The Big Four

October 15, 2018

The Big Four

big four

Mark Rubin

I wrote Estate Planning for Smart People two years ago, and updated it recently. Complete Estate Planning, written three-and-a-half years ago, focuses on practical issues. One practical issue no one should ignore: selecting the right bank to hold your money.

The Big Four

The four largest banks in America are Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank. How big are they? Chase holds total assets of $2,530,000,000,000. That’s trillion! The 15th largest bank in America, HSBC, has assets which equal 8% of Chase’s asset base.

So what? Big bothers me not at all, if the bank services its customers. Unfortunately, not so much with the Big Four in my workaday world.

Bad

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Merit Selection and Retention: Justices Clint Bolick and John Pelander

October 14, 2018

Merit Selection and Retention: Justices Clint Bolick and John Pelander

I attended a political fundraiser recently. Great candidates. Cool company. And, after, martinis at the Inn.

Only one exchange marred the evening: during the Q and A, a woman I don’t know raised the subject of retaining Arizona Supreme Court justices. I’ll get back to the exchange momentarily, but I need to provide some background first.

Arizona law provides for merit selection of the seven members of the Arizona Supreme Court, judges on the Arizona Court of Appeals, and trial court judges in counties with more than 250,000 residents. (Counties with less people can opt in, too.) Merit selection involves committees of lawyers and lay people who, through a

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Kavanaugh: Final Thoughts!

October 6, 2018

Kavanaugh: Final Thoughts!

Kavanaugh

Justice Brett Kavanaugh

It’s over! Thirty-three days ago, I wrote Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Lots of noise since then, but we now have a full complement on the Court, including Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Party Rules

Voting matters, majorities matter, and politicians vote party first. Only Senators Joe Manchin (D – W. Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska) crossed on the Kavanaugh vote, and both did so for seemingly different reasons.

Senator Manchin represents the most pro-Trump state and he’s running for re-election. As for Senator Murkowski, she runs again in 2022. Alaska likes Rs, but it likes Murkowskis too. Senator Murkowski’s father Frank served as Senator and Governor. The current Senator Murkowski won re-election

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Justice Brett Kavanaugh

September 3, 2018

Justice Judge Brett Kavanaugh

justice brett kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins its hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday, September 4. Here’s the schedule, not that anything about the process will affect the outcome.

Judge Kavanaugh sits presently on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He has served on that court for a dozen years. Prior to his appointment he did the private / public shuffle, working for Ken Starr on the Clinton Whitewater (Lewinski) case, the Bush II White House, and for Kirkland & Ellis.

Judge Kavanaugh meets the legal requirements for service on the Supreme Court. He’s a sentient being, and

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Pardon Me, say Famous People

June 1, 2018

Pardon Me, say Famous People

pardon

What a Pair!

The Pardons

President Donald J. Trump has exercised the pardon powers vested in him by Article Two, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution four times. And the recipients of his munificence? Joseph Arpaio, I. Lewis Libby, John A. Johnson aka Jack Johnson, and Kristian Mark Saucier. And the paperwork which evidences these full and unconditional pardons? Right here, from the U.S. Department of Justice website.

In addition to the four recipients, recent reporting informs us that Dinesh D’Souza has been pardoned, and that Rob Blagojevich and Martha Stewart might be. So, seven maybe.

The Editorial Board of the New York Times—oh, excuse me, the Failing Times, with

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Hurrah, Hurrah: Rubin & Bernstein PLLC

May 24, 2018

Hurrah, Hurrah: Rubin & Bernstein PLLC

We’re Here … Finally!

382 S. Convent Ave.

382 S. Convent Ave.

Well, gentle readers, you’ve certainly gotten teasers, here and here. (Candidly, I thought there were more.) Rubin & Bernstein PLLC is, like, the real deal! As of May 29th we’re located at 382 S. Convent Ave., with an annex office at 307 S. Convent. The picture shows 382, and we’ve got lots of parking. (Moving today, May 24!)

The Lawyers

Leigh Bernstein—my partner—devotes herself to the needs of elderly people and those who surround them in their later years. She provides estate planning services for people of all ages. Her practice also includes guardian/conservatorship cases involving people with dementia or mental illness. She handles trusts

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Real Attorneys, Working

May 5, 2018

Real Attorneys, Working

Rudy

Rudy Giuliani

From time to time I write about subjects, even though I lack a deep, personal knowledge base. G-d bless the Internet, which provides ready access to reliable sources. (Yes, I believe the MSM. Working journalists—people, mostly underpaid relative to societal value, who seek truth—get the story right, mostly.) With a functioning brain which can string together sentences and organize them into paragraphs, I write posts people read. And I sleep well, comfortable that I am not offering Fake News.

Then there are those moments when I write with first-hand knowledge. Like, about real attorneys, working.

So, what do we—working attorneys—do all day? Lots. My days include telephone conferences with clients and other, along

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Textualism and the Courts

April 26, 2018

Textualism and the Courts (A Wee Bit Wonky)*

textualism

Justice Antonin Scalia, Textualist

The Book

I finished The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption by Richard Hasen recently. Dealing with complex matters, Mr. Hasen offers lucid analysis and a fine read!

Straightaway, Mr. Hasen tells readers he has not written a Scalia biography, or a “comprehensive examination of all of [Justice] Scalia’s opinions and ideas.” Instead, he promises “an examination of [Justice Scalia’s] jurisprudential theories of textualism and originalism, his inimitable and caustic tone in dealing with his adversaries on and off the Court, and his key areas of modern American law.” And he delivers, in plain English!

I’m focused here on textualism, the legal

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Attorneys Addicted to Attention

April 25, 2018

Attorneys Addicted to Attention

attorneys

Mark Rubin

Attorneys—some, anyway—live in heady times. I follow some blogs and nearly every story touches matters legal. Unfortunately, in too many instances I find myself embarrassed and ashamed of too many fellow attorneys.

Before I go forth, let me clarify what I mean by attention. I’m not focused on attorneys doing good deeds. Writing principled, illuminating articles. Representing their clients well. The attention which bothers me involves television interviews. Press releases. And, yes, sometimes even statements made during book tours.

I’ve written lately—and often—about client confidentiality. Fundamentally, confidentiality and attention—as I have defined it—mesh poorly. We’re supposed to do our jobs quietly and, when we speak, we should be trying to illuminate, and we ought

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Confidentiality and Hannity the Client

April 17, 2018

Confidentiality and Hannity the Client

New York’s version of ER 1.6 of the Rules of Professional Conduct got shredded yesterday. Oh well … but for the fact that confidentiality represents a core aspect of the attorney-client relationship.

Some background might be helpful. Search warrants, executed last Monday, generated a bunch of material from Michael Cohen. He’s an attorney who works for President Donald J. Trump. And Everett Broidy. And one more client, Sean Hannity.

The government and Judge Kimba Wood needed to know who Mr. Cohen represented. Why? To determine the scope of the claimed attorney-client privilege. The privilege only applies to communications between Mr. Cohen and his clients; whither, the need to know the identity of

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