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Posts made in February, 2012

By on Feb 23, 2012 in Court, Criminal, Misconduct, Noah Weil | 0 comments

A few months ago I wrote about a murder conviction being overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct. While the re-trial of Mr. Monday has yet to occur, the prosecutor that was strongly admonished in the original trial has resigned from the King County Prosecutor’s office. I have no personal feelings towards Mr. Konat. I’ve never met the man but by all accounts he’s an intelligent person, and I have no doubt he will land on his feet in his next professional role. But if his resignation promotes a more fair and equitable criminal justice system, then I am all for it. And I would feel the same way if any prosecutor or defense attorney or judge similarly impacted the appearance of fairness that our system requires. I’ll be the first to admit our system isn’t perfect. But it only works at all because the rights of the individual, the right for anyone to have their day in court free of bias or prejudice, is maintained. My role as an advocate and an officer of the court is to fight for my clients’ rights every step of the way, and I take that role very seriously. The day I start cutting corners or taking the lowest road is the day I’ll be looking for a new calling...

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By on Feb 8, 2012 in Communication, Estate Planning, Family, Noah Weil | 1 comment

Last month my grandmother passed away. She was an incredible woman and our family misses her dearly. While tomes could be written about her amazing life, today’s topic will focus on her departing gift to her family. No, not an inheritance. Her end of life documents.                 Life, as they say, is a terminal condition. Unfortunately life rarely gives you a good estimate of when your time is up. For every grandmother who dies in her bed at 98 years, there are teenagers who die in car accidents, middle-aged people suffering cardiac arrest, and people pass away at every age and from every ailment in between. Because death remains unexpected, planning is crucial. Unlike being charged with a crime, the deceased have no time to get experienced representation to protect their interests. My grandmother was proactive about her final wishes, a lesson we should all employ. There are two main issues (no esoteric legal pun intended) regarding your death: what happens to you on the way to dying, and what happens to you and yours after you’ve passed away. Both require writing some documents to achieve your wishes. Needless to say, these documents should be done now when you’re healthy, rather than when things get dire. Before I get into specifics, I need to emphasize the number one rule: communication. Tell your loved ones your plans. Share your documents with them. Keep copies in secure locations. The absolute worst thing that can happen is argument between family members on what the loved one actually wanted. It’s tragic and unnecessary. I’m the first to admit talking about these wishes is not a fun conversation, but better now than never. Communicate with your family. As for specific documents: Living Will/Healthcare Directive This document specifies what kind of medical attention you want if you become incapacitated. Options range from none, to minimal, to “heroic” measures. This is, obviously, an incredibly personal choice. I will simply say that the default rule for hospitals is generally to make a strenuous effort to keep a person living. Morality notwithstanding, insurance companies and hospital attorneys don’t really like to see a lot of people dying inside their walls. On...

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