Now a day man is impatience in the earth. We have no sympathy to others. Though we need to be kind as a greatest creature in nature. Because we are not beast. But lot of our activity is as like as animal. We are same blood colored human. Whereas we need to bond strong […]
Tag Archives: law
Scatter Peace And Love, a prayer
Filed under anthem, appeals, beauty, birth, civil rights, compassion, courage, development, dream, earth, enlightenment, eternity, evolution, forgiveness, good, heart, human beings, humanity, justice, kindness, law, love, manifesto, peace, soul, spirit, spring, transcendence, truth, universe, wish, world
September 5, 1980, a letter to my Nana
September 5, 1980
I am sorry I didn’t send you a birthday card on time. I didn’t forget, I bought a card and addressed it and put a stamp on it and everything, I just neglected to drop it in the mailbox. And since it was late anyway, I figured I would just save up some money and get you a present to go along with it. So just prepare yourself for an extra-special present. I won’t give you any hints, either. So just sweat it out.
Everything is going just fine. My job is going well, except the work is not all that interesting. But at least I have plenty to do. Mr. Perkins is in Canada right now, doing some work for the Canadian government, so that’s why I can write this letter at work. Because there’s not all that much to do.
Has Mom gotten me an application for the U. of Fla.? I’m going to apply to U.C.L.A. also. Then when the time comes I will have two options. But no matter what I decide I will be home for Christmas. So don’t worry about that. I wouldn’t miss another Christmas with all of you. I’ve already missed two. So no more.
I almost got a dog the other day. They keep dogs at work, two of them, and there was this other dog that started hanging around. He was a stray and he was really skinny. Then about two days ago he showed up limping. His hip was all out of joint, and he was scared of everybody. So I told Mr. Perkins about it and he said that if I could catch him and take him to the vet’s that he would pay the bill if it wasn’t too much. So I caught him by feeding him and then grabbing him. I took him to the vet’s and they X-rayed his hip but it was too badly crushed and it would cost over $300 to fix it. So we had him put to sleep. I felt so bad about that. I cried and cried. You know how I am about animals.
I have decided to major in prelaw. It’s a big decision but it’s something that I want to do. A lot of reasons persuaded me. And besides, lawyers run in our family. This is the fourth generation – your dad, mom’s dad, and my dad, and now me. I’m the first woman to do it. It’s about time the women in this family took advantage of their brains. Grandpa Geremia says that we’re smarter than all the men anyway. Look at Mom! She’s got a lot upstairs, and the only reason she didn’t get a chance to take advantage of it is because she’s a woman and women are the ones who get the short end of the stick always. I’ve really been getting interested in promoting women’s rights lately.
Throughout history, men have had all the power. And I’m tired of it. I heard on the radio that women comprise 53% of the population, yet in the Senate there are only two women. 2 out of 100. That’s certainly not even close to equal representation. Women don’t even get respect. At work here, I’m treated like some cute little girl who is just learning to tie my shoes. And I resent it. Of course, I don’t complain because I need to get along with these people, but I resent it all the same. I read in a book called The Women’s Room that “people may hate niggers and Puerto Ricans and Chinks, but at least they are afraid of them. Women don’t even get the respect of fear.” And it’s so true. Look at you, Nana. You have the makings of one hell of a politician in you. You’re a terrific leader. You have charisma. But you haven’t done it. Maybe because you didn’t want to, but maybe because you were afraid. Oh, I don’t know. Remember when they wanted you to run for City Council? You could have won easily. You could still win. I think you ought to do it. After all, Reagan’s over 68 years old and he’s running for public office.
By the way, do you know what I’ve heard about Reagan?
- He believes in astrology.
- He accused Carter of being in cahoots with the KKK when he himself refused to address the NAACP.
- When he was governor of California, he wanted to cut down the Sequoia trees in the parks because he thought that “once you’ve seen a tree, you’ve seen a tree.”
- He set troops out to quell student protest when the students had stated their pledge of nonviolent demonstration.
- He’s against abortion even in cases of rape. True, not many women who get raped conceive a child due to the trauma of it, but it does happen. And why should a woman give birth to a child of rape?
True, Carter is in many ways no better than Reagan. But I don’t want to vote for Carter, either. I want to vote for Barry Commoner. Barry Commoner believes in solar power, he wants to bring back the railroad system as a form of mass travel, he doesn’t believe in war and huge military budgets for no reason, and he believes in letting people come first in government. He believes in the nationalization of the energy industry. No one is perfect, though, and I realize that campaign promises are sometimes just that, but I feel that Barry Commoner is a better candidate than either Carter or Reagan. But he’s not perfect, either. I’m not being swayed by some Godlike figure or anything. He’s just an ordinary person.
Let’s talk about the nationalization of the energy industry for a moment. (Don’t I sound grown up, Nan?) Did you know that one of the reasons nuclear power plants are becoming more widespread even though they’re so dangerous is that the oil companies own all the uranium minds? The reason no one has developed solar power yet is because the oil companies can’t buy the sun.
Let’s face it, sooner or later we’re going to run out of everything – coal, natural gas, oil, even uranium. The only thing we will have for billions of years is the sun. Everything on this planet was created by the sun. The oil was made from algae deposits that were fueled by the sun. The sun is a clean, safe source of energy. So why don’t we use it? Because it’s also free. There’s no way to rent sunlight because it’s free. No one can own it. So the people who control this country, i.e., the huge conglomerate corporations, aren’t too thrilled over the prospect of unlimited amounts of free energy because they’ll go bankrupt.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not against free enterprise or anything. What I am against, though, is when the profit margins of Exxon go up 200% in one year. That’s going too far. Profit is fine, but 200%, when the whole world is being squeezed dry because of the high prices of fuel? That’s un-humanitarian, and disgraceful.
Did you know that Nestles, the chocolate corporation, also manufactures infant formula? In third world countries like Nigeria and India and the like, they were telling uneducated mothers that infant formula was superior to mother’s milk. At precisely the same time, doctors in this country were finding out that mother’s milk was in fact the best thing for babies. That nothing was superior for infants. But did Nestles stop telling them that? No. Their profits in this country were going down because of the drop in sales, so they had to make it up somewhere else. By fooling poor, uneducated, starving people. That’s the kind of thing I’m against.
I guess I’m getting more political in my old age. That’s why I have decided to major in prelaw. So I can do something about the things that I feel are unfair. Or at least I can try. Like I said, I’m not against free enterprise. What I am against is exploitation and un-humanitarianism.
Filed under ancient history, compassion, development, earth, enlightenment, eternity, faith, forgiveness, god, heart, history, hope, humanity, identity, justice, karma, kindness, law, legal system, life, logic, love, maturity, nature, peace, personal responsibility, science, soul, spirit, spiritual, truth, universe, woman, women, world, youth
Why I Like Being a Federal Judge, a poem
Why I Like Being a Federal Judge, a poem
My absolute favorite thing to do is to make
rulings without enunciating any reasons at all.
Sure, I like the black robes, the high chair,
smacking the little wooden hammer. But mostly
my fiercest joy is mental. I’m not a flashy
creature: I wear the same glasses I’ve worn
for the past forty years on the bench.
The bulky style flatters my high forehead,
my firm jaw. It’s what I’m used to, and,
like any octogenarian, I like the things
I’m used to. So for the same reason I let
them sweat to figure out why I decided the case
the way I did. The lawyers really scramble
around then, falling over each other on the way
to appellate review like fat geese with
clipped wings being chased by a Rottweiler.
I am that Rottweiler — I still exercise
for an hour every other day. Both my parents
lived well into their nineties. I love it
when attorney-faces bulge red. It’s fun
to watch from my elevated perch. Being
reversed on appeal is considered a failure
to many, but not for me. I don’t care one bit
about that sort of consistency. Ask my wife.
My job, instead, is to highlight the glamour,
the magical, supple qualities of justice.
That pretty lady doesn’t wear a blindfold
for nothing, you know? Occasionally I wonder
if I’d feel as good about myself without having
gotten this appointment. You have no idea how
the power of life and death feels until you’ve
heard the slender moans of the duly convicted.
I remember years ago, before I was a judge —
the things I thought my clients were entitled to!
Now I know better. They get exactly what
I feel like doling out on a given day — and
God save us all if I’m coming down with the flu.
There is always a lesson to be learned
from making decisions, wrong or right.
The more mysterious my legal theory, the more
deference it gets. Why, sometimes I even
cite cases completely at random: keep them
guessing, it’s the surest way to get respect.
At least when they’re beginning, baby lawyers
think themselves just too dumb to understand;
that’s the way I want to keep it. Too many
findings of fact and conclusions of law
can drive a person batty. The better practice is
to decide how I’d like reality to be, then sweep
the slate clean and start over rewriting history.
It’s why I am never in a difficult position
deciding how to approach a case. But the very
best part of all is: saying nothing about
the innards of my rulings raises no impediment
to being obeyed. The U.S. marshals wear that badge
whether the parties want him to or not. Plain and
simple, everybody’s stuck with me, for life.
Filed under appeals, federal judge, judicial branch, judiciary, justice, law, legal system, logic, satire, truth
Eleven Random Questions, and please submit your own answers as replies!
ELEVEN RANDOM QUESTIONS
What do you think of keeping a journal?
The real issue here is not that of how journal writing affects all the other forms of writing. There is much to be said about journal writing, both positively and negatively, and probably all of it is true at one time or another for all writers who face changing circumstances over the course of their writing lives. Sometimes journals can help our other projects, sometimes they can’t. Each person’s situation is best handled by themselves. The real issue here, the issue that has people so stirred up, and rightly so, is the fundamental arrogance displayed in both the “writer” Jimmy V.’s original essay condemning journaling out of hand, and his later condemning replies to any and all responses proffered to him. Arrogance of the intensity he displays has always been a substitute for actual wisdom. This truth is one of the fundamental truths of human nature, and I am not the only person to realize it. “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” (Bertrand Russell) That, little Jimmy V., spoiled rotten “writer,” is the central issue you should concern yourself with.
Which celebrity would you like to bitch slap?
Dr. Laura wins by a light-year. I only slap those who’ve been guilty of slapping others. She’s angry and cruel and gives just plain bad advice to her callers. I listen to her all the time to remind myself how wise and kind I am by comparison. King Solomon, she isn’t. She’s a one-note piano with a bent wire. She sounds like she needs heavy meds, and pronto! Wouldn’t we all just leap at the chance to come back as her husband or son? I’d rather be eaten alive by a swarm of rats.
Do you remember your dreams?
I remember my dreams often, but not every single night. My dreams run the gamut of emotional response — from terror to euphoria. I write down most of the dreams I remember. They are usually very long & complicated & sometimes make perfect sense but sometimes don’t contain the slightest thread of logic. My favorite dreams are the ones I call “therapy dreams.” Often, when I’m upset or angry with someone, I’ll dream about that person & act out my feelings in the dream & achieve some sort of resolution which flows over into waking life & is vastly superior to any traditional therapy I’ve tried. I’ve done everything in my dreams — flown without mechanical aids, been wonderfully fluent in foreign languages, had phenomenal sex with friends & strangers & celebrities, lived as a member of the opposite sex, written best sellers, killed people… my dreams are in many ways the best part of my life because they’re absolutely limitless in scope & action & intensity. Sometimes dreams are a lot more “real” than real life & more enjoyable. Surrealist dreams are the most interesting — upon waking I always try to puzzle out what was the link between seemingly unrelated events or objects. I’ve even accurately prophesied the future in dreams. I tend to think it’s because the subconscious is free to express itself rather than any supernatural explanation. We’re just that smart when we’re not weighed down with all our conscious baggage. Thanks for asking about dreams!
What’s your Wu-Tang name?
What’s the deal with long hair?
You’re right, it is 40. Not 30. Sometimes long hair can make the face look thin & drawn, but that’s also true for teenagers. Some of them shouldn’t have long hair. On the other hand, I’ve seen old ladies in wheelchairs with long fluffy white hair & it can be quite charming. I think if you look good with it, who cares what the rules are?
What are five good things about springtime?
1. Getting the taxes filed & out of the way
2. Wanderlust & regular lust & spring fever
3. Plants waking up & showing off & intoxicated
4. Putting the hand lotion away till next year
5. Birds, bees, butterflies & bikini underwear
What are your irrational annoyances?
Noise, noise & noise. Ungrateful children who view me as their maid. Children who, rather than empty the trash, stuff the can so full you can’t get the bag out. Children who leave dirty dishes & empty snack containers scattered around the house. Children who are, currently either at the movies or sleeping. Thank you, God.
Does springtime make you horny?
Nope. For me the season of lust is definitely winter. But then, I live in Florida.
Why do you love your pets?
I love my pets because they’re far less demanding than my children.
What do you think of the name game?
I have a former sister-in-law who collects unusual names. A couple of her favorites are Shithead (pronounced Shi-THEED) and Lemonjello (pronounced Le-MON-jello). Also PsalmCIV (pronounced PIZUM-siv). These are actual legal names, no joke.
What do you think of magazines with articles titled “Ten Steps to a Killer Orgasm!”?
I used to read Seventeen as a child… then read Glamour as a young woman… then read Mirabella as a grown-up. It figures Mirabella went bust, it was the most intelligent in a sea of dreck. Redbook was pretty good until they quit publishing short fiction. Jane’s okay, but too young for me. I hate Martha Stewart but her magazine’s got the best art direction, I think. And I like when she runs those articles about 27 varieties of tomatoes, or whatever, with a poster illustration. Gourmet is an old classic, still living up to its past. Vanity Fair has great writing & an eclectic subject matter. Rolling Stone & Sports Illustrated also win for good writing that crosses subject lines. I find I don’t have enough time to read all the magazines I subscribe to — they languish in piles. W is nice just for the outsized format but their writing is negligible.
Filed under health, humor, justice, karma, kindness, love, men, mysterious, notes, personal responsibility, relationships, science, sex, short stories, women
Heavenly Dances, Heavenly Intimacies, a short story
Heavenly Dances, Heavenly Intimacies, a short story
“Isn’t there any heaven where old beautiful dances, old beautiful intimacies prolong themselves?”
Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier
How can I be “dead” to any of the men I once loved? They are not “dead” to me. Not even H. How can I be “dead” to H.? They — even H. — are each as alive as when I was with them; as alive as the first time they touched me, whether tentatively or with confidence; whether softly or roughly; whether with passion or mere lust. It is shocking and appalling how H. lurched so radically to the right after 9/11. He began that journey to the Tea-Party-Mad-Hatter-Neocon-Bill-Buckley-Wall-Street-Apologist-Fringe-Brainless-Faux-News-Right when Ronald Reagan was shot; I was with him the very night it happened. We had a short affair, right then, because we started thinking the end of the world had arrived and we decided, like the crazy college students we were, to get married to celebrate our courage in the face of chaos! I realized very early on (but still way too late!) I was embarrassed to be seen in public with him. Did you ever start seeing, and marry someone whom you later realized you were embarrassed to be seen with? Perhaps the person in question was “dorky,” “geeky,” dressed “badly,” or had questionable “taste.” H. readily admits he was a “dork” in high school. He was on the debate team; need I say more? When you can’t bear to be seen in your lover’s/spouse’s/significant other’s/partner’s company, things usually don’t work out.
Still, I put in ten dutiful years, trying to make amends for my mistake in marrying H. The second he started making the big bucks, he dumped me. He left me for my best friend! I guess I deserved it, not taking control of my own life & filing for divorce two weeks after we married. And I guess I deserved how my ex-best-friend S. ruined me, as she subsequently did. She was in charge of the whole group we had socialized with: dictating how everyone in our “circle” should think, speak, act, or react. H. was dead wrong about most everything, but, to his credit, he was dead right about her. At the time I thought him merely woman-hating, but I see now, even though he did hate women, there was something more than simply being a “woman” he hated about her. He was covering up the fact he loved her by pretending to hate her. Now, I have no desire to see her, not ever again. She is definitely “dead” to me. Yes, I understand intellectually, a living death (call it shunning) can happen to anyone.
The upshot of all this boring history? I’ve been waiting for something a long time. I can’t blame anyone but myself for my unhappiness, not anymore. There is something dispirited inside me, something empty, drained, and beaten — something sick, something tired, something that has surrendered. I gave up, when? When my first ex-husband arbitrarily said no to children, breaking his solemn vow. When I realized I couldn’t find happiness outside myself — not with an old love, not with a new love, not with any of my subsequent husbands, my friends, my eventual children, or my family. Yes, to casual acquaintances and virtual strangers I am “happy, happier than I’ve ever been.” And it’s true! I’ve never been this happy, this contented, in my life. Yes, there are still problems. My oldest son is still half the world away, fighting an endless war on behalf of my “country.” My youngest son still has an ignorant, racist, rabidly conservative father. I am getting old. My face is melting. My neck is turning into a wattle. I am drooping.
Still, I cannot imagine any of them, the men I have loved or made love to, being dead to me the way my former best friend, S., is dead to me. Yet that is how they must feel about me, the way I feel about her. Wanting her removed from my memories. Wanting never to have met her. Not missing anything about her. She wants to see me, I heard from a mutual friend I still speak to. I don’t want to see her, or even see the mutual friend. I don’t even want to get as close as that! Because of reasons. Top secret, NSA, DOD, CIA, FBI, SEC, IRS, FDLE, GPD, ACSO reasons! No further comment!
Filed under artistic failures, assholes, boys, con man, con men, criminal, criminal behavior, criminals, fathers, he, health, humor, hypocrisy, idiots, jerks, karma, love, mothers, mysterious, sex, short stories, tea party mad hatters, ultra right wing loons, users
Disgusting “Dynasty Trust”
DISGUSTING!!!!! Why do people think this way? I condemn this trust to HELL!!! In a handbasket!!!
“The Dynasty Trust is an excellent tax planning vehicle as it permanently removes significant assets and the future appreciation on those assets from the transfer tax system. If no one “owns” these assets in the future, they will not be part of anyone’s taxable estate. In addition, the Dynasty Trust is an excellent asset protection vehicle. With no owner’s of the assets, creditors cannot make successful claims against the assets in these trusts, allowing them to be preserved, even against liability claims against the trust’s beneficiaries.
The trust is initially created for “primary beneficiaries” who are the Grantor’s children. They are given a limited power of appointment over the trust property in favor of their descendants. If this power is not exercised, the trust property passes to the descendants of the Grantor’s children, and so on. The trustee has discretion to pay a beneficiary income and principal from the trust, but is under no obligation to distribute any property at any time.
The trust is sensitive to the possible generation-skipping tax issues that can arise in this type of trust. (Section 3.1B). The trustee is given broad investment discretion. (Sections 3.1A and 3.3)
Since the trust is intended to last a very long time, the initial trustee is not likely to outlive the trust. Circumstances unforeseen at the inception of the trust may very well occur. For these reasons, the trust (section 4.5) appoints a “trust protector” – a person or institution to serve as the trust’s “watchdog” over what may need to be changed, amended, removed, etc. as time goes on.
Article 10 is also worth noting. The Grantor should consider how he/she may want to define such basic terms as “spouse” and “child”, given the potential long-term of the trust and evolving issues of social change, genetic engineering, etc. One can consider a “traditional” definition here, or allowance of either present or possible future definitions to be included in the trust.
Filed under legal writing, notes
a big fat A-hole
leslie moreland gaines, “documentary filmmaker,” con man, artistic failure, hypocrite, and all around evil son of a bitch
from my folder: defense lawyer’s greed: my lawyer made me do it, by steven lubet
MY LAWYER MADE ME DO IT
Sooner or later, nearly every lawyer has to confront some variant on the dilemma of zealous representation. How do we justify representing clients whose goals are morally questionable or even flatly offensive? The standard answer is that lawyers serve society by facilitating client autonomy, allowing individuals and corporations to make informed decisions about their legal rights. As Samuel Johnson explained nearly 250 years ago, “A lawyer is to do for his client all that his client might fairly do for himself.” Thus, corporate counsel (following each new accounting fraud) and public defenders (in almost every case) deliver the same ready reply to a relentlessly familiar question: How can you defend those people? Well, it isn’t always easy, but we are just doing our job.
Lawyers have come to expect skepticism, if not outright scorn, when representing, say, polluters or criminals. But until recently, it was a safe bet that no one had to be embarrassed about a client like the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. In recent months, however, the litigation over clergy abuse has become so acrimonious that many parishioners are openly questioning the basic decency of the church’s legal strategy, going so far as to accuse the defense of inflicting new trauma on the abuse victims. Representatives of the archdiocese responded by blaming it all on their counsel ‑‑ “Our lawyers made us do it” ‑‑ as though the church has no control over the tactics employed in its name.
More than 500 civil cases have been filed against the Boston archdiocese, alleging sexual abuse by priests and a decades‑long cover‑up by the local hierarchy. Last December, amid charges of stonewalling and complicity, Cardinal Bernard Law was forced to resign, replaced temporarily by an apostolic administrator, Bishop Richard Lennon. From the beginning, Bishop Lennon promised a new tone of reconciliation and healing. He announced his intention to settle the outstanding litigation, and promised to make therapy available to every victim who comes forward.
In the meantime, however, the church continued to mount a forceful defense in court, engaging in a level of trench warfare that would make Johnnie Cochran proud. For example, defense lawyers filed a breathtaking motion to dismiss all 500 cases on First Amendment grounds, arguing that the civil authorities could not interfere with the “bishop‑priest relationship.” It was claimed that the constant reassignment of known child molesters was beyond the reach of the law, because the supervision of priests was exclusively an ecclesiastical matter.
Predictably, the motion was denied, but not before Bishop Lennon explained that his attorneys had insisted on the hardball tactic because “failure to do this could very well result in the insurance companies walking away from us, saying that we have not exercised all of our avenues of defense.”
It was barely noticed at the time, but Bishop Lennon had actually adopted the classic lawyer’s excuse. Absolving himself of any moral responsibility for the maneuver ‑‑ much less the cost and anxiety it imposed on the injured plaintiffs ‑‑ he invoked the nature of the legal process as justification for an outrageous ploy. Attorneys routinely seek to escape the consequences of their actions by deferring to their clients’ instructions, but this was an entirely new twist on an old theme. The apostolic administrator washed his hands of his own decision, blaming the insurers and lawyers instead.
It gets much worse.
In January 2003 the church’s defense team began serving deposition subpoenas on plaintiffs’ psychotherapists, including some who had actually been hired by the archdiocese itself to provide treatment to abuse survivors. From a legal perspective, of course, this was not particularly out of the ordinary. The psychotherapist privilege is waived when a plaintiff claims damages for emotional trauma.
From a moral perspective, however, it was a disaster. The church had encouraged victims to come forward and had even set up a special Office of Healing and Assistance to facilitate therapy, as part of Bishop Lennon’s announced preference for settlement over litigation. Then the archdiocese turned around and insisted on invading the patient‑therapist relationship in a way that many victims regarded as jeopardizing their recovery.
The reaction was furious. A coalition of psychologists and victims’ rights activists denounced the depositions as “revictimization” and “reabuse” of patients who were “already broken members” of the church’s flock. Without disputing the church’s legal right to take the depositions, the group complained that the tactic was inconsistent with Lennon’s professed commitment to justice and healing. The victims’ therapy, they said, would be “permanently harmed by the intrusion of the legal system.”
One prominent psychotherapist, who had previously been invited to address the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, put it even more bluntly: “I think that this is very despicable and deceitful. To say [that] ‘the church loves you’ and ‘we want to help you’ and then to invade your treatment is really just wrong. It may be legally okay, but it’s wrong.”
In response, an archdiocesan spokeswoman declared that the depositions were lawful and necessary: “If the victims choose to sue … we feel that we’re obligated to defend ourselves.”
Maintaining that the archdiocese still supported therapy for survivors, she insisted that the support stood “separate and distinct from the litigation process.” And lest there be any mistake, another church official remarked, “It’s a very tragic set of circumstances, but when you get to the litigation stage, there are certain things lawyers insist on doing to protect their clients.”
Thus, the Boston archdiocese inverted the very premise of the attorney‑client relationship, relying on the purported demands of counsel to justify its own moral blundering. Lawyers naturally recommend strategies that enhance the likelihood of success in litigation. To those who see themselves as legal technicians, the human toll is irrelevant so long as the tactic is lawful. The autonomous client is entitled to zealous representation, and the attorney is helpless to refuse.
But that same stricture never applies to the clients themselves. There is no conception of litigation in which a client can decline to be an independent moral actor. In fact, the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct specifically call upon lawyers to “defer to the client” in regard to other “persons who might be adversely affected” by litigation. While any good lawyer would urge the archdiocese to authorize the depositions of victims’ therapists, no lawyer could compel it. That is why we call it “advice of counsel.”
The basic purpose of taking a therapist’s deposition, after all, is to undermine the plaintiff’s monetary claim for emotional distress. A good transcript ‑‑ filled with artfully extracted admissions and potential impeachment ‑‑ becomes a useful weapon in negotiation or at trial. An early deposition in the midst of settlement talks is an unmistakably aggressive move, especially in the case of a vulnerable plaintiff who has suffered clergy abuse. (In several hundred cases, all discovery has been stayed for 90 days pursuant to a “stand‑down” order intended to facilitate settlement; in other cases, however, the contentious litigation continues unabated, as the archdiocese recently moved for the entry of a gag order against a lead attorney for plaintiffs.)
The leaders of the Boston archdiocese may opt for compromise and settlement, or they may choose to litigate to the bitter end. As an outsider, I would defend their legal right to make either choice. But no client has the moral right to raise the flag of reconciliation while instructing counsel to scorch the earth.
Steven Lubet is a professor of law at Northwestern University. His most recent book is “Nothing but the Truth: Why Trial Lawyers Don’t, Can’t and Shouldn’t Have to Tell the Whole Truth.” E‑mail: email@example.com.
Filed under health, legal writing, mysterious, notes, recommended reblogs