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Comment Re:Does this case fit the precedent? (Score 1) 522

This is sloppy legal analysis. If the court was even remotely consistent then the vast number of times that I have had to deal with that answer (and, the followup objection by defense counsel: asked and answered) to subjects that the witness does not want to discuss in deposition would disappear in a puff of legal logic.

On occasion I've let the weasel slide and during the body of the deposition I've inserted questions along the line of:
Are your parents still living? When did your father pass? When did your mother pass?
What was the address that you lived at when you left for college?
Please state all of your past employers that paid you enough to require that you file a tax return?
What is your wedding anniversary?
What is the day and month of your spouse's birthday? (each of the kids follow)
Who was your favorite college prof? What class or classes did you take? Do you remember your grade(s)?

When did you receive the notice of this deposition?

What did you have for breakfast?

What color tie is your attorney wearing?

I toss those in over 2-3 hours and then ask the question that the deponent could not remember (so conveniently).

I draw two objections - asked and answered and argumentative.

I always ask that we call the judge to get a ruling.

I explain that I've just asked the deponent questions covering many decades about minutia that most people would not recall and the deponent has answered each question without objection from defense counsel. I wish to explore the "memory hole" and how only the fact critical to the case is the ONLY matter that the deponent cannot remember.

Usually the judge gives me a little leeway - but, the record is clear - the deponent's memory is just fine until the fact that will hurt is brought up.

Of course a 5th Amendment objection ends the inquiry (I'm a civil litigator).

The willingness to tolerate the mendacity of poor memory on a daily basis in civil actions puts the lie to this "convenient" ruling.

Comment Re:For the genealogy (Score 1) 233

You might not have read that bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now codified at Pub.L. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119; and, that goes into effect in stages from July 1, 2010 through 2014.

A genetic predisposition is not a preexisting condition - it is a predisposition that may or may not result in the manifestation of the disease (you might get hit by a car, die in a war or avoid a BMI over 1.2 and prevent the predisposition to type II Diabetes from manifesting itself despite the genetic predisposition).

As a result I suggested that the insurance industry could (and, I'd bet money on this) determine that a pre-pre-existing condition - the genetic predisposition of a healthy individual - would be grounds to deny coverage.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is silent as to genetic predisposition - and as such, there is nothing precluding the industry from implementing this pattern of exclusion from coverage. RTFL

Comment Re:Big Brother & insurance (Score 1) 233

Vexatious refusal - a class of actions that annoy insurance companies and don't pay very much when you win the lawsuit.

Laws are things that are a nuisance where you have a stock insurance company - dedicated to making a profit for the shareholders by collecting as much in premiums as possible and paying claims only when trivial.

Mutual insurance companies are owned by their insureds and benefit by spreading the risk pool to the largest number of insureds - damn shame that they are an endangered species....

Comment Re:For the genealogy (Score 1) 233

Contemplate the insurance industry that presently wants to cover the "worried well" and facing a bar against dropping coverage for pre-existing conditions empowered with DNA data that proves your genetic predisposition to disease and dropping coverage on a pre-pre-existing condition.

Comment Re:Except when you actually need it (Score 2, Insightful) 233

The silver in old film is too valuable - the film is sent to a recycler who recovers the Ag. Also, radiology records rooms with tons and tons of film have to be specially designed to hold that mass and are, obviously, limited in space.

Radiographs are not simple to read and many require the radiologist to highlight, magnify or compress (yep - dual convex lens) to get an accurate read - making scanning the film an inadequate solution.

My spouse has her own set of baseline films - because an odd structure showed up and was determined to be benign - and we still have those films 30 years out....

Comment Re:Laptop Useage in Class? (Score 1) 218

More than 23 years ago I took a Toshiba T-1000 to law school. I'm a fairly good typist, but gave up trying to keep up contemporaneous note taking within the first two weeks. I found that the best thing to do was to condense and rewrite my hand-written notes on the laptop after class.

Yes, I was the first student to bring a laptop to any class in my law school.

Comment Re:Actually (Score 2, Interesting) 643

Synthetic instruments are unregulated and exceed the value of the planet's GNP. Just because people are willing to posit a value in something doesn't mean that it actually has value. Take the Tulip mania of the 1800's for example.

The problem with the jerks marketing the derivatives again is that they were bailed out once and expect to be bailed out as many times as they can get away with it.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if today's little "accident" wasn't just a few program traders making a killing under the guise of a typo. I trust nobody in any of the Wall Street Arbitrage / Hedge Fund business. We would all be better off repealing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and imprisoning the top 20% of every investment house.

Comment Re:Institutional Traders Don't Enter Trades Like T (Score 1) 643

Well, Italy didn't do much where a massive engineering firm created a dam that failed. See:

"Tort Reform" has capped the liability for physicians in many states - despite criminals like Michael Swango, M.D. poisoning patients and co-workers.

The number of crooked lawyers (my own profession) is burgeoning and many are directly involved in the economic meltdown.

Time to take a had line approach to a class of criminal that would actually BE deterred if they knew that they would certainly be executed. Hell, make the next of kin push the button. Add a real fear of retaliation from a disgruntled spouse and those "masters of the universe" would dot every "i" and cross every "t."

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