Are Unlicensed Lay People Using the Courtesy Title “Esquire” Tantamount to the Unauthorized Practice of Law?

The answer to that depends on the state in which you live and is incredibly nuanced. For example back in the 1990s the City New York Bar Association Ethics Committee found the term esquire, over time referred “commonly and exclusively” to lawyers. That same committee also found that “based on common usage it is fair to state that if the title appears after a person’s name, that person may be presumed to be a lawyer.”

I’m not a lawyer but I agree with logic. For example seeing the name Jane Doe followed by “,Esq.” would lead most folks to conclude the person was a lawyer. There are some states that take that notion seriously. The Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline prohibited a lawyer who was not licensed to practice law in the state from appending Esq. to his signature on business correspondence because it was deemed to connote licensure in Ohio. (Ohio S. Ct. Opinion 91-24 (1991).)

I found another example on the ABA website page styled Use of Esq. by Non-Lawyers a commenter pointed out that: Continue reading “Are Unlicensed Lay People Using the Courtesy Title “Esquire” Tantamount to the Unauthorized Practice of Law?”

Other Voices | Haley Barbour: Mississippi Needs a State Treasurer with Experience

Haley BarbourMarsha and I plan to vote for Buck Clarke for State Treasurer in the Republican Primary on August 6, and I think it’s worth sharing why we believe Buck is clearly the best choice for this important position.

First of all, our treasurer plays a very important role in state government. This is not a position for on-the-job training; we need a treasurer with an accomplished career. The State Treasurer is our chief financial officer. The treasurer manages the state debt along with the Governor and Attorney General, and their decisions impact the State’s credit rating and millions of taxpayer dollars.

Furthermore, the treasurer serves on PERS, the state retirement system. PERS has about $28 billion in assets and pays out nearly $3 billion annually to state retirees – over 100,000 of them. While PERS does not get a lot of media attention, it’s one of the most challenging financial obligations the state has to manage. We need someone with Buck’s experience and accomplishments in this critical role.

For Marsha and me, Buck Clarke is the most qualified candidate to serve as State Treasurer. Buck’s education, experience, training and career as a CPA and small business owner have prepared him to manage these critical financial issues. In addition, Buck has served as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee the last eight years and gained invaluable knowledge and experience dealing with the State’s finances.

The taxpayers need to think about the Treasurer’s race like a job interview. Who is qualified to do the job? It’s the taxpayers’ MONEY, and we need a treasurer with a conservative record of accomplishment. Continue reading “Other Voices | Haley Barbour: Mississippi Needs a State Treasurer with Experience”

“Hell is empty, and all the devils are here!”

What a great Shakespeare Quote that a cuz-in-law timely mentioned because it makes a great post title and dovetails nicely with this recent post which spoke about evangelical preachers more interested in building net worth than leading people to salvation.

Through time here in South Mississippi I’ve had a chance to meet many people including a few Baptist ministers that are truly gifted individuals. One I know from social media is Dr. Russell Moore from Biloxi, a gentleman that is very well known within the Southern Baptist Convention. What’s important about Dr. Moore in my estimation is that he belongs to a subset that truly strives to live their faith as much as preach it. It’s a trait that I personally hold a great amount of respect for when I see it. Dr. Moore posted this to twitter a few days ago:

The reports of the conditions for migrant children at the border should shock all of our consciences. Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially those seeking refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this.

One of the replies he received was breath taking and absolutely revealing:

Worth noting here is that Falwell is a legacy Tee Vee preacher that also happens to have mucho man love for Donald Trump. For Falwell politic$ ha$ become hi$ religion that much is clear. Further down the scale but almost as harmful is denial and that too was exhibited: Continue reading ““Hell is empty, and all the devils are here!””

Caveat Emptor: It appears we’re in bullshit poll season…

It strongly appears both Mississippi and Louisiana have highly questionable polling make the news cycle, happening first in Louisiana:

Support for Trump in Louisiana plunges, poll says: See results, how that impacts governor’s race ~ Tyler Bridges

In an ensuing conversation about that story on Twitter the one thing we agreed upon was that there was not enough information provided about the polling methodology to determine if the poll was BS or held some validity though the results seems way off kilter based on Louisiana being almost a Ruby Red State.

Tim Morris at the Times Picayune picked up on that citing another pollster (Morning Consult) which had some drastically different numbers. Worth noting is the Advocate’s pollster, Market Research Insight is a B+ rated polling company according to Five Thirty Eight while Morning Consult rates a B- so we are at least in apples to apples territory comparing them.

Dan Fagan, an unofficial Louisiana Republican Party Spokesperson, was more direct and revealed where the Market Research Poll likely went off the tracks:

Kennedy says only half of black respondents said they would vote for Edwards in the fall. Kennedy says typically, 90% of blacks vote Democrat, so he adjusted the African American response in his poll from 50% to 90%.

Having pulled statistical samples a few times myself I recognize that particular technique but I also understand that essentially changing the answer you get from a sample increases the risk of bias in a major way. According to both Fagan and Morris Louisiana Republicans are claiming the numbers were cooked to keep Trump out of the Louisiana Governor’s Race. I personally believe the Market research Poll must have one or more fatal flaws.

Here in Mississippi Yall Politics is trumpeting a Tate Reeves poll which shows him owning every other candidate handily. In political circles it is well known that former Chief Justice Waller jumped into the Governor’s race on the GOP side because they perceive Tate Reeves would be vulnerable to Attorney General Jim Hood in the general election and that has been born out in the polling done to this point. Early this week Adam Ganucheau of Mississippi Today filed a story on Waller visiting Hattiesburg that included this quote from Willis Lott:

“I’m supporting Bill Waller because he has a vision for a better Mississippi,” Willis Lott, former president of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, told a reporter as the breakfast group listened. “Tate Reeves, in his years as lieutenant governor, has not shown that he has a vision. Plus he’s arrogant, and a lot of people know it.”

Willis Lott is neither a blow hard-lightweight or known for calling people arrogant as Higher Education Presidents typically are very temperate in their choice of words. His choice of words is therefore stunning. Continue reading “Caveat Emptor: It appears we’re in bullshit poll season…”

Another family Values Republican Revealed as a Crook and Hypocrite

People in Mississippi love talking bad about other states’ politicians despite being so roundly failed by their own. Normally the local invective is saved for Nancy Pelosi or AOC. It’s kinda like voter fraud that way, people around here want to talk about it when the Texas Attorney General goes off half cocked accusing Mexicans of voting illegally and not so much when the GOP in North Carolina demonstrates their detailed knowledge of how to perpetrate it.

And then we have Rep. Duncan Hunter, a family values Republican who evidently spent his campaign money so he could hump lobbyists, a staffer along with some other act of perversion the Federal Prosecutors essentially said was NSFW and wanted to submit under seal. It also explains why his wife turned on him.

Watching the clown show that is the modern day Republican party collapse under the weight of its own corruption is pleasing. So is watching Franklin Graham reveal himself as a political prostitute. Will the evangelicals give Hunter a pass like they do Trump claiming humping around is OK, because after all King David did that and worse? One thing about the good ol’ days that I do agree with is back then, people knew the difference between right and wrong, without watching Tee Vee news or listening to Tee Vee preachers that are more interested in building net worth than leading people to salvation.

Meantime Mississippi’s new bogeywoman, AOC is giving the Democrats a much needed enema and that is very pleasing to see as well. The only open question is whether or not the Dems lose next year by picking Creepy Joe Biden as their standard bearer. Not so pleasing are the people drinking the Koolaid that actually think one party is better than the other when the reality was well summed up years ago by the late Molly Ivins:

As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you can’t drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against ’em anyway, you don’t belong in office.

Meantime we can all wonder which GOP Congressman hits the pokey first, Hunter or the crook from New York.

There are two stories here far as I can tell……

One is heartbreaking, about a judge (now a Supreme Court Justice) trying to fix a child custody case and place a kid back in a home with the man that burned the living hell out of him in the bathtub so the guy the judge was dating at the time could notch a win for his client. The Advocate told that story on Sunday and it represents yet another example of why Louisiana’s judiciary has such a terrible reputation nationwide.

There is also no doubt a story behind the story.  Normally such dirt surfaces during an election campaign rather than one year after the guy wins a new 10 year term. That back story is one I’d sure like to know.   The news cycle from days gone by gives us a small clue that the tips could have come from one of his colleagues given that he sued several of them in Federal Court trying to force his way onto a case involving litigants that contributed heavily to his campaign .  The Louisiana Supreme Court generally does not air its dirty laundry in public so there is no telling how the gang is getting along after Hughes v Johnson.

Either way Judge Jefferson Davis Hughes doesn’t seem much different from Justice Jefferson Davis Hughes when it comes to wanting in on cases that he has outside interests and that is not a good thing for litigants that appear before him as impartiality does not seem to be the man’s strong suit.

If the story the Advocate broke does any good it will result in more transparency and accountability for a state that has previously been rated as a “judicial hellhole“. Richard Ducote, a candidate for Greg Guidry’s seat on LASC has already noted the Advocate story on his campaign Facebook page and pledged to work towards system reform. Such an attempt at reform died at this past year’s legislative session.

Normally such an unflattering story is followed by others. It will be interesting to see if anything else floats up to the surface with Hughes.

Thanks for the memories….

Here we are winding down the last few days of the Times Picayune as a stand alone media outlet and the post I’ve avoided writing since the news broke.

I’m going to miss the story comment section at NOLA.com as there was a critical mass of commenters that often added to the story, sometimes too much. I’m going to miss Tim Morris’ punditry and Drew Broach’s musings on Jefferson Parish politics. For local power news consumers there will be lots to miss.

I remember Mark Lorando as the T.V. beat writer back in the late 1980s writing glowing reviews about Max Headroom and after watching wondering what the heck Lorando saw in the show. Today he is the outgoing editor of NOLA.com and he summed up what everyone will be missing in just a few days:

“Here’s the great irony of our decision to reduce home delivery to three days and focus on digital: The end result was more and better journalism for New Orleans, not less,” Lorando wrote. “I’m proud of the groundbreaking work this newsroom has produced, and respect The Advocate’s. This was a never a newspaper war. It’s a war to preserve local journalism in New Orleans. It’s just heartbreaking to see so many having to leave New Orleans, or leave journalism altogether in the end.”

Advocate Owner John Georges is not as visionary as it may seem today though you gotta give the man props for the plan execution. Consolidation or transformation are the only viable strategies in industries that are in secular decline but in journalism that carries a price too. Soon enough everyone will get to see what’s in store on the other side of the transaction including whether Georges’ investment objective toward his properties change, now that he has the print monopoly in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

As always we’ll be watching to see how that story unfolds.

Lana Noonan | Hancock Republican Women Sponsored a Statewide Candidate Forum

The Hancock County Republican Women delivered a great event for the voters in Hancock County last night at the Diamondhead City Hall presenting the Republican candidates for office for the August 6, primaries and November General Election, for those who survive August.

The format was very good; the questions were very good, and you just can’t be Joe Gex as a moderator. The only thing lacking was pre-event publicity. So, we’ll do some post-event coverage today.

For the most part the State Officials sent representatives to speak on their behalf. The State level candidates appearing to speak for themselves were:

Public Service Commissioner:

Dane Maxwell, current Mayor of Pascagoula, who said his number one promise to the voters would be to incarcerate all RoBo callers. Maxwell pointed out that he took the lead in DC on the Miss. flooding issue meeting with the Corps of Engineers. He said that he is also the only candidate who has ever actually worked with the PSC.

Kelvin Schultz said if he is elected to PSC, his first priority would be to establish a full time Complaint Department because his experience has been that PSC does not return phone calls or take any interest in the needs of the people they are supposed to be serving. He would also do everything he could to monitor and keep down rates for the public.

The two candidates speaking on their own behalf for Transportation Commissioner, Southern District, were Tom King (I) and Tony Smith. Continue reading “Lana Noonan | Hancock Republican Women Sponsored a Statewide Candidate Forum”