North Carolina Tries to Silence Blogger For Promoting Primal / Paleo Lifestyle

May 29, 2012

This one comes from John Durant of Hunter-Gatherer.com, one of my favorite blogs. Apparently the state of North Carolina not only wants to ban gay marriage, but they also want to ban paleo bloggers.

Ain’t freedom grand?

For those of you who don’t know, the paleo / primal lifestyle is simple and it’s gaining traction. The basic principles involve living as close to our hunter-gatherer ancestors as possible. You do this by getting sun, exercising, and eating foods that are natural as opposed to processed foods. This includes food like meat, fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables, eggs, tubers, etc. A primal / paleo diet also stresses eating organic, grass fed meat as opposed to stuff from factory farms. Finally, people who follow a paleo / primal diet do not eat sugars, grains, or food made from chemicals.

Put simply, if you can’t kill it or gather it, it ain’t food. The theory is our bodies evolved in a hunter / gatherer diet, so that is what is optimal. Grains are relatively new, evolutionarily, and now we’re being inundated with stuff like high fructose corn syrup and “foods” that are more just chemicals.

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Brett Kimberlin: Pure Evil

May 25, 2012

Brett Kimberlin: The Speedway Bomber

Politically, I have very little in this fight. To the extent I follow politics, they are mostly local. As a self identified Libertarian, I am liberal on some issues, and conservative on others. Leave me alone.

This post isn’t about right wing bloggers or left wing bloggers. This is about the First Amendment, and a man named Brett Kimberlin who is a litigious, convicted terrorist who uses frivolous lawsuits to try and silence his critics. And I think you ought to know about it.

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Joseph Rakofsky in His Own Words: A Stunningly Sad Mix of Vanity, Hubris, Bad Judgment, and Irony

May 24, 2012

Alright, Joseph Rakofsky’s latest papers are out. I actually read them, so you owe me a beer. (They can be found in their entirety here).

If you don’t know the story, Joseph Rakofsky was admitted to practice on April 29, 2010 in New Jersey. On May 3, 2010, he claims he was approached by Dontrell Deaner’s family to defend him in a murder case. (say what? April 29, 2010 was a Friday Thursday. May 3, 2010 was a Monday. That means Rakofsky got licensed and somehow in four days was approached to handle a murder trial.)

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No, Showmark Media, I Do Not Want Your Plaque

May 21, 2012

One of the things I hate about Mondays is they usually begin with a million emails. Today I woke up to find this email in my box:

Hmmmm. Yes, it’s true, I was selected as a 2012 “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers this year. However, I’m not aware of anyone saying I’m a “Top Young Attorney”. And I don’t think that Showmark Media is in any way affiliated with Super Lawyers, either. So while I’m flattered that Showmark Media, whoever they are, thinks I’m a “Top Young Attorney”, I’m not interested in buying their plaque. So I ignored the email.

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How Brett Kimberlin Tried to Frame Aaron Walker for a Crime: A Must Read

May 20, 2012

Brett Kimberlin

Unfortunately, I’m very busy at the moment with a big trial coming up on Wednesday. In order to distract myself, Saturday morning I dropped by Popehat and read a post entitled “Chilling Tales of Crazy/Evil.” I’m glad I did.

This is probably the second time ever I’m at a total loss for words. You must read Aaron Walker’s story. In its entirety. Don’t be lazy.

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How’s Business?

May 19, 2012

Oh cool. Lawyers who advertise on the free section of Craigslist. They must all be very good lawyers.

Last night I organized a happy hour quizzo at Luke’s Bar, the bar closest to my house. My friend Big Mike does one of Philadelphia’s best quizzos ever. I was out with a lawyer friend of mine who has been on his own for about four or five years. Inevitably, two lawyers hanging out a a bar will begin to talk shop. Naturally, at one point he turned to me and said:

“So how’s business?”
“Pretty good. Hoping it keeps up.” Me and Leo started our law firm at the beginning of this year. Although I’m still driving a 2004 Honda Civic, and several of my dress shirts came from the thrift store (they’re Brooks Brothers, so shut up), the firm has exceeded my expectations so far. That said, I don’t expect much from my practice, either. I’m happy as long as the bills are paid. If we make lots of money that’s good, but if we don’t that’s fine, too. Me and Leo have never approached starting our firm from the perspective of “How can we make a million dollars?” In fact, I knew leaving a traditional law firm and starting my own practice would cause my income to drop, and I’m okay with that.

My buddy looked in his beer, kind of deflated, and said, “Business sucks for me. I dropped a lot of money on a YellowPages ad and didn’t get much from it. I’m thinking about hiring a marketing coach or something. Maybe I’ll get Yodle.”
“That’s stupid.” Don’t get me started on lawyer advertising after I’ve had a few beers…
“Okay, then how am I supposed to get more clients?”My buddy doesn’t get out of the house very much. He goes to work, does whatever, and then goes home and plays video games most days.
“I don’t know. Network?” God I hate talking shop at the bar. “But spamming the internet with crap seems like a waste, even if it makes the phone ring. Plus it makes you look scuzzy. I’d also imagine some of your good clients will be turned off by that.”
“Where are you getting most of your clients right now?” I asked.
“I put free ads on Craigslist. I also get them through the bar association referral service. That’s about it.” he said.
“So you’re spamming the internet on Craigslist, and it’s not doing much for you. And you want to pay Yodle to do that more? What’s the definition of ‘crazy’ again?”
“Well, you seem to be busy. Where do you guys get all your clients, anyway?”
“Dunno. I haven’t thought about it much…”

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Congrats to Jordan Rushie for making Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2012!

May 17, 2012
Congrats to Jordan for making Superlawyers Rising Stars 2012!

Jordan – the Fishtown Super-Lawyer.

Buy this man a beer. Just don’t put him near kryptonite.


Stop and Frisk on NPR – Greenfield takes on Richard Cohen’s NPR Broadcast.

May 17, 2012

Stop and Frisk on NPR – Greenfield takes on Richard Cohen’s NPR Broadcast.

Cohen deserves a skewering, and Greenfield delivers:

Maybe Cohen was sick that day in third grade when the teacher, Mrs. Crabtree, mentioned it. That happens, but it’s a good reason not to write about it. The “it” is the Constitution.  The “it” is the foundation of our government.  The “it” is not subject to individual approval or “common sense” revisionism.  In other words, columnists for the Washington Post who go on radio to talk about crap they know nothing about do not get to opine that the application of the Constitution to the government is subject to either their approval or their imaginings of common sense.

Of course order and security would be enhanced if the people had no rights and the government was all powerful. This isn’t exactly higher order thinking.  But Cohen, when that bunch of dry good merchants decided to form a better union, they made some choices to guide how that government would function going forward.  No one told you?  Sorry, but it’s all over the internet.

The United States Constitution, Fourth Amendment, establishes a value judgment upon which this nation was formed.  It provides that police cannot stop and frisk people at will. Done deal. This is not subject to either popular approval or your severely limited grasp and equivocation.

Yes, the stop and frisk program is more effective than adherence to the Constitution at preventing crime. So too would be anal cavity searches at will. Summary executions would also work pretty darned well. There is a laundry list of things the police could do that would have an impact, to at least some degree, on crime.

And yet the Constitution says they can’t.

It sucks? It’s not your cup of tea, Cohen?  There’s always Singapore. I hear it’s lovely this time of year.  They have no Fourth Amendment prohibiting the government from flexing its muscles at will to prevent the potential of crime by allowing people to be free from baseless searches.  Sure, apartments are hard to find, but isn’t it worth it to feel safe?

I love this guy.

The only commentary I can add are the words of others wiser than I:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - B. Franklin

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. - U.S. Const., Amend. IV.

The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from unreasonable searches and seizures, and no warrant to search any place or seize any person or things shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable case, supported by oath or affirmation subscribed to by the affiant. – Pa. Const., Article I, § 8.

Now, forgive me while I bang my head against my desk and try to forget that NPR broadcast.

My reaction.



Social Media: New Addendum to Our Engagement Agreement

May 9, 2012

Here’s your free legal advice for the day.

It’s come to my attention that many don’t understand the devastating effects that social media posts can inflict upon a criminal or civil matter. Only today, I saw someone who’s currently involved in litigation post something on Facebook that would make opposing counsel squee with delight.

So I’ve decided to add a Social Media Clause to my engagement agreements. This is still a work in progress, but I hope it gets the point across.

SOCIAL MEDIA.

While your case is active, do not use social media.

Don’t. Period. This includes everything from Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram, to blogging — even if you’re “anonymous” or doing so under a pseudonym. We are not joking.

The opposing side will be able to find anything you post and will use it against you. You should pretend that anything you post will end up on the front page of the newspaper. We may fire you as a client if you do not follow this rule.

Finally, don’t ever send us confidential information over social media. Social media is never confidential


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