A Possible Conversation About Ray Rice

by KevinH on September 10, 2014

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Do you know her name?
Of course I know her name, its…ugh, I forgot.
She’s his wife. He hit her.
I heard she was lunging at him.
She was, but he hit her first.
Well, if she’s lunging…
A lunge excuses hitting a woman?
Hmmm, well when you put it that way.
Were they arguing?
I don’t know.
I’m sure they were…you don’t just hit someone like that. She probably said something to set him off.
Were they drinking?
Don’t know.
On drugs?
Don’t know.
He hit her twice.
Says here it was a “fight” between husband and wife.
Have you seen the video? I can’t believe the media would call it a fight. He’s an NFL football player. How fair of a fight would that be?
Well, we weren’t there.
Was he arrested?
Oh yeah…pleaded guilty several months ago and got probation.
Probation? That seems lenient.
I thought it was a bit harsh. They’re still married. She didn’t leave him.
Women don’t always leave abusive relationships you know.
Wait, several months ago? Why is this just now coming out?
Well the video of what happened has been released so everyone’s talking about it.
Why weren’t they talking about it when he pleaded guilty?
Don’t know.
Why didn’t she come forward and talk about what happened, like months ago?
Don’t know.
Did you see the television coverage?  All the networks have shown that video of him hitting her over and over.
Yeah I know. TV ratings must be going through the roof.
Yeah.
Wonder how many of his fans have seen that video?
No doubt.
Wonder how many children have seen it?
Gotta be millions dude.
Lots of kids see him as their hero.
Yeah…hope they know you’re not supposed to act that way.
What if they don’t? They might think that’s how a man is supposed to act.
Geez, hope not. Could the networks just not show it? Oh yeah, ratings.
His wife came out supporting him today.
Really, why?
Have no idea.
Wonder why she didn’t support him back when it happened?
Don’t know. Maybe she did.
The Ravens released him from the team.
Really…wow. Wonder why they didn’t do that before?
Said they didn’t know how bad it was until the video came out.
Couldn’t they have gotten that themselves?
Said they tried and couldn’t.
That doesn’t sound right.
I know. They came out today and said they wished they had seen it sooner and had pushed their investigation more vigorously.
Hmmm…wonder why they didn’t push it more at the time.
Don’t know.
You think because it was a woman?
…don’t know.
Seems like if drugs are involved they’re all over it immediately.
Yep.
Makes you wonder.
NFL suspended him two games.
Two games?! Dude, drug suspensions and conduct suspensions are more than that.
Yep.
That seems out of whack.
NFL says they didn’t realize it was that bad until they saw the video a few days ago.
Why didn’t they investigate it months ago? Surely she had injuries?
I was thinking same thing.
What if that video had never surfaced?
Guess nothing would have ever happened.
Well, glad it did.
Yeah…

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A Word About Eddie Christian

by KevinH on May 7, 2014

Every year the Sebastian County Bar Association holds a memorial service for lawyers that have passed away in the previous year.  That service is coming up in the next couple of weeks.  A mentor and friend of mine is going to be honored that day – and I want to say a few words about him.

………….

Yes it is a cliché.  Yes it is overused.  But yes, it is appropriate here so I’m going to use it.  He was “larger than life.”  We hear that phrase used and we know what it means.  Trying to put it into words is hard, but we know it when we see it.

If you were around Eddie Christian only a few minutes then you would immediately know that he was truly larger than life.  He had a big smile that immediately made you feel welcome – if he liked you.  He had a laugh that was always from the belly and genuine.  And it always seemed to have a hint of a mischievous child to it.  I loved that about him.  When he laughed, I laughed, and so did our friends.

I remember my first case against Eddie when I was a young, green lawyer.  I was terrified.  All the stories about him.  All the lore.  He was like this mythical leviathan that could not be beaten.  Thoughts of impending doom filled my brain.  Would he smash me immediately like a fly?  Would he play with me like a cat does a mouse before finally putting me out of my misery?  Will I see it coming or will I just find myself lying on the floor with the battle already overwith?

Whenever Eddie was on the other side you knew you were in for a fight.  Warren Sapp, the former NFL defensive lineman, was once asked about one of the best offensive linemen in the league and what he thought about having to go against him for an entire game.  He said, “I have two toolboxes.  I bring the little one for most games.  But when that dude comes to town you better bring your BIG tool box brother!”  That’s how it was with Eddie.  Better bring your big toolbox or you might as well not even show up.

For two years I had the honor and privilege of working with Eddie in the same firm.  I can tell you that he was as good as they say.  Being an attorney is hard and tedious work – and Eddie did all of it.  He was passionate about the law and cared about his profession and how he handled it.

Eddie had heart surgery in the late ‘90s.  His doctor told him to quit smoking, quit drinking, and stop taking cases that involved going to court.  I have to laugh at that last one.  Telling Eddie Christian not to go to court is like telling a tiger to not eat meat anymore – ain’t gonna happen.

And nor should it happen.  Certain people are put on this Earth to do certain things.  And Eddie Christian was put on this Earth to be a trial lawyer – 100%.  To do anything different would have been an affront to nature.  It would have been against every fiber in his being.  It would have been against just about everything he was gifted with.

You always knew where you stood with Eddie.  And working with him had its ups and downs just like with anything else.  And he did not hand out compliments lightly.  One day he told me that he had always been impressed with my work.  I don’t think he ever knew how proud that made me or how much impact those words had on me.  I will never forget them.

And those that knew Eddie will never forget him.  I still expect to see him around the corner at the courthouse.  His friends expect to walk in the club and see him there with his drink and his smile.  We talk about him from time to time, and its always with a smile or a laugh or both.  When his name comes up its always a happy story, and it makes us glad to have known him.

“I rode with him…and I ain’t got no complaints.”  - Josey Wales

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Don’t Forget Your Digital Property in Your Divorce Settlement

October 1, 2013

An interesting article from attorney Deborah G. Matthews caught my eye and left me with a stark conclusion: When it comes to dividing your marital assets in your divorce settlement negotiations, don’t neglect your digital property. Ms. Matthews’ article isn’t specifically about property division, but it applies: It is a new world out there. Looking […]

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Alaska Anyone? (Part I)

September 26, 2013

For years I have heard from people about the lures of Alaska.  From those that have taken cruises there.  From those that have travelled there to fish.  From those that have travelled there to view the landscapes and the wildlife.  As far as I can recall, I cannot remember anyone telling me that they had […]

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What’s Venue, and Why Should You Care?

September 26, 2013

In any litigation, including divorce cases, one of the first decisions that must be made is where to file the case. Even when both parties reside in the same state, different courts might have the legal authority to hear the case – which one is appropriate in your case? This is called venue and usually it’s […]

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Woods v. Woods, 2013 Ark. App. 448: Custody and Alimony

September 6, 2013

The Arkansas Court of Appeals issued its ruling in the case of Woods v. Woods on August 28, 2013. It’s an interesting case as it illustrates the way the Court of Appeals reviews factual determinations by the Circuit Courts in divorce and custody cases. In Woods, the mother appealed a grant of custody to the father and […]

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Mom In Trouble Over Goat’s Milk

August 23, 2013

This appears to be a hot month for overreaching CPS stories. This one comes from Maine, and it’s certainly a troubling account, if true: When the baby didn’t take to breastfeeding, Gellerson started feeding him homemade goat milk formula. “Oh, he loved it,” Gellerson said. “We put celery juice in it, and he just loves that, […]

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Reason: More Transparency Needed for CPS Agencies

August 22, 2013

A recent article on the Reason website calls for more transparency in CPS actions, especially in removal cases. Reason is a libertarian magazine that’s published monthly. The piece in question appears on the Reason website here. The article looks again at the Nikolayev case, about which I wrote here earlier this year, in which California CPS workers removed an infant […]

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Tennessee DCS Makes Changes – Are They Enough?

August 21, 2013

Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services (DCS) is a troubled agency. This much seems fairly clear. The Tennessean, a major TN news outlet, even created a special landing page on its website devoted solely to cataloging and categorizing the many stories it’s published about DCS problems, legal cases, and outright failures, including a number of child […]

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Atlanta’s CPS Foster Care System Slips in Progress Benchmarks After Litigation Settlement

August 20, 2013

In 2002, the group Children’s Rights filed suit against Georgia officials over the Atlanta, GA foster care system. That suit was filed as a reform class action and was captioned Kenny A. v. Perdue. The parties reached a settlement agreement which was approved by the court, and may be enforced judicially, in 2005. As part […]

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