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Friday Roundup

Dear Briefcase...  Although this blog is read primarily by lawyers -- particularly the subset of lawyers who have nothing better to do -- I've also tried to include helpful information for the criminal element who might stumble through here.  Don't wear sagging pants, I cautioned; there's a time and a place for everything, but it isn't the time or place for looking ultra-gangsta if doing so hinders your escape from a bank robbery or, even worse, causes you to plummet to your death after committing a triple homicide.  If you've committed a particularly heinous violent crime, invest in a pair of glasses:  jurors are much less likely to conclude that you're capable of such a thing if you look like a nerd.

Well, here's this week's tip:  just because you were overly impressed with the murder you committed to make your bones with your gang doesn't mean you should memorialize the event by getting the scene tattooed on your chest.  That's what Anthony Garcia did, according to this article.  After Garcia had been arrested on a traffic violation, police had photographed Garcia's tattoos, as they do with suspected gang members.  In doing a routine review those photos, a homicide detective came across Garcia's depiction of a 7-year-old killing, which was accurate down to the details:   "the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where 23-year-old John Juarez was gunned down, the direction his body fell, the bowed street lamp across the way and the street sign."  Garcia ultimately confessed, and was convicted.

I guess Garcia has a better understanding now of why people in medieval times preferred wall hangings to describe momentous events

There are frivol0us appeals, and then there are frivolous appeals.  In the latter category, we have Gallop v. Cheney, in which the 2nd Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Gallop's lawsuit, which alleged that Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and various other government officials conspired to falsely claim that American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.  The purpose?  To “generate a political atmosphere of acceptance in which [the government] could enact and implement radical changes in the policy and practice of constitutional government in [the United States]” and to conceal the revelation that $2.3 trillion in congressional appropriations “could not be accounted for” in a recent Department of Defense audit.

No indication of whether her lawyer appeared for oral argument wearing a tinfoil hat, but he'll have less money to buy one:  the court sua sponte ordered him to show cause within 30 days why he and his client should not have to pay sanctions of $15,000 for filing a frivolous appeal.

As the guy said, in these times it's difficult not to write satire.  With a hat-tip to Overlawyered comes this story from the Scranton Times-Tribune, informing us that the city's police union has filed an unfailr labor practice complaint because the police chief made an off-duty drug arrest. 

The complaint, which was filed with the state Labor Relations Board on April 14, takes issue with the chief arresting a man who was allegedly in possession of marijuana because the chief is not a member of the collective bargaining unit and was "off duty" when the March 20 arrest was made.

The complaint states that "the work of apprehending and arresting individuals has been the sole and exclusive province of members of the bargaining unit," and that the city did not inform or negotiate with the union that the chief would be "performing bargaining unit work."

Yet another reason not to do divorce work.  Because you can wind up in depositions like this one.

Wonder how she's going to rule on suppression motions from here on out.  From the ABA Journal:

Sent to the wrong address on Easter Sunday concerning a reported burglary in progress, officers from the Broward County sheriff's department held a Florida judge briefly at gunpoint, along with her sister and other family members, after mistaking the relatives for burglars as they cleared up after their holiday meal.

Broward Circuit Court Judge Ilona Holmes also was legally armed and drew her firearm while still inside her sister's home, thinking that a responding officer rapping on the kitchen window with a gun was the burglar her sister's neighbors had just phoned to warn them about, according to Fox News and NBC Miami.

Although the judge's sister says she and Holmes identified themselves while still inside, the family was ordered outside as officers pointed their weapons at them. The judge was then surrounded by armed officers shouting at her to put down her weapon, which she had warned them she was carrying, as they held her at gunpoint, according to her sister, Carmita Scarlett.

Your assignment for the weekend is to discuss the significance of the following paragraph in the story:

When a senior officer recognized the judge, however, he told the others to lower their guns.  Holmes is one of a very small number of black judges in the county, NBC Miami noted.

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