Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You Got a Problem with Self-Help? Judge busted for dismissing her own traffic tickets

A Pennsylvania judge faces criminal charges for allegedly dismissing traffic tickets against her that included expired registration on her BMW, the state's attorney general said on Monday.
Magisterial District Judge Kelly Ballentine, 43, of Lancaster, faces conflict of interest, tampering with public records and obstruction charges in the case, Attorney General Linda Kelly said in a statement.
Lancaster police issued two tickets to Ballentine in November 2010 for parking violations in front of her home. She got a third ticket for out-of-date registration on her BMW sedan, the statement said.Ballentine failed to pay the tickets on time and summonses were mailed to her. The judge then accessed the online court system records and dismissed the summonses, which had been issued in her name, it said.Ballentine was arraigned on Monday and released on $25,000 bond, the statement said.

Ballentine was not immediately available to comment.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pennsylvania Court Rules That Trading Sex for World Series Tickets Isn't Prostiution

This Pennsylvania case caught our eye via the Volokh Conspiracy.
The facts are good reading:
On October 26, 2009, Defendant Susan Finkelstein posted an advertisement on the internet forum Craigslist that read: “Diehard Phillies fan—gorgeous tall buxom blonde—in desperate need of two World Series tickets. Price negotiable—I’m the creative type! Maybe we can help each other!”
That same  day [Sgt Robert Bugsch] with the Bensalem Township Police Department was monitoring Craigslist postings for possible prostitution advertisements. [Sergeant Bugsch] replied to Defendant’s ad via email requesting to see Defendant’s photograph. A few minutes [later], Defendant  responded with three (3) topless photographs of herself with the message, “No problem, Robert.  Here’s a few for ya!”
[Sergeant  Bugsch] asked how she wanted to pay for the World Series ticket, which began the following verbatim email exchange:
[Finkelstein]: What [sic] the asking price? My currency is, well, let’s just say ‘unconventional.’
[Sergeant Bugsch]: Well then if that’s the case, how many tixs did you want and what are you willing to pay???
You can see where this is going. Finkelstein was arrested at a meeting with the undercover officer and charged with prostitution and attempted prostitution.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Massage Parlor Trial Ends When Masseuse Recognizes Defense Attorney, A Former Client

A federal sex-trafficking case was declared a mistrial last week when a masseuse testifying against an allegedly exploitative massage parlor recognized the defense attorney as a former client.
Liudmyla “Liuda” Ksenych, a Ukranian immigrant, worked at a massage parlor owned by Alex “Daddy” Campbell, where other women testified they were trained to give clients sexual favors and pay Campbell thousands of dollars to avoid deportation, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. When she left the witness stand last Monday, she told prosecutors that she recognized Campbell’s attorney, Douglas Rathe, as a former client.
Rathe, a former assistant Cook County state’s attorney, told U.S. District Court Judge Robert Gettleman that he had visited Ksenych four times for massages and given her a bottle of perfume as a gift, but that “nothing inappropriate” occurred during those visits, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“It was a massage — that was all it was,” Rathe told the Sun-Times Monday. “What happened was embarrassing — there was no doubt about it. [But] I did nothing illegal or nothing that was considered improper. This was a very unusual circumstance.”

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tweet to Save A Life: Death row inmate gets new trial; one juror slept, another tweeted about the trial during the proceedings

Erickson Dimas-Martinez
The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday tossed out a death row inmate's murder conviction and said he deserves a new trial because one juror slept and another tweeted during court proceedings.
Erickson Dimas-Martinez's attorneys had appealed his 2010 murder conviction because a juror sent tweets despite the judge's instruction not to post on the Internet or communicate with anyone about the case. The lawyers also complained that another juror slept.
In one tweet, juror Randy Franco wrote: "Choices to be made. Hearts to be broken...We each define the great line." Less than an hour before the jury announced its verdict, he tweeted: "It's over."
Other tweets by Franco made passing references to the trial, with posts such as, "the coffee sucks here" and "Court. Day 5. Here we go again."
The court said Franco, known as Juror 2 in court documents, violated general instructions to not discuss the case. Before opening arguments, the judge said: "Just remember, never discuss this case over your cell phone. .... and don't Twitter anybody about this case."

“Ever argued with a woman?” How 'bout with two women at the same time?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Priceless? No: Speechless?...........................Definitely

According to the South Florida Lawyers blog, this is a real ad, that was in the Florida Bar Journal, no less!

Newark police officer steals car from drunk driver, smashes into wife's car

When a Newark cop allegedly told a drunken driver to get out of his pickup truck and sober up, it probably seemed like he was giving the guy a break.
But shortly after instructing the driver to hoof it and retrieve the pickup later, officer Enrique Gonzalez took the truck to Garfield, where police say he used it to ram his estranged wife’s car.
Gonzalez was off-duty, but in uniform on Nov. 15 when he pulled the driver over near Walnut Street in Newark’s East Ward, Police Director Samuel DeMaio said today.
"He says, ‘Okay, I’m not going to arrest you. Park your car here. I’m going to leave the keys in the tailpipe. Come back and get the car when you’re sober,’" DeMaio said. The driver "comes back several hours later and finds the car gone."
Meanwhile, Gonzalez took the Ford F-450, DeMaio said, and went to pay his estranged wife’s car a visit when he was pulled over by Elmwood Park police for erratic driving.
"He said he was late for work, he apologizes, and they let him go," DeMaio said.
Gonzalez, 28, continued to Garfield, where he allegedly rammed his wife’s 2011 Hyundai. The Hyundai was parked behind the woman's Buick which also sustained damage. DeMaio said the six-year Newark veteran then informed local police that some unidentified person had inflicted the damage.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Man Sues Automobile Lender Seeking Damages for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress For Revealing To Wife That Another Woman Was Making His Car Payments

A man in Chicago has filed a lawsuit against the company that serviced his car loan for allegedly ruining his marriage by revealing, via a voice mail, that another woman was making loan payments for him.
Alleging "sexual-scandal blackmail," the plaintiff says that the lender "became aware of a relationship between plaintiff and a female associate and friend," who was "in the habit of periodically making payments on the vehicle."
The man claims he told the lender that his wife was not exactly a fan of his friendship with this woman, but that "In the guise of collection efforts, and fully aware of its toxicity, [the lender] left a message on plaintiff's home answering machine wherein [it] identified Jane Doe by name and referenced conversations with her. Defendants had been advised of the necessity of privacy concerning Jane Doe's payments due to the assurance of a malignant reaction by plaintiff spouse."
The plaintiff says that bringing up the name of this Jane Doe (which we're assuming is not her real name), "had no reasonable relation to any collection efforts."
And once the plaintiff's wife heard the voicemail and mention of Ms. Doe's name, it "immediately caused plaintiff's spouse to separate the marriage, whereby plaintiff's spouse immediately left the primary residence and removed plaintiff's children from plaintiff's home. She did so upon the pretext of divorce."
And when the man contacted the lender and told them what had transpired, he claims he was told, "Now we know a pressure point to use on you."
The plaintiff has returned the car to the lender, but now seeks damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
(The Consumerist)

Lawyer Accused of Seeking Secretary on Craigslist with Duties to Include 'Sexual Interaction' with Him and His Partner, and Requiring Submission of Pictures and Measurements Gets Suspended for One Year

An Illinois lawyer accused of telling an applicant for a secretarial position that the job included “sexual interaction” has been suspended for one year.
The Illinois Supreme Court issued the order of suspension for Samir Zia Chowhan, the Legal Profession Blog reports. According to a hearing panel’s report, Chowhan posted an ad in the “adult gigs” section of Craigslist seeking a secretary, and asking applicants to send pictures and measurements.
After one woman responded, Chowhan is accused of sending an email informing the applicant her duties went beyond secretarial work. “In addition to the legal work, you would be required to have sexual interaction with me and my partner, sometimes together, sometimes separate,” the email said. ‘This part of the job would require sexy dressing and flirtatious interaction with me and my partner, as well as sexual interaction. You will have to be comfortable doing this with us.”
(ABA Journal)

[Maybe They Should Take The Hot Chillies Off the Lunch Menu]: Burp in Class, Face Juvenile Detention in New Mexico - Strange Punishment

School children everywhere, here is an unsolicited lesson in proper class etiquette. Never, ever insult your teacher, or spew bad language in the middle of class. You shouldn't tease your classmates, and you shouldn't cheat during your exams.
Oh, and don't burp in class. You might get arrested for that.That is exactly what happened in the case of one 13-year-old from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The student let out some gas in the middle of a PE class on May 11.
His actions seem relatively normal. They might even be considered harmless. If you've ever quickly downed your lunch or guzzled some soda the feeling of gas welling in your stomach and throat is all too familiar. And one of the only ways of relieving that pressure is to burp. Maybe it's not polite to do so in front of a classroom of your peers, but it's definitely not that abnormal.
What else are you supposed to do - suck it in and hope it goes away by itself?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Patrick J. Sullivan Jr., former national 'Sheriff of the Year' arrested, sent to jail in the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility.

CENTENNIAL, COLO. — A former Colorado lawman with a record so distinguished he was once honored as the nation's sheriff of the year now finds himself in a jail that was named for him, accused of offering methamphetamine in exchange for sex from a male acquaintance.
Patrick Sullivan, 68 — handcuffed, dressed in an orange jail uniform and walking with a cane — watched Wednesday as a judge raised his bail amount to a half-million dollars and sent him to the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility.
The current sheriff, Grayson Robinson, who worked as undersheriff for Sullivan from 1997 until he took over the job in 2002, said the department was shocked and saddened at his arrest.
Robinson said the case is still under investigation, including where and how Sullivan might have gotten the drugs. He declined to say if authorities suspect Sullivan of using drugs, or if others might be charged.
Sullivan's arrest has many in suburban Denver's Arapahoe County where he held sway for nearly two decades wondering what happened to the tough-as-nails lawman they once knew — a law officer known for his heroism in saving two deputies and for his concern about teenage drug use.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chutzpah Redux: Kidnapper sues couple he kidnapped for $235,000, claiming breach of oral contract that they would hide him for an unspecified amount of money

Jesse Dimmick is suing the couple he was convicted of kidnapping while on the run from police.
Dimmick contends in the breach of contract suit seeking $235,000 that after he entered Jared and Lindsay Rowley’s house in 2009, they reached a legally binding, oral contract that they would hide him for an unspecified amount of money.
“Later, the Rowleys reneged on said oral contract, resulting in my being shot in the back by authorities,” Dimmick wrote in a notarized legal document indicating he was filing the counterclaim in response to a suit against Dimmick that the Rowleys filed in September.
Dimmick personally — in longhand — wrote the document, which was filed Oct. 21 in Shawnee County District Court.
He wrote: “As a result of the plaintiffs breech (sic) of contract, I, the defendant suffered a gunshot to my back, which almost killed me. The hospital bills alone are in excess of $160,000, which I have no way to pay.”