It has been said that one of the virtues of law is “predictability”. Through gardening I have observed that nature’s laws are far more predictable than those made by humans. If you nurture plants they will grow. As a lawyer I have observed that the consequences of following the laws made by humans are not predictable. Sometimes people will be punished if they do not follow the law. If you are rich, you will be likely be rewarded when you break laws that increase your profits. Especially, if you are former clients of the Attorney General deemed “too big to fail.” Nature is not always fair. But it is predictable and it is not corrupt.
I live on a mountaintop about an hour away from Seattle. I got out of bed instantly upon waking Friday morning, which occurred almost a half hour before my alarm was scheduled to sound. I immediately showered and put on the suit I had picked out the night before to wear during oral argument at 10:00 a.m.. It was not even 7:00 a.m. and I found myself fully groomed. I thought about whether I should just hang around for a while or leave. “Better early, than late,” I reasoned and drove down the winding gravel road and out the gate. To my surprise, there were hardly any cars until just before the city limits. I got to the Courthouse about 8:30 a.m. and hung out in the law library. I knew I was going to lose this summary judgment motion. Judge Linde had already dismissed my clients claims that the other defendants had not complied with Washington statutes while pursuing nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings. She had done this without affording my client (a borrower who simply wanted to insure he paid off the mortgage loan to the correct party) any opportunity to obtain discovery consistent with our court rules. This discovery ruling, holding a borrower was not entitled to discovery if s/he had knowledgeable foreclosure lawyer, was a “first”; not only in Washington, but the United States. Up until Judge Linde’s discovery rulings, all litigants in Washington had the right to obtain pre-trial discovery consistent with the rules. Why borrowers facing the financial … Continue Reading
This article is taken from one I blogged on July 15, 2012 when I was running for the Supreme Court of Washington. My platform at the time was the court’s weren’t working and there was a need for change. I think the need for change has grown even stronger since then. Now the whole country knows a majority of our land records are falsified, except for the courts. Something is wrong, when the courts can simply ignore the truth. Anyway, this is an article i wrote a couple years ago challenging the basis of judicial review. Courts should not be given such power unless they make more right decisions than wrong ones. Our’s don’t any more. * * * We are taught that our nation’s Constitution sets forth a government based on checks and balances. But the United States Supreme Court decided in Marbury v Madison that the judicial department gets the final say over what the Constitution means. Chief Justice Marshall wrote: “It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.” But is it? The Constitution does not specifically say this. Marbury only decided this as precedent. Precedent can and should be overruled when it becomes harmful. My … Continue Reading
Life evolves. That is the order of things. There are individual changes. And there are societal changes. Monumental changes are not fully appreciated until they have occurred or are in their final stages. For example, smoking has been around since 5000 B.C. Indeed, smoking was pretty much an accepted social activity for much of my life. An old family picture I found demonstrates the magnitude of the change in our culture regarding smoking in the 65 years of my existence. This is my Dad and me. See the cigarette? This doesn’t happen as much in twenty-first century America. I remember that in the nineteen-seventies and eighties I would consume a pack or two of cigarettes while I took a deposition. That certainly does not happen now (both because I quit smoking in 1984 and because such conduct would no longer be tolerated.) Smoking is older than coinage and perhaps as old, or older than money itself. If people can come to a consensus that smoking should be deterred, can we not come to similar conclusions about our monetary systems and materialism generally? The peoples of the world can and should decide that the monetary system and materialism which it promotes has become more harmful to the whole of humanity than is warranted by the benefits it provides to a few. It is time to reflect with regard to whether money and materialism gets in the way of achieving those goals which are necessary for our planet’s survival and evolutionary growth. As we battle to … Continue Reading
It seems more than happenstance that I became aware of Bill Burke’s passing in time to attend his memorial this morning. Bill was William T. Burke and Professor William T. Burke and his school of Law and Marine Affairs at the University of Washington is the primary reason I wound up here in Washington State. Bill was a good friend, teacher, and mentor to many of his students, including me. The high regard for him and his family filled the University’s Urban Horticultural Center this morning. I was moved by the photos of him as he passed through his life. Our shared humanity is illuminated by the stages we all go through. It seemed that anyone who got to know Bill got to know him well. His humor was infectious. His passions numerous. His intellect was staggering. It is not an understatement to report that William T. Burke is one of the giants among those who have brought order to the oceans and been instrumental in the development of the law of the sea. As I drove to his memorial I thought about what Bill Burke had done with his life; he had contemplated and helped to initiate a new world order. He was proof that change can result from the passions of good people. His passing is eclipsed by his life and his work, which will continue to make a difference. #williamtburke #lawofthesea #universityofwashingtonlawandmarineaffairs
It is Tuesday evening; almost midnight. Already passed my “I need to get to sleep” time. I finished watering the garden, have finished the start of a “fire and brimstone” brief (they always get watered down some) And now I’m finishing the blog I started last night. So a lot of cool things happened last week. But the most touching occurred the Monday morning before yesterday. I drove down the mountain, parked my car, and entered the thrift shop next door to the ST office. I often say hi the owners of the neighboring thrift store on Mondays while I check out some of the treasures they have found over the weekend. That morning, Jeff says “Hey, Scott. I want you to look at something.” When Jeff or his wife, Becky, tell me they want me to see something, this immediately gets my attention. I smile and ask “what you got?” Jeff reaches behind the counter and shows me a piece of art he’s drawn. “I wanted you to have this”. As my eyes focus on the image it is clear that the picture was designed to tell a story. I am drawn into the etching. There is a short silence. Then Jeff begins to speak. He tells me the drawing began with the cross. And at that point I felt shivers. I remember him showing me the empty teller, the gavel banging into a toilet, and the money shooting into the air. I heard what he said, but was dumbstruck, … Continue Reading