Unfinished Business: 19 Judicial Nominations Left Unconfirmed by 111th Congress

Nan Aron on Huffington Post:

The 111th Congress wrapped up its business last night, and a last-minute flurry of action resulted in some important victories for the Administration and its allies, especially the long-overdue repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Discrimination and hate should never be enshrined in our laws and it is heartening to see our nation move one step closer to the day when all Americans are treated fairly and equally.

But in spite of this wonderful victory, and the passage of other important legislation, one very important thing was left undone as a result of unrelenting Republican obstruction. Nineteen federal judicial nominees were left unconfirmed at the end of the session, just half of the number waiting on the Senate floor for a final yes-or-no vote.

Three circuit court and 16 district court nominees approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee were prevented from receiving votes, including even the most noncontroversial individuals, many of whom are actually supported by Republican Senators. Here is the tragic fact: as a result of unprecedented Republican political gamesmanship, President Obama ends the first half of his first term with a smaller percentage of his nominees confirmed than any previous president.

Our federal courts are in crisis. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has identified 44 "judicial emergencies," where there aren't enough judges to hear the cases brought to them by the American people. Even the top judges in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, led by Chief Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, a Reagan appointee, wrote a letter to the Senate complaining about the "desperate need for judges."

We know what needs to be done. The whole process will begin again in January in the new Congress and we urge the President to re-nominate all those who were left unconfirmed, including superb, widely respected nominees like Goodwin Liu and Edward Chen, who were the special targets of Republicans. Of course the vast majority of the nominees they blocked at the end of the session, and the dozens they had obstructed over the past two years, are not controversial at all. Obstruction for obstruction's sake is the hallmark of the Republican leadership. That has to stop.

The appointment of judges is one of the most important and long-lasting legacies of any president, and should be one of President Obama's most urgent goals, particularly when more than one out in ten judgeships is vacant. The President's great success with the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan shows what can be done when the nominations process is respected in the Senate and obstructionist tactics are set aside.

In the next session of Congress, confirming this administration's judicial nominees should be one of the highest priorities for the Democratic leadership in the Senate. The legislative successes of the past few days show what can be done when our leaders and everyday Americans unite to fight with determination and skill against obstructionist tactics and indiscriminate opposition to important goals. We hope that same energy is applied to judicial nominations in the 112th Congress to ensure that the endless abuse of Senate procedures is not repeated and that all vacancies in the federal judiciary are filled.

Read Nan Aron on Huffington Post

Now you tell us, Senator Specter!

Outgoing Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania is now complaining that Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito, both of whom he eagerly voted to confirm, weren’t being completely honest about their intentions during their confirmation hearings.

Specter said on the Senate floor Tuesday:

Ignoring a massive congressional record and reversing recent decisions, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito repudiated their confirmation testimony given under oath and provided the key votes to permit corporations and unions to secretly pay for political advertising - thus effectively undermining the basic Democratic principle of the power of one person, one vote. Chief Justice Roberts promised to just call balls and strikes and then he moved the bases.

None of this surprises us, of course. We made the case against both of them, but he wouldn’t listen. Sorry, Arlen, but this comes just a little too late.

Senate Confirms Two District Court Nominees

Yesterday the Senate confirmed two long-obstructed district court nominees, Benita Pearson and William Martinez. After the Senate vote, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) remarked that “The obstruction of these district court nominations is unprecedented, a sign that a different standard is being applied to President Obama’s nominees that has never before been applied to the nominees of any President, Democratic or Republican…. It is time for the Senate to act on the dozens of judicial nominees that have been kept from final consideration before we adjourn. A number of those nominations were reported unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Twenty-four judicial nominations are still awaiting final confirmation votes. Eighteen of the nominations were reported by the Judiciary Committee unanimously. Two additional nominations received the support from a majority of Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee. Of the 24 nominations pending, 14 of them are to fill vacancies designated as “judicial emergencies” by the nonpartisan Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

For the most up to the date and comprehensive information on judicial nominations, visit the Alliance for Justice’s Judicial Selection Project website.

Sears was even a lousy dirt play?

The New York Times had a good piece on the five year anniversary of Kmart buying Sears and becoming Sears Holdings.  At the time, I said that Edward Lampert's acquisition of the retailing icon was as much a real estate acquisition as it was a retail deal.

Unfortunately on the retail side, the attitude of many people is, as the last sentence of the piece states succinctly, “Honestly, I’d rather go to Target.”  Sears and Kmart are still doing poorly, and many think the future -- if there is one -- lies in the Sears strategy of trying to become an Amazon.com style retailer.  (Go it its website with all the amalgamation of other sellers there and you will see what I mean.)  Apparently Sears Canada is the company's saving grace.

The fallback point?  Dump the dirt at some point. But given the current market even that isn't so attractive according to some analysts, and that makes sense.  For every hot Sears or K-Mart location, according to analyst cited in the Times, there are three other locations that have four legs and bark. And that does not include the specialty stores such as Sears Hardware, outlets and the like.  Perhaps the big buck stores can make enough money, but don't be surprised if there is ever a big liquidation of locations, you see a lot of empty or re-purposed stores.  Given the co-tenancy clauses you see in many leases with national retailers, this can have a domino effect on shopping centers.

But that all puts the cart way before the horse. (Nor am I convinced this analysis is correct.) Many people had Sears Holdings dead a while ago, and they've hung on this far. One or two hit brands or lines (such as apparel, which I thought they figured out by buying Land's End some years ago, but I was wrong) can revive sales -- which are needed given a decline in its traditional dominance in appliances -- in a hurry, and that Chicago-based lady can be humming a happy tune again.

Senate Confirms Eight Nominees Over Weekend

This weekend the Senate confirmed 8 judicial nominees:

  • Albert Diaz to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (voice vote)
  • Raymond Lohier to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (92-0)
  • Ellen Lipton Hollander to the District of Maryland (95-0)
  • Edmond E-Min Chang to the Northern District of Illinois (voice vote)
  • Leslie E. Kobayashi to the District of Hawaii (voice vote)
  • Carlton W. Reeves to the Southern District of Mississippi (voice vote)
  • Denise Jefferson Casper to the District of Massachusetts (voice vote)
  • Susan Richard Nelson to the District of Minnesota (voice vote)

With the confirmations of Judges Diaz and Lohier, the Blog of the Legal Times reported thatThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit again has a majority of active judges appointed by Democratic presidents,” and the 4th Circuit now will now “have a 9-5 Democratic majority.”

With these new confirmations, there are now 26 nominees who are awaiting final votes on the Senate floor.

For the most up to the date and comprehensive information on judicial nominations, visit the Alliance for Justice’s Judicial Selection Project website.

Alliance for Justice Hails "Don't Ask Don't Tell" Vote and Calls for Swift Implementation

Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement on the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that has prevented gay and lesbian Americans from serving openly in the military:

The long-overdue repeal of the military’s reprehensible “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is a heartening step forward in our nation’s progress toward a society unequivocally rooted in fairness and equality for every citizen. There must never be a place in our laws for officially sanctioned discrimination, and this action will help wipe away the stain of a policy that has done so much damage to tens of thousands of patriotic men and women who only sought the right to serve honorably in the nation’s armed forces. We strongly urge President Obama and the military leadership to certify with all possible speed that the new policy is ready to be implemented and announce that during the interim period all discharges and investigations will be suspended.

The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a great moment for our country as one more bastion of discrimination falls away and we come closer to the day when the full promise of American liberty is made available to each and every American. There remains much work to be done, but this action is an important step forward, and the Congress and the President are to be commended for their courageous action on behalf of gay and lesbian service members, their families, and the nation as a whole.

New York Times Reports on the Corporate Court

The New York Times this weekend reported on the Roberts Court’s corporate favoritism, noting that the Chamber of Commerce enjoys significantly disproportionate influence in business cases before the Court. The article details the concerted effort that the conservative big business group has undertaken over the past 40 years to gain influence before the Court – an idea initially propounded by Justice Lewis Powell. Robin Conrad, executive vice-president of the Chamber, touted the Court’s pro-corporate bias noting that “[t]here has been a return on investment, not to sound too crass.”

The article reported on a new study of how business interests fare before the Court, conducted by law professors Lee Epstein and William Landes, as well as the conservative Seventh Circuit Judge, Richard Posner. The study found a significant increase in the percentage of business cases the Supreme Court has agreed to hear under John Roberts’ leadership, as has the number of cases in which pro-corporate forces have prevailed.

An excerpt from the article is below, and the full version is available here.

The chamber now files briefs in most major business cases. The side it supported in the last term won 13 of 16 cases. Six of those were decided with a majority vote of five justices, and five of those decisions favored the chamber’s side. One of the them was Citizens United, in which the chamber successfully urged the court to guarantee what it called “free corporate speech” by lifting restrictions on campaign spending.

The chamber’s success rate is but one indication of the Roberts court’s leanings on business issues. A new study, prepared for The New York Times by scholars at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, analyzed some 1,450 decisions since 1953. It showed that the percentage of business cases on the Supreme Court docket has grown in the Roberts years, as has the percentage of cases won by business interests.

The Roberts court, which has completed five terms, ruled for business interests 61 percent of the time, compared with 46 percent in the last five years of the court led by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who died in 2005, and 42 percent by all courts since 1953.

Those differences are statistically significant, the study found. It was prepared by Lee Epstein, a political scientist at Northwestern’s law school; William M. Landes, an economist at the University of Chicago; and Judge Richard A. Posner, who serves on the federal appeals court in Chicago and teaches law at the University of Chicago.

The Roberts court’s engagement with business issues has risen along with the emergence of a breed of lawyers specializing in Supreme Court advocacy, many of them veterans of the United States solicitor general’s office, which represents the federal government in the court.

These specialists have been extraordinarily successful, both in persuading the court to hear business cases and to rule in favor of their clients. The Supreme Court’s business docket has stayed active in the current term, which began in October. In a single week this month, the court heard arguments in a case brought by the chamber challenging an Arizona law that imposes penalties on companies that hire illegal workers, and it agreed to hear two cases that could reshape class-action and environmental law.

The chamber had urged the court to hear both cases. It said one of them, an enormous sex-discrimination class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart, posed “grave risks for American business.” It said the other, a suit by eight states against power companies over carbon dioxide emissions, “has potentially disastrous implications for the U.S. business community.”

The court’s docket is studded with other important business cases as well, including ones concerning consumer class-action suits and claims of employment discrimination and securities fraud. The chamber has filed supporting briefs in all of them. In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, for instance, the chamber urged the court to allow companies to use standard-form contracts that in essence forbid consumers who sign them from pursuing class-action suits. In Thompson v. North American Stainless, the chamber asked the court to forbid some employment discrimination claims, saying that “it costs, on average, over $120,000 just to defend a wrongful-discharge claim.”

Next month, the court will hear arguments in 11 cases. The chamber says it will file briefs in seven of them.

Go to thecorporatecourt.com to learn more about this issue.

Senate confirms four judicial nominees

Last night the Senate confirmed four of the 38 judicial nominees pending on the senate floor: Kimberly Mueller, nominee to the Eastern District of California, James Bredar, nominee to the District of Maryland, Catherine Eagles, nominee to the Middle District of North Carolina, and John Gibney, nominee to the Eastern District of Virginia.

Politico reports:

'Regan Lachapelle, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the four confirmations Thursday are "just a start" to clearing the backlog during this session.

"We are still working through the list and are committed to confirming as many judges as we can," said Lachapelle. "We’ll take them when we can get them.'

There are still 34 nominees who are awaiting final confirmation votes, including Goodwin Liu, Ed Chen, Louis Butler, and Jack McConnell. For the most up to the date and comprehensive information on judicial nominations, visit the Alliance for Justice's website.

E-ticket deals in a B-ticket market?

I could not resist the old Disneyland ticket system analogy in thinking about the Chicago market right now.  (For you younger folks, search the term and you will understand.)

The great news in Chicago?  Two trophy properties are trading.  The Hyatt Center is under contract to
The Irvine Company (Billionaire Donald Bren is the long time head of TIC) at what is understood to be just over a 6-cap, or $625 million/$419 per square foot.  I suppose that is not a B-ticket price for that great property.  Then you have 353 North Clark trading from a Mesirow/Friedman Properties venture to Tishman with a purchase price, they say, of $385 million/$321 per square foot.  The difference? Well, while I like both buildings, Hyatt is perhaps better located, but even more important is that little detail of a $374 million construction loan at Clark Street. 

So, does this mean we are back?  Not for all of us.  Institutional buying is back to some extent for the right (meaning, Class A) property at the right price, whatever that may be to the buyer.  What it could mean, though, is a little melting that will eventually reach to the non-trophy deals. 

Once again, it is a matter of unclogging a logjam at the lender level and at the investor level, where money sits without the ability to finance deals at what many players consider acceptable returns for the risk.  (Remember, pension funds and institutional folks often have completely different objectives than, say, opportunistic funds or developers.)

So yes, I'm glad to see properties trading.  But I want to see different types of deals and financing and more volume before I can say the corner is really turning.

Nan Aron Joins Senator Tom Harkin to Call for Senate Rules Reform

“We’ve all been involved in fights over judicial appointments, but what’s happening now is well beyond anything we’ve ever encountered. There is nothing that can possibly justify this abuse of the process and the traditions of the Senate,” Nan Aron said today at a panel on Senate rules reform organized by Common Cause. The panel, “Shackled Senate: How the Filibuster is Holding Hostage our Congress, A Case for Senate Rules Reform,” took place this morning at the National Press Club and featured remarks from Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who expressed his frustration at the misuse of the filibuster by the minority to obstruct and delay, calling the Senate “totally dysfunctional,” and “the only democratic body in which the minority gets to determine what passes.” Senator Harkin said he would push for rules reform on January 5.

Nan Aron discussed how the abuse of Senate rules has damaged our courts. “Every single nominee has been subjected to filibusters, threats of filibusters, or secret holds,” she said. “The impact of obstruction on our system of justice is enormous. Our courts are in crisis.”

Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Coalition on Civil and Human Rights, joined Nan Aron on the panel, which was moderated by Bob Edger, President of Common Cause. Larry Cohen, President of the Communications Workers of America introduced Senator Harkin.

Update: watch a video of Nan Aron's remarks, embedded below. Go to Common Cause's YouTube channel to watch more videos from the event.

AFJ Opposes Blanket Ban on Transfer of Guantanamo Detainees for Criminal Prosecution

This morning the Senate introduced an omnibus spending bill for 2011 which includes a provision preventing Guantanamo detainees from being transferred to the U.S. – even for purposes of prosecution. This blanket ban would override the executive branch’s prerogative to decide the best forum to try suspected terrorists and prevent the Obama Administration from obtaining criminal prosecutions in federal courts. Under current law, Guantanamo detainees cannot be transferred to the United States, except for purposes of criminal prosecution.

Alliance for Justice recently joined a broad coalition of human rights organizations in signing a letter opposing a ban on blanket transfers. The letter pointed out that:

If a blanket ban on transfers were to become law, it would obstruct the Obama administration from bringing terrorism suspects to justice in the most experienced and proven forum. These are the very same federal courts that have been used by the Justice Department during the Bush and Obama administration to convict more than 400 individuals of terrorism‐related crimes since 9/11. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has also proven fully capable of securely detaining individuals convicted of the most serious crimes of terrorism, such as co‐conspiracy in the 9/11 attacks, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and the 1998 East African embassy bombings, without harm to the surrounding communities – and, of course, without escape.
. . .

If Congress imposes a blanket transfer ban, it would greatly hinder efforts to put to rest a legacy of failed detention policy. There is widespread agreement among our country’s leading national security and foreign policy experts – including General David Petraeus, General Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and five former Secretaries of State from both parties – that closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility is essential to U.S. counterterrorism efforts and to repairing the standing of the United States as a country committed to human rights and the rule of law.
Alliance for Justice strongly opposes the blanket ban and urges Senators to vote against it.

AFJ Decries District Court Ruling on the Constitutionality of Health Care Law

Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement today on the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson that portions of the health care law passed by Congress earlier this year are unconstitutional:

If anyone needed proof that judges matter and that the current battle in the Senate over judicial nominations is a fight worth having, they need look no farther than today’s ruling by Judge Henry Hudson, a former conservative Republican politician from Virginia, on a lawsuit filed by a current conservative Republican politician from Virginia, state Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli. So far, only judges appointed by Republican presidents have found the conservatives’ case to have merit, in spite of almost 70 years of precedent on commerce clause issues that argue for the opposite conclusion.

There are 38 judicial nominees languishing on the Senate floor today, blocked from final consideration by an obstinate, obstructionist Republican Party bent on preventing President Obama from filling federal district and circuit court judgeships, even those in courts facing “judicial emergencies.” Today’s decision puts the stakes in stark relief as the President’s agenda and many other important social and economic policies are challenged in federal court. It’s long past time that all those who care about health care, civil liberties, worker rights, or any core principle or issue, get serious about our courts and work to ensure the confirmation of President Obama’s nominees, before it’s too late.

Click here to read a report by Alliance for Justice on the career of Judge Henry E. Hudson (PDF).

Liquidated damages

In my first year Contracts class in law school, we learned about liquidated damages; i.e. a clause stating that a  certain amount of money is a reasonable estimate of a party's damages in the event of a default and that, in lieu of litigating the question of damages, the stipulated amount will serve as actual damages and not as a penalty. 

Liquidated damages play an important role in many real estate contracts.  I like them for both sides.  It can limit the buyer's downside and quantify the seller's compensation if a deal goes bust.  Most every big deal I run across has a lengthy liquidated damages clause, and more often than not the amount of the earnest money deposit is the stipulated sum.  But this excellent article (about, of all things, the opulent former Adelphia Communications headquarters in Pennsylvania) reminds us that liquidated damages (a) should be tightly drafted; and (b) are supposed to be a reasonable estimate of the actual damages, not a number thrown out there. (I have not read the contract in question here.)  It also reminds us that a seller can sometimes have a windfall in the event of a buyer default; in this case when the buyer defaulted the seller found a buyer who closed at a slightly higher price.  The court nevertheless agreed that the provision was not a penalty, particularly because of evidence of what the actual damages could be.  The fact that there were no little or no actual damages didn't matter.

Of course, the other big lesson is to have an honest lawyer.  The buyer wired its lawyer $2 million to send to the escrow agent, who then let another client borrow the money.  That other client tried to flee the country but was caught.  The lawyer, of course, defrauded his client and was disbarred.  Ouch.

House Judiciary Committee Calls For Torture Accountability

Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) yesterday called on President Obama to investigate and prosecute Bush officials who authorized torture. Conyers, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, presided over a hearing on “Civil Liberties and National Security.” Conyers noted that President Obama has made some positive steps, such as banning torture and the use of secret “black sites,” but called on the President to investigate those who approved or ordered crimes such as torture and waterboarding.

Representative Conyers noted that such an investigation should include those who were responsible for the decision to authorize torture – including President Bush, who as Conyers noted, “has admitted personally approving these crimes.” In his recent memoir, Decision Points, Bush admits authorizing torture (“damn right”) and suggests that he was justified in doing so because his lawyers told him it was okay – a defense that has been discredited since Nuremberg.

Conyers noted that not only has our government failed to conduct an investigation into torture, it has also worked to “squelch” other countries’ investigations.

The recently released Wikileaks cables revealed that the Bush Administration exerted pressure on the German government to drop planned prosecutions of CIA agents involved in the torture and rendition of a German citizen. As recently as 2009, government officials have interfered with Spanish efforts to prosecute high-ranking Bush officials, including the infamous “torture memo” authors John Yoo and Jay Bybee. The cables indicate that the U.S. warned that continuing with the prosecution would “harm bilateral relations,” and the U.S. Embassy in Madrid interfered with the judicial process by trying to steer the case toward sympathetic magistrates.

Conyers was also critical of the repeated use of the state secrets privilege to block suits involving torture, rendition, and illegal domestic surveillance, preventing many key details about the interrogation and rendition program from being made public.

Other witnesses who testified at the hearing include Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Legislative Office; Bruce Fein, associate deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration; Thomas Pickering, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Michael Lewis, law professor at Ohio Northern University Pettit School of Law; trial attorney Jamil Jaffer; and Nation reporter Jeremy Scahill.

Activists organize screenings of Crude Justice throughout the country

Last Tuesday was the deadline for Gulf Coast residents impacted by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig to file claims for emergency payments from the BP compensation fund administered by Kenneth Feinberg. More than 400,000 claims were filed before the deadline, and approximately 150,000 individuals and businesses have received an estimated $2.2 billion. The next phase in this process is the negotiation of lump-sum final settlements for those affected by the spill, a process which will play out over the course of three years.

This fall, AFJ released Crude Justice, a short documentary film narrated by actor and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr., that highlights the impact of the oil spill on individuals, families and small business owners, and explores the legal landscape they are facing while seeking justice and fair compensation from BP and other liable parties. Along with over 5,000 online viewers, scores of activists have organized screenings of Crude Justice throughout the country. Here are a few highlights:

On October 6, the Eric R. Neisser Public Interest Program at Rutgers School of Law–Newark sponsored, Crude Oil: Legal Implications of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill,” an event that included a screening of Crude Justice and a panel discussion exploring the environmental and community impact of the BP disaster in the Gulf. The panel was moderated by Steve Gold, Director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Rutgers-Newark and a former senior attorney in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, and included Sarah Chasis Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Rachel Jacobson, Principal Deputy Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior.

On October 25, the Environmental Law Society at the University of Mississippi School of Law organized a screening of Crude Justice and a discussion of the legal options open to Gulf residents. The discussion was led by professor David W. Case, who teaches environmental and toxic torts and environmental law, and professor Stephanie Showalter, who serves as Director of the law school’s National Sea Grant Law Center. The event drew over 50 students from the campus community.

A screening of the film organized at Golden Gate University School of Law on October 25 by the Environmental Law Journal, Environmental Law Society, and American Constitution Society featured a discussion with Deborah Behles, an associate professor of law and clinical staff attorney at the GGU Environmental Law and Justice Clinic; Leila Monroe, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Thomas Azwell, a doctoral candidate in Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley.

Harvard Law School’s Environmental Law Society held a screening of Crude Justice on October 27. Following the film screening, a panel of students who performed pro bono legal work in the Gulf spoke about their experiences. The event drew a record number of attendees for a Harvard Environmental Law Society event.

On November 3, University of the District of Columbia School of Law chapters of the Environmental Law Society, American Constitution Society, and National Lawyers Guild brought together more than 50 students for an event that featured a screening of the film and a discussion with Danielle Franco-Malone, Dorot Fellow, Alliance for Justice, and Jenny Rasmussen and Kate Degravelles, attorneys with the American Association for Justice. Law professor John Brittain moderated the discussion. Event organizer Diane Saey opened the screening, saying “My hope is that, after the film and discussion, each student will leave with a quick, short list of ways to contribute toward the betterment of the environment.” At the conclusion of the event, scores of students pledged to join with the Alliance for Justice to monitor the situation in the Gulf Coast and urge BP CEO Robert Dudley to make the Gulf and its people whole again.

Crude Justice calls on all of us to join the fight for justice and full recovery in the Gulf. Sign up today to bring Crude Justice to your campus and community and ensure that the people of the Gulf continue to be heard!

Connect with Alliance for Justice online to stay updated on legal and environmental developments and take action to help the people of the Gulf.

Click here to view the 17-minute film online.

A quick note of thanks....

If you look at the blog regularly but do not follow me on Twitter, you will see my updates here on the right of your screen.  I use Twitter for short thoughts (duh) and quick information about what is going on in real estate that interests me.  Long form writing, of course, will remain here.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank one of the better bloggers and Twitter folks out there, Duke Long, for including me in his list of the Top 50 Commercial Real Estate People You Must Follow on Twitter. I appreciate the recognition and will try to live up to those standards.