Saturday, May 19, 2012

Alan Dershowitz and Florida Rule 4-8-3: What Florida lawyer will step up to the plate?

This is about the Zimmerman case and Harvard’s Professor Alan Dershowitz.  (Full disclosure: Years ago when I represented Walter Polovchak, “The Littlest Defector,” Professor Dershowitz was one of the few lawyers, let alone academics, in America who defended the boy’s right to asylum and to remain in the United States.  I still owe him. You can Google it.)
In the past few days, Professor Dershowitz has been interviewed at length about the outrageous immoral, unprofessional, unethical, unconstitutional and even illegal conduct of the Zimmerman prosecutor.  He has been 100% correct!

I will not recount her misdeeds, nor Dershowitz’s indictment of her.  Suffice to say that the prosecutor's treatment of evidence, disclosure of relevant information to the defendant and court, her handiwork in preparation of the affidavit upon which the charges were based, and charging Murder 2 when not only was there no evidence but the available facts showed a prima facie case of self-defense, all raise substantial questions about her violation of American Bar Association and Florida rules for the professional conduct of lawyers.

The Florida Statutes Annotated Bar Rule 4-8.3(a) provides that: “Reporting Misconduct of Other Lawyers. A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects shall inform the appropriate professional authority.”  The emphasis on “shall” is mine, to make the point that if the conditions of Rule 4-8.3(a) have been violated a Florida-licensed lawyer has no choice but to report the offender.

The statute’s Editors’ Notes inform us of this: “Self-regulation of the legal profession requires that members of the profession initiate disciplinary investigation when they know of a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. * * *  This rule limits the reporting obligation to those offenses that a self-regulating profession must vigorously endeavor to prevent.”

The convincing case against the Zimmerman prosecutor that has been made by Professor Dershowitz and others has imposed a professional obligation on Florida lawyers.  It will be interesting to see if any of them recognize that and act accordingly.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review of Erika Holzer short story

  Scout & Engineer is the name of a new journal presenting short fiction.
  In its first edition (on Amazon's Kindle), Erika Holzer provided a short story entitled "Eyewitness."
  Here is the first review to appear.
5.0 out of 5 starsA Real Find, May 16, 2012
By Al Ramrus

I have no idea whether Erika Holzer ("Eyewitness") 
has ever read Somerset Maugham, one of the finest 
short-story writers of the 20th century, but she sure
follows his prescription: "The major task of any writer
is to make the reader want to turn the page."

Holzer will make you want to turn the pages with her

story of a Mafia princess who's rebelled against her
family to pursue an honorable life and successful career. 
But she's pulled into a Mafia war to protect her father, a 
mob boss, with her courage and her brains. If that sounds
a bit like "The Godfather," don't worry about it. Holzer's 
style is lean, hard and fast, like "The Godfather," but her
characters and plot are completely different, and so is her
romantic sense of life. 
  Amazon apparently welcomes reviews, and actually acknowledged 
  receipt of Mr. Ramrus's.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

FEARLESS, by Eric Blehm (Waterbook Press, May 2012). Reviewed by Henry Mark Holzer

As I write these words today, and later when they’re read by others, it’s certain that in far-flung places around the world United States Navy SEALs are in the field.  As we plant flowers, go to work, play with our children, drive to the nearby mall, welcome a newborn to the family, American warriors are swimming ashore, jumping from airplanes, interrogating hostile prisoners, rescuing terrorists’ American hostages, engaging enemies in deadly firefights and obtaining intelligence crucial to our national security.  

You can be sure that in rugged mountain areas, insect-ridden swamps, unforgiving endless deserts, triple-canopy jungles, and pirate-infested waters, SEALs are there.  While we safely live our lives, mostly oblivious to what those men are doing to protect us, some of them die. 

Indeed, as the end-credits rolled in the recent inspiring film about SEALs, Act of Valor, I quickly counted dozens of in memoriam names of Navy warriors who have died since September 11, 2001. 

The names themselves don’t tell us anything about the dead heroes.  About their motivation to serve our country, their ability to withstand a grueling training regimen seemingly beyond psychological and physical endurance, their sometime near-superhuman courageous feats.  And, above all, about their unmitigated devotion to country and to each other.

Although the veil has been lifted somewhat on special operations— especially lately, when SEALs liberated an American captain and his crew from Somali pirates and liquidated Osama bin Laden—still, there’s a paucity of non-fiction that has successfully and seamlessly integrated the personal stories of the men with their heroic vocation.

Eric Blehm—author of the 2010 bestseller The Only Thing Worth Dying For (reviewed by me at—has admirably succeeded in accomplishing that difficult structural and literary challenge in his new book, Fearless.

The author conducted extensive interviews with the actual SEALs who walked the walk  and fought the fights together with team member Adam Brown, the book’s protagonist.  Blehm interviewed Adam’s wife, Kelley, his parents, and friends from his youth.  The author had access to “official documents, statements, military records and reports, criminal records, family archives, letters, emails, and journal and diary entries.”

Within a tight, chronological structure, Eric Blehm has woven this trove into an uplifting story of a youth’s fall, a man’s redemption and, in the end, a hero’s gift to his country—all occurring in the short lifetime of “one of the most respected Special Operations warriors in the United States Navy.”  Blehm’s evocative prose—in his action scenes, on a par with the David Morrells and W.E.B. Griffins of that genre—leaves the reader with emotions of incredulity, pride, fear, sentiment, celebration, and more.

The author achieves this feat by chronicling Adam Brown’s life, from birth to his enlistment in the United States Navy vowing to become a SEAL.  As a teenager and young adult Adam was at once a loving son and brother, protector of the weak and all-around nice guy—and a crack addict.

Nearing the edge of the addiction abyss, Adam was pulled back, barely, by a combination of his own deep religious belief, a strong-willed woman later his wife, and tough-love parents.  With the help of a Navy officer who went out on a long limb, putting his own reputation on the line with a strong recommendation, Adam Brown was able to enlist in the Navy.

Blehm recounts Adam’s insatiable drive to succeed, from enlisted seaman not merely graduating to the SEALs but to a special group within that organization.  He fought extreme odds, internal and external, to join the company of Naval elite warriors.  To be at the tip of the tip of the spear.

Nothing stopped Adam Brown. Not the excruciating mental and physical demands of SEAL and post-SEAL training.  Not loss of an eye in a friendly exercise.  Nor, later, smashed and reattached fingers caused by a road accident in Afghanistan.  Nor having to shoot with his non-dominant hand, and see with only his remaining eye. No matter how far, deep, high, cold, hot, painful, or dangerous, Adam Brown pushed forward with all he had, and then some more.  And more after that.

What was supposed to be his last deployment turned out to be, according to a team mate, “a classic . . . mission . . . . High value target in a high-danger environment.  American forces had never been to the valley where [their quarry] was holed up.  The whole area was bad guys; we expected zero compliance from anybody.  We needed to get in, hit everything real hard and fast, and get out before we encountered too much resistance.  If the sun were to come up, we’d be running out of bullets because it would have been us against the entire valley.”

A six hour march through rugged terrain took the team to their objective, the safe house of a key Taliban leader, where a furious firefight ensued with grave consequences.

Thanks to Eric Blehm's fine book, Adam Brown's inspiring life story has been preserved, especially his service to America as an heroic SEAL.

Per the book's title, Adam Brown was certainly Fearless.

But for me a different legacy--indeed, epitaph--comes to mind: indomitable.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Progress report

I was just informed that The American Constitution and Ayn Rand's "Inner Contradiction" is now number 6 of 100 on Amazon's list of "Hot New Releases in Constitutional Law."  (Note the company I'm keeping:

I mention this now because it provides me with an appropriate time to answer a question I've been asked in the past several weeks: "What am I [note the pronoun] doing to promote The American Constitution and Ayn Rand's "Inner Contradiction"?

In a word, Nothing.

If this seems an odd attitude, here's why.
The American Constitution and Ayn Rand's "Inner Contradiction" is the product of years practicing, teaching, researching, writing, cogitating, analyzing and synthesizing American constitutional law.  And spending decades applying to that subject Ayn Rand's political philosophy.  To the best of my knowledge no one else has done this in the same way I have. 

Just as Erika Holzer's and my "Aid and Comfort": Jane Fonda in North Vietnam, and my first and second editions of The Supreme Court Opinions of Clarence Thomas, are unique books, so too is The American Constitution and Ayn Rand's "Inner Contradiction."

I've eschewed my regular publisher in favor of getting this book out to the public before the November election, in the hope that it could have an impact on some voters.

I have seen that it is for sale on virtually every digital format in existence (for peanuts), and now there are print copies available (for peanuts, plus).

That's all I'm going to do.

(I'm taking a minute to think of a polite way to say the following.)

OK.  I've done enough.  The horses have been led to water, but I consider it unseemly for me to try to make them drink.

If members of the public consider my work valuable in the fight for freedom in America, it's up to them to use the ammunition I've provided.  Indeed, that's the least they can do.  They can spread the word . . . or not.

One easy way for like minded people to do that is by reviewing the book on Amazon.  Another is simply to tell as many people about it as possible. 

I have put up.  Now it's time for others to do the same, or . . . .

Saturday, May 5, 2012


As of Saturday night..........

[10:21:06 PM] 

#8 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Professional & Technical > Law > Constitutional Law

#8 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Law > Constitutional Law

#43 in Books > Law > Constitutional Law

Friday, May 4, 2012

ANNOUNCING THE PRINT EDITION OF The American Constitution and Ayn Rand's "Inner Contradiction"

AMAZON has just informed me that the print edition (trade paperback) of The American Constitution and Ayn Rand's "Inner Contradiction" is now available for purchase.

The book is 326 pages long, and contains the same material as the Kindle and other electronic versions.

It can be purchased via this link: