Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Is There A Way? Development Versus Impact

In one of my very first blogs, I talked about the "need to make a difference" as a strong motivator to stay engaged in the practice of law.  In the last blog, I mentioned my local governmental committee work and hinted at the battle between a developer's special interest and protecting the community assets of the Highline Canal trail and open space.  The developer has now presented to both the Parks and Trails Committee and the Planning and Zoning Committee.  One committee has recommended in favor and the other recommended against.

I have taken up the battle against a part of the development that puts a vehicular bridge carrying construction and local traffic in the way of a trail over which 100,000 people per year hike.  There are alternatives but other neighbors object to increased traffic, or the developer objects to the increased costs. I am deeply involved and will continue the good fight.

That being said, it is interesting to compare our local neighborhood fight to what is going on in Washington.  Polarization seems to prevail over compromise. So in our local case, you are either in favor of the development or against it.  One of my neighbors said it well when she said, while she would prefer the open space, she understands the rights of a landowner to develop a piece of land in a way that does not harm others. 

Is there a centrist or compromise position that allows development but minimizes harm?  I tend to be a centrist.  The Centrist position seems to repel many on the hard left or right but I think common sense should prevail over ideological positions.  I tend to think the commonwealth should prevail over special interest.  So... I will continue the good fight that will hopefully result in a solution that benefits all.  What are your thoughts on this topic? I truly am soliciting your feedback on this one so email me and let me know where you stand. 
I look forward to hearing from you. 


Len Goldstein
Attorney at Law

A Treasure Trove of Malapropisms

Now here is a fun job. Two lawyers Charles Savilla and Lee Lorenz have amassed a treasure trove of malapropisms from actual trial transcripts and put them into several books called Disorder in the Court.  This sample will tickle your funny bone.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's 20, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid.
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
And last:
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.