Patterico's Pontifications


Austin Family Sues Joe Stack’s Wife

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 9:59 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The family of Vernon Hunter, the IRS worker killed when Andrew Joseph Stack III crashed his plane into Austin’s IRS offices, has sued Stack’s wife. The family claims Mrs. Stack failed to warn others about her husband:

“According to the seven-page lawsuit filed in state District Court in Travis County, Sheryl Mann Stack had a duty to “avoid a foreseeable risk of injury to others,” including 68-year-old Vernon Hunter, who was killed Thursday.

“Stack was threatened enough by Joseph Stack that she took her daughter and stayed at a hotel the night before the plane crash,” the suit said.

Sheryl Stack has declined to comment on the incident, other than a written statement that said she was grief-stricken.”

The lawsuit reportedly also claims Stack was negligent in failing to maintain a proper height. I assume the plaintiffs are suing Stack’s estate regarding this claim.

Hunter’s attorney says he and his clients are interested in whether Mrs. Stack is eligible to receive insurance proceeds (if any) as a result of Stack’s death. I’m not sure whether a plaintiff could reach the spouse’s life insurance proceeds in the event of a judgment against Stack’s estate, but I assume the funds would be subject to any judgment obtained against Mrs. Stack.


Colorado School Shooting (Updated)

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 5:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Denver Post reports on a shooting outside a Deer Creek, Colorado, school that wounded two middle school students:

“Luke Myrant, 14, says an older guy came in the front door and fired one shot into the air and then reloaded.

“He didn’t look happy at all,” Luke said.

The kids scattered.

“I was scared to death for my life,” Luke said. “My body was shaking and my lip was quivering like I was cold.”

“I’ve never been so scared in my life.”

Teachers were telling kids to get down and not make any noise. The kids were scattered and began texting one another.

Techmeyer said the gun used was a high-powered rifle.

Techmeyer said the man launched his attack as the kids were leaving school and boarding school buses.”

At least one and possibly three teachers tackled the shooter and prevented more injuries.


UPDATE 2/24/2010: Compelling video of the teachers’ press conference followed by interviews with some of the students.

“Have You No Shame, Sir?”

Filed under: Media Bias — DRJ @ 3:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Dallas Tea Party organizers invite Keith Olbermann to their one-year anniversary celebration on February 27, 2010:


Speech, Money and Terrorism

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law,Terrorism — DRJ @ 3:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Today the Supreme Court considered whether a Patriot Act provision designed to isolate terrorists violates Americans’ rights to freedom of speech and association:

“The law makes it a crime to provide “material support” to a known terrorist organization. It is designed to isolate terrorists by making it more difficult for them to receive assistance, services, and recruits.

But critics say the government has adopted such a broad reading of “material support” that even peace activists working to persuade a terror group to pursue nonviolent methods of political change would themselves be liable for up to 15 years in prison for providing “support” to terrorists.”

For those inclined to argue that speech and money aren’t the same thing, read Leviticus’ provocative post at The Jury and XRLQ’s response.


Eric Holder’s 9+ Little Conflicts

Filed under: Government,Law,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 2:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From the indefatigable Byron York:

“A number of lawyers who work on terrorist issues at the Justice Department represented terrorist detainees before joining the Obama administration. At a hearing three months ago, Sen. Charles Grassley raised the possibility of a conflict with Attorney General Eric Holder.

Grassley, a senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, posed three simple questions: Who are they, who did they represent, and what are their duties at the Justice Department today?”

Grassley knew some of the answers:

“At the time, Grassley knew from press reports that two high-ranking department officials now working on detainee issues had previously worked for detainees: Principal Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal once represented Osama bin Laden’s driver, and Jennifer Daskal, an official in the National Security Division, worked on behalf of detainees at the liberal organization Human Rights Watch.

“This prior representation, I think, creates a conflict of interest problem for these individuals,” Grassley said, asking Holder to supply the names of all political appointees who had represented or advocated for detainees, the cases they worked on, and their terror-related responsibilities in the Justice Department.”

Holder’s response? Read the link for the complete chronology but Holder basically stonewalled until finally providing a partial answer that “at least nine” lawyers had previously represented detainees. And “all department appointees understand that their client is the United States.”

It is a conflict of interest and misconduct if an attorney’s representation of one client adversely affects another client. Law firms sometimes create fictional Chinese walls to separate one part of the firm, representing a party on a deal or litigation, from another part with contrary interests. The government could do that, too, by preventing the detainee lawyers from working on detainee matters and segregating them from lawyers who do.

Grassley is still waiting on that response.

York and the Republicans also ask: Will a fictional Chinese wall protect America’s national security interests? Jamie Gorelick probably thinks it will. Eric Holder must think so, too.


Max Blumenthal Is a Nasty Little Booger

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:00 am

Foreshadowing: it’s not just for novels anymore.

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