User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: LMSD Folding Tent, Computer Web cam in schools, FBI investigates school spy cam, Pensylvania school due for court

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

LMSD Folding Tent, Computer Web cam in schools, FBI investigates school spy cam, Pensylvania school due for court

When the tent should fold
rather than the show always going on

You can bet things are getting a little out of hand in the Rosemont, Pennsylvania web cam case. By now just about everyone on the planet knows the Lower Merion School District and Chris McGinley are in a heap of trouble for spying on Blake Robbins using school issued computer web cams.

The question is, where do we go from here?

A good attorney assess his case before he begins to bellow. If I were looking at a class action law suit staring my client down the throat, plus the possibility of criminal charges, my advice would be to put the ego on the shelf and eat crow.

Not likely here, the show must always go on!

Folding the big top early in a case like this can solve a lot of problems. Right now, this is mostly about egos and outrageous acts and the violation of Constitutional rights and the excitement of being the center of national attention. A little later this is going to be about money, free college educations and legal precedents. It is going to be a lot cheaper to settle this case now and swallow cud then if the wild fire blazes out of control.

"The school board should make a healthy financial contribution to someone, somewhere"

Swallowing cud is an expression folks in cow and ranching country use to say, "Stop the grandstanding, Herbert.  You are about to cost us a lot of money!"

How do you do that? The school district admits guilt without extending that guilt to any of the parties involved. It takes a bit of lawyering talent and speaking out of both sides of your mouth, but in case criminal charges are filed, it is a necessary step. It can also sway the decision to file criminal charges in the first place when all parties cry ‘no ball no foul’ and get back to the game.

Assuming you buy my theory, along with a massive loss of face, the school district should make a healthy financial contribution to someone somewhere. Sometimes it comes in the form of money damages to the Plaintiff, in this case, Master Robbin. They could throw in a free trip to Washington DC for the LMSD school board and administrators so each can study the Constitution on home ground. Of course, the students might go along, all expenses paid, too.  Someone needs to make sure the school officials hit the books!

Sometimes these kinds of settlements can cost a little more or a little less, but one thing is for sure:  If the Plaintiffs are able to prove their case and the super lawyers have to invest an ocean of time and buy laptops for an army of newly hired paralegals, it is going to cost a lot more in the long run. Judges are more likely to listen to the ‘no jail time’ argument if it gets to the criminal phase, as well.  And the Robbins family gets to stick around the community.

What am I talking about? An unanticipated side effect for being in the middle of a community split is the over-whelming sense that one is not welcome by all of those guys on the other side of the grand canyon.  If the self appointed arbiters of justice, the LMSD Parents, keep whipping up the spray, along with a gleeful press, the split will only widen.

For example, surfing the web, I found an immigrant who titled his blog The innocent righteous who thinks spying on children while in their home with mum is fine.  He has three daughters at Herriton Senior High School.  Do you think he would change his mind if a pic of one of his daughters shows up on the school spy pic site?

"Judges are more likley to listen to 'no jail time' arguments
from attorneys"

We know it is too late for reconciliation.

Or maybe we don't know. 

While I personally think intentions to bust the laws of privacy and the notions of decency into a billion pieces were very clear, and likely criminal, at the end of the day aren't we all sure these are pretty decent people?   We all make mistakes.  For the Robbins family, the LMSD, the students and faculty at Herriton Senior High School and the community, continuing this battle will be yet another mistake.  At least it will be quite a show!  Hey Lyn, pass me another box of  Mike and Ike's!

Tim Paynter is an attorney, a free lance writer, an activist for the rights of immigrants, children’s rights, the poor and the oppressed. Paynter says part of his inspiration comes from having an immigrant grandfather and once being a child.

google images, the big top tent, and various sites on the web.

Child clings to life, family needs help, can U?

It always helps me to put things into perspective.  I feel for Blake Robbins as he posed for his school administrators on his computer web cam, maybe dressed and maybe naked, according to speculation.  The issue is, he didn't know he was being watched at all!  The school admits to playing peeping tom and invading the privacy every 15 year old should expect to have.

Meanwhile, an 11 year old is having a time of it, as well.  He wants to be a soccer star.  Right now, he is fighting for his life.  The family is seeking donations.

I have stayed off of the story for quite awhile.  My Salazar family contact is heart broken.  Insisting on the latest news would be unfair.  Suffice it to say, after multiple operations, the removal of a healthy part of eduardo's colon, and a lot of support from those who know these wonderful people, the tike is still with us!

If you are in from Heriton Senior High School, or from anywhere for that matter, why not take a few minutes away from the whirl wind of fate and count your blessings.  After that, if you feel a twinge in your heart, why not send the Salazar family a donation?  Their problems are a lot bigger than mine!

Tim Paynter
Attorney at Law
120 South Kalamath St.
Denver, Co., 80223

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