It's the end of the world as we know it...

Politics, philosophy, the law, current events, left leaning debates, religion, baseball, football, pop culture, growing up Greek, random events in my life...whatever hits my mind at the time.


Via Brewed Fresh Daily, JibJab is back with The Drugs I Need.
Schiavo dies. Whether she died today, or she died 15 years ago, whether she would have wanted a "life" like she has "lived" for the past 15 years or not, all that is irrelevant not. Thoughts should be with her family and husband, who just today have accepted that their daughter and wife is dead. As well as the other ten thousand or however many people die every day.

Now, as my friend put it, "Perhaps now the percentage of grotesque political grandstanding and hypocrisy on TV will decrease and we'll get back to more truly important stuff like whether or not a batsh*t insane washed up pop-star diddled some children."


You can read about the ADEA disparate impact case here, for the few who are interested. I was gonna get into it, and then I realized, "OK, I'm the only person who really gives a damn." So I won't. Nevertheless, the decision completely revamped my day. What I was gonna work on (pretending to be busy in the am, leave around lunchtime) got changed. Unfortunately. It was SO nice out today, and I had to work. On a NONBILLABLE project. :( Warmth and sun and I was trapped inside. Sigh. And Saturday, when I'll be outside almost the entire day, it's gonna be cold and snowy. Gotta love Cleveland weather in April...(I admit, I mind the cold much less when it's intersperced with 70 degree days. Go ahead. Snow all you want. I know you ain't gonna stick around. Yup, this is the time of year when spring is having it's way with winter. "You have failed, winter. I am spring, like the season four before me." (Ok, so that didn't quite work, AND I managed to highlight what I dork I am. Oh, well, Star Wars comes out 7 weeks from tomorrow, what do I care?))

A few current events:
Terri Schiavo. I have largely stayed out of this debate. Not that I don't have my opinions (who, me?) I do. But the debate is overdone; I'm simply oversaturated. But the Eleventh Circuit's opinion today illustrates why I support judges appointed for life: they don't need to worry about public support in deciding cases. "While the members of her family and the members of Congress have acted in a way that is both fervent and sincere, the time has come for dispassionate discharge of duty." The judge then smacked down the politicians who made Terri their "causes," saying that the White House and lawmakers "have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people - our Constitution." Keep in mind that the Eleventh Circuit is largely considered a conservative one. And the fact that she is still "alive" astounds me. 13 days without food or water...

Michael Jackson. I seriously cannot put up with several more months of this. Hey, media. I.Do.Not.Care.

The Pope. He's now getting nutrition through a tube in his nose. Will someone who knows about the Catholic laws explain why he doesn't retire or whatever. Can they do that, or are popes the "Pope" until they die? Also, can anyone tell me whether the story of Pope Joan is true or not?

Cleveland commentary.
Hey! Those in the Cleveland area, don't forget about the East v. West Forum tomorrow (the speakers tomorrow are Steve Gleydura, Cleveland Magazine editor; Harvey Pekar, author of American Spendor; Helen Knip-Smith, former counselwoman for Cleveland Wards 8 and 14; and Pastor David Hunter, Bright Star Missionary Baptist Church.
and then Saturday is the scavenger hunt. I've personally written a few clues...You can get details here.

Some television commentary:
Lost. I swear, if Hot Brother dies, I will be CRUSHED. Simply crushed. I adore him. The problem is, in all the storylines, he's one of the most expendable. I beg of you, PLEASE kill Jack. Just don't kill Hot Brother.

Alias. The entire buried alive thing petrifies me. Truly, it does. I shall have nightmares tonight.

The Amazing Race. I've been discussing with people today whether Romber should have stopped or at least slowed down to see if the brothers were ok. The one side argues that it's a race. I think that it shows that some things are more important than a game. This was one of them. For those who watch the show, any opinions.

Finally, in my refusal to watch The Apprentice (unless, of course, Peter is on it), I evidently missed a classic line: "As a former beauty queen, I know what a crown is but I don't know what crown molding is." That is going to be my future line, and it comes highly recommended to all. Can you imagine our conversation??

Me: "As a former beauty queen, I will blog more tomorrow."
You: "Ok, as a former beauty queen, I'll look forward to it."

So as a former beauty queen, I'm out for tonight...
(Former beauty queen's favorite painting "honored" by Google)

Smith et al. v. City of Mississippi

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled (5-3 - arguments were in November when Rehnquist was undergoing cancer treatment) that workers over the age of 40 may bring age discrimination lawsuits against their employer, regardless of whether their employer engaged in deliberate bias. The Court, in Smith et al. v. City of Mississippi, 544 U.S. ___ (03/30/2005), held that employees can bring an age discrimination claim under the ADEA for workplace polices that appear neutral, but actually disproportionately hurt older workers.

You can read the SCOTUS decision here. (PDF form)
You can read the oral argument transcripts here. (PDF form)

I'm gonna weigh in on this soon, when I have more time. I'll be back...


You want to know why the Ten Commandments is bad in a courthouse? Because it would give weight to decisions made for reasons like this:

Death penalty tossed over bible verses
The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday threw out the death penalty in a rape-and-murder case because jurors had studied Bible verses such as "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" during deliberations.

* * *
The Supreme Court said that "at least one juror in this case could have been influenced by these authoritative passages to vote for the death penalty when he or she may otherwise have voted for a life sentence."
* * *

[T]he jurors had gone outside the law. "They went to the Bible to find out God's position on capital punishment," she said. Prosecutors had argued that jurors should be allowed to refer to the Bible or other religious texts during deliberations.

You know the part that scares me. I mean, other than the fact that Colorado, while red, isn't one of the MOST conservative places and if that's what they do there, what exactly are they doing in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, etc? They just ignore the entire New Testament. Where Jesus talked about turning the other cheek. Where he spoke AGAINST most of the commandments in the Old Testament. I mean, if you are going to be all religious, at least don't rely on what your guy argued against. (Except if they were Jewish, in which case I am ok with that).
A few people, most recently Jason B, have asked about the Flats (for those who don't know, The Flats is a winding, half-mile stretch of riverfront on the Cuyahoga River with bars and restaurants in buildings that were once factories and warehouses and have closed and been abandoned). One out of town friend even commented that they were "no more." And certainly, from their heyday (i.e. when I was in high school) that is true. (Fun memory: they used to have college ID bars and night and I happened to have a college ID - legally - from age 16 b/c I took college classes while in high school. I had no problem getting into bars then. But I digress.)

The decline of the Flats isn't an illusion to out of towners (although my favorite bar - Howl At The Moon - is still there). The reasons are many.

First, there were three drowning deaths in about a year (drunks fall into the river; I believe at least one was underage) which can tarnish an image of an area as a "party location." (Come here and die!) Second (and perhaps related), there was a lot of underage drinking, which meant that the early to mid twenty set, let alone the thirty set crowd, had no desire to drink with a bunch of teenagers. (Pointed glare at groups of teenagers who, five or ten years ago, was me.) It also meant that bars would be closed for period of time somewhat regularly after they had been caught admitting or selling to underage people. Then the restaurants began to close, so no more going out to dinner and then drinking at a bar next door.

But I personally think that the biggest reason the Flats are in decline is The Warehouse District (mostly West 6th), which has become yuppie haven. Now, all the twenty-something and thirty-somethings that used to see and be seen in The Flats have to see and be seen in The Warehouse District. It has become Cleveland's new meat market (more so because it's a "young professional" meat market. Everyone still goes out Friday after work; they just go to the Warehouse District now. The sad part of it is that you can't party on the river anymore, which was always great in the summer. Though you can party on the rooftop in the summer.

The "flavor" of the flats isn't replicated in the Warehouse District. In my opinion (not a huge Warehouse District fan) there are three types of bars in the Warehouse District: pretentious, more pretentious, and most pretentious. (And perhaps it shocks you that someone as elitist as myself doesn't like these types of places, but they aren't pretentious in an intellectual way but in a "my job is X and I make Y amount of money" kind of way.) The bars are all interchangeable, with names like Blind Pig and Fusion and Liquid and Mercury Lounge and Spy Bar an Velvet Dog. In my opinion, they don't have their own "flavor;" it's all the same flavor. Which is ok b/c it's popular and it sells, but it's not quite the same as when each bar in The Flats all had their own flavor.

Has anyone else been having Blogger comments trouble? Constantly timing out? Grr...


My short sleeve shirts are mad at me. I know what you are thinking, "Stephanie, shirts are inanimate objects -- they can't be *mad* at you, they can only be pissed off at you." But really, they are. I can tell. And so they should. I have ignored them for months. Maybe 6 months? They are feeling hurt and neglected. They can't understand what they did wrong. And I try to tell them, "it's not you, it's me" but it just sounds so hollow. Who ever *really* means that?? "The weather" is just an excuse. The relationship is different now. Strained. I just don't have the same affection for them right now. There are something else on my mind now - long sleeved shirts.

But here's my problem. I have a 4 BR house. Which means that I have 4 closets. Great, right? Except ALL FOUR CLOSETS have clothes in them. They *technically* aren't all "full" but they are definitely being used. Though in my defense, I almost never go into one of the closets, and the second one is more my winter non-work clothes. My sweatshirts. My turtlenecks (which I think I last wore when I went skiing a few years ago.) And I have one closet just full of t-shirts alone. ("My name is ***, and I have a problem.")

So I figured that I'd do a little spring cleaning. So I went through yesterday to see if I should toss anything. But I have attachment issues. This attempt just reminded of clothes that I haven't worn in years but have memories associated with, and I feel guilty for abandoning.

Then I went to look at my shoes. I have 46 pair of shoes. I can go through the rundown, but the fact is that I have 7 pair of Converse in varying colors (and no orange; my latest quest). But my biggest problem is clearly black shows. I have 15 pair of black shoes, plus one pair of black and grey shoes, plus one pair of black and white Mary Janes. But today, I couldn't find any black shoes that I wanted to wear. Not to "springy." Not a high heal. Not a flat. Not to formal; I was wearing black pants and a sweater. Obviously, I need to go shopping.

And for an unrelated query, does anyone else keep whipped cream at their house just for occasions when you need something sweet? I think perhaps I need help. I prefer the taste of Cool Whip, but I prefer the "whoorsh" sound as you eat Readi Whip.


DeLay...Do as I say, not as I do.

The LA Times reported that DeLay took his own father off life support in 1988, allowing him to die. Oh, the hypocrisy! His father was being kept alive by intravenous tubes and a ventilator, and his family was told that he would essentially be a vegetable the rest of his life.

"The Times noted similarities between the DeLay and Schiavo cases: “Both stricken patients were severely brain damaged. Both were incapable of surviving without continuing medical assistance. Both were said to have expressed a desire to be spared life sustained by machine. And neither left a living will."

Oh, and where have all the Republican legislature support gone? "Republican responses, including those of President Bush and Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, have become muted in the face of the legal setbacks and of polls that show overwhelming disapproval of congressional intervention as well as a perception among the public that lawmakers attempting it were motivated by politics. A CBS News poll released Thursday found that 82 percent of respondents believed that the president and Congress should stay out of the case, while 13 percent thought they should intervene." From here.

In other words, conservatives assumed that the public would support the federal government's involvement to save this one woman's life. When they saw the public is against them, they separated themselves completely from a sinking boat. But this wasn't a political stance. They haven't turned this sad and unfortunately situation into a political circus for their personal agenda. Shame on all the politicians for turning a personal tragedy into a public affair. And shame on the media for playing along.


Let Me Show You The World Through My Eyes

Several people have been making lists of things that they love about Cleveland. You can see a few of their lists here and here and here and here. (Ok, that last one's not exactly PC...or a true list, but it cracked me up). So I thought I'd make my own list of things I love about Cleveland. In no particular order:

Cleveland Metroparks. What do you mean, all cities don't have the wonderful greenery spanning acres and miles for recreation? Sucks to be them. Oh, and while I'm at it, Buzzard Sunday (about 5 minutes from where I grew up) just doesn't get the attention of Groundhog's Day. It's all in the publicity.

Memphis Kiddie Park. I went there as a child and thought that it was the bomb. As an adult, my respoinse is, "no, seriously, is that safe?" Picture the security of a traveling carnival...except it's permanent.

Little Italy (about 10 minutes from where I *currently* live. If you've never been, I'm not sure what you've are missing more - the fantastic food, or the fantastic Murray Hill Art Walk. Oh, or the Feast of the Assumption. OK, you're just missing.

The West Side Market. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Each stand is independently owned. Some of the best feta around. My cats prefer the smokies. What do they have? "Fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meats and poultry, smoked items, deli items, dairy items, baked goods, spices and sauces, herbs and other cooking ingredients, floral items, ethnic specialty items, other hard to find specialty items, imported foods, ready to eat foods like burgers, hot dogs, sausage sandwhiches, middle eastern foods, Irish foods, Mexican foods, Greek foods, and many many more." Mmm...I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Tomorrow is Saturday - yay!

The Indians (and Tom Hamilton ("Waaaaaayyy back...") and Rick Manning. Though a big part of me misses Herb Score ("Is is fair? Is it foul? It is!")) and Jacobs Field
The Browns (and Jim Donovan) and Cleveland Browns Stadium
The Cavs (and Joe Tait) and Gund Arena
(And mostly how Cleveland fans live and die with them each season, so cutely naive with "this is our year" at first and then it quickly becomes "next year.") (Wait, are the Force and the Barons still here in town? I guess I also like how the city just pretends that hockey and soccer don't exist.) A few of the more heartbreaking losses. Causing ESPN to name it the most tortured city in sports. Yes, Cleveland is #1. Oh, we in Cleveland know and recognize this. We all do. And yet, that adorable naivity makes us say, "This is our year" at the start of every season.

How about the fact that we have all FOUR seasons and it's fucking beautiful (ok, winter is about 3 months too long, but it's beautiful at first). You have no idea what fall is like until you've seen it here. Yes, there are times I want winter to hurry up and leave, and 100 inches of snow this winter really wore on my, but until you've gotten to experience a spring and fall here, you can't realize how nice it truly is.

Mill Creek Falls. Simply stunning. And that is a *new* find for me. After all these years, I can still learn new things about my old stomping ground.

Playhouse Square. The second largest performing arts center in the country. And while I'm at it, Cleveland Public Theatre.

Connie Schultz. Brilliant and articulate, thoughtful. Mondays and Thursdays, and don't you forget it.

The great hospitals that we have in the area. Cleveland Clinic (one of the top 4 hopspitals in the country according to US News and World Report), Rainbow Babies and the rest of University Hospitals.

Lake Erie. (Which I totally can see from my office, along with Cleveland Browns Stadium.)

Legacy Village (also about ten minutes from me).

Pier W. Fantastic view. Open back up soon!!

Brian Fowler and Joe Cronauer on 106.5 (I have been listening to these guys since junior high or high school. That makes me feel SO freaking old!) And I've got to include Billy Kraus with them too.

Dick Feagler. I love crusty nostalgia. Even if that nostalgia is for things before I was born. Between Connie Schultz on Mondays and THursdays, and Dick Feagler on Sunday and Wednesdays, The Plain Dealer daily is more than worth it.

The cost of living. Seriously, when I make at least 75% of what at attorney at a large firm makes in NYC at my small firm, and my mortgage on my 2700 sqare foot house is much less than the rent for a studio in NYC or a 1 BR in Boston or Chicago, one word comes to mind - suckers.

Driving. "Bad" congestion and traffic means that my 25 minute commute takes 35 minutes. But it rarely takes longer than 30 minutes door to door.

Lake View Cemetary. 285 acres. Built is 1870. President Garfield's monument. Wade Chappel. The dam. Elliot Ness monument. (And speaking of Elliot Ness ) Rockefeller's monument. Haserot Monument. I like cemetaries, yes, but this is one of the best.

The Goodtime III. OK, it was the Goodtime II when I was in school and went on a field trip.

Gray's Armory. WAY too underused in this town. And if you are into architecture, it's just fantastic.

Fantastic...and the picture doesn't even do it justice.

The Agora. That really is enough said. What great venues.

League Park.
The site of the 1st (and only) unassisted triple play in the World Series. I love it b/c it's so random. You are in the middle of residential homes, and all of a sudden, you see the remains of the ticket booth (sadly, the right field grandstand was recently removed). For the baseball fans, want some trivia? Cy Young pitched the first game in League Park on May 1, 1891. DiMaggio set a record by hitting safely in his 56th consecutive game in League Park on July 16, 1941.

The Cultural Gardens. Greek, Scottish, and English. Yup, I'm fully represented. About to get really beautiful there.

The Free Stamp. Just because it makes people from other cities go, "what the hell...What is wrong with you people?" Right there at East 9th and Lakeside and its
28 foot by 48 foot.

Malley's Chocolate Factory. That coming from someone who doesn't even like chocolate. What do you mean, Hershey's sells more? Really? I wonder what has better sales around Easter? At least around here. Oh, but I really do prefer Sweeties, where I can get my candy cigarettes and any old school candy that I'm nostalgic for.

The lighted bridges. This blue one is still my favorite.

I'm sure there are a lot more that are escaping my mind, and I apologize. But there's a few of my favorite things in Cleveland.
Remember me railing about back-assed Ohioans voting for Issue 1 (the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Ohio)?

Turns out that these conservative Bible-belt fuckers really screwed up. A judge (the second one) ruled yesterday that Issue 1 prevents Ohio's
domestic violence law from being applied when the victim and offender are not married. So for those women getting the shit kicked out of them, if they aren't married, sorry...we had to protect us from gay marriage, and you lose. No domestic violence protection for you. But don't worry - you are safe from homosexuals. Don't you feel better about it already??

Cleveland Municipal Judge Lauren Moore ruled that the amendment’s prohibition on creating any legal relationships that “approximate marriage”
makes the portion of the domestic violence law that applies to persons “living as spouses” unconstitutional.

And know what? A few people warned that it was overly broad, but did those dumbfucks care? Nope.

From here and here.

(ETA: What the fuck is up with this font, and why can't I fix it?) :(


From Northern Sun, which just came out with it's new spring/summer catalog (I am in heaven):

I absolutely love this. Of course, it helps that I have this print in my family room, and this magnet on my fridge. The Scream is one of my all-time favorite prints ever.

They also have a fantastic one about Jon Stewart for President in 2008. :)
On Tuesday afternoon, I was called and asked if I had a few hours to do a quick research assigment. Unfortunately, I had the time. It is Thursday. I've billed 15 hours already, and I don't have an answer. Or even close to one. I do, however, have a headache that not even my sweet Excedrin can cure, and a sense of desperation that is permeating me, along with a total sense of failure...I think it works on me.

The worst part isn't that I'm wasting my time (which I am) or the client's money (which I am), it's completely the sense of failure. I am a typical Type A personality. I may not always seem like it, but I've a complete Type A. Ironically, among my friends, I'm in the minority.

Time-impatience . Perhaps this is a function of keeping track of your life in 6 minute incriments, but I can't stand waiting at the store or restaurant. I multitask, but this means that I haven't watched a tv show (without also reading a book, doing work, being on the computer, talking on the telephone) probably since college. And that was only because my housemates were sitting around, so I did. When I'm at work on a conference call, I'll also be writing thoughts down for another case, even as I'm taking notes on the conference call. I can't even drive without doing SOMETHING else (usually talking). Otherwise, I'm just wasting my time. Oh, and stupidity in others drives me absolutely up the wall. It's everywhere, and I think it was created solely to destroy me.

Plus, people *depend* on you. And you disappoint them. That's a tought pill to swallow. I think the first time I realized I disappointed someone was when I forgot to take my ball to soccer practice when I was seven, and I had to share with someone. It's a bit more serious now. And a different feeling. They can give you the "I'm disappointed in you" look, but it doesn't matter, you've already been singing your theme song ("Miserable failure of an adult !") for some time anyway. :(

Not a good day.


Fun facts:

Number of Clinton's judicial nominees that the Republican Senate blocked: 64

Number of Bush's judicial nominees that the Democrats have blocked: 10. (of the ten that were denied, 7 are coming straight back and 2 will be "reviewed.")

Conclusion: Republicans are whining little hypocrites.

Need more evidence?

There are currently 43 judicial vacancies. This compares to the Republicans, who by September 1997 had forced 103 vacancies. (The most at least since Carter - I got bored going back farther.) The reason? The Republican controlled Judiciary Committee refused to hold hearings on most Clinton nominees. In 1997, the percent of judicial nominees confirmed was lower than for any Congress over the last three decades.

From 1979-1995 the average number of annual comfirmations was 53. The average number of days from judicial nomination to confirmation was 78 days. In two years, 1996-1997, the Republican Congress only confirmed 56 judges total for the two year period, and the average time was 192 days. Perhaps feeling they were being too hasty, in 1998, the average time was swelled to 258 days to make a final decision on Circuit Court nominees.

Now let's compare the Republicans 56 total nominees confirmed for the two-year period can to the less than one year period of July 2001 (beginning when Democrats took control of the Senate) to April 2002, when the Democratic Senate confirmed 45 Bush nominees. More judicial nominees were confirmed by the Democratic Senate in 2001-2002 than were confirmed under Republican control in all of 1996, 1997, 1999, or 2000.

During Clinton’s term, Republican Senators blocked 35% of President Clinton’s nominees to the federal appellate courts for policy reasons. Republicans threatened to stop all confirmations or eliminate judicial seats to prevent Clinton from selecting his own judges, insisting that they were entitled to choose half of the judges.

And you know how the Republicans complain that the Democrats refusal to let the ten most unqualified and conservative freaks that Bush can find onto the federal bench is unprecedented? They obviously have short term memories.

In 1997, Republican Senator Orinn Hatch, Committee Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, stated that the delay on considering Clinton's nominees was because he "plan[ned] to stand firm . . . to ensure that President Clinton does not pack the judiciary with liberal activists. " Flat out, there were no allegations that the nominees were unqualified for the federal bench, apart from their liberal policies.

Oh, how their tune changes...


Current judicial vacancies illustrated here.
Independent Judiciary, Federal Courts at Risk, available here.

Editorial, Stop Playing Politics and Fill Judgeships, Buffalo News, Aug. 15, 1997, available at 1997 WL 6455051.

Alliance for Justice, Judicial Selection Project Annual report 1996, available here.

Thomas Fleming, Weekly Report, The Sun Reporter, Jan. 15, 1998, available at 1998 WL 11508057.

Editorial, Stop Playing Politics and Fill Judgeships, Buffalo News, Aug. 15, 1997, available at 1997 WL 6455051.

Alliance for Justice, 1997 Report on the Judiciary, available here.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, News, Releases, and Statements: Judicial Vacancies, January 28, 1998, available here.

Constance Sommer, Circuit by Circuit: National Corporate news By Region, 6th Circuit Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Sept. 2000, available at 9/00 Corp. Legal Times 88, (col. 1).

Naftali Bendavid, Bush Boldly Pushes First Batch for Bench, Chicago Tribune, May 10, 2001, available at 2001 WL 4071546.

Alliance for Justice, Judicial Selection Project Annual report 1996, available here. Twenty were appointed in all of 1996, many cited to the 17 number, as 3 were holdovers from 1995 and confirmed on January 3, 1996. Thus, only 17 were from the Second Session of the 104th Congress.

Independent Judiciary, Federal Courts at Risk, available here.
Not a good year to be a Cleveland coach. I really don't care too much about Silas; I didn't hate him the same way that I hated Davis. But I understand: he's not getting it done. The Cavs have lost 9 of their last 12 games, which is an accomplishment of Cleveland Browns proportions. And like Butch, who had his favorites, so did Silas. The big talk around here is how he played Snow for 40 minutes over starter McInnis, and Snow failed to score a single point. Like how McInnis failed to play a single minute...It's a ballsy move though. If the season were to end today, the Cavs are in the playoffs. If the interim coach doesn't make the playoffs, you think there won't be a lot of second guessing? Oh, and I wouldn't want to be GM Paxton right now...New owner, "cleaning house." There's not a ringing endorsement of job stability.

I took fencing lessons when I lived in Pennsylvania. I suspect that it was something that I could have been decent at, had I continued, because a lot of the positioning was similar to karate. Except without all the balancing one-legged things that I wasn't particular good at with karate, But that's neither here nor there. Today, as I was driving into work, I saw someone walking down the highway (like you do when your car runs out of gas and you have no other choice) with a foil (the weapon). Randomly. Not using it. Not anything. Just walking along with it, for protection. And I was thinking: is it really that dangerous to walk along 90 during rush hour?? It seems like you'd be more likely to be hit by someone applying their makeup or talking on the cell as they go to work, and then, really, how much use is the foil going to be?

Oh, for the person who asked why the Roman calendar (which I believe is a solar calendar based upon the Earth's rotation around the sun) was wrong: you celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the Full Moon following the Spring Equinox (unless that Full Moon fell on a Sunday, in which case Easter is the following Sunday). Thus, for you all, Easter can never occur before March 22 or later than April 25.

Because I'm Greek Orthodox, we use the older Julian Calendar. (Indeed all eastern (Orthodox) Christian churches use this calendar, and all you really need to know about this is that the Hebrew calendar is primarily a lunar calendar and they make necessary changes where are pretty complex.) All this means in terms of my Easter is that Easter cannot come until AFTER those of the Jewish faith celebrate Passover. Which makes more sense, b/c Jesus was Jewish and "the last supper" was the Seder meal at the Jewish festival of Passover. So to celebrate Easter before Passover makes no sense to me.

And an a moment of bitterness. Your lent starts on Ash Wednesday, 46 days before your Easter. You don't count Sundays in your 40 days of Lent. My Lent starts on Clean Monday, 55 days before my Easter. We don't count Saturday or Sundays. End result - our Lent is longer. And we don't get cool ash on our foreheads. And everyone knows what Ash Wedneday is - poor Clean Monday gets no publicity. It's all PR...


For those who celebrate Easter and aren't Greek Orthodox, I have a Palm Sunday story for you...

Woman Leaves Healing Service Without Walker
Thousands Show Up To Seek Cure From Faith Healer
WESTLAKE, Ohio -- They came by the thousands to see Dr. Issam Nemeh, a 50-year-old Bay Village medical doctor who many say heals through prayer, not conventional medicine.

It was another marathon healing service for the doctor at St. Bernadette's Church in Westlake Saturday night into Sunday morning. More than 4,000 people gathered from 9 p.m. until 8:30 a.m.

Police said parking lots were full and congested as the hopeful arrived attended the service.

That's why 72-year-old Margaret Sobocinski came hours early. She was number 5,085 last weekend at St. Peter and Paul Church in Garfield Heights. And she was determined to be seen Saturday night. She wanted to be able to walk without her walker.

Nemeh prayed over her a the service.

"He started praying over me and I felt like I was going to pass out. I felt myself getting weak. He touched my spine in the problem areas, and he asked if I'm feeling better and I said yes," Sobocinski said.

And she walked out of the service without her walker.

Since NewsChannel5's Ted Henry's story about what goes on at these so-called faith healings aired, thousands have flocked to see Nemeh.

What goes on here, to some, appears to defy explanation. For others, it's nothing more than just a feeling of hope.

While the church does not authenticate what happens at these healings, there is a feeling that medicine can be helped by prayer.

The next service is scheduled for April 3 at St. Ignatius High School. However, there are talks of moving the service to the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University. It can hold up to 18,000 people.

From here.

This guy has been doing this for years without any media fanfare. The media finally picks up on it, and this guy's life hasn't been the same. Around this time of year (for Catholics who follow the wrong calendar, heh) it seems particularly appropriate.


So when they have those STD commercials, do the indivuduals in them really have genital herpes, or are they just actors? And if they do have them, why are they so open about it. That would seem to decrease any chances in the future. A figurative scarlet A. But I guess what do I know?

I have in my hand right now (well, I set them down as I type) my REM tickets for Rome. They are in Italian other than "REM On Tour." I am beyond excited. I seriously can't believe in 2 1/2 months I will be in Italy. Or get to see REM.

I'm obviously not doing too well in the NCAA bracket work thing, since I picked Syracuse to be in the final 2 with the one poll. (Ok, it was a total emotional pick anyway, but still...) In the other one that I filled out they were final 4 (still going with emotional) ;) The third that I didn't fill out wasn't emotional obviously, since I didn't do it, but still. That is why I can't make these decisions - I base them on what cities I like best or what schools I like best, not on what makes the most sense. Oh, well. Who wants to be sensical?

The CNN poll right now asks "Would you want your relatives to remove the feeding tube if you were in a persistent vegetative state?" I am with the 88% (88%!!) who says yes. I still haven't gone through the Schiavo issue yet. But it's a really sad story.


So I considered everyone's recommendations concerning my social life, and this is what I did. I didn't make a decision. It was too much stress, even with all that guidance!!

I reluctantly signed up for soccer on Wednesdays over kickball (I played soccer from age 7 through age 16, then from college through law school; I was hoping I could find a soccer league that was another night, but no such luck.) :( Then, I signed up for softball on Thursdays or Sundays, and touch football (as opposed to flag football, which doesn't work with dinner) on Saturday mornings starting April 2.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure that softball and soccer will work out (through no fault of my own; because they don't have enough to field multiple teams, which would truly depress me. If the soccer league falls through, there is another league where I can join as a solo player. So that may still work out. If softball falls through, well, that would give me time to take Italian starting April 7 (not a bad thing to take before going back to Rome, no? Of course, I could also get a course on tape and make use of my commute each morning - but that is way too hard for me to get that organized.)

Why I felt the need to join everything, as opposed to just a few? I couldn't make up my mind. There were too many options! choosing was more stress than it was worth. Signing up for everything was less stressful. That was my theory this past weekend when I ran out of clean pant to wear to work too. I briefly contemplated wearing skirts to work this week, but disregarded it beacuse it's freezing out and I'm still refusing to wear a coat. The solution? I bought 4 pairs of new pants to get me through this week. Hmm...Somehow, I suspect that my decisions aren't always the "best" ones...

Oh, as for the NCAA tournament, I filled out three forms. Once was directly what someone emailed me. One was Syracuse winning it all (why not?) ;) And one was me just picking the cities I'd like to go visit the most. I suspect that I'm not going to win...I can handle that.


There are Olympics of cheese? Are you KIDDING me??
Every two years, hundreds of cheeses are sent in from across the nation to see which makes the cut and is crowned the U.S. champion of cheese. This year, more than 1,000 cheeses from 25 states are in Milwaukee for the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest to be poked, prodded, squished, chewed, sniffed and ultimately spit out by 14 finicky judges.

I find this SO disturbing.

And I am the oldest...of course I'm not in Norway, but still.

I think that the reason that The Amazing Race has food challenges I think solely to hear people puke. Ugh. Despite that, I still want to be on the show. Hell, I managed to eat haggis, right? Though not four pounds of it. Still, I can forgive the show the awful mandatory food challenge.
Why should the Republicans get to fuck on my earth too? Basically, this oil they are so desperate to get to is a 6 months supply -- at best. And that's only a portion of what we use - that's not even 100% of a 6 month supply. And please. Are you really making the world safer? Not to mention that currently, the #1 country that the US imports oil from is Canada. That hotbed of terrorist activity there.

Senate Prepares to Vote on Arctic Drilling
H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Mindful of rising oil and gasoline prices, a sharply divided Senate was close Wednesday to removing the biggest obstacle to opening an ecologically rich Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling, which would deliver a major energy policy win for President Bush (news - web sites).

"We believe we have the votes," said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who for more than two decades has tried to persuade Congress to authorize lease sales in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Democrats and moderate Republicans repeatedly blocked the effort.

Opponents of drilling complained that Republicans this time were trying "an end run" by attaching the refuge provisions to the budget, a tactic that would allow the measure to pass with a majority vote.

"It's the only way around a filibuster" which requires 60 votes to overcome, countered Stevens.

Drilling advocates argued that the refuge's oil will reduce U.S. reliance on imports. Opponents said the oil won't flow for nearly a decade and even then hardly make a dent in the more than 20 million barrels of oil the country uses daily while posing a threat to what environmentalists regard as an ecological treasure.

The 19-million-acre refuge was set aside for protection by President Eisenhower in 1960, but Congress in 1980 said its 1.5 million acre coastal plain could be opened to oil development if Congress specifically authorizes it.

"We won't see this oil for 10 years. It will have minimal impact," insisted Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., a co-sponsor of an amendment that would strip the arctic refuge provision from the budget document.
It is "foolish to say oil development and a wildlife refuge can coexist," she said.

But Sen. George Allen, R-Va., said development of the refuge would "bring energy security" by reducing U.S. reliance on imports and produce construction jobs not only in Alaska but elsewhere in the oil industry.

President Bush, who has urged Congress repeatedly to allow oil companies to tap the refuge's crude, said Wednesday it's "a way to get some additional reserves here at home on the books."

The House has repeatedly passed measures over the years to allow drilling in ANWR only to see the legislation stalled in the Senate. But last week, the House refused to include an ANWR provision in its budget document, although any differences between the Senate and House versions would likely be resolved in negotiations.

Drilling supporters argued that access to the refuge's oil was a matter of national security and that modern drilling technology would protect the region's wildlife.

"We know we've got to do it right. ... It's a fragile environment," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, maintaining that oil companies that would drill in the refuge would be subject to the most stringent environmental requirements in the world.

Environmentalists contended that while new technologies have reduced the drilling footprint, ANWR's coastal plain still would contain a spider web of pipelines that would disrupt calving caribou and disturb polar bears, musk oxen and the annual influx of millions of migratory birds.

Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said even at peak production the refuge would account for less than 2.5 percent of U.S. oil needs.

"How in the world can this be the centerpiece of our energy policy?" asked Durbin, arguing that more conservation and more fuel efficient automobiles would save more oil than the Alaska refuge would produce.

The refuge's oil represents "the most significant onshore production capacity" in the country, said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. "We should do everything we can to produce as much as we can."

Drilling proponents acknowledged that even if Congress gives the go-ahead for tapping ANWR's oil, it would have no impact on soaring oil prices and tight supplies. The first lease sales would not be issued until 2007, followed by development seven to 10 years later, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said.

How much oil will be found is in dispute. Only one exploratory well has been drilled within the refuge, and the results have been kept secret. The U.S. Geological Survey, using seismic studies, estimated in 1998 that between 5.6 billion to 16 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil is likely to be found.


At work we have the NCAA pool. Here's my problem. I want to play, but I don't know enough about all 64 teams. I watch a few teams (OSU and Syracuse) whenever I can. I follow some of the bigger teams because they are often on. I have opinions on Duke, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, etc. I even have opinions on Illinois. But certain teams. Say Eastern Kentucky? How many games of those do you think I watched? You can count on one hand. Using zero fingers.

So I'm taking solicitations. Anyway wanna tell me how to fill the form out?? Please?

(If you are going to tell me that Connecticut is going to make the Championship game, don't bother, I won't believe you.)

(On a side note, while I was composing this, the partner walked in my office (and walked right next to me - doh! saw what I was doing) to tell me that the motion that I did this weekend was good, with the exception of taking out "ultimate issue in this case" five times. Yay. ;-) I like it when I do good. This was the first real thing I've done for this particular partner too, and I'd actually like to do more. So yay.)


Part of my "job" is to buy peanuts for work. The managing partner is the one who first "requested" it, but it's spread to about a dozen regular visitors of partners, associates and staff. Several of them, when they come, tell me, "I don't know how you don't sit here at eat this all day long."

Well, it's really not that hard. I really only like cashews. So a can of mixed nuts on my desk is not too tempting for me, truthfully. It may get expensive (they got through about $10 of peanuts a week - so over the course of the year, yikes!) but not tempting to sit and eat.

BUT today, someone brought me Smarties today! Many know that I don't like chocolate, a fact that I know astounds many. However, I love Smarties (along with "fruity" candy, specifically Skittles, Starburst, Gummy Worms and sour gummy worms.) Which is why I don't BUY Smarties.

On a side remark, Lent starts today. I procrasticate; I still haven't decided the extent of my Lent participation this year, so while I'm deciding, I'm not eathing anything. Except Smarties (which luckily aren't on the "give up" list of meat, dairy, wine, and olive oil. Is it "sacrifice" if I only give up wine - which I don't really like anyway??) (On another side note, once I went to this crazy local church that had all the typical stuff, PLUS grain. Leaving endless vegtables. I hated vegtables by the time it was over. And soy milk.)


There has been a lot of talk lately about whether blogs are going to be subject to stricter scrutity (read: censorship). Democratic lawmakers want to make sure what we say here stays attributed to us, rather than some campaign merely because we discuss politics. Kudos.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Internet bloggers should enjoy traditional press freedoms and not face regulation as political groups, lawmakers and online journalists said Friday.

In separate letters, Democratic lawmakers and Internet commentators urged the Federal Election Commission to make sure that political Web sites that serve as focal points for political discussion, like and, don't have to comply with campaign-finance rules.

"Curtailing blogs and other online publications will dampen the impact of new voices in the political process and will do a disservice to the millions of voters who rely on the Web for original, insightful political commentary," said the Online Coalition, a group of bloggers and online activists.

Fourteen members of the House of Representatives said blogs foster a welcome diversity of viewpoints.

"This 'democratization' of the media is a welcome development in this era of media consolidation and a corresponding lack of diversity of views in traditional media outlets," said the group, which consists of thirteen Democrats and one Republican.

The FEC ruled in 2002 that Internet activities do not count as "coordinated political activity" and thus don't have to comply with laws that regulate money in politics.

But a U.S. judge struck down that ruling as too broad last year, and the FEC is scheduled to consider it later this month.

If the FEC determines that online "blogs" are in fact political organizations, they could face fines if they work too closely with political campaigns by, for example, reprinting their press releases.

FEC spokesman Bob Biersack said the commission would try to craft its new rule as narrowly as possible.

"The Commission has tried very hard for a long time to be as limited in its regulation of Internet activity as it possibly could, so there's no reason to assume that that basic orientation doesn't continue," he said.
Via Higher Pie.


So I decided, rather than work on this brief, that I'd do something else. So I changed the blog colors. I felt that the black was just too dark since the days are staying light longer. But then I was torn. I obviously couldn't go back to the brown and orange, since it's not football season anymore. So I went with this one. BUT in changing it, all those code thing-ies disappeared. And I'm not sure how I like it. And I can't figure out the stuff at the bottom, why it's blue so that you can't read it. Or why the font for the links is so big - how do I change that? And why does the side stuff not come up and go to the bottom anyway? See why I shouldn't do this to begin with? See why Jen started the blog for me. All those code thing-ies make no sense to me at all. So if anyone knows how to fix stuff, let me know.

(Oh, and by the way, my complaining about winter isn't that far off. We have the third snowiest year on record, and we are only 3 inches away from #1. It can end at any time...)
I got one of those great Friday 4:45 pm walk-ins by a partner asking me to write a brief. To file on Monday. And since my Sunday was already filled, I am working on a Saturday night. Yes, the fun and exciting life of an attorney...

Greeks are a stubborn sort. And I mean that literally. In January of 2004, my cousin was given 3-6 months to live. It's now 14 months later. He was given 24 hours on Wednesday. He is still standing. He says that he wants to see his grandson graduate (in 2 years). The Greek man just may be stubborn enough to defy death...

My grandfather is really torn over this. My cousin is 9 years younger than he is. He says that he is supposed to die first, because he's older. Like life is somehow fair? My grandfather says that he's tired of living, but can't die until his wife and his sister's die. It's some Greek sense of obligation. Sometimes, I fear that those are the things that are getting dilluted as the generations go on. The sense of obligation to family. Can he somehow defy death as well? I don't know. But I wouldn't bet against him.


What is going ON right now? Judges aren't safe in their own homes from crazy individuals who are upset their cases get dismissed (it happens!) and now they aren't even safe in their own courtrooms??

Officials: Judge killed in courthouse shooting

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A defendant stole a weapon from a deputy and shot and killed a judge at the Fulton County courthouse Friday morning, officials told CNN.

TV reports said a court reporter and two deputies may also have been shot.

Atlanta police spokeswoman Marion Lee said one person was shot in the courthouse parking lot and another was shot outside the courtroom, reportedly on the eighth floor of the courthouse.

Officials said police were seeking a suspect who was on the loose in downtown Atlanta. The suspect may have tried to carjack several vehicles, reports said.

This is really sad. And worrysome. I've been in courtrooms with defendants before who were conviced of killing people. Multiple. Kept ni solitary confinement permanently because they were such trouble inmates. And it often seemed as if the court marshalls, while would pop in and out during such occasions, were not really paying that much attention. I mean, I suspected they were sleeping at times. But to have their gun stolen from them??? To kill a judge (and possibly others)? That is really a problem.

And what's with blaming the Judge? The Judge does so little in the grand scheme of things. The jury convicts. Not the Judge. The prosecutor/U.S. Attorney is the one who tries the case. The judge is the one who presides over the system.

And let's discuss security for a moment. He was in a courtroom on the eighth floor, and managed to escape?? Did he take the elevator? The stairs? Way to go, security.
So I have a confession to make. Of the "Yes, I *am* that stupid" proportions. (And no, it has nothing to do with flying to Rome just to hear REM play. Yes, I've heard, "how stupid are you" more times than I can count this week. The answer: oh, you don't want to *know* how stupid I can be...)

But anyway. I'm sick of winter. No shock, I'm sure I'm not the only one. But I refuse to take it anymore. I haven't worn a coat for the last 8 days. Those in the NEOH area may be a bit confused. For those not, it didn't matter that much the Friday-Monday when it was in the high 40s or low 50s (because after going through an entire winter here, I'd wear shorts if it would hit 56 so you don't need a coat if it gets that warm anyway.) But since Tuesday, the high has been well under freezing. In the 20s. I think the 5-day forcast has it warming up to 32. Yes, sir, let's pull out the t-shirts.

But I have a reason. The way I figure it, God is going to be looking down, see me without a coat on, and go "woah! It must be spring, otherwise, she'd be wearing a coat." See, I figure by not wearing a coat, I can trick God and force spring to come faster. People everywhere owe me a debt of gratitude. Perhaps a street should be named after me. I'm not too particular, but I do enjoy cul-de-sacs. They are delightful.

I'd like to say that this is the first year I've been this dumb, but I cannot tell a lie. I get to this point sometime in March every year. It's just usually it's a bit later in March - I don't start at the beginning of March. And as I pointed out to my mom, every year, spring has come. So it works, clearly.

Actually, this story leaked b/c I said to my mom on the way home from work, "oh, it's cold out here, my hands are cold and my rings are slipping off." My mom asked why I didn't have my gloves on. And I told that it looks funny to wear gloves without a coat. Because, well, it does.

Now my mom is completely paranoid that I am going to be driving and run out of gas, and I won't have heat I'll freeze to death and die. She wants me to keep a coat in my car, "just in case." (I do keep a pair of jeans, a pullover, a denim shirt, three pair of socks, and a pair of tennis shoes in the car, actually.) But she's really upset about this. She's got this tremor in her voice that I hate. But I strongly believe that I can't turn my back on my faith and what I believe just to satisfy someone else.

So I pointed out that I have not one, but two cell phones, with two different companies who generally have service problems in different areas, and they are Sprint and Verizon, so I was safe. And she starts saying, "but what if your battery died? What if we can't get to you in time?" I finally told her that she was right, there was an excellent chance that I'd get pneumonia and die, which would suck, more for me than for anyone else.

So...Does everyone see where I get my melodrama from??


Loaded Mouth had an interesting proposal.

We've got a minimum wage, how about a maximum wage?
A maximum wage is an idea that some more extreme elements of the Green Party toyed around with. Even within those ranks, it was never finally embraced. The idea of telling somebody, "The highest amount your weekly paycheck can be is $XXX," intrinsically goes against the values of capitalistic dreams, thus "The American Dream", and could probably be rightly labeled as communist.

But when CEOs make upto 300 times more than the average worker, has the time come for a law which caps wages of the super rich? And if so, what kind of law could we enact that wouldn't put a hard cap in wages, but still force a corporation to distribute their wealth amongst the employees who are doing all the hard work to earn that money?

So here's my maximum wage law proposal: No CEO/company employee can make 30 times more than their lowest compensated employee. While this doesn't provide a hard cap for CEO wages, it would force them to distibute their wealth to those that earn it for them. And besides, they till get to pull down 30 times the wage of their lowest paid employee. So, for example, if the lowest wage a corporation pays out is $12 an hour, the CEO can make $360 an hour, $14,440 a week, and $750,880 a year. That's quite the hefty sum of money, therefore I see this salary cap arrangement as being extremely fair."

I'm just more curious to see where people stand. Personally, I see the importance of something like a maximum wage, but I also see the fact that I went to school and incurred enough school debt to choke me for the rest of my life. Why should the receptionist or the photocopy person, who did not have to go to school, and don't have six figure school loan payments to repay, be guarangeed at least a 30th of a parther who is bringing $5 million in business a year? And are you going to make my schooling cheapr? Forego my loans? And how do you determine the number? Loaded Mouth suggests 30. WHy 30 rather than 25? Or 35? Is it arbitrary? How do you make that determination. I'm just curious.
Alton attorney accidentally sues himself
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
By Steve Korris

Alton attorney Emert Wyss thought he could make money in a Madison County class action lawsuit, but he accidentally sued himself instead. Now he has four law firms after his money - and he hired all four.

Wyss’s boomerang litigation started in 2002, when he invited Carmelita McLaughlin to his office at 1600 Washington St. in Alton. Acting as her attorney when she bought a home in Alton and when she refinanced it, on both occasions she had chosen Centerre Title--a company that Wyss owned--to close her loans.

In the course of the attorney-client relationship, Wyss advised McLaughlin she might have a claim against Alliance Mortgage, holder of the first mortgage. Wyss believed Alliance Mortgage might have broken the law by charging a $60 fax fee when she refinanced.

He produced a retainer agreement providing for his legal services and those from the Lakin Law Firm of Wood River, Campbell and Brinkley of Godfrey, Freed and Weiss of Chicago, and Diab and Bock of Chicago. McLaughlin signed.

The Lakin firm filed a class action complaint against Alliance Mortgage in 2003. The complaint identified the Chicago firms and Campbell and Brinkley as other attorneys of record, but not Wyss.

According to the complaint, McLaughlin objected to the fax fee at closing.

Alliance Mortgage retained attorney Don Brown of Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider, of Washington, D. C.

The deposition
In a deposition last year, Brown asked McLaughlin if she objected to the fees in general or the fax fee. She said, “To the fees in general.”

Brown asked if she saw a payoff statement. She said she did not recall it.

“If you didn’t see this document at loan closing then how would you have known that you were being charged a fax fee?” Brown asked.

“I knew I was being charged fees but I didn’t know that it was particular, you know, that it was a fax fee,” McLaughlin responded.

“Did you review this complaint for accuracy before your attorneys filed it?” Brown countered.

McLaughlin replied, "no."

“Centerre Title is the one that collected the fees from you that you are now complaining about, is that right?” Brown questioned.

McLaughlin said, "yes."

“Mr. Wyss was suggesting to you that you might want to complain about fees that his employee collected from you. That’s right, isn’t it?” Brown questioned.

McLaughlin said, "yes."

Brown asked what Wyss said about the fax fee. But in the deposition, attorney Paul Marks of the Lakin firm objected.

"Attorney client privilege," Marks said. "Confidential in nature.”

Brown countered, “If he is her attorney maybe he should be here, but he is not her attorney.”

Directing his questions again to McLaughlin, Brown asked if she knew how other law firms came to represent her. She said she did not.

“Were you ever asked whether you would consent to have any of these other law firms represent you in this litigation?” Brown asked.

“I was told there, you know, might be other people, and I did not have a problem with that,” McLaughlin replied.

“The fax fee of $60 represents two payoff statements, is that right?” Brown asked.

McLaughlin said she did not know.

“That would represent a fax fee of $30 per payoff statement, is that right?” Brown asked.

McLaughlin said, “If you say so. I don’t know.”

Brown asked if she understood that her lawyers would seek compensation for her as a class representative if the suit succeeded.

McLaughlin said, “That is my understanding.”

“But you have no understanding of what amount might be involved, is that right?” Brown asked.

McLaughlin said, "no."

Brown deposes Wyss
Turning his attention to Wyss, Brown asked if plaintiffs he referred to the Lakin firm were told that he might receive part of the fees.

“They have signed an engagement, a retainer agreement which indicates that I am one of the attorneys representing them,” Wyss responded.

“You have retainer agreements then, in your possession, to give to people that include the Lakin law firm as one of the firms that will represent them, is that correct?” Brown asked.

Wyss said, "yes."

Brown asked what prompted him to refer mortgage cases to the Lakin firm. Wyss said attorneys told him they were aware of lender abuse and suggested that he review Centerre Title files to see if his clients were victimized.

When asked who told him that, Wyss replied "Tim Campbell."

Brown asked what prompted Campbell to talk to him.

“I consider him a true consumer advocate," Wyss said. "I don’t know how he became aware, but he apparently was aware of other lender abuse in the area that I was not privy to.”

Brown asked if Campbell had a retainer agreement in the McLaughlin case.

Wyss said, "yes."

“The true consumer advocate hopes to make some money out of this case, doesn’t he?” Brown asked.

Wyss said, "probably."

“You yourself hope to make some money out of this case, don’t you?” Brown asked.

Wyss replied, “I would like to.”

Brown asked Wyss if he was McLaughlin’s attorney for purposes of this litigation.

Wyss said, “I am one of her attorneys.”

Brown asked if he was her attorney at the time Centerre Title closed the loan.

Wyss said, "no."

“Emert Wyss, wearing his hat of Centerre Title company, collects the fees from Ms. McLaughlin, and now we have six, seven, eight months later, Emert Wyss wearing his hat as Ms. McLaughlin’s attorney suggests she file suit over the very fees his title company collected from her, is that right?” Brown asked.

Wyss replied, “That is right. It oversimplifies it, but that is correct.”

Brown asked Wyss if he had an agreement with the Lakin firm, and he responded that he had a verbal agreement.

When Brown asked what it was, Wyss replied, “I am to receive 10 percent of the attorney fee collected on these cases.”

“Since Ms. McLaughlin signed a written retainer that included your name on it as one of her attorneys, can you tell me why your name is not on her complaint?” Brown asked.

Wyss said, “I see no reason why it has to be on the complaint.”

Brown asked if he reviewed the complaint before it was filed and Wyss answered, “I do not believe I did, but I am not really sure. I may have.”

“You have no recollection of reviewing it before it was filed?” Brown asked.

Wyss said, “No recollection at the moment, no.”

Case status
After completing the depositions, Brown moved Circuit Judge Phillip Kardis for summary judgment.

In a separate motion, Brown asked Kardis to dismiss the suit for failure to join Centerre Title as a necessary party. He asked Kardis to disqualify all of McLaughlin‘s attorneys for improper solicitation, arguing that they used Wyss as a straw man to obtain cases from Centerre Title clients whom they could not directly approach.

In December, Kardis denied the motion to dismiss but ordered Alliance Mortgage to add Centerre Title and Wyss himself as third party defendants. Kardis denied the motion to disqualify McLaughlin’s attorneys.

Apparently, Wyss surrendered his ten percent. Kardis wrote, “Defendants were provided with a fee renunciation letter.” Kardis sealed the letter.

McLaughlin responded to Alliance Mortgage’s motion for summary judgment on March 3.

Alliance Mortgage must reply to McLaughlin’s response by March 24. Kardis has told the parties he would hear arguments on summary judgment after that.

That is just awesome. I mean, I think that lawsuits are way out of control. And I understand that everyone's belief that they were discriminated against when they were fired b/c they stole $1000 a week from their employer for years until they were caught is what keeps me employed. But every so often, I like to see things like this. I realize saying that he sued himself is extremely simplistic, but the end result is -- he sued himself.


Et alia really went off on polititical quizzes. And while I agree (they are way too simplistic), that obviously doesn't stop me from taking them.

You scored as Democrat. <'Imunimaginative's Deviantart Page'>

















What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
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Obsessive Compusive? No! Not me...

From Matt:


-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --

I am surprised that I'm paranoid. My only surprised with obsessive compulsive is that it's so low. I would have thought that my avoidance would be much higher. MUCH. Much. Somewhat surprised that I'm narcissistic and dependent - those are not two words I'd have used to describe myself.

So recall how excited I was when I got tickets to REM's Around the Sun tour for Cleveland? And then how devestated I was when they cancelled and decided to go to Cinci-bloody-nnati?

Well, I've been depressed since then. Therefore, I've taken steps to cure this depression. This means that I needed my Michael Stipe fix. Thus, I purchased tickets to see REM on June 10. In Rome. ;-)

Of course, I'm trying to order tickets online, and the website is in Italian. That was incredibly difficult. In fact, it appears that I didn't put my state anywhere. Hmm...this could be a problem. I emailed them back and let them know that. Someone said that since my country and zip code was there, it should work out. We shall see. Either way, at the end of the day, I've got tickets...Woo hoo.

How well do you know me? I was emailing two people yesterday. I said, "Guess what I did today? Think ** obsession." One had no idea. Guessing truly random things. And some mean things. The other guessed it was either something to do with baseball or REM. Heh. I shall let them remain anonymous, unless they want to identify themselves. But one clearly knows me better than the other... ;-)
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