Illegal electronic evidence can be voice or video recordings, phone recordings, intercepted text messages or e-mails or screen shots captured by spyware. This thoughtful 2005 Florida case describes what a trial court should do when faced with illegal electronic evidence. Click here to read O'Brien v. O'Brien, 899 So.2d 1133 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005), which was a divorce case. When marital discord erupted between the Husband and the Wife, the Wife secretly installed a spyware program called Spector on the Husband's computer. It is undisputed that the Husband engaged in private on-line chats with another woman while playing Yahoo Dominoes on his computer. The Spector spyware secretly took snapshots of what appeared on the computer screen, and the frequency of these snapshots allowed Spector to capture and record all chat conversations, instant messages, e-mails sent and received, and the websites visited by the user of the computer. When the Husband discovered the Wife's clandestine ... Read More >
Archives for January 2015
Nepotism in the Courtroom?
The vast majority of the stories in The Mongoose newsletter which criticized judges asked (or could have included) these questions: • What the hell were they thinking? • Surely, they realized that does not pass the “ethical smell test?” • Didn’t they think someone would get the word out and this would look really, really bad? These questions certainly must be asked of any judge who allows her fiancé or spouse or his Associate Judge’s spouse to accept or handle cases pending in his or her court. There is no doubt it is improper for an elected judge’s spouse to be allowed to represent clients in that judge’s court, as that is grounds for disqualification. It is just as improper for a judge’s spouse to sign up cases already pending in his wife’s court and then use his wife’s position as reason to have the case transferred to another court. That amounts to reverse venue shopping and it creates a market for those who want out of a particular judge’s court to hire ... Read More >
Beware of the New Year: A Mistake in the Year Might Not Be Fixable
Every new year results in mistakes because we are so used to writing or typing "2014" instead of "2015." Rawlins v. Rawlins, 324 S.W.3d 852, 855 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2010, no pet.) is an example of how a mistake in the year used in an order can screw a client and not be fixable later. This case also includes a sublime ass chewing of an attorney for being a sleaze bag. The parents were divorced on January 9, 2007. Over two years later, on March 12, 2009, Mr. Rawlings filed a motion for judgment nunc pro tunc, alleging that the Agreed Final Decree of Divorce contained a clerical error in the date child support was to begin. The divorce decree said child support started January 5, 2006 instead of January 5, 2007. The mother argued that the error was not a clerical error but a judicial error, and the trial court could not correct by judgment nunc pro tunc. At the hearing on the requested nunc pro tunc order, Mr. Rawlings testified he and his lawyer appeared on January 9, 2007 ... Read More >