Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Twitter with me

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Ok, my 21 year old is always trying to help me reach the younger legal secretaries.  Here’s our latest scheme - I’ve joined Twitter - actually started a Twitter account under the user name legalsecretary.  So, if you are a Twitterer, Twit, Twitterite or Twitterling just click on the blue highlighted link and follow me or lead and I’ll follow, whatever works or sparks your interest.        twitter.png  

Searching for a Purple Cow

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

We want to spread the word far and wide that Legal Secretaries International Inc. is here just waiting for all those individuals in the legal secretarial field to join us.  How do we reach those in the field who don’t know about us?  How do we attract those who know about us but haven’t been interested enough to give us a try? How do we draw back members who have left? 

We have tried web advertising and a beverage break during a regional meeting with the Association of Legal Administrators with no results.  I have written personal letters to secretaries in law firms where meetings are being held; tried press releases and free advertising in local community bulletins in areas where meetings are being held; appealed to local members - all with no results. 

Our President, Jan Sullivan, suggested the Board members read the Purple Cow by Seth Godwin to stir our imaginations for marketing our Association.  The purpose of the book and title is there are plenty of plain ordinary cows - but a purple cow would be truly remarkable.  A purple cow would be talked about, searched out, studied, popular, etc.  

Send me your Purple Cow!  I am asking for any suggestions or ideas you have for improving our marketing, getting the word out that we exist, getting people involved, and just generally perking up our organization. 

What is your perspective?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

I recently received an email about a father of considerable wealth who took his son on a trip to a farm to show how “poor” people live.  This was dad’s attempt to show his son how good his life was since his family is “rich”.  Of course, dad’s lesson backfired on him.  When asked by dad what he learned the son said such things as we have one dog, they have four; we have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden - they have a creek that has no end; we have imported lanterns in our garden - they have the stars at night; we have a small piece of land to live on - they have fields that go beyond our sight; we buy our food - but they grow theirs; we have walls around our property to protect us - but they have friends to protect them.  He ends it by saying, “Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.”  Next time you feel like complaining about your career, your boss, your firm, your family - take a step outside your life and image a different career, boss, family.  Maybe it will give you a different perspective.  Have you experienced something that changed your view in life?  Good or bad, feel free to share. 

Too Little, too late?

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

In a letter to the Editor of the Washington Post, Cully Stimson apologizes for his remarks about attorneys representing Guantanamo detainees.  Here is part of his letter:

During a radio interview last week, I brought up the topic of pro bono work and habeas corpus representation of detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Regrettably, my comments left the impression that I question the integrity of those engaged in the zealous defense of detainees in Guantanamo. I do not.

The letter goes on to say that during his navy service he represented unpopular clients and that he understands the need for pro bono work.

While there isn’t much else he could do at this point, the apology has a hollow ring to it.  There is still no explanation as to why he would encourage companies to threaten law firms with a loss of business if they represented such defendants.  Here is the last paragraph of his apology:

I apologize for what I said and to those lawyers and law firms who are representing clients at Guantanamo. I hope that my record of public service makes clear that those comments do not reflect my core beliefs.

To give the devil his due, so to speak, I suppose it is better than not apologizing.  However, it sounds like what a person would say who is forced to apologize but really has no explanation for his behavior.  

School is told to restore ‘Jesus’ bricks

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

An Associated Press story reports that a federal court in New York has ordered a high school to return bricks engraved with Christian messages to the path from which they were removed.  Judge Norman Mordue said that, because those were the only bricks removed, the school had “engaged in viewpoint discrimination.” 

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Thomas Marcelle, said the decision means the school district “can’t pick and choose which religious expression goes in the walkway.”

The school’s senior class of 1999 sold bricks that could be engraved with a personal message as a fundraiser.  The school district received complaints in 2000 and removed certain of the bricks in an effort to avoid a lawsuit.  Obviously,  that effort didn’t work.  As usually happens when decisions are made in an effort to placate one side, the purchasers of the bricks filed suit claiming their freedom of speech had been violated.    The court agreed.

There was a time when religious references could be made without anyone claiming the government was attempting to establish a religion in violation of the Constitution.  If you look around the many monuments in Washington, DC, you will see quotes from our forefathers invoking the name of God.  But I don’t remember reading in the history books about any lawsuits at the time these words were spoken, nor even when the words were carved on the buildings. 

While it may be preferable to spend school board funds on a more direct method of educating children, perhaps parents in this upstate New York school district can use this opportunity to teach their children about citizenship, and that, if they think they are right, they should not cave in to threats of litigation because, chances are, someone else will sue them.  It’s too bad the school board caved in to pressure and removed the bricks (presumably at some cost), because now they have to pay to put them back.

Supreme Court Limits Police Searches

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

As reported in the Washington Post, the Supreme Court has ruled that police may not enter a couple’s home without a warrant if one of them objects.

The 5 to 3 decision sparked a sharp exchange among the justices. The majority portrayed the decision as striking a blow for privacy rights and gender equality; dissenters said it could undermine police efforts against domestic violence, the victims of which are often women.

The decision in Georgia v. Randolph upholds a ruling of the Georgia Supreme Court, but other courts have held that police may search without a warrant if only one party gives consent.

There was not much unity in the court on this decision. Stevens, Ginsberg, Kennedy, and Breyer joined in the opinion written by Souter, but Stevens and Breyer also filed concurring opinions. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Scalia. Scalia and Thomas also filed dissenting opinions.

Supreme Court to hear case on evidence from 911 tape

Friday, March 17th, 2006

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether 911 tapes can be admitted when the caller is unable or unwilling to testify according to a story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 

“It’s probably one of the most significant criminal cases to go before the U.S. Supreme Court in the last decade,” said King County [Washington] Deputy Prosecutor James Whisman. “If it goes against us, our modern practices for dealing with domestic violence prosecution will be in serious peril.”

[Defense] attorney, Jeffrey Fisher, said the case is crucial for people who are accused of crimes because a core constitutional right is at stake — one that helps make sure the person pointing the finger is being truthful. 

“The Sixth Amendment allows a defendant to confront his accuser,” Fisher said. “Cross-examination is the best mechanism under the law for sifting out the truth.”

Since when is it up to a witness whether or not to testify?  Isn’t that why courts have subpoena power?  See the article below by Zach Carter to understand why it’s wrong to use an “end justifies the means” approach to justice.  (more…)