Patterico's Pontifications

4/1/2005

George Felos’ Psychic Friends Network

Filed under: General,Schiavo,Scum — See Dubya @ 11:34 pm

Why were Terri Schiavo’s wishes determined according to a standard of ‘clear and convincing evidence’? Judge George Greer found the precedent in a previous case that the Florida Supreme Court decided in 1990, In re Guardianship of Browning. The Browning in the title was Estelle M. Browning, and…hmmm….where have I heard that name before? Oh, right. Estelle Browning was George Felos’ client, the one with whom he enjoyed (according to his book, Litigation as Spiritual Practice) telepathic communication in a spontaneous bedside seance. Felos laid the groundwork for the Schiavo decision in 1990 through his work on Browning. It’s a small world, after all–or in Mr. Felos’ case, a medium.

Ms. Browning was in her late eighties, and there was considerably less doubt about her wishes since she had signed a living will that explicitly asked for a feeding tube not to be used. In fact, there is no conflicting testimony offered to dispute the fact that Ms. Browning intended for her life support to end under the circumstances she faced. Mr. Felos, armed with a Savonarolan certainty of his mission, continued to litigate the case even after Estelle Browning died in 1989, convincing the Florida Supreme Court of the urgency of the matter even though it was moot.

Some questions I would like to ask George Felos, should he be so kind as to read my mind and respond either through e-mail (seedub [at] hotmail.com) or angelic manifestation:

I wonder whether Mr. Felos engaged in a similar sort of mystic colloquy with Terri Schiavo, who was (like Ms. Browning) diagnosed as being in a Persistent Vegetative State?

Did he feel “the mid-section of his body open” again when he communed with Terri? Did he presume to form an opinion of either incapacitated client’s wishes to die based solely or even partially on a magical mid-section-opening vision?

Does Mr. Felos really believe that persons in a PVS are, like he claims of Estelle Browning, aware of their surroundings, suffering psychological trauma, and capable of thinking in complete sentences like ‘Why am I still here … why am I here?’

If so, was this dream-quest evidence disclosed to opposing counsel or was it protected under attorney-client confidentiality? In the future, may Mr. Felos’ opponents move for discovery of “all conversations, transmissions, revelations, etc. of an extra-sensory, paranormal, clairvoyant or eldritch nature”?*

When the court wrote in Browning that “Unfortunately, human limitations preclude absolute knowledge of the wishes of someone in Mrs. Browning’s condition”, had Mr. Felos made them aware of his own personal and miraculous transcendence of these limitations, or had he withheld material information from the Court?

Does Mr. Felos’ construing that his client wished to die based on a parapsychological epiphany constitute legal malpractice in the state of Florida?

Does the imposition of Mr. Felos’ private spiritual beliefs upon the public policy process violate the Establishment Clause, or does the Establishment Clause apply only to Evangelical and Catholic Christians?
____
The lovely, the talented, the XRLQ is chasing this story down from the other end. I found the link to the Browning case through his post here.

*I would seriously advise the next attorney to oppose Mr. Felos to do something like this–and hold a press conference–in order to make his bat-crap gonzo looniness a matter of public comment.

UPPADATE: Justene sends word of this article from way-back-when (2001) about the wacky hijinks of the oh-so-spiritual Mr. Felos, which mentions his otherworldly experience in the Browning case. This was not revealed for the first time in his book, and the media could have followed up on it had they been so inclined. Not only does Mr. Felos engage in yoga and drink goat’s milk by the gallon, he wears birkenstocks to court. Now, living in California as I do, all that seems pretty normal to me, but this line caught my eye:

The case gained him a reputation as the person to see when you want to let someone die.

We have a name for people like that where I come from.

Felos: serial ghoul, new-age charlatan

Filed under: General,Schiavo,Scum — See Dubya @ 2:35 pm

The Junkyard Blog takes a big bite out of Michael Schiavo’s creepy lawyer George Felos. JYB quotes at length from a review of Felos’ book in the Florida Baptist Witness (which was, incidentally the publication which rode herd on Judge George Greer’s handling of the case, causing him to withdraw from his Baptist Church in Clearwater.)

Here’s an excerpt from Felos’ book, Litigation as Spiritual Practice, in which he writes about one of his previous victclients, Estelle Browning:

Although feeling like I could drift into sleep, I also experienced a sense of heightened awareness. As Mrs. Browning lay motionless before my gaze, I suddenly heard a loud, deep moan and scream and wondered if the nursing home personnel heard it and would respond to the unfortunate resident. In the next moment, as this cry of pain and torment continued, I realized it was Mrs. Browning. I felt the mid-section of my body open and noticed a strange quality to the light in the room. I sensed her soul in agony. As she screamed I heard her say, in confusion, ‘Why am I still here … why am I here?’ My soul touched hers and in some way I communicated that she was still locked in her body. I promised I would do everything in my power to gain the release her soul cried for.

Yeah, the “mid-section of my body” just about opened up when I read that, too. Bryan Preston of JYB says this sounds like something “Crossing Over” author and “psychic” John Edward would say. Actually, it sounds a lot like something Senator John Edwards did say in a courtroom, “channeling” the death of a baby girl in her mother’s birth canal:

“She speaks to you through me,” the lawyer went on in his closing argument. “And I have to tell you right now — I didn’t plan to talk about this — right now I feel her. I feel her presence. She’s inside me, and she’s talking to you.”

Senator Edwards was shown no quarter from the right-leaning blogosphere for that maudlin bit of mesmerism. Neither should Felos be spared ridicule for his. While it’s fun to bash the demonstrative excesses of the religious right, and doing so makes its practitioners look so sophisticated, let’s all remember there are ridiculous mystical quacks running things on the other side. Not only that, Felos admits to operating on direct and exclusive spiritual revelation from an incapacitated woman. That is exactly the sort of thing that scares people about the religious right: personal, prophetic visions driving policy. But if you like the policy, is the prophecy OK?

A little more on Felos later. But I have to know, did he bill the client’s estate for that astral consultation? Cause I know a lot of first-year associates are reading this and going “hmmm….”

Red Tide

Filed under: Current Events,General,International — See Dubya @ 12:25 pm

Front page of the Wall Street Journal today (sub required) details a resurgent Bolshevik Revolutionary Party in Moscow. As if Russian politics weren’t interesting enough:

The National Bolsheviks play to a growing nostalgia in Russia for the nation’s past greatness. Mr. Putin’s own talk of restoring Russia’s might resonates with millions of Russians, and Mr. Limonov’s party takes it to the extreme. The party flag has the same colors and layout of the Nazi one: a white circle on a red background with a black symbol in the middle. The symbol itself is a hammer and sickle instead of a swastika.

Their leader, punk author Eduard Limonov, sounds like a real winner:

One night at a literary conference in Budapest in 1989, he got into an argument with the British novelist Paul Bailey over capital punishment. Mr. Bailey said he was against it. After an angry exchange, Mr. Limonov ended up knocking Mr. Bailey unconscious with a bottle of Mumm’s Champagne, both men recall.

Rather bourgeois choice of tipple for an anarcho-punk-neoBolshevik revolutionary, no?

Will Putin give these jokers a place at the table? He might be well advised to remember Churchill’s words to Lloyd George: “You might as well legalize sodomy as recognize the Bolsheviks.”

You Have the Right to Be Stupid

Filed under: Crime,Morons — Patterico @ 12:54 am

The AP has a story out titled C-Murder Loses Murder Conviction Appeal. I first heard about this genius from Xrlq, when C-Murder was first convicted of murder. Today’s story chronicles C-Murder’s adventures on appeal.

In April 2004, State District Judge Martha Sassone ordered a new trial on grounds that prosecutors withheld information on the criminal history of their key witnesses.

Prosecutors appealed the ruling, and earlier this month, two of the three judges on a panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that even without the witnesses’ testimony, “there was an abundance of other evidence which fully established [C-Murder’s] guilt, not the least of which was his name, which explicitly contains the world ‘murder.'”

Okay, so I made up that last phrase. I can’t help it.

The story continues:

C-Murder told the AP that he believes other courts may have been swayed by media reports and negative comments made about him — not to mention the fact that his name has the word “murder” right there in the middle of it.

I’m sorry. That last phrase was made up too. I can’t seem to help myself. Call me C-Fibber.

Guest Blogging

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 12:20 am

There may be guest blogging over the next few days. Be nice.

Sensitive Quote of the Day

Filed under: Schiavo,Scum — Patterico @ 12:14 am

Chris Matthews says Terri Schiavo’s father appears to have been having “a good time.” (Via Michelle Malkin.)


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