June 25: Crimes and Criminals (Law and Lawyers)

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
June 25
Crimes and Criminals

 

482.              Crimes were committed to punish crimes, and crimes were committed to prevent crimes. The world has been filled with prisons and dungeons, with chains and whips, with crosses and gibbets, with thumbscrews and racks, with hangmen and heads-men–and yet these frightful means and instrumentalities have committed far more crimes than they have prevented . . . . Ignorance, filth, and poverty are the missionaries of crime. As long as dishonorable success outranks honest effort–as long as society bows and cringes before the great thieves, there will be little ones enough to fill the jails.

~Robert Ingersoll, Crimes Against Criminals

 

483.

When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals. He has nerve and he has knowledge.

~Arthur Conan Doyle

 

May 19: Executed Criminals’ Last Words (Law and Lawyers)

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.

May 19

Executed Criminals’ Last Words  

 

383.

Well, I hope Percy ain’t going to wet the sponge. Put me on the highway to Jackson and call my Irish buddies. Pog mo thoin. God bless.” [In Irish Gaelic, the phrase “Pog mo thoin,” is translated as “Kiss my ass.”]

~Final Statement of Robert Gleason Jr., executed January 16, 2013 9:08 p.m. by electric chair in Virginia, the first execution in the United States in 2013.

Crime Summary

Robert Gleason Jr. was serving a life sentence for the murder of Michael Kent Jamerson in Amherst County. Prosecutors said that the murder was done to help conceal Gleason’s involvement with a known drug gang. While in prison in 2009, Gleason murdered his cellmate, 63-year-old Harvey Watson Jr. after prison officials refused to move him out of his cell. He pleaded guilty and vowed to continue killing unless he was given the death penalty.

Gleason was placed in high security for the most dangerous inmates, but managed to strangle 26-year-old Aaron Cooper in the recreation yard. Both men were in separate cages. Gleason pleaded guilty again and was sentenced to death. He waived his appeals, and chose to be put to death in the electric chair, which was granted.

 

 

384.

The best time in my life is during this period. If I had to do [it] again, I would not change a thing. I have been touched by an angel’s wings. If I had it to do again, I would change Dwyer’s parents suffering, [he began to cry] because I know they are. I know that is not going to eliminate the pain, because I have a child. [He then thanked his supporters and added:] And if this takes the pain away, so be it. I love you. I’m ready to go. There better not be a mix-up here, (he laughed) I don’t want no stay.

~Jamie McCoskey, 49 (executed on November 12, 2013 at 6:44 p.m. CDT by lethal injection in Texas)

Victim: Michael Keith Dwyer, 24

 

385.

[Speaking to his family] “Give mom a hug for me and tell her that I love her. Take me home, Jesus. Take me home, Lord. I ain’t left yet, must be a miracle. I am a miracle. Y’all do understand that I came here a sinner and leaving a saint?” He told his son not to cry and told his family he would see them again. He then told the warden that he was ready. He did not acknowledge his victim’s family members.

~Marvin Lee Wilson (executed August 7, 2012 06:27 p.m. CDT by lethal injection in Texas)

Victim: Jerry Robert Williams, 21, murdered on November 10, 1992. Wilson’s execution was the 25th in the U.S. and seventh in Texas in 2012.

 

 

April 9: Crimes and Criminals (Law and Lawyers)

April 9
Crimes and Criminals  

 

There’d never been a more advantageous time to be a criminal in America than during the 13 years of Prohibition. At a stroke, the American government closed down the fifth largest industry in the United States—alcohol production —and just handed it to criminals—a pretty remarkable thing to do.

~Bill Bryson

 

279.

The ban on sports betting does exactly what Prohibition did. It makes criminals rich.

~James Surowiecki

 

 

March 24: Lawyers and the Law

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.

 

March 24
Lawyers and the Law

227.
Lorenzo Dow, an evangelist of the last century, was on a preaching tour when he came to a small town one cold winter’s night. He entered the local general store to get some warmth, and saw the town’s lawyers gathered around the pot-bellied stove discussing the town’s business. Not one offered to allow Dow into the circle.
Dow told the men who he was, and that he had recently had a vision where he had been given a tour of Hell, much like the traveler in Dante‘s Inferno. When one of the lawyers asked him what he had seen, he replied, “Very much what I see here: all of the lawyers, gathered in the hottest place.”

228.
If lawyers were to undertake no causes till they were sure they were just, a man might be precluded altogether from a trial of his claim, though, were it judicially examined, it might be found a very just claim.
~Samuel Johnson, Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides, August 15, 1773

229.
There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal. Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief. Resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave.
~Abraham Lincoln, memorandum for law lecture, 1850

March 14: Constitution (Law and Lawyers)

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
March 14
Constitution  

 

204.

Today the world is the victim of propaganda because people are not intellectually competent. More than anything, the United States needs effective citizens competent to do their own thinking.

~William Mather Lewis, President of George Washington University, 1923–1927

 

205.

Today the world faces a single man armed with weapons of mass destruction, manifesting an aggressive, bullying attitude, who may well plunge the world into chaos and bloodshed if he miscalculates. This person, belligerent, arrogant, and sure of himself, truly is the most dangerous person on Earth. The problem is that his name is George W. Bush, and he is our president.

~Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Yale Law School, September 22, 2002

 

 

March 10: Humor (Law and Lawyers)

March 10
Humor  

 

191.

Judge: I know you, don’t I?

Defendant: Uh, yes.

Judge: All right, tell me, how do I know you?

Defendant: Judge, do I have to tell you?

Judge: Of course, you might be obstructing justice not to tell me.

Defendant: Okay. I was your bookie.

 

192.

              From a defendant representing himself:

Defendant: Did you get a good look at me when I stole your purse?

Victim: Yes, I saw you clearly. You are the one who stole my purse.

Defendant: I should have shot you while I had the chance.

193.

Judge: The charge here is theft of frozen chickens. Are you the defendant?

Defendant: No, sir, I’m the guy who stole the chickens.

 

 

March 9: Crimes and Criminals (Law and Lawyers)

March 9
Crimes and Criminals

 

189.

The key is to commit crimes so confusing that police feel too stupid to even write a crime report about them.

~Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive Comic, 10/30/03

 

190.

There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge, and fox, and squirrel.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

 

March 8: Humor (Law and Lawyers)

March 8
Humor  

 

186.

An opinion was written with lines from the movie “Wayne’s World” and holding that defendant’s “most bogus” attempt at removal is “not worthy” and “way improvident,” and arguing that the defendant must “party on” in state court. Sections of the opinion are labeled “Hurling Chunks” and “A Schwing and a Miss.”

~Noble v. Bradford Marine, Inc., 789 F. Supp. 395 (S.D. Fla. 1992)

 

187.

Amicable Settlement.

ORDER

The herein matter having been scheduled for a trial by jury commencing July 13, 2011, and numerous pre-trial motions having yet to be decided and remaining under submission;

And the parties having informed the Court that the herein matter has been settled amicably (the Court uses the word amicably loosely) and that there is no need for a Court ruling on the remaining motions and also that there is no need for a trial;

And such news of an amicable settlement having made this Court happier than a tick on a fat dog because it is otherwise busier than a one-legged cat in a sand box and, quite frankly, would have rather jumped naked off of a twelve foot step ladder into a five gallon bucket of porcupines than have presided over a two week trial of the herein dispute, a trial which, no doubt, would have made the jury more confused than a hungry baby in a topless bar and made the parties and their attorneys madder than mosquitoes in a mannequin factory;

 

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED by the Court as follows:

  1. The jury trial scheduled herein for July 13, 2011is hereby CANCELLED.

. . .

  1. The Clerk shall engage the services of a structural engineer to ascertain if the return of this file to the Clerk’s office will exceed the maximum structural load of the floors of said office.

Dated this 19 day of July, 2011.

MARTIN  J. SHEEHAN

Kenton Circuit Judge

~Kissel v Schwartz & Maines, Kenton Circuit Court of Kentucky (2011)

 

188.

Divorce Denied.

The opinion is as follows:

 

Libel in divorce by husband against wife.

Answer by wife.

Issue on cruel and barbarous treatment.

Trial by judge without jury.

She his second.

He her second.

Her dowry to him five ready-made children.

His contribution to her the same number.

None added since.

She, without a vestige of feminine loveliness.

He without a mark of masculine attraction.

From start to finish a perfectly inexplicable and hopeless connubial absurdity.

One averred ground of divorce, her cruel and barbarous treatment.

Another, indignities to his person.

Only proved specific instance of former his nose broken by her use of a stove lifter.

Only proved specific instance of latter her un-ladylike behavior in the privacy of nuptial privilege.

Nose possibly broken in self-defense as testified.

Unladylike behavior possibly incited by his own lack of good manners.

No course of bad treatment on one side more than on the other.

Blame balanced as six and half a dozen.

Mutually mean.

He mean enough to seek divorce.

She mean enough to resist.

Parties too much alike ever to have been joined in marriage.

Also too much alike to be separated by divorce.

Having made their own bed must lie down in it.

Lying out of it, no standing in court.

Decree (for divorce) refused with allowance to respondent of $25.00 for counsel fees to be paid by the libelant.

~ Justice Fuller of the Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania at Luzerne, Kmicz v Kmicz, 1921 USFJDO 1, also at Luz. L. Reg. R. 330 and at 50 Pa.C.C. 588

 

 

March 7: Justice (Law and Lawyers)

March 7
Justice  

 

184.

The house of everyone is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defense against injury and violence as for his repose.

~Semayne’s Case, 5 Report 91 (1604)

 

185.

They [corporations] cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed nor excommunicated, for they have no souls.

~Sir Edward Coke (1549–1634), Case of Sutton’s Hospital, 10 Report 32 (1612)

 

 

March 6: Humor

March 6
Humor  

 

181.

In Mackensworth v. American Trading Transportation Co., 367 F. Supp. 373 (E.D. Pa. 1973 ), District Judge Becker wrote his opinion in verse as follows:

 

The motion now before us

has stirred up a terrible fuss.

And what is considerably worse,

it has spawned some preposterous doggerel verse.

The plaintiff, a man of the sea,

after paying his lawyer a fee,

filed a complaint of several pages

to recover statutory wages.

The pleaded facts remind us of a tale that is endless.

A seaman whom for centuries the law has called “friendless”

is discharged from the ship before voyage’s end

and sues for lost wages, his finances to mend.

The defendant shipping company’s office is based in New York City,

and to get right down to the nitty gritty,

it has been brought to this Court by long arm service,

which has made it extremely nervous.

Long arm service is a procedural tool

founded upon a “doing business” rule.

But defendant has no office here, and says it has no mania

to do any business in Pennsylvania.

Plaintiff found defendant had a ship here in June ‘72,

but defendant says that ship’s business is through.

Asserting that process is amiss,

it has filed a motion to dismiss.

Plaintiff’s counsel, whose name is Harry Lore,

read defendant’s brief and found it a bore.

Instead of a reply brief, he acted pretty quick

and responded with a clever limerick:

 

“Admiralty process is hoary

With pleadings that tell a sad story

Of Libels in Rem—

[367 F.Supp. 375]

The bane of sea-faring men

The moral: Better personally served than be sorry.”

 

Not to be outdone, the defense took the time

to reply with their own clever rhyme.

The defense counsel team of Mahoney, Roberts, & Smith

drafted a poem cutting right to the pith:

 

“Admiralty lawyers like Harry

Both current and those known from lore

Be they straight types, mixed or fairy

Must learn how to sidestep our bore.

For Smith, not known for his mirth

With his knife out for Mackensworth

With Writs, papers or Motions to Quash

Knows that dear Harry’s position don’t wash.”

 

Overwhelmed by this outburst of pure creativity,

we determined to show an equal proclivity.

Hence this opinion in the form of verse,

even if not of the calibre of Saint-John Perse.

The first question is whether, under the facts,

defendant has done business here to come under  Pennsylvania’s long arm acts.

If we find that it has, we must reach question two,

whether that act so applied is constitutional under

Washington v. International Shoe.

Defendant runs a ship known as the SS Washington Trader,

whose travels plaintiff tracked as GM is said to have followed Nader.

He found that in June ‘72 that ship rested its

keel and took on a load of cargo here which was

quite a big business deal.

In order for extraterritorial jurisdiction to obtain,

it is enough that defendant do a single act in Pa. for pecuniary gain.

And we hold that the recent visit of defendant’s ship to Philadelphia’s port

is doing business enough to bring it before this Court.

We note, however, that the amended act’s grammar

is enough to make any thoughtful lawyer stammer.

The particular problem which deserves mention

is whether a single act done for pecuniary gain also requires a future intention.

As our holding suggests, we believe the answer is no,

and feel that is how the Pa. appellate cases will go.

Further, concerning § (a)(3)’s “shipping of merchandise”

[367 F.Supp. 376]

the future intention doctrine has already had its demise.

We do not yet rest our inquiry, for as is a judge’s bent,

we must look to see if there is precedent.

And we found one written in ‘68 by three big wheels

on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case, a longshoreman’s personal injury suit,

is Kane v. USSR,

and it controls the case at bar.

It’s a case with which defendants had not reckoned,

and may be found at page 131 of 394 F.2d.

In Kane, a ship came but once to pick up stores

and hired as agents to do its chores

a firm of local stevedores.

Since the Court upheld service on the agents, the case is nearly on all fours,

and to defendant’s statutory argument Kane closes the doors.

Despite defendant’s claim that plaintiff’s process is silly,

there have been three other seamen’s actions against defendant, with service in Philly.

And although they might have tried to get the service corrected,

the fact of the matter is they’ve never objected.

We turn then to the constitutional point,

and lest the issue come out of joint,

it is important that one thought be first appended:

the reason the long arm statute was amended.

The amendment’s purpose was to eliminate guess

and to extend long arm service to the full reach of due process.

And so we now must look to the facts

to see if due process is met by sufficient “minimum contacts.”

The visit of defendant’s ship is not yet very old,

and so we feel constrained to hold

that under traditional notions of substantial justice and fair play,

defendant’s constitutional argument does not carry the day.

This Opinion has now reached its final border,

and the time has come to enter an Order,

which, in a sense, is its ultimate crux,

but alas, plaintiff claims under a thousand bucks.

So, while trial counsel are doubtless in fine fettle,

with many fine fish in their trial kettle,

we urge them not to test their mettle,

[367 F.Supp. 377]

because, for the small sum involved,

it makes more sense to settle.

In view of the foregoing Opinion, at this time

we enter the following Order, also in rhyme.

ORDER Finding that service of process is bona fide,

the motion to dismiss is hereby denied.

So that this case can now get about its ways,

defendant shall file an answer within 21 days.

(Footnotes and headnotes are also in verse.)

 

182.

Necessity knows no law; I know some attorneys of the same.

~Benjamin Franklin

 

183.

There are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.

~Mark Twain (1835–1910), American humorist, writer and lecturer