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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, December 7, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Police Brutality

Random Thoughts on Assorted Topics.

Body language. The following are excerpts from U. S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling called Henry v. Jones:

"He also viewed the patting of the bicep as improper taunting of a prisoner."


"Lieutenant Jay Martyka, an instructor at the Police Academy, testified that Henry's bicep flex could be a form of 'verbal judo,' a communication tool taught at the Academy."


"Office Perry drew a 'smiley face' on a prisoner in a hospital and received a one-day suspension."

Oh, when will the brutality end?

How to avoid review. A trial judge in Guam has come up with a brilliant way of keeping his rulings records intact by not getting reversed: delay ruling until it's too late for an appeal.


Check out Rojas v. Rojas from the Guam Supreme Court. A judge ruled against the wife in a divorce dispute over the right to some retirement benefits. The wife filed a motion for reconsideration and the judge reconsidered and reconsidered and reconsidered.

By the time the judge ruled against the wife it was too late for her to appeal. Said the Guam Supreme Court: "Allowing Geraldine's motion to reconsider to toll the time for appeal beyond the expiration of the time for appealing the final judgment would be contrary to the philosophy of favoring finality of judgments and the expeditious termination of litigation."

A philosophy that apparently doesn't apply to judges.

Now we get to wait for the day when someone appeals a non-ruling to avoid missing a deadline, loses in the appeals court, and then finds out the trial court ruling, when it finally arrives, is in his favor. Does he win or lose?

It will be wonderful.

INSURANCE ISSUE. Does malpractice insurance cover suits you bring against yourself?

Well, if the policies truly insure against the consequences of doing dumb things, they should.

This occurred to me the other day after spotting a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by lawyer trying to get a fee out of a client. There was a cause of action for declaratory relief: he wanted a declaration that he had not committed legal malpractice.

Pause. Think about this.

So if he loses on that cause of action, should his malpractice insurance cover the costs?

Picture the insurance company happily paying off on this.

It strikes me that it might be a good idea not to initiate your own malpractice actions. Why hurry the inevitable?

WHO IS THAT? Another item for your collection of Typographical Torts from a recent Los Angeles Superior Court complaint: False Impersonment.

You file that against a really bad impressionist.

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