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Fairness is a one way street

You know what the word fairness means. So do the people sitting to your right; and so do the people to your left. The problem is, you don’t know what each other means when the word is spoken.   You may assume that everyone in a group has a common understanding when they say a process was “fair”. However, in… keep reading »

Innocent or Not Innocent

You start presumed innocent.  This is true in every criminal case.  If the prosecution does not prove their allegations, beyond reasonable doubt, then the law requires a verdict of not guilty.  When this occurs, the status quo remains in place – innocence. Does this mean that “not guilty” and “innocent” are the same thing?  While difficult comprehend, the answer to… keep reading »

Black and white cowboy hats

In westerns you can tell the difference between the hero and villain in a nanosecond.   The hero is wearing the white hat.  The villain is wearing the black hat.  A glimpse at the screen and this symbolism immediately identifies and contrasts the “righteous” and “wicked.” Your Need To Fill In The Blanks Your mind is… keep reading »

“Davids” understand pain

The path to doing something great runs through the state of pain. There are no detours. No fast passes. Every road to a worthwhile destination requires this journey – it requires pain.

Whenever a “David” knocks down a “Goliath” there is pain. However, it is not just the pain of the battle, the game or the trial. Pain has a keep reading »

Beware of False Scales

It’s an old warning, but it still holds true – beware of false scales. Throughout history the admonition against using a numerical value to mislead others has taken many forms: Proverbs 11:1 tells us “[t]he Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights”; Leviticus 19:35 cautions “‘[d]o not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight… keep reading »

The difference between standing and sitting

The dictionary defines “Grit” as “courage and resolve; strength of character”. However, these words are inadequate. Grit is the difference between standing up after being knocked down or staying put. It is something inside you that says “yes” when the person you’re standing nose-to-nose with unfairly says “no”. Grit drives you towards what you believe at your core Grit… keep reading »

Who first, what second

Maybe you just finished a right of passage. Maybe you have been doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason. It makes no difference. Both situations presents the same challenge. You must decide: what do I want to be? Law can take you anywhere, the courtroom, the boardroom or even the Lincoln Bedroom.   With this decision before you, I… keep reading »

Default is a choice

Justice is a system.  It is a constellation of related principles and structures forming a complex network.  It is supposed to result in a product which furthers our ideals.  The courtroom is the factory floor of the system. It is an amazing place.  Every morning you can experience the best of us…and the worst. Like any other system that deals… keep reading »

Overcriminalization in print

The word “overcriminalization” just appeared in a U.S. Supreme Court opinion for the first time. Overcriminalization is the treatment ordinary behaviors that commonly would never have been considered criminal, as crimes. What Happened In Yates v. United States? Yates is a Florida fisherman. He was alleged to have: Illegally caught and kept some undersized grouper (72 of the 3000… keep reading »

Democracy requires…

…challenging things you do not want to believe are true. We want to believe that our government will do the right thing all the time. History shows however, even our great Republic, this not the case. Such desires make us feel secure. These desires color our unconscious thinking. They position our viewpoints. It is just easier to live in a… keep reading »