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Showing posts from February, 2007
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So, victory! I won my first jury trial (State v. Stephens) in Alaska. Funny that. I can win a DUI in Alaska where my client was a .17 BAC and admitted driving to the police but I lose People v. Zink in California where the police beat my 80 year old client for no reason. God I hated California. The counsel for the State did an excellent job and I thought she had me on this one. But it was one of those cases that could have gone either way. I got lucky and played it right. I wish I could do more trials. It is not that I don't have the case load, it is just that is hard to find the time to do trials with the pressures of having a case load. I learned something in this trial, namely that the judges expect all the "motion work" to be done pre-trial. In California, I would have filed (or even orally made) a motion in limine. Here, the Court expects all the issues to be litigated well before trial. It is a problem for two reasons. First, finding the time to fully litiga…
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So, words cannot describe the frustration that I feel. As you know, I was supposed to get $3000 from the State to move up here. Which, by the way, was about 1/10 of the actual cost. No kidding. First I had to fight the State to get that money. Then the State screwed up and considered it "income" and taxed it. Then the State started taking about $40 of post tax money every pay check to "reimburse" the State for the moving expenses. I was promised it would all be cleared up this paycheck. Well guess what? Not only did I NOT get the money the State has been wrongfully taking every paycheck but they took another $39.44 today. Wow. I was $10 overdrawn the last few days. I could not afford lunch today because there was simply no money to eat. That $40 matters. Yet my protests fall on deaf ears. When I complain I am labelled a "whiner". No wonder every single lawyer in my office is looking for a new job. I hope the higher-ups in the Agency read this. Please. Tel…
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So, I'll say it again: God I love Alaska. Today, with the help of Ken (who actually worked harder than I did on it) we got a canoe for this summer. We are both hoping to escape the hordes of tourists about to descend on us. Yay. My first boat. P.S. my rig is becoming quite the Alaska vehicle.
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So, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the Canadian law today that allowed the government to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists. 9-0. Beautiful. I missed Canada a little today. No Patriot Act. No Military Commissions Act. No Guantanamo Bay. No Abu Ghraib. No Real ID act. No breaking people's fingers or drowning them over and over again in the name of "values". No extraordinary rendition. That is the one that kills me. Bush says "we do not torture". But it is well known that the US has sent some terror suspects to countries specifically to be tortured. This is not some "liberal" conspiracy. There are well known and documented cases of this "rendition". One case was Khaled El-Masri, a 42-year-old German citizen and father of five young children who was forcibly abducted while on holiday in Macedonia. He was detained incommunicado, beaten, drugged, and transported to a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan, where he was subjected to tortu…
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So, we went to Anchorage for the day. It was the first time J and Kadee had been there. First, we went to Walmart. When we pulled into the lot I could barely keep J from sprinting into the store. I think she knocked down about 3 old ladies; the old guy who greeted us just saw a blur of pink as J and Kadee went whizzing by. Anyways we went in and spent $300 on Kadee. We finally got her a crib so she can hopefully stop sleeping in bed with us. There was not one crib anywhere on the Kenai Peninsula so we are excited. I then took Kadee to Chuck E. Cheese's for lunch. Wow. What a zoo. I thought Kadee would stroke out with sensory overload. If everyone in there just spent $10, the owners must be millionaires. As typical, however, her favorite thing in the whole place was a paper plate.

She cried a lot of the way there but with her paper plate she was as quiet as a mouse on the 3 hour drive back. Finally, we went to Sportmen's Warehouse. J got some clothes. Kadee got the most adorable…
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So, I have been sick the last week. So sick I remember the last time I was this sick in about 1992. Kadee has been sick. J has been sick. It has been ugly but (thankfully) Kadee has recovered the fastest. I have still gone to work as I don't want to use up "vacation" time on sick time. The Alaska Public Defender Agency gives me 24 days of leave a year. That is quite a bit if you don't get sick. If you do, kiss a vacation goodbye. I plan on using every single day I can off work to kill salmon and shoot moose, not pounding Nyquil and having the dry heaves. Tasty bastards. I really have nothing else to write about today, as I have been flat on my back in bed or at work. Work continues to be in a state of flux and is about to become very interesting if the rumors are true (which I do not believe for one second by the way). I'll try and do something interesting this weekend to show you something of Alaska. J and I agree it is sad that we have gone nowhere since getti…
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So, I had one of those days at work. I can't talk about details (obviously) but it has left me in a state. You know what the worst thing in the world is? To me, it is to be accused of something that you are innocent of. To be completely innocent and yet ignored when you protest that fact. Maybe that is why I am a defense attorney. I think big changes are coming to my life. I am now considering things that I never thought I would. I can't say more but I feel like a deflated balloon. On another note, I am constantly amazed at the reaction to this blog. It is not that I expect to be anonymous. I practice in a small (population wise) state. Furthermore, I am throwing my thoughts and opinions up for the world to see. I guess I am just amazed that people care. Today one of the local defense attorneys told me that another local defense attorney was complaining about my site. Wow. I know the DA might not like my version of how she does her job, but a defense attorney? Unbeliev…
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So, today (Superbowl day) is a good day to say I am opposed to professional sports. As a capitalist and libertarian I am not saying they should be banned or anything of the sort. However, I refuse to participate. I will not go to any games (although I must admit a weakness for live amateur hockey) , watch any games, buy anything that supports any team or anything of the sort. Why? I just find it so repugnant that a bunch of multi-millionaires are such heroes for running around with a ball or puck or whatever for a few hours a week. Not to say that they don't have talent or don't work relatively hard. I know I couldn't do what they do. They deserve to be somewhat compensated. But they are compensated for more than they contribute to society in my view. I mean there are people, for example, who turn a screw in a factory 10 hours at a time who can't afford health insurance for their children. Why should an athlete (or movie star or singer or anything of the sort that matt…
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So it is warm. Wow. In the 40's or even 50's during the day! About perfect. This weather pattern started in late January and will stretch into the near future per www.weather.com (see zip 99669) Almost all the snow is gone in areas and it is getting thin everywhere. The real downside is how incredibly icy certain places are (like my driveway). It gets below freezing at night and where there is no direct sunlight it stays icy all day. But otherwise it is beautiful. The sunrise and sunset are amazing and no picture does it justice. The sky during is the day is just blue. Everyone back in California who worried so much about the daylight hours or the cold have just gotten too soft. We are almost at the same level of daily sunlight already as northern California and within a month or so we will have more daylight! See http://alaska.org/when-to-visit.jsp for some great comparisons on daylight, rain and temperature to your home town. The bottom line is that 45 degree F isn't col…