Thursday Thoughts

FROM THE THINGS NEED TO CHANGE DEPARTMENT

Right now I'm driving my first car with a backup camera. Have been for about six months. About two months ago I was backing out of our garage when flash across the video monitor I saw clear as day my neighbor's five year old son zooming by on his bike. I never would have seen him but for the camera and quite possibly would have hit him. I was totally shocked. I slammed on my breaks and disaster was averted. The system works.

I read today about yet another parent running over yet another child. It appears this case involves a car moving forward. And even more unfortunate is the predictable fact these types of tragedies too ofen involve a parent accidently killing their own child, as in this case. Can you even imagine the horror?

There should be laws in place requiring all new cars to have, at the very least, backup cameras. Soon enough cars will be equipped with cameras that will show the blind spots of all four bumpers. The technology is there and stories like this just make me literally sick. If we can ensure parents never accidently kill their own kids by backing over them then we, as a society, should simply make the decision that we are going to eliminate this from existence. Take a look at these faces and these stories and tell me you disagree.

IF YOU WEAR A COSTUME DON'T MAKE WAVES

Here is some free legal advice: if you are going to wear a cosume in the middle of a week day on Hollywood Boulevard then don't pick a fight with a couple of chicks from Des Moines. And while you are at it don't get into an argument, urinate in public, get roudy, spit, curse or any other damn fool thing. If you are going to dress like a fool then don't act it, stay stay cool. But if you insist on getting into a fight while dressed for Holloween in August do so in something a l ittle more intimidating than a Sponge Bob Square Pants outfit. Look at that picture. Police cars surrounding a sadly abandoned Sponge Bob costume with a man trying to explain everything to the cops. I guess he did a pretty good job because he did not get arrested. Infamy on the streets of Los Angeles comes daily, mostly sadly, but sometimes ridiculously funnily. Hey dude! This is your fifteen minutes. Way to go.

CASEY ANTHONY HAS TO PAY

Many people are unaware of the fact that if you are convicted of a crime there can be a separate hearing concerning the issue of "restitution". For while you have to pay for your crime with time in jail, probation and or community service, the system also recognizes the fact that third parties effected by your bad acts need to be compensated. People forget Casey Anthony was convicted of lying to authorities concerning their investigation into the disappearance of her then missing now known to be deceased daughter. As a result thejudge ruled today Antthony must pay back the State of Florida more than $97,000 . This case reminds me why I always tell my clients to try in very good faith to always settle the case instead of going to trial. That's becuas no matter how good a case you think you have (see Florida DA in this case) the results at the end of the day may be very, very shocking and disappointing.

SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT BE PERMITTED TO TRACK YOUR MOVEMENTS WITHOUT A WARRANT?

I think the answer is a clear and obvious "no". But this exact issue is going to be decided by the US Supreme Court this next term. The general concept is that citizens are to be free from illegal searches and seizures unless the government can present propable cause ratified by the judiciary in the form of a warrant issued by a judge. In other words, the government/police have to have a good reason to invade your privacy, like they think you are engaged in criminal activity.

But apparently some police officers think the US Constitution does not apply to 24-7 GPS tracking of a person's car. The cops implanted a GPS device on a guy's car without a warrant and tracked his movements by tracking his car. The courts up until this point have ruled such warrantless tracking is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. I predict the US Supreme Court will rule this way as well.

Remember this basic fact at the heart of illegal search and seizure issues: the Founding Fathers, our Constitution and the interpretation of the Constitution all stand for the most basic proposition that it is far worse for an innocent person to go to jail for a crime they did not commit than it is for a guilty person to go free for a crime they did commit. The exact opposite is the case in a totalitarian regime. The other side of the coin, though, is that the famously oft quoted "right to privacy" is not even mentioned anywhere in the US Constitution. But let's just use your common sense: do you want the police to be able to secretely decide to put GPS tracking devices on anyone's car they want for any reason they want? Of course not.

FORECLOSURE TSUNAMI IS COMING

I noticed over the past two years that banks have moved very slowly in enforcing their rights to foreclose on single family homes. There are a multitude of reasons for this. Foremost is the fact that there are just so many damn houses in default that there are not enough hours in the day or people on the front lines to jump through all of the hopes required to take the properties back. The other reason is that homeowners have become increasing aggresive in defending their rights in challenging a bank's right to foreclose. Current reports indicate that while record numbers of houses are being foreclosed, the average time until they are actually taken back is a year and more. My feel is that the banks are gearing up and getting it down, meaning they are finally getting their act together and figuring out how to get these properties off their books or REO efficiently and legally. I predict more and more record numbers of foreclosures in the coming months. A title wave (pun intended) of foreclosures is coming and it's starting now. Buy buy buy if you can.

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