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Folklaw 18 August 2006

Folklaw 18 August 2006

Dead air between the earsPolice apprehended two robbers in San Paolo, Brazil, after holding up a DJ who was broadcasting live at the time.Tiago Amorin da Silva, from Alto Paraná, was presenting…

Dead air between the ears

Police apprehended two robbers in San Paolo, Brazil, after holding up a DJ who was broadcasting live at the time.

Tiago Amorin da Silva, from Alto Paraná, was presenting his show at 2.00am when the thieves broke into the studio and robbed him. But police received over 100 calls from worried listeners who heard the theft transpire, enabling them to arrest the robbers before they had an opportunity to escape.

“It was really fantastic that the DJ's fans called us,” said a spokesperson for the police. “The robbers didn't realise what was going on and we were able to surprise them and control the situation.”

Explosive evidence in Bangladeshi court

A trial of alleged Islamic militants fell into chaos when five live bombs were introduced as evidence. Upon the discovery, there was a mad rush for the door as the court room emptied following a quickly ordered adjournment.

The court was in session to hear the case of five suspected members of the banned organisation Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which had been accused of executing numerous bomb attacks throughout the country in 2005.

The bombs, allegedly found on each of the five suspects, were supposed to be defused by police before they appeared as evidence. The police deny ever being asked to carry out the procedure.

Fortunately for those present, Captain Tareq Rahman Khan of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) saw the public prosecutor, Shahidul Islam, display the explosive evidence before the judge, and immediately noticed the bombs were live.

"I got the shock of my life," he said, according to the New Age newspaper.

The ensuing adjournment sent those in the court fleeing for the exit in panic.

No free speech against US judges

A split decision of the Michigan Supreme Court has found an attorney’s publicly aired, out of court profanities about three US appeal judges were not protected by the first amendment of the US Constitution.

Following the reversal of an award of US$15 million ($19,804,800.00) to a client of Geoffrey Fieger, he lambasted the judges during two radio broadcasts in 1999, labelling them “jackasses”, comparing them to Hitler and Goebbels and suggesting rather graphically that they be subjected to various acts of molestation in, for want of a better phrase, the seat of their power.

A four to three majority of the Supreme Court determined Fieger’s probing comments were not constitutionally protected, as they could potentially undermine the legal system, as well as violating Michigan’s attorney conduct standards.

Chief Justice Clifford Taylor, in the majority, said “there is no reasonable construction of Fieger’s remarks that could lead to the conclusion that these were mere comment on the professional performance of these three judges”.

In dissent, Justice Michael Cavanagh, said the remarks amounted to political speech, protected by the US Constitution.

“Not only does the public’s right to be informed of the workings of the judiciary transcend the judiciary’s right to shield itself from even the basest of criticisms, but the judiciary, upon which is conferred unique powers, significant influence and considerable insulation, must not be so shielded that the public is denied its right to temper this institution,” Cavanagh said.

A further problem arose from the fact that Fieger’s direct opposition in his 1998 Democrat campaign was the one who appointed the four judges who made up the majority in the decision.

Fieger had also made headlines in the early 1990s defending suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian.

Hitting cops where it hurts the most

A young man in Kennewick, Washington, made the very dubious decision to steal a truck full of donuts, causing an immediate reaction from police.

Steve Swoboda, 19, jumped in a bakery van after the driver left the engine running during a delivery. The authorities called all available cars to engage in the pursuit, and had both the man and the cargo safely under control at lightning speed.

“In 24 years in law enforcement I've never had a call like that,” Captain Randy Barnes of the Richmond Police said. “To steal a bakery truck — how clever is that?”

The driver, Gilberto Gonzales, asked a shop assistant at the nearby bakery whether he had seen a man loitering in front of the store before the theft occurred.

“The clerk said, ‘Yeah, that guy's been wanting a ride to Richland [Washington] for a while,’” said Mario Viera, one of the operators of the bakery.

Folklaw is pleased to note that not one of the glazed, sugar or cream donuts, or apple fritters was harmed in the incident.

Fridge fighting turns nasty

News from website RollOnFriday this week centres on London firm Devonshires, currently mired in a distasteful bout of fridge crime. What began with an incident of stolen lunch quickly degraded into accusations of stolen money (also stored in the fridge), calls to the police and insurance agencies, and the threat of covert operations. Folklaw readers are warned to be wary of what they take from the crisper from now on.

From: Member of Litigation Department

Sent: 01 August 2006 09:48

To: Litigation Department

Subject: The Fridge

I have had an entire bag of food taken from the fridge.

As Philip also had money go missing from the fridge last week, please be aware that someone is taking other people’s things from the fridge.

From: Philip Barden

Sent: 01 August 2006 10:09

To: Litigation Department

Cc: All Staff

Subject: RE: The Fridge

Regrettably we have a thief operating in our midst. If anyone knows who this is or has any suspicions please let me know and I will tell the police.

I would like the cleaning company notified.

I am for insurance reasons now notifying the police.

Philip

-----------------------------------------From: Philip Barden

I have contacted the police who have provided me with a dye marker which enables me to mark items and then if removed we can check who handled the items by using ultra violet light — it cannot be washed off — so whoever is taking stuff will soon be caught — either it’s the person wearing gloves or the person who hands show purple under UV light.

P

Cheers, Your Honour

A lawyer was thrown out of a Las Vegas court, the judge ordering a blood alcohol test following his late arrival and slurred speech.

Defence lawyer Joseph Caramango was declared too drunk to properly conduct his kidnapping case when the judge ordered a mistrial. “I don't think you can tell a straight story because you are intoxicated,” Clark County District Judge Michelle Leavitt said.

Caramango had arrived 90 minutes late and began slurring his words. He freely admitted to drinking the night before, but insisted he was sober at the time. When questioned, he maintained his affected speech was due only to a car crash he was involved in on the way to court.

“I don’t believe I’ve committed any ethical violation,” Caramango said. “If it proved anything, it proved I was not intoxicated.”

The blood alcohol test returned a result of 0.075 per cent, a touch under Nevada’s legal limit of 0.08 per cent.

Leavitt’s suspicion grew when the woman Caramango brought to court, whom he identified as ex-girlfriend Christine, said her name was Josephine. The woman said she had met Caramango in a bar and coffee shop only 20 minutes before their arrival in court.

If convicted, Caramango’s client could have been sentenced to life in prison.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Folklaw 18 August 2006
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