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Archive for the month “October, 2014”

7 Disappointing Reasons People Leave the Church

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here.

An excerpt of the Anglicans Ablaze post is as follows: “One disappointment I have had in ministry is watching people come to church, get excited for a time, then disappear. You spend energy and heart on people, grow to love them and get excited about them, and suddenly they are nowhere to be found.

The biggest disappointment is not people who transfer to another church. I’m okay with that if it helps them better grow in their relationship with Christ. I’m talking about people who quit going to church altogether. They are in one day — out the next.

What happens to them? Why do they leave?

I’ve found there are often similar reasons that are repeated continuously. Perhaps you have seen this too.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

Yes Songs and Albums: What All Have You Heard?

[Updated on October 27, 2016]

This post is part of my Yes series of posts which you can see here.

This will probably be one of the nerdiest and obsessive-compulsive posts I will make here.  I thought it would be fun to see how many songs and from which albums I have had the opportunity to see live over the course of my many Yes concerts.  So, I have made a list by album, song, and concert.  In parenthesis after the album names is the number of songs I have seen from that particular album.

In future posts I will tally up the number of times I have seen each song played and the various lineups I have seen.  For now, I wanted to see how many albums I have seen live.

If you have seen Yes please comment to this post and share what you have experienced of them live!

Thanks!

Reminder to Landlords Filing for Eviction

If a landlord is filing for eviction in Philadelphia, he must ensure he follows the rules for eviction specifically else the only thing that will be evicted will be the landlord from the courtroom with an unsuccessful lawsuit.

At the time a leasehold is rented to a tenant, all Philadelphia landlords must secure a landlord license, a business license, and a Certificate of Rental Suitability. In addition, if a landlord is renting to tenants which include children 6 years old or younger, he must:

  • certify the property is lead safe or lead free;
  • provide the tenant with a copy of a lead safe or lead free certificate, along with other required information;
  • provide the Department of Public Health with a copy of the lead safe or lead free certificate, signed by the tenant

Regarding the licenses and certificates, please see the following:

In order to evict a tenant, a landlord must file a complaint for eviction in landlord/tenant court located on the 6th and 10th floors of the Widener Building at 1339 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA. A complaint for eviction must comply with the terms of the lease as to what can be requested as damages (e.g.: forsaken rent, late fees, attorney’s fees, and so on) and when the complaint can be filed (e.g.: notice requirements before a court action is started).  A complaint for eviction must specifically request “termination of term” as a remedy, otherwise the lease cannot be terminated by the court if the landlord wins the case for money damages for unpaid rent. Furthermore, a landlord must include with his complaint for eviction a copy of his landlord license, business license, Certificate of Rental Suitability, and Lead Paint Certification. If the licenses and certifications are not secured, then the landlord will not be entitled to receive rent for the months without them and if the landlord does not have them at the time of the hearing, he will not have a right to evict. Please note that even if a tenant has paid rent while a landlord is unlicensed and therefore not entitled to receive rent payments from the tenant, the tenant still cannot successfully sue the landlord to have that rent returned or repaid.

So, if you are a landlord and are planning to file for eviction, be certain to ensure you are compliant with all applicable laws and ordinances.  Better yet, consult with an attorney before taking any legal action.

 

GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET

Check out Faye Cohen’s post to her blog Toughlawyerlady!

ToughLawyerLady

When I was growing up everyone used quaint sayings, derived from who knows where, that I rarely hear anymore. One of them was “going to hell in a handbasket.” I thought of that saying in recent days when learning that the Philadelphia police had made 14 arrests of young people, up to age 18 (18 is the Pennsylvania legal definition of being an adult), when a crowd estimated at 500 young people gathered at a busy intersection in the late afternoon of Center City for no apparent reason. The arrests were made after a fight broke out between two teenage girls, other young people ignored the police’s request to disburse, and some taunted the police by throwing bottles at them. The media took pains to distinguish this situation from that of a “flash mob”, which encourages people to congregate at a specific place, and said behavior has sometimes resulted in…

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Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia – Second Annual Autumn Banquet

The Second Annual Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia brunch banquet is this Saturday, November 1, 2014!  You can learn more about it here (the link is the evite).  There is still time to RSVP!  The banquet will take place at the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West which is located at 4010 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131.  The banquet will take place at 10:00am and conclude at about 11:00am and free breakfast/brunch food will be provided.

At the banquet you will learn all about what the Clinic does through a specially shot video presentation and some speakers.  Also, the second annual Guzikowski Award (named after our primary benefactor) will be presented to our volunteer of the year.  Who will it be?!

The Clinic exists to help people secure justice in the American legal system here in the Philadelphia area; to that end, we serve literally hundreds of people in the City of Philadelphia (and the surrounding area) with pro bono or low cost legal services.  We are currently trying to expand into Kensington and Germantown (neighborhoods in Philadelphia) and other areas in order to expand our reach and help more people.

Of course, like any charity organization, in order to help others we need your help to do it.  Please come out to one of our Clinic locations to see what we are doing first hand; our Clinic locations are described here.   Also, we are always in need of money to fund our ministry.  If you feel led to donate, you can do so here.  If you cannot do these things, please pray for us and our ministry or donate your time as we always need help with administration, filing, counseling, chaplaincy, and other similar things in the everyday working of the Clinic.

Most importantly, however, the Clinic exists for people to be the face of Jesus to those who need it and to help people, not just through their legal issues, but through their spiritual ones as well, which so often are closely related to their legal issues.  Help us heed Christ’s call to help “the least of these” by giving to our efforts.  Always remember that Jesus identified himself as among those called “least” as they, in the end, will be great.

Before I forget, please be sure to watch this great video as it is shows a few of the personal stories of the people the Clinic has helped.  This is the video that was made for last year’s banquet.  Thanks and God bless.

 

Moderately Important Christianity

This post is from Pastor Joe McKeever which you can find here.

An excerpt of this Pastor Joe McKeever post is as follows:

‘”Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.” –C. S. Lewis  How important is the Christian faith? Listen to the Lord Jesus in just two of hundreds of similar statements from Him: –’I tell you, no. But unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish’ (Luke 13:3,5)  ‘Unless you believe that I am, you shall die in your sins’ (John 8:24).  The faith of the Lord Jesus Christ is a life or death proposition. Of the 100,000 excellent things C. S. Lewis said in his writings, and of the hundreds of memorable quotations we pass along from this brilliant British brother, perhaps nothing is of more lasting significance or greater benefit than the way he sharpened the line between faith and unbelief, between weak allegiance to Jesus and the real thing.  ‘(People say) ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg or else he would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.’  Mr.Lewis would be amazed and more than a little disgusted by the lukewarmness of modern Christianity.”

You can read more on this here.

More Reasons to Put the Brakes on Red Light Cameras

This post is part of my ongoing series on my opposition to red light cameras.  I have written articles on the subject (see here and here) and blogged on it (here and here and here and here and here and here) many times.

It seems, of late, every time red light cameras appear in the news, more is revealed that makes them a terrible idea and, true to form, two more reports have appeared in the last week or so which continue to indict red light cameras as bad public policy.

The first report is out of Chicago which you can see here.  As predicted here, reports now confirm that tickets can be issued if the time duration of yellow caution lights is shorter than the three seconds required by law by as little as .1 seconds.  You may not think .1 seconds is very significant, but, as it turns out, shaving off that little bit of time, allowing for only 2.9 seconds for a yellow caution light, led to 77,000 more red light tickets and an additional $8,000,000 more to government coffers.

The second report regards a judge presiding over a case dealing with red light cameras in Miami who has declared the red light program there illegal as it is currently enforced.  You can read more about that case here.  Under the law applicable in Miami, a private company is empowered to take and examine the red light camera photographs to discern whether a violation occurred.  If this private company believes a violation occurred it then issues the driver a citation.  The judge in this case ruled that only government entities are empowered to issue citations, not private companies.  As an aside, the fact that a private company is conducting so many government functions, to me, smacks of clear political patronage, which is yet another reason to oppose the red light programs.

Finally, as noted above, I have written on this subject many times.  I am starting to run out of puns and plays on words to title these posts.  So, if you have any suggestions for the titles of future pieces, leave a comment and let me know!

Superior Court Offers Refresher Course on Appeals Procedures

The recent Pennsylvania Superior Court matter of J.J. DeLuca v. Toll Naval Associates, 2012 Pa.Super. 222, involved a large construction contract, alleged breaches of that contract and allegations of fraud over the life of the relationship of the parties in this case. Although the underlying case is interesting, the focus of this article is what amounted to the primer the court gave in its opinion regarding appellate practice.

After a verdict and an appeal and remand of the same, the trial court again calculated damages that were appealed again by both parties. On appeal, DeLuca raised a whopping 16 issues while Toll raised nine. When faced with potentially 25 issues raised on appeal, the court recalled U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Senior Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert’s statement in his opinion prepared in the case of Kenis v. Perini, 452 Pa.Super. 634 (1996), when he said, “When I read an appellant’s brief that contains 10 or 12 points, a presumption arises that there is no merit to any of them. I do not say that it is an irrebuttable presumption, but it is a presumption that reduces the effectiveness of appellate advocacy. Appellate advocacy is measured by effectiveness, not loquaciousness.” When reviewing DeLuca’s issues raised on appeal, the court further observed that they often overlapped with one another and were inconsistently numbered and lettered.

Some of DeLuca’s arguments regarded the sums of money paid by Toll at one point during the matter. Despite DeLuca’s taking the time to make the arguments, they had virtually no references to places in the record to support their claims. The court noted that Pa.R.A.P. 2119(c) requires references made to pleadings and evidence and such to be specifically cited to in the record. Indeed, the court, citing Commonwealth v. Imes, 603 Pa. 680 (2009), specifically said it would not “scour the record to find the evidence to support an argument.” As a result, the insufficiently cited claims were deemed waived by the court.

The subsequent argument raised by DeLuca presented a conclusory statement without any supporting authority and was therefore deemed waived by the court. DeLuca’s next argument was quickly deemed “demonstrably incorrect” by the court when compared to the clear testimony of the record. DeLuca’s argument after that was also deemed waived because “DeLuca has failed to develop an argument in support of its … claim, and offers no authority at all to support it.” DeLuca also proposed an argument based on the statute of limitations. The court ruled this argument, too, was waived, as “DeLuca [did] not present any citation to the record to support its claim, or to show where Toll’s evidence was deficient.”

Indeed, another of its arguments was dismissed because DeLuca offered “no other substantiation or explanation” aside from a bald assertion offering “no other support of its claim,” not to mention that it “fail[ed] to present or develop an independent argument in support of its claim.” Furthermore, the court noted that DeLuca’s arguments did “nothing to refute the trial court’s findings.” When reviewing DeLuca’s arguments regarding punitive damages, the court indicated that they were “incomplete” and ignored certain issues and/or merely “incorrectly assumed it would prevail on its assertion[s].” The court also believed that DeLuca “misapprehend[ed the court’s] standard of review” and misapplied (or misunderstood) certain constitutional requirements.

As stated above, the Superior Court’s decision is useful as guidance on what to do (or not do) when filing an appeal. First, when filing an appeal, make the issues on appeal concise, specific and clear, as opposed to sprawling, numerous and repetitive. Second, be sure to cite to the record at all times whenever possible, as the court will not do your work for you in this regard. Third, and this seems quite obvious, one’s arguments must be fully developed, based on the facts and evidence available, supported by authority and the record, consistent with the law and clearly explained and articulated to the court.

Originally published in The Legal Intelligencer Blog on April 23, 2013 which you can see here.

Podcast: Two Ways in Which Bands are Businesses and Intellectual Property and Contract Mistakes Sink Them (featuring James W. Cushing, Esquire!)

Anthony Verna, Esquire, (of Kravitz & Verna), a reputable copyright lawyer in New York, is the host of a podcast called The Law and Business Podcast (you can find it here).  Back on September 25, 2014 he had me on as a guest on his podcast to talk about the litigation between Yes artist Roger Dean against Avatar filmmaker James Cameron regarding Cameron’s alleged misappropriation of Dean’s images in Avatar.  You can hear that podcast here.  You can read more about Dean v. Cameron here.

Well, on October 20, 2014 Mr. Verna had be back on as his guest on his podcast (clearly he has questionable sanity!) to discuss band names and the legalities surrounding who owns the names, how those names can be used, and how one can be better prepared for the potential legalities of being a member of a band.  Notably, because I was the guest on this show, the examples and practical applications of the law centered heavily on bands like Yes and Asia, their line-up changes, and the legal issues they have had using their band names over the years.

You can listen to (and hopefully enjoy!) the podcast here!

Dean v. Cameron: Dean Decides to Leave It

This is what would seem to be my final update regarding the legal matter between Yes cover artist Roger Dean against filmmaker James Cameron regarding the alleged misappropriated use Dean’s artwork in Cameron’s movie Avatar.  You can see all of my posts on this subject here, the court filings on this matter here, a series of side-by-side photographs of Dean’s artwork and the movie here, the final Court judgment here, and a great podcast explaining the Court’s legal decision here.

Well, as I reported on September 19, 2014, the Court, unfortunately for Roger Dean and his fans, ruled against him and in favor of James Cameron ruling, in essence, that Cameron did not misappropriate Dean’s images in the movie Avatar.  Dean had the opportunity to appeal the Court’s decision within a specific time as laid out by the Rules of Civil Procedure.  I looked at the Court docket this morning to check on the status of the case and whether Dean took an appeal of the adverse ruling noted above.  As it turns out, on September 30, 2014, a Stipulation and Order was filed wherein Dean waived his right to an appeal and pursuit of any damages or claims against Cameron regarding the issues raised in his complaint against Cameron and/or the movie Avatar in exchange for Cameron not pursuing repayment of his attorneys’ fees from Dean.  This Stipulation and Order serves to conclude the case in its entirety.  The case of Dean v. Cameron is officially over.

You can read the Stipulation and Order here:  dean stipulation and order.10-20-14

In case you are not a Yes fan or do not like puns, the title of this post refers to Yes’ hit song “Leave It.”

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