Newnan Pratlaw's Posts On Hot Legal Topics

March 3, 2010

RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL CITIZEN || Bearing Arms without infringement

The Supreme Court’s review of Chicago’s law making it illegal to possess a handgun in the city limits, McDonald v. City of Chicago, is the “Hot” case in this term of the Supreme Court’s appellate review of lower decisions.  Many people don’t know that the 14th amendment guarantees that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  The 2nd amendment states that ” A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”    There is an argument afloat that the right of the people to keep and bear Arms without infringement is qualified by a State’s ability to regulate Militias and that a right of  “the people” is not a right to each person.  The NRA and others hope that the Supreme Court will not just overturn Chicago’s gun ban law but will in fact actually state that the 14th amendment secures the right to bear Arms without infringement to the individual.  In Mr. McDonald’s case , what I recall from listening to the brief interview of him by Nina Totenberg (PBS),  the right seems self evident:  as I recall hearing, he is an elderly man robbed by “utes” 3 times, the last time they just strong-armed him, ignoring his demands that they leave his home.  He thought Mr. Colt’s equalizer might make his words a little more heeded the  next time “utes” came to his home to “visit”.

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February 18, 2010

DO NOT MARK ON DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE||Make a copy and mark that up…

…when it comes to documents.
Over the past 23 years I have come to appreciate the fact that Judges as a whole do not like being given documents with highlighted passages or handwritten notes beside the part of the document you think is important.  Doing that is really close to a demand that the Court become a participant in the blind men and the elephant philosophical exercise about the scope of perception:  ||FABLE||  … and they do not like the ||SOCRATIC METHOD|| to the extreme of banality, i.e., rain is rain you cannot assert you do not understand it until someone explains it to you and you “feel” it.  What all this means in plain English is:  (a)  The Judge controls his or her court room and no one else has any right to control it.  So make a copy of any document you feel the urge to write on, so your lawyer can present the ‘clean’ one to the Judge and draw the Judge’s attention to the passage you have highlighted in your ‘dirty’ copy by asking the Court’s permission to draw its attention to that passage; (b) A testifier’s inability to grasp easy questions and evasive answers soon turns a Judge off [and a Jury Too].  Do not engage in ||TABULA RASA|| Socratic Responses [inane question answers to straightforward questions], and; always remember: Neither Judge nor Jury need to be hit over the head with information they can clearly see or hear.  They really can be trusted to figure it out.

..when it comes to documents.
Over the past 23 years I have come to appreciate the fact that Judges as a whole do not like being given documents with highlighted passages or handwritten notes beside the part of the document you think is important.  Doing that is really close to a demand that the Court become a participant in the blind men and the elephant philosophical exercise about the scope of perception:  <a href=”http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Blindmen_and_the_Elephant”>The Blind Men And The Elephant Fable</a> and they do not like the <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method”>Socratic Method</a> to the extreme of banality, i.e., rain is rain you cannot assert you do not understand it until someone explains it to you and you “feel” it.  What all this means in plain English is:  (a)  The Judge controls his or her court room and no one else has any right to control it.  So make a copy of any document you feel the urge to write on, so your lawyer can present the ‘clean’ one to the Judge and draw the Judge’s attention to the passage you have highlighted in your ‘dirty’ copy by asking the Court’s permission to draw its attention to that passage; (b) A testifier’s inability to grasp easy questions and evasive answers soon turns a Judge off [and a Jury Too].  Do not engage in <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabula_rasa”>Tabula Rasa</a> Socratic Responses [inane question answers to straightforward questions], and; always remember: Neither Judge nor Jury need to be hit over the head with information they can clearly see or hear.  They really can be trusted to figure it out.

February 17, 2010

Newnan Pratlaw Essay: The Tradegy of the Olympic Luger and Liability Questions

The tragic death at the 2010 Olympic Games highlights and illustrates two of the primary legal issues involved when a person is hurt or killed on the property of another.  They are the legal doctrines of: (1) Superior Knowledge of a Dangerous Instrumentality versus equal knowledge of it, and; (2) Assumption of Risk.  The young Luger’s story is discussed in this recent article discussing the two issues surrounding whether anyone other than the deceased is responsible for his death.  ||ARTICLE||

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February 15, 2010

FRAUD AND BANK FAILURE(S)

What Happened To That Trillion Dollars?

Fraud or Misrepresentation must be specifically plead to the requirements: (1) material representation that is not true; (2) reasonable reliance on that misrepresentation; (3) injury in the form of financial injury [damages] from the reasonable reliance.  Fraud can be shown by slight circumstances which taken as a whole show a scheme.  The Securities And Exchange Commission is using the Cause of Action against Madoff associates [LINK] and of course I post it here because the COA might possibly apply to a broad range of investment and business deals gone bad.

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January 26, 2010

THE CORRUPT WALLSTREET CULTURE?

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These are not my words but the words of a New York Judge that just blasted Wall Street during the sentencing phase of a corruption trial.  the New York Judge stated that the system was failed in every respect from a total lack of oversight to moral less companies and ignorant investors.  May be a sign of the times.  The strength of the United States used to be its financial markets.

December 21, 2009

REVOKING A WILL IS BOTH EASY AND TROUBLESOME

Filed under: NEWNAN WILLS and ESTATES — thebigpraetor @ 3:02 pm

Over the course of my two decades of practicing law I have had several cases involving revoked Wills. The most expensive Probate dispute I have been involved to date included a revoked Will, revoked because the copy of the Will the deceased kept had a multitude of written notes all over every page and then the deceased signed it in front of two witnesses after the deceased had been diagnosed with ~ you guessed it, dementia. Which Will was the true Will? Wills and Codicils are relatively inexpensive so have a professional redo yours today. For more about the subject of revoking a Will click to ARTICLE

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