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Saturday, October 21, 2006

You Know Your Supervisor Hates You If You're The Lawyer Who Gets This Assignment

Remember the dime phone call scene from the Paper Chase?

Professor Kingsfield, the tough and demanding Harvard Law professor, humiliates a student by handing him a dime in the middle of class -- this was before cell phones -- and telling him, "Take this dime, call your mother, and tell her you will never be a lawyer."

Next week, there will probably be a lawyer or two working in the City Attorney's office wishing they had received the dime instead of the diploma. You see, they will have the intellectually rewarding task of drawing up guidelines to determine when an object is merely "trash," and when instead it is the "property of the homeless."

The Daily News reports today that Clowncil Member Jan Perry "asked the City Attorney's Office to prepare new guidelines that will specify what items city crews can remove" from Skid Row. "Under current guidelines, any property that a homeless person can carry with them - even if it takes several trips - cannot be removed as trash."

Anyway, the lucky lawyer will want to start his memo with a thorough discussion of the law of trover. My recommendation would be: if it looks like trash, take it. Even if we get sued for replacement value, we just give the guy more trash.

The rest of the story: http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_4527191
Trover in a nutshell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trover


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter, why are you talking about trash when less than a week ago Bush signed the Military Commissions Act with a smirk and a slash of his pen decimating nine of ten of the Bill of Rights?

You are an attorney, are you not? Then where are you on the loss of Habeus Corpus which has protected our civil rights undisturbed for 230 years?

Hitler used his Parliment to give him the Enabling Act which allowed him to officially become Dictator and eventually World Conqueror. Congress gave Bush the Military Commisions Act which officially gave Bush the rights of a Dictator and he already sees himself as the World Conqueror.

Where are you Walter? For that matter, where is everyone?

October 22, 2006 1:45 AM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

This blog focuses on local issues, not national ones, so I typically write about the former.

But tell us more. Why should we be worked up about this act? That's a serious question, not an argument. I know zero about this. My impression is that it simply authorizes the same sort of practice that has been used historically during wars, i.e., you don't prosecute, try and convict enemy combatants with a judge and jury.

Does it have the potential for abuse against U.S. citizens located here on our soil, and if so, how?

October 22, 2006 7:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


You really think Habeas Corpus has been undisturbed for 230 years? Tell that to Abraham Lincoln, who suspended Habeas Corpus a little over a century ago.

October 22, 2006 8:36 AM  

Blogger Councilman John said:

Walter, it ends Habeas Corpus.

It allows the Executive branch the sole authority declare anyone, even a US Citizen on US soil, an "unlawful enemy combatant" and hold them indefinitely without trial. Anyone arrested under this law has no right to a lawyer, or any judicial review whatsoever.

It is a clear violation of the Constitution on multiple grounds. Even Justice Scalia will have a problem with this one.

October 22, 2006 1:11 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Not to go all "lawyer" on you, but I've looked it up, and it seems to apply ONLY to people who are NOT U.S. citizens.

Section 948c, "Persons subject to military commissions," states the act applies as follows: "Any alien unlawful enemy combatant is subject to trial by military commission under this chapter." Note the use of the term "alien."

Section 948a(3) specifically defines "alien" as "a person who is not a citizen of the United States."

I'm no expert, but this seems like pretty standard stuff for the conduct of a war against people who don't wear uniforms, and who are not under the control of any particular nation-state.

Does it have potential for abuse? Sure, but what doesn't?

If I'm missing some key provision, let me know. I've got an open mind. But the assertion that this can be used to snatch citizens off the street does not seem to be founded on the language of the act.

October 22, 2006 7:39 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There is one word for what is going on in government everywhere national, state, and local.


klep·toc·ra·cy (klµp-t¼k“r…-s¶)n., pl. klep·toc·ra·cies. A government characterized by rampant greed and corruption. [Greek kleptein, to steal + -cracy.] --klep”to·crat“ic (-t…-kr²t“¹k) adj.

October 22, 2006 10:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter, listen to Councilman John!

Councilman John said:

"It allows the Executive branch the sole authority declare anyone, even a US Citizen on US soil, an "unlawful enemy combatant" and hold them indefinitely without trial. Anyone arrested under this law has no right to a lawyer, or any judicial review whatsoever."

When the secret police knock at your door and tell you to come with them, because the President says you are an "alien" unlawful enemy combatant. Will you be able to pursuade them not to take you because you claim not to be an alien?

You'll be lucky if they let you speak. Once again, this is how Hitler did it. Neo-Cons are students of the Third Reich or didn't you know?

And Military Commissions are subject to the President's pleasure.

Oh, yes, and to that other fellow who thinks that because Lincoln did it for a time, it was okay, remember, there was an enormous wave of outrage. Today, there is not so much as a whimper.

Your rights have just been stolen and you do not even know it; this truly is a Kleptocracy!

October 22, 2006 10:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter, where are you?

This is the most important anti-democratic act that this Bush crew has thusfar put over on us, and you remain mute.

It is the worst act of treason perpetrated on the American citizens, ever.

Speak up Walter! Speak up everyone!

Bush, the puppet dictator now rules.

October 25, 2006 12:16 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Under the guise of reversing the Supreme Court's decision to allow the use of Eminent Domain to obtain private property for private purpose, Proposition 90 which has been placed on California ballots for November 7, 2006, is actually an attempt at the highest national level to give developers a means of decimating both land use and environmental laws.

Propostion 90 would devastate the protections for our natural resources including water quality and wildlife habitat by allowing anyone to sue our government agencies under the claim that new land use, environmental or public health laws would dimish the value of their property or business. It would be taxpayers who inevitably would have to pay these claims.

City, county and state governments would be forever restrained from enacting or enforcing the most basic protections for our air and water quality. They would be completely hampered in restricting land use and protecting wildlife habitat.

Propostion 90 is a radical right-wing "takings" proposal that would allow any number of people to sue if they believe that government actions have compromised any of their possible future profits.

Proposition 90 would take the risk out of land speculation and lead to the ravishing of our environment. There would no longer be any avenue to protect our watershed, stop off-shore drilling, or save old growth forests.

Elaine Brown
Sunland, CA

October 25, 2006 12:28 AM  

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