Surging News

I know this is an era of hype but sometimes I wonder if headline writers — and some news writers and editors — think before proclaiming a new trend. Case in point: reports that the new federal tax law is going to create a surge in divorce filings.

Politico, for example, offered this headline: “Why Trump’s tax plan may spur more divorces.”

If you haven’t read about this, the divorces aren’t being caused by couples fighting over taxing the rich. No, all that’s happening is that a deduction for alimony is going away after this year.

Picture a happy couple at the breakfast table reading the newspaper and suddenly looking up.

“Gee, honey. If we get divorced now we can save some money!”

“You’re right, dear. Why wait until we hate each other?”

It’s rational decision-making.

But if you read the news stories closely, all that’s really happening is that couples who were already splitting may want to get it over with sooner rather than later. It doesn’t seem like much of a new divorce trend.

Which is not to say that lawyers are uninterested in this topic. I know this because of the following, which appeared last week on the American Bar Association website. Take a close look:

Yes, the article on the divorce “surge” was both the second most-read item and the fourth most-read item. I’m guessing it was because people were doing double takes.


Grave matter. Why would you want to hang on to a dead body? Why would you want to move a dead body somewhere else?

I ask these questions because a New York Supreme Court Appellate Division panel last week split 3-2 on the issue of whether a hearing should be required to determine if a dead guy cared where he was buried.

The corpse was one Fulton J. Sheen, a Catholic priest famous for being on radio and TV (and maybe other stuff too, but I’m guessing the media exposure was the key). Sheen passed away in 1979 and was buried in a crypt at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

You’d think that would be the end of the story, but it isn’t. It seems that a bishop in Illinois, where Sheen grew up, started a process that could lead to Sheen being named a saint. The bishop eventually asked that Fulton’s body be transferred to Illinois because a “Beatification ceremony” was going to happen there — and the trustees of St. Patrick’s said no.

Litigation ensued.

Do you need a body on the spot to declare sainthood? On the other hand, why do you refuse to give up a body in your crypt? Is it holding up the church?

I think the trial court judge should order that the remains be split in two — and then see who objects.


Favorite headline of the week. This is from “Former dominatrix loses fight to keep job as police officer.”

But don’t we need police who can inspire respect for authority?

Imagine would-be criminals stopping in their tracks when Officer Dominator appears on the scene.

Hudson City, New Jersey is definitely missing out on a boon to law enforcement.

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