Elonis, Reason, and Federal Subpoena Power

Ever said something nasty to someone else on the Internet?  Thought so. You may want to reconsider the next time you do that, because now Federal Prosecutors are having their say in who can question them and who cannot. This article by Ken White at Popehat explains the nuts and bolts of it better than…

The Third Narrative: McKinney, Texas

There’s a technique we use in collaborative practice called establishing the “third narrative.”  It requires one to put himself or herself in the shoes of the other side, consider their points and yours, and then reach a point where one can construct a version of the events leading to the conflict that makes sense for…

Trial Debrief: DCS, Fear, and the Nanny State.

The trial yesterday was one of the most brutal I’ve ever encountered.  I don’t want to go into details, but I will say that in this situation, the collective power of the State of Tennessee, Department of Children’s Services and a Guardian ad Litem who had made up her mind and simply didn’t give a…

On Safe Spaces, Challenges and Higher Education

I attended Carson-Newman College for undergrad, and spent about a year and a half in an education program at the University of Tennessee pursuing a Master’s. Carson-Newman was and still remains a quiet little Southern Baptist institution that required all students to attend church services at least once a week to graduate. UT is a…

Living in Parental Fear: A Brief Word on DCS

Personal and professional stuff to follow here. Those not interested in either can move on safely. ====================================================== I live with a fear as a parent that most won’t know. It’s inescapable, and it’s not the traditional fears of things like “will Talia reach something on the counter she shouldn’t” or “will Sebastian go to a…

Good Laws, Good Intent, Bad Consequences

This week, I’d like to thank Indiana Governor Mike Pence for providing us with yet another example of why making laws isn’t always the best of ideas, and the rest of the world for reminding us why–yet again–people don’t really get the process of lawmaking, or how passing a law can have unintended consequences. There’s…

When it Doesn’t Look, Smell, Or Quack Like Mediation

I recently got an open house invitation to a new mediation practitioner’s office in an area not too far from Compound West.  The new “Mediation Center” had a fancy set of invitations, and links to a new website. As I am one who always welcomes another interested soul in bringing change to the legal profession…