Facebooking Judge Catches Lawyer in Lie

Galveston, Texas-area lawyers on Facebook may want to double-check their friends list, especially if they’re about to appear before Judge Susan Criss.

That’s because Criss, a state court judge who is learning to adapt to social media as a way to connect with long-lost friends and is leveraging Facebook as a judicial campaign tool, has also learned a few things she didn’t expect.

Judges questioned Criss for more details about her ground rules. And they asked whether the ABA should be exploring model rules relating to Twitter and Facebook.

Criss said she’s the first to admit these social networks are new to her, but her ground rules are simple. She follows her ethical canons and is careful about what she says and who she friends. Yes to all lawyers—to avoid an appearance that she favors one side over another. Friending the general public is trickier. So far, she’s been more selective.

As for whether the ABA needs to address social media in its Model Rules, she and other panelists said no. “The rules are pretty good,” Criss said. That’s not to say that the ABA shouldn’t explore new media and its impact on lawyers, judges and the law.

Read the full story here at ABA Journal >>>

Here’s for one proactive judge: don’t come up with pokey if you know you open up your life and times in social media already. In a way social media enabled judicial efficiency. I guess this applies to all of us in other situations as well. Great stuff. 

Some buy degrees, some buy complete universities to get the degree

LONDON – British diplomats have found evidence that founder of Scientology, L Ron Hubbard, was a “fraud”, according to National Archive papers.

The proofs compiled 30 years ago have shown that Hubbard, who invented a religion followed by celebrities such as Tom Cruise, gave himself a PhD from a sham college he had acquired in California.

Read the full story here >>>


In a previous post on recruitment risk reduction I already indicated that degrees and diplomas can be bought and therefore you need to consider verification. I guess the quoted article (again) underlines how real this requirement is. Some buy just some fake academic degree, others are apparently willing to by a complete university to obtain those degrees. What a world we live in.

Recruitment Risk Reduction Tips Added to THE VAULT

When recruiters/head hunters, managers or HR professionals are in need to
fill a position, they should look for more than just a proper skill set, experience or a good fit for team or company.

An article initially published at http://dierckx.terapad.com in October 2008, but still current is now added to “THE VAULT”: a selection of older but still current blog posts.


More on smacking referendum: PM warned

ACT Party leader Rodney Hide has warned Prime Minister John Key of a public backlash if the government ignores the result of the controversial smacking referendum.

Snubbing the referendum result sends a message that politicians know what’s best for the people and that the government is running a “nanny state”, Hide wrote in a letter delivered to Key’s office on Friday.

In the sidebar it states that: John Key has said the law will not be changed back unless it can be shown that good parents are being prosecuted for light smacking.

If he really said that than I would be disappointed as apparently even the Prime Minister does not know the law. The matters are formulated straight forward in that a correctional smack is a criminal offense. The law does not make this distinction and regardless of how you look at it: well willing parents that want to have even the “light smack” as part of their parental toolbox will need to consider whether or not they are willing to commit a criminal offense.

Besides that, WHO is appointed to determine whether or not a smack is to be considered a light correctional smack that does not justify prosecution or falls within the boundaries of prosecution required? There are no clear guidelines there and personal opinion may well start playing a role in that decision.

In all democratic fairness, the provision as standing in Section 59 should not have been there in the first place. I would have to agree with Mr Hide here.

Nats acted with sheer vindictiveness

Eight months on from Labour’s election loss, former prime minister Helen Clark has no regrets and she rejects suggestions that Labour alienated voters by pushing through measures such as the child discipline bill.

Now in New York as head of the United Nations Development Programme, Miss Clark has also revealed unease at the National Government’s direction on climate change and says its scrapping of her flagship sustainability agenda was motivated by sheer vindictiveness.

I had a little bit of a smile on my face when I read the article. Quite honestly I think that the loss of Labour is a combination of alienating voter and a total lack of campaign. Remember, it was never about why yes to Labour and always about why no to National.

But now this, vindictiveness as a hidden agenda behind the change in course on the sustainability agenda. Should she not applaud the fact that there is still some of her “flagship” afloat? Good Lord Helen, are you not taking yourself a bit too serious, “your” flagship?

More and more reports are appearing that this whole climate change thingy has nothing to do with human interference. You were looking to have New Zealanders hand over substantial amounts of tax money (which many don’t have) for the sake of being part of the club, your club for that matter. Vindictiveness… get real and step of that horse, you are starting to sound like some of the Labour supporters on Grassroots Labour (ning network). How cheap but most of all not addressing anything of value.

In the end it is clear now that it was never about democracy and all about you and your ideology: just sit back people and let Mother Helen take care of you by creating the perfect nanny state. Well guess what, vindictiveness has none to do with it. The children grew up after eight years, found out that mother had not been completely honest and found a new foster home.

Have fun in New York.

Deceptive, Polarising Media Practices in New Zealand.

A referendum on whether or not smacking as part of the parental correction options should be a criminal offense or not. In 2007, public opinion already seemed to be against making a correctional smack an offense but despite of that the act was pushed through.

The media seems at least in my opinion very good at making it easy form people to ensure them that they get the “right vote” on your form. Personally I am appalled by how the matter has been presented by the media; back than and again more recently.

Just so you understand: if you are silly enough to vote “no” you will be part of the legion of ‘smack happy’ people. Let’s be clear, the questions and matters subject to a referendum are of an entirely different nature.

The question is not whether or not parents should be allowed to give their child a correctional smack if and when they see that need BUT whether or not a correctional smack by a parent should be considered a Criminal Offense.

These are two entirely different matters as I could imagine myself being AGAINST any form of correctional smacking by a parent BUT at the same time I could be AGAINST making a correctional smack by a parent a criminal offense.

The first deals with a personal vision on parenting, the second deals with a vision or perspective on criminal law and a perspective on how far a state should be allowed to interfere in the private lives of our citizens.

But that is not what the media is making us believe. Not at all, you are either for smacking or against it. It is not so hard to understand how this could happen. It is all about presentation, marketing of an issue and marketing an issue is what the boys and girls at Labour and Greens have always been good at, just like spitting dirt around. It is easy to be misled when someone like Sue Bradford ventilates opinions as could be read in the Waikato Times of 30 July 2009:

“For years, smacking was seen as a parent’s right, vital in the discipline of a child…

… However, Green Party MP Sue Bradford, who introduced the private member’s bill leading to the anti-smacking legislation, disagrees, saying the key point is that New Zealand has outlawed smacking for the purposes of correction.

She said laws like those in NSW or Britain gave parents permission to beat their children.

She said supporters of the “no” vote in the referendum wanted to “have a law which defines the level and nature of violence that it would be acceptable to use on our children.

“The implication is that in some ways it’s just fine to beat your child. If, after the referendum, the National Government changed the law back and defined the level and nature of violence that is OK, that would be such a retrograde step.””

See what I mean? From whether or not smacking is a parental right, we shift quickly to saying that is it just fine to beat your child. But what happened to the question in the middle? Even if the overwhelming majority of people find that a correctional smack is NOT a parental right: does that justify that such a smack is made a criminal offense? Were there really no other options? Is it really so that those that see a correctional smack as acceptable are of the opinion that it is alright to use “violence” against their children? I dare to say not at all, it is just that those that are of the opinion that a correctional smack could be part of the parental toolbox hardly ever get seem to get a chance to publicly discuss their views. The media seems hardly interested in their side of the story and instead pursue the anti-smacking position (the yes vote), until we all believe that that is the way to go. Thank God for Magazines like Investigate and reporters/authors like Ian Wishart.

So what we are actually looking at is a law that was pushed through despite serious questions about whether or not this was something that was backed by the people of New Zealand, parents that need to consider that they are actually committing a criminal offense when they actually use a correctional smack, an extra burden on an already overstretched law enforcement apparatus, a referendum that addresses only part of the relevant issues, a referendum, that is most likely not going to change anything anyway and politicians and media that obscure the issues at hand.

What are we actually voting for?


Somehow I see a parallel with the climate change/global warming debate.

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