Why Congress?

Why Congress? Someone asked me: “Why aren’t you running to be  judge? Why are you running for Congress?” I answered: “Because unless Congress does its job the system of checks and balances set up in our Constitution does not work. Congress is the branch of government which is supposed to oversee how all the branches of government are working.” She raised an eyebrow. “What are you saying, Scott?” I looked back at her and asked: “Did you know the legislative branch of government was supposed to be the eyes and ears of the people?” She answered: “No. I thought Congress was supposed to enact laws.” “Yes, enacting laws is one of Congress’ purposes. But an equally important role is to oversee, and where necessary impeach, officials in the other branches of government who are abusing their powers.” She thought about what I said. “Please tell me more.” “A good example, would be oversight of the judicial department. Many believe that we need judicial reform because our courts aren’t working for the people.” Now she was quiet. I could tell she was listening. “Federal courts jurisdiction in most circumstances to decide cases is determined by statute. This means that Congress can and should be playing a much greater role in making sure that the check and balances in our system work. Congress does not, and should not abdicate, all of its authority to the Court to determine how that branch of government functions. A self-regulated judicial department gives judges way more authority than … Continue Reading

Do Private Publishers of legal decisions attempt to manipulate the creation of precedent? April 3, 2015

I assume that in any line of work, there are work activities which are preferred more than others. I like writing briefs and taking depositions much more than I like defending depositions. On Tuesday I had to defend a deposition of a client against three lawyers, one of whom I consider particularly loathsome. As you might expect he represents Mortgage Electronic Systems a/k/a MERS, which I believe is designed to facilitate the redistribution of the wealth of America’s middle class to already wealthy elites. Now I want to make it clear that in this blog I am primarily stating my own observations and opinions pursuant to those rights I believe I have under the First Amendment. So now let’s return back to what happened at the deposition. At some point counsel for MERS made a point of stating that I had never won a motion against him.  I wondered what he was talking about because less than a couple of months ago my office, in a brief I participated in writing, had clearly prevailed against MERS with regard to a motion he had brought. A copy of that decision against MERS, in which he was lead counsel, can be found at: Knecht v Fidelity National Title Insurance Company. After his strategic and dishonest attempt at an insult , I leaned back in my chair and looked hard at the MERS attorney questioning the witness. I do not recall having any animosity toward him as that is not a good trait for … Continue Reading