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Archive for June, 2010

New York is Following the Crowd in No-Fault divorce?

June 30, 2010 4 comments
The great debate over no-fault divorce in New York may be coming to an end.  Yesterday, the state Senate voted to have New York join the rest of the United States in following no-fault divorce laws.  This decision was also backed by the governor and the Assembly.   In so many ways, New York is seen as leader in improving the justice system, but is the only state that does not operate under the no-fault laws.
As of now, if one wanted to divorce in new York, an individual would have to provide proof of fault in order to obtain a divorce.  Fault could be found on the grounds of cruelty, adultery or abandonment.  What is for the dream of every New Yorker wanting a divorce to come true?  Legislature needs to pass a change in the current law.
With such a sensitive topic at hand, you can be sure that there are strong opinions of those in favor and against having the law passed.  Follow the debate on no fault divorce in New York and let us know what you think.  You can also read more about it here from Reuters

Driving Under the Influence: What NFL Presidents, Rock Stars and Random Guys from New Hampshire Have in Common

June 29, 2010 3 comments

Arrested after driving with a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit on Friday, Detroit Lions team president Tom Lewand says he is deeply sorry and in “active recovery.”  He also told authorities on the scene of the arrest that he hadn’t had a drink for a year and a half and that he was acting as designated driver for a friend that evening.  Nonsensical speech from a guy who consumed the equivalent of a dozen 12-ounce beers in 4 hours?  How strange.  And as if the Lions needed any more problems as NFL pre-season rounds the corner.

Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand

Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand

A few short days later, Motley Crue’s Vince Neil found himself in a similar predicament.  Neil was initially pulled over early Monday morning in Las Vegas after a woman told authorities the singer had broken her camera after she took his picture Sunday night.  It was then that they discovered the 49-year-old singer was intoxicated, leading him to Clark County Jail where he is being held on $2,000 bail.  In 1984, Neil pleaded guilty to DUI and vehicular manslaughter after driving with a BAC of .17 and killing Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley.  I hope he’s not the one they call Dr. Feelgood.

It appears as though some people have a hard time giving into the idea that human beings are not impervious to consequence.  Because as if the alarming trend of DUI/DWI cases that seem to keep increasing isn’t enough, here’s a case of another repeat offender who still hasn’t learned his lesson.  And this time, someone else had to pay for it.

A New Hampshire man crashed his SUV into two motorcycles participating in a charity fundraiser over the weekend, making this his second New Hampshire DUI as many days.

Forty-nine year old Marceline Weaver of Salem was riding on the back of her husband William’s motorcycle Saturday as they joined 300 others in “The Knight Ride,” a charity fundraising ride in honor of a fallen Massachusetts police officer.   With less than 10 miles to go, their motorcycle was struck by an SUV operated by 46-year-old Randall Stewart of Windham, N.H.  While William suffered only minor injuries, his wife Marceline was killed.  James Sousa, also of Salem, was riding the second motorcycle struck by Stewart and was airlifted to a Boston hospital where he remains in critical condition.

In an ironic twist, Stewart was also arrested in Pelham on Friday under another DWI charge where he was accused of driving erratically with no headlights on Bridge Street.  Yet he found himself intoxicated and behind the wheel just 12 hours after being released from police custody, only this time with fatal consequences.

On Monday, Stewart was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty to negligent homicide and drunk driving charges.  He is being accused of crossing the center line on Route 111 in Hampstead when he hit the riders and killed the mother of 2.  Police on the scene say they never smelled alcohol on his breath, but Stewart admitted to taking a muscle relaxer just before getting behind the wheel.  Details are still being sorted.

As determined by New Hampshire drunk driving laws, had it not been for the unfortunate death of Marceline Weaver, Stewart may have only faced up to 30 days in prison, even with his increased frequency of drunk driving charges.  However, according to a New Hampshire DUI attorney, consequences could be greater depending on the exact situation.

No-Fault Divorce: Is New York Following Suite… finally?

June 18, 2010 2 comments

California was the first state to put into practice the no-fault divorce law, and soon enough 48 other states followed.  New York is potentially joining the herd in allowing individuals to end a marriage without the establishment of their spouse being at fault.  The New York State Assembly is taking this up with the Senate on Tuesday.  It will be interesting to see what a divorce attorney has to say o this.
The no-fault law allows for one party to insist that the marriage should end basically in order for them to end the union.  New York, in contrast to other states holds the ground that both parties need to come to an agreement on this.  If not, than one party needs to provide evidence that shoes that the other was legally to blame.

No-Fault divorce
Those who favor no-fault divorce law say that it reduces litigation and conflict between those divorcing.  On the other hand, opponents argue that it will raise the divorce rate in New York while financially hurting women.   The proof is in the putting as far as this concern goes.  Every state that abides by either mutual or unilateral no-fault laws saw an increase in divorce over the following 5ish years.  After this, divorce rates were stable.  For a comparison here are some figures, from about 23 divorces per 1,000 married couples in 1979 to under 17 per 1,000 in 2005.
It will be interesting to see what the Senate rules in New York come Tuesday.  What do you think about New York adopting the no-fault law?

BP Oil Spill- And the Gallons Keep Piling Up

June 18, 2010 1 comment

Wow- I just past this article by Steve Gelsi with the latest figures on the oil spill. Apparently BP has “managed to increase the amount of oil collected from the leaking Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico to 25,290 barrels on Thursday, eclipsing its earlier pace of 15,000 barrels a day, the oil major said in its latest update. BP ramped up use of the Q4000 semi-submersible rig to draw oil from the well’s blow-out preventer.”

To read up more on this and get more figures, check out Steve Gelsi’s article, “BP siphons 25,000 barrels from leak in last day“.

Michael Jackson’s Doctor gets to Keep his License

On June 14th in Los Angeles, the requested ban by the California medical board on Dr. Conrad Murray for practicing medicine in the state of California was refused.  Dr. Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the possible  wrongful death of Michael Jackson.  He has already pleaded not guilty to the charges all a while the Jackson family are hoping that he is “harshly punished”.

The courtroom was full of life from the Jackson family including Michaels mother, father and siblings including brother Jermaine and Randy and sister LaToya Jackson.  Some of his family members had remarks such as Jermaine saying, “Dr. Murray’s the fall guy.”  “This is bulls**t.”  A lawyer for Joe Jackson has said he was preparing a civil wrongful-death lawsuit in the singer’s death.

Preliminary hearings for Doctor Murray are set for August 23.  The defense team of Murray argued from the stand point that the state was “forum shopping” by asking for a reversal in the decisions made by the first judge.  Judge Pastor second this opinion and replied, A lawyer for Joe Jackson has said he was preparing a civil wrongful-death lawsuit in the singer’s death.

Next week there will be an official memorial on the first anniversary of Michael Jacksons death.  Dr. Conrad Murray is reportedly not attending in order to avoid causing any heartache for the Jackson family.

BP Oils Spill Debate

June 16, 2010 1 comment

BP Oil Spill leaves them at the bottom of the Ocean

June 16, 2010 1 comment

..Metaphorically speaking that is.  As BP shares tank there is a lot of buzz going on in regards to bankruptcy.  Yet again, shares have taken a major dip today after another sell off took place last week in New York that devalued the London based oil company over $82 million.

52 days after the gargantuan spills in the Gulf of Mexico, shares have fallen over 50%.  This has left people talking about the possibilities of BP filling for bankruptcy.  All the while, politicians in the United States are still pressing the company to cease dividend payments in order to pay more compensation for the spill.

Fortune Magazine’s Matt Simmons stated that BP is likely to “run out of cash from lawsuits, cleanup and other expenses.  He continued to state that “one really smart thing that Obama did was about three weeks ago he forced BP CEO Tony Hayward to put in writing that BP would pay for every dollar of the cleanup. But there isn’t enough money in the world to clean up the Gulf of Mexico. Once BP realizes the extent of this, my guess is that they’ll panic and go into Chapter 11.”