October 29th, 2010
The children were taken to a beach where no lifeguards were present. There was too little supervision of the children involved. In addition, the appropriate permission slips were not obtained for all of the children.
Five Children Almost Drowned
October 27th, 2010
Critics of the Missouri system feel that this is an embarrassment for the state. They claim the cost of punishing individuals who have been convicted of crimes should not be a factor taken into consideration by the court. They claim society would be at greater risk if the criminals are not incarcerated and that administering justice is a separate issue from the resulting financial impact on society.
The State of Michigan has closed some of its prisons. Arizona is currently considering privatizing its correctional facilities. California, a state in dire financial straights, is investigating all types of ways to reduce the amount of individuals incarcerated within its borders.
Query: Should judges handing out criminal sentences for individuals convicted of misdemeanors and felonies take in consideration the cost to New York State for keeping those individuals in jail? Should individuals convicted of nonviolent crimes receive alternative sentences to incarceration?
I personally see no harm in providing a judge with the actual cost of sentencing an individual who appears before him or her. I believe Missouri’s system of providing judges with the cost of the jail terms they hand out to be a good idea. Incarceration of nonviolent offenders for small, petty crimes is a waste of valuable (and extremely limited) resources!
October 25th, 2010
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
The Florida law went into effect July 1, 2010. Under this new statue, the driver of a motor vehicle either pays a $158 fine or has to submit evidence that he or she was not driving the vehicle at the time of incident. Attorney Abramson claims the driver should not have the burden of proof. The municipality should have to prove that the owner of the vehicle was the operator at the time of the incident. The lawsuit claims that “the presumption of guilt, shifting the burden of proof, violates both the Florida Constitution and the United States Constitution.”
Should you, a family member or a friend have issues with red light tickets, speeding tickets or other types of traffic violations, feel free to contact the traffic attorneys at the law office of Elliot Schlissel. We can help you with these matters. Our phone number is 1-800-344-6431, or contact us by email.
October 22nd, 2010
Dog Bites Man On Finger
Mr. Bach Dies
Mr. Bach’s family has sued Conrad Haskins for Bach’s wrongful death. In the state of Washington, a dog’s owner can be held liable for civil damages if he or she has a dog who is known to be vicious or to attack people. This is virtually the same standard that exists in the state of New York.
Should you, a family member or loved one be bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages from the owner. Feel free to contact the personal injury attorneys at the law office of Elliot Schlissel should you have any questions, at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.
October 18th, 2010
The most common interaction that a law-abiding citizen has with police is being stopped pursuant to a traffic violation. It is important that you do not act in an aggressive or disrespectful manner to the police officer when being stopped. It is especially important that you do not get into an argument with the officer. Do not ask “what are you stopping me for?” and do not try to control the situation. The best way to handle the stop is to be polite, charming and apologetic. The police officer has stopped you for a reason. By claiming that you did not do whatever activity he or she witnessed you doing, you are insulting the officer’s intelligence.
Chris Rock’s Advice
Chris Rock has a video on YouTube in which he gives advice about what to do when you get pulled over for a traffic violation. In the video, Chris Rock recommends that you should “obey the law, stop immediately and stay in your car with your hands on the wheel. If your woman is mad at you, leave her at home. There’s nothing she’d like to see more than you getting your ass kicked”. This is generally good advice!
Honesty is the Best Policy
Do not lie to the police officer when you are stopped. In addition, do not tell the police officer that you don’t know the reason you were pulled over. This will not be helpful. Police officers are concerned with their safety at traffic stops. They do not know if you are an honest citizen or a hardened criminal with a gun under your seat. Stay calm!
When the police officer approaches your car, remain inside the vehicle. Turn the interior dome light on in your car and keep your hands on the steering wheel. It is important that you avoid making quick movements. A police officer may misinterpret a quick movements being an aggressive action to obtain a weapon.
If the police officer asks you for your license and registration, tell the police officer where you are going to put your hands to try to find these items. When you move to obtain your license and registration, do not move quickly. Instead, move slowly in a non-aggressive manner. If you need to open the glove compartment, ask for the police officer’s permission before doing so. He or she may be concerned that there is a weapon in the glove compartment. Be friendly with the police officer. Do not tell him or her that you have important contacts or that you know a lawyer who will straighten this matter out. This would be a mistake. Furthermore, do not, under any circumstances, try to offer the police officer a bribe!
Traffic tickets can be a minor nuisance or they can destroy your livelihood and result in significant hardship by causing you to lose your driver’s license. Should you be issued a summons for traffic violation, an experienced traffic court attorney can help you deal with these problems. Feel free to contact the law office of Elliot Schlissel to assist you in this matter, at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.
October 15th, 2010
Several years ago, Nevada was a state where home prices skyrocketed. Today, Nevada suffers from one of the highest foreclosure rates of any state in the country. RealtyTrac.com claims that one out of every eighty-four households in the state of Nevada has received a foreclosure notice. This is 4.5 times more than the national average.
To deal with the high foreclosure rate, Nevada has implemented a foreclosure mediation program. The purpose of the program is to get troubled borrowers and lenders to negotiate amicable resolutions concerning foreclosure issues. The program has been in effect since July of 2009. As of this date, almost 9,000 mediation requests have been received. Nevada is currently the only state that requires banks to enter into a mediation program.
Since the mediation process started, in excess of sixty-percent of all foreclosure cases have been resolved through mediation. Not all of the resolutions resulted in the homeowner keeping their home. In some cases, as a result of the mediation, the homeowner realized they have no possibility of affording their home and agreed to vacate the premises; however, a large majority of the cases were resolved with the financial institution and the homeowner working out a mortgage modification plan.
The law in New York does not require mediation for foreclosure lawsuits; however, New York Governor David Patterson signed into law a statute that requires mortgage companies, banks and other financial institutions to participate in settlement conferences.
The settlement conferences are required whether or not there are mortgage modifications that are pending. In most situations where there are mortgage modifications pending, the lawsuit is put in abeyance until such time as there has been a decision made with regard to the mortgage modification. In many respects, the settlement conferences have a mediation-type of impact due to the fact that the judge will explore alternatives to the case moving forward.
Our law office has been representing individuals with financial problems who face foreclosure and other types of lawsuits for more than thirty years. Should you have financial problems or find your house in foreclosure, feel free to call us. There are alternatives to foreclosure and we can assist you with regard to these alternatives. Contact our office as 1-800-344-6431, or by email.
October 13th, 2010
Caroline Giuliani’s attorneys requested that she receive special treatment and that she be able to pick out her own type of community service. The court refused to allow this. She will most likely be assigned to the same community service regime that Boy George and Naomi Campbell were subject to.
Boy George and Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell had some negative interaction with the criminal justice system in March of 2007. She was convicted of throwing her cell phone (a misdemeanor) at her housekeeper and was sentenced to community service.
Naomi showed up to work wearing stiletto boots. The former model changed into work boots, a neon vest and a face mask. She too cleaned and scrubbed the New York City Department of Sanitation garage.
Should you, a loved one or a friend be charged with a criminal matter, feel free to contact the criminal defense lawyers at the law office of Elliot Schlissel. We can help protect your rights and, in the event that you are convicted of a crime, try to work out a community service alternative to incarceration. Please contact us at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.
October 11th, 2010
There is a problem with the police in Newark. They are running amuck. There have been many instances of excessive force, false arrest and other abuses by police officers in Newark. It has been suggested that these abuses be investigated by the federal authorities and that a monitor be appointed by the federal government to supervise the police department. These allegations are contained in a proceeding recently brought by a civil liberties group in Newark.
American Civil Liberties Union Takes Action
The lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (the “ACLU”), requests that the civil rights division of the justice department take immediate action to supervise the police in Newark. The complaint by the ACLU documents numerous abuses and inappropriate activities by police officers. The suit claims that the police operate in a culture of impunity, with few, if any, police officers ever being punished for their misdeeds. The complaint specifically states that the misconduct “has left citizens dead, permanently injured and otherwise damaged”. The petition also states that “it has left innocent Newark residents distrustful of the police, unsure whether an encounter with them will lead to being protected and served or beaten and arrested”.
The petition by the ACLU is ninety-six pages long. It provides detailed information concerning the courts, the police and other U.S. governmental agencies. The petition goes on to state that the inappropriate actions of certain members of the Newark police department have damaged the careers and harmed the reputation of good, honorable police officers.
The petition indicates that police misconduct has been going for decades. During the past two and one-half years, more than fifty-one separate lawsuits have been brought against police officers and/or the police in Newark. These lawsuits deal with issues involving police misconduct, such as beatings, theft, and illegal searches. The police are committing misdemeanors and felonies. In cases where citizens have reported police misconduct, there have been threats and harassment by the police against these citizens.
The Newark Police Department has recently settled thirty-eight separate and distinct police misconduct cases. These settlements have cost the city of Newark approximately five million dollars.
Should you, a family member or loved one be exposed to what you feel is police misconduct, contact the law office of Elliot Schlissel. We may be able to assist you in obtaining monetary damages for the police misconduct and for the violation of your civil rights. Contact us at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.
October 8th, 2010
In October of 2003, Kenneth Stevens was charged with robbing one Citibank branch and three branches of Chase Manhattan bank in New York. Mr. Stevens’s modus operandi in each of the robberies was to give the teller a note demanding money. The note also stated that he had a bomb with him.
The fourth robbery was his last one. Several blocks from the bank he was stopped and arrested. At the time of arrest he was carrying the $4,700 in cash he had taken from the bank. Unfortunately for Mr. Stevens, he also had a deposit slip that read, “I have a bomb. Give me all the money”. Mr. Stevens was also carrying with him a black plastic bag containing a coffee canister, not a bomb!
Mr. Stevens was represented at the time of his trial by a court appointed attorney named Michael Young. During the course of the trial, Michael Young had a man named Harvey Alter sit at the defense table. Mr. Young referred to Harvey Alter as his “associate”. Mr. Alter was present during the entire course of the trial. When there were conferences at the bench, he also approached the bench with Mr. Young. The court was under the impression that Mr. Alter was an attorney.
In September of 2004, the jury found Mr. Stevens guilty. Judge John F. Keenan of the Southern District of New York sentenced Mr. Stevens to 216 months in jail.
Harvey Alter Was Not An Attorney
After the trial, it was discovered that Harvey Alter was not an attorney. He was instead a convicted felon and had a business relationship with Michael A. Young, Esq.
Mr. Stevens brought an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the second department. He claimed ineffective assistance of counsel. He further claimed that he was convicted on the felony charge of bank robbery, labeled a career offender and sentenced to eight years in prison due to the fact that his attorney’s associate was a felon.
The court found that even though Mr. Stevens attorney sat next to an individual that was a felon, it did not impact the effectiveness of his counsel. The court also pointed out that the jury was never aware that Mr. Alter was not an attorney and therefore it had no impact on the jury deliberations. Unfortunately for Mr. Stevens, he is still stuck in jail!