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  • Conclusions of McDaniel Case

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    Dear Readers, Stephen McDaniel is nothing short of evil. He has pleaded guilty to the gruesome murder of Lauren Giddings, hacking her up like livestock and strewing body parts around. None of us can know what drove him to commit such despicable acts – and, then, talk live to local news outlets as if nothing had happened. Media reports suggest that Lauren’s family entered into a consent judgment as to McDaniel’s civil responsibility for her death, as a condition to his guilty plea on the murde...
  • 50 Years Ago Free Speech Ruling

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    Dear Readers,Just a week over 50 years ago today, the United States Supreme Court issued one of its most enduring keystone free speech decisions, New York Times v. Sullivan. The very foundation of our right to a free press stands in ironic relief of what is currently going on in Crimea today, as Russian Press outlets have stamped out any dissent in Crimea. Historically, news reporting was a "propaganda rag" reflecting the political whims of owners and publishers. The "Federalist Papers" were, i...
  • The Drug Dilemma

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    Dear Readers,The drumbeat to alter our national drug policy is growing. The Justice Department, with the approval of an iconoclast like Sen. Rand Paul, continues to seek lower penalties for some drug convictions, to slow incarceration rates for low-level "mules" and drug dealers. At the state level, the movement to liberalize our approach to marijuana continues apace. Georgia, for example, is considering approving marijuana use for medicinal purposes. But, there is a broader trend, deeper and m...
    Mar 14, 2014 Tags: Drug Laws, drugs, Rand Paul
  • Ever feel like you are being watched?

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    Dear Readers,Our world keeps shrinking. We communicate instantly with people halfway around the world, using chat apps and IM to learn about life "over there." Revolutions are fueled by ubiquitous communication, as (other than in North Korea) tyrants are essentially impotent to stem the tide of knowledge. There is, however, a seedy side to our smaller world. As our ability to communicate expands, so do the tools of spying.We know this from the WikiLeaks controversy, as we (and world leaders) le...
  • The myths of Winning a Custody Case

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    Dear Readers,There is a myth burned into the psyche of anyone other than a family attorney – father's don't win custody battles. Thisis just not the case. In fact, I'd venture to guess, at least in my practice, fathers stand better than a 50/50 chance of winning a custody fight. This might be a matter of self-selection. What I mean by this is that maybe dads don't take marginal cases to a final hearing. Regardless, a dad being awarded custody of his kids is far from a rare event. Yet, everyone ...
  • Show all entries from The Rockefeller Report 2013

Recent Posts

  • Sweet Babies in Connecticut

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    Dear Readers, In my lifetime, tragedy has spiritually paused my day just a handful of times. I remember as a young child, Robert F. Kennedy's funeral procession and a profound sense that a whole nation was crying as one in pain and disbelief. I was probably just too young, and the loss too distant, to mark me for life, but even then, I felt something change. As an adult, the 9/11 attack just shook me. I watched aghast as the Towers melted into congealed steel; the scope of the crimes committed ...
  • Providing the Right to Counsel

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    Dear Readers, We rely so much on our justice system as an adjunct to our economic system. Yet, we make virtually no attempt to make sure that civil litigants have an attorney. As you all probably know, where your liberty is at stake, the state has to provide you with an attorney. This dates back to 1963 in the famous case of Gideon v. Wainwright. Mr. Gideon was indigent and asked for an attorney to be appointed to represent him during his trial in a Florida prosecution. At the time, counsel was...
  • Pivot Point Election

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    Dear Readers, President Obama's first election was certainly momentous, but his reelection last week is likely more significant – at least, as far as our legal system is concerned. The demographic changes in this country are astounding, which will certainly reverberate forward. However, the real pivot point may be with some remarkable changes in the direction of our legal system. Demographics have, it appears, chastened conservatives with respect to our immigration policy. As a result of bridgi...
  • The Tragedy of George Whitmore, Jr.

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    Dear Readers, I recently read an article written by T.J. English in the New York Times about an obscure name from our uncomfortable past, George Whitmore, Jr.. Mr. English's article was a moving eulogy to Mr. Whitmore; but for this article, I would have missed both Mr. Whitmore's passing and the profound sadness of his life. In the wake of some sensational murders, Mr. Whitmore was interrogated for 22 hours and forced to sign a 61-page confession, most notably for the brutal slaying of two youn...
  • Angels and Government

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    Dear Readers, As we approach a pivotal election day, many of you may have already voted. Good for you! However, for those of you who have not, before marking your ballot you might want to contemplate why we have government, especially with the election season's attacks on the concept of government. Government is a necessary evil to protect ourselves from ourselves. As James Madison famously wrote in Federalist #51, "But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nat...
  • Show all entries from The Rockefeller Report 2012

Recent Posts

  • Something to learn about International Law regarding Child Abduction

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    Dear Readers, Several weeks ago, I commented on the absurdity of Oklahoma's anti-Sharia Law statute. One of the observations I had made was that it overreached by trying to prohibit the use international law in Oklahoma courts. This brings me to think about international custody disputes.. The United States is a signatory to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction ("Hague Convention"), along with 63 other countries. Congress has enacted the International Child...
    Dec 30, 2010 Tags: Untagged
  • What is Happening to Our Privacy?

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    Dear Readers, College sports used to have a high-minded veneer of student-athletes competing with honor for the joy of the sport and spirit of their school. Each year, it becomes increasingly ugly, especially with College Football. Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy has been shipped in disgrace back to New York. Cam Newton's storybook ascension is threatened by the swirl of a father accused of selling his enrollment to Auburn. These scandals happen, though, because of the NCAA's rules trying to p...
    Dec 23, 2010 Tags: Untagged
  • The Perfect Time to Cut Prison Costs

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    Dear Readers, We still live in dire economic times – the perfect opportunity to cut our correctional bill and restore spending painfully cut out of our educational system. Last year, while teachers were being furloughed, Georgia added over 800 prisoners to our bloated prison system, to the tune of between $15M to $30M, at least. According to the Pew Center on the States, a report showed that while, for the first time in 40 years, the 50 states experienced a collectively modest drop (0.3%) in th...
    Dec 16, 2010 Tags: Untagged
  • Farewell to Ronnie

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    Dear Readers, "Oh Noooo!" A sound of anguish poured from the depths of a wounded Cub's fan soul; you can even hear Ron Santo's head impact the desk in front of him, as he collapsed in disbelief. The Cubs were beating the Brewers 7-5 with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth. They were on the verge of clinching an improbable wild card berth, when Brant Brown dropped a "can of corn," clearing the bases and snatching loss from the jaws of victory. "Oh Nooo!" It's on youtube – listen to it! This ...
    Dec 09, 2010 Tags: Untagged
  • Patient Rights Versus Trial Attorneys

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    Dear Readers, There are rumblings from conservative politicians who want to use the false promise of lowered health care costs to attack Trial Lawyers. They argue that limiting malpractice lawsuits will result in substantial savings by eliminating the waste of "preventive medicine." Really? The lion's share of the costs driving up healthcare expenses are from "end of life care" – some from preventible conditions, such as obesity. This is not to advocate for any particular reform, however. T...
    Dec 02, 2010 Tags: Untagged
  • Show all entries from The Rockefeller Report 2011

Recent Posts

  • Social Media: Friend or Foe?

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    Dear Readers, The modern explosion of social media is both a blessing and a curse to our teachers. It opens all kinds of options, for good or ill, in communicating with their students. Children growing up 50 years ago, lived in a world of playing football, hockey, and baseball on the front lawns of their houses or the streets of the neighborhood. The telephone was for adults and television was three broadcast stations and maybe an independent station or two. Transistor radios were snuck under...
    Dec 28, 2011 Tags: facebook, schools, social media, twitter
  • Nullification is a Bad Idea

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    Dear Readers, According to Newt Gingrich, the fabric of our country is weakened by a "radical judiciary." While he has some offending instances in mind, he lacks a universal definition. For example what would Mr. Gingrich say if a President Obama refuses to recognize a Supreme Court decision overruling his healthcare program? Mr. Gingrich asserts, as a basic principle, that we are captive to an "elitist" class (i.e., lawyers). He proposes common folk regain their proper place as the front-se...
  • A Fictional Missive, Nontheless It Should Ring True

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    Dear Mrs. Sandusky ... “I know you are dumbfounded by what your husband did to me; he spent his life being perfect in your eyes.  You probably don’t remember a day without him in your life, having been together since college.  You are 68 years old and your mind cannot comprehend his malevolence.  Why compound my pain by denying Truth?  How can you know what was really going on in the basement? While he was molesting me in the basement, you were upstairs with the other childr...
    Dec 14, 2011 Tags: Joe Paterno, Sandusky, sexual deviance
  • An Equal Playing Field

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    Dear Readers, I have written before, about how attorneys "police their own." This is in stark contrast to, say, the medical community, where butchers can injure patient after patient and never be stripped of their privilege to practice medicine. Of course, to be fair, lawyers lose their bar license for ethical reasons which may or may not have anything to do with clients being injured. Attorneys can't help but fight for clients. Most of us try to do so ethically, but we still have to spend u...
  • Drug Testing TANF Recipients

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    Dear Readers, It is ironic that we, as a nation of opportunity, always turn on the downtrodden in times of trouble. Just recently we observed two (2) Georgia lawmakers, Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, and Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, propose an idea that, if it takes hold here in this state, would add another insult to the disadvantaged amongst us. They want all welfare recipients to be periodically drug-tested in order to be eligible for benefits. The impulse may be from a good place. Drug a...
    Nov 30, 2011 Tags: drug abuse, TANF
  • Show all entries from The Rockefeller Report 2010
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