Legal Eagle Question

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Jennifer
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Jennifer » 21 May 2010, 11:58

Warren wrote:Thinking out loud:
If you could make it to the American embassy you'd be alright. I think the idea is that you couldn't get plane tickets or maybe even train tickets or just around the block without identification. And of course the local police are part of the system so when you get picked up you're in a worse situation than before.
Well, the trafficking cases I read about were all immigrants in America. I have no difficulty believing that I personally would be in bad shape if Saudi police got hold of me, whether I had a passport or not, but I'm thinking more of, say, Russian girls in America who didn't realize they were going to be forced to work as prostitutes. I don't know how the Russian Embassy is for its citizens, but for all the horrible things cops to do give Balko his career, I find it highly unlikely an American cop would bring a passportless Russian woman back to the Happy Funtime Massage Parlor after she explained how she was barely able to escape from there.
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J sub D
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by J sub D » 21 May 2010, 12:08

Warren wrote:Thinking out loud:
If you could make it to the American embassy you'd be alright. I think the idea is that you couldn't get plane tickets or maybe even train tickets or just around the block without identification. And of course the local police are part of the system so when you get picked up you're in a worse situation than before.
I think it's just preying on the ignorance of the victims. They bring the lady into the country illegally with the promise of employment (maid, hairdresser, etc.) and she promises to pay them for the service from her salary. When she gets here she finds that the employment is actually as a "masseuse" at Suzie Wong's Oriental Massage and Prostitution parlor. She's here illegally and rightfully distrusting of US authorities and she can't even flee back to where she was so desperate to escape from because she has no passport. She has no support network and can't even gain employment in the U.s> withou identification. She sees herself as imprisoned/enslaved without options.

Compounding all of this is that if she runs to the authorities, ICE will immediately ship her back to the place she was willing to deal with criminals to escape in the first place.

I'd offer her a green card for her testimony to put away the human traffickers (we offer small fry immunity for testimony against big fish all the time), but I imagine I'm in the distinct minority on that.

ETA - What Kolohe said. Liberal beatings and threats of death are also standard practices in the criminal enterprise.
EDIT: Oh, and the civil rights and basic human dignity thing too. - JasonL

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thoreau
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by thoreau » 21 May 2010, 13:52

J sub D wrote:
Warren wrote:Thinking out loud:
If you could make it to the American embassy you'd be alright. I think the idea is that you couldn't get plane tickets or maybe even train tickets or just around the block without identification. And of course the local police are part of the system so when you get picked up you're in a worse situation than before.
I think it's just preying on the ignorance of the victims. They bring the lady into the country illegally with the promise of employment (maid, hairdresser, etc.) and she promises to pay them for the service from her salary. When she gets here she finds that the employment is actually as a "masseuse" at Suzie Wong's Oriental Massage and Prostitution parlor. She's here illegally and rightfully distrusting of US authorities and she can't even flee back to where she was so desperate to escape from because she has no passport. She has no support network and can't even gain employment in the U.s> withou identification. She sees herself as imprisoned/enslaved without options.

Compounding all of this is that if she runs to the authorities, ICE will immediately ship her back to the place she was willing to deal with criminals to escape in the first place.

I'd offer her a green card for her testimony to put away the human traffickers (we offer small fry immunity for testimony against big fish all the time), but I imagine I'm in the distinct minority on that.

ETA - What Kolohe said. Liberal beatings and threats of death are also standard practices in the criminal enterprise.
+1. It's the combination of several types of abuse and multiple infringements on options, rather than just the passport alone.
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Fin Fang Foom
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 21 May 2010, 13:53

J sub D wrote:And one more legal quandry from my fair city. Here is the scenario in a nutshell.
  • Thug robs and carjacks Citizen #1.
    While thug is driving away, Citizen #1 gets firearm and shoots at thug.
    Bullet hits and kills Citizen #2 who is preparing dinner in her home.
    Thug is charged with murder for the death of Citizen #2.
I understand that if somebody dies during the commision of a felony you can be charged with murder. e.g the getaway driver can be charged with murder if the gunman kills somebody in the bank. I fully support that. Still, this seems a bit of a stretch. Are there any precedents out there that would validate charging the thug with the murder of Citizen #2?
Yes, this is called the felony murder rule.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_murder_rule

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Fin Fang Foom
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 21 May 2010, 14:04

Jennifer wrote:Here's another legal or legalish question, not worth starting a whole new thread over: whenever you read of those unfortunate human trafficking cases, where immigrants were smuggled in to a country and effectively forced to work as slaves, the trafficker/enslaver always seems to grab the immigrant's passport. But how does that really screw the immigrant so badly? If -- for example -- I had the miserable luck to be the enslaved maid of some Saudi shithead, and I run to the American embassy in Riyadh and tell them what has happened, and explain that I don't have my passport because the Saudi shithead took it -- what, that's it? The embassy officials would say "We're not doing shit for you unless you show us your passport?"

If simply confiscating that little booklet is all it takes for all passport protections to vanish then the whole thing just seems like an enormous waste of time and money.
A. There's no such thing as "passport protections." Passports are internationally recognized documents that allow you to travel in a given country with that country's visa.
B. The trafficking victims are just scared shitless and probably don't know who to approach for help or whether or not they'd be thrown in jail for prostitution.
C. The American embassy might not be able to do anything. If you are in Saudi Arabia, you are subject to Saudi Arabia's laws.
D. The issue with the passport is you can't leave the country without it.

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Fin Fang Foom
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 21 May 2010, 14:09

J sub D wrote:
Warren wrote:Thinking out loud:
If you could make it to the American embassy you'd be alright. I think the idea is that you couldn't get plane tickets or maybe even train tickets or just around the block without identification. And of course the local police are part of the system so when you get picked up you're in a worse situation than before.
I think it's just preying on the ignorance of the victims. They bring the lady into the country illegally with the promise of employment (maid, hairdresser, etc.) and she promises to pay them for the service from her salary. When she gets here she finds that the employment is actually as a "masseuse" at Suzie Wong's Oriental Massage and Prostitution parlor. She's here illegally and rightfully distrusting of US authorities and she can't even flee back to where she was so desperate to escape from because she has no passport. She has no support network and can't even gain employment in the U.s> withou identification. She sees herself as imprisoned/enslaved without options.

Compounding all of this is that if she runs to the authorities, ICE will immediately ship her back to the place she was willing to deal with criminals to escape in the first place.

I'd offer her a green card for her testimony to put away the human traffickers (we offer small fry immunity for testimony against big fish all the time), but I imagine I'm in the distinct minority on that.

ETA - What Kolohe said. Liberal beatings and threats of death are also standard practices in the criminal enterprise.
They actually do offer protection and don't deport victims of trafficking who come forward. I can't remember the exact process and when you have to do it (e.g. before arrest or can you access it afterwards) or what you have to do (e.g. testify or maybe just apply). There are have been very few women to come forward (at least this was true up until a couple of years ago; may no longer be the case). This might be because either the victims are scared or they aren't in fact victims and know exactly what they are getting into. It is probably a combination of the two.

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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Kolohe » 21 May 2010, 15:17

Triple F-
Re your point D.:
Well you could leave the us and go everywhere in Canada and to the border region of Mexico and return back to the us sans passport until this century
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Warren
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Warren » 21 May 2010, 15:40

Kolohe wrote:Triple F-
Re your point D.:
Well you could leave the us and go everywhere in Canada and to the border region of Mexico and return back to the us sans passport until this century
It breaks my heart that this is no longer true. I grew up along the North Coast, and the ease of crossing the US/CA border was one of the great points of pride I took in my country. I considered it an example of peace and freedom for the rest of the world to take note of.

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Fin Fang Foom
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 21 May 2010, 15:58

Kolohe wrote:Triple F-
Re your point D.:
Well you could leave the us and go everywhere in Canada and to the border region of Mexico and return back to the us sans passport until this century
Clarification: You can't leave a country that you got into with it without it.

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Jadagul
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Jadagul » 21 May 2010, 18:19

Jennifer: if you're an American, and have money in the bank, I don't think taking the passport is much of the issue. If you're a dirt-poor Indian immigrant who legally owes tens of thousands of dollars and whose only chance for getting out is just to sneak out in the middle of the night...yeah, you get stopped at the border. Embassy can't help you because you're legally a criminal.

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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Eric the .5b » 21 May 2010, 19:53

thoreau wrote:
J sub D wrote:ETA - What Kolohe said. Liberal beatings and threats of death are also standard practices in the criminal enterprise.
+1. It's the combination of several types of abuse and multiple infringements on options, rather than just the passport alone.
Also, some attention to picking victims who don't speak English well, thereby very thoroughly cutting them off from trying to find ways out.
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Isaac Bartram » 22 May 2010, 11:07

J sub D wrote:And one more legal quandry from my fair city. Here is the scenario in a nutshell.
  • Thug robs and carjacks Citizen #1.
    While thug is driving away, Citizen #1 gets firearm and shoots at thug.
    Bullet hits and kills Citizen #2 who is preparing dinner in her home.
    Thug is charged with murder for the death of Citizen #2.
I understand that if somebody dies during the commision of a felony you can be charged with murder. e.g the getaway driver can be charged with murder if the gunman kills somebody in the bank. I fully support that. Still, this seems a bit of a stretch. Are there any precedents out there that would validate charging the thug with the murder of Citizen #2?
[blush]Negligent homicide is probably a more appropriate charge. But then shooting at someone fleeing after victimizing you is not generally considered within the limits of the right to self-defense. So manslaughter (which it more than likely will be plead down to) is quite possible and probably justifiable.[/blush]

[edit to add] Also, I suspect that even if this were covered by self-defense, this guy would still get charged with, at least, negligent homicide. The right to self defense does not give you license to shoot innocent bystanders.

[edit No 2] Upon rereading this whole thing, I feel mucho embarassed, I see I completely misread it originally. I for some reason, perhaps alcohol was involved, read it as the shooter getting charged not the carjacker; something that I still consider as something that is not out of line.

Most of what I wrote still stands, shooting someone who is fleeing is not generally considered justified use of lethal force, no matter how aggrieved you feel. I am still surprised the shooter was not charged with something. And you don't have to be a bleeding heart Pommie to think that. Anyone undertaking the use of deadly force has heavy responsibilities to ensure that innocents are not harmed. I'm sure I could find plenty of support for that statement in NRA publications or a host of self-defense courses if I were to go to the trouble of finding them.

However, since carjacking is a felony (a federal one to boot*), I am not at all surprised the carjacker is getting charged with felony murder. I'm sure that the prosecution would have no trouble persuading a jury that the death of Citizen #2 would not have occurred if the thug had not undertaken the carjacking.

*good thing those feds are took care of all those states where Armed Robbery and Car Theft are not against the law, huh?
Last edited by Isaac Bartram on 24 May 2010, 22:49, edited 3 times in total.

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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 22 May 2010, 11:28

I don't have strong intuitions regarding the felony murder rule one way or another. Perhaps the primary consideration, however, is whether and to what extent you believe a person in the commission of a criminal act should be responsible for the reasonably foreseeable possible consequences of that act.

If you're participating in an armed robbery as, say, the getaway driver, you know or should know that weapons may get fired either by your accomplices or by those trying to stop you and in either case someone might get killed. But for your and your accomplices collective actions (including the actions which prompted a response from, e.g., police or security guards), that person would not have been killed, and in that sense you really are collectively and therefore also individually responsible for that death.

The rule has been modified over the years, abolished in some jurisdictions and affected by some (dubious) Supreme Court decisions. Moreover, the notion that it somehow deters violent crimes is preposterous, given how few people actually know of its existence and operation. Still, as I articulated it above, I don't think it is entirely unjustifiable.

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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Stevo Darkly » 24 May 2010, 19:18

J sub D wrote:
  • Thug robs and carjacks Citizen #1.
    While thug is driving away, Citizen #1 gets firearm and shoots at thug.
    Bullet hits and kills Citizen #2 who is preparing dinner in her home.
    Thug is charged with murder for the death of Citizen #2.
Then there is the UK version:
  • Thug robs and carjacks Citizen #1.
    While thug is driving away, thug runs over Citizen #2 and kills him.
    Citizen #1, as owner of the stolen car, is charged with the death of Citizen #2.
All right, I made that up. But it would not surprise me in the least. That seems to be the direction they are headed in the UK.
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by lunchstealer » 25 May 2010, 12:33

Stevo Darkly wrote:
J sub D wrote:
  • Thug robs and carjacks Citizen #1.
    While thug is driving away, Citizen #1 gets firearm and shoots at thug.
    Bullet hits and kills Citizen #2 who is preparing dinner in her home.
    Thug is charged with murder for the death of Citizen #2.
Then there is the UK version:
  • Thug robs and carjacks Citizen #1.
    While thug is driving away, thug runs over Citizen #2 and kills him.
    Citizen #1, as owner of the stolen car, is charged with the death of Citizen #2.
All right, I made that up. But it would not surprise me in the least. That seems to be the direction they are headed in the UK.
Well, of course, if he hadn't purchased a car, that car couldn't have killed anyone!

I wouldn't be surprised if you exchanged 'car' for 'handgun' and didn't actually get Citizen #1 held responsible for the death in the US, at least civilly.

In the original scenario, if the thug is driving away, does he present a present danger to life or limb? If not, Citizen #1 could be charged with negligent homicide, given that they didn't NEED to discharge their weapon to prevent immediate injury or death, right? Would Citizen #1 and Thug be tried together?
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by fyodor » 25 May 2010, 13:36

I'm often a little queasy over prosecutorial overreach in felony murder cases. It seems pretty clear cut in the case of the getaway car driver, but I'm not always sure it's nearly so clearcut in the ways it gets applied.

Regarding this carjacking thug, for me personally, I think a key component might be whether the carjacker was armed, and especially if it was his weapon used in the killing. If he was, and it was, I can, despite a little queasiness, see enough correlation between his actions and the killing to say yeah, he shoulda known he was playing with fire and sometimes you get burned. He introduced a lethal weapon and lethal force (if he brandished the weapon) into a criminal situation in which life was threatened and a life was taken. So, yeah, okay, I can see it, albeit queasily. OTOH, if the thug just tried to overpower Citizen #1 who used his own weapon to accidentally kill Citizen #2, well then I would take serious exception to the felony murder charge. Though, my image of carjackings being what it is, I wouldn't be surprised if it was the thug's weapon that he was waving around from the git-go....

There's a famous and controversial felony murder charge here in Denver from several years back. A gal got someone (maybe a friend of a friend) to help her move her stuff out of her ex-boyfriend's place. During this endeavor, stuff of the boyfriend's (maybe including money, I don't remember, but certainly valuables) was taken. The gal claims it was never her intent to steal anything, just to move her own stuff outta there. Well y'kow, maybe she lied, maybe she was totally in on it, maybe she did little to stop this guy who was helping her move from stealing from the creep she was pissed at, who knows, but the jury convicted her of burglary, so there you got yer felony. Back to the action, the cops close in and the gal surrenders to them, and it's while she's in the cop car in custody that her accomplice, shortly before meeting his own demise, shoots a cop. And then the gal eventually got convicted of felony murder for what happened while she was sitting in the fricken cop car! I understand how the logic of felony murder covers this, but common sense would also seem to suggest that it's dubious at best to think it's beyond reasonable doubt that she was complicit in this killing. Even if she was complicit to some actionable extent in the burglary, how do we know she was ever willing to take it this far, as a getaway driver must be if he's fully in on the plans? Seems maybe the standard should be to show that one is fully in on the plans that accommodated the use of deadly force to carry out the crime, not just to be somehow in some way involved in a crime that ends up with a killing.

FWIW, she got off eventually on a technicality. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/43 ... etail.html
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Jennifer
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Jennifer » 28 Aug 2014, 11:28

Here's a legal story which strikes me as very odd: a Connecticut lawyer is about to be disbarred for violating a previous ban on representing women. That ban was put on him because, according to the ABA Journal:
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... disbarmen/
Mayo was accused in two prior ethics cases, according to earlier coverage by the Connecticut Law Tribune. In the first, he was suspended for 15 months after he was accused of making unwanted advances to female clients referred to him by a group for abused women, the story says. In the second, he was banned from representing women in family law or domestic violence cases after he was accused of offering to waive attorney fees in exchange for a massage.
What I don't understand is, if the lawyer acts so unprofessionally and unethically, why wasn't he simply disbarred in the first place? If, hypothetically, a white lawyer proved to consistently behave unprofessionally and unethically toward non-white clients, would he be disbarred altogether, or merely told "Sure, you can keep practicing, but henceforth you can only represent white clients, since you can't be trusted around anyone else"? That's basically what they told him, only limited to men since he can't be trusted around women.
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Jasper
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Jasper » 28 Aug 2014, 12:27

Jesus Christ... was risen after three days.

This thread... 51 months.
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Jennifer
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Jennifer » 28 Aug 2014, 12:29

Jasper wrote:Jesus Christ... was risen after three days.

This thread... 51 months.
There are two possible conclusions: one, I figured there was no need to start a whole new thread when I remembered we already had a short one on pretty much the same topic.

Two: my threads are mightier and more powerful than the Son of God.
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 28 Aug 2014, 12:41

Disbarment is rare and considered a sanction of last resort. In most state, a disbarred lawyer can apply for reinstatement after some period of years.

It's much harder to become a lawyer than to get kicked out.

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Jennifer
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Jennifer » 28 Aug 2014, 12:51

D.A. Ridgely wrote:Disbarment is rare
But what about limits to what kind of clients you can have -- not limits as in "A corporate patent attorney doesn't represent family law clients, and vice-versa" but "You are limited to clients of one sex [or race, ethnicity, religion, etc.] because you clearly cannot be trusted with clients from any other group?"
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Highway » 28 Aug 2014, 12:59

"We have to be seen as doing something. Can you live with this restriction? We really don't want to kick you out of the club. Can't you just go along with this?"
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 28 Aug 2014, 13:10

I don't know the case law, but other than someone on the sex offenders list, I doubt it. Probably not even then.

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thoreau
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by thoreau » 28 Aug 2014, 13:37

I think Highway basically has it.

Add the word "guild" to the analysis (says the tenured member of a profession that wears medieval gowns...) and that is basically it.
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Fin Fang Foom
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Re: Legal Eagle Question

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 28 Aug 2014, 17:09

Attorney ethics organizations are really into letting clients choose who represents them. Disbarring him would vitiate the choice of his clients.
Also, here he appears to have definitely violated the ban, whereas previously he had only been accused of misconduct.

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