Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A very sweet litigation victory

Often when dealing with Pro Se litigants one has to tread carefully so as to not take advantage of them.

When the Pro Se litigant is an attorney and quite possibly deranged it gets real interesting.

I get brought in on the tail end of a case. The plaintiff, the attorney in question, has sued the client institution for some very weird allegations that get thrown out at the Circuit level. She appeals, gets some issues reversed, it gets sent back to the Circuit Court, she loses again, she appeals and loses the appeal. Case evaluation sanctions of over $24,000 are imposed and I'm assigned to enter the judgment against her.

I do a motion to convert the sanctions order to a judgment which is granted, after she does a response with just about every other word in bold or underlined or both, and appears to argue and makes some real oddball arguments.

We win and I set a creditors exam. We then fight in court about the exam - I win and the judge has the exam conducted immediately in court.

She gets annoyed and sends me and my client a threatening letter complete with "people have been killed for less, and its easy to find where someone lives these days -- but this is not a threat" Cute.

Not to be dissuaded, and a little offended that an officer of the court would stoop to veiled physical threats against opposing counsel, I then start garnishing her bank account and her employer and she gets really annoyed, which is really too bad.

She then files a motion to set aside the judgment on some very specious grounds that have no bearing to reality, facts or law, including a weird claim that the court lacks jurisdiction to enter the judgment against her, and the judge sees right through it and denies the motion.

After losing to me again in Circuit Court she then appeals.

The appeal is rejected by the Court of Appeals as it is filed untimely to be as of right - she missed the deadline, thus raising the question as to whether an attorney representing themselves can sue themselves for malpractice.

Not to be dissuaded however, she refiles, a 40 page plus exhibits magnum opus complete yet again with every other word either bold or underlined, rehashing the case from the very start, including the previous appeals and her losses to me on the post-judgment proceedings. Again she makes the same really oddball arguments regarding the judgment.

We file a response that the Courts should deny her leave to appeal as she has no basis in fact or law and dissect her arguments to show that.

We received a notice from the Court of Appeals:

The delayed application for leave to appeal is DENIED for lack of merit in the grounds presented.

Given her conduct and threats in the case, it has been decided that we are going to continue these garnishments until the client gets their judgment paid in full.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dive #102 I can haz back kick and findz boat

Sorry for the LOL Catz title but yesterday night I had a great dive.

A boat had sunk (deliberately it seems) in Union Lake last Tuesday and we were determined to find it. We had a general idea as to where it was so off the 4 of us (Chad, Jerry, Rob and myself) went.

After a bit of a search, diving well spread out with our lights probing the cool 53 degree darkness -- the dive took place at 9pm at night and visibility was about 10 feet or so -- we found it, looming out of the dark, a nice speedboat without a zebra mussel on it and looking like it had freshly sunk, which it had.

We each finned into the cockpit of the speedboat and back kicked out - including me. Yes! So I had a good effective back kick, and am finally getting more pin-point buoyancy control.

We then after admiring the boat from all angles swam off to the far line and went past an old lawn chair sitting by its lonesome on the bottom. We then returned to the boat dock after passing by some older sunken boats and after a careful safety stop.

We saw plenty of fish including some really huge carp and pike and some decent size crayfish.

This was an excellent dive with a bottom time of 55 minutes, max depth about 40 feet.

Corned Beef, Cabbage and Computer rebuilds

Yesterday after being inspired by Alton Browm's show on Corned Beef decided to follow his recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage. It involves careful preparation and hours of nice slow cooking.

This was a good thing as I used the time to completely rebuild my computer.

As I related before, ever since purchasing it my HP Pavillion with Vista 64 has been everything but stable. HP technical support suggested a destructive rebuild was in order, so after spending hours backing up my system I began the rebuild process.

After work today I have the restore just about done and it does seem more stable (it hasn't crashed yet after multiple restarts).

On the upside the Corned Beef and Cabbage was out of this world fantastic, so it made up for the fustration of having to rebuild the system from the bottom up.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

CPR and AED training today

In a nice break from the billable hour (break hell -- I had to go work late to catch up) the firm I work for offered CPR and AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) training this afternoon.

I signed up, one of only two lawyers in the session, the rest being IT, secretarial or administrative personnel. I guess the other attorneys wanted to keep their billing up. One of the people in the firm is a certified Red Cross trainer and she led the sessions -- very ably I might add.

Very useful stuff to know - helping a conscious or unconscious choking victim, performing CPR and rescue breathing and using the AED properly (it was more a familiarization - learning how it worked and some procedures and combining it with CPR. Really its pretty simple stuff to learn, and they've made it easier to remember - chest compressions on an unconscious choking victim or heat stopped victim is the same pattern only with an occasional check sweep to try and clear the airway on a choking victim is different. Simple, effective and it leaves you prepared to render assistance in an emergency.

The class made sense for both the firm and the participants - training in how to be a first responder is never a bad thing, and incidents can happen even at placid law firms, so having trained and able employees is a good thing.

Just another bit of preparedness to have and hope to never have to use for real -- but again certainly better than if something happens to known what to do rather than just stand around uselessly.

I strongly recommend everyone at least take the basic CPR / First Aid course - not very time consuming, very informative and the life you save may be your own or your friends, family or colleagues, hopefully until the professionals can arrive.

Tomorrow the firm is offering CPR for infants and kids -- having kids I am confirmed to attend -- I'll just make up the billable hours another time.

Democrats wanting to get their hands on your 401k

In the continuing battle between savers and spenders, taxpayers and tax-takers, independents and dependents the Democrats look to be making a move to push more of us into the later of each.

House Democrats Contemplate Abolishing 401(k) Tax Breaks

Brilliant really - confiscate the accumulated wealth of Americans who have conscientiously saved their money, and redistribute it to all whether they saved or spent their way through life, thus securing your position as distributor of largesse.

Then give only a 3% annual return so that no one can really get ahead or be self-sufficient and guarantee even more people will be dependent on, and thus in support of, government programs in their old age -- and of course heavy taxation on those still working.

You knew the Democrats couldn't stand the thought of billions of dollars growing untaxed and out of their control now could you?

Yet another reason to vote to stop a one-party Democrat rule in Washington - if you thought you had it bad now, just wait until there is no holding them back.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Free speech for the One but not for Thee

Thoughts on The coming Obama thugocracy

Given that McCain seems to be running his campaign as if he is Bob Dole II, and given the Media are servicing on bended knees the Obama tank, this election sadly seems like it is Obama's to win.

Given that we've seen Obama's supporters follow his exhortation to get in his opponents faces and block their speech, as noted by Michale Barone's article an Obama presidency, combined with Democrat control of the house and Senate seems like a sure recipe for disaster.

Between the Obamajugend and the cult of personality of Obama along with the unfettered left belief in "free speech for me but not for thee" this is very likely going to be a rocky next four years.

This timely image is courtesy of Future News Blog.

It certainly seems like its time for an anti-drinking advocacy group such as Mothers Against Dangerous Democrats to stomp on this kool-aid drinking, but no such luck so far.

The Obama Kool-Aid can be dangerous to your First Amendment and other rights.

Blog Renovations In Progress

As you can see, I just made some renovations to the blog and cleaned it up some. I will likely continue tweaking it for a bit, but it now looks a bit cleaner at least than the old version.

Comments are welcome, so do let me know how you like the new look - good, bad or ugly.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Economic advice for today's troubled times

Given the daily feed of bad news we've been getting about the financial crisis, stocks losing value, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria, I thought this clip was most appropriate:

The clip is from Gremlins 2 - the famous shotguns and canned goods line.

Friday, October 03, 2008

McCain pulling out of Michigan?

Yes, this state has been going down the tubes since it started going seriously Democrat - between a Democrat governor and its major city mismanaged to death by Democrats its easy to say that Michigan is again a lock for the Dems this election year.

So McCain is pulling out resources from our state to try and fight in areas where he might win.

Mind you I believe McCain did have a shot here - if he had kept the pressure up and noted that if the State goes Democrat again, we're doing more of the same and the state can expect the same result - economic doldrums mixed with goofy social policy.

Michigan and Detroit in particular is an example of Democrat dominance in microcosm.

He should have stated that voting for "change or hope" got Michigan into its current mess and its time for Michigan to vote for someone who actually knows what he's doing and can offer more than empty promises of change and hope.

Michigan, especially with the rest of the state outside the urban areas and along with the rational Macomb County Democrats this state could be a place the Republicans could fight for and even win.

Hopefully this is just a strategic redeployment and McCain hasn't written the state off yet.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dive #101 - Got the back kick!

After a long diving season trying, I finally got my back kick and actually could move backwards underwater in this dive.

Diving with my friend Rob, we got entered Union Lake and just worked on kicks and buoyancy control.

This time I decided to try something different. I swapped fins with Rob and instead of using my ScubaPro JetFins, I used Rob's Power Fins.

It made all the difference - they don't look very different but there is a very real performance characteristic variance between the two fins. The Power fins are shorter and not as flexible or "snappy" as the Scuba Pros, and are much more forgiving when learning the back kick and have much better control from the foot. The Jet Fins apparently have the advantage with the frog kick, and the back kick once you have it mastered -- which I do not.

I'll tell you though it was a great feeling to actually move backward nice and easily after struggling with the skill for so long.

Now that I know I can do it, it is time to refine it and get the rest of the skills in good shape. Rob has graciously swapped fins with me for awhile so I can get this skill down and not be stuck learning it in the jets, for which I'm quite thankful.

It's about time.