Captain Chesley Sullenberger, III, the pilot of US Airways, Flight 1549, is known to most Americans by his nickname, “Sully”. Sully miraculously executed an emergency landing of a jet plane that took off from LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009. His heroic, expert flying technique and years of preparation allowed him to safely land his air bus A320 in the Hudson River. All 155 passengers on board were safely removed from the plane. This spectacular feat of pilotry did give him an enormous amount of publicity.

Sully is a charming true American hero. He talks about himself with genuine modesty. He credits his training and commitment to becoming the best pilot he can possibly be.

Sully has collaborated with Wall Street journal writer, Jeff Zaslow , to write his memoir entitled, Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters. This book recounts the details of the miraculous emergency landing. It also talks about Sully’s upbringing and various events in his life that shaped his character. These events enabled Sully to grow into a man capable of handling the challenge of safely landing a large air bus A320 airplane in the Hudson River with both engines knocked out by bird strikes.

Sully in his book states ” In so many areas of life you need to be a long term optimist, but a short term realist. Sully’s philosophy should act as an example to many of us when dealing with difficult situations. Sully is a true American hero and an excellent role model for many of us to follow.

-Elliot Schlissel

The Family Courts in the metropolitan New York area are overwhelmed. More judges need to be appointed to sit on the bench in the Family Courts to deal with the large number of cases that find their way into the Family Courts of the metropolitan New York area.

In a report of the New York State Committee on the Judiciary, entitled “Kids and Families Still Can’t Wait“: the urgent case for new Family Court Judgeships. It is strongly suggested that the Family Court receive twenty-one (21) new judgeships. This report states that there is a crisis in the Family Courts in New York and the need for more judgeships has been known about for a considerable period of time.

Even the appointment of twenty-one  new Family Court judges will not completely deal with the problems within the Family Courts. However, this would be a way to start dealing with the overcrowding in the Family Courts. Unfortunately, due to the current budget situation in New York, it is unlikely that twenty-one new judges will be appointed.

Picture courtesy of IPKat.

Justice Jeffrey A. Spinner, sitting in a Supreme Court Part in Riverhead, New York (Suffolk County), has recently ordered that a $292,500 mortgage be deemed “cancelled, voided, avoided, nullified and set aside”. He took this action due to the fact that IndyMac Mortgage Services, a division of One West Bank FSB and its representor were engaged in “harsh, repucnic, shocking and repulsive” behavior.

Greg Horoski and his wife, Diana Wano-Horoski, bought a four bedroom, three bath home 1994. They paid $178,000 for their home. They refinanced their home in 2004 for $292,500.

They eventually fell behind on their mortgage. Mrs. Horoski was in failing health. She had undergone triple bi-pass heart surgery in 2006.

Every two or three months Mr. Horoski would contact his bank for the purpose of avoiding foreclosure. He would advise them that he could make payments in various amounts. He asked if they would accept these payments as a good faith measure and that they reinstate the loan. Greg and Diana Horoski appeared at every court appearance. Court conference were rescheduled on five separate occasions due to IndyMac Bank’s failure to cooperate.

Judge Spinner’s decision indicated that IndyMac Bank displayed an intransiness in its continuing failure and refusal to cooperate with the court. The Judge said a bank officer who appeared on September 22nd had a “Opprobrious demeanor and condescending attitude” . He would not accept any offer by the homeowners including an offer by their daughter to purchase the house.

The Judge further indicated on November 18, 2009 court conference the bank did not even know the specific balance due in owing of the house. The Judge felt due to the extremely inappropriate behavior of the bank, severe sanctions would have to be imposed to prevent the bank from engaging in further abuse. In the end, IndyMac Bank would not consider any loan modification arrangements. The bank has indicated they will appeal Judge Spinner’s decision.

Are you behind in your mortgage? Are you in foreclosure? Problems with your bank or mortgage company? The mortgage renegotiation and defense lawyers at the law office of Elliot Schlissel may be able to help you with these problems. Contact us by e-mail or call anytime at 1-800 344-6431.

Picture courtesy of ncbm.org.

The Federal Transportation Department has recently penalized three  airlines for leaving forty-seven passengers stranded overnight at a Rochester, Minnesota airport. The amount of the penalty was $175,000. Continental Airlines and its local affiliate, express jet, operating as Continental Express, had promised to let passengers off their jets within 3 hours if there was going to be an extended delay on the runway. Although the airlines felt this promise was not enforceable, the transportation department felt otherwise. The airlines are paying $50,000 each in civil penalties.

An airline by the name of Mesaba also agreed to pay $75,000 because one of its employees advised Continental Airlines that the passengers were not allowed in the terminal due to the fact the Transportation Security Administration wasn’t present.

The transportation department felt that Mesaba displayed “indifference to the passengers” and that was an unfair and deceptive practice. Mesaba has agreed to pay the fine.

The Continental Express passengers were kept on an airplane from 12:30 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. Ray LaHood, the Secretary of Transportation, stated “I hope this sends a signal to the rest of the airline industry that we expect their lines to respect the rights of air travelers. We will also use what we have learned from this investigation to strengthen protections for airline passengers subjected to long tarmac delays”.

The transportation department is requiring airlines to have contingency plans for long airport delays. If you are delayed on the tarmac in an airplane for more than three (3) hours, you may be able to collect damages for your being stranded on an airplane!

For any personal injury or any of your civil litigation needs, you can always contact the litigation attorneys at our office either by e-mail or at 800-344-6431.

Picture courtesy of csmonitor.

To Taser Or Not To Taser

January 25, 2010

(The “Don’t Tase Me Bro!” Video – See minute marker 1:50)

 The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that the use of a taser stun gun by a police officer can be considered, under certain circumstances, excessive force which leaves the police officer open to be sued for the injuries received by the tasered individual. The taser is an electric stun gun. It is powered by a lithium battery inside his handle. It shoots two bob prongs which are attached to the end of a wire that is 21 feet long. The prongs hook on to a person’s skin or clothing. When the prongs hit the individual, they discharge 50,000 volts of electricity for up to 5 seconds. This has the effect of temporarily incapacitated the tasered individual.

Although the taser is considered a non-lethal weapon, in some situations it has caused deaths.

In the case before the Ninth Circuit, Carl Bryan, had an emotional break-down after receiving a series of traffic tickets. While the police officer was writing out the traffic tickets, Mr. Bryan exited his vehicle and started to curse at himself. Mr. Bryan was distraught, crying and yelling giberish while beating his thighs.

A police officer on the scene, Officer McPherson tasered Mr. Bryan from approximately 20 feet away. Upon being hit by the taser, Mr. Bryan fell face down to the ground. The fall caused him to break four teeth.

The court held that at no time did Mr. Bryan present a threat to Police Officer McPherson. He neither made any verbal threat or presented a physical threat. The police officer should have spoken to Mr. Bryan first and warned him if he did not control himself he could be tasered.

As a result of this decision, Mr. Bryan can bring a civil lawsuit against Officer McPherson and his police department for injuries he received by the use of excessive force (being tasered) during his traffic stop. This is one of the first cases in the nation to create a legal standard concerning the use of taser stun guns.

Should you have an encounter with law enforcement officials who have acted inappropriately, call the criminal defense and civil litigation attorneys at the law offices of Elliot Schlissel by e-mail or at 1-800-344-6431. You may have a remedy available through a Civil Lawsuit.

The government of Iran recently acknowledged that a minimum of three of the young people held in the Iranian jails were beaten to death. This is a rare victory for governmental critics. 

It had previously been explained that meningitis was the cause of these deaths. However, the coroner’s office has stated that this is incorrect. The three died of severe beatings. The wounds to the protestors bodies were the cause of their death.

Twelve officials from the Kahrizak prison have been charged with murder. This was the prison on the outskirts of Taran where prisoners were tortured and raped.

It is claimed that 72 of the protestors were killed by their jailors. The government of Iran claims only 30 protestors died.

The Iranian government had initially denied all accusations of improper treatment of prisoners. Prosecutors have also stated this month that a doctor who originally exposed the mistreatment and torture of prisoners died from poisoning. It is alleged the cause of this doctor’s death was celery that contained an overdose of blood pressure medication. The opposition in Iran claims he was murdered because he was cooperating with prosecutors. The 26 year old doctor, Raminpour Andarjaini, had previously testified before Parliament. He advised Parliament that he treated protestors that died from torture. However, he was forced to lie by Iranian security officials as to the cause of their death on their death certificates.

The judiciary in Iran has been active involved in efforts to silence opposition protestors. The judiciary has been involved in the trial of more than 100 protestors, reformers and opposition leaders. The judiciary’s position is that the protests are part of an overall international plot to overthrow the Iranian government.

As always, for any kind of legal help, you can contact the Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel at any time, 24/7, either by e-mail or at 800-344-6431.

Picture courtesy of the Seattle Times.

Ken Gormluy, a Duquesne University law professor, has written a thoroughly researched 769 page book that includes interviews with Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton.

Monica Lewinsky states in the book that formerly United States President Bill Clinton committed perjury before the White Water Grand Jury when he testified about their sexual relationship. Christmas testimony for the White Water Grand Jury has created credibility issues for the x-President. He specifically said in his testimony “it depends on what the meaning of is is”. This is in reference to whether the oral sex performed by Monica Lewinsky on Bill Clinton was a sexual act.

In this new book, Monica Lewinsky claims that Bill Clinton lied under oath. She claims that President Clinton testified falsely when he appeared before the Grand Jury regarding their liaison. 

There are two schools of thought with regard to the White Water investigation. One school of thought is that independent prosecutor, Kenneth W. Star, was an overly zealous prosecutor seeking to embarrass a President regarding personal material that was none of the public’s business.

The other school of thought was that President Clinton had an obligation to conduct himself in an appropriate manner while he was in the highest office in the country.

The books also asserts that Bill Clinton had a relationship with Susan McDougel, the one-time wife of James McDougel. James McDougel’s failed Savings and Loan Association prompted the original star investigation. It should be noted that Susan McDougel spent more than eighteen months in prison rather than answer questions from prosecutors. She was pardoned by Bill Clinton when he left the Presidential office. Susan McDougel refused to be interviewed by Ken Gromely.

During Star’s investigation, a memo had been circulated with regard to the outline of an indictment of Hilary Radum Clinton. This is regarding Ms. Clinton’s hiding the Clinton’s involvement in Jim McDougel’s, bankrupt thrift institution, Madison Guarantee Savings & Loan. However, there was a three hour presentation regarding inditing Hilary Clinton, there was a unanimous vote not to move forward with this matter. Individuals who are under investigation by either Federal or State Prosecutors should contact experienced attorneys to represent them as early as possible during these investigations. The Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel have handled discrete investigations by prosecutors. Feel free to call 1-800 344-6431 or e-mail us  for a free consultation .

 

International Custody Drama

January 20, 2010

Father, an American citizen, seeks his son’s return from Brazil:

David Goldman’s saga began in 2004. His wife took his son on a vacation to her native country, Brazil, in 2004. She then brought a divorce proceeding in Brazil. She stayed in Brazil after the divorce proceeding in what Goldman and the US Government referred to as a child abduction.

The boy’s mother eventually remarried. However she died last year. Her relatives and her second husband have been involved in legal proceedings keeping the boy in Brazil. The Family alleges that the boy, Shawn, desired to stay in Brazil. Recently the Brazilian Supreme Court said that Shawn’s own feelings should be taken into consideration regarding this matter. David Goldman had been litigating in Brazil for more than five years to try and have his son returned to him.

This litigation involving Goldman’s son impacted relations between Brazil and the United States. Earlier this year, United States Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, asked the Brazilian Government to have Shawn returned to his father’s custody in the United States. The United States House of Representatives has also passed a resolution asking Brazil’s government to return Shawn to live with his father in the United States.

The Brazilian Supreme Court has ordered that Shawn be returned to his father. David Goldman went to Brazil and picked up Shawn. Child and father are now back in the United States getting to know each other again. The child custody lawyers at the Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel are experienced in handling International custody disputes. Should you have questions about an International custody matter feel free to contact the International custody lawyers at the Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel at 1-800-344-6431 or by e-mail.

Picture of Sean and David’s reunion on 12/24/09 courtesy of Bossip.

Many Americans unfortunately find themselves having difficulty paying their mortgages. When a family falls behind on their mortgage payments, there are a number of ways to deal with the situation. Houses go into foreclosure for a variety of reasons. Loss of employment, divorce, injuries, illnesses and disabilities. In this situation, you have a number of options:

1. Mortgage Modification 

An application to your financial institution can be filed for a mortgage modification. This is a long and difficult process and unfortunately in many situations, the request for mortgage modification is denied. 

2. Forebearance Agreement 

Forbearance Agreements are agreements to allow you to catch up on your Mortgage while either freezing or modifying the mortgage payments. They are very similar to mortgage modification arrangements. 

3. Bankruptcy 

You can file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Bankruptcies are Federal Proceedings whereas the foreclosure proceedings are initiated in state courts. The bankruptcy filing gives you an automatic stay (freezes) the foreclosure proceeding and allows you to enter into repayment plan thru the bankruptcy court concerning your debt. Deed in Lieu of

4. Foreclosure

 You can simply deed your house back to the financial institution. 

5. Sell Your House 

You can sell your house, pay off the mortgage and keep the balance of the proceeds from the sale. If your house is worth less than the amount of your mortgage, you have to initiate a short sale with the permission of your financial institution. 

6. Fight Back 

Experienced Foreclosure Defense Attorneys can help you in defending foreclosure proceedings. Due to the large volume of cases, currently pending in New York State Courts, it could be 12 to 24 months for the foreclosure to be completed. 

7. Foreclosure 

Does this mean the bank owns my house? 

Foreclosure is the start of a process whereby a financial institution that has a mortgage or equity loan on your home seeks court intervention to have the house either sold or have the deed put back in the name of the financial institution. It is a long and detailed process. The foreclosure Is the start of the process and not the end of the process. The end of the process is the point at which you lose your home. The best way to deal with this process is to hire competent, experienced, Foreclosure Defense Attorneys. 

Fighting foreclosures are difficult but they can be dealt with by experienced dedicated attorneys who understand the foreclosure process. Feel free to contact our office anytime for information or a free consultation regarding our mortgage modification, foreclosure, and bankruptcy services. We will help you decide which path is right for you and then we will help guide you through the entire process.

You can reach us 24/7 at 800-344-6431 or click here to e-mail us.

Picture courtesy of planohomesandland.com.

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