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jberryhill's Journal
jberryhill's Journal
June 28, 2018

Can someone explain a "general strike" to the self-employed?

Does one just say to one’s customers, “I’m not doing the work you paid me for?” Do you keep their advance payments, or return them? Would issuing refunds on advance retainers be “working”?

Asking for a friend.
June 27, 2018

Great clip of Steve Schmidt

He really lays it out clearly in this exceptional interview:

June 20, 2018

If you've been wondering "What does Newt Gingrich think of all this?"

Then you need to seek immediate professional help.

And that’s my “Five seconds of Fox” for the month.

June 19, 2018

Avenatti's motion denied (again) by Judge Otero in Stormy Daniels' contract case

As you may remember, once upon a time, Michael Avenatti represented a client, Stormy Daniels, in a contract lawsuit in California.

That civil lawsuit was ordered to be stayed pending certain matters going on on the federal court in New York, which is engaged in sorting through materials seized from Michael Cohen's office and residences, pursuant to a warrant and likely some criminal charges to follow.

It was stayed because, in a previous motion seeking to depose Trump and Cohen, Avenatti had argued that Cohen's testimony would be indispensible.

At the time it was stayed, Avenatti tweeted that he would be immediately appealing the ruling:


Being a quick study, and having quickly surmised that one does not appeal a temporary stay order, he more recently filed a motion for reconsideration in the case, based on the proposition that "Trump and Rudy Giuliani said stuff on TV".

Judge Otero had initially scheduled a hearing on that motion (and Cohen's reply to it) and then, as sometimes happens, decided that a hearing wasn't needed, and issued a ruling on Avenatti's motion today:


No real surprises, but Judge Otero, who just handed down a significant ruling in patent law which will affect thousands of litigants, had a few interesting nuggets along the way as to Avenatti's motion, and the relative importance of a contract lawsuit in the larger scheme of things:

Plaintiff first argues that statements made by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani regarding the scope of
the FBI investigation "cast doubt" onto whether Mr. Cohen's Fifth Amendment rights are truly
implicated in this action. (Mot. 9.) According to Plaintiff, statements by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani
that the investigation relates only to Mr. Cohen's business dealings and that no wrongdoing has
occurred demonstrate that: (1) the scope of the investigation is unrelated to this lawsuit; and
(2)Mr. Cohen has no valid reason to believe his testimony would be self-incriminating. (Mot. 10-11.)
Plaintiff argues that this evidence demonstrates that Mr. Cohen's invocation of the privilege was
simply an opportunistic attempt to delay resolution of the civil proceedings. (Mot. 11.)

As an initial matter, Mr. Trump or Mr. Giuliani's belief in Mr. Cohen's innocence has absolutely
no bearing on Mr. Cohen's Fifth Amendment privilege.

The boldface is in the decision, and it really doesn't take much legal acumen to understand, as the judge is basically shouting here, that "Rudy and Donnie said stuff on TV" doesn't really have jack shit to do with Cohen's assertion of privilege.

Judge Otero also has some closing comments, which Avenatti will perceive as a big "whoosh" sound somewhere far over his head:

The Court held that while it "is undeniable that Plaintiff has a valid interest in the prompt resolution of her claims,"
Plaintiff "has not established that she has actually been deterred from speaking, or that a delay in
proceedings would cause undue prejudice." ( Order 7.) This evidence does not substantially
change this analysis, and the Court declines to reconsider its decision based on this evidence alone.

In closing, the Court again counsels against the unjustified use of "extraordinary" procedural
mechanisms to advance the case. Absent a compelling showing of good cause, the Court will not
permit the parties to displace other litigants or violate the Court's rules. While the Court is
cognizant of the amount of media attention in this case, this alone is insufficient to create the
exigency required for extraordinary relief. If anything, the heightened scrutiny on this action
requires that the Court ensure that the rules are scrupulously followed and that justice is
administered properly and with due regard to the rights of all parties involved.

Here's the thing, if you are filing a lawsuit premised on the idea that "this alleged contract is preventing my client from speaking", then having her do an interview with Anderson Cooper, a Saturday Night Live appearance, and a national tour premised on the fact that she had sex with Trump, etc., really doesn't help the argument that "we need this case decided quickly."

Meanwhile, zipping right past the Daniels case, Karen McDougal, who had a longer and more substantial relationship with Trump is free from a similar contract formed under similar circumstances, and the irony is that nobody really wants to hear what she has to say.

Next up on the docket in the Daniels case is a hearing in July on the subject of Michael Cohen's motion for a restraining order against Avenatti, on the basis of alleged continued violations of the California rules relating to attorneys making out-of-court statements on pending matters. It's hard to believe that Avenatti would have been doing such a thing, but that one promises to be a lot of fun.
June 18, 2018

Three-year-old girl dies after statue falls on her at Mumbai hall


Mumbai: Sunday turned out to be a black day for a Borivli family that had gone to attend a condolence meet in Kora Kendra Hall. During the proceedings, a three-year-old girl of the family climbed up a statue at the venue, but it accidentally fell on her, resulting in her death.

According to police, on Sunday evening, Jitendra Nandlal Mehta, 40, a resident of Punit Apartments near SV Road, Majithiya Nagar, in Kandivli (West), along with his wife and daughter Vishwa had gone to attend a condolence meet at the hall in Borivli (West).

Around 300 people had gathered at the hall and were paying homage to a relative who had passed away. While Vishwa's parents were interacting with other visitors, she wandered out and started playing with a statue kept near the gate.

"She climbed up the statue, lost her balance and fell on the floor. The wooden structure, which weighs around 50 kg, also fell on her, due to which Vishwa sustained severe head injuries. On hearing her screams, people rushed to help her and took her to Bhagwati Hospital nearby, where she was declared dead on admission," said a police officer.


The statues generally tend to win these things.

June 18, 2018

Police: 2-year-old dies after statue falls on him


A 2-year-old Utah boy was killed when a 6-foot-tall dolphin statue fell on him in the Fisherman’s Wharf area of San Francisco, police said Monday.

The toddler was apparently playing on Friday when he climbed up and wrapped his arms and legs around the heavy metal statue outside Majestic Collection Art Gallery, bringing it down, police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy said.

The boy was initially treated for a nose bleed by emergency crews. He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died from internal injuries a few hours later.


That one sounds like it was a particularly expensive statue. I wonder if it was able to be repaired or whether the family was able to pay the full repair cost for that valuable artwork their child damaged.
June 18, 2018

Statue falls on four year old boy, killing him


A 4-year-old Sykesville boy was killed yesterday afternoon at an Ellicott City spiritual retreat after he fell from a small religious statue, which toppled onto his head.

Cooper Dean Gregory Williams had been playing with the 2-foot-tall statue of the Virgin Mary at the Our Lady Center, where his grandmother is the manager. Apparently he climbed onto its marble platform, then grabbed the statue when he lost his balance.

The boy fell down an embankment into a shallow creek, and the statue toppled over, landing on his head.


I wonder how much they billed the family for the damage to the statue, but the article unfortunately does not provide information about the extent to which this valuable piece of art may have been damaged or broken.

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