Daily Archives: February 5, 2013

You’ll have to pass it to find out what’s in it

Seven million Americans to lose their health insurance under ObamaKare.

President Obama’s health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage — nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.

CBO said that this year’s tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so. Instead, they’ll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade.

Remember that routine the Kenyan used to put on, the part where he kept repeating, “if you like your present insurance policy you can keep it”?  He’s going to pay your mortgage, too – relax.


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From what I’ve heard about some wives, that’s too much sex even to keep a husband around

Study: Twenty-one minutes a year could save your marriage

Comments Off on From what I’ve heard about some wives, that’s too much sex even to keep a husband around

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Okay, back to real estate, briefly


Wait! I think I hear a price cut coming!

Wait! I think I hear a price cut coming!

160 John Street is back, now asking $28.5 million for the house, the 8 acres it sits on and another four 2+  acre building lots/ horse stable stuff, for a total of 18 acres.

The whole shebang started looking for a buyer two agents ago in 2009, when it was priced at $39,500,000. That dropped to $32.5 in 2010 and then was jacked up again to $41 million in 2011 and when it still didn’t sell and a new broker was brought in, she raised the rice to $45 million. I tell you, that’s a tactic that just doesn’t work, even though your common sense says it’s bound to. A real puzzler, that.

So here it again, at its lowest price yet. Will this third time be the charm? It’s gorgeous land and depending on your feeling for Robert Lamb Hart designs, there’s a house that comes with it that you could keep. We’ll see.


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Hey, threaten me, I don’t care, but don’t piss off my brothers

Little brother Anthony (big brother to you, Gideon), the very Bovina Bloviator Blogger himself,  digs up the secret that explains why Miss O’Clay has so much free time on her hands. UPDATE: She’s substituted my name for hers on the link – this is the behavior of a 45-year old temp lawyer? Shocking, I say, it’s simply shocking!

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Darn it, just as things were warming up, Barbara O’Clay calls it a day. But does she commit a tort by doing so?

Miss Clay has retreated to the sidelines, which is too bad, because I suppose it means I have to go back to work. But her parting shot seems to be calling for someone else to take up her cause, and that might just constitute the tort of champerty. Here’s what she posts:

Submitted on 2013/02/05 at 4:09 pm

Who would like to take this case? Seriously, I have no time working 24/7. Call me if you want it. I wasn’t “canned” by David Boies, so I think we’re set. I alerted Crius that this was going on as it’s a circus show now thanks to cf. This will be the last post I make. You all have been great fun. Thanks for all the kind comments. Best to you all.

And here’s how Wikipedia defines Champerty – I wouldn’t know whether they got it right, having failed law school and all that, but it seems to jibe with the definition I once read on the back of an “Inspiring Tales for Young Lawyers” card set, back in the day.


Champerty and maintenance are doctrines in common law jurisdictions, that aim to preclude frivolous litigation. “Maintenance” is the intermeddling of a disinterested party to encourage a lawsuit.[1] It is “A taking in hand, a bearing up or upholding of quarrels or sides, to the disturbance of the common right.”[2] “Champerty” is the “maintenance” of a person in a lawsuit on condition that the subject matter of the action is to be shared with the maintainer.[3] Among laypersons, this is known as “buying into someone else’s lawsuit.”

In modern idiom maintenance is the support of litigation by a stranger without just cause. Champerty is an aggravated form of maintenance. The distinguishing feature of champerty is the support of litigation by a stranger in return for a share of the proceeds.

— Lord Justice Steyn , Giles v Thompson[4]

At common law, maintenance and champerty were both crimes and torts, as was barratry, the bringing of vexatious litigation. This is generally no longer so as during the nineteenth century, the development of legal ethics tended to obviate the risks to the public, particularly after the scandal of the Swynfen will case (1856–1864).[5] However, the principles are relevant to modern contingent fee agreements between a lawyerand a client and to the assignment by a plaintiff of his rights in a lawsuit to someone with no connection to the case. Champertous contracts can still, depending on jurisdiction, be void for public policy or attract liability for costs.


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Anyone can get a law degree, it seems

So yesterday I posted on 14 Sound Beach Avenue and, because it is perched immediately on I-95, I suggested that it might be a little noisy.

Notwithstanding that caution, several readers commented that it seemed like a reasonable rental property investment and inquired about the current rent; the owner chose to take umbrage and posted her own comment:

Hi, I’m the current owner and an [sic] very experienced and well respected attorney. Chris, you have a lot of facts here that are flat out wrong. You may want to give me a call and correct this article 203-560-4477 or perhaps I can have some fun and get a ceast [sic] and desist on your website. There are also assumptions in this article that are just silly, not well thought out, and mean-spirited…..Next example – everyone knows in Greenwhich the “95-sound” travels down the block, not next to the house. As your bloggers note, there is huge opportunity here as the state is willing to sell the land behind (I had the right for a while, I can tell you know to do it). Thank goodness I have the best realtor that dealt with your meanness in an elegant way. I’ll be calling you to make the needed corrections ASAP.

Okay, I wasn’t particularly impressed, so I made a request of my own:

If there’s more than that “error”, feel free to add them here. But please, enough of the “I’m a well respected attorney and I’m going to sue you hrmmphh hrmmph” crap – you give the rest of us ambulance chasers a bad name.

Miss Barbara O’Shea, Clay, the owner of 14 Sound Beach has now taken to emailing me, thus:

I will be filing in court tomorrow unless the article is taken down or a MAJOR correction is posted immediately.

I just don’t understand the sloppy journalism and evil tone “grab your ear-muffs”.  What is wrong with you?  On second thought, you can explain it to the judge.

Do you even understand the liability you may have bought yourself – interference with a contract, etc.?

I’m just dumbfounded by the stupidity.  Forgive me for this second e-mail, but I re-read the garbage writing and article (garbage) and I just started to realize just how wrong it was …

I am so ready to take this to  court tomorrow.  Maybe you’ll think twice about doing this to people who can’t defend themselves.

Barbara Clay

Associate General Counsel

And now this:

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Accepted offers

Three reported today, so far.

Faaarm livin' is the life for me ...

100 Rockwood. Faaarm livin’ is the life for me ..

100 Rockwood Lane, $3.4 million. It’s a short sale, which suggests a bargain, but otherwise uninteresting, at least to my clients, none of whom would even nibble at this pseudo-barn.

5 North Ridge, $829,000. Havemeyer, next to the Big Dig.

12 Oak Drive, Riverside. I’ll withhold comment.


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Showings via keyboxes, 2011 vs 2012


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Off to open houses

Theme for today seems to be $4.5 million mid country – there are four of them. It will be interesting to compare them and see whether they all got it right.


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Westchester tax refugees, or has the sub-million market extended west?


11 Hickory

11 Hickory

11 Hickory Lane, over on the Port Chester border, came on twenty-one days ago at $1.075 and already reports an accepted offer. My heavens. I don’t do much business over there – not because of deliberate choice, I just haven’t represented anyone recently who wants to live there – so I don’t follow sales activity closely. Still, this quick sale surprises me, which is no doubt due to my ignorance. But my initial reaction is, “a million bucks? Are you friggin’ kidding me??!!”


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The disarming of America proceeds apace

Half-way back: Venus rearmed

Half-way back: Venus rearmed

After exhausting the supply of factory ammunition many shooters had the bright idea of rolling their own. So many shooters, in fact, that now there’s no gunpowder available. I attribute this to panic buying from gun owners (rightfully) fearful that the government is coming after their guns, but there may be a long term change in demand even after this rush subsides. After being unable to find shooting supplies for the past few months (and guns themselves are back ordered six months to two years), who won’t stock up ten-fold when they can? I myself saw 5,200 rounds of .22LR for sale at Luckygunner.com Sunday night and hit the “buy” button to seize them. My order was accepted, but when I checked back five minutes later, the entire supply was gone. (For non shooters who wonder why anyone could possibly want 5,000 rounds of anything, you should know that it’s easy to fire off 200 rounds of cheap .22s in an hour of target practice. 5,000/200 = 25 hours at the range).

In any event, it will be nice to see ammunition demand at least quiet down, if not return to pre-Obama levels.


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The larvae emerge

Okay, low hanging fruit here, but I was ever so pleased to see Greenwich Time balance its hysterical claim that we’re witnessing the end of the world as we know it with a cheery bit about grand society continuing as it always has: the Debutant Ball!

Nicole’s mother, Sabrina Forsythe, daughter of Greenwich auto magnate [that’s GT for “VW peddler” – Ed] and philanthropist Malcolm Pray, also grew up in Greenwich. Forsythe came out at three balls [she was known as “Frank” before she did – Ed]  and felt strongly that her daughters, each presented at two, continue the tradition.

“I am a true believer in legacy and passing down all the opportunities to my children that I can,” she said.

While the debutante ball was originally intended to present young women to eligible suitors for marriage, the tradition has evolved. Forsythe and her daughter agreed that networking is one of the best parts of the event.

Nicole, who is studying business atBabson College, said she appreciated the opportunity to meet important people in the New York business scene. She hopes to reconnect with them when she is looking for internships and jobs.

She also said it was fun to meet girls from different states and countries. After a weekend of rehearsals, luncheons and parties they learned about each other’s cultures and traditions.

“It was nice meeting everyone and seeing what is different from where they came from,” she said. [Like girls from Ohio, perhaps, with cow dung stuck between their toes? – Ed]

Forsythe said she has remained friends with the women she met as a debutante, many of whom had daughters at the event Dec. 29. To her, being a debutante means “understanding your place in society” and making valuable connections inNew York society.

It’s almost enough to make one hope the flood forecasters are right.


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Why not toss a bible at them?

No crime zoneAfter a series of armed robberies against its students, Washington University reiterates its policy of a “gun free” campus for all non-criminals and issues loud whistles instead. Emblazoned with the WU logo, too.

The Washington University Police Department is offering a metal whistle for personal safety free to men and women students, faculty, and staff. The whistle can signal your need for help, frighten away someone who means harm to you, or alert others to call the police. The whistle is safe, non-violent, and, when carried on a key-chain, cannot be used as a weapon against you.The Defender is shrill, loud, and of very high quality. It also bears the “WU” insignia. In fact, it’s exactly the same whistle made for the National Fraternal Order of Police. Whistles are available in the Communications Center of the Police Department, our crime prevention office, or by calling us at 935-5084, or request one on-lineRemember: DO NOT BLOW THESE WHISTLES EXCEPT FOR EMERGENCIES

“Whistling always cheers a body up, even in the darkest times,” WU spokeswoman Gertrude Pansy told FWIW’s fact checker and quote verifier B. Simonds, “so if we can’t protect these women and won’t let them defend themselves, at least we can lessen their trauma. Tooting out “Ode to Joy” while being raped from behind will give a girl courage, and is bound to perk her up and help her stop with the whining, for Christ’s sake.”

Asked if the university had any other plans to address crime against its campus  community Pansy smiled: “Oh, absolutely” she said, pointing to a newly installed street sign, “didn’t you notice? We’ve absolutely forbidden it. That should put paid to all but the most wicked of evil doers. Problem solved.”


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