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Prosecutors and Sex Crimes: What Year Are We In?

The other day I was reading the Huffington Post and came across an article titled "Prosecutors Rarely Bring Charges in College Rape Cases." It detailed how an LA County prosecutor informed a victim that he wasn't going to proceed with her case because jurors "have no experience in any kind of sex crimes occurring in their life" and would have problems convicting beyond a reasonable doubt. Sound plausible to you? Well, the offender confessed. CONFESSED. Read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/17/college-rape-prosecutors-press-charges_n_5500432.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share When I read this, I wondered: What year is this?…

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IMPROVING YOUR LIKEABILITY FACTOR

In the past week, I've had two people tell me that I have a rare quality: likeability.  One of these people proclaimed it loudly to others, delighting me, of course. Some people are instantly likeable. They have an easy manner, a ready smile and their energy is attractive to others. It's been shown that people who have this characteristic go far in life, from politicians to employees.  The good news is it's something you can learn. You see, likeability isn't something that came naturally to me. It's a skill-set I've…

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5 Quick Tips to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

Jerry Seinfeld said   “According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” Fear of public speaking trumps death! If you're one of many who feel like this, how do you change it? 1. Start small. If you consider it, you're engaged in public speaking all the time. You talk to friends, family, co-workers,…

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DEATH BY POWERPOINT

As a speaker, Toastmaster and public speaking/trial skills coach, I get to see lots of presentations. What's the one thing that makes me want to put my head in my hands? POWERPOINT This product should come with a warning label: IF MISUSED WILL PUT AUDIENCES TO SLEEP OR MAKE THEM WANT TO DO VIOLENCE. Think back to when you were (or maybe still are) trapped in a classroom at the mercy of a teacher who drones on while pointing to the board and reading things verbatim that he/she has written…

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Adventures In Restraining Order Land

Recently I decided to go to court to watch civil harassment restraining order hearings before a judge I hadn't appeared before. I have a case in front of him soon and wanted to see if his judicial temperament was  reasoned jurist or screaming maniacal behemoth.A civil harassment order is something you obtain when someone harasses, threatens, stalks, assaults or engages in similar unacceptable behavior. It enables you to call the police and have them arrested if they come near you again. The court issues a temporary order then, after the…

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DEALING WITH WORKPLACE TROLLS

The word "troll" is used to describe people who sow discord on the Internet, start arguments, cause uproars and foment general discontent. In 2014, Zelda Williams, the daughter of the late comedian Robin Williams, was driven off Twitter after receiving menacing and abusive messages from trolls. In February 2015, the Washington Post published an article by Michelle Goldberg about trolls who have caused many feminist writers to stop writing. Many other these women had received threats of physical harm and constant harassment. Trolls, however, don't confine themselves to cyberspace. If…

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The Tale of a Bad Case

This week I had a friend ask me to write about my worst legal experience. I immediately said NO. There have been a lot of gut-wrenching, nightmare making, soul searching cases that I choose not to relive. The more I thought about this, I did recall one I don't mind sharing. I had been a prosecutor for about three years and was assigned to do misdemeanor trials. Today, prosecutors are assigned their cases ahead of time and have a chance to review them. Then, in the days of "Wild West"…

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A Fish Story

 I grew up in the Imperial Valley, California. A wide bowl of desert dotted with fields of crops fed by an extensive irrigation system of canals. In elementary school, we had a "Dippy Duck: Don't Swim In Canals" program because the water looked placid on top but had strong undercurrents.When I was around six years old, my father decided to introduce me to fishing. We headed out to a canal, driving along a dusty road next to a field in his beat up white truck. When we got out, I…

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Beta Traps and Crocodile Brains

Are you job interviewing in this down economy? Pitching a book idea?  Picking a jury? Trying to convince a loved one they really need to go to that football game with you? Raising venture capital?Life's about sales, no matter if it's business or personal relationships. I recently read a book by Oren Klaff called Pitch Anything! Klaff chased down every useable theory in the field of Neuroeconomics and formulated an answer to both how he could better forge a connection with the people he was pitching to, which led to multi-million dollar…

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