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Death toll from defective GM ignition switches rises to 107

GM 2014 Profit Falls 26 Percent To $2.8B On Recall Costs

Death Toll From GM Ignition Switches Rises To At Least 50

This is the Best time to start a Legal Financing Company via PNN

Investors and consumers are already taking notice of the benefits of legal financing, and as the number of civil cases continues to rise, so too will demand for lawsuit loans.

If you haven’t heard about legal financing or lawsuit loans before, that may change. The practice of legal financing dates back to the early 1990s, but it didn’t take off in the United States until Credit Suisse Securities launched a litigation lending program in 2006 that later became its own company in 2012.

Legal financing, often referred to as a lawsuit loan, is a cash advance that a lender gives to someone in exchange for a portion of their potential settlement or judgment in a lawsuit. In short, legal finance lenders bet on lawsuits that they think will win.

While lawsuit loans are a risky investment, the industry is full of successful startups with millions of dollars in available funding. Since legal financing grew nearly 400% between 2013 and 2017, this may be the perfect time to consider the potential of starting a legal financing company.

How Lawsuit Loans Work.

Lawsuit loans are an immediate cash payment to plaintiffs in exchange for a portion of their compensation when they settle or win their case. Basically, legal financing lenders purchase a portion of the settlement. In addition, lenders charge interest on top of the amount of money borrowed due to the high risk of their investment.

However, unlike traditional loans, lawsuit loans don’t require a credit check, income verification, or employment history. Lenders only approve funding based on the strength of the case, so if a plaintiff has a strong case that is 6-12 months away from a settlement, they are more likely to receive a loan, as described on pre settlement loan websites such as Nova Legal Funding and others.

In addition, lawsuit loans are non-recourse, so the plaintiff doesn’t have to pay back the money they borrowed if they lose the case. The lender accepts the entirety of that risk.

Factors Contributing to the Growth of the Legal Financing Industry.

There are several reasons why legal financing continues to grow throughout the United States. A combination of lax regulations and an increase in personal injury cases contributes significantly to the industry’s growth and shows no signs of slowing down.

According to the New Yorker, the legal financing industry had more than $3 billion in assets in 2016. Another report by Burford Capital found that the number of lawyers in the United States who helped a client apply for a lawsuit loan quadrupled between 2013 and 2015, from 7% to 28%. While competition is hot, it’s clear that legal financing is increasing in demand.

Lack of Regulation.

Since legal financing is considered an investment or payment, it does not have the same federal and state regulations as traditional lending. In fact, most states don’t have any rules regarding legal funding since financing is non-recourse. This makes it easy for entrepreneurs to start legal financing businesses and obtain investors.

However, a few states have new regulations for lawsuit loans in place. For example, the state of Colorado settled a lawsuit in 2015 with a lender after the state’s Supreme Court determined that legal financing was subject to Colorado’s Uniform Consumer Credit Code and that the amount of interest charged is predatory under Colorado lending laws.

More People are Filing Personal Injury Lawsuits.

While the number of civil cases filed in district courts continues to increase, personal injury claims have grown the most.

According to an annual report from US Courts, the total number of personal injury lawsuits filed in a district court almost doubled between 1990 and 2019. In addition, the number of personal injury claims filed between 2018 and 2019 alone increased by more than 20%. In 2019, personal injury claims made up nearly one-third of all civil cases in the US. Most personal injury cases involved motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, defective pharmaceuticals, and marine injuries.

Lawsuit Loans Have a High Rate of Return if Successful.

Most lenders have interest rates ranging from 3-4% monthly, or 36-60% annually. Since lawsuits often take months or years to settle or receive a judgment, the rate of return for lenders is high. For example, if a lender allows a plaintiff to borrow $10,000 at an interest rate of 36% compounded monthly and the case settles in 6 months, the lender receives $10,000 plus an additional $1,800 in interest.

Lenders are Forming Trade Groups to Establish Ethical Guidelines.

Since there are so many legal financing companies operating and few federal regulations, some of the industry’s leading lenders decided to start a trade group called the American Legal Finance Association, or ALFA. With more than 30 members, ALFA provides 90% of all legal financing in the United States.

Members of the organization have their own code of conduct with protections in place for consumers, including restrictions on overfunding, false advertising, and referral commissions. ALFA also supports new consumer protection regulations for the industry and highlights third-party research about legal financing.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Have a High Value.

Since legal financing lenders need the strongest cases possible to make the risk worth their time, they typically fund personal injury cases where negligence plays a significant role.

According to a survey conducted by Nolo, around 70% of personal injury plaintiffs receive a settlement or judgment. Out of all of the plaintiffs surveyed, half received a settlement or judgment worth $10,001 to more than $75,000. Most importantly, plaintiffs who retained a lawyer were more likely to win their case and received more than $75,000 on average. Plaintiffs without a lawyer received almost 80% less compensation as well.

This is the reason why most legal financing lenders require applicants to have a lawyer representing their case. Not only does it significantly reduce the risk of lending, but it also means a potentially higher return.

This is the Best Time to Consider a Legal Financing Startup.

Based on the increased popularity of lawsuit loans, lack of regulations, and high return on lawsuit investments, this is the best time to start a legal financing company. Investors and consumers are already taking notice of the benefits of legal financing, and as the number of civil cases continues to rise, so too will demand for lawsuit loans.

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[ad_1] If you haven’t heard about legal financing or lawsuit loans before, that may change. The practice of legal financing dates back to the early 1990s, but it didn’t take off in the United States until Credit Suiss Securities launched a litigation lending program in 2006 that later became its own company in 2012. Legal […]

via The New Startup: Legal Financing & Lawsuit Loans – Young Upstarts — PNN – Paper News Network

Payless ShoeSource expected to close all of its U.S. locations as part of largest retail liquidation – MarketWatch

Payless experiment shows people will pay more for brand name
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WATCH | Payless experiment shows people will pay more for brand name

Payless ShoeSource is shuttering all of its 2,100 remaining stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, joining a list of iconic names like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton that have closed down in the last year.

The Topeka, Kansas-based chain said Friday it will hold liquidation sales starting Sunday and wind down its e-commerce operations. All of the stores will remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May.

The debt-burdened chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2017, closing hundreds of stores as part of its reorganization.

At the time, it had over 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries. It remerged from restructuring four months later with about 3,500 stores and eliminated more than $435 million in debt.

The company, founded in 1956, said that the liquidation doesn’t affect its company’s franchise operations or its Latin American stores, which remain open for business as usual. It lists 18,000 employees worldwide.

Shoppers are increasingly shifting their buying online or heading to discount stores like T.J. Maxx to grab deals on name-brand shoes. That shift has hurt traditional retailers, even low-price outlets like Payless. Heavy debt loads have also handcuffed retailers, leaving them less flexible to invest in their businesses.

But bankruptcies and store closures will continue through 2019 so there’s “no light at the end of the tunnel,” according to a report by Coresight Research.

Before this announcement, there have been 2,187 U.S. store closing announcements this year, with Gymboree and Ascena Retail, the parent of Lane Bryant and other brands, accounting for more than half the total, according to the research firm. This year’s total is up 23 percent from the 1,776 announcements a year ago. Year-to-date, retailers have announced 1,411 store openings, offsetting 65 percent of store closures, it said.

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Payless ShoeSource expected to close all of its U.S. locations as part of largest retail liquidation

Payless ShoeSource will close all of its approximately 2,100 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico as part of the largest retail liquidation ever, the Wall Street …

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Follow Up Etiquette RE: Biz Issues

Top 10 Items every LLC needs Contact Aiden: (720) 722-0639 and aidenkramerlaw@gmail.com
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Managing Director, Litigation Consulting & General Counsel

Top 7 Things I’ve Observed as a Litigation Consultant:

I’ve passed another anniversary at A2L Consulting and in my time as a litigation consultant I’ve been both surprised and reassured about the state of the litigation business and its players (I also wrote about my surprises upon beginning my career as a litigation consultant). I’ve seen both the very best and quite bad litigators in action and have consulted for both. Although some litigators don’t live up to my high standards, I’m impressed by many litigators as both professionals and people. Here are seven of my observations over these years that I think might help you in your practice.

  1. Many Lawyers Confuse Chronology With Storytelling

It is almost universally accepted that storytelling is important to engaging an audience (including a jury) and that framing a client’s case as a compelling story is key to doing your best at trial, particularly in opening statements. But more often than not, when I ask a litigation team what their client’s story is, rather than explain “why we’re really here” as they would to a jury and illustrate some conflict and emotionally valuable moral that is critical to juror engagement, they rattle off some chronological series of events that led to a legal injury to their client or some misconstrued relationship by the opposing party. These are not stories and presenting a case framed this way, while possibly interesting to a legal scholar, is not compelling to a juror.

I’m surprised that so many smart litigators fall into the chronology trap and forsake emotional connection to engage jurors. I don’t advise pandering to a jury or excessive emoting by a litigator, but for a jury to care about you and your client and generate the stamina jurors need for a trial, litigators must tap into their emotional brains. This is not done by an information dump, a calendar, or using a lot of words.

A story answers the question posed above – why are we here today, in this courtroom? A story also has all the stuff you learned in grade school: a beginning, middle, climax, and end, characters, setting, theme, and moral.

  1. Some Lawyers Focus Too Much on Too Small Things

It’s easy for litigators (even more so for the associates doing the day-to-day stuff) to over-focus on every detail. The prospect of overlooking a potentially key piece of evidence or being surprised by an unknown fact exposed by opposing counsel is frightening for attorneys (it was for me), so we often wind up thinking way too much about every little thing in a case. This is called being “in the weeds,” and when you’re there it’s exceedingly difficult to escape without help. It happens with the selection of evidence, with witness prep, and even with the development of graphics, where sometimes counsel wants to very carefully think over every aspect, e.g., choosing what font style and color palette and slide aspect ratio will best work for their case.

On each of these things, I urge counsel to take a step back and delegate where possible so they can focus on the BIG PICTURE. The best first-chair litigators do this naturally, and the rest of us need to do it deliberately. Attorney time and brainpower should be spent on figuring out what it will take to win. Let litigation graphics consultants decide what font works best for your opening statement presentation. It will be a relief when you do.

  1. Many Litigators Don’t Know What Tools Are Available

Even though the litigation consulting industry has been around for decades, I still find a lot of lawyers really don’t know what we do (in total) and what persuasive tools are at their immediate disposal. Often, my first conversations with new clients include questions like, “What all do you do?” The concepts of litigation graphics, presentation and persuasion consulting, trial technology, and jury consulting are not concrete ideas in many litigators’ minds, and I often have to educate clients on what we have in our (their) toolbox.

Most often, such attorneys think of litigation graphics as discrete images created for specific points they want to make during trial. They don’t understand that, while that’s a part of our work, such graphics won’t alone provide the immersive visual experience necessary (particularly during opening statements) to persuade jurors.

Also, many litigators seriously consider doing their own graphics and/or in-court technology presentation. They have Microsoft PowerPoint and Word and can cut and paste and they’ve heard that iPad apps make evidence presentation easy. The former is never a good idea and, while the later might be true for some situations, e.g., a hearing or very small trial, it’s not going to work in any bigger trial that could have hundreds or thousands of exhibits. There is a lot to know about crafting persuasive trial visuals and there are professionals who do nothing but build trial databases, edit deposition videos, and run trial presentation software to create a seamless trial for you and your jurors. Litigators should understand this and use professionals (and let your paralegals focus on what they should be doing as well).

  1. Litigators Still Wait Too Long to Bring in a Litigation Consultant

Even though they know better, most of the time litigation teams wait until just weeks before trial to engage a litigation consultant / jury consultant / graphics team / trial tech. Even though they know waiting makes it a more difficult budget-sell to their client, leads to an uncomfortable rush to develop graphics, may make mock jury exercises impossible, and forecloses the possibility of building discovery around what they learn from a consultant, they wait. I urge early planning for trial (at the complaint/answer stage), which is the right time to develop that important two-track litigation strategy, and begin working on your case story and graphics as early as possible. Although we can certainly help you late in the game, we can do a lot more before halftime.

  1. A Lot of Litigation Graphics are Subpar

When I get the chance, I always go to my client’s opening statements and then to as much of the rest of their trials as possible. So I get to see the litigation graphics developed by/for opposing counsel. I’m consistently underwhelmed.  It’s impossible to say whether these poor visuals directly led to the oppositions’ losses at trial, but they didn’t help.

More often than not I see a lot of text-heavy graphics – a severe barrier to juror engagement and communication. I see a severe lack of style, clarity, and intentional design – this screams lack of preparation and deliberateness in presentation. There are key visual presentation concepts that, if understood and followed, lead to persuasive graphics, e.g., font type, color choice, simplicity, complexity, branding, style, and others. There is no shortage of information about these concepts out there, but it seems most folks are not paying attention. We are.

  1. Lawyers Don’t Spend Money Where It Can Help Them

Litigation consulting, jury research, trial graphics, and trial technology cost your client money – very true. But the ROI on these services far outweighs their expense in bigger cases. The cost of a typical larger litigation, such as an employment case, hovers just around $1M. A typical bigger patent case costs about twice that amount. However, the services and tools that could be used to hone your persuasive game at any stage of such litigations turn out to be a very, very small fraction of these costs.

Take a big-time patent and breach of contract case where our client won over $300 million in damages. The costs for A2L’s services were well below $200,000, about 5% or less of the litigation budget and about 0.005% or less of the damages award. I know that our services played an important role in the victory, even though the trial team was beyond outstanding.

But, we still see litigation counsel struggling to decide whether $30,000 or $50,000 is the right spend for a mock jury focus group (a $20K difference that could be the difference between scientific data results and seat of the pants analysis) or whether to spend $12,000 to have a professional trial tech hot seat operator at trial (they should), or whether they can make their own graphics for opening statements in house (they cannot). In my view, saving a penny to lose a dollar makes no sense.

  1. Practice is as Important as Everyone Thinks

Finally, it’s been shown time and time again that practicing oral argument makes sense. The more you practice, the better you’ll do. It takes time, but again, the ROI on this time investment is tremendous. When litigators do several full speed run-throughs for opening statements or oral arguments, I see them do a fantastic job at the real thing. They don’t need notes, they know their subject matter, they are and appear more comfortable, they seem more reasonable, and they use their graphics perfectly in a compelling way.  Not practicing so that you can feel and seem more spontaneous at opening is a recipe for a poor performance. Practice. And start early.

Other articles and resources about litigation consulting and trial preparation from A2L Consulting:

Judicial Training Updates

TRAINING UPDATE 11-11 via: Hon. Alan F. Pendleton, Anoka County District Court, Anoka, Mn 55303; 763-422-7309

QUESTION: What Are the Most Common Judicial Triggers for Appeals and Remands? Do you ever wonder what your colleagues around the state are doing (or not doing) that tend to statistically trigger appeals and remands? Regardless of merit, certain judicial actions carry a high probability of triggering an appeal, a remand, or both. For Example:

The Most Common Judicial Appeal Triggers Broken Down Into Two Categories: AFFIRMATIVE JUDICIAL ACTS: 2 PRIMARY TRIGGERS:

1) SUMMARY JUDGMENT: Making findings of fact on disputed material issues on Summary Judgment. This also includes resolving credibility questions, drawing inferences, and assessing the weight of the evidence. These are all matters for the trier of fact and should not be addressed by the Court on Summary Judgment. See M.R.Civ.P. 56;

2) PLEA NEGOTIATIONS: Excessive Involvement In Criminal Plea Negotiations. a) Appellate courts recognize that judges have a delicate role in plea negotiations and necessarily play a part in any negotiated guilty plea. However, there are two basic guidelines that control the extent of Court involvement: i) The Court’s role in plea negotiations is not to “usurp the responsibility of counsel or become excessively involved in plea negotiations.” Anytime the Court improperly injects itself into plea negotiations the guilty plea is per se invalid. ii) The Court may not offer or promise the defendant an anticipated sentence that is not part of an existing agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor. State v. Anyanwu, 681 N.W.2d 411 (Minn. App. 2004); State v. Melde, A09-1050, Minn.Ct.App. Feb 22, 201 MINNESOTA JUDICIAL TRAINING UPDATE APPEALS & REMANDS – 10 COMMON TRIGGERS June 9, 2011 TRAINING UPDATE 11-11 Hon. Alan F. Pendleton, Anoka County District Court, Anoka, Mn 55303; 763-422-7309 JUDICIAL OMISSIONS: 8 PRIMARY TRIGGERS:

3) MOTIONS AND ARGUMENTS: FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND DECIDE ALL ISSUES RAISED IN MOTIONS AND ARGUMENTS. If you choose NOT to decide an issue you should, at a minimum, provide an explanation (even a brief one) as to why the matter is not being decided, or need not be decided (e.g., some other issue in the case is fully dispositive of the action). For example: a) State v. Jones, 772 N.W.2d 496, 508 (Minn. 2009) Noting that defendant’s application for counsel was denied, but there were neither findings nor any explanation on the record as to the “reasons for denying the application,” which made it “impossible to apply an abuse-of-discretion standard of review of the Court’s denial.” b) In re Estate of Eckley, 780 N.W.2d 407, 414-15 (Minn. App. 2010) Case remanded because Judge failed to consider specific arguments clearly made by the parties. c) State v. Stanke, 764 N.W.2d 824, 828 (Minn. 2009) Failure to address severe aggravating factors in sentencing ordinarily results in a remand to the District Court.

4) FAILURE TO MAKE SPECIFIC ESSENTIAL FINDINGS OF FACT: a) This problem recurs with the Austin factors in probation revocations, attorneys’ fees, juvenile and TPR cases, civil commitments, marriage dissolution and child custody matters.

5) FAILURE TO RESOLVE CREDIBILITY CONFLICTS IN EVIDENCE AFTER A TRIAL: a) Avoid “findings” that simply describe what the conflicting testimony was without resolving the conflict. b) The Court may make specific credibility findings (although these are not required), or it may simply indicate which version it found persuasive. No special wording is required as long as the Court can get beyond the descriptive and into the evaluative. June 9, 2011 TRAINING UPDATE 11-11 Hon. Alan F. Pendleton, Anoka County District Court, Anoka, Mn 55303; 763-422-7309

6) LOTHENBACH TRIALS AND STIPULATED CRIMINAL COURT TRIALS: Failure to obtain Defendant’s personal waiver of the right to a jury trial and all other trial rights under Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.01, subds. 3 and 4.

7) CRIMINAL TRIALS IN GENERAL: Failure to obtain Defendant’s personal waiver of jury trial (for court trials), the right to counsel (for pro-se defendants), and the right not to testify (for any trial where defendant decides to testify).

8) RULE 15 GUILTY-PLEA ADVISORY: Failure to follow the requirements of guiltyplea advisories under Rule 15.01 (felonies and gross misdemeanors) and Rule 15.02 (misdemeanors).

9) SPREIGL (Bad Acts) AND JONES (Impeachment) FACTORS – FINDINGS: Failure to make specific “findings” to support your ruling. Although there is no absolute requirement that specific “findings” be made on these issues, at least some disclosure that the court has considered and weighed the components of those issues would help obviate appeals. However, making specific “findings” is recommended as a Judicial Best Practice.

10) SENTENCING: Failure to be specific at sentencing and, in the judgment of conviction, as to the disposition of counts in which no sentence is imposed. NOTE: Paying particular attention to the 10 Judicial Triggers identified above could substantially reduce the risk of appeal or remand in your cases. Although avoiding these 10 Judicial Triggers are ultimately the responsibility of the trial judge, you are encouraged to enlist the aid of competent counsel in ensuring that “all bases are covered.” SOURCE: This update is based on and contains excerpts from an article written by Justice Gordon Shumaker, Minnesota Court of Appeals, entitled: “Appeal-Triggers and Remand Issues: A List

via: Hon. Alan F. Pendleton, Anoka County District Court, Anoka, Mn 55303; 763-422-7309

View PDF: https://blogpendleton.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/pendleton11-11-appeals_and_remands.pdf

How Judges can Avoid Decision Fatigue – RELY ON AND LEARN FROM YOUR IN-COURT CLERKS

June 25, 2015 MINNESOTA Update 15-12 Hon. Alan F. Pendleton, Anoka County District Court, Anoka, Mn 55303; 763-422-7309. How to Avoid Decision Fatigue

THE PROBLEM: In a perfect world judges make decisions by applying legal analysis to the facts of a case in a rational, fair and deliberate manner. But in the real world, we know that judges and judicial decision-making, despite their best efforts, are often subject to the same foibles, biases and imperfections that affect everything humans do. We would love to believe that a judge’s rulings are solely based on rational decisions and written laws. In reality, they can be influenced by a variety of non-relevant factors that may be so subtle that they go mostly unnoticed by attorneys, the parties and most importantly, judges themselves. In order to keep this update short and concise, these non-relevant factors are broken down into two main categories: 1) IMPLICIT BIAS; and 2) DECISION FATIGUE.

1) IMPLICIT BIAS & The Committee for Equality and Justice (CEJ): Explicit Bias: The problems of overt discrimination have received enormous attention from lawyers, judges, academics, and policymakers. While explicit sexism, racism, and other forms of bias persist, they have become less prominent and public over the past century. However, explicit bias and overt discrimination are only part of the problem – What about “implicit bias”? Implicit Bias: An implicit bias is a positive or negative attitude toward a person or group of people that a person holds at an unconscious level. An implicit bias is formed by a person’s individual developmental history, life experiences, and culture causing it to be so ingrained in a person’s personality that he or she is unaware of its existence. Over the past decade, researchers have provided convincing evidence that implicit biases exist, are pervasive, are large in magnitude, and have real-world effects. Since fairness and unbiased decisions are fundamental to the justice system, several studies and articles have been published that provide guidance and strategies to reduce implicit bias in the courts. Committee for Equality and Justice & “The Implicit Bias Bench Card”: Minnesota Judicial Counsel’s Committee for Equality and Justice (CEJ) is dedicated to eliminating all forms of bias in Minnesota’s judicial branch. The CEJ recognizes that detecting and eliminating implicit bias is difficult and there is no perfect tool to do so. Studies have shown that in order to combat the effects of our implicit biases, it is crucial to be aware that they exist and to actively question whether they are affecting our rationale. The CEJ offers the “Implicit Bias Bench Card” (see attachment) as a reminder that implicit bias exists in all of us and as a tool to help reduce its influence on our decision-making processes when possible. Please copy and distribute the attached bench card to anyone you think may have an interest. JUDICIAL TRAINING & EDUCATION UPDATE Prior training updates (103) can be accessed by clicking on: Judicial Training Blog JUDICIAL DECISION-MAKING Dangers of “Implicit Bias” & “Decision Fatigue” June 25, 2015 MINNESOTA Update 15-12 Hon. Alan F. Pendleton, Anoka County District Court, Anoka, Mn 55303; 763-422-7309

2) DECISION FATIGUE: In Judicial decision-making, decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by a judge, after a long session of decision-making. For instance, judges in court have been shown to make less favorable decisions later in the day than early in the day. Why? Judges, being human, were worn down by a day full of mental work. They had, as social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister states, fallen victim to decision fatigue. In other words, if judges don’t learn to manage their reservoir of mental energy, they won’t be able to manage their judicial decisions. That’s a lesson learned from a 2011 study on extraneous factors in judicial decisions, published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” (www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1018033108). Jonathan Levav of Columbia University and his colleagues analyzed 1,112 parole hearings for inmates of four Israeli prisons, made by eight experienced judges over a ten-month period. Prisoners who appeared early in the day or right after a food break received parole about 70% of the time, while those that came late in the day or long after scheduled food breaks or lunch had less than 10% chance at landing parole. This pattern is readily evident in the following 2011 graph published as part of the study. The graph is dramatic. It shows that the odds that prisoners will be successfully paroled start off fairly high at around 65% and quickly plummet to nothing over a few hours. After the judges have returned from their breaks, the odds abruptly climb back up to 65%, before resuming their downward slide. These rulings were made by eight Jewish-Israeli judges (two females), with an average of 22 years of judging behind them. Their verdicts represented 40% of all parole requests in the country during the ten months. Every day, each judge considered between 14 and 35 cases. They took two food breaks (a morning snack and lunch) that divided their day into three sessions. Judges had no control over the scheduling of cases. The study found that the three prisoners seen at the start of each “session” were more likely to be paroled than the three who are seen at the end. That was true regardless of the length of their sentence, or whether they had been incarcerated before. The following four findings are highly relevant for judges: 1. All repetitive decision-making tasks drain our mental resources. We start suffering from “choice overload” and we start opting for the easiest choice. For example, shoppers who have already made several decisions are more likely to go for the default offer, whether they’re buying a suit or a car. And when it comes to parole hearings, the default choice is to deny the prisoner’s request. The more decisions a judge has made, the more drained they are, and the more likely they are to make the default choice. Taking a break replenishes them

Judges, even experienced ones, are vulnerable to the same psychological biases as everyone else. They can deliver different rulings in similar cases, under the influence of something as trivial as a food break. Their training, their experience, and the weighty nature of their decisions do not insulate them from the sort of problems that plague our everyday mental abilities. The mental work of ruling on case after case can wear any judge down – even the best ones. This sort of decision fatigue routinely warps the judgment of everyone, executive and nonexecutive, rich and poor. Yet few people are even aware of it, and researchers are only beginning to understand why it happens and how to counteract it.  You can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy. The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in one of two ways. a. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. (Sure, tweet that photo! What could go wrong?); b. The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing or opt for the easiest choice. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice or the more difficult choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain. You start to resist any change, any potentially risky move — like releasing a prisoner who might commit a crime. So the fatigued judge on a parole board takes the easy way out, and the prisoner keeps doing time. BEST JUDICIAL PRACTICE: One purpose for this update is to promote awareness of the increasing body of research that supports the view that all repetitive decision-making tasks drain our mental resources. Thus, when judges make repeated rulings, they show an increased tendency to rule in favor of the status quo (whatever that may be).  Research suggests that this tendency can be overcome by taking a break to eat a meal, or from other benefits derived from a short break, such as rest, physical movement and increased positive mood, all of which promote mental resource replenishment.  However, because none of these studies are definitive, perhaps the best judicial practice is for each individual judge to develop a sense of how much their decisions have fatigued them and to do whatever works best for them to bolster their mental energy supplies.

Read More: https://blogpendleton.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/judicial-training-update-15-12-implicit-bias-decision-fatigue.pdf

 

MINNESOTA JUDICIAL TRAINING & EDUCATION BLOG

NEWLY APPOINTED JUDGES – WHY THE RISK OF MISTAKES ARE HIGH: Judges have an incredibly difficult job. Most judges were appointed to the bench, in part, based on their training, experience and expertise in usually one or two areas of the law. Many judges come from a prosecution or criminal defense background with no significant civil experience. Many judges with a strong civil background have little or no criminal experience. And a large number of judges come onto the bench with no prior family law experience. And even those judges with a particularly broad background, few can boast of experience in areas such as: conciliation court, civil commitments, juvenile, probate, child support contempt and unlawful detainers, etc. This update answers the question why new judges should rely on and learn from their in-court clerks.

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Biotech corporations conduct human experimentation in Maui in violation of international law

Maui (NaturalNews) A rogue federal judge is intentionally stalling the implementation of a referendum passed last year by voters in Maui County, Hawaii, which when it finally comes into effect will bar chemical giants Monsanto and Dow from further polluting the island with experimental pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).Judge Susan Oki Mollway has taken it upon herself to interfere with the will of Maui voters by postponing a hearing that would have moved the referendum forward, her excuse being that two proposed legislative bills that were supposed to come up for consideration, but that have long since died without a hearing, might have made it possible to nullify the referendum (yeah, we can clearly see where your loyalties lie, Mollway).Except that these two bills won’t nullify anything because they’re both dead, which means that they have absolutely no chance of passing. Everyone involved with the process seems to recognize this fact except for Mollway, who is still clinging to a fantasy reality in which Monsanto and Dow are free to spread untested “Frankencrops” and random experimental crop chemicals as they please all over Maui.

Obstructing the democratic process of her state and aiding and abetting two domestic terrorist organizations, Monsanto and Dow, both of which are committing egregious crimes against humanity with their chemical experimentation, Mollway’s stalwart refusal to hold an appropriate hearing on the referendum amounts to nothing more than treason, and she should be immediately pulled from her post and jailed.

Maui residents oppose untested, illegal GM crops and crop chemicals

This is unlikely to happen, of course, but Maui voters and others can start applying much-needed pressure to get the process moving along. Despite what you may have heard in the mainstream media, the referendum in question does not even pertain to commercially approved GMOs and crop pesticides but rather to experimental, untestedGMOs and pesticides that are being planted and sprayed in the open air without approval.

The exact text of the referendum as passed by Maui voters reads as follows:

The Genetically Engineered (GE) Operations and Practices occurring in Maui County (also known as GMO) are different than GE food production farming and therefore pose different circumstances, risks, and concerns.

In Maui County, GE Operations and Practices include the cultivation of GE seed crops, experimental GE test crops, and extensive pesticide use including the testing of experimental Pesticides and their combinations in what is effectively an outdoor laboratory.

Experimental GMO, pesticide operations must be forcibly destroyed

As you can clearly see, Maui residents are rightfully concerned about the human experimentation programs taking place on their island by Monsanto and Dow without proper testing or approval. Open-air plantings of untested GM crops and sprayings of experimental crop chemicals is an irreversible ecological and human health threat that, if our own government won’t even protect us against it, must be dealt with by the people themselves.

One example of this was when activists in Hungary destroyed nearly 1,000 acres of GM maize fields owned by Monsanto back in 2011. Reports indicate that the transgenic crops were plowed under the ground before they had a chance to spread their poisonous pollen. And several years later in Oregon, activists set 40 tons of GM sugar beets ablaze in a major show of force against the government’s unconstitutional collusion with private industry.

“Allowing mass experimentation on humans, with new GMOs and new pesticides, without INFORMED consent…that is the crime. That is an obvious and undeniable crime,” wrote Jon Rappoport, investigative journalist extraordinaire, on his blog. via: 

Sources for this article include:

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com

http://planetsave.com

http://www.systemiccapital.com

Learn more:

Amtrak train strikes vehicle in Oceanside – CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA

Amtrak train strikes vehicle in Oceanside – CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA News Station – KFMB Channel 8.  See more on Flickr:Featured image

A car and AMTRACK train collision at Cassidy Street in Oceanside has left at least one person injured, officials said.

The incident happened at approximately 8:12 a.m. Monday when Oceanside Police and Oceanside Fire both responded to a car and train collision near the train tracks.

Sheriff’s deputies on the scene said one woman was inside the car when she parked her car off to the side of the crossing. As the gates started to close, the woman then drove up onto the tracks and parked there, deputies said.

The train conductor saw the woman ahead of time, deputies said, but not soon enough to stop all the way before hitting the car. When they collided, the train was going about 30 to 40 miles per hour, deputies said. Oceanside Police are asking people to avoid using Cassidy Street near the train tracks while they investigate.

  • Passengers are boarding a BREEZE bus to take them to the Oceanside Transit Center. All COASTER stops are currently delayed out of San Diego.

An AMTRACK train out of San Diego has been delayed because of the incident.

More From NBC San 7 Diego

Source:http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Car-and-Train-Collide-in-Oceanside-296451831.html#ixzz3UagySjpV
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via Amtrak train strikes vehicle in Oceanside – CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA News Station – KFMB Channel 8.