Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Odds & Ends: Assuming Responsibility

The items in this posting all relate, directly or indirectly, to the issue of accepting responsibility for one's actions.

1. The Fort Hood Massacre:

According to a news brief I heard on the car radio en route home from shul this evening, friends and relatives of the shooter in the Fort Hood massacre (whose name will not be set forth in this posting) seem to be insinuating that the cause of his murderous rampage was that he had long been subjected to being taunted and discriminated against on account of his religion.

Hold it right there, buster!! I have been one of a single-digit minority of Jewish kids in a junior high school, and was taunted accordingly. I have worked for a civilian US Government activity where discrimination against Jewish people was blatantly practiced by people in top managerial positions. I have lost jobs under circumstances where anti-Semitism clearly played a role. Applying to the theory the friends and relatives of this murderer-traitor (remember the definition of "treason" in the U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 3), I and lots of other Jewish people should now be indiscriminately shooting up people in their places of employment. But we don't see Jewish people doing these things! I'm not buying into the excuse!

2. Resigning from the Bar:

In New York (and other states), there are two types of cases where attorneys resign from the Bar. Firstly, there is the attorney who has moved out of state, has no plans to further practice in New York, and who really would rather not pay the biennial registration fee (currently $350, and likely to increase in the future).

But the term "resigning from the bar," as used in the parlance of legal circles, usually has a more negative connotation. What it amounts to is disbarment on consent, whereby the attorney saves the judicial system (and the taxpayers) the trouble of attending to the administrative matter of striking the attorney's name from the roll of attorneys in good standing to practice before the courts in the State. Attorneys who do so are accorded ever so slightly more favorable treatment when they apply for reinstatement (a minimum of 7 years later), for they then are better postured to say that they accepted responsibility for their transgressions.

But in order for such a resignation to be accepted, the resignor must acknowledge in writing, among other things, that they could not successfully defend themselves against the misconduct charges pending against them.

Howard L. Blau wants things both ways. He wants "to resign gracefully and with the dignity that should be allowed to a lawyer who spent almost 40 years of his life performing thousands of hours of pro bono work as an attorney," yet he refuses to acknowledge that there are charges pending against him which he cannot successfully negate. The Court has not accepted his resignation, but has disbarred him. But, given the fact that Blau has already practiced law while under suspension, it is entirely possible that he will once again practice law without the benefits and perquisites of admission to the Bar.

3. Vincent has Returned:

A year ago, spoiled trust fund brat Shea Rosen, with four car crashes and three traffic tickets under his belt, pills in his socks, and cannibis on his breath (I cannot make any statements regarding ethanol in his bloodstream because he refused to take the breathalyzer test), ran down two joggers, killing one and severely injuring the other. Not an exemplar of accepting responsibility for one's actions.

Yesterday, Vincent Saunders, the surviving jogger, ran and completed the 6-mile route in memory of his girlfriend and jogging companion, Amanda Malloy. [This was reported in Newsday, 7 November 2009, p. A8, but last week Newsday switched its website to a (mostly) pay for access, and raised the newsstand price of its print edition. It is not clear whether this will increase Newsday's profitability.].

Vincent had been on my personal list of people whose welfare I pray for. Just a few weeks ago, one of the people on the list, the mother of a good friend of mine (the friend also happened to be one of the single-digit minority of Jewish kids in my junior high school, as noted above) passed away, and so, I had to remove her name from the list. It is very heartening to be able to remove someone from the list because they have recovered, and not because they have passed on. Vincent Saunders is now off the list. Keep on running, Vincent!

[As for the defendant, Shea Rosen, his next court date is now 30 November 2009. Excellent, excellent chance that Vincent will be also walking into that courtroom.].

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  • At 16 December, 2009 00:01, Anonymous Vincent Saunders said…

    Dear Expatriate Owl,

    I appreciate all of the support you've given, and all of the words of encouragement you've offered to me and everyone saddened by their own tragic losses. It means more than I can say. I wish you all of the best.

  • At 16 December, 2009 00:49, Blogger Expatriate Owl said…

    Thank you, Vincent.

    I thought of you this morning, as my running route took me along a certain brief stretch of Jericho Turnpike. Some driver with an attitude and a cell phone in hand drove by me with his car just a little too close to the sidewalk for my comfort. Cell phone aside, I don't know that there was any real danger. But it gave me the creeps!

    About 200 feet later, I turned onto the side street, and continued the usual route through the residential neighborhood, and completed the run without further incident.

    We runners all need to be careful out there!

    It's reassuring to know that you are now back with us all in the pack.

  • At 29 April, 2010 14:04, Anonymous Topshelf said…

    Hi Owl:

    Fellow expat here. I was just reminded by a friend in the US about the Shea Rosen kid. Any idea what the status of the trial is? I can't seem to find any news on this since the accident happened, other than your post here. I assume a trial hasn't happened yet?



  • At 30 April, 2010 02:21, Blogger Expatriate Owl said…

    Per the court schedule as posted on the Internet, Rosen's next court appearance is Thursday 6 May 2010, before Judge Efman in County Court, Suffolk County.

    "Court appearance" can mean anything from (A) waiting 90 minutes for the judge to call counsel for a 2 minute status update, to (B) a full-blown jury trial. Or it can be anything in between.

    The matter is not listed in the calendar section of today's New York Law Journal (the local criminal cases sometimes show up a few days in advance).

    Knowing nothing "inside" regarding the case, my speculation is no better or worse than yours.

    I wish that this could have been more definitive.

    Thanks for writing, though.

  • At 13 September, 2010 00:37, Anonymous Vinnie Saunders said…


    I'll be walking into the court room tomorrow at 9:00 am to finally watch justice being served. At 9:00 am tomorrow in Riverhead Shea Rosen gets sentenced. He will finally be getting punished after his family has dragged this out almost 2 years. It will feel good to put it behind me; thank you for your support.


  • At 13 September, 2010 03:43, Blogger Expatriate Owl said…

    Fortunately, I have never been in the position firsthand. What I have heard from friends and clients, however, is that your sense of satisfaction will likely not be quite all that you had hoped for. But you do get the opportunity to move forward if you choose to take it.

    It is appropriate that Shea Rosen receive punishment, but what happens after he serves his time? Does he go back to the old routine and recycle through the criminal justice system again? Or does the punishment inspire him towards rehabilitation?

    I certainly hope it is the latter, but, given all of the facilitators, including and especially his parents, who have been yielding to his wishes his entire life, and who are not going to be sentenced by Judge Efman.

    Other than the civil suit before Justice Whelan, which might perhaps indirectly tap their wallets, what is there to teach them anything resembling a lesson?

    I hope to be proven wrong, but I am not optimistic.

    In any event, it is good to know that you will be moving forward with your own life.

    Be Strong!!!


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