Instagram Busts A Lawyer’s Lie

New York-based lawyer Lina Franco had missed a November 23, 2016 filing deadline for a motion for class certification in a wage-and-hour law suit. Missing deadlines is a lawyer n0-no, and can get you sanctioned, sued, fired, or worse.  Luckily, Franco had an excuse, or so she thought.  She filed for an extension 16 days past the deadline, claiming that she had been forced to leave the country for the family emergency. She even submitted a flight itinerary showing she had flown from New York City to Mexico City on Thursday, November 21, and had remained there until December 8.

Let’s call this particular social media gaffe Ferris Bueller’s Mistake.  For Instagram photos from Franco’s public account indicated that she was in New York City and later Miami during that period. You know, like when Ferris turned up on TV at a ball game when he was supposedly sick in bed? Like that.  There was another teeny problem: November 21, 2016 was a Monday, not a Thursday, as the judge sanctioning Franco $10,000 pointed out in his ruling.

Franco now admits that she had gone to Mexico City earlier in November than she said, but that her mother’s medical diagnosis sent her “into a tailspin” causing her to miss the deadline and to submit the  false itinerary.

Now watch Instagram posts show up from Franco’s mother, with photos of her winning a seniors kickboxing tournament. Continue reading

Grassy Knoll Ethics: How Deception Breeds Distrust


We once again must squarely face the hoary  quote from Walter Scott’s epic poem Marmion: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” It is hoary because it is true, and this month’s Smithsonian Magazine reminds us of how true it is, recounting how well-intentioned deceptions by the news media regarding evidence in the assassination of President Kennedy helped create a conspiracy theory that will not die, and that may have begun the slow, relentless deterioration of America’s trust in its own government that has reached dangerous proportions today.

Frame 313 of Abraham Zapruder’s accidental record of one of the pivotal moments in U.S. history gave him nightmares, and when he sold the rights to his amateur movie to Life Magazine, he insisted that frame be withheld from the public, and not published. “We like to feel that the world is safe,” documentary maker Errol Morris explains in the article.“Safe at least in the sense that we can know about it. The Kennedy assassination is very much an essay on the unsafety of the world. If a man that powerful, that young, that rich, that successful, can just be wiped off the face of the earth in an instant, what does it say about the rest of us?” I understand, but withholding the truth is not the way to make the world seem safer. As the story of the conspiracy shows, it is how we end up trusting no one. Continue reading

Introducing “The Marmion Award” and Its 2012 Honorees, Lavera Irene Hammond-Jackson and Stella Hammond-Jackson

Don't be so gloomy, Sir Walter! Here, let me cheer you up by telling you about the tangled web woven by the

Don’t be so gloomy, Sir Walter! Here, let me cheer you up by telling you about the tangled web woven by the Hammond-Jacksons!

I may never award this particular prize again, but a spectacular episode of incompetent mendacity like this needs to be immortalized. The Marmion Award is named in honor of “Marmion,” the long epic poem by novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). The work is best known for its lines:

Oh! what a tangled web we weave

When first we practice to deceive!

A Palmer too! No wonder why.

I felt rebuked beneath his eye.

I don’t know what Palmer has to do with it, but the reasons for the award will be immediately apparent when one reads the hilarious and deadpan Oconee County Sheriff’s Office account of the shoplifting arrest of a mother-daughter team at a Walmart’s in Oconee County, South Carolina. While it is refreshing, in an era when so many teens are estranged from their parents and reject their values, to see a mother and daughter so close in interests and ambitions, I cannot help reflect on how the daughter in this case never had a fighting chance to join the ranks of honest, respectable, productive members of society, since her mother has obviously raised her to be a shameless thief and a liar, and by the evidence of this report, succeeded in her goal. The report also shows, unfortunately, that a proud mentor’s offspring is unlikely to become a convincing liar if her mother and teacher is this inept at it herself.

Here is the report, reprinted in the Oconee Patch. I want to thank the patch, Fark, which flagged it, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, which preserved it for posterity, and especially the Hammond-Jacksons for giving me, in my depressed holiday state, the best laugh I’ve had in a long, long time.  Continue reading