Fox and the lawsuits

Fox finally paid a huge amount to settle the lawsuit with Dominion. Of course, there are other lawsuits still pending.

So why did Dominion settle instead of going to trial?

Had Dominion gone to trial, a few things might have happened:

1. They could lose. Not likely, but not impossible;

2. They could get much less money from a jury;

3. Fox would appeal, it would take years, cost a lot in legal fees, and could end up in front of a Trump-appointed court that could reverse everything.

So making a settlement is reasonable. After all, Dominion is a business. Their ultimate goal isn’t “democracy” or “justice” — it’s getting money for their stockholders and sending a message that they won’t allow themselves to be defamed.

I know we all would have loved to see Fox people testifying, but be let’s be realistic: The cultists would never change their minds even when their cult leaders admitted under oath they had lied.

Things not to say when hiring a lawyer

As a criminal defense attorney, I have literally had variations of all these things said to me over the years:

1. I’m looking for a cheap lawyer.

2. I want a real lawyer, not a public defender.

3. I’ve had three other lawyers on this case and I’ve fired them all but I want to hire you now.

4. I’m just looking for someone to do my case pro bono; I don’t want to have to pay anything.

5. I need a lawyer because the government is out to get me ever since they planted the listening devices in my head.

6. I’m paying you, so you do exactly what I tell you to do.

7. I spoke to the other inmates, and they told me that the District Attorney and my Public Defender are both wrong about what the law says.

8. If I pay you extra, can you make this go away?

9. If you lose, do I get my money back?

Jackson confirmed for Supreme Court

“We have a candidate who graduated from Harvard Law School, clerked for a Supreme Court Justice, became a judge, wrote opinions that were cited and upheld by higher courts, and is highly recommended for skill and ethics by the American Bar Association.”

“Very qualified indeed.”

“She’s a black woman.”

“What? We can’t have that! We have to vote against her for, um, reasons!” — most of the GOP

“Besides, we don’t even know if she likes beer!”

Mugging Judge Jackson

There’s a meme based on the Skyrim game where a bunch of thugs see the main character and say “See that guy who just killed a dragon and sucked its soul? Let’s mug him!”

I’m reminded of that as I watch white, male Republicans question Judge Jackson. “See that woman who graduated from Harvard Law School and has written numerous intelligent opinions? Let’s get her!”

Yeah, I think she can handle you guys just fine.

(I mentioned “white, male” in my description of Republicans because these guys are always the ones who think if you’re not white and male, you can’t possibly be qualified for anything.)

The Face of the GOP

Convicted criminal and Republican representative Lauren Boebert is married to a guy who went to jail for showing his penis to a teenager in a bowling alley.

Meanwhile, “Marjorie Taylor Greene spent last weekend speaking at a conference organized by a pro-Putin white nationalist. Klan Mom, this woman, has so many issues when it comes to people wearing masks. When it comes to people wearing hoods, none at all…” – Jimmy Kimmel

One reason why no lawyer will take your case

As a lawyer, I get calls all the time from people wanting to sue someone. Very few of those cases are taken by my firm.

You see, lawsuits are expensive. And not every hurt you have is worth filing a lawsuit over.

You fell on someone’s sidewalk that wasn’t shoveled and hurt your back? Well, sure, someone else was responsible but did you go to the hospital? Are your injuries permanent? Did you lose work? Are you still in pain? It’s not worth bringing a lawsuit costing thousands of dollars in filing fees, printing costs, and lawyer expenses to win and have the jury decide to award you $50.

Someone insulted you? You were defamed? Sure, but did you lose your job because of it? Are people protesting your home and spitting on you as you walk by? How badly are you hurt? Just because someone lied about you doesn’t mean a lawsuit is worth it.

Now, this is not to say you shouldn’t see a lawyer when you are hurt, especially if you have legitimate hospital bills and other expenses due to the injury. Perhaps a call to the other person’s insurance company will settle everything nicely. Perhaps a minor action can be filed at the magistrate that won’t cost as much.

But I do find myself often telling people that it’s just not worth it.

And now, a warning: Most lawyers in personal injury civil cases will work for a percentage of what they can get for you. They only get paid if they get money for you. They believe the case is winnable and so they’re willing to spend their own money risking it, knowing they’ll recoup that money once the case is won. It also ensures that they’re going to do everything they can to get the largest possible amount for you, because that means more for them as well.

However, some lawyers will take your case as long as you pay all expenses and their fee. This is a sign that they don’t believe you will win the case, so they’re making sure they at least get paid. Don’t hire these lawyers. Oh sure, sometimes they’ll win but maybe the money you’ll get won’t be much more than what you spent to get it.

If no lawyer wants to take your civil case, then maybe it’s just not that good of a case. Be happy that you’re not that badly hurt.

Trust me, every single client I’ve had that was badly hurt and won their case would have been much happier without having to be hurt in the first place. Every one would have traded what we got for them to be healthy again, or to have their dead family member back.

Judges can be biased, too

I had a case one time where the judge ruled against me in a pre-trial motion. My client was mad. “You said the law was on my side!” he said.

“It is,” I replied. “The judge is wrong.”

His expression told me he had never considered that, but you have to realize that becoming a judge often has more to do with getting elected or appointed and not necessarily because you’re an unibased person or a great legal mind. In fact, sometimes it’s because you have a bias that you get elected or appointed.

Just something to keep in mind when analyzing why someone might win or lose a case. A judge has a lot of power, through their rulings, to sway the case in a direction they want it to go.

One of the themes in my book on the Constitution is “all law is politics” and if you always keep that in mind, things make a lot more sense.

Or, in the case of Rittenhouse, nonsense.

#1 cause of death for police officers? Covid

Being a police officer is a dangerous job, we’re constantly told. While that’s true, on the list of dangerous jobs, it’s #22. You’re much more likely to die from a work-related incident if you’re a farmer.

But last year, the main cause of death for officers was covid. And that’s not too surprising, given how many police unions and officers believe the Trump conspiracy theories and are protesting having to wear masks or get vaccines.

You know, masks and vaccines. Used to protect the public. The public. The people the officers swear to protect. Those people.

But apparently, laws and rules should only apply to us lesser people and not the police themselves. The New York subway system has a rule that everyone must wear a mask while on the subway and on the platforms, so when one person asked why officers there weren’t masked, he was kicked off the subway and harassed by the cops. (Good thing someone was filming it, because now the officers have to answer for this.)

“You wouldn’t be in trouble if you’d just comply,” these same officers had probably said to people they were arresting in the past.

Some officers have resigned rather than get the vaccine, so we should all be thankful for that — someone who refuses to care about others and refuses to obey laws, rules, and regulations should never be someone who has power over others in their job to enforce laws, rules, and regulations.

I am saddened whenever someone dies from covid, but less so when they could have prevented it by taking basic precautions that doctors and experts recommend.

A twitter page where you can upload pictures of cops not wearing their masks as required

Things I’m tired of saying to my clients

“No, I cannot get the charges thrown out simply because the cop said your car was blue when it’s really maroon.”

“No, I can’t get the charges thrown out simply because the cop didn’t read you your rights when he arrested you. They only have to do that when you’re being interrogated. Yes, I know it’s different on television.”

“So you want to believe one of the other inmates at the jail as to what should be done in your case over me? After all, what do I know with my eight years of degrees and my 35 years of practice?”

“I am not your employee. You hired me for my knowledge and experience, not for me to file whatever frivolous motion you think you need.”

“Why did you hire me and pay me all this money if you’re just going to ignore every bit of advice I give you?”

“No, you can’t sue the cops if you’re found not guilty.”

“The fact that things are bad for you right now and people should understand what you’re going through is, amazingly enough, not a defense against the charges.”

“No, I am not interested in taking a case where you are claiming that the government doesn’t have jurisdiction over you because you’re a sovereign citizen.”

“Yes, I know I told you that this was what the law said and I know the judge ruled against me anyway. The judge is wrong.”

Why the Chauvin verdict is both surprising and not surprising

“It should not take nine minutes of damning video to get some accountability. There’s a reason the Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t say, ‘With liberty and justice for all who are being filmed on an iPhone. Otherwise, sucks to be you!’” — Stephen Colbert

Come on, let’s face it — if this wasn’t involving a police officer, this would have been the easiest trial ever for the prosecution. Someone kneeled on someone’s neck until they died. Seriously, what’s your defense?

Now the thing to do is to imagine what the trial may have been like had there not been a video made. Do you think the cop would still be found guilty?

For that matter, would the prosecution even have brought the case in the first place?

Let’s review other similar cases.

Remember Eric Gardner, the guy who was selling cigarettes and was choked to death on camera? Charges weren’t even brought.

Michael Brown, shot by police in broad daylight in Ferguson? No charges.

Sandra Bland, who was arrested without cause (the cop admitted he lied about it) who was mysteriously found dead in her cell over a traffic ticket? No charges.

Breanna Taylor, shot in her bed by officers who broke into the wrong home? No charges.

And then I could name a bunch of cases where they actually went to trial but the results were hung juries or acquittals.

There are plenty of cases where it is clear the police abused their power and people died yet the worst consequence they may have faced was in losing their job.

This is the reason there is a Black Lives Matter movement. This is why it is needed.

So this verdict is not surprising in that it’s so blatantly obvious the murderer was guilty, but at the same time, surprising because a cop finally faced justice for killing someone.

If you’re pretending that this guy was actually not guilty, you’re either willfully ignoring facts or are just a racist who believes it’s perfectly fine for police to murder black people without cause.