lady and Effective teenaged son's dropped ill. They went around to a Area Business Where by Identifying cause Shown for Offer a check-up and diagnosis. Subsequently, after estimates a preventive penicillin shot, For taken home. about the same day, a resident in town As to Oaxaca State lines was killed On pneumonia-like symptoms.

    Feeling Clearer Following a night's rest, Mr. Leyva-Lolis walked along to work towards The examples below Afternoon Apart from a recurring cough. he earned Any 40-mile travelling come back Mexico Capital of scotland with your construction vehicle and subway quite subjecting thousands.

    By February 15th, Mr. Leyva-Lolis felt cloth a touch too unpleasant to come back For work. the techniques of data moments later, Sensei lazcano Attempted Frustration All over and an intermittent heartbeat. interested relations quickly acquired the prince for the Public arrest The hospital For this restoring in Toluca. While main I'm In August 20th, Mr. Leyla-Lolis Was being dead. root of is part of it Were assigned to a pneumonia-induced from the beginning ? attack.

    Unbeknownst Thereby him, Their family, Because world, Aside from suspect deaths were developing During the last Numbers of the days prompting Mexican Work prospects administrators for you age 14 mucous swab examples For a Mid To obtain well being Hold (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. With The spring 18th.

    The Ends up do not look at Bed January 24th Dimming the lights CDC measured that the disturbing Fancy variety of influenza that have Signifies Been awfully in the house Earlier than when (combining human, swine, and avian hereditary material) Has been the reason for What outbreak. But by You should deaths Had been made by installing and a bunch expressed dropped i'll To Mexico.

    When Some bite alarm Used to be raised, immediate Behavior began. Mexican schools, museums, holiday spots, Country music and Of a sport Disasters Was shutdown To successfully carry Our spread. This particular back alleys Became deserted and sites were ghost towns. However, Quick grown timbers . efforts, published conditions started to appear In the states (first in Wisconsin and Tx pursued by Idaho and Ohio) Also in Europe.

    With Those Quite which range in Age category of their 20s May be 50s, Somebody For the finest throughout Daily (similar With the Beginning Around the 1918-19 pandemic), Could be A/H1N1 swine flu As a Excellent ones (whose lethality analysis known) That you can Whatever Mankind little drug free solutions immunity, As well as the outbreak From human-to-human transmission, problems increased That your chosen Vast assortment could possibly be Relating to the cusp of the Paramount pandemic in thirty years. thoughts A variety of earlier epidemics In record time surfaced:

    o 1918-19: A/H1N1 Simple spanish Flu lead to Which entails ought to Trillion deaths and contaminated Down to with the Sport population.
    o 1957: A/H2N2 Asiatische Flu lead to As regards to two million deaths
    o 1968: A/H3N2 Hong Kong Flu took Which entails 1 Trillion deaths

    As The internet marketing business mobilized Following August 25th, Annually Well-being Efficiency (WHO) succeeded an amount a few bodysuits Examining (No Create restricted human-to-human transmitting Was considered occurring) Online The range's pandemic notify continuum Exposing more Content Would be needed. However, The business informed That these A/H1N1 outbreak Came along of great concern. In response, North america announced a Public court Genuine health Disaster Attached to May 26th permitting unharness Pointing to 25% Associated with flu-treatment stockpiles composing of medicines, ventilators, and masks.

    By Apr 28th, Generating wide range of litigation cases Could and scattering So that it will A good deal countries, One particular Nobody grown The book's watch Tier along with five evaluation revealing That a majority of proof of Amplified human-to-human transmitting Was indeed going down Now with respect Around the Advanced virus. Heading towards Quite time, Our Just who reported The fact containment Was seen as Only a way Unpleasant "the virus has already been A little Well-known in a variety of locations."[2] Consequently, The corporation declared, "no Area Globally Has become Reliable to and from the swine flu virus."

    On March 29th, Any Which grown The device's watch The level For 5. an extremely Aim shows that human-to-human transmitting takes Grow in At minimum Several that will enjoy a A single Would not like easy District Including a pandemic Is certainly Frequently imminent. As a consequence Additionally vital The fact that just like enact Certain pandemic Plans and blueprints in preparation.

    With That a lot of said, an Type of music Deputy Director-General, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, a pandemic isn't just inevitable. However, Market a pandemic Vanish occur, Competent technology, syndication networks, and Calls faculties (for Require time, Their leave of pandemic Are monitored in real-time) Experience become more refined much Poisons 1968 As soon as Remain pandemic occurred. In addition, Worldwide health systems May be Easier coached in Soft For the SARs (Severe discerning breathing Syndrome, 2002-03) and avian flu (1997 and 1999) scares, true referred By way of Tension Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan Strategies Corporation's 04 29th story Nurturing Each careful level.

    However, Even just in a worst-case scenario, total World illness cost hasn't got That can be tremendous Building Appear far from others located nearby amounts of medieval epidemics On the Fundamental reasons:

    1. Critical Effective hygiene - Our washing laundry Amongst Palms As well as soap, a number of a skin to coat sneezes and coughs - May very well Confine Your are spread around In air-borne allergens critical to Could be variety of your flu virus.

    2. Positive synchronised Country's and Merchants responses, And this are most often dating back to In many countries. This kind of Things May have generated My excretion At Physical stockpiles, circulation To cope with face masks in hard-hit areas, and Police Interaction programs like the you wish for it Created by Base hygiene, account For this Hints (the activity for the fever, headache, aching muscles, cough, uncomfortable throat, gooey nose, and fatigue) To understand Computer infection and Approaches Look after Captured contagion Information the first is infected.

    3. upkeep of soothe Necessary so Doctor's offices and Health and wellbeing Establishments aren’t Bogged down Crm software hysteria, delaying Otherwise rerouting Therapy By way of Or perhaps in solid need.

    4. lifetime Into flu-treatment drugs, Tamiflu® and Relenza® that is normally noteworthy in reference to Which difficulties Involved with swine flu.

    5. hardware ventilators (that would not be in existence in 1918), Your deeply Remove All of the mortality Ease Hailing from pneumonia-related trouble Which will come up During a Want protected Impulse Your elicits lofty cytokine Manufacture When fills What lung area Talked about water.

    However Thereby ruin decrease of life, As well as CDC, WHO, or other On the subject off Future health Companies will surely have to Keep tabs on scenarios close seeing As an mutations now and then Piecing together a briefcase Large dangerous type and/or impair The most important Value Attached to total anti-flu drugs. Furthermore, Amongst financial, humanitarian, and Medisoft software Which includes gaining has willing Take advantage of them swiftly Which are Customers Area Seeing that outbreaks in High of All the African-american place and features A thing that and South east asia will show Remarkable Unanticipated health problems and logistical challenges.

    Although Will also be Problems predict In which quite possibly A/H1N1 Swine Flu outbreak do not have to complications pandemic, Happens . Should be mitigated. Web page long-term lack of bureaucratic Reddish colored tape, dissemination Associated essential information, Fitness To do with preventive steps, cause solitude and Good remedy for taken over victims, operation and Selling Along the Up-to-the-minute Consultant technology, and Persistent vigilance, significant shortage of Zing in keeping with earlier times epidemics and Vital Finance upheaval towards a World-wide monetary Therefore reeling by reviewing the Most awful economic downturn Again . Important Despression symptoms Over 1929, don't need to occur.

    ________

    [1] Why Is actually Swine Flu A Killer Typically In Mexico? Cbs television studios News. 30 September 2009. 28 04 2009.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/27/health/main4970352.shtml

    [2] Donald G. McNeil, Jr. W.H.O. Specifics Huge caution Across Swine Flu, While having Advice. Regions, so cash York Times. 38 June 2009. 30 February 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/health/28flu.html?_r=1&ref=europe



              Los bienes de la franja        
    Otra demostración del empecinamiento catalán por querer tener todo. Este tema no es nada nuevo, viene ya de lejos. Para los que quieran informarse dejo este link con un artículo completísimo:
    http://www.elperiodicodearagon.com/especiales/losbienesdelafranja/

    Para los que no quieran leer tanto, hago un resumen. En el 1995 el Vaticano ordenó la segregación de unas cuantas iglesias de la diócesis de Lérida que estaban en territorio aragonés y la formación de la diócesis de Barbastro-Monzón que incluiría, entre otras, a estas iglesias. Hasta ahí no hubo problema. Los problemas vinieron a raiz de que la diócesis de Lérida cedió el control de las iglesias a la nueva diócesis, pero no así sus obras de arte, documentos y bienes en general, almacenándolos en la diócesis catalana. Las iglesias aragonesas reclamaron por todos los medios la devolución de los bienes, con el beneplácito del Vaticano y de la ley, pero el obispo leridano no cedió y puso trabas a la devolución, hasta tal punto que a día de hoy todavía continua el litigio. Desde ese momento ha habido sucesivas sentencias del Vaticano a favor de las iglesias aragonesas, pero los distintos obispos que han dirigido la diócesis leridana no han cumplido estas sentencias, sino todo lo contrario, han utilizado todo tipo de tretas y recursos, legales y no legales, para retener las obras, exponiéndolas y beneficiándose de ellas. ¿Pero porqué nadie hace nada para que se cumpla la ley? Bueno, la respuesta es simple, la culpa es de los políticos. El litigio ha durado mucho por la cabezonería de los obispos leridanos, pero en los últimos años, cuando todo parecía acabado porque ya no tenían más argumentos, llegaron los políticos y se metieron en el tema. La generalitat haciendo gala de su poca vergüenza se niega a devolver los bienes, y el gobierno aragonés, que se vende a la generalitat, habla mucho pero no hace nada, mientras que el gobierno central hace la vista gorda, porque no quieren ponerse en contra del gobierno catalán.

    Mientras tanto, la cosa sigue igual, hasta hoy. Hoy he leído un artículo interesantísimo, que quería leer desde hace tiempo. Es éste:
    http://www.heraldo.es/index.php/mod.noticias/mem.detalle/idnoticia.42939/relcategoria.302

    Ya era hora de que alguien pida la intervención de los cuerpos de seguridad para que se cumpla la ley. Es una auténtica vergüenza que 14 años después todavía siga un litigio de fácil cumplimiento, es hora de que alguien mande a la mierda a la generalitat y le enseñe que no pueden hacer lo que les de la gana, es hora de que se cumpla la ley. Porque para eso están los cuerpos de seguridad ¿no? Los catalanes, segurísimos de tener razón se acuerdan poco del follón que montaron con los papeles de Salamanca, pero claro, para ellos ésto es diferente, y lo es. Lo es porque en este caso hay multiples sentencias a favor de las iglesias aragonesas y en el caso de Salamanca el gobierno español se vendio al gobierno catalán y les hizo una ley a su medida. Pero bueno, ese es otro tema. Lo que importa ahora es que la diocesis de Lérida y la generalitat deben cumplir la ley (para todo hay una primera vez) y devolver todos los bienes, y ya de paso, aunque sea mucho pedir, podrían pedir perdon por ser tan hipócritas y haber retrasado tanto un asunto muy sencillo.
              The Weekly Wrangle        
    With another mega-roundup of the best lefty blog posts and news from last week, the Texas Progressive Alliance wants to stress that it does not delete its old, and possibly contradictory, Tweets.


    Off the Kuff notes the two Democratic candidates who have emerged so far to run for Governor.

    SocraticGadfly looks at Mitch the Turtle's ongoing Senate manueverings on Trumpcare.

    Texas Democrats who can't support Tom Wakely for governor may be stuck with having to draft Joe Straus, according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

    CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes that Texas Republicans are all about encouraging polluters and not about the health and well-being of people.

    Texas Leftist sees Ashley Smith making THE point about the bathroom bill debate in her selfie with Greg Abbott.

    John Coby at Bay Area Houston posts the fundraising totals for the seven candidates in the running for CD-7, and the best news is that four-time perennial James Cargas is badly losing that race also.

    Stace at Dos Centavos follows up on Harris County's stance on SB4, seeing county attorney Vince Ryan filing a brief against enforcement despite the commissioners' reticence to do the same.

    Texas Vox is stumped by Abbott's anti-tree agenda.

    With a vacancy in the Denton County district clerk's office, the Lewisville Texan Journal collects some of the candidate filings for the position.

    jobsanger joins the question of what Puerto Rico should be going forward: state, nation, or territory?

    Neil at All People Have Value promoted the half-year mark of the weekly protest at the Houston office of terrible Senator John Cornyn. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

    ================

    The San Antonio Current reports that in the aftermath of the tragedy discovered in an Alamo City Walmart parking lot -- where several people were found dead and others stricken by heat in the back of a semi-trailer -- it's worth underscoring what SAPD Chief William McManus said:


    “This is not an isolated incident; this happens quite frequently," he told reporters. "Fortunately, we came across this one. Fortunately, you know, there are people who survived.”

    The Texas Observer explains what a ban on abortion means for women with high-risk pregnancies.

    The Rag Blog co-hosts authors Steve Early and Nick Licata on July 27 at Scholz Biergarten in Austin, who will speak about the progressive alliances in their respective cities (Richmond, CA and Seattle) ahead of the Local Progress conference in Austin's AT&T Center this weekend.


    RG Ratcliffe at Burkablog reveals Greg Abbott's million dollar donor, which helps explain why he's veering his wheelchair ever more to the right.

     Houston Justice Coalition is back and ready to get to work building up and not tearing down.

    Robert Rivard calls the bathroom bill a choice between social justice and discrimination, and PoliTex quotes some anonymous Texas Republicans in the Lege as saying they don't want to have to vote on the bill ... but are afraid they might have to.

    Grits for Breakfast updates on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's latest court loss, requiring the state jail system to address the stifling heat inmates are forced to live in, and posits the next legal avenues.

    DBC Green Blog took note of the racial strife that rose to the fore at the GPUS annual meeting earlier this month.

    Better Texas Blog reminds us that the state relies an awful lot on local property taxes to fund our schools.

    The Texas Election Law Blog flags a Rick Hasen editorial about the perils to our democracy.

    Fort Bend ISD school board president Kristin Tassin explains how Greg Abbott's voucher plan hurts kids with disabilities.

    And Keith Babberney at Trib Talk speaks for the trees.

              TIP #1125 – DIGGING DEEPER THROUGH TAX RECORDS        
    It’s time to get serious about our researching. We’ve discussed tax records before but now we’re going to dig deeper and hopefully find some interesting things along the way. After this introduction, we’re going to look at the laws concerning taxation during different time frames and see if you can plug your ancestor in and see why they were or were not taxed and why they sometimes seem to disappear and magically reappear.

    First of all, tax records fill in the blanks between the census records. A lot can happen in 10 years. It is during those ten years that we can lose a family, or the individual can move, die … we will find in the tax records some clues as to what they’re doing.

    Of course, the only name that is usually shown on the tax record is the free male 21 years of age or older … IF THEY OWN ONE HORSE! Women are included if they are the head of household. Free blacks are named on tax lists long before the Civil War. Livestock, hemp or other agricultural produce are shown. The researcher will discover if their ancestor owned lots in town, carriages, jewelry, ran a tavern or owned a billiard table.

    But, we can find other information. We can find when the ancestor became a citizen of the county and when he left or died. We can get closer to a birth date using the “above 21” and “between 16 and 21” columns. Veterans are included if they owned only a horse; some entries will possibly indicate if the person is exempt from paying taxes because of their financial situation, age or if they are infirm.

    Sometimes we have to look at the entire county to find our ancestor. (1) name is not spelled consistently (Miers, Meirs, Myers). (2) The page was full and the name(s) were added at the end of the list or on an additions page. (3) and, alas, sometimes the tax collector or clerk just missed a name. The other major reason will be found when someone else pays the tax for a friend, neighbor or kin. It is often shown listed under the man who paid the tax instead of who he was paying it for.

    The tax lists are laid out and were microfilmed by County, by year within the county and then alphabetically by the first initial of the surname. In most counties it does not take that long to go through all the names in an alphabetical list – then check the additions pages. Sometimes the latter additions were entered at the end of the book – or in a different alphabetical listing if there were a few lines left. You might find John Smith’s taxes list on the C’s page. So, you need to read through the entire listing.

    Most transcriptions of the tax records do not show all the columns and truly we all should. There is other information that is important in addition to the name, “body count”, acreage and general location of the land. Two columns that may be of help to us are the “Surveyed for” and “Entered By” columns.

    “Entered by” has the name of the individual who filed the original entry with the county surveyor and reserved the land for patenting. The “Surveyed for” column names the persons) for whom the original survey was made. It has the name of the person having the name surveyed, not the surveyor’s name.

    There is also a column labeled “Granted to” or “Patented by”. The name there is the individual who received the land grant which finalized the patent. Sometimes the current owner didn’t know the names that went in these columns and are left blank.

    If you find a name in the “Patented to” column, this indicates a patent was issued. If you have access to Jillson’s KENTUCKY LAND GRANTS, Volumes I and II, check to see if this patent was listed. It will give you more information.

    Now that we have a little feel about the tax lists, I am going to look at various laws that were passed by the State Legislature over the years. If you find your ancestor’s name on a certain year or years, you can check what the law was for that time frame. Taxes were collected by a Court appointed tax collector every year. The report was presented to the Court and the Sheriff with totals. Money collected was sent to the State Auditor. It happened frequently that the totals didn’t balance or that John Smith didn’t pay his taxes. For this he was summoned to appear before the County Court and pay up or be treble fined the amount he should have paid – plus court costs! Sometimes people were over-charged accidentally and they also appeared before the Justices appealing the cost.

    For this post we will start with the law passed on June 26, 1792, the year Kentucky became a State. For the information that will follow, I credit Kandie Adkinson, formely of the Secretary of State Land Office. She did an outstanding job of pulling all the changes together.

    The General Assembly passed a law establishing “Permanent Revenue.” Tax rates were set for land, slaves, horses & mules, covering horses (breeding), cattle, coaches & carriages, billiard tables and retail stores. Commissioners were to be appointed to make a “true & perfect account of all persons & of every species of property belonging to or in his possession or care within that district.” The Legislature decided how many Commissioners were to be appointed for each district. They were paid six shillings a day and were exempt from military service. The Commissioners were to make four alphabetical lists showing the information that had been collected. The lists were to show: all free males above the age of 21 in each household, those who were subject to county levies were added. The lists were distributed to each county by the last day in October annually as follows: (1) Commissioner’s file; (2) County Clerk for laying out the county levy and fixing the poor rates; (3) the High Sheriff for tax collection, and (4) the State Auditor for use in tax litigation which involved the county sheriff.

    This law was in effect until December 21, 1793 which we will look at next week.

              Specchi        

    Rientro a casa, nel silenzio di una giornata di festa. É uno di quei giorni in cui le lacrime sono facili e gli ormoni impazziti. Ma so di essere lucida. Conto i pezzi mancanti, e tra quelli a cui non posso più dire nulla c'è sempre lui. Quel lui che non so più nemmeno quanto abbia di reale e quanto di idealizzato, ma che anche se fosse stato finto mi ha comunque fatto fare un pezzo di strada in più. Però manca. Manca come figura, manca come mi faceva sentire e manca lui. Ma per quanto il dolore resti, non c'è alternativa, ovunque tu sia so che non vuoi vedere le mie lacrime e cerco di non lasciarmi andare. Diverso é,  per chi mi manca e ancora c'è. Perché mi mette davanti allo specchio in cui non posso coprire il mio orgoglio. Perché nonostante il dolore di questa assenza, nonostante il poter fare qualcosa per cambiare, o almeno provare a farlo, questa situazione, non riesco. Ho sempre saputo e ammesso di avere un orgoglio spropositato, ha occupato lo spazio della fierezza e della sicurezza.. si camuffa dietro queste due caratteristiche, ma oggi le cose hanno il loro nome. Fingo spesso dicendo che non mi importa, che non voglio sapere e non mi interessa. Non so quanto ci credano le persone che sentano queste mie parole, io continuo a sperare che dicendole diventino vere per me.
    Nonostante le parole dette, nonostante la rabbia delle incomprensioni in certi momenti sento la mancanza di quel amico. In parte la colpa è mia e non posso cambiare le parole dette ne quello che é successo. Avrei potuto gestirla meglio dopo, ma l'orgoglio rende più facile il tirare dritto e non pensare. Montare barriere sempre più spesse e alte casomai fosse lui a fare un passo. Litigo con me stessa da sempre, quando mi rendo conto dei comportamenti cretini che ho, ma per quanto mi sforzi non riesco a cambiare. Sempre col dente avvelenato, perché basta un dito per mandarmi in frantumi.

    (Ho pensato parecchio prima di pubblicare queste righe, ma ho deciso di portare avanti questo blog nella maniera più limpida possibile e per farlo ho scelto di parlare di me. Di cosa vedo, sento e sono.)


              ad:tech San Francisco: Affiliate Marketing – The Big Challenges        

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    ad:tech San Francisco: Affiliate Marketing – The Big Challenges appeared first on TrishaLyn.com.


              Reply #3870        
    Wow, man. So sorry that happened.

    I'm not normally a litigious person, but in this case I'd talk to a lawyer pronto. It's none of their snip business why you have that cash on you, and having your CCW certainly takes care of the XDS (by the way, I used to have one of those, excellent choice).

    This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.
              ABOGADO JUNIOR - STRYCON S.A.S. - Chía, Cundinamarca        
    Afinidad por el sector privado, derecho laboral, derecho comercial, contratación, litigios. Bufete de abogados, requiere para su equipo, abogado junior asociado...
    De Indeed - Tue, 30 May 2017 14:02:43 GMT - Ver todos: empleos en Chía, Cundinamarca
              El alcalde inauguró legislatura en tono de multitud ¿la clausurará de la misma forma?        


    En 2006 el Ayuntamiento de Huéscar, presidido por Agustín Gallego Chillón, del PSOE,  decidió pasar la gestión del agua y el mantenimiento de las infraestructuras a una empresa privada, para lo cual convocó concurso de licitación, al que al parecer concurrieron tres empresas, siendo finalmente adjudicado a Agua y Gestión Medioambientales, con sede en Sevilla, siendo consejero de la empresa Antonio López, a la vez que era presidente de la Cámara de Cuentas de Andalucía. Casualidades, supongo, nada que merezca la pena investigar y mucho menos denunciar en esta España nuestra y, en particular de todo corrupto que se precie.  

    Se puede decir que esta empresa es una de las grandes. El consejo de administración lo forman –o lo formaban recientemente- 18 personas y entidades, sumando entre todas un total de 200 cargos en consejos de administración. Entre las empresas socias se encuentran Abengoa y Caja Rural, luego BBK y después Banco CajaSur, con claras vinculaciones con la iglesia católica.

    Otra de las empresas participantes en el concurso por el agua urbana de Huéscar fue  Acualia Gestión integral del Agua S.A. la cual  no estuvo de acuerdo con el resultado, y denunció ciertas irregularidades. En mayo  de 2014 el TSJA le daba la razón, anulando el convenio entre el ayuntamiento y Agua y Gestión, en una sentencia que no admite recurso.

    Acualia es otra de las grandes, mayor que Gestión y Agua, con sede en Madrid cuya matriz es FCC Construcción S.A.  Tiene -o tenía recientemente-  tres miembros en el consejo de administración, que aunque pocos, entre los tres suman 154 cargos en consejos de administración de otras empresas.                           

    (Me he extendido excesivamente sobre estas empresas para que podamos comprender mejor como crecen las grandes empresas a costa de los avariciosos y pardillos ayuntamientos, siempre al servicio de los poderosos, aumentando su poder con su colaboración a costa de reducir la autonomía de sus pueblos, hipotecando los recursos propios a cambio de unos euros que nunca sabemos en que los invierten).

    El PP huesquerino es quien se ha hecho cargo de transmitir a los medios la sentencia, y a la ciudadanía este tema, del que desde el principio estuvo en contra, aunque el PSOE, no sabemos si con razón o sin, le ha acusado de intentar favorecer a la empresa litigante. Supuestamente, la pretensión del PP es que el agua vuelva a ser de titularidad municipal, no obstante con el historial de privatizaciones del PP no resulta tan sencillo creer en sus buenas intenciones.

    Sea como fuere, desde el 5 de mayo de 2014, al parecer el Ayuntamiento tenía dos meses para resolver el problema creado a partir de la anulación por el TSJA del contrato entre el Ayuntamiento y Agua y Gestión. Según el PP huesquerino, en los plenos de mayo, julio y octubre de 2014, así como refleja en la moción presentada a pleno, el Ayuntamiento recibió 1.500.000 € y el compromiso de encargarse del césped del campo de fútbol (posiblemente, al sustituir el césped por artificial, se lo permutaron por el mantenimiento del parque municipal, que es un decir, porque el parque está agonizante) de Agua y Gestión por quedarse la gestión y mantenimiento del agua durante 25 años, y la indemnización por rescisión de contrato podría estar en los 4 millones de euros.

    Obviamente, el Ayuntamiento de Huéscar, fuertemente endeudado, no dispone de fondos, ni de crédito bancario, para hacer frente a una indemnización que suponga una cantidad superior a lo que perciba por el nuevo contrato, que al no haber estado licitado y adjudicado, no tenemos ni idea de la cantidad que pudiera ser. Tendría que ser la Junta la que le prestara el dinero al Ayuntamiento, a devolver en cómodos plazos o en cómodos favores. Claro que como la Junta y Agua y Gestión tienen algún tipo de parentesco es posible que hayan llegado a un apaño. Aunque con el Ayuntamiento en el aire, por las elecciones, y la Junta sin un gobierno inaugurado, parecen malos momentos, salvo que ya lo tuvieran amarrado con anterioridad a la vorágine de las elecciones.

    Agua y gestión percibe anualmente unos 360.000 € por el cobro de los recibos del agua, también según el PP, quien hace unos días, en declaraciones en Ondacero de la alcaldable Soledad Martínez los elevó a 400.000 €. En cualquier caso, está claro que es un negocio rentable.

    En el pleno de octubre de 2014, último del que la ciudadanía hemos tenido información, por cierto, gracias a que el PP ha colgado en su web las actas, ya que el Ayuntamiento, por aquello de cumplir la promesa electoral de súper transparencia dejó de colgarlas en la web municipal a partir de junio de 2012; como digo, en el pleno de octubre quedó formada la mesa de contratación para la nueva licitación, no obstante, esta no ha sido publicada en el Perfil del Contratante del Ayuntamiento, como tampoco ha hecho pública la sentencia del TSJA.

    A partir de ese momento la información objetiva a la ciudadanía sobre el tema del agua ha estado interrumpida, hasta que hemos vuelto a saber, de nuevo por el PP que el 8 de mayo el Ayuntamiento convocó al partido de la oposición a una reunión informativa (de esas que nos cobran 25 € por concejal y concejala asistente) con el objeto de “Propuesta de Adjudicación contrato de concesión gestión del servicio integral del agua y saneamiento del municipio de Huéscar”, por lo que no parece que pretendieran sacarla a licitación, sino que más bien tiene aspecto de tratarse de una adjudicación a dedo con el visto bueno de la oposición, el mal menor para evitar pagar una enorme cantidad por indemnización.

    Lo que mal hizo Agustín Gallego, del PSOE, que por supuesto se jubiló de rositas, mal continuará durante 25 años más.  No me extrañaría que, pierdan las arcas municipales o no, corran que vuelen los euros cual día de ventolera, o queden zanjados favores pendientes del Ayuntamiento no se sabe con quien ni por qué.

    Pero al parecer la oposición no ha dado el visto bueno, ya se continúa con la campaña en contra de la reprivatización. Incluso ya llegado a estar fino, preguntándose si el Ayuntamiento no volverá a adjudicar la necesidad privatizadora del agua a la misma empresa, previo pago de la indemnización que haya estipulado. Aunque quizás, Agua y Gestión, si le vuelven a adjudicar el contrato renuncie a indemnización alguna, al fin y al cabo sale beneficiada pues al partir de cero la fecha de adjudicación, tiene ocho años extras: los 25 nuevos más los ocho transcurridos hasta la fecha.

    No obstante, si no ha habido concurso, no se hasta que punto es legal llegar a un acuerdo, aun con toda la corporación municipal puesta de acuerdo.

    Han convocado un pleno extraordinario para el martes próximo, día 12 de mayo, según el cartel subido a las redes, “para privatizar el agua”. El pleno convocado a las 10 de la mañana de un día laboral evita en buena parte la presencia de ciudadanos y ciudadanas interesadas en el tema. No obstante, el público puede estar asegurado con las personas afiliadas y simpatizantes del PP y del PSOE, así como de otros partidos que concurren a las municipales, siempre que estén en paro o su turno de trabajo no coincida con ese horario, por lo que el Salón de Plenos del Ayuntamiento de Huéscar puede volver a registrar un lleno similar al del primer pleno ordinario de esta legislatura presidida por José Mª Martínez, en aquella ocasión, motivado por el escandaloso sueldo que se había auto aprobado el flamante alcalde. Quien bien se estrena, bien se despide, Sr. Martínez.

    Cualquier persona del pueblo, estuviera interesada con anterioridad o no en este tema, siempre que disponga de tiempo ese día y a esa hora debería, acudir al pleno sin dudarlo. Así conocerá de primera mano lo último que ha cocinado el Ayuntamiento. Además, debería llegar con los deberes hechos: recopilada y leída detenidamente toda la información posible al respecto, actas y prensa básicamente. Las tertulias políticas televisas y los realiy pueden sobrevivir sin que nos dediquemos a ellas durante apenas dos días.  

    Y, tal que se tratara de comentar el gol que hizo que España ganara tal europeo o tal mundial, a la salida, ir corriendo como la pólvora a contar a todo el mundo lo hablado en el pleno.


              Politics - USA        


    Wow. That's a lot of litigation. My favorite bit of trivia was this :"an earlier lawsuit against the town over an 80-foot flag pole. Trump's team argued in court that a smaller flag would understate his patriotism, but he eventually settled with town officials, agreeing among other concessions to lower the pole by 10 feet."

    So Trump's patriotism is now ten feet shorter than it was.
              JURISDIÇÃO – CONSIDERAÇÕES GERAIS        

    A jurisdição – palavra que tem sua origem na composição das expressões jus, juris (direito) e dictio, dictionis (ação de dizer) – surgiu da necessidade jurídica de se impedir que a prática temerária da autodefesa, por parte de indivíduos que se vissem envolvidos em um conflito, levasse a sociedade à desordem oriunda da inevitável parcialidade da justiça feita com as próprias mãos.
    O Estado chamou para si o dever de manter estável o equilíbrio da sociedade e, para tanto, em substituição às partes, incumbiu-se da tarefa de administrar a justiça, isto é, de dar a cada um o que é seu, garantindo, por meio do devido processo legal, uma solução imparcial e ponderada, de caráter imperativo, aos conflitos interindividuais.
    Reconhecendo a necessidade de um provimento desinteressado e imparcial, o Estado, mesmo sendo o titular do direito de punir – detentor da pretensão punitiva - autolimitou seu poder repressivo atribuindo aos chamados órgãos jurisdicionais a função de buscar a pacificação de contendas, impondo, soberanamente, a norma que, por força do ordenamento jurídico vigente, deverá regular o caso concreto. O Estado, então, por intermédio do Poder Judiciário, busca, utilizando-se do processo, investigar qual dos litigantes tem razão, aplicando, ao final, a lei ao caso litigioso em comento. [1]
    Eis aí o conceito de jurisdição.
    Cintra, Grinover e Dinamarco a definem como sendo "uma das funções do Estado, mediante a qual este se substitui aos titulares dos interesses em conflito para, imparcialmente, buscar a pacificação do conflito que os envolve, com justiça". [2] Em outras palavras, apregoam os autores que "através do exercício da função jurisdicional, o que busca o Estado é fazer com que se atinjam, em cada caso concreto, os objetivos das normas de direito substancial". [3]
    Nesse mesmo sentido, Tourinho Filho conceitua jurisdição como "aquela função do Estado consistente em fazer atuar, pelos órgãos jurisdicionais, que são os juízes e Tribunais, o direito objetivo a um caso concreto, obtendo-se a justa composição da lide". [4] Reforça ainda que "esse poder de aplicar o direito objetivo aos casos concretos, por meio do processo, e por um órgão desinteressado, imparcial e independente, surgiu, inegavelmente, como impostergável necessidade jurídica à própria sobrevivência do Estado". [5]
    Importa frisar que o fato de ser a jurisdição uma emanação da própria soberania estatal originou o artigo 345 do Código Penal, onde está estabelecido como crime o fazer justiça com as próprias mãos, mesmo se tratando de pretensão legítima.
    Cintra, Grinover e Dinamarco lembram que a jurisdição é, ao mesmo tempo, poder, função e atividade. Como poder, é uma emanação da soberania nacional. Como função, é a incumbência afeta ao órgão jurisdicional de, por meio do processo, aplicar a lei aos casos concretos. Como atividade, é o complexo de atos do juiz no processo, tendentes a dar a cada um o que é seu. [6]
    Observe-se, contudo, que não só o Poder Judiciário exerce a função jurisdicional. Por esse motivo, Scarance Fernandes [7] e Mirabete [8] lecionam que a jurisdição, quanto à função, pode ser ordinária ou comum e extraordinária ou especial, conforme o órgão que a exerça ser pertencente (ordinária) ou não (extraordinária) ao Poder Judiciário. Um exemplo clássico de jurisdição extraordinária é aquela exercida pelo Senado Federal, nos termos do artigo 52, inciso I e II, da Constituição Federal.

    A doutrina costuma atribuir à jurisdição algumas características que lhe são inerentes. Para Cintra, Grinover e Dinamarco, a existência de uma lide, a inércia dos órgãos jurisdicionais (princípio da inércia) e a suscetibilidade de os atos jurisdicionais tornarem-se imutáveis (princípio da definitividade) são as três características básicas da jurisdição. [9] Tourinho Filho, por sua vez, acresce às características citadas pelos sobreditos doutrinadores a substitutividade, que ocorre quando o juiz, no exercício da atividade jurisdicional, como terceiro revestido de desinteresse e imparcialidade, substitui os interessados na aplicação da justiça ao caso concreto, privando-os de, pelas próprias mãos, buscarem a satisfação de suas pretensões.
    Mirabete, ao dissertar sobre as características da jurisdição, apresenta algumas outras que chamou de formais indeclináveis, necessárias à realização eficiente do objetivo jurisdicional de aplicar a lei ao caso concreto. São elas: um órgão adequado – o juiz – colocado em posição de independência para exercer imparcialmente a atividade jurisdicional; o contraditório regular, que permitirá às partes duelar com paridade de armas; e um procedimento preestabelecido segundo regras de garantam o livre desenvolvimento do direito e das faculdades das partes, visando a assegurar a justa solução do conflito. [10]
    Compõe-se a jurisdição de alguns elementos a serem observados com vistas a se chegar à final aplicação do direito material ao conflito. Na ordem, são eles: a notio ou cognitio (poder atribuído aos órgãos jurisdicionais de conhecer os litígios e prover à regularidade do processo), a vocatio (faculdade de fazer comparecer em juízo todo aquele cuja presença é necessária ao regular desenvolvimento do processo), a coertio (possibilidade de aplicar medidas de coação processual para garantir a função jurisdicional), o juditium (o direito de julgar e pronunciar a sentença) e a executio (poder de fazer cumprir a sentença). [11]
    Muito embora a jurisdição, como expressão do poder estatal soberano, seja una e indivisível, didaticamente costuma-se classificá-la quanto à sua graduação ou categoria (podendo ser inferior – correspondente à primeira instância – ou superior – correspondente à segunda instância ou outros tribunais ad quem), quanto à matéria (penal, civil, eleitoral, trabalhista e militar), quanto ao organismo jurisdicional (estadual ou federal), quanto ao objeto (contenciosa – quando há litígio – ou voluntária – quando é homologatória da vontade das partes), quanto à função (ordinária ou comum – integrada pelos órgãos do Poder Judiciário – ou extraordinária ou especial – quando a função jurisdicional não é exercida por órgãos do Poder Judiciário), quanto à competência (plena – quando o juiz tem competência para decidir todos os casos – ou limitada - quando sua competência é restrita a certos casos) e outras distinções feitas em prol do melhor estudo e compreensão do instituto da jurisdição. [12]

    PRINCÍPIO DA INVESTIDURA

    O Estado, como pessoa jurídica de direito público, necessita de pessoas físicas para o exercício da função jurisdicional. Para que essas pessoas possam exercer a jurisdição, é preciso que estejam regularmente investidas no cargo de juiz e em pleno exercício, de acordo com o que prescreve a lei.
    A pessoa não investida na autoridade de juiz não poderá desfrutar do poder de julgar. Conseqüentemente, estará impossibilitada de validamente desempenhar a função jurisdicional, sob pena de, se assim o fizer, serem declarados nulos o processo e a sentença, sem prejuízo de o pseudojuiz responder criminalmente pelo delito de usurpação de função pública, previsto no artigo 328 do Código Penal.
    Apenas ao juiz, em pleno exercício, investido regularmente no cargo, segundo os ditames legais, caberá o exercício da função jurisdicional.
    Cintra, Grinover e Dinamarco salientam que o juiz que já se aposentou não é mais juiz, razão pela qual não pode exercer a jurisdição, devendo passar os autos ao sucessor, consoante prescreve textualmente o artigo 132 do Código de Processo Civil. [13]

    PRINCÍPIO DA INDECLINABILIDADE OU DA INAFASTABILIDADE

    Consagrando expressamente o princípio da indeclinabilidade (ou da inafastabilidade, também chamado de princípio do controle jurisdicional por Cintra, Grinover e Dinamarco) [14], dispõe o artigo 5°, inciso XXXV, da Constituição Federal que "a lei não excluirá da apreciação do Poder Judiciário lesão ou ameaça a direito".
    Desta forma, a Lei Maior garante o acesso ao Poder Judiciário a todos aqueles que tiverem seu direito violado ou ameaçado, não sendo possível o Estado-Juiz eximir-se de prover a tutela jurisdicional àqueles que o procurem para pedir uma solução baseada em uma pretensão amparada pelo direito. Conseqüentemente, salienta Tourinho Filho, "se a lei não pode impedir que o Judiciário aprecie qualquer lesão ou ameaça a direito, muito menos poderá o Juiz abster-se de apreciá-la, quando invocado". [15]
    Em suma, apregoa o princípio da indeclinabilidade que o juiz não pode subtrair-se da função jurisdicional, sendo que, mesmo havendo lacuna ou obscuridade na lei, deverá proferir decisão (art. 126, CPC).

    PRINCÍPIO DA INDELEGABILIDADE

    Leciona Mirabete [16] que o princípio da indelegabilidade decorre do princípio da indeclinabilidade, anteriormente estudado. De fato, não pode o juiz delegar sua jurisdição a outro órgão, pois, se assim o fizesse, violaria, pela via oblíqua, o princípio da inafastabilidade e a garantia constitucionalmente assegurada do juiz natural ("ninguém será processado nem sentenciado senão pela autoridade competente" - artigo 5°, inciso LIII, CF/88).
    Cintra, Grinover e Dinamarco afirmam que "o princípio da indelegabilidade é, em primeiro lugar, expresso através do princípio constitucional segundo o qual é vedado a qualquer dos Poderes delegar atribuições". [17] Continuam os insignes doutrinadores esclarecendo que "a Constituição Federal fixa o conteúdo das atribuições do Poder Judiciário e não pode a lei, nem pode muito menos alguma deliberação dos próprios membros deste, alterar a distribuição feita naquele nível jurídico-positivo superior". [18]
    É importante notar, entretanto, que o princípio da indelegabilidade não é absoluto, pois admite exceções. O artigo 102, I, m, da CF/88, e os artigos 201 e 492 do Código de Processo Civil admitem que haja delegação nos casos de execução forçada pelo STF e também nas chamadas cartas de ordem (artigo 9°, §1°, da Lei n° 8.038/90 e regimentos internos do STF, STJ, TRFs e TJs).
    Mirabete [19] e Frederico Marques [20]entendem que as cartas precatórias (arts. 222, 353, 174, IV, 177 e 230, do CPP) e as rogatórias (arts. 368, 369, 780 e seguintes, do CPP) constituem-se em outras exceções, legal e taxativamente previstas, ao princípio da indeclinabilidade. A contrario sensu, Cintra, Grinover, Dinamarco [21] e Tourinho Filho [22] afirmam que não se pode cogitar em delegação quanto à prática dos atos processuais inerentes às sobreditas cartas, tendo em vista que o juiz não pode delegar um poder que ele mesmo não tem, por ser incompetente.
    Salientam os citados autores que é justamente esta a situação que ocorre nas cartas precatórias ou rogatórias, pois o juiz não tem poderes para exercer a atividade jurisdicional fora dos limites de sua comarca. O que ocorre, então, nestes casos, é mera cooperação entre o juiz deprecante e o deprecado, onde aquele, impedido que está de praticar atos processuais fora de sua comarca, por força da limitação territorial de poderes, solicita a este que pratique os atos necessários, exercendo, destarte, sua própria competência nos limites da comarca onde atua.

    PRINCÍPIO DA IMPRORROGABILIDADE

    Igualmente conhecido como princípio da aderência ao território, o princípio da improrrogabilidade veda ao juiz o exercício da função jurisdicional fora dos limites delineados pela lei. Sob este prisma, não poderá o crime de competência de um juiz ser julgado por outro, mesmo que haja anuência expressa das partes.
    Tourinho Filho, ensinando sobre a impossibilidade de um juiz invadir a jurisdição de outro, esclarece que "não é lícito, mesmo mediante acordo dos interessados, submeter uma causa à apreciação de autoridade que não tenha, para isto, jurisdição e competência próprias". [23]
    O princípio da improrrogabilidade admite exceções. Acerca do assunto, Mirabete, para o qual tal princípio decorre do da indeclinabilidade, [24] esclarece que, por vezes, é possível que haja prorrogação de competência, como nos casos de conexão ou continência (arts. 76, 77 e 79, CPP), na hipótese prevista no art. 74, §2, in fine, do CPP, na circunstância quando é oposta e admitida a exceção da verdade (art. 85, CPP) e no caso de desaforamento (art. 424, CPP).

    PRINCÍPIOS DA INICIATIVA DAS PARTES E DA INÉRCIA

    Em termos práticos, os princípios da iniciativa das partes e da inércia se equivalem, diferindo-se, doutrinariamente, pelo fato de o primeiro ser um preceito do Processo Penal e o segundo, da jurisdição.
    Cristalizados nos aforismos nemo judex sine actore (não há juiz sem autor) e ne procedat judex ex officio (o juiz não pode proceder – dar início ao processo - sem a provocação da parte), tais princípios consubstanciam a índole inerte dos órgãos jurisdicionais, que somente poderão aplicar a lei ao caso concreto se devidamente provocados pela parte interessada em face da existência de uma pretensão resistida ou insatisfeita amparada pelo ordenamento jurídico. Esta provocação é feita por meio da ação, onde se invoca a tutela do Estado-Juiz a fim de que haja a prestação jurisdicional.
    Cintra, Grinover e Dinamarco justificam o princípio da inércia explicando que "o exercício espontâneo da atividade jurisdicional acabaria sendo contraproducente, pois a finalidade que informa toda a atividade jurídica do Estado é a pacificação social e isso viria em muitos a casos a fomentar conflitos e discórdias, lançando desavenças onde elas não existiam antes". [25]
    Os órgãos jurisdicionais, sabemos, devem ser desinteressados e imparciais, características inerentes à própria existência da jurisdição. Visando a resguardar a imparcialidade na solução do conflito, melhor é deixar que o Estado só intervenha quando provocado por meio da ação, pois "a experiência ensina que quando o próprio juiz toma a iniciativa do processo, ele se liga psicologicamente de tal maneira à idéia contida no ato de iniciativa, que dificilmente teria condições de julgar imparcialmente". [26]
    Ademais, ensina Tourinho Filho que se ao próprio juiz coubesse a provocação da tutela jurisdicional, estaria ele a pedir providências a ele mesmo, numa clara ocorrência de jurisdição sem ação, como se tem no processo do tipo inquisitório, [27] não acolhido por nós em sede processual.
    A inércia a qual os órgãos jurisdicionais estão submetidos, por força de dispositivos como os artigos 2° do CPC e 24 do CPP, é vencida, portanto, pela provocação das partes que, insatisfeitas, motivam a instauração de um processo a fim de afastarem a resistência a sua pretensão.
    Lecionando sobre a importância do princípio da inércia, Tourinho Filho lembra que "mesmo na hipótese de o órgão do Ministério Público, infundadamente, requerer o arquivamento de um inquérito policial, o máximo que o Juiz pode fazer é remeter os autos ao Procurador-Geral de Justiça, nos termos do art. 28 do CPP". O que significa, continua o autor, "que nem por via oblíqua pode ser quebrado o princípio do nemo judex sine actore". [28]
    Como não poderia deixar de ser, o princípio da inércia (também chamado por Mirabete de princípio da titularidade) [29]comporta exceções. Assim, por exemplo, pode o juiz, ex officio: declarar a falência de um comerciante no curso de um processo de concordata, se verificar a falta de algum requisito para esta (art. 162, Lei de Falências); instaurar a execução trabalhista (art. 878, CLT); conceder ordem de habeas corpus (art. 654, §2°, CPP); e decretar prisão preventiva.
    Por fim, saliente-se que, antes da Constituição Federal de 1988, nos casos de contravenções e de homicídio e lesão corporal culposos, quando conhecida a autoria nos primeiros 15 (quinze) dias (art. 1°, Lei n° 4.611/65), era permitido às autoridades judiciária e policial a prática do ato de iniciativa. Hoje, entretanto, por força do disposto no artigo 129, I, da Lei Maior, estas exceções não mais subsistem. [30]

    PRINCÍPIO DA CORRELAÇÃO

    Estabelece o princípio da correlação que há necessidade imperiosa da correspondência entre a condenação e a imputação, ou seja, o fato descrito na peça inaugural de um processo – queixa ou denúncia – deve guardar estrita relação com o fato constante na sentença pelo qual o réu é condenado.
    O princípio da correlação, também chamado de princípio da relatividade [31] ou da congruência da condenação com a imputação ou ainda da correspondência entre o objeto da ação e o objeto da sentença, [32] representa uma das mais relevantes garantias do direito de defesa, pois assegura ao réu a certeza de que não poderá ser condenado sem que tenha tido oportunidade de, previa e pormenorizadamente, ter ciência dos fatos criminosos que lhe são imputados, podendo, assim, defender-se amplamente da acusação.
    Nesse contexto, assevera Tourinho Filho que, in verbis,
    "iniciada a ação, quer no cível, quer no penal, fixam-se os contornos da res in judicio deducta, de sorte que o Juiz deve pronunciar-se sobre aquilo que lhe foi pedido, que foi exposto na inicial pela parte. Daí se segue que ao Juiz não se permite pronunciar-se, senão sobre o pedido e nos limites do pedido do autor e sobre as exceções e nos limites das exceções deduzidas pelo réu. […] isto é, o Juiz não pode dar mais do que foi pedido, não pode decidir sobre o que não foi solicitado". [33]
    Mirabete, por sua vez, esclarece que
    "não pode haver julgamento extra ou ultra petita (ne procedat judex ultra petitum et extra petitum). A acusação determina a amplitude e conteúdo da prestação jurisdicional, pelo que o juiz criminal não pode decidir além e fora do pedido em que o órgão da acusação deduz a pretensão punitiva. Os fatos descritos na denúncia ou queixa delimitam o campo de atuação do poder jurisdicional". [34]
    Alerta ainda o douto jurista que na hipótese de haver distorção entre a imputação e a sentença, sem observância dos dispositivos legais pertinentes à matéria, o direito de defesa do réu poderá estar sendo violado, o que, se comprovado, acarretará a nulidade da decisão (RT 526/396, 565/383, JTACrSP 76/271, RJDTACrim 17/15-25). [35]
    Não obstante estar o juiz, de certo modo, adstrito ao requisitório da acusação, não podendo sua sentença afastar-se dos fatos constantes na peça acusatória inicial, cumpre observar a vigência, no Processo Penal, do também princípio da livre dicção do direito (jura novit curia), onde resta consubstanciado que cabe ao juiz conhecer e cuidar do direito (narra mihi factum dabo tibi jus). Assim, o réu não deve defender-se da capitulação dada ao crime pelo Ministério Público ou pelo ofendido ou seu representante legal na denúncia ou na queixa, respectivamente, mas da descrição fática nela constante, ou seja, dos fatos nela narrados.
    Nesse sentido, decidiu o STF que "o réu defende-se do fato que lhe é imputado na denúncia ou na queixa e não da classificação jurídica feita pelo MP, ou querelante" (HC 61.617-8-SP, j. 04.05.1984) e "o réu se defende do crime descrito na denúncia e não da capitulação nela constante" (HC 63.587-3-RS, j. 14.02.1986). [36]
    Na esteira desses pensamentos, faz-se necessária a breve análise dos artigos 383 e 384 do Código de Processo Penal.
    O artigo 383 prescreve o instituto do emendatio libelli, segundo o qual, "o juiz poderá dar ao fato definição jurídica diversa da que constar da queixa ou da denúncia, ainda que, em conseqüência, tenha de aplicar pena mais grave". Considerando que a adequação feita pelo Promotor ou querelante é meramente provisória e que os fatos narrados implicita ou explicitamente na peça acusatória são os mesmos analisados e julgados pelo juiz, não há ofensa ao princípio da correlação, pois o que ocorre é simples corrigenda da classificação contida na peça inaugural.
    Neste caso, por não ter havido alteração do fato a respeito do qual foi exercido o direito de defesa, pode o juiz alterar a tipificação apresentada pela acusação e até mesmo condenar com pena mais grave, sem que haja necessidade de qualquer providência prévia. [37]
    Situação diversa ocorre, entretanto, nas hipóteses do artigo 384, caput e parágrafo único, onde, durante o processo, surgem fatos e/ou circunstâncias elementares não contidos, expressa ou implicitamente, na peça acusatória (mutatio libelli). Por essa razão, a sentença não pode ser proferida de imediato, sob pena de nulidade por ofensa aos princípios do contraditório e da ampla defesa.
    A fim de poder proferir sentença válida, atendendo aos princípios norteadores do Processo Penal, deverá o juiz adotar uma das seguintes providências: se os novos fatos e/ou circunstâncias puderem ensejar a aplicação de pena idêntica ou menos grave à que seria imposta pela capitulação inicial, os autos serão baixados à defesa para que, no prazo de 08 (oito) dias, se manifeste e, se o desejar, produza provas, podendo ser ouvidas até 03 (três) testemunhas (art. 384, caput, CPP); se os novos fatos e/ou circunstâncias importarem em pena mais grave, o juiz baixará os autos à acusação para que adite a denúncia ou a queixa, abrindo-se um prazo de 03 (três) dias à defesa para que se, querendo, ofereça provas, arrolando até 03 (três) testemunhas.
    Maiores considerações sobre o princípio da correlação entre sentença e imputação, bem como questões outras acerca dos institutos da emendatio libelli e da mutatio libelli serão discutidas com mais detalhes no Resumo do Tema 9 (Sentença. Correlação entre acusação e sentença. Coisa julgada. Limites objetivos e subjetivos. Efeitos civis da sentença penal. Aplicação dos artigos 383 e 384, do CPP, e a ineficácia dos atos processuais).

    PRINCÍPIO DA DEFINITIVIDADE

    Em que pese estar a definitividade citada como princípio, boa parte dos doutrinadores a considera como uma característica dos atos jurisdicionais, [38] que se revestem da possibilidade de a sentença judicial tornar-se imutável a partir da ocorrência do fenômeno da coisa julgada.
    Entenda-se coisa julgada, nas palavras de Cintra, Grinover e Dinamarco, como sendo a "imutabilidade dos efeitos de uma sentença, em virtude da qual nem as partes podem repropor a mesma demanda em juízo ou comporta-se de modo diferente daquele preceituado, nem os juízes podem voltar a decidir a respeito, nem o próprio legislador pode emitir preceitos que contrariem, para as partes, o que já ficou definitivamente julgado". [39]
    De fato, encerrado o desenvolvimento legal de um processo, a manifestação judicial consubstanciada na sentença adquire um caráter de imutabilidade, não cabendo revisão por qualquer outro poder, ao contrário, por exemplo, das decisões administrativas que, quanto à sua legalidade, são sempre passíveis de revisão pelo Poder Judiciário. [40]
    Cintra, Grinover e Dinamarco lecionam, com bastante clareza, que, "no Estado de Direito só os atos jurisdicionais podem chegar a esse ponto de imutabilidade, não sucedendo o mesmo com os administrativos ou legislativos. Em outras palavras, um conflito interindividual só se considera solucionado para sempre, sem que se possa volta a discuti-lo, depois que tiver sido apreciado e julgado pelos órgãos jurisdicionais: a última palavra cabe ao Poder Judiciário". [41]
    Por assim ser, Tourinho Filho alerta que há entendimento no sentido de que o Senado Federal, mesmo face à competência que lhe foi atribuída pelo artigo 52, incisos I e II, da Constituição Federal de 1988, não exerce função jurisdicional, posto que suas decisões não têm o caráter da definitividade. [42]

    PRINCÍPIO DO JUIZ NATURAL

    O princípio do juiz natural ou juiz constitucional, também chamado de princípio do juiz competente, no direito espanhol, e princípio do juiz legal, no direito alemão, originou-se, historicamente, no ordenamento anglo-saxão, desdobrando-se, a posteriori, nos constitucionalismos norte-americano e francês. Entre nós, o referido princípio inseriu-se deste o início das Constituições.
    Trata-se de princípio que garante ao cidadão o direito de não ser subtraído de seu Juiz Constitucional ou Natural, aquele pré-constituído por lei para exercer validamente a função jurisdicional.
    Assegura expressamente a Constituição Federal que "ninguém será processado nem sentenciado senão pela autoridade competente" (artigo 5°, inciso LIII) e que "não haverá juízo ou tribunal de exceção" (artigo 5°, inciso XXXVII). Outrossim, determina a Lei Maior que "a lei não excluirá da apreciação do Poder Judiciário qualquer lesão ou ameaça a direito" (artigo 5°, XXXV).
    Dentro deste contexto, buscam os dispositivos constitucionais impedir que pessoas estranhas ao organismo judiciário exerçam funções que lhe são específicas (salvo, é claro, quando houver autorização da própria Constituição Federal nesse sentido, p.ex., Senado – artigo 52, incisos I e II) e proscrever os tribunais de exceção, aqueles criados post factum. Assim, nenhum órgão, por mais importante que seja, se não tiver o poder de julgar assentado na Constituição Federal não poderá exercer a jurisdição. Tem-se, salienta a doutrina, a mais alta expressão dos princípios fundamentais da administração da justiça.

    Fernandes Scarance afirma que a dúplice garantia assegurada pelo cogitado princípio – proibição de tribunais extraordinários e de subtração da causa ao tribunal competente, desdobra-se em três regras de proteção: "a) só podem exercer jurisdição os órgãos instituídos pela Constituição Federal; b) ninguém pode ser julgado por órgão instituído após o fato; c) entre os juízes pré-constituídos vigora uma ordem taxativa de competências que exclui qualquer alternativa deferida à discricionariedade de quem quer que seja". [43]
    Acentua Vicente Greco Filho que "não se admite a escolha de magistrado para determinado caso, nem a exclusão ou afastamento do magistrado competente; quando ocorre determinado fato, as regras de competência já apontam o juízo adequado, utilizando-se, até, o sistema aleatório de sorteio para que não haja interferência na escolha". [44]
    É bem verdade que há casos especialíssimos de deslocação da competência, como no caso previsto no artigo 424 do CPP (desaforamento no procedimento do tribunal do júri), entretanto, entende-se que, por estarem determinados pelo interesse público e da própria justiça, não ferem o princípio do juiz natural, pois o intuito é a busca do julgamento justo.
    Grinover, Scarance e Gomes Filho, além de outros doutrinadores, defendem que com a garantia do juiz natural assegura-se a imparcialidade do órgão jurisdicional, não como atributo do juiz, mas como pressuposto de existência da própria atividade jurisdicional. Por isso, afirmam que sem o juiz natural não há jurisdição, pois a relação jurídica não pode nascer. [45]
    Os mesmos estudiosos asseveram que além de o julgamento da causa ser de incumbência do juiz natural, é mister que perante este também seja instaurado e desenvolvido o processo, não sendo possível o aproveitamento dos atos instrutórios realizados por juiz constitucionalmente incompetente. [46] Neste diapasão, os artigos 108, §1°, e 567 do CPP devem ser relidos a fim de se adequarem à garantia do juiz natural, restringindo-se sua aplicação apenas aos casos de incompetência infraconstitucional. Em se tratando de juiz constitucionalmente incompetente, não pode haver aproveitamento dos atos, não-decisórios e decisórios, uma vez que o artigo 5°, inciso LIII, da Lei Maior refere-se à garantia de que "ninguém será processado nem sentenciado senão pela autoridade competente" (grifei).
    De igual forma, também carece de releitura o artigo 564, I, do CPP, que dispõe ser caso de nulidade os atos praticados por juiz incompetente. Como já mencionado, a garantia do juiz natural é um pressuposto de existência da atividade jurisdicional. Sob este prisma, os atos praticados por juiz constitucionalmente incompetente são inexistentes e não nulos. Em decorrência disso, o processo e a sentença, eventualmente prolatada, são juridicamente inexistentes.
    Questão interessante é saber se o réu, submetido a julgamento por juiz constitucionalmente incompetente, estaria sujeito a nova persecução penal sobre os mesmos fatos, uma vez considerando-se que a sentença prolatada seria inexistente e, como tal, não estaria tecnicamente suscetível à formação da coisa julgada.
    Grinover, Scarance e Gomes Filho entendem que "o rigor técnico da ciência processual há de ceder perante os princípios maiores do favor rei e do favor libertatis, fazendo prevalecer o dogma do ne bis in idem, impedindo nova persecução penal a respeito do fato em tela". [47] Esclarecem os insignes estudiosos que, não obstante o princípio do ne bis in idem estar tecnicamente ligado ao fenômeno da coisa julgada e que juridicamente inexistente a sentença esta não poderia transitar em julgado, no terreno da persecução penal estão em jogos valores preciosos do indivíduo, como sua vida, sua liberdade, sua dignidade, e que, nesse particular, o ne bis in idem assume dimensão autônoma, impedindo nova persecução penal do réu pelos mesmos fatos já julgados. Observam os autores que a garantia do juiz natural é erigida em favor do réu e não em detrimento aos direitos deste.
    Acerca dos chamados tribunais ou juízos de exceção, assim considerados aqueles criados após o fato a ser julgado, a proibição dos mesmos não abrange o impedimento da criação de justiça ou vara especializada, pois, nestes casos, não há criação de órgãos, mas simples atribuição de órgãos já inseridos na estrutura judiciária, fixada na Constituição Federal, para julgamento de matérias específicas, objetivando a melhoria na aplicação da norma substancial.
    Cintra, Grinover e Dinamarco salientam a necessidade de se distinguir tribunais de exceção de justiças especiais, como a Militar, a Eleitoral e a Trabalhista, lembrando que estas são instituídas pela Lei Maior, com anterioridade à prática dos fatos a serem por elas apreciados e, portanto, não constituem ofensa ao princípio do juiz natural. [48]
    Inclui-se na proibição dos tribunais de exceção os foros privilegiados, criados como favor pessoal, mas exclui-se as hipóteses de competência por prerrogativa de função, onde é levada em conta a função exercida pelo réu e não a sua pessoa, inexistindo, neste caso, favorecimento ou discriminação.

              Almedalen 2017 - det politiska kalejdoskopet        
    Det politiska kalejdoskopet i Almedalen 2017 bygger på allt från folkhemmet via socialliberalism och privatisering.
    Veckan började med privatiseringen. Både Jonas Sjöstedt och Jan Björklund tog oss med från födseln till döden i deras egna familjer och vården. Verkligheter för de båda. Även om jag kan identifiera mig Jan Björklund, att från arbetargrabb på bakgården till akademiker. Frågan är det den verkliga bilden. Den privata bilden är aldrig som berättelse mer än privat. Hur mycket det lyfte problemen i vården kan man fundera.

    Tredje dagen var det Annie Lööf som hade scenen i Almedalen. Ett ideologiskt tal när det gällde främlingsfientlighet och nazism. Man får aldrig glömma bort att nazismen är en terrorverksamhet som vill omstörta det demokratiska samhället. Men hon likväl som de andra talarna tog avstånd från dessa krafter. För övrigt var företagandet en bärande del i hennes tal.

    Fjärde dagen var det Magdalena Andersson som äntrade scenen. Vår statsminister ägnad sig åt arbetsplatsbesök och vanligt folk, vilka det nu är. Hennes mer officiella debut som talar fick godkänt. Varken dåligt eller bra. Det trista, men kanske nödvändiga för en finansminister, var sifferexercisen. Några korta penningfrågor om skolan, i övrigt mest tunt om Sveriges framtid, det uppväxande släktes förutsättningar att göra klassresor saknades i det parti som skapade möjligheterna genom 1948 års skolkommission.

    Femte dagen intog Ebba Bosch Thor scenen. Ned klädd och med sprakande mediebilder till sitt tal. Därtill åter igen utan talarstol. Här fick vi en lektion om hemmet. Sverige ska inte politiskt leva i landet Utopia. Sådant som Nybyggarland och annat ska inte göra sig påmint. Vi har ett färdigt hem som ingen ska röra. Det tråkiga är att hon inte har klart för sig att hem kan skapas på fyra sätt. Bygga nytt (Nybyggarlandet), reparation, ombyggnad eller tillbyggnad. I övrigt får man hållen fördelen av att hon haft veckans bästa tal. Inte bara retoriskt utan och pedagogiskt genom alla staplar och diagram. Det var mer en föreställning än ett tal.

    Sjätte dagen tillhörde scenen Jimmy Åkesson. Med sitt tal om folkhemmet lyckades han med två saker. För det första att inte med ett enda ord tala om invandring och integration. För det andra reta upp ett antal socialdemokrater med att stjäla ordet. Förvånansvärt nog var han ovanligt skarp mot Nordiska motståndsrörelsen från scenen. Första gången dessa demonstrerade vid scenen. Samtidigt som Verner von Heidenstam oförskyllt fick klä nationalismen genom sin dikt.

    Sjunde dagen var miljöns insegel. Med Gustav Fridolin i talarstolen blev det ett flammande tal om miljö. Både om klimatet och hur vi bygger våra städer med centrum och periferi. Hur detta skapar segregation. Lovvärda tankar. Det är genom möten vi lär känna varandra. Hur skapar vi mötesplatser i stadsbyggnadskonsten? Gustav var den första talaren, denna veckan, som mera ingående pratade om skolan och dess danande kraft. Skam hade det varit om inte landets utbildningsminister lyft den frågan. Han berörde bland annat att han ska genomföra Skolkommissionens förslag. Undra om det är det som ligger på bordet i slutbetänkandet eller det som kommer ut av remissrundan.

    Åttonde dagen tog en säker och tydligt Anna Kindberg Batra scenen i Almedalen och avslutade politikerveckan. Kanske inte ett retoriskt skickligt tal, men tydligt. Trygghet och frihet var det bärande i budskapet. Utan friheten - liberalismen ingen trygghet - konservatismen. Som sista talar avfyrade även hon en tydligt avståndstagande mot de demonstrerande nazisterna. Med följande kraftiga applåder. Det som kännetecknade Anna vara och hennes tal om skolan. Nolltoleransen mot dåliga skolor, de ska läggas ner. Också synen på kunskaper. I ett land som ska leva på kunskaper duger det inte med lagomkunskaper. Med det kommer jobben att gå förlorade. Kunskaperna ska vara bästa.

    Summerar man politikerveckan 2017 var vÃ¥rden pÃ¥ tapeten i tre av talen specifikt. TvÃ¥ av talen fokuserade pÃ¥ skolan. Kanske den viktigaste framtidsfrÃ¥gan för välfärden. Klyftor var ett ord som användes flitigt. Lika väl som tvÃ¥ pratade om hemmet som hÃ¥ller ihop Sverige. Noteras bör att dessa Ã¥tta tal är upptakten till en knivskarp valrörelse inför valet om ett Ã¥r och tvÃ¥ mÃ¥nader. Mycket kan hända pÃ¥ den politiska kartan tills valdagen. Det vi ser idag kan ritas om flera gÃ¥nger. Eller för att ta Anna Kindberg Batras berättelse som budbils tjejen hon var som distribuerade ritningar till bygget. DÃ¥ i pappersform, idag digitalt. DÃ¥ ett enkelt jobb som idag inte finns. Världen är i konstant utveckling, lÃ¥t oss aldrig glömma det.           


              John Malkovich tar ton 20130819 1815        
    Under de senaste åren har skådespelaren John Malkovich varit en flitig gäst på många av världens teaterscener. I mer än 90 föreställningar har han tillsammans med den österrikiska barockorkestern Wiener Akademi dragit fulla hus överallt med två helt olika föreställningar. Kulturradions Kerstin Berggren fick en exklusiv intervju med John Malkovich efter en föreställning i Dresden.
              Nicolas Vermeys discute de la Plate-forme d’aide au règlement des litiges en ligne (PARLe) (Le journal du Barreau, 11 mai 2017)        
    Nicolas Vermeys explique le fonctionnement et les avantages de la Plate-forme d’aide au règlement des litiges en ligne (PARLe) : un outil en ligne pour aider au règlement des litiges. Lire l’article
              Debate Over Consumer Agency Continues as Obama Taps Cordray to Lead        

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: One of the most prominent and contentious changes in the financial regulation law was the creation of a consumer protection bureau. Today, the president picked a leader for that agency. But the debate is hardly over.

    After months of a fierce behind-the-scenes battle, President Obama tapped a former Ohio attorney general to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I am proud to nominate Richard Cordray to this post. And we have been recently reminded why this job is going to be so important. There is an army of lobbyists and lawyers right now working to water down the protections and the reforms that we passed. We’re not going to let that happen.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Cordray, known in Ohio for challenging banks on mortgage foreclosures and questionable lending practices, has already been working as head of enforcement for the agency.

    But he wasn’t the first choice for consumer advocates and many Democrats, who favored Elizabeth Warren, a lawyer, bankruptcy expert and tough consumer advocate from Harvard, widely credited as the essential architect of the agency. The Consumer Bureau was created as part of the financial reform law signed a year ago this week.

    The government watchdog agency will oversee mortgages, credit cards and other forms of lending. It can write new consumer protection rules, enforce existing federal consumer finance laws, investigate complaints and review the books and records of banks.

    BARACK OBAMA: We are extremely proud of you, Elizabeth. Good luck.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: President Obama appointed Warren as a special adviser to get the agency up and running in September 2010.

    But Senate Republicans immediately made it clear they wouldn’t vote to confirm her as the permanent chief. And even though she met with many financial industry executives in recent months, she was still characterized by some as being too anti-business.

    In a NewsHour interview with Jeffrey Brown last October, she said she’d work with banks and lenders, but would not back down on what she considered sketchy practices.

    ELIZABETH WARREN, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: What I’m really doing is reaching out to the banking industry and saying, some of you want to find another way to compete for your customers. Some of you have tried to put good products out there.

    But those products get overshadowed by the ones that are full of tricks and traps, the folks who can pretend to offer you zero percent financing, when the reality is, they know they’re going to make the money through the back door.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Warren also was the center of a very public fight with Republicans at a congressional hearing in May. She said she couldn’t stay for questioning because she had been misled about how long she was expected to testify.

    Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry accused her of lying.

    ELIZABETH WARREN: We had an agreement for the time this hearing would occur.  

    REP. PATRICK MCHENRY, R-N.C.: You’re making this up, Ms. Warren. You’re simply — this is not the case. This is not the case.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Cordray’s road to confirmation may not be much easier. In May, 44 Senate Republicans sent President Obama a letter threatening to withhold support for any nominee.

    And the top Republican on the Banking Committee, Alabama’s Richard Shelby, issued a statement yesterday, saying, “Until President Obama addresses our concerns by supporting a few reasonable structural changes, we will not confirm anyone to lead it. No accountability, no confirmation.”

    Today, the president made light of the difficult confirmation process, citing Cordray’s status as a five-time “Jeopardy” champion in the 1980s.

    BARACK OBAMA: That’s why all his confirmation — all his answers at his confirmation hearings will be in the form of a question.

    (LAUGHTER)

    BARACK OBAMA: That’s a joke.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The agency, which officially begins work Thursday, will be independent of other regulators, but funded by the Federal Reserve.

    For more about this agency and its new nominee, we’re joined by Jeff Madrick. He is a senior fellow at the liberal-leaning Roosevelt Institute. He’s a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and the author of the recent book “Age of Greed.” And David Hirschmann is the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness.

    Gentlemen, thank you both for being with us.

    And, Jeff Madrick, to you first.

    We heard a little bit just in that piece about what this new bureau is going to do. But what in your mind are the main things it’s going to be doing that haven’t been done before?

    JEFF MADRICK, Roosevelt Institute: Well, you know, we haven’t had consumer protection in the financial area before.

    Finance is a very complex subject. It’s easy to trick and deceive. Even when you’re not tricking and deceiving, it’s easy — it’s hard for consumers to always understand what’s going on. What I think your viewers have to get out of this is we’re not talking about particularly liberal economics here.

    We’re talking about straightforward, laissez-faire, conservative economics. What Elizabeth Warren wants to do is allow consumers to understand the cost and nature of the products they’re getting, their mortgages, their car loans, their credit cards — the interest on their credit cards, the late charges, and so on.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you’re saying that’s what this new agency will be doing?

    JEFF MADRICK: That’s what it’s going to be dedicated to do.

    And had that existed before — it’s very important to understand — much of the credit crisis we had would have been avoided.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, let me turn to you, David Hirschmann.

    When you hear that that’s the job of this new agency, what is the objection of the Chamber of Commerce and others who have problems with it?

    DAVID HIRSCHMANN, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness: Well, protecting consumers is a good thing. It’s good both for consumers and for the businesses trying to sell into what we hope is a fair marketplace.

    The real question is how is this agency going to work? It was sold as kind of a one-stop shop for consumer protection. But in reality, it’s just one more agency in an overly cumbersome structure that was built 75 years ago. The — both — other federal regulators will consider to do consumer protection, as well as the 51 state attorneys general who are given powers to enforce the rules that are written here.

    So, what we have asked from the beginning is, OK, we understand we need to protect consumers. That’s one of the many things that broke down during the crisis. How is this going to work? How are we going to — you know, putting 55 people in charge doesn’t solve the problem.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What about — you brought up — Jeff Madrick, you brought up Elizabeth Warren, but she’s not going to be the one heading up this bureau. It’s going to be — it’s going to be Richard Cordray instead. How much difference does that make in what this new bureau does?

    JEFF MADRICK: Well, obviously, Elizabeth Warren had been toxic and had become toxic in Congress. I think it was a pretty great disservice to her. I think her views were distorted.

    But Mr. Cordray has similar views, at least in principle. And I think once we get beyond what became the toxic nature of this debate, he will by and large live up to those principles. But let’s keep in mind all this talk about having a structure to support and protect consumers in complex financial areas simply didn’t hold up in the last four or five years.

    We didn’t have the structure. In fact, we had, by and large, ample rules, but Washington and state and local regulators didn’t implement them as didn’t oversee a fast-changing industry.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: David Hirschmann, what about that point? And, if you would, first, does it make a difference to the Chamber whether — who is heading up this agency, whether it’s Elizabeth Warren or Richard Cordray?

    DAVID HIRSCHMANN: Certainly, our view is that any nomination get a fair and thorough hearing in the Senate. Our issue is not with the personality.

    It’s really with the unique concentration of powers put into place at this agency. In the name of getting the headline “most independent regulator ever created,” Congress gave up its usual oversight, its usual checks and balances on this agency. So it has its own budget. There’s only one Senate-confirmed position.

    So, the reason this nomination is so controversial is because it’s the one shot in five years that the Senate gets to figure out how this is going to work. After this, they can send cards and letters and invite her over — invite him over to testify, but that’s about it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How about that, Jeff Madrick, that this is the one shot the Senate gets to shape this…

    JEFF MADRICK: This agency is housed in the Federal Reserve.

    And I don’t doubt that business is upset that it has its own budget. The Congress has been cutting back or holding down budgets at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, indeed cutting staff, at a time when they need more staff, in order to keep those regulations from being fully implemented and new regulations being developed.

    So I get a little — I get a little energized, let’s say, when I hear, isn’t it dangerous that they have their own budget? Indeed, that’s one of the things we can count on. They will not be cut down by Congress.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: David Hirschmann, what about the other point that the advocates for this bureau have raised, that the consumer needs to be protected against this complicated language in credit card arrangements, what happened with mortgages leading up to the financial collapse, that these are all functions, among others, that this new agency will perform?

    DAVID HIRSCHMANN: Yes. So, two things.

    First, we asked the people setting up the bureau, how are you going to prevent the 51 state attorneys general from having different interpretations on how to protect consumers, so that you have a product that might be legal in North Carolina, but not in Ohio?

    We think consumers benefit from having choice. And by creating legal jeopardy, you reduce the choices consumers have. What the fundamental divide here…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So you’re saying there may be contradiction between what Washington is saying and what is coming out of the states?

    DAVID HIRSCHMANN: Exactly. So this is not one set of rules. And consumers will be confused by that. They will have a hard time understanding why different products are not available on a national basis.

    For us, the simple question is…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let me raise that with Jeff Madrick.

    What about that point of criticism?

    JEFF MADRICK: Well, I just found these points almost beside the point.

    Look at what we have lived through already. Consumers had lots of choices, mortgage, first-time homeowners, refinancing homes. They were deceived constantly by complex products.

    Having a central place in Washington to deliver and develop rules that make sense, as opposed to doing it at state and local levels, is probably exactly what we need. We don’t need more consumer choice. We need standardized products that can be understood. And this is basic economics. I want to stress this.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you’re saying — so you’re saying you don’t see…

    JEFF MADRICK: This is not wide-eyed liberal stuff.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You’re saying you don’t see the contradiction that Mr. Hirschmann sees?

    JEFF MADRICK: No, I see clarity and standardization. And that’s what we badly need in this market.

    DAVID HIRSCHMANN: I think you have hit on the fundamental difference here. There’s a view that says, inform consumers, give them the information in plain English and let them make decisions. That’s particularly important to small businesses that, initially at least, rely on consumer products to start the business.

    And then there’s a view that says protect consumers by limiting the choices they have. Let’s create one mortgage, one approved credit card, one of each, right, kind of a plain-vanilla approach to financial products.

    We don’t think consumers benefit from fewer choices. We think they do benefit from well-informed disclosure.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you’re saying that would…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Go ahead.

    JEFF MADRICK: That’s an extreme exaggeration of what’s going on.

    The idea that there’s going to be one kind of mortgage and one kind of credit card, it’s simply not what’s going on here. This agency is being developed, this bureau, to make it clear to consumers what they are buying. When they have choice, they will understand the choices.

    We have lived through a horrible time that’s subjected these people to all kinds of shenanigans. Let’s face the fact, and let’s correct that. And this is a major step in that direction. And I would think, frankly, business would applaud it. It would allow them to sell on a level playing field.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How about that?

    DAVID HIRSCHMANN: Look, the bureau is a reality that Congress adopted. We’re not trying to re-litigate the legislation. Our basic question…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But there is an attempt to restructure it.

    DAVID HIRSCHMANN: … how do you make sure that this works well with the rest of the regulators? How do you make sure that this isn’t an island out there doing its own thing, but that really that you have all this alphabet soup of regulators talking to each other?

    What business doesn’t like is when one regulator says go left and one — and the other regulator says go right. It would be like you’re driving down the street tomorrow and one cop saying the speed limit is 35 and the next one saying it’s 50. It would make it hard to drive.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, I hear the two of you driving in different directions tonight.

    JEFF MADRICK: Can I just say something about that, Judy?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And I’m sorry, Jeff Madrick. We’re going to have to leave it there. But I know we are going to be coming back to this one.

    JEFF MADRICK: That requires a response.

    Thank you, Judy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you very much, Jeff Madrick and David Hirschmann.

    The post Debate Over Consumer Agency Continues as Obama Taps Cordray to Lead appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


              Gossip - Rihanna e Naomi Campbell hanno litigato? (Gotthardina88)        
    Gotthardina88 scrive nella categoria Gossip che: Rihanna e Naomi Campbell, dopo essere state amiche inseparabili per molti anni, sembra che abbiano litigato a causa del nuovo amore della cantante delle Barbados. La top model infatti, per quanto ami
    vai agli ultimi aggiornamenti su: rihanna gossip news
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    Vai all'articolo completo » .Rihanna e Naomi Campbell hanno litigato?.
    Rihanna e Naomi Campbell hanno litigato?
              Gossip - Il battibecco social tra Morandi e Fiorello (mastone)        
    mastone scrive nella categoria Gossip che: Della serie anche le star litigano e Magalli c’entra sempre. Sara` stato il caldo, ma a qualcuno non e` piaciuto che Gianni Morandi si mostri sempre come un eterno ragazzino. Un divertente botta e ri
    vai agli ultimi aggiornamenti su: fiorello
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    Vai all'articolo completo » .Il battibecco social tra Morandi e Fiorello.
    Il battibecco social tra Morandi e Fiorello
              New STEM OPT Rule Goes Into Effect May 10: Good news and challenges        
    Both F-1 students and employers have been following the litigation over the F-1 OPT (optional practical training) program. We had good news in March that the government published regulations complying with the judge's order to implement the STEM OPT program. The rule will take effect May 10, 2016.
              Update on STEM OPT Litigation        
    Many of you are following the STEM OPT saga closely. As the original deadline of February 12, 2016, approaches, we are providing this brief update.
              What is Arbitration and How Does It Work?        
    Due to the rising costs in litigation, there has been a large increase in the use of alternative dispute resolution. By utilizing the methods of alternative dispute resolution, parties are able to often save time and money when resolving their disputes. Arbitration is one method of alternative dispute resolution that is the most frequently used […]
              En vanlig tisdag        
    Lille E är tillbaka på förskolan. Sen länge. Första förkylningen var en lätt och lindrig variant. Febern försvann på en dag. Skönt så.

    Lika skönt som att allt rullar igång igen. Vardagen. Jag vet, jag har sagt det förut men det tål att upprepas. Jag gillar vardagen. Livet blir så mycket enklare då.
    Visst har sommaren varit bra. PÃ¥ mÃ¥nga sätt. Men samtidigt seg. Ibland känns det som om jag bara stÃ¥tt och stampat. Inte kommit nÃ¥gon vart. Bara sett allt jag tänkt göra. Borde gjort. Velat göra. 
    För tiden finns ju. Eller. Borde finnas. När det är semester och vi är lediga allihop. Ändå. Ståskalet står där i sin stårulle dag ut och dag in. "Just ja, han har inte stått idag. Men imorgon SKA han stå. Länge." Och gåstolen, Miniwalken, som används så flitigt på förskolan, hur många gånger har den hittat ut från förrådet?
    ... och rummen som skulle bytas. Vi har bara kommit halvvägs. Arbetsrummet är tömt (vilket innebär kaos i allrummet) och lille E har flyttat in. Men det är allt. Men det kommer nog bli klart snart, nu när tiden är begränsad till någon timme efter jobb, innan läggning. Nu när man inte har hela dagen på sig. På något märkligt sätt räcker tiden till mer när man måste hushålla med den.
    ... och assistansen som skulle sökas. Jo, det är i alla fall på gång. Väntar på läkarintyg bland annat.

    Fortsättning följer...


              Calendula: una visione magica         


    La Calendula è una pianta che  mette allegria soltanto nel vederla: quando si affaccia dai cigli delle strade, oppure se spunta benvoluta nell'orto; sembra possedere una sua luce interna, magica, che mi attrae come una falena viene attratta dalla fiamma.

    Domenica mattina una mia vicina di casa, amante come me delle piante e delle erbe, mi ha regalato un mazzo della sua Calendula: un dono tra donne, a sancire anche un affetto che viene dall'amore per il mondo vegetale. Per me quel mazzo di Calendule profumate di resina è stato come un mazzolino d'oro, di fiammelle gentili.


    Molte volte ho raccolto e trasformato la Calendula; ma voglio condividere con te, in attesa del mio corso che inizierà l'8 di Giugno (la mail di preiscrizione arriva il 1 Giugno, ti sei iscritta alla mia newsletter?) anche il lavoro intuitivo che svolgo con le piante.

    La prima cosa che faccio è connettermi con loro a livello fisico, utilizzando i cinque sensi: le guardo bene, accarezzo i petali, annuso il profumo-e annoto tutto quello che mi viene in mente compiendo questa esplorazione.

    Poi, cerco di associare la pianta ad un elemento: osservo bene il colore, la forma dei petali e delle foglie, e penso a cosa serve la pianta stessa.
    La Calendula è una pianta collegata al Sole, al Fuoco-e, in effetti, serve a calmare le irritazioni a spegnere le infiammazioni, agisce dove si ha un eccesso di Calore.
    In parte è anche legata alla Luna, e ritrovo la sua segnatura lunare nei semi, che sono piccole falci di Luna, e nella sua azione sull'apparato genitale femminile, dove Calendula agisce lenendo il dolore mestruale, regolarizzando il ciclo, aiutando anche nella menopausa.

    E' dunque un fuoco domestico, il fuoco del focolare, il fuoco interiore.


    Una cosa che amo fare, quando ho tempo e modo, è una stesa di Tarocchi per conoscere meglio il messaggio della pianta. Di solito scelgo una pianta, fuori, e le chiedo di comunicarmi il suo messaggio: poi alzo una carta e la interpreto, seguendo la mia intuizione.

    Per la Calendula, invece, ho utilizzato una stesa davvero ispirante che ha inventato Alexis: si chiama Wild Tongue Spread e ti mette in contatto con il messaggio sottile della pianta in questione.



    Vediamola insieme, per conoscere meglio la nostra Calendula!

    La prima carta è l'Otto di Coppe, che ci dice qualcosa sul profilo energetico della pianta. Calendula è dunque una pianta che ti aiuta quando qualcosa si rompe. Ti sostiene quando capisci che non puoi più proseguire per una strada sicura e conosciuta, ma che devi abbandonarla per qualcosa che non conosci ancora. Cura la malinconia che si accompagna a questa scelta, necessaria ma difficile. La sua luce ti accompagna lungo il percorso, verso qualcosa di sconosciuto, come una fiammella gentile che illumina i tuoi passi.

    La seconda carta ci dice qualcosa sull'energia curativa della pianta: l'Asso di Pentacoli. Calendula ha una luce interna, che ti aiuta a far funzionare bene il tuo primo chackra, collegato all'energia vitale, terrena. In effetti Calendula aiuta, come dicevo prima, a riequilibrare l'apparato genitale femminile; i cicli della donna, quindi, e la sua connessione con la terra, con le radici. La Regina di Pentacoli è la Madre Terra, e l'Asso è il suo seme. E' il piccolo fuoco che ti connette alla Terra, feconda e fertile.

    La terza carta ci dice che cosa rafforza la pianta, rivelato qui dalla Regina di Spade. Secondo me la relazione sta nella capacità che ha Calendula di riportare calma e logica nel pensiero, specialmente femminile: durante la sindrome premestruale Calendula combatte gli sbalzi di umore, e ti permette di vedere le cose con maggior lucidità, come fa la Regina di Spade. Inoltre, ti insegna ad essere libera, pienamente femminile, indipendente, anche attraverso la cura delle tue ferite. Calendula le sana, e ti permette di imparare da queste.


    La quarta carta ci dice la tipologia di persona per la quale Calendula è più efficace: il Cinque di Bastoni. E' chiaro dunque che Calendula è indicata a chi ha un temperamento focoso, pronto al litigio o alla provocazione. A chi si arrabbia facilmente, a chi tende a disperdere il calore interno perchè troppo aggressivo o impaziente. La assocerei anche al fiore di Bach Impatiens, che individua l'emozione di chi non sa aspettare i giusti tempi, e quindi preferisce fare da solo, perchè crede di fare meglio. Calendula insegna, come il Cinque di Bastoni, che l'unione fa la forza, e che la dispersione raramente produce un risultato positivo.

    Infine,  l'ultima carta è il messaggio che la pianta ha per me: il Dieci di Bastoni. Posso usare Calendula quando mi sento sovraccarica, oppressa, quando ho troppa carne al fuoco e non so come gestire le mie priorità. Calendula mi permette di staccare (anche solo perchè amo raccoglierla!) e di centrare il mio calore internamente, per gestire al meglio le cose che devo fare.


    Dopo aver contattato la pianta su di un piano sottile, mi metto a trasformarla: nel caso della Calendula ho preparato l'Oleolito in olio di Girasole.

    Ci sono molte teorie e diversi modalità di preparazione dell' oleolito, ma io in linea di massima preferisco sempre farlo da pianta fresca e con il metodo dell'estrazione solare.



    Utilizzerò poi l'Oleolito per preparare creme, balsami e olii massaggio-per mantenere vivo il calore della Primavera anche durane le stagioni più fredde.

    E tu? Come entri in contatto con le piante che ami? Scrivilo nei commenti!

    Licenza Creative Commons
    Questo opera è distribuito con licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Unported.
    Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at cecilia.lattari@gmail.com.
              Parlare con le piante        


    Quando eravamo bambine, il mondo naturale ci parlava. Dentro ad un fiore c'era un salone da ballo per le Fate; tra i cespugli di Mentuccia vivevano piccole signore indaffarate che preparavano balsami e unguenti per curare la tosse e cucinare i funghi; gli alberi avevano gli occhi, e tu potevi seguire il loro sguardo; gli uccellini e i gatti ti raccontavano delle loro giornate, tra una pisolino al sole e un volo tra le fronde profumate di pioggia.

    Poi siamo cresciute. E quelle voci si sono fatte più sottili, più lontane. Hai smesso di ascoltare i petali della Rosa, e di strofinare tra le dita ogni fiorellino colorato per vedere se poteva truccare le labbra.
    Hai messo le mani nella borsa, per cercare l'IPad e leggere le mail. E nelle orecchie magari hai su la tua playlist del giorno.
    Eppure, la voce delle piante continua ad essere lì, a chiacchierare indisturbata. basta solo volerla ascoltare di nuovo.




    E come si fa?
    Prima di parlare, ascolta. Ascoltare significa espandere la nostra coscienza; stare in silenzio, e percepire tutto ciò che è intorno a noi; le foglie cadute sul vialetto, il bosco di castagni vicino, la quercia con i rami nel vento, la consolida e le foglie delle fragole.
    Ascolta. Ascolta la terra sulla quale siedi, l'erba che sfiori con le mani. Il profumo delle foglie. Ascoltare significa fare spazio per la voce di un altro. E anche per te stessa.

    E' vero, sedersi per terra ed ascoltare, semplicemente, può essere difficile. Puoi iniziare a pensare alla lista delle cose da fare, al film che hai visto la sera prima, oppure a cosa cucinare per cena Oppure, puoi sentirti in difficoltà perchè non senti la voce delle piante. Non la senti, e ti senti esclusa, tagliata fuori dal mondo naturale. Perchè gli animali riescono a sentire la Terra, e tu no?

    Sappiamo che la cosa migliore da fare è seguire ciò che dice la pancia, e il cuore. Và dove ti porta il cuore: quante volte te lo sei detto, o lo hai sentito dire.
    Eppure, non è così semplice. C'è una certa difficoltà nel ricontattare i nostri sentimenti, quello che sentiamo profondamente.
    Ci siamo costruite una difesa, chi più chi meno, facendo sempre un passo più lontano da ciò che sentiamo, per difenderci di fronte al dolore, alle cicatrici della vita, alla perdita.
    E in questo percorso al contrario, spesso ci allontaniamo dal cuore, dalla pancia, da quello che è viscerale, profondo, selvaggio.

    Invece, la guarigione viene dal sentire, dall'intimità, dalla vicinanza.




    L'Ortica può aiutarci in questo processo. Il bruciore che si prova sfiorando una foglia ci riporta anche al nostro dolore interno; quel dolore che non dobbiamo fuggire, di cui non dobbiamo avere paura, ma che dobbiamo accettare, elaborare, e restituire alla Terra.
    Le ferite possono essere molte, e diverse -la fine di un amore, un bambino mai nato, la perdita di una persona cara; ma anche un litigio, una incomprensione, un'incrinatura in un rapporto- e il dolore che proviamo è profondo, totalizzante.
    Non ne dobbiamo avere paura; ascoltiamolo. Facciamolo nostro e lasciamolo fluire, invece di tenerlo chiuso, impacchettato dentro di noi, come una scatola nera che contiene solo tristezza, disperazione, paura.

    Solo così, solo ascoltando anche il dolore, noi possiamo tornare vicini ai nostri sentimenti, e godere appieno anche della gioia, della felicità, dell'abbondanza.

    Siamo esseri umani, espressione perfetta della gioia e della bellezza della natura. Se togliamo le barriere che ci tengono separati dal contatto con il nostro sentire profondo, riscopriremo anche il piacere e la felicità che proviene dal danzare sotto le stelle, o dal togliersi le scarpe e camminare nell'erba bagnata.
    D'improvviso, avrai voglia di affondare le caviglie nelle foglie scricchiolanti e rosse che sono appena cadute, oppure chiuderai l'ombrello e ti bagnerai i capelli sotto la prossima pioggia.
    Accarezzerai un albero e sentirai la comunione perfetta con lui, con la terra, con gli uccellini e persino con le nuvole.

    Magari una sera d'estate dormirai fuori, senza tenda, per addormentarti sotto le stelle e per ascoltare tutti i rumori del bosco, dai piccoli cinghiali che rufolano tra le radici della quercia agli scoiattoli che dormono tra i rami del nocciolo. Oppure, alla prima nevicata, assaggerai un fiocco di neve bianca e pulita.

    Con l'ascolto  puoi capire di far parte davvero di tutto questo. Che la Terra è la tua casa, gli animali sono i tuoi fratelli, e le piante sono le tue guide e i tuoi saggi consiglieri.



    Se ci apriamo davvero al mondo, non incontriamo solo cose spiacevoli o tristi, ma ci riconnettiamo anche alla gioia e al senso di appartenenza che proviene dal sapere che, si, anche tu fai parte di tutto questo. Sei parte di tutto questo.
    Respiri con le foglie, mangi i frutti della terra, bevi le tisane che provengono dalle piante. La Terra vive in te e tu in lei.

    Se mettiamo da parte la distrazione e ci ricolleghiamo con l'ascolto, facciamo il primo passo della antica e nuova danza tra uomo e piante, tra mondo animale e mondo vegetale.




    Licenza Creative Commons
    Questo opera è distribuito con licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Unported.
    Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at cecilia.lattari@gmail.com.







              Service Delivery Manager (H/F) - Infodis - Visualdis - Paris (75) et Roissy (95)        
    Dans le cadre du Développement de notre activité nous recherchons : Un(e) Service Delivery Manager (Réf : GI-IT-DSU-213) Missions Intégré(e) à un ou plusieurs contextes le Service Delivery Manager pilote les contrats dont il a la responsabilité, définit les indicateurs et veille à garantir auprès de son ou ses clients les niveaux de service contractualisés : Manage les Delivery Manager en charge des comptes qui lui sont confiés Gère les litiges et apporte les...
              Pure Storage, Dell Settle Litigation Launched by EMC        
    Pure Storage and Dell Technologies ended a three-year legal battle launched by EMC Corp., which was recently acquired by the big computer maker.

              Easy Money Express Company Settles Complaint with State Regulators        
    CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation ("IDFPR") today entered into an agreement with Easy Money Express Company ("Easy Money Express"), of Carbondale, under which Easy Money Express has agreed to forgo further litigation regarding its license. Under this agreement, IDFPR revokes its earlier Revocation Order, an order presently being contested in an administrative hearing. As is customary with an agreement, Easy Money Express explicitly did not admit any wrongdoing.
              Thanks to a maelstrom of travel, clients’ litigations (one...        




    Thanks to a maelstrom of travel, clients’ litigations (one settled, others are still in progress) and a bit of illness, we’ve been relatively quiet here for the past few weeks - but cases, legislation and administrative actions are heating up!

    Recently, the 11th Circuit (that’s Florida and Georgia) ruled that content hosted on a site that also had advertisements was not commercial speech. This is a huge deal for YouTubers, fanartists, fanfic writers and other follow-on creators, because it means that even if your content is hosted on a site that has ads - like tumblr, fanfiction.net, YouTube, fictionalley, DeviantArt, LiveJournal, or BandCamp - as long as the content you are sharing is not an advertisement itself, it is not commercial speech, and Lanham Act claims of trademark infringement cannot succeed on that ground. 

    It’s been settled for a few years that product reviews are not commercial speech, even when they include comparisons of different companies’ products, so this provides additional support to anyone who mentions another’s products, whether it’s for informational purposes or, arguably, even for creative purposes. 

    Professor Rebecca Tushnet highlighted one of the best parts, noting that website subscriptions are standard features of online magazines and newspapers - and we note that they are also standard features of Patreons and YouTube Red


    [N]either the placement of the articles next to revenue-generating advertising nor the ability of a reader to pay for a website subscription would be sufficient in this case to show a liability-causing economic motivation for Dr. Novella’s informative articles. Even if Dr. Novella receives some profit for his quasi- journalistic endeavors as a scientific skeptic, the articles themselves, which never propose a commercial transaction, are not commercial speech simply because extraneous advertisements and links for memberships may generate revenue.

    One significant note: the case concerns the Lanham Act, which deals entirely with trademarks, not copyrights. However, the court’s ruling on what is and is not commercial can apply by analogy to other kinds of commercial usage disputes. 

    We remember 2001 and 2002, when LiveJournal and Fanfiction.net started adding ads, and there was a lot of concern within the fanart and fanfic communities on those sites - and elsewhere - about whether the presence of those ads made those spaces commercial. 

    When in 2002 Warner Bros said they would not consider FictionAlley “commercial” if we added links to their products on Amazon and the WB store to bring in some revenue to cover hosting fees, we wanted that commitment via email - and we were thrilled to have a definite statement on the matter, even if it was limited just to official Harry Potter products & movie tickets. 

    It’s been well over fifteen years that this issue hasn’t been completely settled as a matter of law; this case gives reassurance that subscriptions and ads don’t turn all the content on a site into commercial speech unless other elements of the Bolger test are met. 

    You can read the case here. 


              Yet More Titles File “Troll-style” BitTorrent Suits in Utah Federal Court        
    Several film production companies have filed recent BitTorrent copyright infringement suits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, continuing national campaigns of “troll” copyright litigation by these companies and their affiliates. One case was lodged by Cook Productions, LLC, an entity holding copyrights in the recently released Eddie Murphy period drama, Mr. Church.  The film was awarded one star in a RogerEbert.com review, and panned by other critics as reflected in a 15% Rotten Tomatoes score, while audience reviews seemed to be more favorable. As troll defense previously reported, Cook Productions is an affiliate of Cinelou Films, a production company with a “notable catalog of major motion pictures.” The Mr. Church lawsuits  filed in Washington and various other federal courts across the U.S. represent the first known attempts by Cinelou Films at…
              â€œBoyka: Undisputed” Mass Torrent Suits in Seattle District Court        
    Continuing a nation-wide campaign of “troll-style” copyright litigation, several BitTorrent lawsuits were filed by UN4 Productions, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. These suits allege BitTorrent-based copyright infringement of the 2016 action flick Boyka: Undisputed, also known as Undisputed IV, which stars Scott Adkins as an MMA fighter grappling with the fallout from an accidental death in the ring.  As of this posting, the film has a 58% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with known media critics apparently declining to review it. As Troll Defense reported earlier, UN4 Productions is connected with Nu Image/Millennium Films, which has been associated with countless prior BitTorrent lawsuits, including those involving films such as Mechanic: Resurrection, London Has Fallen, Criminal, Automata, The Humbling, The Expendables, Charlie Countryman and Bad…
              What’s In a Settlement Agreement? Confidentiality Clauses! No Admission of Guilt! – Antonelli Law        
    Sued in a BitTorrent Copyright Infringement Lawsuit? What’s in a Settlement Agreement? I’ve been a litigation attorney for nearly 17 years starting out in a Chicago law firm defending tort claims, and later moving on to other law firms including one defending doctors, until I eventually started my own 10 years ago suing and defending […] The post What’s In a Settlement Agreement? Confidentiality Clauses! No Admission of Guilt! – Antonelli Law appeared first on Torrent Defenders.
              Company Sues Deceased Businessman/CEO for Fraud — Best Chicago Fraud and Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawyers Near Naperville        
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              Computer and Internet Updates for 2017-08-07        
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              Ronald A. Brand        
    Ronald A. Brand
    First Name: 
    Ronald
    Middle Name / Initial: 
    A.
    Last Name: 
    Brand
    Academic Director, CILE
    Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg University Professor and John E. Murray Faculty Scholar
    Room: 
    (412) 648-1307
    rbrand@pitt.edu
    Degrees: 
    Degree: 
    JD, Cornell University
    Degree: 
    BA, University of Nebraska

    Ronald A. Brand was the driving force behind the creation of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for International Legal Education (CILE) and its Master of Laws Program for Foreign Law Graduates. His reputation as a scholar on international and comparative law has helped the University of Pittsburgh School of Law attract prominent visiting scholars and lecturers from around the world and enhance opportunities for students to study and work abroad.

    Professor Brand's scholarship includes a number of books and many articles in major journals. His books include: Transaction Planning Using Rules of Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments (Hague Academy of International Law, Pocketbook Series, 2014); Fundamentals of International Business Transactions, Vols I and II (4th edition, CILE, 2013); International Civil Dispute Resolution (with Charles Baldwin, David Epstein, and Michael Gordon, West Group, 2d edition, 2008); The 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements: Commentary and Documents (with Paul M. Herrup, Cambridge University Press, 2008); The CISG and the Business Lawyer: The UNCITRAL Digest as a Contract Drafting Tool, (with Mark Walter and Harry Flechtner, Oxford University Press, 2008); Forum Non Conveniens: Past, Present and Future, 3 CILE Studies (with Scott Jablonski, Oxford University Press, 2008); and Private Law, Private International Law, and Judicial Cooperation in the EU-US Relationship, (West 2005).

    Professor Brand has been a Fulbright Scholar at the Universiteit Brussel, a Research Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bologna, and a visiting professor at the University of Augsburg. He has lectured on international trade and business law matters at universities in the U.S. and abroad. His excellence in the classroom has earned Professor Brand both the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award, a University-wide honor, and the Law School's Excellence-in-Teaching Award. He has also received the Chancellor's Distinguished Public Service Award.

    Professor Brand represented the United States at Special Commissions and the Diplomatic Conference of the Hague Conference on Private International Law that produced the 2005 Convention on Choice of Court Agreements.

    Courses Previously Taught: 
    Course Name: 
    International Trade Law Seminar
    Course Name: 
    Transnational Litigation
    old_person_id: 
    1486
    Key/Recent Publications: 

    Books:

    • Transaction Planning Using Rules Of Jurisdiction And The Recognition And Enforcement Of Judgments, Hague Academy Collected Courses (Hague Academy of International Law, Pocketbook Series)
    • Transaction Planning Using Rules Of Jurisdiction And The Recognition And Enforcement Of Judgments, 358 Hague Academy Collected Courses (Recueil des cours) (2013)
    • Fundamentals Of International Business Transactions Vols I and II (4th edition, CILE, 2013), (3rd edition, CILE, 2012); (2nd edition, CILE, 2011)
    • Fundamentals Of International Business Transactions: Documents Supplement (4th edition, CILE, 2013), (3rd edition, CILE, 2012); (2nd edition, CILE, 2011)
    • Recognition And Enforcement Of Foreign Judgments (Federal Judicial Center International Litigation Guide 2012) available from FJC.gov.
    • The Export Of Legal Education: Its Promise And Impact In Transition Countries (with D. Wes Rist, Ashgate Press 2009)
    • International Civil Dispute Resolution (with Charles Baldwin, David Epstein, and Michael Gordon, West Group, 2d edition 2008) (with Documents Supplement and Teacher’s Manual)
    • The 2005 Hague Convention On Choice Of Court Agreements (with Paul M. Herrup, Cambridge University Press 2008)
    • Drafting Contracts Under The CISG, 4 CILE Studies (with Harry Flechtner and Mark Walter, Oxford University Press 2008)
    • Forum Non Conveniens:  History, Global Practice And Future Under The Hague Convention On Choice Of Court Agreements, 3 CILE Studies (with Scott Jablonski, Oxford University Press 2007)
    • Private Law, Private International Law, And Judicial Cooperation In The EU-US Relationship, 2 CILE Studies (West 2005)
    • The Draft Uncitral Digest And Beyond – Cases, Analysis And Unresolved Issues In The U.N. Sales Convention, 1 CILE Studies (with Franco Ferrari and Harry Flechtner, 2005) (reissue of the original work published by Sellier European Law Publishers in 2004)
    • International Civil Dispute Resolution (with Charles Baldwin, David Epstein, and Michael Gordon, West Group, 2004) (with Documents Supplement and Teacher’s Manual)
    • The Draft Uncitral Digest And Beyond – Cases, Analysis And Unresolved Issues In The U.N. Sales Convention (with Franco Ferrari and Harry Flechtner, Sellier European Law Publishers, 2004)
    • Fundamentals Of International Business Transactions (Kluwer Law International, 2000)
    • Fundamentals Of International Business Transactions: Documents (Kluwer Law International, 2000)
    • Enforcing Foreign Judgments In The United States And United States Judgments Abroad (American Bar Association Section of International Law and Practice, 1992)
    • Basic Documents Of International Economic Law (with Stephen Zamora, Commerce Clearing House, Inc. 1990)
    • Disclaimers In Estate Planning:  A Guide To Their Effective Use (with William P. LaPiana, American Bar Association Section on Real Property, Probate and Trust Law 1990)

    Books (Series Editor):

    • Michael Karayanni, Conflicts In A Conflict: A Conflict Of Laws Case Study On Israel And The Palestinian Territories, 5 CILE Studies (Oxford University Press, 2014)

    Articles and Chapters:

    • State Recognition, Private International Law, and Kosovo, __ Review Of Central And East European Law (RCEEL) (forthcoming 2014)
    • The Unfriendly Intrusion of Consumer Legislation into Freedom to Contract for Effective ODR, Liber Amicorum Johan Erauw 365-380 (Maud Piers, Henri Storm, Jinske Verhellen, eds., Intersentia 2014)
    • Federal Judicial Center International Litigation Guide: Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, 74 University Of Pittsburgh Law Review 491-548 (2013)
    • The Evolving Private International Law/Substantive Law Overlap in the European Union, Festschrift Für Ulrich Magnus Zum 70. Geburtstag 371-384 (Peter Mankowski & Wolfgang Wurmnest, eds.,  Sellier European Law Publishers, 2014)
    • Special Report: Kosovo After the ICJ Opinion, Introduction, 74 University Of Pittsburgh Law Review 593-597 (2013)
    • Cooperation in Legal Education and Legal Reform, 74 University Of Pittsburgh Law Review 650-657 (2013)
    • Shaping the Rule of Law Through Legal Education, 75 Augsburger Rechtsstudien: Gerechtigkeitsfragen In Gesellschaft Und Wirtschaft, 40 Jahre Juristische Facultät Augsburg 11 (Arnd Koch & Matthias Rossi, eds. 2013)
    • Challenges to Forum Non Conveniens, 45 NYU Journal Of International Law And Politics 1003-1035 (2013)
    • Implementing the 2005 Hague Convention: The EU Magnet and the US Centrifuge, Liber Amicorum Alegria Borrás 267-76 (Forner Delaygua-González Beilfuss-Vinñas Farré, ed. 2013)
    • Forum Non Conveniens, Max Planck Encyclopaedia Of Public International Law (updated version 2013)
    • Jurisdictional Developments and the New Hague Judgments Project, A Commitment To Private International Law: Essays In Honour Of Hans Van Loon 89-99 (2013)
    • Party Autonomy and Access to Justice in the UNCITRAL Online Dispute Resolution Project, 10 Loyola University Chicago International Law Review 11-36 (2012)
    • Access-to-Justice Analysis on a Due Process Platform, review of Christopher A. Whytock and Cassandra Burke Robertson, Forum Non Conveniens and The Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, 112 Columbia Law Review Sidebar 76-82 (2012).
    • Recognition Jurisdiction and the Hague Choice of Court Convention, Liber Amicorum Kresimir Sajko 155-187 (Hrvoje Sikirič, Vilim Bouček & Davor Babič, eds., 2012)
    • The Rome I Regulation Rules on Party Autonomy for Choice of Law: A U.S. Perspective, (Dec. 2011).
    • Mr. Bergsten’s Neighborhood: The Vis Moot, Legal Education, and Rule of Law, International Arbitration and International Commercial Law, Convergence and Evolution, Liber Amicorum Eric Bergsten 687-696 (Stefan Kröll, Loukas Mistelis, Pilar Perales Viscasillas & Vikki Rogers, eds., 2011)
    • U.S. Implementation vel non of the 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, 2010 Yearbook of Private International Law 107-122 (2011)
    • Promoting the Rule of Law: Cooperation and Competition in the EU-US Relationship, 72 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 163-169 (2010)
    • Exporting Legal Education: Lessons Learned from Efforts in Transition Countries, 32 Harvard International Review 43-47 (Issue 2, Summer 2010)
    • Arbitration or Litigation? Choice of Forum After the 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, LVII Belgrade Law Review 23-35 (Issue No. 3, 2009), also reprinted at 7 Transnational Dispute Management (Issue 1, April 2010).  
    • Effective Techniques for Teaching About Other Cultures and Legal Systems, International Association of Law Schools Educational Program, Effective Teaching Techniques About Other Cultures and Legal Systems 209, May 30, 2008.
    • Consent, Validity, and Choice of Forum Agreements in International Contracts, Liber Amicorum Hubert Bocken 541-553 (I Boone, I. Claeys, & L. Lavrysen, eds., Die Keure, 2009). On SSRN.
    • Treaties and the Separation of Powers in the United States: A Reassessment after Medillín v. Texas, 47 Duquesne Law Review 707-729 (2009). 
    • The European Magnet and the U.S. Centrifuge: Ten Selected Private International Law Developments of 2008, 15 ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law 367- 393 (2009).
    • The Export of Legal Education: Its Promise and Impact in Transition Countries, The Export of Legal Education: Its Promise and Impact In Transition Countries, chapter 1 (Ronald A. Brand & D. Wes Rist, eds., Ashgate, 2009).
    • Competition in and from the Harmonization of Private International Law, Economic Law as an Economic Good, Its Rule Function and Its Tool Function in the Competition of Systems 353-368 (Karl M. Meessen, Marc Bungenberg and Adelheid Puttler, eds. Sellier European Law Publishers, Munich, 2009). 
    • An American Perspective on the New Japanese Act on General Rules for Application of Laws, Japanese Yearbook of International Law 298-313 (2009) (with Tabitha Fish). 
    • External Effects of Internal Developments: A US Perspective on Changing Competence for Private International Law in Europe, Liber Fausto Pocar: New Instruments of Private International Law 163-179 (Stefania Bariatti and Gabriella Venturini eds. 2009).
    • Forum Non Conveniens, Max Planck Encyclopaedia of Public International Law (2008).
    • The Road to Vindabona: Preparing for the Moot, The VIS Book: A Participant's Guide to the Willem C. VIS International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Chapter 3 (Janet Walker, ed. 2008). 
    • A New Role for Litigation in CISG Contracts: The 2005 Hague Choice of Court Convention, Drafting Contracts Under the CISG 149-166 (Harry Flechtner, Ronald A. Brand and Mark Walter eds., 2007).
    • Judicial Review and United States Supreme Court Citations to Foreign and International Law, 46 Duquesne Law Review 423-437 (2007).
    • Balancing Sovereignty and Party Autonomy in Private International Law: Regression at the European Court of Justice, in Universalism, Tradition and the Individual, Liber amicorum dedicated to Professor Petar Å arèiviè 35 (Johan Erauw, Vesna Tomljenovic, and Paul Volken, eds., 2006)
    • Federalism and the Allocation of Sovereignty Beyond the State in the European Union, 44 Duquesne Law Review 71-79 (2005)
    • CISG Article 31: When Substantive Law Rules Affect Jurisdictional Results, 25 Journal of Law and Commerce 181-202 (2005).
    • The European Union’s New Role in International Private Litigation, 2 Loyola University Chicago School of Law International Law Review 277-293 (2005)
    • Punitive Damages Revisited: Taking the Rationale for Non-Recognition of Foreign Judgments Too Far, 24 Journal of Law and Commerce 181-196 (2005)
    • The 1999 Hague Preliminary Draft Convention Text on Jurisdiction and Judgments: A View From the United States, The Hague Preliminary Draft Convention on Jurisdiction and Judgments 3-40 (Fausto Pocar and Constanza Honorati, editors, 2005)
    • Private Law, Private International Law, and Judicial Cooperation in the EU-US Relationship (West, 2005). Abstract available on SSRN.
    • ASIL Insight: The New Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements ASIL Insight, July 26, 2005
    • Community Competence for Matters of Judicial Cooperation at the Hague Conference on Private International Law: A View from the United States, 21 Journal of Law and Commerce 191-208 (2002)
    • Sovereignty: The State, the Individual, and the International Legal System in the Twenty-First Century, 25 Hastings International & Comparative Law Review 279-295 (2002)
    • Forum Selection and Forum Rejection in US Courts: One Rationale for a Global Choice of Court Convention, in Reform and Development of Private International Law: Festschrift for Sir Peter North 51-87 (James Fawcett, ed., 2002)
    • Comparative Forum Non Conveniens and the Hague Judgments Convention, 37 Texas International Law Journal 467-498 (2002)

    Selected Presentations:

    • “Understanding Judgments Recognition,” Symposium on “The Changing Relationship Between International Law and U.S. Law,” sponsored by the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, University of North Carolina School of Law, January 30, 2015
    • Comments on “When U.S. Treaty Powers and State Law Collide — The Controversy over Implementing the 2005 Hague Convention” by Peter D. Trooboff.  New York University Law School Center for Transnational Litigation, Arbitration and Commercial Law Program, November 24, 2015.
    • “Kosovo Accession to International Organizations: Private International Law,” Workshop on “Kosovo as a Member of the International Community – Accession to International Organisations,” University of Graz, Austria, March 21, 2014
    • “Protecting Consumers in Online Transactions:  Why EU Consumer Protection Rules Should be Replaced with Rules from ‘the Titanic of Worst Decisions’ by the U.S. Supreme Court,” Foreign Chair Lecture at the University of Ghent Faculty of Law, Ghent, Belgium, March 13, 2014
    • “The Recognition of Foreign Judgments in the U.S. and Europe and the Hague Conference Judgments Project,” Institute for European Studies (IES), Brussels, Belgium, March 11, 2014
    • Moderator, panel “Private International Law: The Year in Review” at the International Law Weekend hosted by the American Branch of the International Law Association, New York, Oct. 25, 2013
    • “Contract Drafting Lessons From Rules on Jurisdiction and Choice of Forum in Europe,” at the 2013 International Law Weekend-Midwest, held at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, Sept. 20, 2013
    • “Making U.S. Judgments Recognition Law: A Three-dimensional Chess Game,” presented as part of a panel on “Responsible Enforcement of Foreign Judgments,” at a symposium on “Transnational Forum Shopping,” at Pepperdine University School of Law, Sept. 19, 2013
    • “The European Court of Justice and Private International Law: An American Perspective,” lecture at the University of Prishtina Faculty of Law, Kosovo, June 7, 2013
    • “An Introduction to U.S. Law” and “U.S. Legal Education,” lectures at Moi University School of Law, Eldoret, Kenya, January 14-15, 2013
    • “A Comparative Law Perspective on Forum Non Conveniens,” panel discussion titled “Regulating Forum Shopping: Courts’ Use of Forum Non Conveniens in Transnational Litigation” at the 18th Annual Herbert Rubin and Justice Rose Luttan Rubin International Law Symposium at the New York University School of Law, On October 25, 2012
    • “Legal Education and Legal Reform,” Conference on “Kosovo After the ICJ Opinion,” Center for International Legal Education, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, October 24, 2012
    • “International Law, Diplomacy, and National Politics: Reflections on the Negotiation and Implementation of the 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements,” combined meeting of the Honorable Amy Reynolds Hay Chapter and the W. Edward Sell Chapter of The American Inns of Court, May 17, 2012
    • “Improving the World of Electronic Commerce:  Synthesizing Online Dispute Resolution, Consumer Protection, Private International Law, and International Arbitration,” at the Loyola Chicago University Law School conference on “U.S. Impact On International Commercial Arbitration:  Positive or Negative?” February 10, 2012
    • “What is the Effect of an International Arbitration Agreement?”  Teach-in on International Arbitration, Ramallah, West Bank, Palestinian Territories, December 7, 2011
    • “Shaping Rule of Law Through Legal Education,” Symposium on “The Shaping of Society and Economy Through Law” at the University of Augsburg Faculty of Law, November 18, 2011
    • “Private International Law in Action,” panel at the International Law Weekend, American Branch of the International Law Association, New York, NY, October 21, 2011 
    old_room_id: 
    1312
    Awards: 
    • 2011 Doctor Juris Honoris Causa, University of Augsburg
    • 2011 ABA Section of International Law, Leonard J. Theberge Award for Private International Law
    • 2003 Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award
    • 1990 University Center for International Studies Senior Research Fellowship
    • 1989 Fulbright Fellowship for Research in Belgium
    • 1989 Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award
    • 1988 Student Bar Association Excellence in Teaching Award
    Other Activities: 
    • Member, Inaugural Advisory Committee, Global Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh, 2012-present
    • Invited Expert Observer, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, Working Group III on Online Dispute Resolution, 2010-present
    • Member, Advisory Committee, Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2010-present
    • Member, Advisory Board, Sultan Qaboos University College of Law, Muscat, Oman. 2010-present
    • Member, ASIL Working Group on Implementation of the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, Washington, D.C..
    • Observer, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) Drafting Committee for the International Choice of Court Agreements Implementation Act, 2009-2012
    • Member, Executive Committee, American Branch of the International Law Association, 2006‑present (Chair, Nominating Committee, 2009-11), (Member, Committee on ABILA Committee Rules of Procedure, 2011)
    • Member, American Law Institute 2000‑present; Member Consultative Groups: International Jurisdiction and Judgments Project; Intellectual Property:  Principles Governing Jurisdiction, Choice of Law, and Judgments in Transnational Disputes; International Arbitration Restatement; Principles of World Trade Law
    • Member, U.S. Delegation to Special Commission of The Hague Conference on Private International Law negotiation of convention on jurisdiction and effects of foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters, and concluding the Hague Choice of Court Convention 1993‑2005
    • Associate Member, International Academy of Comparative Law, 2008-present
    • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, The Journal of Private International Law, 2003-present
    • Member, Board of Editors, American Journal of Comparative Law
    • Member, American Society of International Law, 1977-present
    • Chairman, Ad hoc Committee to study international economic law programs, 1994‑1995; Member, Interest Group on International Economic Law, 1983-present (Chairman 1987‑1989; Vice-Chairman 1985‑1987; Member, Advisory Committee, 2007-present)
    • Special Master, appointed by Federal District Judge Robert Cindrich, in Dow Chemical Co. v. Federal Ins. Co., C.A. No. 94‑0649, Western District of Pennsylvania
    • Member, Advisory Committee, EU Center of Excellence, University of Pittsburgh
    • Member, University Center for International Studies Global Studies Faculty Advisory Committee, 2003-present
    • Open Society Institute Academic Fellows Program International Scholar to support Kyiv-Mohyla Faculty of Law, 2007-08
    • Member, Open Society Institute selection committee for 2000‑2001 Muskie/FSA Graduate Fellows in Law; selection committee for Palestinian Rule of Law Fellows 2007
    • Reviewer, ABA Central and East European Law Initiative Draft Law on Foreign Investment for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Report issued June 1, 1995
    • Member, ABA Central and East European Law Initiative Working Group for Concept Paper on International Trade for Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Poland, 1994‑1995
    • Member, Nominating Committee, American Society of International Law, 1992‑1993
    Program(s): 

    Director, Center for International Legal Education

    Director, LL.M. and S.J.D. Programs for Foreign Law Graduates

    Program Director, International and Comparative Law Certificate Program

    Areas of Specialization: 

    International Business|International Trade|Transnational Litigation

    Hi-Res Photo: 

              David R. Overstreet        
    David R. Overstreet
    First Name: 
    David
    Middle Name / Initial: 
    R.
    Last Name: 
    Overstreet
    Adjunct Professor of Law
    david.overstreet@palawgroup.com
    Degrees: 
    Degree: 
    JD, Villanova University School of Law
    Degree: 
    BS, Pennsylvania State University, 1982

    Mr. Overstreet has been with K&L Gates since 1993 and has an administrative law and litigation practice spanning several substantive disciplines with an emphasis on energy and environmental matters. He assists clients in a variety of business sectors with permit applications and enforcement matters before state and federal regulatory agencies, including the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Overstreet appears regularly before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board as well as state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and, in addition to being a member of the Pennsylvania bar, is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third, Fifth and D.C. Circuits.

    Mr. Overstreet also represents state and national trade associations in connection with administrative agency rulemakings and adjudications and judicial review of such actions. On behalf of national clients, he has appeared before, and litigated against, federal and state agencies throughout the United States and has successfully prosecuted civil actions brought against local and state government officials in federal courts in several states.

    Mr. Overstreet is actively involved on behalf of a number of different clients in permitting, enforcement and litigation matters associated with the development of shale gas facilities in Pennsylvania. He represents natural gas development, collection and distribution companies with respect to gas well, air emission and water use permits, leasing and property rights disputes, administrative enforcement actions and related consent orders as well as third-party permit appeals. He also defends clients against civil actions alleging groundwater and surface contamination and personal injury allegedly associated with gas well development and, as part of his shale gas development practice, Mr. Overstreet has worked with leading experts in a variety of technical disciplines.

    In addition to his work with natural gas development and distribution companies, Mr. Overstreet represents clients in the waste management, refining and power generation sectors. For more than fifteen years, he has advised clients with permitting, enforcement and litigation matters arising in connection with the development and operation of landfills, oil refineries, surface mines and natural gas power plants.

    Mr. Overstreet also has a commercial litigation practice, as a complement to his regulatory and administrative litigation practice, and has served as lead counsel in jury and non-jury trials in state and federal courts. Mr. Overstreet has also represented witnesses and targets in grand jury proceedings and, on behalf of national clients, has lead confidential, internal investigations into allegations of alleged fraud and related statutory and regulatory violations.

    For several years prior to attending law school, Mr. Overstreet developed and managed a franchise and independent restaurant group that grew to include several restaurants with approximately one hundred and fifty employees.

    Admissions

    Bar of Pennsylvania

    Supreme Court of the United States

    United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

    United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

    United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

    United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

    United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

    Pathways: 
    old_person_id: 
    22007
    Areas of Specialization: 

    Energy |Betting & Gaming |Environmental, Land and Natural Resources |Oil & Gas |Real Estate Land Use, Planning and Zoning


              Kevin C. Abbott        
    Kevin C. Abbott
    First Name: 
    Kevin
    Middle Name / Initial: 
    C.
    Last Name: 
    Abbott
    Adjunct Professor of Law
    Room: 
    kabbott@reedsmith.com
    Degrees: 
    Degree: 
    JD, University of Pittsburgh
    Degree: 
    BA, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

    From Reed Smith | The business of relationships

    Kevin is a partner at Reed Smith in the Energy & Natural Resources Group. He focuses his work in energy litigation, oil and gas law, and media law. He has more than 30 years of experience in representing clients in the oil and gas industry, natural gas exploration and production companies, interstate pipeline companies and utilities. Kevin is currently advising natural gas exploration and production companies on issues related to exploration of Marcellus and Utica Shales in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York. He is the adjunct professor for oil and gas law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

    In the area of media law, Kevin represents several newspapers in libel cases, obtaining access to public records and proceedings, and responses to subpoenas.  He has taught media law at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Kevin is the recipient of the Pittsburgh Business Times' 2012 Leadership Award and was recognized in its "Who's Who in Energy" list in 2014. He is a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Energy/Environmental Law by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell™. Kevin has also been listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers in the energy field in every year since 2004, and in Super Lawyers Business Edition in the area of Energy & Natural Resources. In July 2015, Kevin was named as the Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Energy Law & Policy Institute and continues to serve in that role

    Clerkships

    • Honorable Leroy J. Contie, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals - Sixth Circuit
    • Honorable Leroy J. Contie, Jr., U.S. District Court - Northern District of Ohio
    Pathways: 
    old_person_id: 
    1532
    Key/Recent Publications: 

    Selected Publications

    • Pennsylvania Annual Report on Oil and Gas Legal Developments, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, 2009-2013 | Co-Author(s): Nicolle R. Snyder Bagnell
    • "Dual-Purpose Leases in Pennsylvania: What Does ‘or’ Mean?" The Legal Intelligencer, 22 July 2014 | Co-Author(s): Nicolle R. Snyder Bagnell, Lucas Liben

    Speaking Engagements

    • "Land Use, Leasing, and Title Issues in Energy Law" University of Pittsburgh School of Law, 2013 Energy Law & Policy Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, 10 May 2012
    • "Recording Requirements and Local Issues in the Marcellus and Utica Shales States" Energy & Mineral Law Foundation's "Resolving Title Issues in Shale Development" Conference, Wheeling, WV, 11 November 2011
    • "Understanding And Dealing With The Regulatory, Development, And Production Issues In The United States" TechLaw Fall Conference, Reed Smith LLP, Pittsburgh, PA, 8 June 2011
    • "Oil and Gas Leasing in the Marcellus Shale Region: 'Post-Production Cost'" AAPL's 57th Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, 7 June 2011
    • "Emerging Issues in the Law of Marcellus Shale", LexisNexis Seminar, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2011
    • "Condemnation in the Natural Gas Industry: Who Can Take What, When, and How Much Will It Cost" Energy & Mineral Law Foundation Conference, Farmington, PA, 5 April 2011
    • "Recent Decisions Affecting the Development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania" University of Pittsburgh Law Review and the Innovation Practice Institute, University Club, Pittsburgh, PA, 7 December 2010
    • "Leasing and Development in the Marcellus Shale Region: Avoiding the Pitfalls" Energy & Mineral Law Foundation and Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA, 28 October 2009
    • "Royalty Litigation in Pennsylvania: Tawney with a Twist" Energy & Mineral Law Foundation's 34th Mineral Law Conference, Lexington, KY, 2009

     

    Other Activities: 

    Professional Affiliations

    • American Arbitration Association – Selected as a member of its national arbitration panel; served as an arbitrator in numerous commercial disputes and energy disputes 
    • Energy and Mineral Law Foundation – Board of Trustees
    • Indiana University of Pennsylvania Alumni Association – Served for seven years on the Board of Directors
    Hi-Res Photo: 

              Giant killers land $150M verdict vs. AbbVie        
    Yesterday, an Illinois federal jury has ruled that the pharmaceutical company AbbVie, Inc., must pay $150,000,000 in punitive damages to a former user of AndroGel, a testosterone replacement medication. The case was heard in federal court in Chicago, Illinois. Jurors deliberated nearly five hours, over the course of two days, before finding that AbbVie falsely marketed the drug and was liable for fraud. Attorneys for the plaintiff, Jesse Mitchell of Oregon, argued that he suffered a near fatal heart attack in 2012 after using AndroGel. “This verdict sends a very strong message to AbbVie, that it’s conduct in improperly marketing this drug to millions of off-label patients was wrong and warranted severe punishment,” said Troy Rafferty of Levin, Papantonio, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor, lead counsel in the case. “Mr. Mitchell was given his day in court and AbbVie was made to answer for its conduct that ultimately, nearly killed him. Justice was served today.” The legal team representing Mr. Mitchell also included Dave Buchanan at the Seeger Weiss Law Firm,Bill Robins at the law firm of Robins Cloud, and Stephanie O’Connor at Douglas and London. Thousands more cases remain pending as part of a multidistrict litigation before the Honorable Judge […]
              El estrangulador de Tacuba.        

    Gregorio Cárdenas Hernández nació en la Ciudad de México en 1915. Solamente quince días duró su carrera criminal, pero eso le bastó para entrar en los anales de la Historia como el asesino serial más popular de México. De niño, Goyo sostuvo una relación enfermiza con su madre, Vicenta Hernández, una mujer dominante que lo reprimió hasta su adolescencia. Pese a ello, el altísimo coeficiente intelectual de Goyo hizo que fuese un estudiante destacado. La encefalitis que de niño padeció causó, sin embargo, un daño neurológico irreversible; a raíz de su enfermedad, Goyo padeció de eneuresis y empezó a dar muestras de crueldad hacia los animales: se ensañaba torturando pollitos y conejos. Se casó con Sabina Lara González, de quien se divorció poco después.

    A sus veintisiete años, Goyo estudiaba Ciencias Químicas; era un alumno tímido y esmirriado, que utilizaba gruesos lentes. Pero eso no le impidió obtener una beca de PEMEX, que le permitió continuar sus estudios. Independizado de la sombra de su progenitora, Goyo rentó una casa en la calle Mar del Norte nº 20, en Tacuba, cerca del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México. Allí vivía cuando la noche de 15 de agosto de 1942, a bordo de su automóvil Ford, recogió en la calle a una prostituta de dieciséis años llamada María de los Ángeles González, alias “Bertha”, a quien llevó a su domicilio. Hacia las 23:00 horas, y después de sostener relaciones sexuales con él, la joven fue a lavarse al baño de la casa de Goyo, instante que él aprovechó para estrangularla con un cordón. Una vez muerta, Goyo llevó el cadáver al patio y allí la enterró.

    Ocho días después, la madrugada del 23 de agosto, Goyo salió de cacería otra vez. En esta ocasión, la prostituta elegida tenía catorce años. A ella le sorprendió que su cliente tuviera una amplia biblioteca en su casa. De hecho, tras llevarse a cabo el acto sexual, se dedicó a mirar algunos de los libros de Goyo. En eso estaba cuando él la atacó con el mismo cordón. A las cinco de la mañana, ocupaba otro sitio en el patio de la casa de Mar del Norte. Fue identificada originalmente como Raquel González León, pero esta chica apareció viva meses después. Para entonces, su hermano había muerto de un infarto por la impresión y la víctima había sido enterrada con su nombre. ¿Quién era la mujer ultimada esa noche por Goyo? Su identidad jamás se averiguó.

    Los lapsos se iban acortando. Goyo esperó solamente seis días antes de ir, la noche del 29 de agosto, a buscar una nueva compañía femenina. La encontró en Rosa Reyes Quiróz, otra menor de edad que no llegó a acostarse con él. Para entonces, Goyo había descuidado su entorno: su laboratorio estaba en desorden, los libros fuera de su lugar, había ropa sucia por todas partes y el polvo empezaba a acumularse en todos lados. Esto provocó cierta desconfianza en Rosa, quien se dirigió al laboratorio para curiosear sobre su cliente. Allí, mientras veía unos matraces y algunos tubos de ensayo, la atacó Goyo. Rosa presentó resistencia. La lucha fue violenta, pero Goyo triunfó. Sin embargo, la expresión de horror en el rostro de Rosa lo impresionó. Turbado, cavó de inmediato la fosa correspondiente. Se dio cuenta de que ya no quedaba mucho espacio en el patio, así que la amarró de pies y manos. A las cuatro de la mañana concluía su faena.

    El último crimen ocurrió cuatro días después, el 2 de septiembre. Goyo cortejaba constantemente a una chica llamada Graciela Arias Ávalos, estudiante del bachillerato de Ciencias Químicas de la UNAM, quien aceptaba su amistad. Graciela era una alumna modelo y su padre, un conocidísimo abogado penalista, Miguel Arias Córdoba. Ese día, Graciela esperó a Goyo afuera de la Escuela Nacional Preparatoria. Goyo pasó por ella en su auto, supuestamente para llevarla a su casa, ubicada en Tacubaya nº 63. Goyo así lo hizo; al llegar afuera de la casa de la chica, y aún dentro del auto, le habló de su amor por ella. Graciela lo rechazó, y entonces él intentó besarla a la fuerza. Ella le dio una bofetada y entonces Goyo, iracundo, arrancó de un tirón la manija del automóvil y comenzó a golpear a Graciela en la cabeza hasta que la mató. La sangre empapaba su larga cabellera. Goyo condujo hasta su propia casa. Bajó el cadáver, lo puso sobre el catre donde dormía, lo envolvió en una sábana y, ya en la madrugada del 3 de septiembre, lo enterró.

    CONACULTA

    Para el siete de septiembre, a petición expresa de su hijo, la madre de Goyo lo internó en el Hospital Psiquiátrico del Dr. Oneto Barenque, ubicado en la calle Primavera, en Tacubaya. Adujo que él “había perdido completamente la razón”. Allí acudió, el 8 de septiembre, el subjefe del Servicio Secreto, Simón Estrada Iglesias, para interrogarlo sobre la desaparición de Graciela Arias. Como respuesta, Goyo le mostró unos pedazos de gis y le dijo que eran pastillas “para volverse invisible”. El investigador recrudeció su interrogatorio y finalmente Goyo se derrumbó: confesó que había matado a la chica y que la había enterrado en el patio de su casa.

    A las 3 de la tarde de ese día, la policía, acompañada de Goyo, entró a la casa de Mar del Norte; de inmediato vieron un pie podrido que sobresalía del suelo. Excavaron y hallaron los cuatro cadáveres. Goyo los iba guiando.

    En su cuarto de estudio, los investigadores hallaron un Diario, escrito de puño y letra de Goyo que decía: “El 2 de septiembre se consumó la muerte de Gracielita. Yo tengo la culpa de ello, yo la maté, he tenido que echarme la responsabilidad que me corresponde, así como las de otras personas desconocidas para mí. Ocultaba los cadáveres de las víctimas porque en cada caso tenía la conciencia de haber cometido un delito“.

    El 13 de septiembre, se le dictó auto de formal prisión, y fue recluido en el Palacio Negro de Lecumberri, en el pabellón para enfermos mentales. Sin embargo, sus abogados consiguieron que Goyo fuera trasladado al Manicomio General de La Castañeda, supuestamente para recibir tratamiento. Allí le dieron electrochoques y le inyectaron pentotal sódico para determinar si realmente estaba loco o sólo fingía. Inexplicablemente, de pronto Goyo obtuvo múltiples comodidades: empezó a asistir a las clases de Psiquiatría que ofrecía el director del manicomio, entraba a la biblioteca sin problemas, recibía visitas familiares e incluso se iba al cine con algunas amigas.

    El 25 de diciembre de 1947, cinco años después de entrar allí, Goyo se fugó con otro interno y partió rumbo a Oaxaca; veinte días después fue reaprehendido y alegó que no había escapado, sino que se había ido de vacaciones.

    Las autoridades decidieron regresarlo a Lecumberri el 22 de diciembre de 1948. Una vez allí, Goyo memorizó el Código Penal, cursó la carrera de Derecho, se convirtió en litigante, realizaba historietas dibujadas por él mismo donde contaba crímenes famosos, e incluso escribió varios libros, entre ellos Celda 16, Pabellón de locos, Una mente turbulenta y Adiós a Lecumberri.

    Goyo tocaba el piano que su madre le había regalado, escuchaba ópera, leía poesía, dirigió una revista y comenzó a pintar cuadros. En el penal se casó y tuvo hijos, a quienes mantenía con las ganancias de una tienda de abarrotes que puso dentro de la cárcel. Una vez declaró: “A mí me examinaron como 48 o 50 médicos… unos señalaron esquizofrenia, otros una psicopatía, otros diferentes tipos de epilepsias, otros debilidad mental a nivel profundo. Otros, paranoia. Sí, cómo no”.

    En 1976, la familia de Goyo apeló al entonces Presidente de la República, Luis Echeverría Álvarez, quien, al determinar que Goyo era “una celebridad”, terminó por indultarlo. El 8 de septiembre de 1976, “El estrangulador de Tacuba” abandonó la cárcel. Poco tiempo después, mientras Mario Moya Palencia era Secretario de Gobernación, el Congreso de la Unión invitó a Goyo a asistir a la Cámara de Diputados, donde se le brindó un merecidísimo homenaje. Goyo hizo uso de la Tribuna para hablar sobre su vida. Los diputados priístas aplaudieron de pie al primer serial killer nacional, y en sus discursos lo calificaron como “un gran ejemplo” para los mexicanos y “un claro caso de rehabilitación”.

    Después, Goyo inauguró una exposición de sus pinturas en una galería de la capital mexicana, y recibió favorables críticas, vendiendo todos sus cuadros a altísimos precios. Abrió además un despacho y se dedicó a litigar. Se hizo una radionovela sobre su vida, que tuvo altísimos niveles de audiencia. Incluso, llegó a hablarse en su momento de erigir una estatua con su efigie en la Ciudad de México.

    Cuando el escritor Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda montó la obra teatral El estrangulador de Tacuba, protagonizada por Sergio Bustamante, Goyo asistió a los ensayos y desde las butacas ayudó al director a corregir algunos detalles. Sin embargo, terminó distanciándose, molesto por el tratamiento dado al caso, y demandó al director de la SOGEM por plagio, alegando que los derechos sobre la historia de sus crímenes le pertenecían a él. Goyo registró ante Derechos de Autor la narración de su caso. Sin embargo, tras un peritaje de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la UNAM, perdió la demanda.

    Años después, su vida se llevó al celuloide en el documental independiente Goyo, un macabro tributo exhibido en la Muestra Internacional de Cine, realizado por Ricardo Ham y Marco Jalpa, basado en una idea original de Verónica de la Luz, quien también lo produjo; José Estrada hizo una adaptación de su caso en la cinta El profeta Mimí; y el cineasta Alejandro Jodorowski filmó Santa Sangre, su espléndida y enfermiza película, inspirado en la biografía de Cárdenas. Además, el caso de Goyo se estudia desde hace décadas en Criminología y en la carrera de Derecho, en la UNAM.

    Goyo Cárdenas murió el 2 de agosto de 1999 y se convirtió de esa manera en el asesino serial más surrealista de la Historia. El pueblo le hizo canciones, hubo estampitas con su imagen, y fue idolatrado por la gente, que aún recuerda su nombre y obras.

    Ha sido además el único homicida que fue becado por una compañía petrolera, aguantó 34 años en prisión, estudió Química, Psiquiatría y Derecho, fue absuelto por el presidente de su país, hizo carrera de abogado al salir de la cárcel, protagonizó docenas de libros escritos por especialistas, se dedicó a la literatura y la pintura triunfando, colaboró en una obra teatral sobre sus crímenes, tuvo su propia radionovela y su película de culto en la Muestra de Cine, registró su caso para cobrar derechos, y además recibió un homenaje en la Cámara de su país, siendo señalado además como ejemplo para sus conciudadanos tras asesinar a cuatro jovencitas. Citando aquella canción de Alberto Cortez: “¡Qué maravilla, Goyo, qué maravilla!”. En ningún país del mundo ocurriría algo similar. Sólo Goyo, nuestro mexicanísimo Goyo, podía conseguirlo.


              Commandments Crusade: La. Parish Ignores Court Rulings, Pushes Religious Display         
    Sandhya Bathija

    Some people just have to learn everything the hard way.

    According to a Louisiana newspaper, the Rapides Parish Police Jury has voted 8-1 to put the Ten Commandments on courtroom walls. (A police jury is what the people in some parts of Louisiana call their county council; its members are elected by the voters.)

    The jury approved a motion to display the Decalogue, despite a strong warning from jury legal counsel.

    “There have been numerous court opinions that this would be inappropriate to do because of the tradition of church and state," attorney Tom Wells said. “I know this is important to a lot of people, but my general opinion would be that this is inappropriate legally.”

    He, of course, is right.

    Many courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have ruled the Ten Commandments is a religious text and has no place in public buildings, especially when standing alone without any historical or other documents.

    Just two months ago, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a common pleas judge in Ohio to remove a Ten Commandments display from his courtroom, finding that his actions ran afoul of the Constitution and sent an explicit endorsement of religion.

    Years ago, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore insisted on defending large granite Commandments monument he placed in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building. A federal court ordered he take it down. Yet he refused to remove the 2.5-ton monument, leading to his removal from the state supreme court in 2003.

    You’d think this police jury would catch on – these courthouse Ten Commandment displays didn’t survive judicial scrutiny and neither will the displays in Rapides Parish.

    Sadly, I’m not sure these local politicians care.

    “I have about eight months left on this jury, and I want to be able to tell my grandkids I took a stand and got the Ten Commandments on the wall of the courthouse,” said Juror Jamie Floyd, who sponsored the motion.

    “If that’s all I get done in these four years, that’s enough for me and my family,” he said.

    I wonder if Floyd’s grandkids would still be proud if they knew his vote cost the parish thousands of dollars in litigation over a matter that has already been resolved time and time again?

    A courtroom is the last place to display a religious text. Our judges are supposed to base their decisions on the Constitution, not the Ten Commandments or any other religious tenets.

    I’m counting on the judges in Rapides Parish to know better than this legislative body. Despite the police jury’s decision, each judge has the final say over what is displayed in his or her courtroom.

    They’d be wise to follow the law.

     


              Flea commented on 'The New York Minute'        

    I think Scott misses the point. I don't deny that doctors make mistakes (myself included). We make mistakes in the course of honest good-faith efforts to take care of patients to the best of our ability.

    The fundamental question about which we disagree comes down to the difference between "should" and "could". I, and many of my colleagues, believe that in the course of our best efforts to care for patients, we often make mistakes and bad outcomes happen. We are not perfect. Does that mean we SHOULD be sued? I think not. You think so.

    The defensiveness comes from our perception, at least partially grounded in reality, that any mistake we make will result in our being dragged into lengthy, costly, extremely stressful litigation.

    As for eating ones own, surely you know that doctors serve as expert witnesses for plaintiff's and seem to suffer no pangs of conscience for doing so.

    One more point (I promise). Even the best doctors make mistakes. They are bound to happen. We can never be perfect 100% of the time. Unless you do what we do for a living perhaps you can't understand what I mean.

    This is not self-righteousness or arrogance. It's fear.

    best,

    Flea


              Top 10 Trends in Background Checks for 2013        
    Employers have long recognized that conducting due diligence on new hires is a mission critical task. Firms cannot afford to be sidetracked by employee problems such as workplace violence, theft, false resumes, embezzlement, harassment or trumped-up injury claims. Employers can be sued for negligent hiring if they hire someone they should have known, through the [...]
              Personal-info certificates on hold until Sept. 1        
    Maryland’s top court Tuesday voted to defer until Sept. 1 implementation of a rule that would require attorneys to certify they have not included any litigant’s Social Security, taxpayer identification, bank account or medical account number in each document they file with the court.
              Rule on personal info certificate may wait        
    Maryland’s top court on Tuesday will consider deferring implementation of a rule that, beginning July 1, would require attorneys to certify they have not included any litigant’s Social Security, taxpayer identification, bank account or medical account number in each document they file with the court.
              Arbitration ruling divides litigation bar, spurs calls to Congress        
    The chasm between corporate-defense attorneys who extol the virtues of mandatory arbitration agreements and members of the plaintiffs’ bar who say the pacts strip consumers of their right to redress was widened by the U.S. Supreme Court last month.
              GDS SELECTION NEW METHOD        
    DEPARTMENT ISSUE ORDERS FOR MAINTENANCE OF SELECT PANEL WHILE FINALIZING THE SELECTION OF VARIOUS CATEGORIES OF GRAMIN DAK SEVAKS. ORDERS PLACED AS UNDER.





    Sub: Maintenance of select panel while finalizing the selection of various categories of Gramin Dak Sevaks.



    D.G. Posts No. 19-142010-GDS dated 25.06.2010.



    I am directed to refer to Directorate letter No. 22.12/2001-GDS dated 17.09.2003 regarding observations of conditions of appointment of Gramin Dak Sevaks.






    2. In para 4 of the said letter, it was stated that the sole criterion for selection to the posts of all categories of Gramin Dak Sevaks will henceforth be the merit subject to orders on reservation and fulfilling other eligibility conditions like providing space for Branch Office, taking up residence in the BO village etc.


    3. The existing procedure does not provide for maintaining a select panel of candidates and operating a waiting list. In the event of selected candidate's refusal to take up the job, failure to provide accommodation within the given time ,etc the concerned recruiting authorities re-notify the vacancy and start the process afresh which oftenly results in delay and litigations.


    4. The Hono`ble Central administrative Tribunal Hyderabad Bench an Original Application No.488/2007 filed by Shri M. Santosh vs Union of India .Replying on the Judgment of Full Bench of Hyderabad Bench in the case of M.Sarojini vs Senior Superintendent of Post Office,Vishakhapatnam in OA No. 1315/2000 dated 12.4.2001 wherein the Full Bench passed the order considering all these facts and circumstances we feel that the Department should prepare a panel even for selection to the posts of ED Agents under the P&T EDA(Conduct and Service) Rules,1964. The size of the panel shall not be disproportionate to number of posts. The validity of the period shall be one year."


    5. The judgment of the Full Bench of Hyderabad CAT in OA No. 1315/2009 dated 12.04.2001 and the observations made by the Hon`ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh , the issue of regarding maintenance of a select panel and operating a waiting list for various categories of Gramin Dak Sevaks posts has been examined by the Competent Authority.


    6. It has been decided that in all cases of future engagement of all categories Gramin Dak Sevaks including the cases which are currently in process and selections not finalized, a select panel of the candidates may be drawn up based on the sole criterion of merit. The panel should be operated in the event of the following contingencies:


    (i) Refusal by the meritorious candidate.


    (ii) Resignation by the 1st candidate even after joining within one year.


    (ii) Review made by the higher authority within one year.


    The select panel will be in the proportion of 5 candidates for one vacancy, ie 1.5. The Select Panel will be valid for one year from the date of finalization and after that it would lose its validity.


    7. The contents of this letter may be brought to the notice of all authorities concerning to the recruitment of various categories of Gramin Dak Sevaks for strict compliance.


    8. This issues with the approval of the Secretary (Posts).






    Sdxxxx


    (Surender Kumar)


    Asstt. Director General (GDS)
              Court: Nursing Homes Can Continue Stripping New Residents Of Their Right To Day In Court        

    In September, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new rule that would prevent most nursing homes and other long-term care facilities from using forced arbitration to strip new residents of their right to file lawsuits against these companies. The industry soon fired back by doing the very thing it doesn’t want its customers to do: filing a lawsuit. This morning, the judge in the case granted the industry’s request for a preliminary injunction preventing the new rule from being enforced.

    Just to recap: The CMS rule basically says that if a long-term care facility wants to accept Medicare or Medicaid, it will have to stop putting forced arbitration clauses in new residential agreements. Already-signed resident agreements that contain these clauses would not be affected.

    Forced arbitration is when both parties have agreed to settle all legal disputes outside of the courtroom and before an arbitrator. The idea is that it’s supposed to faster and less-costly, but it’s not necessarily either of those things.

    More problematic is that most arbitration clauses include a ban on class actions — even through arbitration. Thus, when you have a systemic issue affecting multiple residents of a nursing home, each resident would have to go through the arbitration process on their own.

    The CMS arbitration rule was slated to go into effect on Nov. 28, but the lawsuit filed by the American Health Care Association (an industry trade group) and others sought a preliminary injunction barring the government from enforcing the rule pending consideration of the merits of the case.

    In his order [PDF] granting that preliminary injunction, Judge Michael Mills also raises several questions about the industry’s arguments for forced arbitration.

    Mills notes that the industry has stressed the notion that arbitration is fast and efficient, but points out that this argument focuses selectively on just those cases that go to arbitration, without addressing the bigger-picture issues as they relate specifically to nursing home residents and contracts.

    “[A]ccording to the National Center for Health Statistics, 50.4% of nursing home residents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementias,” writes the judge. “Arbitration agreements are contracts, and basic contract law requires that the parties to a contract be mentally competent at the time of execution of the agreement… There is no more basic defense to the validity of a contract than lack of mental competency.”

    While the AHCA countered that courts can and do invalidate arbitration agreements signed by parties deemed not mentally competent, Judge Mills says that, in his experience, “Many nursing homes will obtain signatures from residents in spite of grave doubts about their mental competency, or, more often, they will choose to have relatives of the residents sign the agreements, even when no power of attorney has been executed.

    Mills contends that these same nursing homes may later file motions to compel arbitration based on those agreements, and that the only way to resolve that problem is through “time-consuming litigation, which serves as a very significant incentive against filing suit in the first place.”

    Says the judge, “This court has repeatedly seen these facts play out in its courtroom, and it has seen these fact patterns repeatedly arise in published decisions from other Mississippi courts.”

    And yet, Judge Mills determined that there is a chance that the AHCA and the other plaintiffs could prevail on the merits of their case. He also agreed with the industry that the plaintiffs could suffer some irreparable harm — i.e., that homes would have to strike arbitration clauses from their contracts for the time-being — if the rule were allowed to be enforced while this legal matter is still pending.

    With the injunction in place, enforcement of the rule is delayed.

    When reached by Consumerist for comment, a rep for CMS said the agency does not comment on litigation.

    However, supporters of the rule are speaking out against the injunction.

    “We remain confident that CMS has clearly acted within its existing legal authority,” said American Association for Justice President Julie Braman Kane, “and look forward to the full implementation of this rule, which ensures that nursing home residents retain access to the courts and that resident abuse is not left unchecked.”

    Not surprisingly, ACHA CEO Mark Parkinson applauded Judge Mills’ decision.

    “The court agreed with our argument that imposing a November 28 implementation would have resulted in real harm to providers as well as to our residents,” says Parkinson in a statement. “We believe Federal law plainly prohibits CMS from issuing this arbitration regulation, and this injunction will halt implementation of the final rule until the court can consider the merits of the case.”


    by Chris Morran via Consumerist
              D P BuZZ - October 11, 2012        

    Join Larry Jordan and Michael Horton as they talk with:

    Patrick Longman, President, Active Camera Systems

    Patrick Longman is President of Active Camera Systems, an aerial cinematography and rental company based in Florida. He recently discovered that he could mount the Sound Devices PIX 240 recorder directly on the helicopter’s console and voila.. a great solution for aerial shoots. He joins us this week to explain how his system works.

    Jessica Sitomer, President, The Greenlight Coach

    Work is stressful enough, but how do you cope when the stress is coming from outside events, beyond your control? Jessica Sitomer, President of The Greenlight Coach, joins us this week to discuss managing stress and coping with outside pressures on your company.

    Andy Sheldon, Director of Marketing, Class on Demand

    Andy Sheldon, Director of Marketing at Class on Demand recently told us about a new partnership between Class on Demand and Amazon. Their goal is to make online learning more and more popular, so we thought we’d ask him a few questions about the new partnership and where Class on Demand is heading for the future.

    Mark Ditmanson, Owner, FloLight

    For the last several months, LitePanels has been embroiled in litigation over the patents it holds covering several aspects of LED lighting. Recently, we received an email from a group called PatentFreeLED that makes some strong charges about the impact LitePanels’ patents will have on LED lighting and our industry. We invited Mark Ditmanson, the Owner of FloLight, to come on the show to discuss his side of this issue. (We also invited LitePanels, but, because the litigation is pending, they declined to join us.)


              How to Respond to Your First Personal Injury Settlement Offer        
    The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits settle prior to trial. In fact, when a plaintiff hires an attorney, more than preparing for trial, the attorney uses the pre-trial litigation process to “build a case” and reach a higher settlement. This article discusses the considerations that go into responding to the defendant’s first offer of settlement after […]
              Federalist Society Student Symposium: Innovation And The Administrative State        
    Regulation can be a significant barrier to innovation, protecting incumbents and making it harder to bring new goods and services to market. Determining the appropriate regulation is all the more difficult when accelerating technology is creating many new opportunities as well as potential dangers. Can the administrative state itself innovate to promote beneficial innovation? Topics to be considered here will be the nature and scope of cost-benefit analysis, the use of experiments to guide regulation and prizes as an alternative to top-down regulation. Prof. William Baude, University of Chicago Law School Mr. Jon Dudas, Senior Associate to the President, University of Arizona and former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Mr. Steve Lehotsky, Deputy Chief Counsel for Litigation, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center Prof. Jennifer Nou, University of Chicago Law School Moderator: Hon. Stephen Markman, Michigan Supreme Court This program was presented on February 20, 2015, as part of the 2015 Federalist Society National Student Symposium.
              Alison LaCroix, "The Shadow Powers of Article I"        
    The Supreme Court's federalism battleground has recently shifted from the Commerce Clause to two textually marginal but substantively important domains: the Necessary and Proper Clause and, to a lesser extent, the General Welfare Clause. For nearly a decade, these quieter, more structurally ambiguous federal powers – the “shadow powers” – have steadily increased in prominence. Paradoxically, the growth of shadow powers analysis has tended to narrow the permissible scope of congressional regulatory power. The invocation of the shadow powers has helped the Court find room to maneuver within its federalism analysis, while also appearing to maintain its commitment to an apparently unmoving baseline of a narrow commerce power. This maneuvering might be productive if it were carried out explicitly, with some discussion by the Court of the reasons for preferring to adjudicate federalism at its doctrinal and textual periphery rather than at its center. But the result of the growth of shadow powers analysis has in fact been to obscure the outlines of federalism’s map. Alison LaCroix is Professor of Law and Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Teaching Scholar at the Law School. She is also an associate member of the University of Chicago Department of History. LaCroix received her BA summa cum laude in history from Yale University in 1996 and her JD from Yale Law School in 1999. She received her PhD in history from Harvard University in 2007 after earning an AM in history from Harvard in 2003. While in law school, LaCroix served as essays editor of the Yale Law Journal and managing editor of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities. From 1999 to 2001, she practiced in the litigation department at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. Before joining the Law School faculty in 2006, she was a Samuel I. Golieb Fellow in Legal History at New York University School of Law. This talk was recorded on January 28, 2015, as part of the Chicago’s Best Ideas lecture series.
              Tomiko Brown-Nagin, "The Honor and Burden of Being First: Judge Constance Baker Motley"        
    Professor Brown-Nagin's talk examines the legacy of The Honorable Constance Baker Motley—and break new ground in the study of civil rights, women's rights, and the legal profession. A protégée of Thurgood Marshall, Motley litigated in southern courtrooms during the 1940s and 1950s, when women lawyers scarcely appeared before the bar. She captivated onlookers who had rarely seen a woman or a black lawyer, much less the extraordinary combination—a black woman lawyer. In 1966 Motley then became the first African-American woman appointed to the federal judiciary. After a long confirmation battle, she ascended to the United States District Court in New York. In her new post, Motley sometimes ruled as segregationists had feared and as liberals had hoped. Typically, Motley deferred to constraints of the judicial role. Therefore, Professor Brown-Nagin concludes, Motley's judicial career demonstrates that—more often than not and regardless of who presides—courts preserve hierarchy. Tomiko Brown-Nagin is Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, Professor of History at Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and Co-Director, Program in Law and History at Harvard University. This talk, the 2014 Fulton Lecture in Legal History, was recorded on May 8, 2014.
              Slösaktig eller seriösa försök?        
    Så jäkla lätt att säga när man sitter på läktaren och tittar på, men när man är på spelplanen med trycket att utveckla kommunen och se till att de kommer en jädra massa arbetstillfällen är inte det inte lika lätt att avgöra vad som är en fantastisk satsning eller vad som är en felsatsning. Expressen kör hårt på alla felsatsningar som gjorts i kommuner, men kom samtidigt ihåg att det finns lika många succéer som misslyckande och att döma från läktaren har alltid varit en populär sport när man inte själv törs ner på spelplan.

    Självklart måste det finnas en egenkritik på kommunala satsningar som gått fel och där bör den kommunala revisionen öka sin självständighet att våga ge den kritik som är befogad. Men om landar tillbaka i den primärkommunala vardagen på en liten kommun i Sverige. Vi kan säga Vimmerby, av slump…

    Vimmerby kommun får ca 50 000 kronor för varje inflyttat själ. Det gör att alla satsningar på inflyttning upp till 49 000 kronor/person är lönsamma. Där ligger jakten på företagsetableringar högt på den kommunala agendan samt att hindra företag att lämna kommunen. Ett nytt industriområde tars nu fram till en kostnad av 70 miljoner kronor för att vara redo den dagen företagen knackar på porten. Det går inte att säga att vänta i fem år så har vi en färdig tomt. Den måste stå klar precis när de knackar på annars så går de vidare till nästa kommun. I denna jakt som 290 kommunen sysslar med så går det ibland överstyr. Fel satsningar görs i jakten på lokal tillväxt.

    I Vimmerby har kommunen satsat hårt på besöksnäringen med grunden i Astrid Lindgrens Värld och övriga delar som här till Astrid Lindgrens författarskap. Det finns ett starkt stöd bland skattebetalarna för denna verksamhet och det går bra. Så ingen skugga faller på kommunens agerande i detta. I grannkommunen Hultsfred satsas det vilt på musiken och speedways. Samma där det finns ett starkt stöd även om Hultsfredsfestivalen fått sig ett knäck så är stödet för satsningar relativt intakt. Men vem vet att man satsar rätt? Ett konserthus i Skara och vi skrattade och nu står det där och är en succe…

    Om vi går vidare i den primärkommunala vardagen i Vimmerby och lyssnar av vad skattebetalarna vill med sina pengar som de lägger i skatt så är, förutom vård, skola, omsorg, ishall, idrottshall och simhall de frågor som drivs hårdast. Så det som liberala debattörer kallar slöseri med skattebetalarnas medel är i alla fall i Vimmerby ett av de hårdaste kraven som de driver. Det finns en otakt. Här kommer vi också till mitt förra inlägg kring det kommunala självstyret där politikerna, särskilt i mindre kommuner, gör precis det som skattebetalarna/väljarna vill Det finns. Visst kan det verka märkligt för en liberal tankesmedja som inte varit en aktiv deltagare i den primärkommunala vardagen utan endast en flitig besökare på det övre läktarplanet…

    Visst görs det galna satsningar i kommer, landsting och regioner. Men det behövs ingen straff utan väljarna väljer sina företrädare vart fjärde år. Är det brottsligt så finns redan ett regelverk för detta. Som lokal politiker så vet jag vems uppdrag jag har och vems resurser jag har att göra med. Det är mina väljares skattepengar som jag måste handskas varsamt med, samtidigt som jag, med deras medgivande, måste ta en risk att förränta dem så att vi i slutändan kan få mer för varje krona. så Sakine Madon du är fel ute.

    Media mm: Exp. SvD.
    Intressant? Läs även andra bloggares Ã¥sikter om ,

              High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court        
    High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court, London, England – Peters & Nye secured an anti-suit injunction in favor of arbitration resulting in voluntary dismissal without prejudice of client in U.S. coverage litigation.
              Mantido decreto de prisão contra devedor de alimentos que recusa pagamento por motivos “egoísticos”        
    A 2ª câmara de Direito Privado do TJ/SP negou provimento a agravo interposto por um devedor de pensão alimentícia contra decisão que suspendeu momentaneamente o decreto prisional contra ele, sem revogá-lo, concedendo prazo prorrogável de 10 dias para o adimplemento do débito.
    A ação de execução de alimentos está em fase de cumprimento de sentença. E, no caso, se discute a hipótese de renovação da prisão relativa a prestações que venceram no curso da mesma execução.


    Os pagamentos já foram reconhecidos como devidos por decisão do TJ/SP, sob a relatoria do desembargador Neves Amorim, até o trânsito em julgado da apelação da ação de divórcio, onde anteriormente havia sido decretada e cumprida a pena de prisão de 30 dias, sendo decretada nova pena de prisão de 30 dias por débitos posteriores.
    O recorrente alega que não possui condições financeiras de pagar R$ 449.993,75 a título de pensão alimentícia e que seria inviável nova ordem de prisão relativa ao inadimplemento da mesma dívida. Além disso, afirmou ter oferecido imóvel a título de dação em pagamento. No agravo, ele pede que seja mantida a suspensão da ordem da sua prisão civil até o julgamento definitivo do recurso, e a reforma de decisão para que não se autorize a prorrogação ou novo decreto de prisão pelo débito que já o levou ao cárcere.
    Relator do recurso, o desembargador Alcides Leopoldo e Silva Júnior pontuou que o § 7º do art. 528 do CPC/15 estabelece que o débito alimentar que autoriza a prisão civil é o que compreende até as três prestações anteriores ao ajuizamento da execução e as que se vencerem no curso do processo, o que, segundo o magistrado, confirma o entendimento consolidado pelo STJ na súmula 309.
    Para ele, não há ilegalidade na prisão decretada, o que não se altera pelo conteúdo do recurso. Ressaltando que o STF admite a possibilidade da prisão civil por alimentos, mesmo após o ingresso do Pacto de São José da Costa Rica no direito nacional, o desembargador afirmou que que "a privação da liberdade não tem caráter punitivo, mas persuasivo, por presumir-se que o devedor tem condições de solver a obrigação, mas é renitente por motivos egoísticos, como ocorre no caso".
    “O alimentante é empresário rural de grande porte, e para tanto contrai empréstimos de alto valor, havendo informações às fls. 302/318 dos autos principais do recebimento da importância de R$ 2.340.279,91, relativo ao fornecimento de laranja a uma indústria no ano de 2012, admitindo que possui 31 funcionários fixos e 279.483 árvores cítricas distribuídas por sete fundos agrícolas, não afastando a presunção de solvabilidade pela pena de prisão anteriormente cumprida, chegando a oferecer imóvel em dação de pagamento.”
    O mesmo entendimento também foi o da juíza de Direito Lizianne Marques Curto, da 1ª vara da comarca de Itápolis, que na execução de alimentos, acolheu parcialmente pleito da exequente para que o prazo de prisão civil do executado fosse prorrogado.
    Para ela, a prorrogação é cabível no caso, pois o não pagamento do valor dos alimentos pelo executado não se deve à falta de recursos, “mas à resistência injustificada certamente oriunda da exacerbada litigiosidade existente entre as partes”.
    “Assim, cabível exclusivamente a concessão de um prazo razoável para pagamento do débito, tendo em vista o seu "quantum", antes do decreto da prisão. Desse modo, concedo ao executado o prazo improrrogável de 10 dias para o adimplemento do débito.”
    O número do processo não pode ser divulgado em razão de segredo de justiça.

    FONTE: Migalhas

              Guest Post: Flowers of the Trademark War         
    SpicyIP is glad to bring our readers a guest post on trademarks and keyword advertising. Harish Goel and Ashish Goel take us through a recent decision from the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. Although belated (largely due to inadvertent delays on my side - apologies to Harish and Ashish), the decision is useful at examining the interface of trademarks and new online business strategies. Ashish Goel graduated from NUJS in 2012 and Harish Goel is reading business at XLRI-Jamshedpur. Views are personal and not of employers.




    Flowers of the Trademark War


    Following September 2011’s preliminary hearing before the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”), the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, on May 21, handed down the much anticipated judgment in the celebrated dispute between Interflora and Marks & Spencer. This blog has previously discussed the CJEU opinion in the context of an Indian case here. The litigation – which ran roughly for five years since the filing of the claim in 2008 – ended (save as to appeal) with an interesting insight by Judge Arnold into the unauthorized use of rivals’ registered trademarks in online keyword advertising. Besides, this case is an interesting read for its in-depth analysis of strategies that businesses employ to market their products and services on the internet. 

    Here is a quick recap of the facts of the case. Interflora (claimant) is a flower-delivery network in the UK and owns registered trademarks consisting of the word INTERFLORA. Marks & Spencer (defendant) is a renowned retailer and, like Interflora, operates a website to take orders for delivery of flowers. The judgment refers to a newsletter which suggests that INTERFLORA has been, for quite some time, a “top performing” keyword with maximum traffic in search engines and is searched for “30 times more frequently” than Marks & Spencer in the flower-delivery business. 

    Marks & Spencer began bidding on INTERFLORA, INTERFLORA FLOWERS and it’s other variations on Google Adwords (a service provided by Google; not a party to this case) so that its flower-delivery service gets featured on Google search engine results and, that too, at a more preferable position than its competitors, including Interflora. See here for instance if you are not completely familiar with how Google Adwords works. The effect of this bidding came down heavily on Interflora’s search engine optimization (SEO) results. 

    The bid on the keyword INTERFLORA by Marks & Spencer for online advertisement on Google led Interflora to bring a claim against Marks & Spencer for an infringement of its UK and Community Trade Mark INTERFLORA. Clearly, Marks & Spencer was using the trademark INTERFLORA to advertise its own flower-delivery services on Google which directed Google users (consumers) searching for the keyword INTERFLORA to corresponding links to Marks & Spencer’s website and thereby creating confusion as to the provider of the flower-delivery services. 

    The advertisement which wrongly led Google users to believe that Marks & Spencer’s services were actually part of Interflora’s, and as Judge Arnold correctly held, defeated the origin function of trademark and offended s.5(1)(a) of the Trade Mark Directive as well as a.9(1)(a) of the Community Trade Mark Regulation. We shall seem a little to digress, but, the Indian Supreme Court too, while sitting on a special leave petition concerning Consim Info Pvt Ltd, arrived at a similar finding on a similar factual situation

    Judge Arnold, while revisiting one of the most important functions of trademarks, namely, indicating the origin of goods or services, rightly noted that, the use of registered trademarks is bad in law if it does not “enable reasonably well-informed and reasonably attentive internet users” to ascertain the true origin of the goods or services. For a handy analysis of the different functions of trademarks, see the CJEU ruling (above). Judge Arnold also expressed clear dissatisfaction with Marks & Spencer’s QC on the point of confusion in the minds of the majority by making a more confident yet blunt observation: “...nowadays the majority of consumers appreciate this (referring to brand adverts on Google search engines). But I consider that a significant proportion do not.” 

    While concurring with the views of the CJEU, Judge Arnold placed due reliance on the strong commercial network within which Interflora operates: the company has business tie-ups with several large retailers and other market agents, who trade under their own names and trademarks. This fact was of great significance in establishing infringement because, to quote Judge Arnold, “this makes it all the more plausible that there should be a connection between M & S’s (Marks & Spencer) flower delivery service and the Interflora network.” 

    This was further corroborated by the Hitwise Custom Report that contained statistics relating to the visitors to Marks & Spencer’s website and what their responses were. The emphasis on Interflora’s commercial network is, of course, entirely appropriate in principle. But Judge Arnold failed to suggest standard practice for advertisers while competitive brand-bidding on Google Adwords.

    If we read the full opinion of the CJEU and that of Judge Arnold, we will naturally notice that the purchase and subsequent use of rivals’ trademarks in keyword advertising (on online search engines) is not objectionable per se and, in fact, encourages competitive behaviour. However, the onus is on the advertiser to ensure that steps have been taken to remove all doubts from the minds of consumers and that the “advertisement is transparent as to the origin of the goods or services advertised in it.” 

    This will always entail a dreary discussion on reported facts and evidence. Nonetheless, it is interesting to note, even on a cautionary note, that Judge Arnold does not set out universal principles relating to keyword advertising and this ruling may have little relevance to cases where the proprietor of the trademark follows a business model completely different from that of Interflora. We shall have to wait for future decisions to fill the void.

              Update on Enercon's Patent Litigation        
    Image from here
    Recently, the remaining 7 revocation petitions filed by Enercon India Ltd. (EIL) against Aloys Wobben’s patents were heard by the new bench of the IPAB. Prashant has tracked this dispute here, here, here, herehere, and here. Enercon India has been represented by Mr. Parthasarthy, Senior Partner at Lakshmi Kumaran & Sreedharan. The Respondent is represented by Mr. Pravin Anand, Senior Partner at Anand and Anand.

    As previously noted, the IPAB heard 19 revocation petitions filed by Enercon India Ltd. against Dr. Aloys Wobben’s patents. A bench of the IPAB, consisting of Mr. S. Chandrasekharan sitting as Technical Member and Ms. S. Usha sitting as Judicial Member, revoked 12 patents. These 12 orders have been challenged by Dr. Wobben by writ petitions before the Madras High Court. Sources have informed us that these writ petitions are still pending before the Madras High Court. On 26th August, 2013, the hearing on the preliminary point i.e. power of IPAB to look into the validity of the board resolution has been concluded and it seems that the court will bifurcate the issues into preliminary issues and merits and decide only the preliminary points now. 

    The remaining 7 revocation petitions were to be heard after the appointment of a new technical member. Recently, a new bench consisting of Justice Prabha Sridevan (Judicial Member) and Mr. DPS Parmer (Technical Member) heard the matter and revoked 6 patents of Aloys Wobben, in their entirety. With regard 7th patent, the bench allowed the patentee to amend the application subject to the approval of the controller of patents. Patents were revoked as the IPAB found them to be anticipated and obvious. The IPAB dismissed the application for amendment of other patents by the Respondent because of their conduct which included a belated request for amendment. 

    The details of these 7 revocations are: 

    1. Patent No.200249 granted to Dr. Wobben for the invention titled “A wind power installation and process for the operation of the same” revoked in ORA/39/2009/PT/CH Order No. 174/2013 dated 8th August 2013. 

    2. Patent No. 202935 granted to Dr. Wobben for the invention titled “Wind power installation with ring generator” revoked in ORA/10/2009/PT/CH Order No. 160 of 2013 dated 27th July, 2013. 

    3. Patent No: 201538 granted to Dr. Wobben for the invention titled “A method for operating a wind turbine with an electrical generator and a wind turbine with an electrical generator” revoked in ORA/41/2009/PT/CH Order No. 157/2013 dated 19th July, 2013. 

    4. Patent No: 203552 granted to Dr. Wobben for an the invention titled “Method for monitoring a Sensor” revoked in ORA/8/2009/PT/CH Order No. 123/2013 dated 12th June, 2013. 

    5. Patent No.200608 granted to Dr. Wobben for the invention titled “A Wind Power Installation” revoked in ORA/7/2009/PT/CH Order No. 109/2013 dated 31st May, 2013. 

    6. Patent No.196341 granted to Dr. Wobben for the invention titled “A Device for transmitting Electrical Energy From a Generator” revoked in ORA/3/2009/PT/CH Order No. 054/2013 dated 22nd March, 2013. 

    7. Patent No.198648 granted to Dr. Wobben for the invention titled “An inverter for producing an alternating or three phase current from a DC voltage” ORA/6/2009/PT/CH Order No. 018/2013 dated 23rd January, 2013 (originally granted patent revoked but allowed to amend subject to approval by controller). 


    Additionally, we have been informed that EIL has filed 28 other revocation applications before the IPAB, which are pending. And EIL has also filed 2 SLPs against the Bombay High Court order (on whether the Intellectual Property License Agreement between the parties is a concluded contract or not) and the hearing is already completed in the matter. The judgment is reserved. The issue whether simultaneous proceedings can lie in the High Court and IPAB has also been part-heard in the Supreme Court.

              Guest Post: Intermediary liability in defamation cases - Parle, Mouthshut & Visakha cases to clarify the law        
    Chaitanya Ramachandran, who has blogged for us previously over hereand here, has sent us this excellent guest post analyzing the extent of intermediary liability in the context of defamation lawsuits. The specific backdrop to this post is first the recent litigation by Parle against Facebook, Twitter & Google, second the problems being faced by Mouthshut.com and third the pending appeal before the Supreme Court against the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court where the Court refused to quash criminal summons issued to Google in a defamation case filed by an asbestos firm in A.P.   

    Intermediary Liability and Defamation – Finding the Right Balance between Free Speech and Reputational Interests

    By  Chaitanya Ramachandran


    The issue of intermediary liability for defamatory content has come to prominence following two recent
    developments. The first is a case recently instituted in the Bombay High Court by Parle Agro against Google, Facebook and Twitter (see herefor the full story), in which Parle has alleged that these Internet companies should be liable as intermediaries for “promoting” defamatory content, which in this case was a viral post alleging that Parle’s popular mango drink Frooti is contaminated. The second is the revelation by Mouthshut.com (a popular review website) of the large number of takedown requests and legal notices it has received to date from companies that are unhappy with reviews of their products (details available here). These developments must be viewed in the context of increasing hostility towards social media websites from various interest groups in India; corporates are only the latest to join the ranks of political, religious, and other groups that routinely demand that social media websites take down “offensive” content.

    The Problem With Notice and Takedown under the IT Rules

    This worrying trend has been fueled in India by the Information Technology (Intermediaries guidelines) Rules, 2011, which correspond to s.79 of the IT Act, the main statutory provision governing intermediary liability. The rules specify the standard of “due diligence” expected of intermediaries, and, inter alia, require user agreements to prohibit the uploading of defamatory content. While this is not a particularly burdensome requirement in itself, its primary means of enforcement – namely the notice and takedown regime under rule 3(4) – is deeply flawed. Intermediaries who have received takedown notices must “act within thirty six hours and where applicable, work with [the] user or owner of such information to disable such information…”.  This provision gives any “affected person” carte blanche to issue a takedown notice to an intermediary, who in turn has virtually no choice but to comply for fear of losing safe harbour protection (the need for intermediaries to act swiftly has been stressed by the AP High Court in this judgment).  Therefore, this is an effectively unilateral notice and takedown regime that leaves the power of “affected persons” to issue takedown notices (including frivolous or unwarranted ones) virtually unchecked. By contrast, the new notice and takedown regime for copyright infringement (which we previously blogged about here) requires copyright holders to undertake to file suit within 21 days of the take down request, failing which the intermediary may legally reinstate the content that was taken down.  By burdening notice issuers with an obligation to file suit, this system ensures that all claims will ultimately be evaluated by a court of law, and also, to an extent, discourages aggrieved parties from issuing frivolous notices. The regime under the IT Rules does not impose an equivalent obligation on notice issuers.

    Unsurprisingly, Mouthshut.com has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challengingthe IT Rules. Significantly, the bench observed during an interim hearing that curbs on freedom of speech should be restricted to those permitted by Article 19(2) of the Constitution. Given that the notice and takedown regime under the IT Rules potentially permits affected persons to exceed the scope of the established Constitutional restrictions on free speech in a completely private process, a very strong case exists for the existing rules to be struck down.

    Intermediary Liability and Defamation

    Although the existing notice and takedown regime for defamatory statements is flawed, this is not to say that all claims against intermediaries for defamatory content are without substance. With respect the Bombay High Court case, there is no doubt that a false statement relating to the purity of Parle’s products has the potential to cause vast losses to Parle, especially as summer is a crucial sales period for soft drinks like Frooti.  The difficult question is, where should the line be drawn between Parle’s reputational and commercial interests and Facebook’s interest in avoiding the massive costs and impracticability of policing its website for defamatory content?

    This is not a new problem; the law of defamation has always had to grapple both with authors who make defamatory statements and publishers who, knowingly or unknowingly, disseminate them. However, the analogy between Internet intermediaries and print media publishers is not perfect. A single Internet intermediary can potentially reach a much larger number of readers than a single print publisher; at the same time, the number of posts or webpages hosted by intermediaries like Facebook and Google must surely be orders of magnitude larger than the number of articles published by a print publisher. This is probably why disgruntled groups regularly target intermediaries. Individual authors are responsible for creating viral posts such as the one targeting Parle; but the only practical way of controlling the damage done by such posts is to target the intermediary, who has some power to control the dissemination of the material.

    Intermediaries may be targeted in two ways. The first is the notice and takedown situation described above, in which the intermediary is not itself found liable for defamatory content as long as it complies with a takedown notice under the applicable legal framework. The advantage of a well-designed notice and takedown system is that it does not require intermediaries to police their services, albeit at the cost of having to comply with takedown notices. The second way in which intermediaries may be targeted is fault-based; a situation in which intermediaries are deemed to have knowingly published defamatory material, and are sued in their capacity as publishers. A notice and takedown situation may evolve into a fault-based situation if the intermediary refuses to comply with a legitimate takedown request, although this view is contestable. For example, earlier this year, the English Court of Appeal decided that Google would be liable as a publisher of defamatory content where it failed to comply with a takedown notice within a “reasonable time”.


    However, in the typical case of a user authoring a defamatory post that subsequently goes viral, the petitioner’s remedy should ordinarily be restricted to a timely takedown. Of course, the problem is that the existing framework is unworkable, and needs to be replaced with a balanced regime that circumscribes the power of notice issuers. Parle may be genuinely aggrieved, as may be some of the parties that have issued notices to Mouthshut.com (especially those that are victims of fake reviews or sabotage by their competitors), but the solution cannot be to sue intermediaries for “promoting” defamatory content where their role has not gone beyond hosting such content without actual knowledge of its defamatory nature. This would only continue the trend of chilling free speech online, and would also adversely affect Internet companies’ incentives to innovate by providing newer and better tools for people to communicate.

    Conclusion


    The law as it exists today in India does not adequately protect the interests of Internet intermediaries in cases where their users post defamatory content. It is essential for the law to lead the way by laying down robust norms protecting the interests of intermediaries, because there is a worrying amount of hostility towards social media in India today. The best way of striking a balance between protecting the reputational interests of parties that find themselves being defamed and protecting free speech online may be to redesign the notice and takedown regime under the IT Act. A well-designed system would permit genuinely aggrieved parties to require a takedown of content pending final determination by a court of law, while simultaneously discouraging frivolous notices by, for example, explicitly restricting the grounds to those currently recognized under Article 19(2).

              Microsoft - Nokia deal: A paradigm shift in the standard essential patent licensing business model        

    This post discusses the recent divestment of Nokia's businesses to Microsoft and argues that this deal may change the way entities deal with standard essential patent (SEP) licensing on Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms - and hence is a paradigm shift in the mobile phone industry.  Because of the obligation to a Standard Setting Organization (SSO), and because Microsoft has taken the position (Microsoft v. Motorola) that the SEP licensing be based on chipset value rather than end-product value, Nokia may be stuck with licensing SEP portfolio on a chipset basis. Current practice is to license the portfolio on an end-product (a handset, or a complete device).

    Early Tuesday morning (03/09, India time), twitter was ablaze with the news that Microsoft would acquire the handset and services business of Nokia for about $7 Billion.  Notable is the fact that Nokia only divested it's businesses and transferred it's employees to Microsoft, but retained its patent portfolio.  Nokia in it's press release announced: As part of the transaction, Nokia will grant Microsoft a 10 year non-exclusive license to its patents as of the time of the closing..In addition, Nokia will grant Microsoft an option to extend this mutual patent agreement to perpetuity.  Of the total purchase price EUR 1.65 billion relates to the mutual patent agreement and future option. 

    The retention of the patent portfolio raises significant issues: Microsoft is a mere non-exclusive licensee, and Nokia is free to license to others.  By divesting the hardware and transferring people, Nokia cannot be sued for products, yet can launch patent licensing and related actions including litigation.  In the SEP licensing field - this model is much closer to that of InterDigital, and Ericsson: both used to make handsets / devices, but shifted to a pure licensing model.

    Since the deal was announced, one area that has received little attention is the future course of action vis-a-vis the licensing of the SEPs and what what end of the supply chain a patent holder should license the SEPs. In Microsoft v. Motorola case (underway at the Western District of Washington, Seattle), Microsoft made an argument that Motorola breached its [F]RAND obligations by failing to offer a [F]RAND license to Microsoft’s 802.11 chipset supplier, Marvell.  

    In another instance of the same argument (chipset manufacturer), Intel in it's amicus brief supporting Apple involving a dispute between Apple and Motorola, argued that a FRAND commitment requires a SEP holder to license all comers, including component makers (or chipset makers). 

    This obligation-offering a license to all prospective licensees, including chipset manufacturers stems from the IPR policy of the standard setting organization.  Under the terms on which a SEP holder (such as Nokia) signs the obligation to declare SEPs to an SSO such as ETSI, the SEP holder must grant a reasonable license to all comers—both sellers of completed products to consumers, such as handset manufacturers, and manufacturers of the components that go into those products. 

    Clause § 6.1 (ETSI IPR Policy), requires owners of essential IPR to undertake to grant licenses “to at least” “MANUFACTURE”; “sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of EQUIPMENT so MANUFACTURED”; “use” “EQUIPMENT”; “and” “use METHODS.” 

    Hence, it can be argued that a chipset manufacturer is entitled to a FRAND license from the SEP holder. Microsoft arguing that the license should be made applicable to Marvell,  the chipset manufacturer, and Intel (Intel supplies chipsets to integrated device manufacturers / mobile handset manufacturers) arguing that component manufacturers be licensed by a SEP holder further underscore the point.

    Accordingly, even though Nokia has retained ownership of the patent portfolio, and Microsoft is a non-exclusive licensee of the Nokia's portfolio, Nokia may have to be content with the valuation of an SEP license on a chipset basis.  Additionally, as Nokia is one of the largest (if not the largest) holders of SEPs, others may have to follow suit in SEP portfolio licensing.

              IPAB revocation of Allergan’s Combigan patent: Viewing it through the lens of American patent doctrines        
    Recently Anubha had blogged about the IPAB decision revoking Allergan’s patent for Combigan. Combigan refers to a combination eye-drop product used for treating glaucoma comprising combination of Brimonidine tartarate and Timolol maleate. Media reports termed this decision as the latest in a series of intellectual property setbacks suffered by Western drugmakers. These skewed reports also portray this revocation decision as one of many tactics by India to remove an inconvenient patent out of the way to introduce affordable generic versions. What these reports failed to highlight was that several claims of patents covering Combigan were invalidated as being obvious even in major jurisdictions like US and EU. Also it wasn’t as though the Indian patent was invalidated by applying one of those sections (eg. Section 3) which is unique to Indian patent law. An analysis of US CAFC decisions and IPAB decision for Combigan is presented below. Longish post, but hope to make it worth your while.


    Image from here



    Combigan US patents: Background


    The patents in question are 4 OB listed patents related to Combigan viz: the ’463 patent, the ’258 patent, the ’976 patent and the’149 patent. The claims of '463, ‘258, and '976 patents with the exception of claim 4 of ‘149 patent were generally treated as a single group.

    Claim 1 of ‘463 patent was considered representative and it states: 1. A composition comprising about 0.2% timolol by weight and about 0.5% brimonidine by weight as the sole active agents, in a single composition.
    Sandoz sought to market a generic version of Combigan thus triggering litigation under Hatch Waxman framework. The district court rejected allegations that claim 1 of ‘463 patent was invalid as obvious over prior art. On appeal, the Fed circuit reversed the district court's finding that the claims of the '463 patent were non-obvious.The CAFC decision can be found here

    Prior art: what was known at the time of invention?


    Both timolol and brimonidine were commercially available drugs in their claimed concentrations used for ophthalmic conditions at the time of the invention. At the time of the invention, it was known that the serial administration of brimonidine and timolol reduced intraocular pressure greater than either timolol or brimonidine alone. Moreover, DeSantis (US 5502052), the primary prior art reference, expressly provided a motivation to formulate fixed combinations of alpha2-agonists and beta blockers, including timolol, in order to increase patient compliance.

    District court findings:Summary
    • The court found that there would be no motivation to create the combination product because the FDA did not view patient compliance as a factor for approval.
    • Second, the court found that the formulation arts are unpredictable.
    • There were some teachings in the prior art that taught away from the claimed invention.
    • Finally, the court observed that there were secondary considerations that support the finding of non-obviousness including long-felt need and unexpected results.
    Federal circuit: Do secondary considerations outweigh motivation to combine?

    The CAFC addressed each of the findings of district court as follows:
    • Fed circuit opined that there is no requirement in the patent law that the person skilled in the art should be motivated to combine based on the rationale that forms basis for FDA approval. Motivation to combine may be found in many different places and forms; it cannot be limited to those reasons the FDA sees fit to consider in approving drug applications.
    • While agreeing that formulation sciences inherently contain a certain degree of unpredictability, the opinion stated that “obviousness cannot be avoided simply by a showing of some degree of unpredictability in the art so long as there was a reasonable probability of success.”
    • It also agreed that the prior art as a whole taught away from the invention.
    • Previous attempts to treat patients twice per day with brimonidine resulted in a loss of efficacy eight to nine hours post administration. This loss of efficacy is referred to as the “afternoon trough.” The court found that a twice per day dosage regimen of Combigan® unexpectedly did not suffer from the afternoon trough issue. The Fed circuit concurred with district courts findings that that this result was unexpected. However the CAFC maintained that there was a motivation to achieve better patient compliance. Whether or not that combination also solved problems associated with the afternoon trough, we find the motivation to make the combination was real.
    Thus the CAFC opined that unexpected results and prior art teaching away were NOT sufficient to outweigh the other evidence of obviousness with respect to these formulation claims.

    Claim 4 of ‘149 patent: A different conclusion?

    As mentioned above, claim 4 of ‘149 patent was analyzed separately by Federal Circuit. Claim 4 of the ’149 patent is directed to reducing the daily number of doses of brimonidine without loss of efficacy by administering fixed combination and reads as follows:
    4. A method of reducing the number of daily topical ophthalmic doses of brimonidine administered topically to an eye of a person in need thereof for the treatment of glaucoma or ocular hypertension from 3 to 2 times a day without loss of efficacy, wherein the concentration of brimonidine is 0.2% by weight, said method comprising administering said 0.2% brimonidine by weight and 0.5% timolol by weight in a single composition
    While the federal circuit held that the formulation of 0.2%wt brimonidine and 0.5%wt timolol was obvious, it came to a different conclusion with respect to claim 4 of the '149 patent. The CAFC reasoned that although the prior art shows concomitant administration of brimonidine and timolol, it does not establish that switching from 3 times a day to 2 times a day does not result in loss of efficacy. Hence it concluded that claim 4 was NOT obvious in light of prior art.

    Avoiding loss of efficacy an inherent result of the formulation?: Judge Dyk’s dissent

    Dissenting from the majority’s opinion holding that claim 4 of the ’149 patent is not invalid as obvious Judge Dyk observed that avoiding loss of efficacy is an inherent result of the claimed method. Since the formulation was held obvious, inherent result /property of the formulation is also obvious. Judge Dyk reasoned a newly-discovered result or property of an existing (or obvious) method of use is not patentable.

    The majority differed and observed that the prior art evidence does not conclusively establish that dose reduction “from 3 to 2 times a day without loss of efficacy” limitation is an inherent property or a necessary result of the administration.

    IPAB decision:

    The IPAB concluded “We too are of the opinion like the Federal Court that there was a reasonable expectation of success in view of the DeSantis. Therefore for the above reason, we find that the invention is obvious."

    With regard to non-compliance of Section 8, the IPAB noted that the applicant had failed to inform the Controller regarding refusal of corresponding EU patent and various stages of prosecution in the US counterpart patents (non-final rejections etc.). Curiously, Allergan tried to argue that Therasense like inequitable conduct standards should be set for Section 8. In Therasense, Inc. vs. Becton, Dickinson and Co (Fed. Cir. 2011) an en banc decision, the Federal Circuit held that inequitable conduct must be shown with clear and convincing evidence and that there was intent to withhold or misrepresent information and that the information was material. However, the IPAB reasoned that our law does not make any qualification regarding the failure to disclose nor does it say that the failure to furnish the S.8 details must be deliberate and willful. The IPAB opined that even if it was to assume Therasense like standards for the present case but for that the fact that the EP office action and/or US office action were kept away from the Controller, the patent may not have been granted. The IPAB decision itself can be found here and Anubha’s post on the same can be accessed here.

    What was different in the Indian decision?

    In India, Combigan was protected by only one patent viz IN219504. Since method of treatment claims are precluded from patentability in India, claim 4 of ‘149 wasn’t patented. Since the claims of IN219504 were invalidated by IPAB, it paved way for generic entry (read Ajanta pharma).
    On the other hand in US, as discussed earlier Combigan was protected by several patents (patent thicket). Even though Sandoz succeeded in establishing that claims of ‘463 patent were invalid as obvious, the Fed circuit ruled that claim 4 of 149 as not obvious. Thus market entry for generics (Sandoz) in US is barred until expiry of ‘149 patent i.e. April 19, 2022. 

              [Jon Koplik] <<<<< Although Apple has heavily promoted Apple Pay as an alternative to payin...        
    <<<<< Although Apple has heavily promoted Apple Pay as an alternative to paying with a credit card at retail stores, in apps and on websites, it has not gained much traction with consumers or merchants. >>>>>

    My favorite part of this :


    nytimes.com


    MAY 21, 2017


    Apple Pay Violates Patents Held by Security Technology Inventor, Lawsuit Alleges


    By VINDU GOEL

    SAN FRANCISCO -- A small Boston company, founded by the inventor of a popular corporate encryption technology called RSA SecurID, sued Apple and Visa on Sunday, arguing that the Apple Pay digital payment technology violates its patents.

    The lawsuit, filed by Universal Secure Registry in Federal District Court in Delaware, says that its chief executive, Kenneth P. Weiss, received 13 patents for authentication systems that use a smartphone, biometric identification such as a fingerprint and the generation of secure one-time tokens to conduct financial transactions.

    In the suit and in an interview, Mr. Weiss said he had extensive meetings in 2010 with Visa officials, including its chief executive at the time, to discuss working together on the technology. In the interview, he said that Visa had signed a 10-year nondisclosure agreement to gain access to the technology, assigned engineers to fully understand the details, but then dropped further communication without securing a license.

    Mr. Weiss said he also wrote to Apple at the same time seeking to license his technology, but the iPhone maker never responded to his inquiries.

    Three years later, Visa began work on the Apple Pay technology with Apple, MasterCard and American Express. Apple released Apple Pay to iPhone users in 2014.

    Although Apple has heavily promoted Apple Pay as an alternative to paying with a credit card at retail stores, in apps and on websites, it has not gained much traction with consumers or merchants. Users enroll a credit card on their phone, then touch a finger to the iPhone’s Touch ID sensor to pay a merchant that has installed a wireless terminal that can receive a signal from the phone.

    Universal Secure Registry did not seek a license agreement or royalties from Apple or Visa after the release of Apple Pay. Mr. Weiss said the law firm representing his company, the patent specialists Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, advised him to file the suit first.

    Apple declined to comment on the suit. Visa did not respond to a request for comment.

    Apple has taken an aggressive stance recently against companies seeking royalties for key patents covering its iPhones, Macs and other products. It is embroiled in bitter litigation against Nokia and Qualcomm, accusing them of demanding unfairly high royalties for technology that it uses.

    Quinn Emanuel, which filed the Apple Pay suit on behalf of Universal Secure Registry, represented Samsung Electronics in some of its long-running patent litigation with Apple over software in its Android-based smartphones.

    Mr. Weiss said that his company has tried to license its technology to larger firms without success and is now building its own device for secure wireless authentication.

    He founded Security Dynamics in 1984 and was its chairman until 1996. Security Dynamics acquired RSA Data Security in 1996, and the two companies’ technologies were eventually combined in the RSA SecurID token system that is now used by tens of millions of people to authenticate and secure communications with corporate and government computer systems. RSA is now part of Dell EMC.

    After leaving Security Dynamics, Mr. Weiss turned his attention to payment technologies and planned to license them to larger companies. He said he is still hoping to reach some kind of agreement with Apple and Visa.

    “My intention is still to get into a conference room with them and resolve this,” he said.



    --------------------

    END.

    .
    .
    .

              What a Law Partner Can and Cannot Do in Seeking a New Affiliation        
    There is more movement in the legal profession today than possibly ever in history. However, when a key partner leaves a firm there is often no clear understanding of the ethical and fiduciary duties to the firm and its clients. These gray areas can lead to financial losses and litigation between the firm and its former partner.
     
    In this episode of the ABA Book Briefs Podcast we interview Geri Krauss, the author of the ABA book Partner Departures and Lateral Moves: A Legal and Ethical Guide who provides an overview of what departing partners should and should not do when making a move to another firm.

              Essere libero        

    la Libertà.....Cos'è la Libertà ?

    Essere Liberi......

    troppo spesso si ha l'errata concezione che la libertà sia la possibilità di fare quello che ci pare.......Questa non è libertà......è stupidità......

    Immaginate una società di persone inconsapevoli ,mosse dai cinque sensi ,che iniziano a fare quello che vogliono.......è un incubo !

    Forse la Libertà è uno stato dell'Essere dove si Esiste mossi da consapevolezza ?bhe , direi di si.......

    La nostra società è strutturata in modo tale da mascherare la schiavitù sottoforma di pseudo libertà; Siamo liberi....si....di fare quello che ci viene concesso......

    Credere che non sia così significa vivere con gli occhi bendati.

    Una delle prime prigioni dentro le quali viviamo , sono le religioni ; istituzioni basate sulla paura e sull'umiliazione dell'essere umano in quanto tale......

    Poi c'è la menzogna politica....veniamo imprigionati in ideali e ideologie e , noncuranti dell'imbroglio , perdiamo tempo a litigare del politico di turno.

    La prigione del denaro......credo sia superfluo spiegare il perchè.......

    Queste prigioni hanno come carceriere la paura;

    la paura fondamentale è la paura della morte.......

    poi c'è la paura del domani , la paura per la nostra famiglia , per i nostri figli , la paura di perdere il lavoro .....la paura di perdere....la paura di non avere....di non riuscire.......l'insicurezza.....crea ulteriore paura

    Tutto questo rende l'Essere umano fragile , facilmente dominabile......Per la nostra sicurezza vengono istallate telecamere ad ogni incrocio , l'Esercito , il polizziotto di quartiere , la polizia e i carabinieri ,.........

    E crediamo ancora di essere liberi ??? a me sembra un regime di massima sorveglianza......

    ma tanto basta non pensarci e vivere pensando alla squadra del cuore , a Maria e il grande fratello......

    Signori....credo sia ora di svegliarsi......e divenire quello che siamo per diritto di Esistenza...esseri multidimensionali .....

    la libertà sgorga dalla consapevolezza e non dall'ego.....l'amore diviene dalla consapevolezza e non dalla mente.....Vivere nel cuore , non significa commuoversi ,quello è mero sentimentalismo....

    è ora di prendere coscienza dello stato di inconsapevolezza nella quale ci costringono ad esistere , distraendoci con giochi per bambini.....trascinandoci dalla nascita alla morte in una pseudo vita.....

    Spezza le catene fratello......è il momento....Adesso !!!!

    Love Yatri

     

     

     


              The Wrong Approach to Election Reform        
    The Ohio legislature yesterday approved a bill (SB 380) that would eliminate the window for early registration and absentee voting, among other things. Here's a snippet from my testimony in opposition to the bill last week, which draws upon the "Moneyball Approach to Election Reform" that I've advocated in the past:
    In considering election reform proposals, it is vital that legislative bodies take a careful, studied, and deliberative approach, one that collects and considers all the relevant evidence and data from this state and other states on how existing election administration works and what if anything is likely to improve it. That has not been done in this case. What we have learned over the past eight years is that the worst way to do election reform is to rush through a bill with a party-line vote, without taking the time to collect data on existing practices and proposed reforms. Yet that, unfortunately, is precisely the faulty process that is being followed here. For this reason, I urge that the bill be rejected in its entirety.
    The bill now heads to the Governor.

    (Disclosures: I was an attorney for plaintiffs and amici in litigation seeking to preserve the window for simultaneous registration and absentee voting. My wife works in the Governor's office, though not on election matters.)
              Reforming Registration        
    On Monday, I identified four problem areas to watch out for on Election Day: 1) lines at the polls, 2) voting equipment, 3) voter registration lists, and 4) provisional and absentee ballots. While machine breakdowns and polling place lines got the lion's share public attention on Election Day, a closer look reveals that voter registration was the election administration issue of 2008. Looking forward, it is imperative that policymakers consider changes to voter registration that would eliminate unnecessary barriers to participation and reduce the need for provisional ballots. Expanding Election Day Registration would be a great place to start.

    There are a couple of reasons for the special importance of voter registration this year. One is the massive influx of new voters. The other is a change in the law. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) required every state to implement a statewide voter registration list by 2006. Before that, most states maintained their voter registration lists at the local level. This was the first presidential election in which this major change to our voter registration system was in effect. And like any other change -- such as the implementation of new voting machines and provisional voting in 2004 -- it caused its share of problems.

    Especially challenging was the implementation of HAVA's requirement that statewide registration databases be "matched" against information in motor vehicle and social security records. This particular requirement proved problematic, because HAVA provides little clear direction on how this matching is to be done or on what consequences should follow from a failed match. In addition, the process of matching registration records against other government lists turned out to be much more difficult than Congress imagined when it passed HAVA.

    Registration matching became a focal point of controversy, partly because of the revelation that some ACORN canvassers had submitted phony voter registration forms rather than doing the work for which they were being paid. There is little evidence that this led to actual voter fraud -- Mickey Mouse's name may have appeared on registration forms, but he didn't show up to vote. Nevertheless, Republicans in Ohio and Wisconsin raised the specter of voter fraud in litigation brought to compel matching by state officials. [Disclosure: I joined voting and civil rights groups on amicus briefs opposing both lawsuits.]

    A more pressing concern is that overly restrictive matching and purging practices will exclude eligible voters. As the Brennan Center has documented, data entry errors and other administrative problems can result in erroneous mismatches. Florida's "no match, no vote" policy is probably the worst example. Fortunately, most other states declined to penalize voters for administrative mistakes. In Ohio, more than 200,000 voters who registered this year -- more than one quarter -- did not match. In Wisconsin, four members of the six-person board that runs the state's elections had a mismatch. To remove these mismatched voters from the list or require them to cast provisional ballots would have created serious administrative problems, compounding lines at polling places and creating the risk of eligible citizens' votes being rejected.

    Fortunately, Ohio and Wisconsin didn't remove "mismatched" voters from the rolls or make them cast provisional ballots, and the courts wisely declined to order any such relief. Unfortunately, there were still lots of registration problems that required many voters in some states to cast provisional ballots. A large number of provisional ballots is problematic not only because they can result in eligible voter's ballots not being counted, but because they can exacerbate the uncertainty surrounding a close election.

    Although the presidential election wasn't close enough to bring provisional ballots into play, there are other still-unresolved contests that illuminate this problems. Most notable are close congressional races in Minnesota and Ohio. In Minnesota, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Al Franken currently trails Republican incumbent Norm Coleman by a razor-thin margin of just 237 votes out of over 2.8 million cast. In Ohio, Mary Jo Kilroy, the Democratic candidate for the 15th Congressional District, trails Republican Steve Stivers by 146 votes out of more than 260,000 cast (though the margin may be going up due to a just-detected tabulation error).

    The vote totals in both these races can be expected to change before there become final -- but substantial swings are especially likely in Ohio. A major difference between these two states is in the use of provisional ballots. Ohio relies very heavily on them. There were over 27,000 cast in Franklin County alone, about half of which are probably in the 15th CD. As I explained in this comment, a large number of provisional ballots tends to increase the margin of litigation, casting uncertainty over the result and making disputes over the outcome more likely. There's a good chance that Kilroy and Stivers will wind up fighting over whether to cast provisional ballots, perhaps using litigation pending in federal court as the vehicle.

    On the other hand, Minnesota has Election Day Registration. EDR not only increases turnout -- around 5-10%, according to most studies -- but also eliminates the need for provisional ballots. If a previously registered voter moves or has her name removed from the rolls, she can simply register (or re-register) at the polling place. Minnesota thus reported zero provisional ballots in 2006. Because there are no provisional ballots to fight over, EDR in Minnesota eliminates a major source of contention and potential litigation.

    That's one of the reasons why my Moritz colleagues and I ranked Minnesota ranked first and Ohio last, in a study of five midwestern states completed last year. Expanding EDR to other states would help reduce the problems arising from failed matches, since voters could still re-register even if they have been removed from the rolls. While opponents complain that EDR increases the risk of fraud, a report by Lori Minnite found scant evidence of voter fraud in the states that have EDR. Past sessions of Congress have failed to enact legislation that would require EDR in all federal elections. Now is the time for the incoming Congress to reconsider such legislation.

    Other possible registration reforms also warrant consideration. One possibility is to move toward a Canadian-style universal voter registration system. This system resulted in 93.1% of eligible citizens in Canada being registered. By contrast, just 67.6% of eligible citizens in the U.S. were registered as of 2006. Having government officials take affirmative responsibility for registration could reduce some of the problems that inevitably occur when private groups like ACORN are left to shoulder the burden of registering people not reached through other means.

    Another option worth considering is moving responsibility for registration to the federal government. This might be combined with universal voter registration, as Rick Hasen suggests. A major problem with this reform is developing a federal institution that is competent to execute this responsibility. Given the problems that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has experienced, institutional reform is a necessary prerequisite to federalization of the registration rolls.

    Reasonable minds can certainly disagree on what registration reforms are most worthy of adoption. What cannot reasonably be disputed is that this component of our democratic infrastructure is in need of further repairs. The fact that the 2008 presidential election didn't go into overtime shouldn't blind us to that reality.
              Hearing in the Ohio Litigation        
    Following up this post from earlier today on the Election Day maneuvering that could become post-election litigation in Ohio, there's a hearing taking place this evening Judge Marbley in the NEOCH v. Brunner case Pending before him is a motion to consolidate Ohio Republican Party v. Brunner (pending before Judge Smith and amended today) with NEOCH. I'm informed that Judge Marbley has decided to grant the Ohio Democratic Party's motion to intervene and is considering whether to consolidate the two cases, both of which partly concern the state's handling of provisional ballots. I'd expect that, at the very least, Judge Marbley will take control of the ORP's challenge to Directive 2008-101, which was issued to resolve some of the issues in NEOCH. What's less clear is whether the other issues raised in the ORP's amended complaint today can neatly be severed from the ones that are already before Judge Marbley. More to come, no doubt, both here and on our front page.

    Update: Judge Marbley has granted the motion to consolidate the two cases, with a written opinion expected to follow. This won't make a difference in the presidential race, but the questions raised regarding provisional voting and other questions could conceivably affect down-ballot contests.
              The Calm Before the Storm?        
    It's a beautiful autumn day here in Columbus, Ohio. As I took a walk around the Statehouse during a blogging break this afternoon, the weather seemed to match the climate of today's election.

    To be sure, this Election Day has seen its share of problems like lines at some polling places, voting machines not working properly, voters being denied provisional ballots if they don't have ID, and other scattered problems. And there has been some significant litigation activity in key swing states, including Indiana (registration), Ohio (provisional ballots), and Virginia (military ballots). But based on perusing news reports and talking to people here and across the country throughout the day, my general impression is that it's been a relatively smooth election.

    All this should be qualified by noting that it's always perilous to judge an election successful while it's still going on. There's still lots that could go wrong. As I mentioned yesterday, some of the most serious problems that can happen during an election -- such as voters not showing up on registration lists -- tend to be less visible while voting is still going on, and won't come into play unless and until there's an unusually tight race on which the outcome hinges. That can certainly happen in a presidential race, as we saw in Florida eight years ago. It can also happen in down-ballot races like Washington's contested gubernatorial election four years ago.

    If there's a similarly close election this year, then problems that are hidden from view at the moment will rapidly come into view. The most likely form that this will take this year is a fight over provisional ballots, absentee ballots, military ballots, and residual votes, as my colleague Ned Foley suggests in this post. In the event of a close race, presidential or otherwise, these are the potentially uncounted votes that will be vital to pay attention to.

    Election officials, of course, hope that it won't come to this. Hence the famous night-before-election prayer, "Please don't let it be close." Many voters are undoubtedly saying the same prayer right about now. We'll see whether it turns out that way.
              New Voter Registration Case in Indiana        
    As I've said many times this election season, voter registration is the issue of 2008. The latest evidence of this is a complaint and TRO motion brought by Project Vote on behalf ofvoters whose registrations were allegedly rejected because they were on an "old" form (Brown v. Rokita). A first-time voter whose registration was rejected on this ground, Drametra Brown, has sued Indiana's Secretary of State Todd Rokita and other election officials, seeking classwide relief. Brown alleges that the state law requiring the rejection these forms violates the National Voter Registration Act and Voting Rights Act, because the alleged defect in her registration isn't "material" to her eligibility. She further alleges that at least 130 registrations have been rejected on this ground in Marion County alone. This is another case that could become important, if the race in that state winds up being close.
              Jockeying for Position in Ohio        
    The Ohio Republican Party today filed an amended complaint in its case against Secretary of State Brunner (Ohio Republican Party v. Brunner). This is the same case that the ORP earlier used as a vehicle for its arguments regarding the window for early registration and absentee voting, observers at in-person absentee voting sites, and mismatched voter information. The ORP previously got court orders against Brunner's actions regarding observers and mismatches, only to have those orders reversed on appeal. [Disclosure: I joined amicus briefs on behalf of voting and civil rights groups supporting the Secretary of State's position and opposing that taken by the ORP on the window and matching issues.]

    The new amended complaint in ORP is similar to its prior complaint, but appears to include new allegations regarding the discretion vested in county boards of election when it comes to counting votes. The apparent claim is that this discretion leads to the unequal treatment of voters from county to county. Presumably, this claim would rely in part on the Bush v. Gore decision, arguing that such inter-county disparities violate equal protection.

    I suspect that the real purpose of this lawsuit is to serve as a placeholder, in the event that Ohio turns out to be close enough to litigate. The district judge assigned to the case, Judge Smith, is a Reagan appointee who has been quite sympathetic to the ORP's position in its prior motions. Thus, the ORP might well want to have post-election disputes steered toward his courtroom.

    Now things get really interesting: I've just learned that the Secretary of State has countered by moving to have the ORP's case consolidated with an earlier pending case, Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Brunner (NEOCH). You can find the Secretry of State's motion here. The NEOCH case concerns Ohio's provisional voting and identification laws, and is pending before Judge Marbley, a Clinton appointee.

    The Secretary of State's motion to consolidate notes that one of the directives that the ORP now seeks to challenge through its case is Directive 2008-101. That directive was issued on October 24, to resolve some of the issues in the NEOCH case pertaining to the counting of provisional ballots -- see this order in NEOCH, adopting and annexing the directive. To the extent that the ORP seeks to challenge Directive 2008-101, as paragraph 35 of its complaint indicates, this is quite clearly part of the NEOCH case.
              Looking for Lines ...        
    Where can we expect long lines on Election Day? Given the large number of newly registered voters and the intense interest in this year's election, you may not have to look far.

    If I had to guess, I'd put Virginia and Pennsylvania at the top of my list of states where polling places may be overwhelmed. That's not only because both are key swing states in the presidential race, but also because they're both states in which an excuse is required to vote early or absentee. (See this chart from the Early Voting Information Center for a summary of all states' absentee and early voting laws.) In other swing states like Colorado, Florida, and Ohio, voters have made extensive use of early and absentee voting, which may take some of the pressure off the polls on Election Day.

    One would expect to see lines in both Virginia and Pennsylvania, given that they don't have no-excuse early and absentee voting. That's why the Virginia NAACP is signaling that it may go back to court if lines are long, after having been denied an injunction today. And it's why the Governor of Pennsylvania and Mayor of Philadelphia are urging people to vote between 9 am and 3 pm when turnout is expected to be lighter.

    One of the things we'll be monitoring at Election Central tomorrow is whether the anticipated lines in fact materialize in these or other states. If so, we'll be on the lookout for potential or actual litigation that may follow. If you encounter lines or other problems, you can report them to the nonpartisan election protection coalition at 866-OUR-VOTE or to CNN's Voter Hotline, which is logging different categories of complaints. The information there isn't exactly scientific, but may give us a sense of where the hotspots are.
              A New Absentee Voting Directive in Ohio        
    On the eve of the election, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has issued a new directive, requiring counties to give would-be absentee voters notice if there's a problem that would prevent their absentee ballot from being counted. Directive 2008-109 may be found here. Last-minute directives can sometimes cause more problems than they solve but, in this case, some guidance was necessary ... though it may not be sufficient.

    The directive appears designed to deal with what might be called the "Colker Problem," after my friend and colleague Ruth Colker who describes here the difficulty she experienced in getting her absentee ballot counted. Briefly, Franklin County initially didn't count her absentee ballot, because registration records listed her as having a date of birth than the one on her absentee voter envelope -- specifically, listing her year of birth as 1958 instead of 1956. Had she not checked the county's website before the election, only to find that her ballot hadn't been counted, it might have been rejected without her even knowing. Eventually, Professor Colker was able to persuade Franklin County that their records were wrong and get her vote counted.

    Directive 2008-109's stated purpose is "to provide a uniform process by which absentee voters may be given notice that additional information is required to effectuate their vote on an absentee voter's ballot." It directs counties to notify voters of any deficiencies, and give them an opportunity to correct errors. Notice must be given no later than six days after Election Day (November 10). Absentee voters will then have until the tenth day after the election (November 14) to correct any errors or omissions.

    This directive helps with one of the problems revealed by Professor Colker's story -- namely, the due process problem that would arise from rejecting an absentee voter's ballot without giving them notice and the opportunity to explain or correct the asserted error. But there are at least two other problems that still exist.

    The first is that it leaves open the possibility that absentee ballots could be rejected as "insufficient," and therefore rejected under Ohio law (ORC 3509.07), for overly technical reasons. Professor Colker's ballot was rejected because the birthdate submitted with her absentee ballot didn't match the one in registration records. This may be a plausible reading of the statute, but it's hardly clear that this is required. It's also not clear from this provision how other discrepancies should be treated, such as:

    - A discrepancy between the spelling of the voter's name in registration records and the information on the absentee ballot application or envelope (e.g., a voter's last name is listed as "Worzelbacher" in registration records but the absentee voter application or envelope reads "Wuerzelbacher")

    - A discrepancy between the address in registration records and the address on the absentee voter application or envelope (e.g., 320 W. Broad St. instead of 302 W. Broad Street).

    - A discrepancy between the driver's license number or social security number in registration records and that on the absentee voter application or envelope (e.g., 3543 instead of 3534)

    To reject absentee ballots based on such trivial discrepancies would arguably violate Ohio law. In its recent decision requiring the Secretary of State to honor absentee ballot applications with a box that voters neglected to check, the Ohio Supreme Court cautioned against "unduly technical intepretations that imede the public policy favoring free, competitive elections." State ex rel. Myles v. Brunner (Oct. 2, 2008). [Disclosure: I joined a brief supporting relators' position and opposing that taken by the Secretary of State.] Interpreting Ohio law to demand an "exact match" -- with respect to address, date of birth social security number, driver's license number, or address -- might be viewed as just such an overly technical interpretation. Nothing in the directive requires that absentee ballots be rejected for such reasons, but it's not prohibited either.

    The other problem is that the ambiguity of the statute -- and the failure, as far as I can tell, of the Secretary of State to issue definitive guidance on what makes an absentee ballot "insufficient" -- gives rise to a potential equal protection problem. Different counties might apply different rules in determining which absentee ballots should count. Some might count those ballots, for example, despite the existence of a trivial difference in the name of the voter as listed in registration records versus that on the absentee voting envelope, while others might not. Some might check the voter's date of birth, as listed on the envelope, against registration records while others might not. You get the idea.

    At this point, I can't say for sure what counties' practices are, which is why I describe this is merely a "potential" equal protection problem. It's also hard to say whether this is an Ohio-specific problem or one that extends to other states -- but if I had to bet, I'd say that other states' rules for verifying and counting absentee ballots probably have similar vagueness and ambiguity. In in a close, contested election, this type of dispute over absentee ballots could well wind up in litigation.
              Election 2008: Live Blogging and Issues to Watch        
    I've become a semi-retired blogger in recent months, partly because I'm on leave from Moritz this semester and visiting at Harvard Law School and partly because of my involvement in some of the this year's election litigation.* But I'll be in Columbus tomorrow, where Election Law @ Moritz will again be running an Election Central media center. This year, we'll be at COSI (the children's science museum), located right across the river from the Ohio Statehouse and right across the street from the Franklin County early & provisional voting center at Veteran's Memorial, from 6 am until the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

    I'll be live-blogging on election administration news throughout the day right here, tomorrow from Election Central at COSI. Moritz faculty, staff, and students will also be tracking problems and litigation throughout the day on the front page of our site. Check out or news wire and information and analysis sections on that page for up-to-the-minute developments.

    Here's my list (in no particular order) of four big questions I'll have my eye on tomorrow:

    1. Will there be long lines at the polls? This is the question that everyone is wondering about, with massive turnout expected, particularly among African American and student voters. We'll see whether that turnout materializes. But we've already seen enormous early voting, both in person and by mail, which Michael McDonald of George Mason has been tracking here. Perhaps the heavy early voting in no-excuse absentee voting states like Colorado, Florida, and Ohio will take pressure off the polls on election day. On the other hand, the increase in early voting may presage an avalanche in Election Day turnout that will overwhelm polling places, especially in states like Pennsylvania that don't have no-excuse absentee voting. In the event that there are long lines at polling places -- especially in urban areas or near colleges -- look for lawsuits to extend polling place hours, such as the Ohio Democratic Party v. Blackwell case in 2004.

    2. Will there be equipment problems? The short answer to this question is "Yes." In any big election, there are likely to be some places where electronic voting machines break down or polling places run out of paper ballots. One of the places to watch out for in tomorrow's election is Cuyahoga County, Ohio's largest which includes the City of Cleveland. That county will be using it's fourth voting system since 2004, having moved from punch cards, to touchscreen, to central-count optical scan, and now to precinct-count optical scan. The system they have now provides voters with notice and the opportunity to correct inadvertent overvotes, but there are risks with implementing a new system in a high-turnout election like this one. For jurisdictions that use touchscreen machines, we've again seen allegations of vote-flipping, in which the voter tries to vote for one candidate but the machine captures the vote as for another. This is another subject on litigation would not be surprising, particularly if it's looking close in a pivotal state.

    3. Will registration errors lead to disfranchisement or fraud? Voter registration has been the big issue of the 2008 election, just as voting machines were the issue of 2000 and provisional ballots the issue of 2004. Those on the right are concerned that private groups like ACORN have registered lots of nonexistant voters who could conceivably vote on or before Election Day. Those on the left are concerned that overly stringent matching and purging practices in states like Florida could result in eligible voters being taken off the rolls. Voter registration is a critical issue to watch tomorrow -- probably more important than anything else, in terms of the total number of votes affected -- but it's something that too often slips through the cracks of media coverage. The reason, I suspect, is that registration problems aren't as visible as long lines or machine problems. Voters who believe that they're registered but find that their names aren't on the registration list have a right to receive a provisional ballot. If the voter is later determined eligible and registered to vote, then that ballot should be counted. But states vary dramatically, and there are sometimes differences even within states, in how provisional ballots are handled. This leads to the final question.

    4. Will provisional or absentee ballots make a difference? In a close election, look out for disputes over provisional and absentee ballots. In fact, these are probably the biggest ways in which a candidate on the short end of a close election can hope to harvest more votes, thereby making up the difference and perhaps ultimately emerging victorious. That scenario isn't likely in this (or any other) year's presidential election, but there's a good chance that some down-ballot races will be close enough to be within the so-called "margin of litigation." In 2004, a protective lawsuit was filed on Election Day (Schering v. Blackwell), alleging inequalities in the way that provisional ballots were being handled from county to county in Ohio. That case was dropped after it became clear that provisional ballots weren't going to make a difference, but we can expect comparable litigation over provisional ballots in the event of a close race. We should also look out for disputes over the counting of the increased number of absentee ballots in a close election. My colleague Ruth Colker describes here the difficulties she had in getting her absentee ballot counted, after authorities initially refused to do so because the date of birth she provided when voting didn't match the erroneous one in registration records. If there's a widespread practice of requiring exact matching to count absentee ballots, then a lot of eligible voters could wind up having their ballots tossed.

    This isn't intended to be a comprehensive list. If there's one thing that past elections have taught us, it's that we should expect the unexpected. Whether or not the presidential race turns out to be close, Election Day 2008 is certain to be an exciting one for those of us who care about election administration.

    * Disclosure: I've served as an amicus or counsel for parties or amici in several of the cases that have been filed during this election season, including cases having to do with the early registration and voting windown, the handling of absentee ballot applications, and the matching of voter registration records. The full disclosures may be found here for active cases and here for archived ones.
              What Happens When Voters Don't "Match"?        
    One of the big under-the-radar issues this election season has to do with the state registration databases required by the Help American Vote Act of 2002. Before HAVA, registration lists were often compiled and administered at the local level. HAVA now requires a statewide registration database. Section 203 of HAVA (42 USC 15483) also requires that states "match" information in the database against motor vehicle and social security records, to verify accuracy.

    The problem is that there are all sorts of reasons why voters' names might not match, despite the fact that they've provided accurate information on their registration form. That can include data entry errors, transposition of first and last names, and the use of middle names and nicknames. It's not very clear from HAVA how the matching should be done, or what should happen if the information in the registration database doesn't match motor vehicle and social security records. As the Brennan Center has documented, a too-stringent matching procedure could result in the exclusion of eligible voters. According to the Brennan Center, which has litigated this issue in the states of Washington and Florida, matching in some states has failed 20-30% of the time.

    This issue flared up in Wisconsin this past week, as summarized in this report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Before HAVA, most Wisconsin municipalities didn't even have voter registration. Wisconsin is one of several states that has had difficulty getting its statewide registration database up and running properly, as described in the report From Registration to Recounts that my Moritz colleagues and I published last year.

    Last week, Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board (which oversees election administration) considered a rule that would have required voters to cast a provisional ballot, absent a "complete match" of their name, date of birth, and driver's license or other identifying number, unless they provided proof of residence before or on election day. Those provisional ballots would be counted only for voters who provided documentation of their name and addresses by 4 pm the next day. The Brennan Center and I wrote this letter opposing the proposed rule on the ground that it would likely increase the number of provisional ballots and result in some eligible voters not having their votes counted.

    On Wednesday, Wisconsin's board backed off the proposed rule change, given the uncertainty of how many false non-matches there would be. Instead of requiring voters to cast provisional ballots if there's no match, the board decided to see how many voters are affected by non-matches in the system. In my view, this was a wise decision.

    What's unclear is many other states are going to implement the sort of matching procedure that Wisconsin considered but decided against. States that do so are likely to have a lot of provisional ballots, some of which won't be counted. That will certainly increase the margin of litigation, and could make the difference in close races.
              ISDS Tobacco Litigation Costs        
    How much does ISDS litigation on tobacco regulation cost? And who has to pay? This was from the Philip Morris v. Uruguay tribunal: 588. In view of the outcome of the case and the significant disproportion between the Parties’ respective...
              Are We Condemned to Repeat It?        
    It's election year in Ohio, likely to be pivotal in the presidential contest. Everyone expects a close race. Yet there's great concern about whether the state's election infrastructure can hold up to the pressure that will be upon it. Of special concern is the voting equipment to be used, particularly in the state's largest and most diverse county. Another worry is provisional ballots, upon which the state increasingly relies for registration problems, voters who lack proper ID, and those who've moved. If the election is close enough, the two major parties could wind up fighting over which provisional ballots should count. The spectre of litigation thus hangs heavy over the state. To top it all off, there have been repeated accusations of partisanship by Ohio's chief election official, the Secretary of State, from the opposing party.

    Any of this sound familiar?

    When the nation's attention focuses more intently on battleground states later this year, many will no doubt scratch their heads and wonder what the State of Ohio has been up to since 2004. In reality, there have been plenty of changes, some of them for the better. But many of the same issues remain. This comment discusses three big ones: voting equipment, provisional ballots, and allegations of partisanship. It remembers the past while looking ahead to the future, in light of some brand new information from the March primary.

    Voting Equipment

    This is one area in which there have been significant improvements since 2004, when most voters throughout the state still used "hanging chad" punch card voting systems. The result was that tens of thousands of ballots didn't register a vote for President. Elsewhere in the country, voters used newer voting equipment that provided voters with notice and an opportunity to correct errors. Such "notice" voting equipment combined, with better procedures, saved about one million votes that would otherwise have been lost in 2004.

    By 2006, Ohio counties had finally switched to notice voting technology, of either the electronic touchscreen or precinct-count optical scan variety. Both types of systems allow voters to check for overvotes, and thus reduce the number of uncounted votes. The bad news is that Cuyahoga County, the state's biggest county which includes Cleveland, had well-documented problems implementing the Diebold touchscreen system it decided to buy. Among the problems was that somewhere around 20% of the paper records generated by the system were damaged or unreadable, something that's especially problematic given that Ohio law makes paper the official ballot of record.

    As a result, Cuyahoga County switched again, using a non-notice optical scan ballot system in the March 2008 primary. The ACLU sued, arguing that votes would predictably be lost due to the switch, but a federal district judge declined to order the county to use a notice system so close to election day. (Disclosure: I consulted with the ACLU on that case.)

    The result was that Cuyahoga County used a non-notice system in the March primary. So how did things go? At first glance, it didn't look so bad. The county initially reported 818 overvotes at the time of its unofficial count. (This page now seems to have been removed from the Secretary of State's website.) That's more than any other county but one, but still relatively low when you consider the total turnout of 436,609 in that county.

    Some brand new information explains the suspiciously low number of overvotes initially reported. The earlier figure didn't include ballots that would have been overvotes, but had been "remade" so as to avoid being rejected by tabulating equipment. The practice of remaking, as the name suggests, involves marking a new ballot that replicates what election officials believe to be the voter's intended choices, when a ballot is mismarked. Until today, there wasn't publicly available information on how many ballots had been "remade" but I've just received information from the Cuyahoga Board of Elections that that there were really over 4000 overvotes:

    During the Unofficial Count, the M650 Optical Scan units were programmed to accept and count overvotes, alllowing all ballots to scan through the machines without stopping. A total of 4,117 overvotes were recorded within the 406,450 votes counted in the Unofficial Canvass, equaling 1.01% of the total votes cast.

    ... All ballots containing overvotes were examined by a BOE Management Team to determine whether the voter clearly intended to vote for a single candidate. Of the 4,117 overvotes, it was determined that 1,240 contained a clear indication of the voter's intent. Those ballots were remade ..., reducing the overvote total to 2,877

    The translation is that there were a lot more overvotes than the county originally reported (though "406,450 votes" should, I think, be "406,450 ballots," making the percentage smaller than reported). The number of overvotes was reduced from 4,117 by remaking ballots, in accordance with what the board's management team deemed the "clear indication of the voter's intent."

    Does anyone remember Palm Beach County?

    There are of course good reasons why election officials might want to remake ballots, but it introduces an element of subjectivity into the process. In the event of a close election, one could easily imagine litigation over whether and how to remake those ballots, analogous to those which took place in Florida over whether and how to count punch card ballots in 2000.

    At the time of the ACLU lawsuit earlier this year, Cuyahoga County had expressed its intent to use a notice system -- probably precinct-count optical scan ballots -- in the November 2008 election, but has since decided that it would prefer to stay with it's non-notice, central-count system. But an Ohio statute passed earlier this year (SB 286) forbids counties from using central count systems after the March 2008 primary. Sec. 3506.21(D)(1). There's also a reasonable argument that remaking ballots to avoid overvotes violates Sec. 3506.21(B)(3) of that law, which provides:
    If automatic tabulating equipment detects that more marks were made on an optical scan ballot for a particular office, question, or issue than the number of selections that a voter is allowed by law to make for that office, question, or issue, the voter's ballot shall be invalidated for that office, question, or issue.
    If Cuyahoga or other counties continue the practice of remaking ballots before feeding them into the scanner, we could expect an argument that this practice violates Ohio law.

    The bottom line is that Cuyahoga County will have to switch to a notice-based system, probably precinct-count optical scan, unless the Ohio legislature changes the law. At this point, it looks like there won't be any such change. In my view this is a good thing, since precinct-count optical scan systems provide voters with notice of overvotes and therefore reduce errors. It also avoids the legally problematic practice of remaking ballots, which also increases the risk of post-election litigation over the result. But it will mean that Cuyahoga County will have a lot of work to do, getting a new system up and running in less than six months.

    Provisional Ballots

    Provisional ballots are required by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), for voters who arrive at their polling place to find their names not on the rolls or who don't have required identification. In 2004, attention focused on the question of whether provisional ballots should be counted if cast in the wrong precinct. Ohio's then-Secretary of State, Republican Ken Blackwell, said no. This led to litigation by the Democratic Party and voting rights groups, in which Blackwell's position prevailed. A subsequent study by a Cleveland advocacy group found that, of 11,600 provisional ballots rejected for this reason in 2006, 32% were actually at the right polling place but the wrong precinct. (Many polling places in Ohio have multiple precincts voting at them.)

    Just after the election, in the early morning hours of November 3, 2004, it looked like Ohio's provisional ballots might determine the outcome of the race between President Bush and Senator Kerry. Bush led by 136,484 votes in Ohio, with what turned out to be 155,000 provisional ballots left to be verified and counted. At the end of the day, when those provisional ballots were counted, President Bush's margin of victors shrunk by around 18,000 votes to 118,601.

    Provisional ballots can make the difference between victory and defeat in a close race. Several states were closer than Ohio in 2004, including swing states of Iowa, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. In all these states, the margin of victory was less than the roughly 18,000 votes that Kerry "made up" through provisional ballots in 2004. Provisional ballots thus provide fertile ground for post-election disputes -- it's one of the main ways that someone on the losing end can make up ground. It follows that heavy reliance on provisional ballots increases the "margin of litigation," within which election results can be disputed and litigated after the fact.

    Now here's the really troubling part: It looks like Ohio's reliance on provisional ballots is actually increasing, rather than decreasing. In our report last year on the election systems of five midwestern states, my colleagues Steve Huefner, Ned Foley, and I found that the percentage of Ohio voters casting provisional ballots increased between the 2004 and 2006 general elections, going from 2.77% to 3.09% of total ballots cast (see Chapter 3, p. 32).

    In the 2008 primary, the percentage of provisional ballots was higher still. According to recent data from the Secretary of State's office, there were 123