Saturday, July 25, 2015

State Of Georgia Sues Carl Malamud For Publishing The State's Own Laws

In an amazing move, the state of Georgia has sued Carl Malamud for copyright infringement for publishing the state's own laws. As Slashdot points out the TechDirt article went easy on legislatures as they only used the word "ridiculous" 10 times.

Although Georgia does publish its basic law, the issue here is the annotated law which the state charges money to get. The important point is that in Georgia the annotated law is the official law.

So in Georgia, you have to pay money to find out what the laws are that you are supposed to follow. I suppose that is better than Minnesota where the laws are freely available but just ignored as demonstrates.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Families Civil Liberties Union (FCLU)

The Families Civil Liberties Union (FCLU) is a national organization based in New York.  their mission statement:
Our mission is the education and promotion of equalized gender rights, fair and standardized laws and practices nationally in relation to Family and Domestic Relations Law. We believe no child should be without either parent, except in rare cases of abuse, and the laws need to reflect that belief. We believe matrimonial attorneys and the judicial system enforcing Family and Domestic Relations Law should be held accountable to providing a system that is fair, unbiased and benefits the family as a whole.
is hard to argue with yet the reality is that many of those who benefit from a an unjust judicial system work every day to thwart FCLU's goals.

I am amazed that I have not stumbled across them earlier as they appear to be a large active organization and I do not think I disagree with a single one of their key issues.

The Divorce Industry Requires Oversight and Reform
  • Divorce Is Just A Breakup. It Shouldn’t Cost Your Life Savings And Destroy Your Children’s Future.
  • Divorce Has No Place In Court. Divorcing Couples Are Not Criminals Yet Are Treated Like It Every Day.
  • Divorce Has Become A $100 Billion Dollar Business That Feeds Off Our Life Savings, College Funds And Children’s Mental Health And Future
  • President Of The United States Must Create A Special Commission To Conduct A National Review Of The Divorce Process
  • Protection Of Pre-Marital Assets Must Be Standard Rule in all States.  The Current Need For Pre-Nuptial Agreements Is One More System Created Trap Designed For Attorney Revenue.  Change The Laws And Assets Are Automatically Protected – For Men AND Women.  And Tens Of Thousands Of Legal Fee Dollars Stay In Your Children’s College Funds.
  • Financial Caps On Litigation Costs Must Be Established – Fixed Fee, Lump Sum Contracts Based On Percent Of Salary
  • Divorce Process Must Have Term Limit – 3-6 Months Maximum.  You can buy or sell a million dollar home in 30
  • days with complete protection due to regulations and reform.
  • Judges Must Be Barred From Court Appointing Vendors
  • Judges Must Not Act As Tax Payer Funded Collection Agents For Their Preferred, Court Appointed Vendors
  • Attorney Ethics Violation Review Boards Must Not Be Run By Attorneys
  • Attorney Ethics Certification Program Must Be Made Industry Standard – See CEMA™ Program
Child Custody Must Be Shared Physical Custody
  • Equal Legal & Physical Custody Must Become Standard Rule
  • Court Created Custody Disputes Fuel The $100 Billion Industry
  • It Is Not The Government’s Place To Subjectively Judge Our Private Family Affairs From The Opaque View Of The Stand
  • Primary Caregiver Concept Must Be Abolished – Does Not Reflect this Century.  Whether Working At Home Or The Office, It All Counts As Primary Caregiver Time.
Gender Neutrality Is Law And Must Be Upheld
  • Discrimination Is Illegal In All 50 States Except Family Court
  • Gender Bias Must be Eliminated
Pendente Lite Support IS Alimony
  • Clock Starts Day One Of Divorce Filing
  • PL Support Must Count Dollar For Dollar Towards Alimony
  • Lack Of Rules Encourages Divorce Delays And False Accusations
Alimony Must Reflect This Century
  • Women Are Well Educated And Capable – The Damaging System is Reversing
  • Alimony Must Be Based On Equal Rights
  • System Must Be Fair With Clear Guidelines On The Award Of Spousal Support

Monday, July 20, 2015

Corruption in Connecticut

Some good news. The DOJ has created a task force to investigate corruption in Connecticut.
[There were] nearly 100 parents with open family court cases who courageously testified before the legislature that they were victimized by predatory court professionals, many of whom were AFCC affiliates allegedly engaged in case rigging, healthcare scams, false billing scams, mortgage fraud, extortion, and other types of misconduct through the State’s publicly funded programs and services.
State Representative and Majority Whip Mimmie Gonzalez has posted more on her website.

We can only hope the task force brings real reform to the justice system in Connecticut and eventually other states as well.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Fraternity: Lawyers and Judges in Collusion by Justice John F. Molloy

The late Justice John F. Molloy had an illustrious career serving on the Arizona Superior Court bench as well as the Chief Justice to Court of Appeals for the State of Arizona.
“The once honorable profession of law now fully functions as a bottom-line business, driven by greed and the pursuit of power and wealth, even shaping the laws of the United States outside the elected Congress and state legislatures.”
-- Justice John F. Molloy
A few years before he died in 2008 he published The Fraternity: Lawyers and Judges in Collusion which exposed wide spread unethical actions and criminal corruption within the legal system.

There are ethical lawyers and judges but very few of them are willing to speak out on corruption within the legal system. John Molloy was one who did and will be forever be remembered as true advocate for justice.

The book can be purchased at Amazon (non affiliate link) - Be sure to read the comments.

Friday, July 17, 2015

New York Makes Some Progress on Alimony Reform.

The New York State Legislature has passed significant revisions to the state's alimony laws. The revisions are modest but at least they seem to be moving in the right direction.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates On Police Brutality

Fresh Air has an interview today with The Atlantic magazine's national corespondent Ta-Nehisi Coates on growing up black and in fear of the police. As with lawyers there are many fine police officers but the culture too often tends to protect the bad ones. Often with devastating results.

According to Coates, despite the media's recent attention to police violence against black men, he does not believe such incidents are on the rise; rather, he says, injustices have been occurring for years — and many of them can be traced to America's flawed judicial system.
As a non-minority (although as an Irish Catholic American from Minnesota I have about the same loathing for institutions such as the Klu Klux Klan and confederate symbols as most blacks), I'll admit that in the past I may not have had as much sympathy for allegations of discrimination and brutality by public officials as I now have after seeing just how dysfunctional and often criminal the justice system can be.

When you experience injustice yourself, it binds you in a deep way to others who have also experienced injustice.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Darryl Hamilton Murder

The recent murder of former Major League Baseball player and MLB Network analyst Darryl Hamilton by his wife Monica Jordan, who afterward killer herself, is an amazing and telling tale of the realities of our justice system. 

In 2008, Jordan, a lawyer, admitted to chasing her former husband around the home, trying to douse him with gasoline.  Their house was burned to the ground as a result. Jordan was sentenced to 10 years of probation after pleading guilty. Yet amazingly the fact that she committed arson and tried to burn her husband alive was not enough for the Texas Bar Association to revoke her license to practice law or sanction her in any way. 

The sad reality of our justice system is that lawyers such as Jordan and Nelly Wince can commit the moist heinous crimes and get away with them because lawyers are held to a different standard of justice than non-lawyers. Bar associations, judges and prosecutors are all lawyers and they tend more than any other profession to cover up crimes within their ranks. 

Sadly, the behavior of lawyers such as Nelly Wince is incredibly common and thus leads to far more pain and death than the more sensational cases such as Jordan's murder of Darryl Hamilton

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why Do Bar Associations Oppose Alimony Reform?

The National Coalition for Men has a article from 2013 on why Bar Associations generally oppose alimony reform.  The answer if of course money.
The Bar’s goal is simple: write family law to maximize judicial discretion in order to maximize litigation. The Bar wants to maximize litigation so that divorce lawyers can charge vast sums to pick the last remaining dollars off the bones of the formerly intact family.
Divorce lawyers bread and butter is litigation. A quick cheap settlement that makes both parties happy is not in their financial interest so they use whatever tactics they can, legal or not, to extend litigation and generate animosity between the parties. It really is that simple.

I have talked to divorce lawyers who have told me they disagree with the stance on alimony the Bar and divorce lawyer associations take but for all practical purposes they are required to be members of those associations. If they speak out too strongly in an attempt to reform their associations's positions, they risk their careers.

I also find it incredible that people who oppose alimony reform simply assume that people paying lifetime alimony were not an equal or primary parent during the marriage, did not have joint custody after the marriage and that the person receiving alimony cannot earn the same amount of income as the person paying. All three of these are not patently not true in my case as was determined by the custody evaluator, employment evaluation and decree.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Pleas for Prenuptial Agreements

Although published almost 10 years ago, Preventing Financial Suicide Through Prenuptial Agreements still rings true today. If you are considering getting married, my strong recommendation is to get a prenuptial. Yes, you are in love and think your partner is perfect but, believe me, people can and do change. It is incredible what evil people will commit to for money. The temptation is often just too great for those without a strong moral compass especially when encouraged by unscrupulous lawyers. 

Another way to look at a prenuptial is that having one makes it more likely your marriage will last as it reduces the incentive to divorce. So if you really want to be married forever then get the prenup! 
"Ours is a sick profession marked by incompetence, lack of training, misconduct and bad manners. Ineptness, bungling, malpractice, and bad ethics can be observed in court houses all over this country every day. (...these incompetents have) a seeming unawareness of the fundamental ethics of the profession. ... the harsh truth is that ... we may well be on our way to a society overrun by hordes of lawyers, hungry as locusts, and brigades of judges in numbers never before contemplated."
--Chief Justice of the United States, Warren Burger
Prenups for Lovers: A Romantic Guide to Prenuptial Agreements (Amazon link non-affiliate) by Arlene Dubin looks to be a nice overview of them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Man Forced to Work 80 Hours a Week to Pay Alimony

Many people such as myself are forced to work extra hours to pay alimony. If we worked extra hours during the marriage in order to make up for a spouse who was capable but refused to work or worked below his or her ability, then the court assumes that is our natural state and can, again like in my case, force us to work just as hard until we die. That is the reality of my situation. Others are in similar situations.