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:


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. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Setback in South Carolina

 Sadly, alimony reform looks like it has died this year in South Carolina

Despite progress made in other states on alimony reform in 2016, a group of family court lawyers managed to block reform in South Carolina. While some lawyers want to see fair divorce settlements, others say the system is not broken, presumably because they are lining their own pockets. They opposed bills that would establish clear alimony guidelines and make reasonable divorce mediations possible. These are the lawyers who encourage expensive, protracted lawsuits and clients who go for their ex-spouses’ jugular.

All the bills ask for is that permanent alimony no longer be treated as the preferred form of alimony, so the elderly can retire and the middle-aged can help send their children to college. Imagine being married to someone for less than 10 years, but paying your ex-spouse as much as a third of your income for the rest of your life.

Justice is often an agonizingly slow process.