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  • Nov 17, 2016 @ 11:44pm


    Now, I'm not American, but I am a lawyer, and this seems absolutely insane to me.

    A one year suspension? I can't see how behaviour like that calls for anything less than disbarment. He attempted to perpetrate a fraud on the court process. It baffles the mind to think that after a year they're going to let this guy slide back in.

    As much as people claim lawyers are all lying unethical weasels, the opposite really has to be true. The system functions on the basis of lawyers not deceiving each other or the court. There are certainly times when you can (and may be required to) not say anything, but there is never an excuse for lying to opposing parties or the courts.

    If I pulled something like this the bar association in my area would have me suspended the instant they caught wind of it, and I can't imagine any other outcome other than disbarment. The fact that this guy is a prosecutor shouldn't spare him, either--it makes it all the more egregious that he is subverting the fairness of the trial process.

    At this point how can the public be convinced that the other matters he may have touched aren't equally tainted in some fashion or another? Surely a full and complete review of every file he's been on now becomes necessary.


  • Nov 06, 2015 @ 12:57pm

    51% attack

    I'm no expert, but my understanding is that if you can get 51% (or rather 50%+X) of the computing power in the Bitcoin network you could work enough damage to make people really, really reluctant to ever trust Bitcoin again.

    That's not out of reach of the U.S. government, I don't think.

  • Apr 03, 2015 @ 03:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Here" is Canada, though the principles apply in general to the U.S. Confidentiality/privilege are triggered early in the process.

  • Apr 03, 2015 @ 02:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Lawyer here: If someone comes to you for legal advice, even if they haven't retained you, then solicitor-client confidentiality applies and you CANNOT report that crime. That's the entire point of solicitor-client confidentiality--to allow people to speak freely to their lawyer.

    Even if you refuse to represent the person in possession confidentiality and privilege applies to that knowledge. If the lawyer reports that information that lawyer will (and ought to) be sanctioned.

  • Apr 03, 2015 @ 03:00pm

    Legal ethics problems

    I'm one of those lawyer-beasts...

    The usual way a lawyer resolves the "I have come into possession of legally toxic material from a client":

    First, if at all possible, avoid this situation. Which is why when a client comes to drop something off my assistants have instructions to refuse to accept it and only let me deal with it (as I am better positioned to determine if it's legally toxic and to refuse to take it if it is).

    But, let's say that goes wrong and you end up with it anyway. "Legally toxic" can be any number of things: Could be a knife covered with a murder victim's blood, could be video evidence of your client stealing a car, could be a hard disk full of child porn.

    In my jurisdiction you're not allowed to just destroy that evidence. Nor can you just hold onto it and hide it (the client can, you as lawyer can't). Nor can you allow the police to find out how you came to have it.

    So the usual system is for the lawyer to hire another lawyer (who now is double-blinded from the client) to deliver it to the police anonymously and with no context.

    I've had to make one of these deliveries in the past (I was the articling student and got sent on a very crappy errand)--it's not a lot of fun dropping off a hard drive and going, "I have no knowledge of what this is, but here you go". The police at that point will try to grill you for details, and if you've been smart you have no details to give them.

    At that point it's up to the police to investigate it or not, as they see fit.

  • Nov 19, 2014 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re:

    I suspect that if it were a school where teachers are armed, the police would have never dared run an unannounced "active shooter" simulation.

    Of course, they should have never dared to do so even without armed teachers.

    My personal take is that armed teachers is one of the better ways to stop a school shooting spree, but that school shooting sprees are so fucking rare that it's not worth it.

    But hell, let's consider an alternate hypothetical, which is that one of the kids might be dealing drugs on the side and have a handgun stashed in his backpack for that reason. Notwithstanding that the kid is committing several crimes by doing so, in the moment of an active shooter situation he'd be justified in trying to take out said active shooter.

    By the same token someone would be justified in trying to drop a cinder block on an active shooter from a higher floor, or hitting them with a fire extinguisher, or any other number of lethal possibilities.

    Running unannounced "we are trying to murder you" drills is a good way to end up with big problems.

  • Aug 28, 2014 @ 05:29am

    Re: Split opinion

    Equality before the law is one of the most important principles of justice. Any police officer who thinks his word should be given extra credibility as some sort of favour owed for danger involved in the job (police officer not even being on the top ten most dangerous occupations) is not an officer who supports the rule of law.

  • Aug 05, 2014 @ 11:09am

    Basic contract law

    To get a valid contract you need consideration. I'm not sure what consideration Amtrak is offering.

    To put this into Full Metal Jacket terms, you can't legally fuck him in the a-- without giving him a reacharound in return.

  • Jul 09, 2014 @ 11:36am

    I'd be worried about the security of that photograph.

    I'm a lawyer, and had a child porn case vanish against a client after an independent expert was able to show that in between seizing the hard drive and it going to the police expert, someone had made copies of all of the child porn material--someone with the police, but they didn't know who.

    That was a detail too embarrassing for open court, so they made the file go away.

  • Jul 03, 2014 @ 09:40am

    Re: Re:

    I don't think the NSA believes in the existence of non-Muslim Palestinians. So don't worry, they're counting you as 3/3.

  • Jun 26, 2014 @ 03:40pm

    Re: Re:

    And yet, even with that admission they would be getting a new piece of evidence. That statement made to police may be later excluded at trial, or may be explained away in other fashion. The act of decrypting the drive is a new piece of evidence that they cannot have had (because if they had it then they wouldn't need this process).

    Source: I'm a criminal defence lawyer. And this is one scary-ass ruling. Feel free to apply the XKCD rule to that statement, it works just as well that way.

  • May 06, 2014 @ 07:44am


    "Two bills headed to committee both ask for the same thing: an expansion of warrantless disclosure -- one under the unintentionally ironic title of "Digital Privacy Act." "

    Unintentionally ironic? I think you mean Orwellian. It's a name that could have come straight from the Ministry of Truth.

  • Jan 03, 2014 @ 09:37pm

    How to defeat the "mosaic problem".

    This one is simple--you just take every FOIPed document and put it publicly available online, unless it's a document that would only be available to a particular individual (their own file, etc).

    When you get a second request for the same document, you just point out it's already available.

    Now you don't have the problem of differing redacted versions, because you only ever need to make one version.

    You also happen to make your organization vastly more transparent in the process.

    Three guesses as to why the various organizations won't implement this method...

  • Oct 25, 2013 @ 02:47pm

    Great logic

    We should use this logic in other cases.

    "Your honour, I wasn't robbing him. You see, just because I had a gun in my hand doesn't mean he was coerced when I asked him for money."

  • Sep 05, 2013 @ 08:34pm

    End of life cycle

    Ironically, CDs have gained a new usefulness for me, but partially because they're old. I buy the cheapest write-once-only CDs, and use them to burn copies of evidence or the like being provided to other lawyers, to ensure they get a read-only copy that will maintain integrity.

    At this point the only advantage of the technology is to be found in the flaws in the technology.

  • Sep 02, 2013 @ 11:37pm

    Re: forget it?

    Usually the courts have dealt with stuff like this by assuming that the person actually does remember it, but that they're pretending they've forgotten.

    Which is a pretty nasty little trap to be in if you've actually forgotten the password.

  • Aug 07, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    "Conference call"

    It'll later be revealed that this wsa Al Qaeda's attack. They bought five cell phones for one guy who is a talented voice actor, and he causes millions of dollars in losses by pretending to be a high-level meeting plotting something spectacular.

  • Aug 06, 2013 @ 06:54pm

    Basic publishing economics

    Come on, Mike... you clearly don't understand economics as it works in the elite world of book publishing (though it is similar to the recording industry, etc).

    The accepted method is this:
    1. Determine your costs to publish. That's payment to the author (as minimal as possible), printing costs (or bandwidth), graft, waste, lobbyists... etc. Divide by number of books to get cost to publish one book.
    2. Decide arbitrarily on the amount of profit you want to make for each book. Pick any number you want here. Price clearly doesn't affect demand for books, because books contain knowledge, which is priceless.
    3. Decide how many books you'd like to sell.
    4. Blame any failure to sell the number of books decided at step 3, for an amount as decided in step 2, on any of the following: Google, Amazon, piracy, the kids these days and their new-fangled video games, etc.
    5. Hire more lobbyists to complain about the factors identified at step 4. Naturally, this increases the costs in step 1.
    6. Ride this "success spiral" all the way to the end.

  • Jul 03, 2013 @ 07:34am

    Soda control, gun control, 'random' stop-and-frisk... I'm pretty sure the entire reason for his political career is to satisfy some sort of deep-seated control fetish. I'm just hoping they disinfect his office when he moves out.

  • Jun 06, 2013 @ 12:18am


    Easy--step one in any forensic analysis is to make a duplicate of the drive, so the original can then be stored in a locker. He'd be entering a password on the duplicate. If that gets wiped, A) nothing is lost, and B) shows, at best, him being uncooperative. At worst, it shows an attempt to destroy evidence.

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