Martindale-Hubbell Review rating – Judicial edition

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a nonprofit organization of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives that drafts and shares model state-level legislation for distribution among state governments in the United States.[2][3][4]

ALEC provides a forum for state legislators and private sector members to collaborate on model bills—draft legislation that members may customize and introduce for debate in their own state legislatures.[5][6][7] ALEC has produced model bills on a broad range of issues, such as reducing regulation and individual and corporate taxation, combating illegal immigration, loosening environmental regulations, tightening voter identification rules, weakening labor unions and opposing gun control.[8][9][10][11] Some of these bills dominate legislative agendas in states such as Arizona, Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Maine.[12] Approximately 200 model bills become law each year.[8][13] ALEC also serves as a networking tool among state legislators, allowing them to research conservative policies implemented in other states.[10] Many ALEC legislators say the organization converts campaign rhetoric and nascent policy ideas into legislative language.[5]

ALEC’s activities, while legal,[14] received public scrutiny after being reported by liberal groups in 2011 and after news reports from outlets such as The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek described ALEC as an organization that gave corporate interests outsized influence.[8][9] Resulting public pressure led to a number of legislators and corporations withdrawing from the organization.

Attorney Thomas C. Brandstrader Wins Case for Client Found with $6.75 Million of Cocaine

Criminal defense attorney Thomas C. Brandstrader wins not-guilty finding for client accused of possession with intent to distribute cocaine worth an estimated $6.75 million.

Thomas C. Brandstrader, a Chicago criminal defense attorney, recently won a case in the Circuit Court of Cook County Illinois (Case No. 15 CR 3480) for a client who was accused of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. According to court documents, the defendant was charged with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance after $6.75 million worth of cocaine was found in his car, following a police narcotics investigation when the defendant was allegedly witnessed placing two heavy suitcases into his vehicle before driving off.

Read more:  http://www.prweb.com/releases/tbrandstrader/cocaine/prweb13449168.htm

Happy Fourth

I hope we can take this day and reflect not on war and violence but on peace and honest discourse. A look at our American history draws  the conclusion that we have rarely lived up to the ideals set out in the Declaration of Independence. We should take a moment to celebrate the dissenters from the use of violence as a means to an end in this country and around the world. We don’t have all the answers and we don’t practice at home what we supposedly preach around the world. We support regimes  who are the antithesis of the ideals set out in the document that we adopted 240 years ago. Why? To protect a source of energy that’s use pollutes the atmosphere. It is time to stop and take a new approach to our life at home and our presence abroad. We have much work to do in our cities and towns and must succeed there before we can be any type of an example around the world. Sadly our political process does not seem to produce the type of individuals who recognize  this imperative. It is up to each and every one of us to change and bend the course of the American future in the direction set out by our founding fathers two and one/half centuries ago.

Utah v Streiff

A person leaves a location which is being surveilled for narcotics activity. He is stopped by the police who search him and recover narcotics. There was no probable cause for the stop. There was no “reasonable suspicion” for the stop other than the location from which the individual was seen leaving just prior to the stop. After arrest, the police learn that the individual has a “warrant” for an unpaid traffic violation from years before. It would be argued that as the above stop was no good, then the evidence was inadmissible as “fruit of the poisonous tree”. This has been the bench mark of the constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure as secured by the Fourth Amendment. Not so fast says the Supreme Court in Utah v Strieff as the discovery of the warrant post arrest now legalizes the unlawful recovery of evidence.Guess who wrote the opinion?

In a followup, I guess we should not be surprised by…

Activists question Chicago police use of cell phone tracking technology

Since at least 2005, the Chicago Police Department has had equipment that can locate cell phones by their signals. While the department says it uses the equipment only to locate people during criminal investigations, some activists are seeking information about whether police used the technology on lawful protesters or innocent bystanders.
Through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Chicago Reader found that police began at least six investigations…

Read more:
http://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2015/03/23/activists-question-chicago-police-use-of-cell.html