Thursday, March 21, 2013

Criminal Defense Lawyer's Mug Shot ends up right next to his own advertisement

Now this is hilarious.  Turns out a criminal defense lawyer in Florida, was arrested over the weekend for his involvement in a drunken hit and run...that's bad but not news.  The funny thing is that guy advertises on one of those mugshot websites, and well hilarity ensues. Here is the article and the picture.

Criminal Defense Lawyer's Mug Shot Ends Up Next to Own Online Ad After Weekend Arrest

Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Mug Shot Ends Up Next to Own Online Ad After Weekend Arrest

Bad: Criminal defense attorney Thomas Lewis Edwards of Gainesville, Florida, was arrested over the weekend and charges with multiple counts stemming from an alleged drunken hit-and-run.

Worse: His mug shot appeared on a local mug shot website juxtaposed with an online banner ad for his own legal practice, Schackow, Mercadante & Edwards.

Worst: Back in 2007, Edwards was interviewed by The Gainesville Sun about bad-looking mug shots, and had this to say:
"Mug shots, unfortunately, are never good pictures. They've usually got people who are in compromised positions," said Gainesville defense attorney Thomas Edwards.

"They arrest you and you're not looking so good. They're not going to give you a plastic comb. They are not going to concern themselves if you look like crap."

Short of someone turning themselves in at the jail, most people can't prepare for getting their mug shot taken, Edwards said.  Legally, he added, there's nothing a defense lawyer can do about a bad mug shot except make sure it doesn't prejudice a jury that will hear the case.
Oof. If he's looking for a good lawyer, I hear Thomas Lewis Edwards is superb.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

People of Colorado...Don't bring your drugs into Kansas

I came across this article from a blogger in Denver.  Pretty interesting.  It is funny how crossing an imaginary line on a map with Marijuana can have such drastic consequences.  Here is the article.

Marijuana profiling: Coloradans should ditch weed before state line, says Kansas attorney

In our continued coverage of alleged profiling of cars with Colorado license plates in other states due to our marijuana laws, we shared the experiences of Westword writer Britt Chester, who was pulled over not once, but twice last week during a cross-country trip.  One of the places he was rousted was Kansas, and an attorney there says such profiling appears to be happening routinely -- so much so that he's considered buying a billboard at the state line warning people coming from Colorado to dump their pot.  According to Cal Williams, an attorney based in Colby, Kansas, the billboard would say, "'Stop and get rid of this. Don't come into Kansas with it. You can go to prison on less than an ounce.'"

Another variation on this theme is mentioned by Leonard Frieling, a Denver-based lawyer with whom Williams has brainstormed on the idea. "I imagine an electronic billboard like those speedometer signs that tell you how fast you're going -- 36 miles per hour, or whatever," he notes. "But this one would say, 'You are crossing the state line in eight minutes. Would you like to stay with us for the next five years?'"

This isn't much of an exaggeration. "As little as 25 grams can be a felony in Kansas," Williams points out. "There's a range from 25 grams to 450 grams, and even for someone with no record, a conviction could carry 46 to 51 months in a penitentiary."

Moreover, wrist slaps aren't common in these cases, whether an individual had previously steered clear of wrongdoing. "It is presumptive prison," Williams says, "with 49 months being the middle range; that's likely what it would be. And based on the fact that an ounce is 28.35 grams, less than an ounce is enough to send you to prison."

As for whether profiling is taking place in Kansas, Chester's tale suggests that it is. He told us that he and a friend were halfway through Kansas in a truck with Colorado plates when they were pulled over by a state trooper for the high crime of driving in the left lane; a law there says cars should use that lane only when passing and then return to the right. But the trooper made it clear he had other possible crimes on his mind.

"He said, 'Hey, listen, a lot of people are trafficking marijuana out of Colorado. Some of it's for medical purposes, some of it's for profit. Do you mind if I look in your truck?'" Chester revealed.  The trooper's search turned up nothing more suspicious than rolling papers, so he eventually sent Chester and pal on their way without a citation. But that didn't mean he'd given up on his tactic. "He said they were keeping their eye out for Colorado plates," Chester recalled. How often does this kind of thing happen? And how frequently does it result in troopers finding marijuana?

"I do a lot of warrantless car searches and car stops on I-70," says Williams, "and I have seen it increase a little bit since the law changed in Colorado. But I would say not enough more that I would definitely point a finger at profiling."

One reason for that, he continues, is "because the tags on cars coming from Colorado are from everywhere. If somebody from, say, Kentucky goes to Colorado and gets a couple of pounds, they're usually in a rental car, because they've probably heard that if they're in their own vehicle and they're caught, it's forfeited.  "They're using Colorado as a source," he adds, "where they might previously have gone to Washington or Oregon or California."  Moreover, Williams stresses that stopping every car with a Colorado plate would be impossible. "I live in the second county from the Colorado line, and if I went out to the interstate, every fourth or fifth car might have a Colorado tag on it."  As a result, other factors often come into play when a Colorado ride is stopped, including the type of vehicle and the look of the driver. In Chester's case, for example, he not only was riding in a truck with a covered bed, but he's young, bearded, and wears his hair long.

Nonetheless, Williams has definitely represented more Colorado clients over the past several years, beginning around the time the medical marijuana industry began booming back in 2009 and 2010. And the numbers have ratcheted up again since voters approved Amendment 64, which allows adults 21 and over to use and possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational purposes.  "I've seen slight increases since both laws went into effect," Williams points out, "but it's not a flood."

Will such stops escalate if Colorado's retail system becomes fully implemented? Perhaps, Williams acknowledges, but eventually, "I think it's going to level off. As long as there's a market, there's going to be a supply. That's free enterprise. But unfortunately, it's illegal free enterprise here."  With that in mind, Williams reminds folks here that "Colorado laws don't apply once you step over that border.... And I don't think that if I was a Colorado college student coming from Boulder or Fort Collins, I'd have something in my car. Because what's perfectly legal in Colorado is a felony in Kansas."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Accident in Atchison County leaves several teens injured

An unfortunate accident in Atchison County Kansas leads to the injury of several young people. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol's investigating officer, the accident occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. in the Jackson Park in Atchison.  The facts of the incident are limited but it appears that a 200 Ford F150 pickup Truck operated by Parker Shipley-Roland of Atchison, overturned injuring several young teens.  It has been reported that the teens were riding in the back of the pickup truck and when the driver lost control he and all the passengers were thrown from the vehicle.  Several of the children were listed in serious condition, more facts will be forthcoming.

The affected children were:

John Shankman
Sean Falk
Kyle Mason
Sam Panchot
Parker Shipley-Roland

Police Report (Online for 30 days)

All of the teens were transported to Atchison Memorial Hospital except for Kyle Mason who was uninjured.  When seriously injured in an accident like this you need to obtain an experienced personal injury lawyer to investigate the facts and determine whom is at fault.   If you or a loved one find themselves in need of an experienced personal injury lawyer please contact the attorneys of Copley Roth and Wilson LLC.  Our firm has extensive experience handling personal injury and wrongful death claims and is here to compassionately assist you in your time of need. If you, a loved one, or a family member has suffered the devastating , and oftentimes tragic consequences of a car accident, please do not hesitate to contact Copley Roth and Wilson, LLC (913-451-9500) to address any questions or concerns you may have.  The initial consultation(s) telephone and in person, are always free.

6 Mistakes Moms make in a divorce...

Pretty interesting article.

Written by Adriana Velez on CafeMom's blog, The Stir.

Some of us see divorce coming from a long way off. And others don't see it until they hear those terrifying words: "I want a divorce." Especially for women who don't see it coming, that separation can send you into an emotional tailspin. And your turmoil can propel you to make some horrible mistakes that can cause an awful lot of trouble later on.

We talked with divorce attorney Randall Kessler of Kessler and Solomiani in Atlanta about the most important things moms need to know about divorce, especially when it's an acrimonious split. Here's what not to do -- and why, even if your husband has left you with nothing, you should still hold onto hope.

1. Don't panic. "Knowledge is power," Kessler says. So don't freak out -- get educated. Go online and find out everything you need to know (his firm's website has a list of helpful resources, and every state has divorce information online). Meet with a lawyer -- or better yet, more than one lawyer. Find out what your rights are, because you do have rights. And know that you're not going to get kicked out of your home immediately just because your husband isn't paying your rent or mortgage anymore. Explain your situation to everyone as soon as possible, and don't get intimidated into agreeing to a settlement before you're ready to.

2. Don't just get a free consultation if you can avoid it. Kessler says you'll get better legal advice if you pay for it. There are exceptions, and a free consultation is better than nothing. How do you pay for that consultation? That leads to the next don't.

3. Don't borrow money from family -- yet. I was surprised when Kessler recommended against borrowing money from family for a lawyer. But he says you should save those resources for another time. Instead, see if you can borrow against your home or get a credit card. If you are financially dependent on your husband, he is responsible for paying for at least part of your representation. But you're less likely to get that money back if you've borrowed it from your family.

4. Don't allow your ex to intimidate you. "When your husband tells you that your lawyer just wants to make money, that's an intimidation tactic," Kessler says. Your husband may know how to scare you, but he doesn't know how to scare your lawyer. If you're in an acrimonious split, let your lawyer talk with his lawyer.

5. Don't run into the arms of another man. Or as Kessler puts it, "Don't commit adultery." Even if your husband has been carrying on an affair, starting one of your own will only add emotional heat to your divorce. Kessler says he's seen it too many times -- wives feel lonely, but husbands get angry, and then they make everything difficult. Don't give your husband any ammunition. Wait until you have a settlement to start your new romantic life. No, it's not fair. But it's practical.

6. Don't demand money before you've made up a budget. Kessler says it's important that you create a budget, even if you've never had one before. "You need a well-organized, detailed budget. It's your backup for why you need the alimony and child support you're asking for. You need to make sure all your needs are addressed."

And now, the hopeful part: "There are silver linings in divorce and I think you need to find them," Kessler says. Everyone who gets divorced feels terrified. Every woman is afraid she'll be a bag lady. But you get through it. Eventually, "you'll realize the benefits of not living with someone who isn't happy living with you." Kessler's book, Divorce, Protect Yourself, Your Kids and Your Future, comes out in fall 2013.