Category Archives: Law

Lawyers that Game: Dianne Bonfiglio, Esq., aka, Hot Chief PMS

Hot Chief PMS, aka Dianne Bonfiglio, Esq.This interview is the first of a planned series of interviews of professionals — lawyers naturally among them — that are avid, earnest, unabashed gamers. I conducted this interview back in September, but a number of issues kept it from appearing on A.O. Without further ado, here’s my interview with a remarkable attorney from Florida who happens to also be a very skilled competitive gamer. Enjoy. Lime

AO: Hot Chief, thanks for doing this interview. Just by way of introduction, I met you via a comment you left on my blog… I Googled your name, and discovered that lo, you were not only Dianne Bonfiglio, Esq., but also “Hot Chief PMS,” of the online all-female gaming clan “PMS Clan.” Since Halo is one of your forte’s and I’m a Halo addict–and an attorney–I was immediately smitten. You agreed to do an interview, and so here are a few questions: how do being an attorney and a hard-core gamer jive. First off, for the law: what type of law do you practice?

HC: Harry, thank *you* for the opportunity to speak with you! It is my pleasure. Professionally, I’ve been practicing law for about five years. I am a business major and had substantial experience in business before I entered law school in Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Entertainment, Gaming, Law, PC Gaming, Sports, Xbox 360

Obtaining a Name Change in Montana

capture.jpg

Apparently this spurned husband didn’t take it so well when his wife entered into
a dalliance on a business trip.  William L. Managhan of the Managhan & Kortum-Managhan Law Firm, reportedly sent the following email to the entire membership of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association, detailing exactly how best to change your name in Montana:

Managhan & Kortum-Managhan Law Firm will no longer be known as such. The name is returning to Managhan Law Firm as Santana Kortum-Managhan is leaving the firm. Turns out that she was having sex with Tim McKeon of Anaconda while attending MMLP hearings in Helena. Call me silly but I no longer fill comfortable with her as my law partner or wife. Some will think this is an inappropriate announcement, but considering the small legal community in our state, I might as well preempt the roomer mill. Please address communication to William L. Managhan through Managhan Law Firm.

http://www.managhanlawfirm.com/profiles.htm

Managhan Law Firm PLLC

That’s a big “[sic]” for all those typos.  Whether the email is authentic or no, it’s quite a story, isn’t it.  The firm’s “Profiles” page reads “This page is currently unavailable,” lending a suspicious air of credibility to the tale.

And Mr. Managhan: if you did indeed send this out, can’t you take the time to be a real lawyer and run a spell-check before burdening us with your linguistic/romance woes and simultaneously trashing your wife’s reputation (if indeed that is you . . . hellooo?)?

Lime

See also HERE and HERE for more on the story.

add to del.icio.us Add to Blinkslist add to furl Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It! add to simpy seed the vine TailRank

10 Comments

Filed under Humor, Law

Haditha Update: LtCol Jeffrey Chessani Additional Charges

After having his Article 32 investigation reopened, two additional charges for dereliction of dutyhttp://www.expose-the-war-profiteers.org/DOD/iraq_II/haditha_files/Jeffrey_Chessani.jpg have been add against Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani. LtCol Chessani was the battalion commander of the Marines involved in the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in Hadita, Iraq.

The Investigating Officer, Col Conlin, in LtCol Chessani’s case had originally recommended three charges for violations of Article 92 of the UCMJ, for dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffrey Chessani (right) with his lawyers

These additional charges are only recommendations at this point, the decision to send these charges to a court-martial rests with the Convening Authority, Lieutenant General J. N. Mattis, USMC.

According to his attorney, former Marine Judge Advocate Brian Rooney of the Thomas More Law Center, LtCol Chessani plans to sue Congressman John Murtha. See HotAir.

yojoe out

For more information: Haditha Investigations

1 Comment

Filed under Haditha, Law, Military Law

AltLaw Beta: Free Boolean-searches of SCOTUS/Federal Courts of Appeal Decisions

AltLaw

AltLaw, the newest and one of the more promising internet legal resources to hit the scene, is now up and running and available for free public advanced searches of case law.

It’s a sort of Google for Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal decisions, and clearly holds promise to democratize the availability of relevant and useful case law in the States. LEXIS and Westlaw, of course, have long monopolized the availability of such information in any searchable or useful form, and have charged a pretty penny to those that want to easily search case or other resources (via “Natural Language” or the far more powerful, but underused, advanced/Boolean search engines). AltLaw now makes Boolean searching entirely free.

The catch: at startup, AltLaw’s coverage of SCOTUS case law extends fully only back to May 1991, and the Federal Courts of Appeals in a more irregular spread–the 7th Circuit back only to October 1999, and at best, the 1st Circuit back to 1992. Complete details about AltLaw’s initial coverage are posted HERE.

AltLaw is a joint project of Columbia Law School and the University of Colorado Law School. The site touts, amazingly, advanced searching options akin to LEXIS and Westlaw, including proximity searching, Boolean searches, concentration searches, wildcard searches (my fave), among others. The site also intimates that West Reporter Citations will be added.

Yet another step in making U.S. case law readily available to the citizenry, along the lines of what Cornell’s indispensible Legal Information Institute has done, for example, in making the U.S. Code and Code of Federal Regulations, among LII’s many other items, very quickly searchible and accessible for free.

Thanks to fellow appellate litigator Greg May at The California Blog of Appeal, and Harvard’s Info/Law for the story.

Lime

add to del.icio.us Add to Blinkslist add to furl Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It! add to simpy seed the vine TailRank

Leave a comment

Filed under Appellate Law, Criminal Law, Education, International, Law, Supreme Court, Tech

Haditha Update: Article 32 Investigation for Sgt Frank Wuterich

Marine Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich has maintained his innocence.

The Article 32 investigation for Sgt Frank Wuterich, USMC, is set to begin on 30AUG07 aboard Camp Pendleton. LtCol Ware will be the investigating officer. LtCol Ware was the investigating officer for LCpl Stephen B. Tatum and and LCpl Justin L. Sharratt, in both cases he recommended no charges.

Sgt Wuterich’s lawyer, Neal Puckett, a retired Marine Corps lawyer, said Sgt Wuterich “has nothing to hide. We have faith that the military justice system will support split-second decisions made during combat.”Given that the momentum has turned against the government it is likely that LtCol Ware will not recommend charges in this case.

Additionally, in his previous report LtCol Ware cited a number of evidentiary problems with the government’s case that will exist in Sgt Wuterich’s case also. These include inaccurate translations of witness statements, inability of the government produce Iraqi witnesses who would be required at a court-martial, inability to conduct an autopsy on the bodies, and unlawful command influence relating to the statements by the Honorable John Murtha.

yojoe out

Leave a comment

Filed under Haditha, Iraq, Law, Military Justice, Military Law

Haditha Update: Investigating Officer Recommends No Charges for LCpl Tatum

LtCol P.J. Ware, USMC, filed the report of his investigation into charges against LCpl Stephen B. Tatum, wherein he recommended no criminal charges. LtCol Ware characterized the shootings as tragedies, but LCpl Tatum did not violate the law.

LtCol Ware previously recommended no charges be brought against LCpl Justin L. Sharratt. LtGen Mattis accepted the recommendations and dropped the charges against LCpl Sharratt. The decision to send LCpl Tatum to a court-martial now rests with LtGen Mattis. It will likely be two weeks before he hands down his decision.

yojoe out

Haditha Archives

Leave a comment

Filed under Iraq, Law, Military Justice, Military Law

U.S. Court of Military Commission Review: U.S. v. Khadr

The first hearing of the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review is scheduled to hold its first hearing on 24AUG07. The hearing will hear argument regarding the dismissal of charges against Omar Ahmed Khadr because of a flaw in the Combatant Status Review Tribunals for Guantanamo Bay prisoners. See United States v. Khadr.

yojoe

1 Comment

Filed under Appellate Law, Law, Military Justice, Military Law

Marine Drill Instructor Charged: 244 Counts of Abusing Recruits

Sgt Jerrod M. Glass, USMC, a Drill Instructors at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, was charged with 244 counts of abusing recruits. The accusations against Sgt Glass include striking almost every member of his platoon, a total of 60 recruits. The four officers who oversaw Sgt Glass have been relieved of their duties.

Capt Patrick J. Callahan, USMC, the defense lawyer for Sgt Glass, requested all charges against he client be read aloud in court. Customarily, the reading of the charges in a court-martial is waived, as the accused has had adequate time to read the charges. The Military Judge was LtCol Jeffery Meeks, who was surprised by the number of officers already punished for the incidents.

The allegations against Sgt Glass include having a recruit jump into a trash can and sticking recruits with a tent pole and flashlight. The prosecutor indicated that he may call every member of the platoon to testify at the court-martial. Given the deployment tempo of the Marine Corps, this may require some of the Marine to return from Iraq. The preliminary date for Sgt Glass’s court-martial is early November 2007.

yojoe out

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Military Justice, Military Law

Crack v. Cocaine: The Supreme Court to Rule on Decreased Punishment for Powder Cocaine

The Supreme Court added to its docket United States v. Kimbrough, 06-6330, which involves the application of the United States Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”).

Note – Crack cocaine (hereinafter “crack“) is cocaine hydrochloride that is processed with baking soda to form of cocaine capable of being smoked. Cocaine in powder form will be referred to as “cocaine.”

Synopsis – Kimbrough was sentenced to 120 months for possession of 50 grams of crack cocaine. The range under the Guidelines was 168 – 210 months. The judge made the downward departure from the Guidelines based upon his disagreement with the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. This disparity in sentencing is known as the “100:1 crack/powder ratio,” which means that a defendant who deals 100 pounds of powder cocaine faces the same punishment as the defendant who deals 1 pound of crack.

Issue – The Court will decide whether a judge may deviate from the Guidelines if he disagrees with the decreased punishment for powder cocaine by giving a shorter sentence than required.

State of the Law – In United States v. Booker, the Supreme Court held that sentence enhancements, under the Guidelines, based upon facts found by the sentencing court and not a jury, violated the Sixth Amendment. The Booker majority remedied this Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Appellate Law, Law, Supreme Court

Haditha Update: SJA Recuses Himself After Criticizing LtCol Ware

The Staff Judge Advocate, SJA, – the senior legal adviser, roughly equivalent to in-house counsel for a business – for LtGen Mattis removed himself form the case of LCpl Tatum. The SJA, LtCol Bill Riggs, contacted LtCol Ware and criticized him for holding the government to too high of a standard when evaluating the charges against LCpl Tatum. LtCol Ware replied, via e-mail, “I viewed Lt. Col. Riggs’ comments as inappropriate and imprudent. … I was … offended and surprised by this conversation.”

LtCol Ware was the investigating officer for LCpl Sharratt. LtCol Ware unrecommended no charges against the Marines, and LtGen Mattis concurred with this recommendation and dismissed all charges against both LCpl Sharratt and Capt Stone. LtCol Ware will also be the Investigating Officer for SSgt Frank Wuterich.

yojoe out

More on Haditha

2 Comments

Filed under Criminal Law, Haditha, International, Iraq, Law, Military Justice, Military Law

NMCCA: US v. Ledbetter (Aug 07)

The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals released U.S. v. Ledbetter, No. 200500009, unpublished op. (N.M.Ct.Crim.App. 14 Aug 2007). SPCM, military judge alone, guilty pleas, Arts 80, 81, 91, 95, 108, and 134. Sentence: 5 months, E-1, forfeiture of $500 pay per month for 6 months, and BCD. Appellant claimed (1) improvident plea to resisting apprehension, (2) he was deprived of right to counsel because trial defense counsel never contacted him regarding submission of clemency matters after NMCCA’s remand, (3) ineffective assistance of counsel prior to first CAX, and (4) post-trial delay.

The Court held: assignments of error 1 and 3 were without merit, and withheld ruling on 4. NMCCA resolved AOE 2 by setting aside the convening authority’s action (the 2nd one) and returned the case to the JAG for “proper post-trial processing.” On remand, the trial defense counsel, LT W, received the second SJAR and indicated by Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Appellate Law, Criminal Law, Law, Military Justice, Military Law

Lawyering Tip: RSS Legal Feeds

If any of you use RSS readers or depend on the internet for news related to your profession (or simply for enjoyment), you should be familiar with Netvibes. Netvibes is perhaps one of the more elegant and streamlined RSS readers out there. It’s been my intention to post a full review of the site in a future posting.

Until then, I’m publishing my law-related feeds in the shared section of Netvibes. The feeds, almost 50 sites in all, are a compilation of several dozen of the best legal sites and blogs out there, and via Netvibes, makes reading the content quite easy.

Simply float your mouse over a given headline, and you’ll get a bubble with a paragraph selection of the news item or blog post. Click on the headline, and you’ll be given a mini-RSS reader within Netvibes, without actually having to exit to another website. I’ve played around with software-based and web-based readers, including Windows Live, Google, and others, but I’ve continued to return to Netvibes as my main reader. The interface is very fast, and makes quickly locating the articles of interest a breeze.

Harry Lime’s Legal Feeds via Netvibes. Enjoy! And please send any good sites my way, I’d be glad to add to the pot.
HL

5 Comments

Filed under Appellate Law, Criminal Law, Law, Military Justice, Military Law, Supreme Court, Tech, Windows Vista

Ex-Military Smackdown: Court of Federal Claims Cracks the Whip Against “Razor’s Edge of Frivolity” Claims

In five recent cases last week, two of which are by ex-military members , the Court of Federal Claims has dismissed the cases because “Plaintiff’s counsel has submitted filings which contain numerous errors and exhibit a fundamental misunderstanding of this Court’s jurisdiction.” (emphasis added).  The court referred the matters, along with three other cases, to the Chief Judge under Rule 83.2(d), the rule governing diciplinary proceedings for “misconduct or allegations of misconduct” by the attorney.

The two cases involving ex-military plaintiffs are Janaskie v. United States, No. 06-602C (Fed. Cl. July 31, 2007) and Pope v. United States, No. 06-446C (July 31, 2007).  The other three cases were Locke v. United States, No. 06-629T (Fed. Cl. July 10, 2007), Leshin v. United States, No. 06-637T (Fed. Cl. Jan. 11, 2006), and Cherbanaeff v. United States, No. 06-640T (Fed. Cl. July 12, 2007).  Four, and I would presume all five of the cases have the same plaintiffs’ counsel (though I cannot locate the fifth, Leshin). 

In the two miltary cases, involving a retired U.S. Air Force senior master sergeant and a discharged member of the California National Guard, the plaintiffs both claimed that the Government was required to compensate them for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Appellate Law, Health, Law, Military Justice, Military Law, Political Commentary

Michael Vick: Sued for 63 Billion or 323 Trillion Dollars?

In the complaint below, filed by Jonathan Lee Riches©, currently residing at the Federal Correctional Institution Williamsburg, Mr. Vick is accused of, inter alia, violations of the United States Constitution, larceny of Mr. Riches© dog and coat, invasion of privacy, identity theft, violations of the Trading with the Enemy Act, and violations of the Copyright Law of the United States. (Note: for some unknown reason, Mr. Riches© has copyrighted his name. Sounds like a good idea.) Mr. Riches© also accuses Mr. Vick of subjecting him to microwave testing, dealing drugs in a school zone, and using steroids.

Compelling draftsmanship and a treatise on civil actions, please enjoy.

Michael Vick Pro Se 1 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg

On Page 2, Mr. Riches© sets forth his constitutional basis for his cause of action, makes a request for “63,000,000,00.00 Billion dollars,” and conflates the United States Postal Service with United Parcel Service.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Humor, Law

Hamdania Update: Cpl Marshall L. Magincalda, USMC, Sentenced to Time Served

Corporal Marshall L. Magincalda, USMC, was found guilty of larceny, housebreaking and conspiracy to commit the following: murder,kidnapping, larceny,obstruction of justice, false official statement and housebreaking. The members returned the verdict on 1 August 2007.

On 3 August 2007, he was sentenced to 448 days confinement and reduction in rank to Private. He had been in the brig at Camp Pendleton for the past 450 days, thus he will be released immediately. His sentence is similar to that of Cpl Thomas, except that Cpl Magincalda did not receive a bad-conduct discharge.


Because he did not receive a discharge at the court-martial, the Marine Corps will either separate him administratively or not allow him to reenlist. That is if the Marine Corps does not allow him to stay in the service, which is highly unlikely. Additionally, what are the chances that he would want to stay in the Corps after spending over a year in the brig?

yojoe out

1 Comment

Filed under Law, Military Justice, Military Law