STICKY, STICKY, STUCK

Since Trump took office in November, the news has been entirely about him. His tweets. His bad legislation. His even worse legislation. His bad choices for heads of various departments. Now, of course, we have the whole Russian adventure unrolling.

Also, this week, the Democratic party “announced” its new logos for … I don’t know. Whatever they are using logos for, I suppose. This is such a pathetic attempt at a logo, it makes me want to bang my head against a wall. It’s not new, pointed, interesting, or exciting. It has no drama, no energy. It appeals to no one and says nothing. It will not capture anyone’s imagination. No one will rally to whatever it stands for which, in my opinion, is nothing.

This dreary logo reminds me how stagnant we have become. The U.S. is stagnating. Republicans are tearing down anything that was accomplished in the past 8 years … while Democrats have nothing to say except how much they hate Trump. Which is exactly what the Republicans did while Obama was in office. It left them unable to govern when their turn came and this will leave Democrats equally lost — for the exact same reasons. Hating someone is not an agenda. It’s not policy. It’s not an idea and it’s not exactly a rallying cry.

America needs to move on.

We are fixated — paralyzed  — by “The Events Of Russia.” We are at a national standstill as we try to sort out the sludge. We are in a legislative hole in the ground. Trump may be great at grabbing the attention of news organizations, but while he plays games with our heads on Twitter, we have no working government.

He is an awful president. No idea how legislation should be written or what would be good legislation. He does not appear to be serving the American people. I’m not sure who, exactly, he is serving. I know it isn’t me.

While we are stuck trying to fix what happened in 2016, we are sunk in The Trump Trench. While we dither, we are the laughingstock of the world, the biggest fools on Earth. America is pathetic. The idea that this is how we will be for the upcoming 3-1/2 years is appalling.

Until we do whatever we need to do to get ourselves going forward again, until we lose this bad president, our country has no future. We will not be part of the ongoing events of the world — merely the butt of international jokes. The longer this continues, the weaker we get.

We have had other dreadful presidents, but none of them were president in this high-technology, fast-paced era. We are in the center of the world’s stage — and what do they see? A bunch of idiots led by a moron. You don’t think that gives them ideas we’d rather they not have?

We don’t have years to waste digging out of this quagmire. Whatever is going to get done? Get it done. Soon!

A PRO BONO CASE THAT BECAME A FRONT PAGE SCANDAL – BY ELLIN CURLEY

My ex husband, Larry Kaiser, was a young litigation attorney in New York City in 1979. His law firm assigned Pro Bono Appeals cases to junior associates as part of a public service program.

Larry was given the appeal of a defendant, Eric Michaels, who had been convicted, in a second trial, of rape, sodomy, robbery and burglary. His first trial had been declared a mistrial. It was clear that the defendant was rightfully convicted. He had definitely done it. So Larry had to look for a procedural irregularity that he could exploit to try to get the conviction overturned on appeal. That was his job, unsavory as it was.

Larry discovered that the trial judge, Judge Arnold Fraiman, had declared a mistrial for a questionable reason – he and several jurors were scheduled to leave on vacations. I believe the judge even had his wife and his packed suitcases in the courtroom. If this was seen as an abuse of discretion by the appellate court, it would invalidate the guilty verdict of the second trial. The entire second trial would be considered invalid as a violation of double jeopardy. You can only be tried once for any crime or crimes.

Larry was drowning in work so I helped him write this Pro Bono brief. It was very much a joint effort. I was practicing law at a small New York City law firm at the time. We won the appeals case and Eric Michaels was released from prison.

One morning shortly after the appellate verdict was rendered, I was getting out of bed and I heard Larry yelling from the living room. He had just opened the New York Times and found his case on the front page! The misconduct of Judge Fraiman was considered a big enough deal to warrant a prominent story. This was particularly true because his misconduct resulted in the release of a convicted rapist. The District Attorney of New York had described Eric Michaels’ crimes as some of the more vicious crimes prosecuted by the state in years.

Judge Fraiman was now in the spotlight. Larry was interviewed by several newspapers. Over the next few days, reporters dug into the Judge’s prior cases. And they discovered that the exact same thing had happened before. Judge Fraiman had previously declared a mistrial for the same reason – he was due to leave on vacation. His prior mistrial declaration had also been considered inappropriate by an appellate court. And again, an appellate court had released another guilty defendant back onto the streets because of Judge Fraiman’s actions in court.

This was now a really big judicial scandal. The story stayed in the news for a while and destroyed Judge Fraiman’s reputation. I think he may have been censured by the judiciary or by the Bar Association.

Larry always had mixed feelings about this case. He had a major legal success and got his name in the New York Times. On the other hand, he helped get a rapist released from jail. This is often the plight of lawyers in the criminal field.

It was also a prime reason I didn’t go into criminal law. Winning isn’t everything.