Archive for the ‘Lawyering’ Category

492385_738987-wingerLawrence Winger, a leading labor and employment lawyer in Maine, was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with possessing child pornography. Winger, 63, consented to a search of his office where investigators allegedly found dozens of images and videos of prepubescent children engaged in sexual activity. Winger has a blog specializing in labor and employment issues.

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

VIDEO Snakes Revenge As Severed Head Bites And Kills ChefEating habits in Guangdong Province, China are likely about to change. There, the Indochinese spitting cobra is a prized delicacy. The preparation of the serpent is a time-honored tradition but yesterday something went terribly wrong for Chef Peng Fan of Foshan. Disposing of the head of the snake that had been killed twenty minutes before, Fan was fatally bitten and died before the anti-venom could be administered. Spitting cobra venom contains  one of the world’s most powerful neurotoxins that kills within hours of injection by suppressing involuntary muscles which control respiration.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)- Weekend Contributor

We have read in recent weeks and months about the continued movement of corporate profits by US corporations to their overseas subsidiaries in order to avoid paying taxes here on those profits.  Walgreens almost went that route recently but they decided to not do what is called an “inversion” to avoid taxes.  At least for now.

You may be wondering what the picture is all about.  The building in the attached photo is one of the main buildings on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington.  And Microsoft has also been busy working on their taxes.

Microsoft, made news recently, by admitting that they have stashed $92 Billion dollars overseas in an attempt to avoid paying $29 Billions in taxes!  While Microsoft has not officially “inverted” its profits, they have done the next best thing.

Many large US corporations have complained that they have to move profits overseas because they cannot be competitive in the world market without a lower tax base.  Just how true is that claim? (more…)

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

Watching the waves roll in here in Duck, NC, I have to admit things seem pretty peaceful and serene. It got me wondering why the folks in Ferguson, Mo. are demonstrating on a daily basis about their policing. Wonderment stopped last evening when I came across this video by 35-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department, Sgt. Major Dan Page.  Former Green Beret and supervising cop, Dan’s vaguely known to most  CNN viewers as the enlightened peace officer who shoved reporter Don Lemon from a Ferguson street corner as he tried reporting on the mass protest of 17-year-old Michael Brown’s police-facilitated killing. Lemon was shoved and then was herded to some “Free Speech Zone” in a remote parking lot. Now street-savvy Page is back … and with a right-wing philosophy and blood thirsty vengeance that you’d have to go to 1970s Cambodia to match — “We can kill you anyway we want!”

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smdj_article_1776425128461_1The California Supreme Court has handed down a major 4-3 decision in a vehicular manslaughter case that further erodes the rights of citizens to remain silent after being placed into custody. As are all familiar with the Miranda warning that “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” However, as we recently discussed, the Supreme Court by plurality decision that effectively allowed pre-Miranda silence to be used against a criminal defendant in Salinas v. Texas 570 U.S. ___, ___ (2013) (plur. opn. of Alito, J.). Now, the California Supreme Court in People v. Tom, has handed down the first major application of Salinas and ruled that the prosecution can use the silence of a defendant (Richard Tom, left) as evidence of guilt. In California, it is not simply what you say but what you do not say that can be used against you. It is not clear if they are going to change the warning to let people know that if they do not speak, their silence can be used as incriminating.

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220px-Felthat300px-Muddy_Water_Red_desertBelow is my column today on the Perry indictment. I have previously raised my serious reservations about the factual and legal basis for a criminal charge. We obviously do not know what evidence will be presented, particularly evidence of back channel communications that might have occurred over the threatened veto. Such conversations can have a highly damaging effect on jurors as shown by the trial of Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich. They can also damage someone politically by exposing uninhibited moments or comments. I have heard from reporters in Texas that there might have been communications between Perry and Lehmberg about her resigning but I have yet to see clear accounts of such communications. However, at the moment, I cannot see the basis for these charges. Perry publicly stated his intent to use his lawful power to veto the line item for the office budget if Lehmberg did not resign. I do not see how the use of such a lawful power in this case would rise to the level of a criminal act.

At the moment, I see a compelling case for dismissal as a threshold legal question for the court. However, the degree to which the court views this matter as turning on the factual allegations as opposed to the legal questions, it could be held over for trial. That is the problem with such ambiguously written provisions is that the court may feel more constrained in dismissing the counts. The result for Perry can be damaging even if he is acquitted as was former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison two decades ago. Hutchinson was charged with using state employees to plan her Christmas vacation in Colorado and write thank-you notes. The case was so weak that it took only 30 minutes for the jury to find her not guilty on all charges. The political danger is the exposure of private communications. Few of us are as crude as Blagojevich or his wife even in private but none of us is likely to look good if our unguarded comments were played out for a national audience. Once again, only time will tell what type of evidence was heard by the grand jury. Yet, my view is that this indictment is very problematic from a constitutional standpoint and offers little to support such a major prosecution.

Here is the column:

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Rho-Chalmers-TDPC-SelfieThere is an interesting story out of Texas in the Perry controversy that raises the difference between grand juries and petit juries. One of the grand jurors, Rho Chalmers, who indicted Governor Rick Perry turned out to be a delegate to the Texas Democratic Party convention who not only actively participated in the convention during her service but actually took a picture with a Democratic state representative who appeared as a witness before her jury.

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