Saturday, November 27, 2021

Novel Alimony

A reader informed me of something I had never heard of or even suspected existed - In Florida you can get alimony without a divorce

"This form may be used if a dissolution of marriage has not been filed, and you are requesting alimony. If a petition for dissolution has been filed, you should file a Motion for Temporary Support with No Dependent or Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.947(c), instead of using this petition. Also, if you are requesting that an order be entered for you to pay support to your spouse, you should not file this form."

Now I can imagine that one spouse might drain all a couple's bank accounts and hide the money (Spring was quite good at hiding money from me) so he or she has to go to court to gain access to those joint assets but that isn't alimony. 

Family law is very strange indeed. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Policing The Lawyers

I ran accross an interesting article from 1998 in the Fordham Law Review titled, The Criminal Regulation of Lawyers, by Bruce A. Green. 

It is interesting because Green examines the often blurry border between criminal law and professional codes. Green concludes:

The criminal law has significance in regulating lawyers' professional conduct both because it provides an effective means of enforcing certain professional norms and because it establishes or influences the content of certain professional norms. The criminal law's regulatory role is most interesting, and potentially troubling, in situations where the criminal law points lawyers in one direction but other professional norms, such as those embodied in the lawyer codes, appear to point lawyers in the opposite direction. This problem has drawn attention from the American Law Institute, the criminal defense bar, and courts, among others, without anything approaching a consensus emerging. This Article has offered two modest, and by no means complete or completely satisfying, responses. First, courts should interpret open-textured criminal provisions to accommodate professional conduct that is consistent with a reasonable understanding of the professional norms, thus putting the burden on the legislature to manifest its intent to forbid such conduct. Second, prosecutors should exercise restraint in conducting criminal investigations and prosecutions of lawyers based on factually or legally ambiguous conduct.

I agree with Green but believe he vastly understates the problem. Lawyers and others who work in the legal system, especially family law, commit or cause to commit the majority of crimes in our society. Fraud has become just another tool lawyers use to win cases. And winning ceased to mean justice long ago.  Sadly the gap between criminal law and legal norms is a vast canyon filled with crime and corruption. Lawyers' rules tend to be well written but poorly followed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Not Understading

The current National Geographic has an excerpt from an upcoming book, Fauci: Expect the Unexpected: Ten Lessons on Truth, Service, and the Way Forward. Fauci, in discussing those who do not understand or even deny the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, is quoted:

"It’s just the way life is. Unless you’re connected with something directly, it doesn’t mean much to you."

This struck a note with me. It is so frustrating to have so much evidence of crime and corruption within the legal system yet to be ignored by nearly everyone. How can this be? I think the answer is that there are relatively few people who are harmed by legal corruption but many who benefit. 

In my case I have lost something on the order of $15-2 million due to crime within the legal system. Note that I am not talking about the divorce settlement. Divorce laws are certainly unfair and archaic but they are the law. What I am talking about is crime over and above the settlement. 

Who benefited from the money I lost to crime? Spring for sure but also a host of lawyers, mediators, testimony coaches, and others working in the divorce industry. Also judges, not only because they receive a salary, but longer term as when they make law firms money that money often comes back to them via campaign donations or future employment. 

If the ratio of people who benefit from a crime is high compared to the number of victims, crime will tend to persist. If those who benefit are the ones who control the legal system, such crime will be nearly impossible to stop. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Holding Family Law Judges Accountable

ParentAdvocates.org has an article on  Holding Family Law Judges Accountable which does a good job of explaining the current reality of family courts in the U.S. 

The key points made are:

  • Family Law Judges Rubber-Stamp Civil Rights Abuses
  • Family Law Courts Reward Criminals, Punish Victims
  • Typical Family Law Abuses Include “Kick Out” Orders
  • Courts Encourage Financial Victimization by Aggressor Spouses

Judges often complain they are overworked but the the truth is many family court judges encourage litigation and fraud because they themselves so handsomely reward it. 

The reality of our family court system is that all too often it rewards crime, encourages more crime, harms innocent people, and costs an immense amount of money which taxpayers have to pay. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Butterfly Wings?

An article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper highlights issues in the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility (OLPR). According to the article many issues have been raised regarding the toxic work environment created by the agency's head Susan Humiston. 

Susan Humiston - Now that is a familiar name

Humiston vehemently opposed my petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court  to change the Lawyers Rules of Professional Responsibility to include: 

The investigator assigned, if a lawyer, shall not be in active practice in the same area of law that the lawyer under investigation practices in. The investigator assigned, if not a lawyer, shall not be a person who works in a profession which commonly receives referrals from lawyers who practice in the same area of law as the lawyer under investigation.

I created the petition because the investigator assigned in my Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (LPRB which is part of the OLPR)  complaint against Nelly Wince case was a divorce mediator, a person who received the bulk of their business from lawyers in the same field as the lawyer being investigated.  

I subsequently wrote a letter to Ms. Humiston expressing my dismay at their opposition to my petition and asked her to forward my letter to all assistant directors of the LPRB. When she failed to do so, I sent a copy to each assistant director myself. 

I  admit to having a small hope that my action in some way contributed to the present turmoil at the OLPR and LPRB. 

Apparently others are not fans of Susan Humiston either

Thursday, October 21, 2021

What The Constitution Means To Me

I recently saw the play What the Constitution Means To Me written by and starring Heidi Schreck. The show is currently streaming on Amazon Prime for those who want to check it out. I encourage you to do so.

The play was interesting, often funny, and to be truthful often exasperating. In many ways it seems a bit, well, sexist. 

Let me explain. Here is an excerpt from the script:

HEIDI:

What does it mean if this document offers no protections again violence of men? Sorry, I don’t

mean to— I really have no desire to vilify men. I love men. I do, I fucking love you. I’m the

daughter of a father! But the facts are extreme. Here’s one statistic, just one: This century, the

21st century, more American women have been killed by their male partners than Americans

have died in in the war on terror — including 9/11. That is not the number of women who have

been killed in this country; that is only the number of women who have been killed by the men

who supposedly love them.

That’s such a staggering figure that I just kind of have to… forget it to get through the day.

Except, I think you can’t forget it about. Even if you don’t know the statistics, I think you can

feel the truth of that underneath everything… humming. (Unsure) Right?

What is wrong with this? Nothing technically. But if she had mentioned that 78.7% of homicide victims  are men, it would put those statistics in a different light. 

Even worse, throughout the play I could not help thinking that you substituted "white" for "women: and "black" for "men" the statistics would not only hold but be even more compelling. Yet, if you did the whole play would be, rightly, decried as racist. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

I Could Save The FBI A Lot Of Work

I find the recent espionage case against Navy engineer Jonathan Toebbe and his wife Diana interesting. Apparently the FBI had an agent posing as a representative of an unnamed foreign power to entrap Toebbe. Sensitive information was delivered via dead prop on SD cards hidden in a peanut butter sandwich and a pack of gum.  (I wonder if the FBI agent had Toebbe use a pack of gum as a bit of a joke as a slang term for detective is gumshoe - I like to think so anyway!) 

What is most interesting, and a bit infuriating, is that I have sent the FBI conclusive evidence Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and his criminal division director Richard Dusterhoft have committed crimes but the FBI  took no action on the information. They didn't even reply to me. Note that one of the FBI's core missions is to investigate local government corruption. In essence, I did the FBI's work for them. I gathered all the evidence necessary to prove Choi and Dusterhoft acted corruptly.

My guess is the FBI just doesn't care much about local government corruption as it is so ubiquitous. Until people demand change there will not be any change.