Saturday, June 03, 2006

One Week at Housing Court and Counting

Actually, it was only four days.

Actually, I only spent a total of about three hours in court over those four days.

And, actually, it's hardly a court.

But, if you ever want to get a first hand look at the dregs of the legal system, I highly recommend it.

I just started my Summer legal intern position at a local legal services corporation providing legal assistance to individuals too poor to afford it.

Some realities of the Brooklyn Housing Court:
1) Almost none of the tenants, who are usually the defendants, have lawyers.
2) Nearly all of the landlords, who are usually suing to evict, do.
3) Most of those landlord lawyers live in the housing court, occupying stuffy little fourth floor "common rooms" with their massive, poorly dressed, greasy haired, two cellphones having, four paralegals terrorizing, stipulation sheet writing, unholy presence.
4) A lot of the judges don't really know what they are doing and don't seem to give a shit.
5) Can you appeal? Sure. But the higher courts aren't gonna listen, because they just don't have the time or the inclination to hear about every individual who is getting thrown out of their house so that the landlord can get a "Fair Market Value" that places the annual rent in excess of the annual income of the average United States citizen.
6) The merits of your argument will often go unnoticed.
7) The best strategy appears to be to threaten to lawyer circles around the landlord's counsel and hope they give you a good settlement.

Welcome to the shadow world of Administrative law. We've all seen courtroom dramas, but 95% of what happens, legally speaking, to normal people happens in a courtroom like this.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

This Just In: Talking Vegetables Attacked While Attending Minor League Sporting Event

(Above: Tom Cruise, left, teaches Rob Lowe, right, about Scientology in the upcoming Mission Impossible 4: Mission? Make Tom Cruise Not Crazy. No, I'm kidding. They're actually just messengers from God.)

By Craig "What the hell am I doing in housing court?" Bolton (Unassociated Press)
Camden, N.J.--During the Seventh Inning stretch at a Riversharks game, Camden's own AA minor league baseball team, fans were treated to a special surprise. Talking vegetables, possibly from another planet, descended upon the stadium in a mission of peace. Their goal? To save the audience from the impending doom of eternal damnation.

Unfortunately, swarms of hungry children barged their way onto the field, intent on defending their planet--and their sinful, laviscious ways. The ensuing battle lasted for nearly 18 minutes, according to some witnesses. There were no survivors.

Seriously, though, talking vegetables? What gives?
Well, it seems that Christianity, long touted by Machiavellians for its ideological maleability and dependable superstructure, has provided Minor League baseball teams across the nation with a much needed boost in attendance.

Much like "Free Bat Night" or "Severely Reduced Priced Taco Saturdays," "Faith Nights" are a new promotional tool, wherein Christian organizations receive discounted tickets. In exchange, the Christian machinery, with its fleet of buses and well established communication network, "put fannies in the seats," as one Tomato said (unpictured).

It's good to see that sports promoters have learned, like the Republican Party before them, that American Christians are easily manipulated, turn out in dependably large numbers, and do what they are asked to do without a lot of questions and such (My apologies to the hundreds of millions of American Christians out there, but obviously some of you fit this description neatly).

Interested? Read more, here.