Monday, May 23, 2016


The tragic Freddie Gray case in Baltimore will go on and on.  It has already surpassed OJ in one area, race-based blather that has nothing to do with the merits of the case.  Somebody explain the standard of proof in criminal cases to these people! I'm all for racial grievances being aired but "red-lined" neighborhoods don't have a Hell of a lot to do with the evidence in any particular case.

Draymond Green didn't do anything that requires suspension.  It's obvious to me he was trying to jump again, while falling backwards.

SCOTUS has developed a strategy for dealing with just 8 members. As a body, they are sending clear signals to the Senate that "You're not gonna like what you see as long as we're set up like this."

Good News for local folks:  The applicants for Judge Vahle's spot are so good, the administration of justice can't lose.  Going to get a decent person and good legal mind, no matter who is selected.  But Judge Vahle's gonna be missed.

Jorge Soler is going to be a fine big league player but he is struggling now.  Next five or six games, makes sense to platoon Baez and LaStella at 3B and let Bryant play LF.

Been reading about how Google is going to swamp Apple in the application of Artificial Intelligence.  The tech writers make a lot of sense with this argument.  Yet Warren Buffett finally bought some Apple Stock.  Doctor, I get these terrible headaches.......

Saturday, May 07, 2016


Today I would like to discuss the community impact of the Lovelace case and issue a caution.

Under the "6° of Kevin Bacon" theory, no one has more ties to this case than I do. No need to list them here.

Naturally, as a veteran trial lawyer, I have opinions about what I know of the evidence, the performance and decisions of the attorneys for both sides in the last trial and even the verity of some of the comments of the discharged jurors. None of that matters. I keep those opinions to myself.  The only opinions that are going to matter are the collective conclusions of the jury that is impaneled when the next iteration of this case goes forward.

All of which gets me to the basic point. In all manner of public places and social media, local people, good people, solid, respectable people chose to take all kinds of positions as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant or even as whether the case should have been charged. There were even opinions about the ability or credibility of certain out-of-town experts and the performance of some of our local policeman. There were plenty of rumors about the motivation for the case going forward.

Folks, none of that is worth a pitcher of warm spit. 

Could we all agree on this much?: The process, brutal though it may be, is going to have to run itself out. It doesn't matter what we think of the merits of the case or the wisdom and using resources on these particular facts or what we think of the decedent's personality or what we think of the defendant's personality. It does not even matter how sympathetic and heartrending the impact is on the defendant's four children or the decedent's mother. The only thing that matters in the final analysis is the evidence that is admitted in the court case and the conclusions this next Jury will reach about that evidence.

So, how about this? Let's not fight with each other about this case. I have two friends who are also friends of one another. They are on opposite sides of the "guilt or innocence" question and their positions have strained their friendship. I know of other examples of the exact same thing. This is as unnecessary as it is sad. Our opinions don't matter. There is not going to be a public plebiscite on this, ever. There is going to be, at some point, an orderly the trial and a duly rendered jury verdict. Our opinions are without effect on that process.  This is true whether they comments are on web boards, letters to the editor or bar arguments.

Since our opinions are completely superfluous to the process, why should we let them disrupt our community, our friendships and our goodwill, one to another? For those who give support and comfort to Mrs. Lovelace, keep doing that. That does not require arguing with or debating anyone else. For those who believe that Cory's survivors deserve the vindication a conviction might deliver, comfort those survivors in your own way. That does not make you an enemy of Mrs. Lovelace or her supporters.

In short, I saw the first trial of this case tear at the fabric of our community. There was bitterness in the wake of that trial and there was disharmony in our town. There is no need for that. The process is the process. Illinois Law and the Constitution dictate that. You do not get a vote on this and neither do I and that is as it should be. 

I respectfully suggest we celebrate the inalienable right of an accused to be judged by a jury of his peers and avoid debate or argumentation on the merits, one with another. That debate gains us nothing and puts at risk a quality of life that we've all built together in our fine community. 

Under all circumstances, be good to one another.