Hunger Trials: They’re No Longer Games

 General, Speaking & Training  Comments Off on Hunger Trials: They’re No Longer Games
Sep 182012
 
hunger

The Judge as Effie in the Hunger Trials

Hunger Trials: They’re No Longer Games

It seems that attorneys can never turn the legal mind off even while watching a teenage move such as the Hunger Games.   Last week my American Inn of Court group used the Hunger Games as the basis for our continuing legal education presentation to the Inn.  We called it Hunger Trials: They’re No Longer Games.

Our case:  Judge Joyce Cram – Effie

Matthew Talbot – Peeta

Amy Foscalina – Katniss

Ken Strongman – Haymitch

Don Green – Caesar

Mike Markowitz – President Snow

Gamesmakers – Nancy Allard, Silky Sahnan, Daniel Cabral, Wally Hesseltine.

Judge Joyce Cram – Effie, Matthew Talbot – Peeta, Amy Foscalina – Katniss, Ken Strongman – Haymitch, Don Green – Caesar, Mike Markowitz – President Snow, Gamesmakers – Nancy Allard, Silky Sahnan, Daniel Cabral, Wally Hesseltine

After selecting tributes from all of the other groups, we let them battle to their death by asking the following questions.  Test your own knowledge.

During the movie, Katniss cuts a tree branch which drops Tracker Jackers onto a female from an opposing district.

Tracker Jackers are:

A) Ants

B) Beetles

C) Grasshoppers

D) Wasps

When Katniss dropped the Tracker Jackers onto the female from the opposing district, she committed what crime?

A) Assault

B) Assault with a deadly weapon

C) Murder

D) None

In the movie, Rue encouraged Katniss to drop the Tracker Jackers onto the female from the opposing district.  Rue is 13 years old.  Under common law she is:

A) Deemed to be an infant and therefore incapable of committing a crime.

B) Deemed to be an adult and capable of committing a crime.

C) Presumed incapable of committing a crime.

D) Presumed capable of committing a crime.

The minimum age of jurisdiction (youngest age at which a youth may be prosecuted) is:

A) 10

B) 9

C) 7

D) No minimum age.

If Rue (age 13) were called to testify in a trial against her, which of the following is true?

A) She is presumed competent to testify.

B) She is presumed incompetent to testify.

C) It depends on whether she is a civil or criminal defendant.

If Katniss is below the age of 18 when she wins the Hunger Games, what must be established to receive the money:

A) Conservatorship

B) Guardianship

C) Probate

D) Special Needs Trust

If the Hunger Games rules provide that the winner and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all receive money for their lifetimes, would that run afoul of the Rule Against Perpetuities?

A) Yes

B) No

C) Depends on how long each of these people live.

During the Hunger Games when Katniss was hiding in the trees, the Gamemakers created a fire and shot fire balls at her which burned her leg.  In California, what would the Gamemakers be charged with?

A) First degree arson

B) Second degree arson

C) Felony arson

D) Reckless burning

During Katniss’ private presentation with the Gamemakers, she shot an arrow at the apple in the pig’s mouth where all the Gamemakers were huddled.  What crime(s) could Katniss be charged with?

A) Attempted murder

B) Battery

C) Assault

D) None

Assume that the stunt with the arrow was planned in advance by Hamitch and Katniss.  What tort(s) can they be liable for?

A) Intentional infliction of emotional distress

B) Negligent infliction of emotional distress

C) Conspiracy

D) All of the above

Lionsgate (the producer of Hunger Games) could potentially be sued for copyright infringement by the producers of which movies?

A) Ben-Hur

B) Spartacus

C) Star Wars Episode One

D) Star Wars Episode Two

E) All the gladiator and ancient Rome movies ever made.

We followed up these questions by demonstrating closing argument as if the games went to both criminal and civil courts.

Ken_Strongman_003smAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

© 2020 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.

Lawyers Behaving Badly: The case of the Stinky Bentleys and Manure Evidence

 Ethics  Comments Off on Lawyers Behaving Badly: The case of the Stinky Bentleys and Manure Evidence
Aug 282012
 

Lawyers Behaving Badly: The case of the Stinky Bentleys and Manure Evidence

Lawyers Behaving Badly: The case of the Stinky Bentleys and Manure EvidenceMy colleague, Matthew Talbot, wrote about a recent presentation of mine at the Inns of Court.  Access his compete article HERE.

Here are some highlights of his article:

Nothing interests a group of attorneys and judges more than anecdotes of lawyers and judges behaving badly. At the Robert G. McGrath Inns of Court meeting at the Lafayette Park Hotel, Judge Weil’s group (consisting of Sean McTigue, Nicholas Jay, Samantha Sepehr, Robin Pearson, Ken Strongman, Laureen Bethards, Jay Chafetz, David W. Ginn, and David Pastor) presented a program entitled “Lawyers Behaving Badly”. They identified unethical and inappropriate activities by attorneys and judges. Judge Weil’s group took the Inns membership down the yellow brick road of litigation to the Emerald City of just plain bad lawyering.

Using a variety of vignettes, they illustrated instances when lawyers (and even judges) didn’t exactly meet the standards of our fine profession.

In one vignette, Judge Weil’s group told the story of the “Stinky Bentleys.” Here, the Bentley Car Company had sold cars with obnoxious odors, and despite receiving complaints, did not take appropriate steps to remedy this problem. Instead of following the tried and true method advocated on Seinfeld of dealing with smelly cars (i.e. abandoning them on the streets of NYC), the owners sued Bentley. Bentley, in return, followed poor legal advice and abandoned any responsibility to perform discovery. They failed to turn over documents, lied under oath, destroyed evidence despite court order, and generally stymied attempts at discovery. The Court considered this “lawyers behaving badly.” The Inns meeting had a lively discussion regarding whether terminating sanctions for Bentley’s defense were appropriate.

There was another vignette that related to Seinfeld as it had an element near and dear to George Constanza’s heart: manure. “It’s like Ma and Newer!” (George, 3. episode: The Cadillac – Part 2). In this case, the defendant was avoiding following any discovery rules at all. He was a rebel who played by nobody’s rules! When it came time for a document request at a deposition, he showed up to the deposition with those documents … covered in manure. Unfortunately for the people at the deposition, the ‘manure’ episode of Seinfeld wouldn’t air for another 13 years and so there was little mirth to be had in this production of documents. The Inns meeting again discussed whether terminating sanctions were appropriate.

All in all, it was an interesting discussion regarding the unethical steps a few amongst us are willing to take. This small group of unethical lawyers, by their obstreperous and unprofessional acts, gives the large majority of professional, skilled and ethical attorneys a bad name, and sometimes sleepless nights. While most attorneys are just trying to do their best to zealously represent their clients, there are some attorneys out there sadly making the published decisions or even the news; they shirk all responsibility to their clients, other attorneys, and society as a whole. May none of us ever find ourselves the subject of a similar Inns discussion!

Ken_Strongman_003smAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

© 2020 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.

Taming Your Bear of a Case: ADR Solutions For Complex Cases From Contract to Final Resolution

 Arbritration, Mediation, Speaking & Training  Comments Off on Taming Your Bear of a Case: ADR Solutions For Complex Cases From Contract to Final Resolution
Aug 212012
 

Taming Your Bear of a Case: ADR Solutions For Complex Cases From Contract to Final Resolution

Taming Your Bear of a Case: ADR Solutions For Complex Cases From Contract to Final Resolution. This is the title of the program we will be presenting November 16, 2012 at the 2012 MCLE Spectacular by on by the Contra Costa Bar Association.  My co-presenters are Stuart J. West, Esq., Hon. Wayne Brazil (Ret.), and Alexander (Lex) Brainerd, Esq.

We will explore the spectrum of alternative dispute resolution options available to address the particular needs of complex commercial and IP disputes.  Topics will include best practices for mediation and arbitration, plus suggestions when employing less common processes such as mock exercises and early neutral evaluation.  We will offer tips on how to tailor ADR clauses to create an efficient resolution process before a dispute arises, tips on how to time mediation strategically including early dispute resolution considerations, and various other methods for controlling costs.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Ken Strongman, MediatorAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

© 2020 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.

A Recommendation from a McGeorge Law Student

 Evaluations, Speaking & Training  Comments Off on A Recommendation from a McGeorge Law Student
Jul 312012
 

A Recommendation from a McGeorge Law Student

A Recommendation from a McGeorge Law Student is one of the privileges of teaching is getting feedback from my students’ years after I taught them.

Ken was an extremely helpful professor. He cared greatly for his students and was always willing to provide personal assistance to each and everyone of us.

Stephen Hallett, Law Student, University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law.

Ken Strongman, MediatorAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

© 2020 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.

A Recommendation from Australia

 Evaluations, Speaking & Training  Comments Off on A Recommendation from Australia
Jul 032012
 

A Recommendation from Australia

A Recommendation from Australia is one of the privileges of teaching is getting feedback from my students’ years after I taught them.

It gives me great pleasure to recommend Ken to a prospective employer for his experience and knowledge in law and for having great talent as an efficient and well-rounded speaker and educator.

 Micaela “Micki” Romero, Subjective Paralegal, Fiskville Independent Investigation,   Gisborne, Victoria, Australia

Ken Strongman, MediatorAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

© 2020 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.

Thoughts from an optimistic former student

 Evaluations, Speaking & Training  Comments Off on Thoughts from an optimistic former student
Jun 192012
 

Thoughts from an optimistic former student

Thoughts from an optimistic former student is one of the privileges of teaching is getting feedback from my students’ years after I taught them.  Here is a recent example:

I am writing this letter to recommend Professor Ken Strongman for the Adjunct Professor at John F. Kennedy University. He is one of the best professors I have or will ever come across, in all aspects of teaching and personality. I know other students would agree with me.

What I most admire about Professor Strongman is his remarkable ability to stimulate students and add personality to the course material. Students can feel his optimism. He treats everybody with respect and professionalism. His teaching style makes students listen attentively to him. He is also very organized. His assignments were clear and he would provide individual feedback to each student regarding mistakes/strong points.

Professor Ken Strongman does not only teach exceptionally well but he also cares a lot about the level of understanding of each student. He is one of those rare professors that take the extra effort to make sure all students that need extra help are accommodated, despite his busy schedule. He is one of the most caring professors that I have ever known since I started the Paralegal Program at JFK University. He was very courteous and helpful with all the students. I really enjoyed learning from Mr. Strongman, and his qualities are countless.

I understand that is up to the student to be successful in all the assignments, however, the effort of a professor makes all the difference in helping students reach their full potential. If we would have professors like Professor Ken Strongman teaching everything, then I am positive that every student will be eager to learn and go beyond expectations.

Aldine Woodman, Legal Services Professional

Ken Strongman, MediatorAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

© 2013 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.

Thoughts from a former student wanting more mediation knowledge

 Evaluations, Speaking & Training  Comments Off on Thoughts from a former student wanting more mediation knowledge
Jun 052012
 

Thoughts from a former student wanting more mediation knowledge

Thoughts from a former student wanting more mediation knowledge is one of the privileges of teaching is getting feedback from my students’ years after I taught them.  Here is a recent example:

Ken Strongman did an excellent job teaching law and mediation at JFK University for the Paralegal program. I enjoyed Ken’s class and learned a lot about how effective mediation can be difficult situations, such as divorce and custody cases. Ken is very knowledgeable in this topic and I would take future classes from him in the future. I can strongly recommend him for both the practice of mediation and as an instructor.

Christine Dunbar, Principle Regulatory Affairs, Boston Scientific Corporation

Ken Strongman, MediatorAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

© 2020 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.

Energetic and optimistic thoughts from a former student

 Evaluations, Speaking & Training  Comments Off on Energetic and optimistic thoughts from a former student
May 222012
 

Energetic and optimistic thoughts from a former student

Energetic and optimistic thoughts from a former student is one of the privileges of teaching is getting feedback from my students’ years after I taught them.  Here is a recent example:

I always enjoyed Professor Strongman’s Legal Ethics classes when I was studying in John F. Kennedy’s Paralegal Certificate Program. Professor Strongman is one of the best professors I have or will ever come across, in all aspects of teaching and personality.

What I most admire about Professor Strongman is his remarkable ability to stimulate students and add personality to the course material. Students can feel the energy and optimism radiate from his teaching. His dynamic teaching style makes students listen attentively to him. The time he spends to give feedback for the assignments helps everyone understand what the most common mistakes were, and provides individual feedback to each student with regards to his/her weak and strong points.

Professor Strongman does not only teach exceptionally well but he also cares a lot about the level of understanding of each student. He takes the extra effort to make sure all students that need extra help are accommodated, despite his busy schedule. His lectures are highly organized, and the level of attention he gives to his students is unsurpassed. It is tough to mention all of his amazing qualities here and the ones mentioned above only scratch the surface.

We all have to strive to achieve the best. In universities, the effort of a professor makes all the difference in helping students reach their full potential. If we would have professors like Professor Strongman, then I am positive that every student will be eager to learn and achieve their academic goals.

Shan Li, Paralegal, Severson & Werson

Ken Strongman, MediatorAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

© 2020 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.

Thoughts from a former student on learning ethics.

 Evaluations, Speaking & Training  Comments Off on Thoughts from a former student on learning ethics.
May 082012
 

Thoughts from a former student on learning ethics.

Thoughts from a former student on learning ethics is one of the privileges of teaching is getting feedback from my students’ years after I taught them.  Here is a recent example:

Ken taught me the importance of ethical behavior in all dealings, personal and profession. He also is a great model of patience and listening, which is why he is such an excellent teacher and mediator.

Nancy Krieg, Law Student, William Mitchell College of Law, Saint Paul, MN

Ken Strongman, MediatorAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

© 2020 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.