May 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Just back from the local high school academic award night. After two hours of presentations, the take-away is that everyone is special.
May 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Today is a truly sad one for the UA family.
Goodbye to our favorite NASCAR driver, Dick Trickle.
May 16, 2013 § 7 Comments
If you’ve ever read “Above the Law,” you know that there are two distinct flavors of private law practice. The first is BigLaw. These are big firms with big clients with big budgets with big offices in big buildings and paying big salaries. They are the ones who advertise to law students that they will only consider those in the top 5% of the class to come and provide janitorial services in hopes of getting a shot to do lawyerly stuff.
There are many good reasons that these BigLaw jobs are coveted, as the brass ring is huge.
The other segment of private practice is called ShitLaw. This is everyone who is……well……..not BigLaw.
I freely admit that I am in the ShitLaw.
Though, I’ve said before that I don’t consider myself to have a small practice. Nope. I’m fun-sized.
Anyhow, a lot of ShitLaw practitioners bash BigLaw. Some of it is jealousy. Some of it is because the BigLaw lifestyle is undesirable to them. Some were excreted by BigLaw after a year or two. There are many reasons. BigLaw ignores ignores all the criticism, because they are BigLaw.
I’ll just be honest, and the best way to be honest is with an honest infographic. I determined the following categories to be important in framing my analysis of BigLaw vs. ShitLaw.
Salary. Be honest with yourselves. You’re looking to provide for your family and yourself in the best possible way. Salary matters, regardless of how you slice it.
Prestige. Everyone who goes to law school has an ego. The ego needs to be fed. Prestige is the most robust way to feed it. There are two types of lawyers out there: those who admit that they have a big ego and those whose ginormous ego prevents them from admitting the same.
Fine Dining. The fastest rising demographic in America are the idiots who call themselves “foodies.” That fact coupled with the average belt size of Americans gives a clear indication that dining is important. Rich, fine, fatty dining.
Paying for Stuff. How you pay for stuff says a lot about you. How you are are able to pay for stuff says even more.
Client Intake. No clients means no salary, abysmal prestige, no fine dining, and no paying for stuff. Some are handed the Glengarry leads. Others need to steal them.
Cleaning the Toilet. This is perhaps the most important factor, as it alone is an honest indication of who you are and the practice you have. The biggest benefit of going to a place of outside employment is that you aren’t required to maintain toilets and toilet cleanliness. If you coordinate your daily routine accordingly, this can even save time at home. Us guys in ShitLaw clean a lot of…..well……you get the point.
Having said all of that, here’s the infographic:
(click the picture to embiggen)
That being said, we ShitLaw guys have the ultimate trump card during conversations with BigLaw folks (when they’re forced to mingle with the smelly lawyers of the world). It goes like this:
May 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Just for fun, here are a few of the lesser-known specialties in the Army (with corresponding number designation for when you, in an excited fit, visit your local recruiter after reading this).
12G Quarrying Specialist
15H Aircraft Pneudraulics Repair
25M Multimedia Illustrator
25E Electromagnetic Spectrum Manager (Note: Otherwise, electromagnetic spectrums would be forced to wander the Army as a leaderless mess.)
350Z Attaché Technician (Note: When you need to fix your attaché, you obviously need an attaché tech.)
40C Army Astronaut
56D Clinical Pastoral Educator (Praise Jeebus (in a clinical way))
88U Railway Operations Crew Member
92S Shower/Laundry and Clothing Repair Specialist
May 15, 2013 § 1 Comment
Dear Potential Clients:
If we’ve never interacted before, sending me an email titled “MURDER!!!!!!!! HELL ON EARTH!!!” is no way to start a friendship.
Thanks for listening,
May 15, 2013 § 3 Comments
Yesterday, the story broke about an Army Sergeant First Class who worked as a battalion sexual assault prevention and response coordinator at Ft. Hood, TX. Evidently, he is being accused of some flavor of sexual assault, maltreatment of a subordinate, and pandering. The pandering charge will be particularly interesting from a Jerry Springer perspective.
Let’s start with the bad stuff.
- What he is alleged to have done is bad. Assuming it is true, people have been harmed as well as the reputation of the Army. Nobody should ever be the victim of sexual assault/sex-related misconduct.
- He was a trained leader in the sexual assault prevention community. Not only has he received days and weeks of training, but he also delivered the training to others. If anyone should know better, it is him.
- As a Sergeant First Class, this is an individual who is regularly trusted with higher levels of responsibility compared to the average Noncommissioned Officer.
- Pandering? Oh, this has the potential of being interesting, and salacious.
- He is part of a bigger, well-documented problem.
There’s the bad. Now, let’s give ourselves some perspective.
- He is a battalion sexual assault response coordinator. In the Army sexual assault prevention community, he is a small fish. Unlike the Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who currently faces prosecution in Washington, DC, this Sergeant First Class is not a bigwig on the policy level. Not even close. As a battalion coordinator, he oversees approximately .13% of the Army’s sexual assault prevention, response, and training programs (assuming he is in a particularly large battalion).
- His primary duties? Teaching classes and referring allegations of sexual assault to more competent agencies for support and investigation. He probably also tracks statistics within the battalion.
- At the battalion level, the job of sexual assault prevention coordinator is not a full-time job (there’s not enough work to justify having someone doing it full time). So, he is someone in anther job who is pulled to perform the SARC job as an extra duty. So, aside from some additional training, there is nothing that makes him particularly special.
The Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski alleged sexual assault is a bit different. He headed the program at Department of the Air Force level and was, truly, at the strategic policy level. His is worthy of much more attention than that of the Ft. Hood Sergeant First Class.
Even so, some interesting developments arise from this case.
First, Ms. Petula Dvorak at WaPo published a very harsh take on Air Force culture, making many insinuations that seem to belie a hard-nosed bias. (H/T to CAAFlog) She ends her article with the following:
Hey, Pentagon commanders: Look beyond that 395 freeway on-ramp, just past the McDonald’s and Macy’s, and see how allegations of sexual assault ought to be dealt with. Like a potential crime.
OK, let’s see the folks in the DC area school us on how to handle sexual assaults. I’m waiting to see the blood-splatter.
Per US News:
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, maintained a stoic facial expression throughout his brief arraignment. He did not speak, except briefly to acknowledge that he understood his charge of sexual battery.
Wow. Sexual battery sounds harsh. I bet they’re going to teach him a very powerful lesson. He’s really in for it.
The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Ummm. Misdemeanor? No more than 1 year? Wow, Petula, so this is how we should deal with sexual assault?
Let’s see how the military would probably charge him. This is just my guess from a brief (but action-packed) stint as a military prosecutor. Given the notoriety, I don’t think it would be a stretch. After all, there are some important military people who are a bit pissed that their efforts to deal with military sexual assaults are harmed by his alleged actions.
- Wrongful Sexual Contact (Article 120). This is the typical charge for run-of-the-mill ass-grabs (even drunk ones). Must register as a sex offender in most states. Maximum punishment: 1 year confinement and a Dishonorable Discharge. Assuming that the evidence is solid, this is an easy guilty verdict for prosecutors.
- Conduct Unbecoming an Officer (Article 133). Assuming he is found guilty of Wrongful Sexual Contact, this is a gimme. It adds one year to the potential maximum confinement and also carries the possibility of a Dishonorable Discharge (called a “Dismissal” for officers).
Granted, all of these are maximum punishments. As Ken White at Popehat has frequently noted, maximum punishments are rarely approached, especially for first-time offenders. However, considering his rank and position coupled with the dishonor he brought to the Air Force, a dismissal is very likely, and that cuts-off all meaningful military benefits and stigmatizes him for life. Those folks just past McDonald’s and Macy’s can’t give him one of those, Ms. Dvorak. Only at court-martial.
An Anecdote (because certain blawgers just love anecdotes)
I’ll never forget a case from years ago during my aforementioned stint as a prosecutor. A soldier was accused of sexual assault off of the military installation, giving local authorities equal right to prosecute. I called the local DA to inquire about which of us would take the case. His response:
This is a shitty he-said/she-said case. We won’t be wasting our tax payer dollars to prosecute it. It’s all yours.
We took the case. The commanders insisted on prosecuting him to the fullest extent. A panel (jury) found him not guilty. It included a female member who rolled her eyes during my closing argument. We spent over $25,000 to prosecute the case (not including the man-hours for judge, prosecutors, appointed defense, jury members, court reporter, and paralegal support).
Most military prosecutors have a story like this, but you don’t hear about those statistics.
May 14, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I just received a “Breaking News” report stating that the Army’s Sexual Assault Prevention Office coordinator has been accused of “abusive sexual contact.”
Please tell me that this is one of those “oops, it’s really an Onion article” moments.
If true, it seems that, perhaps, a thorough housecleaning is in order. This is simply too bad to consider as a coincidence.