blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: 4/19/09 - 4/26/09

4.24.2009

Post Trial Week Pick Me Up

A book-in photo only seems appropriate. Today's trial ended in a hung jury with a 4-2 split for Not Guilty. Oh, so close.

Crazy Personal Injury Law

An emailer sent me a link to a commentary in the Houston Chronicle that began like this:
A Brownsville jury had hardly begun its second day of deliberations after a six-week trial when its forewoman sent a note to the judge that virtually guaranteed there would not be a third day. The issue was whether a Ford Explorer caused a tragic rollover accident because of faulty design. But the note did not deal with the testimony of competing experts. In only nine words it asked an unambiguous question: “What is the maximum amount that can be awarded?”
If you think that's amazing, the story behind it is more shocking.

Mother's Day Gift Idea

Link.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Wow. Tim Curry, long time Tarrant County DA, died last night.
  • As one of his employees in 1991, I had to meet with him in his office to tell him I was running for DA of Wise and Jack Counties. I think he thought I was crazy.
  • He was a nice guy but was rarely seen in public. I totally understand that.
  • "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" was actually, "What happens here, stays here" in the original ad campaign. And that must have been one heck of an ad campaign.
  • Obama's public meeting with credit card companies was a little silly, all political, and a little bit of government bullying.
  • Windiest Spring ever?
  • I've begun asking jury panels what they think about the statement, "It is better for 10 guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be convicted." The answers are pretty interesting.
  • Someone yesterday on a panel said, "I may feel a little differently if that innocent man was me."
  • Limited interest: Anybody see the Lari Barager Fox 4 story about the little kid from Cleburne named Emma that "saved" her grandmother and is to be honored as a hero? The grandmother passed out while driving so Emma grabbed the wheel (only for the car to go off the road, through a fence, and through a work shop.) Emma's a cute girl, but I'm not sure what it was that she did that is worthy of so much attention.
  • Hot sports opinion: Mavericks next four games will be lose, win, lose, lose.
  • Back to the DWI trial.

4.23.2009

We Interrupt This Program

Ok, I've finally found something that interferes with my posts: Two DWI trials in one week. I'm in the middle of the second one. It's like being in a test tube all day. But the jury panel today had two Liberally Lean readers on it. Kind of uncomfortable. Neither one made it to the actual jury.

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • News + pop culture + a krillion TV channels + internet = A heck of a lot to keep up with in this world.
  • I have no trouble with the concept of talking to one's enemies. I sometimes feel like I do it more than I realize.
  • Charles Grodin was on Sean Hannity's show last night hawking some book. The man acted a little crazy.
  • I talked to someone yesterday who told me they once owned a brick made by "actual slaves" from Civil War days.
  • The hatred of Obama astounds me.
  • This Miss California/Perez Hilton broohaha might be the best thing that ever happened to her. If I'm that girl, I'd milk this controversy for as much as I possibly could.
  • And, by the way, she is smoking hot.
  • Saw a an elderly woman on College Street in Decatur this morning around 7:00 a.m. taking out her trash and smoking a cigarette.
  • I'm having a hard time paying $1.00 for the weekday edition of the Star-Telegram or Morning News. I'm not sure it's worth it.
  • Whatever happened to "The Christian Coalition?"
  • Does the question mark properly go inside the quotes in the above sentence?
  • Crazy Ranger note from last night: The pitcher that gave up the game winning hit in Toronto late last night was not even part of the team until noon yesterday. And at that time he was in sitting in Florida. He didn't get to Toronto until 9:45 p.m. and didn't get to the game until the 10th inning. (Second paragraph.)
  • Traffic nightmare this weekend: "State officials are taking the unusual step of closing all lanes of Interstate 35E in downtown Dallas for brief periods Saturday. The rolling closures will allow crews to put bridge beams in place [above the highway]. The closures will last up to 10 minutes at a time, and will take place between 6:30 a.m. and 1 p.m." Up to 10 minutes? Riiiiiiight.
  • I still think it's depressing that crawling in my bed to go to sleep is often the best time of my day.
  • As a test, I emptied my Spam email folder exactly one month ago. I checked it a second ago and there are 34,345 emails resting there. What are the chances of one having "Viagra" in the subject line?
  • I get this weird vibe from the Far Right Wing are beginning to secretly hope for another terrorist attack so they can blame Obama "for weakening our defenses."
  • It's 137 days until the start of Big 12 football season.
  • The radio in my shower (yep I have one) requires six Class C batteries. It's the only thing I've ever owned that has required Class C batteries.
  • There's nothing crazier than CPS court day at the courthouse. And there's always some mom in the hallway explaining how CPS is "out to get her" (which might be right.)
  • Up at the courthouse this morning for a second DWI trial in three days.

4.22.2009

Ah, Yes. The College Football Stadium

I remember back in the 1980s when some Aggie drew his sword on some SMU cheerleaders (stay serious here) when the girls tried to run onto the field after a game. The grass at Kyle Field, the Corp of Cadets said, was sacred ground. The Evil Empire reveres its field so much that they named it after a plaintiff's lawyer (and one who was involved in the craziest deposition ever). Baylor cares so much about its football field that they try not to touch the grass in the end zones. And at Texas Tech.............Oh, my.

Wednesday Afternoon Pick Me Up

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Sometimes I can't choose between two pictures.
  • How can jaywalking in downtown Fort Worth last weekend turn into assault on a police officer by a "top SEC attorney". Trust me, that case is going no where. It's nothing but a cluster.
  • My grass doesn't seem to be growing very fast.That's OK.
  • I've got a pesky ant problem in my house that is driving me crazy. Every now and then, a tiny little one will show up on the counter. I've nuked the place but I'll still see one from time to time.
  • Whatever happened to Alicia Silverstone?
  • Posey Parker is a cool name. Edit: Ok, my wheels were off.
  • I heard a theory yesterday that Susan Boyle (the homely British woman with the great voice) was all a set up. Tapes of her singing from as far back as 10 years ago have surfaced, and there is no question that the producers and directors of the show knew she could sing before they brought her on stage. So did they simply "frump up" an accomplished singer and then pretend to be shocked once she began to sing?
  • Last night felt like summer.
  • It seems like if there is a kidnapping or any other sort of high profile crime in the metroplex, there a closed circuit camera that captured a screen shot of the evildoer.
  • News just coming across the wire: "David Kellermann, the acting chief financial officer of mortgage giant Freddie Mac, was found dead at his home Wednesday morning in what police said was an apparent suicide."
  • The title to the TV show "M*A*S*H" was "Suicide Is Painless." Edit: You know what I meant.
  • One of my favorite blogs, which is run by D Magazine, has shut down comments because they "became increasingly intemperate, irrelevant, and illiterate." Uh, that's what makes them good.
  • Crazy sentence in a story about Dallas ISD graduation rates: "The report charts Dallas ISD's graduation rate rising from 38.1 percent in 1995 to 50.8 percent in 2005 – the seventh-highest gain of the big-city districts." Woah. It has risen to 50%?
  • Edit: Motorcycle death.

4.21.2009

Trial Notes From Today

  • Not an actual photo, but it's close.
  • The trial was a DWI case that I thought I had a huge chance of winning
  • It involved a one vehicle wreck which wasn't a good start.
  • The first three witnesses on the scene, who were also the first three people to testify, said the driver readily answered their questions, he didn't smell of alcohol, and they had no reason to tell the arriving trooper there was anything wrong or unusual with the driver.
  • They also testified the wreck occurred on a stretch of road that just had a new layer of "large gravel" placed down upon it.
  • That's a good start.
  • The case got sidetracked when the trooper testified about something he shouldn't have after being instructed not to. It was really a matter of semantics, and I don't think he meant to say what he did. But we had a little chaos for a moment.
  • The judge was forced to declare a mistrial and even though the prosecution could retry the case, I doubt they will.
  • I had a misspelling in my Power Point presentation during jury selection that one of the jurors pointed out by saying (while looking at the screen), "I don't know what that sentence means?"
  • I told her that being corrected on my spelling is a "daily occurrence in my life." The judge, a frequent blog reader, laughed out loud.
  • Your new assistant county attorney who was in charge of the case did a good job. (No, I'm not just sucking up.)
  • For the first time ever, I asked the panel what they thought about the statement, "It's better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man be convicted." Most agreed.
  • Trials wear me out.
  • I'm doing all this again on a different DWI case on Thursday.
  • Someone might challenge me, but I bet I have tried more DWI cases than anyone else in the history of Wise County.
  • And I still get extremely nervous.
  • I always wear a shade of yellow tie on the first day of trial.

Supreme Court Boring Blog

I always get excited when the Supreme Court decides a criminal law case that could actually effect affect cases that I'm currently handling. So my law pants went crazy today when I saw the headline of "Supreme Court Limits Searches Of Cars." (<-----Note the period inside the quote.) But my joy, as so often the case on my typical Saturday night, was short lived. The court ruled that the cops don't get to search a vehicle if the only reason for the search is the arrest of the driver. This is called the "search incident to an arrest" exception to that little nuisance known as the Fourth Amendment. But that exception doesn't apply to automobiles any more. Does it really matter? No. The cops can still search a car, more or less, if:
  1. They have probable cause to believe something illegal is in the car (i.e. "Boy, do I smell the Devil's lettuce?"),
  2. As part of an "inventory search" if an arrest occurs (Note to Wise County cops: You guys normally do it wrong),
  3. There is no arrest but the cops have a reason to "fear for their safety," or
  4. A consent from the driver.
Edit: Hey, look what the Big Brains at the Texas District And County Attorneys wrote about the decision. I think they copied me!!! So what's the lesson today, kids? Don't keep dope in your car.

If You Ain't First

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The "remains of the day" is a cool phrase that is never actually used.
  • There has to be a a great number of people that know beyond a doubt whether Bank of America and Citigroup will survive.
  • Seeing some of the Columbine survivors, now 10 years older and young adults, was pretty inspiring.
  • I had a friend call me on that day and tell me, "You have got to find a TV and watch this."
  • I think this is horrific: 21 fancy polo horses drop dead in Florida.
  • But there are few things more pretentious than polo.
  • I had completely forgotten that tennis legend Monica Seles was stabbed by a fan while playing a match. (She's hawking a new book on TV and radio.)
  • The Boston Marathon was yesterday and I have no idea who won. Let me guess: An Ethiopian?
  • I'm getting serious about driving across the South this summer. (Which is dumb because it'll be the South in the freakin' summer.) But I've actually begun to research this potential disaster.
  • Still one of my pet peeves: The media reporting someone was arrested "on suspicion of [insert crime]." If someone was only arrested on a "suspicion", and nothing more, that case won't be around very long.
  • There is no question in my mind that Sean Hannity spends hours determining what the Right Wing wants to hear and then says it. He's so predictable.
  • Hey, you guys want to see some more posts involving hot girls, religion, teacher sex scandals, sexual orientation and race?
  • Good grief. How much money can be spent on the for/against campaign for the proposed city owned hotel in Dallas?
  • USC Song Girls go swimming. All is right with the world.
  • The more I watch that guy fainting on the Glenn Beck show, the more I laugh. His last word before he goes down is, "Gone." Good times.
  • Good point I read: Fox News throws it's massive power behind promoting the Tea Parties and then calls them "grass roots" when they happen.
  • Ted Nugent wasn't the lead vocalist on "Stranglehold."
  • In the above sentence, is it correct to put the period inside the quotation mark?
  • The famous point which connects four states: Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico is in the wrong place by about two miles. I say "famous" although I've never even remotely thought about going there.
  • A Southlake volleyball coach is caught getting very frisky in a public park. Shouldn't the cops just knock on the door and tell them to move along?
  • My mom used to hang out the laundry on a clothesline. I just love that memory. Do people still do that?
  • It might be a little slow around here today. I'll be in a DWI trial beginning at 8:30 a.m. --- wish me luck (Riiiiiiiiight.) I may try and do some updates on the Twitter thingy.

4.20.2009

And Another

A faithful reader tells me I'm slipping in that there was a motorcycle wreck in Wise County this afternoon. (Although the Update makes reference to motorcycle "driver", we know it's technically motorcycle "rider".)

I'm No Music Historian . . .

. . . but I'm pretty sure one of these things does not belong here. Reunion was completed in 1980. (From Fox 4's web site.)

Monday Afternoon Pick Me Up

And once this girl hears that I, too, am a World Class Athlete (certainly she's heard the story of the "Bloody Sock Incident Of The 2009 Cowtown Half Marathon), I'm pretty sure I've got some summer wedding bells in my future.

Secret Footage Of Me Bustin' A Move As A Child

And I can still dance that well even to this day.

From Last Night

There are some reports that describe teh audience as "booing" after the answer. I don't think that's true. And that's a heck of question to ask a beauty contestant. I would rather she be asked why U.S. American's can't find the U.S., such as, on a map.

Economy Update

I've commissioned this artist's rendition of what Wise County Park will look like this summer if economic hard times cause people to stay close to home for vacation.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • In the Ranger's game yesterday, some player tipped a ball that dribbled about four inches in front of him. Ranger's play by play man Josh Lewin quickly said, "That's a peach, hon!" (A Caddyshack reference.)
  • I saw a campy movie on cable this week called "Rx." Not bad.(Kids go to Mexico to get drugs. Situation goes horribly wrong.)
  • Finally saw "Baby Mama" this weekend with Tina Fey. That was pretty funny.
  • Final movie thought: Everyone keeps telling me to see "Seven Pounds."
  • Oops, one more: I like it when people think they know me well enough to suggest movies to move. It also tells me a lot about them when they suggest something that there is no way I'd watch it.
  • Local blogger writes about lost love. Very well done.
  • As of last night: Miss USA 2009. Hey, now.
  • Saturation Point for Susan Boyle: Exceeded.
  • Did you see Hugo Chavez hand a book to Obama during a photo op? That would be a tense moment for anyone since the book could have been about anything.
  • I think the local news channels underestimate the entertainment value of segments like "Whatever Happened To." I love that stuff.
  • I refuse to watch anything involving Donald Trump.
  • I snuck down to the Main Street Arts Festival for a bit this weekend. It is almost too crowded to enjoy.
  • I saw one large funky painting that I liked so I looked for the price tag. Found it. $3,500. I walked away, dejected.
  • Over the past few days, DPS completely changed its criminal history reports that cops use in the field. Except they forgot to tell the cops about it.
  • Went through the self check-out line at the grocery store last night only to discover I left my wallet at home after I had scanned everything. Then I had to deal with a clerk who was like one of the characters out of "Idiocracy."

4.19.2009

Another Twist

Probably limited interest on this, but if you are old enough to be familiar with the Cullen Davis trials in Tarrant County, there has been yet another odd twist involving hit late ex-wife, Priscilla.

Random Coolness

Trust me, if you want to see the most amazing slow motion ever in high def quality on your computer screen, go here. (Thanks, Alice.)