f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

March 21, 2005

spring surprises

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:40 pm

It’s springtime, and anyone with a dog knows that sunshine can uncover

things we’d rather not see (or step on).  Nonetheless, the legal reform

group HALT is contuinng to fight for better disclosure of  judicial

financial holdings, while shining its own spotlight on the problem of

judges and junkets.  (see Topeka Capital-Journal, “Corporate lobbyists

influence federal judges too,” March 4, 2005).  Also, check out HALT’s



snowbank —

the soccer ball emerges

                                   [dagosan, March 21, 2005]



tiny check Speaking of HALT, the Consumer Federation of America adopted a number  spotlight 

of key legal reforms advocated by HALT, at its annual meeting earlier this

month.   The following legal reform provisions are now part of CFA’s 2005

Policy Resolutions Manual (from the HALT eJournal, March 16, 2005)

CFA Endorses HALT Recommendation of Gift Receipt Restrictions for Judges.

CFA supports strict limitations on the gifts that federal and state judges may

accept. Judicial standards should parallel the standards imposed upon the

executive and legislative branches, not to exceed de minimus amounts.


CFA Endorses HALT Proposal to Require Written Professional Fee Agreements.

Any professional licensed by the state must provide clients with plain language

written fee agreements and send itemized monthly statements when fees are incurred.


CFA Endorses HALT Recommendation for the Creation of Free Legal Hotlines for

Low-Income Seniors. CFA supports the establishment and generous public and private

funding of free legal hotlines for low-income seniors, staffed by licensed attorneys and

covered by legal malpractice insurance. Senior hotlines should exist nationwide.


CFA Endorses HALT Recommendation for the Implementation of Small Claims

Court Advisors. CFA supports expanding the availability of legal self-help through

small claims court systems. Such expanded access should include small claims advisors.

Small claims advisors are individuals other than clerks with an understanding of small

claims procedures whose primary duties are to explain those procedures to small claims

litigants and guide them through their cases.


 phone old The impact on the public is potentially so great, that the American Antitrust Institute 

has taken the unusual step of declaring that it Prefers Qwest to Horizon in their Battle to purchase 

MCI. (Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, March 14, 2005).  The MCI board is expected to

make its choice between suitors on March 28th.   The AAI statement concludes: 

“On balance, and after a necessarily abbreviated analysis, the AAI holds the opinion

that an acquisition of MCI by Qwest rather than Verizon would better serve the public’s

interest in a competitive telecommunications market. Our conclusion is based primarily

on the expected competitive landscape post-acquisition in the business wireline and the

internet “IP backbone” markets.”

The NYT article on Saturday about unbundling broadband from local phone

service also suggest that Qwest might have a better attitude about providing

consumers what they want. (“Dangling Broadband From the Phone Stick, “March 19, 2005)


last day of winter —
ice aborts
the early buds

                  [dagosan, March 21, 2005]


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