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Showing posts from June, 2012

starting out

I always say if you are not prepared to take a position and if you are not prepared to look like a fool in the event that people dont agree with you then dont bother. You also have to be prepared to have a lot of people tellling you how it should be done or how it should have been done. The patience of a saint is always helpful.

The wood for the trees

There are many cases where there are mountains of issues within the evidence which you could grind yourself to a pulp challenging and you probably need to challenge those issues for appearances sake but regardless of that you will find yourself dealing with an intangible flavour which the evidence creates. It is that overall flavour that you will be fighting. Some people call it common sense, its like an intangible glue. Thats why its often extremely important to grapple with the big picture and you are not neccessarily going to be successful in doing that by nitpicking at the evidence. Often a client will be extremely fixated with a particular which really bugs the hell out of them and often quite rightfully so. However nine times out of ten that issue will be completely beside the point in terms of the case that must be met in court. That is why it is important for a person charged with a serious crime to have objective representation so that the issues that might be otherwise be d…

Human rights.

Its going to be scary when the state takes complete control of the internet which it will. Imagine it being charged with hacking in a cybercourt in front of a cyberjudge and then placed in a cyberprison when you are convicted by a computer.There will be two worlds one for the insiders a bit like a medieval castle with a moat around it where all commerce and human interaction takes place under the constant monitoring eyes of the states internet police.They wont need to drive to the office of course they will just login. The sentence will be to be cast out of the internet forever unable to make a living or use banks like the clones inside the castle walls. The rest of us will be outside the castle walls we never even got in to get cast out. A frightening vision for the future not really I am sure its already happened.

Intuition and a phd in argumentation.

Its no good engaging all the prosecution evidence and frankly its simply not possible. You need to know the evidence but before trial you have to process it to its core. And then when you get in front of a jury you need to make a call on where the touchstone is.The touchstone is an issue that encapsulates the case in all its facets. It may not be pretty. And remember you are better off with a donkey that makes it right to the end of the track albeit in a broken down condition than you are with a thoroughbred that breaks down halfway and you have to change horses. The problem is that halfway through there are no other horses.

Trafficking

The US report on human trafficking is interesting. The US is an expert in the field of slavery having enslaved 12 million africans back in the day and US corporations are party to the enslavement of chinese workers in China who work for a pittance producing the high tech components for american computer products auch as apple computers. So its a little ironic to have the US telling everyone off. Having said that I see the NZ government continues to perpetuate the myth that trafficking has not occurred in NZ when its own departments have prosecuted and persecuted victims of trafficking in this country and given citizenship to those who have been a party to these crimes.

Time place and circumstance

Whenever you look at the evidence you must put all events in sequence. Why is this. Its because we try cases in an adverserial system and each side places a template over the events in order to detect a pattern. I am talking here of circumstantial cases not caseds where someone has confessed. For example in a case where certain events are used to prove presence one set of sequential events can be used to prove presence on certain occasions whereas another set of events can be used to demonstrate a person wasnt present. Chronology is key to inferences.
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An important point

Often when you are dealing with major fraud allegations such as financial conspiracy the evidence may prove a core part of the allegations but it may not prove all of the allegations. For instance it may prove charges during a certain time period but not another time period. Experience has taught me that juries need prove beyond a reasonable doubt for all the charges. They do not not extend the proof for some over all. This is extremely important as anything that reduces the total seriousness of the charges makes a huge difference in relation to the sentenced handed down.
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Identification

I remember when i first started out back in the mid eighties acting for a guy called sid. It was a case of alleged cheque fraud because i can remember that someone had passed a forged cheque over the counter at a bank and the crown case was that that person was sid. There was camera footage and stills of the person at the counter. I looked at the photos and they looked remarkably like my client. However my instructions were to challenge identification and that's what i did. The jury acquitted my client. Whats the point of the story. The point is as an advocate your own personal views dont come into the picture and i have been abiding by that fundemental principle eversince. I learned more courtesy of my resolute client sid than i did in five years at law school.
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Shining Star by the NeoKalashnikovs

Heres my kids new music video.

Some important news if you are contemplating prison

Its important to know that if you are sentenced to a prison term longer than two years you are eligible to apply for parole after one third of the sentence. So for example if you were sentenced to three years imprisoment you could apply for parole after one year. Now if you are sentenced to two years or less you are automatically released after half of your sentence. Because it is classed as a short term there is no parole required. Peeps you do need to be careful of the courts ability to impose a minimum non parole period which sets a period of imprisonment which must be served before you can go to the parole board. This is usually reserved for recidivist offenders ie people who dont stop offending or it can apply where the circumstances are very serious.
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