Thursday, March 22, 2007

enough emotion and bad hair angst...back in business

Thought for Today:
"El amor es fuego, pero con el no se cuece el puchero."
(Love is a furnace, but it will not cook the stew.) — Spanish proverb.

Sudiegirl's response: Well, thank God for microwaves, then...

Well. It's Thursday. In an effort to return you all to your comfort zones and give you what you expect, I'm back in business. Remember, though...I share because I care. Maybe I care...TOO MUCH? Nah...

Anyway...the weather is chilly here in DC right now, but it's expected to reach 71 degrees or so. That'd be nice to experience, eh? Cherry blossom season is comin' soon. That's the best time of year around these parts...I think I've said it before but that doesn't change my opinion. The parade leaves a little bit to be desired, but when the tidal basin is awash in pink and white, it just makes me quiver a smidge.

So...current events thingies...

Top of my list: JOHN EDWARDS. Yes, he is still a cutie patootie, but now add "decent guy" to the list.

You know, I just keep having more and more respect for John Edwards as time goes on.

Seriously...I'm sure he's not the first politician to put spouse and family first, but any candidate for the US Presidency that does has my respect. Harry Truman did it, Gerald Ford did it, heck...maybe even Nixon did it, but I don't remember it that much.

But Edwards...he is one of the good guys, man. Hats off to him, and prayers to Edwards and his wife for the best outcome possible at this stage.

NEXT...haven't given one of these bad boys in a while...

I present, after a delayed absence...
Today's recipient: Stephen Hurley, a lawyer from Madison, Wisconsin.
Reason: The article says it best...

When a prominent lawyer was defending a businessman on charges of sexually assaulting a boy and possessing child pornography, he used a ruse to obtain the boy's computer to aid his case.

Now, state regulators want the state Supreme Court to scold the lawyer for the hoax. Stephen Hurley hired a private investigator to trick the boy into swapping his computer for a new laptop.

This raises the question...can lawyers participate in covert activities AND remain ethical?

Here's exactly what happened, per the article:

At issue is Hurley's defense of Gordon Sussman, who owned a business in Madison selling canoes and kayaks and became the boy's school mentor.

Sussman, 54, has insisted his accuser is lying.

Hurley wanted the boy's computer to aid the defense. He acknowledges hiring private investigator Sheridan Glen to obtain it through deception.

Glen sent the boy a letter from a fake Illinois company called Thermetric, Inc., claiming to be researching students' computer use.

"You have been selected to receive a brand new Hewlett Packard laptop computer, free of charge" in exchange for turning over a computer, the letter said. "The new computer is your reward for participation." The letter was signed "Glen Sheridan."

Glen later traveled to the boy's home in Indiana, where he had moved, to make the swap. His mother soon feared they were tricked and alerted authorities.

A defense analyst discovered hundreds of pornographic images on the computer, including 28 images involving children. Hurley claimed the images showed the boy accessed child pornography and learned about sex on his own and not through Sussman.

(BTW, I know it seems like I'm cutting and pasting a lot, but I figure it's better to take this directly from the source as opposed to trying to interpret it. I don't want to get the facts wrong and get chewed out...)

The boy's parents called the authorities regarding the swap, and that's where the trouble really began for Mr. Hurley. His client was found guilty and is appealing the case, saying that the kid found the images on his own and he had nothing to do with it.

Judge's comments:

Of course, both sides of the legal fence are torn. Fellow defense attorneys say that what Hurley did was not a gold-medal winning moment, but not unethical. Prosecutors view it differently. The laws about this in the Cheesehead State are not clear so this could be a landmark Supreme Court decision in their state.

Personally, here's how I see it. If I were in Hurley's shoes, I would have tried every ethical way possible FIRST. I don't know much about being a defense attorney, but surely there were ways to get the kid's computer without resorting to deception and the like.

Final word? I am REALLY glad I'm not a lawyer. It was hard enough to be a paralegal intern back in the day...I'll tell more stories about that later. The tactics are sometimes hard to stomach...but like one of the US Presidents said (I think it was FDR...correct me if I'm wrong), "He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch!" You WANT a lawyer to be your champion. If they're not your champion, you can sue their asses for malpractice, and they could lose everything and/or be disbarred.

But when you're on the other's hell. Everything about you is questioned. Everything is scrutinized. Everything is put through the grist mill to get to the truth...or at least, the truth that benefits one party or the other.

Lawyers have a really tough job, and I can't imagine being one for the life of me. I'd have eight ulcers, chronic migraines and have to go to a counselor every day to deal with the decisions I'd have to make. I really admire them for sticking it out, but I can't say I aspire to be one or that I agree with their tactics 100%.

So there you are...a regular, Sudiegirl type o' post. Enjoy it!