Monday, December 9, 2013

People, Special Corporate People, Are The Luckiest People . . .

My apologies for the tortured reference to the old Barbara Streisand standard from the 1960's.  But, it is the start of final exams week and that makes academics a bit giddy as an antidote to the workload. In any event, this will be the last post until the Spring semester starts.

Two Jon Stewart clips below examine corporate personhood in relation to criminal responsibility. As usual, Stewart questions public policy, law and practice and raises pointed questions through humor.

Click on the images below to see Part 1 and Part 2:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Perhaps the legal standard for "personhood" should be whether or not the "person" can sing.

Barbara Streisand, a person who can sing:

JPMorganChase&Co, a "person" that cannot sing:

Human persons singing in protest of the practices of corporate person, JP Morgan (addressing CEO Jamie Dimon):

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Casualties of the Gridiron

There's been  a growing awareness of the long term physical effects of playing football, especially at the highest levels in college and the pros. Long time player Brett Favre has recently disclosed his creeping memory loss and opined that had he a son, Favre would "be leery" of letting him play football.

GC magazine is running a series entitled "Casualties of the Gridiron." The video below features former NFL quarterback Ray Lucas.  Lucas suffered ruptured discs and nerve damage as a player and lives in pain. He delayed necessary back surgery for years because he had no health insurance after he retired. he sunk into despair before finally being able to turn things around with help.

The question that first comes to mind for me is, "Why isn't this covered by workers' compensation?"  These pro athletes may be paid millions, but they are still employees covered by state workers' comp laws as far as I know.  Just last month, California made headlines by passing legislation limiting worker's comp claims by pro athletes.  By implication, before that legislation, there were no limitations.  ESPN has even referred to workers comp as a "threat" to the NFL.This week, five former members of the Kansas City Chiefs sued the team over head injuries suffered over the course of their careers. According to their lawyer, the lawsuit is not barred by worker's comp laws because of an exception for injuries incurred over an extended period of time.

Former player, Deion Sanders, who famously criticized players filing suit over not being warned about the effect of concussions, has filed a comp claim for his football injuries.

So, what gives? Does anyone know why Ray Lucas couldn't get the surgery he needed under worker's comp laws?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Giving New Meaning to "Bank Foreclosure"

Bank of America attempted to foreclose on a house on which it had no mortgage. The homeowners countersued and the bank was ordered to pay the homeowner's legal fees. After waiting months for payment, the homeowner's lawyer sent the deputy sheriffs to the local Bank of America branch to execute the judgment.  They arrived with moving vans prepared to haul out the office furniture if necessary. After some initial panic, the bank manager was able to cut a check.  The bank's excuse?  They didn't know that their lawyer had gone out of business!

Yeah, and the dog ate your mortgage note.

Video news report:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Trial's Real Impact

In an earlier post, we compared Hollywood's dramatic portrayals of court cases with the relatively boring and tedious progression of a real trial.  Perhaps, that post overlooks the tremendous emotional impact of cases on the lives of participants.

below is a video compilation of Hollywood portrayals of trials. Pay attention, in particular, to the courtroom reactions as a verdict is announced. Then view the video of a rel verdict announcement. No movie can effectively portray that.

And then there is this tragic scene: