It was a lively December as always to end a very successful year at ALO. One significant case settled, involving the death of a pregnant mother awaiting delivery of her child in Bethel. ALO alleged that the hospital failed to properly diagnose her serious medical issue, resulting in her death, as well as the death of her unborn baby. A case mentioned in last month's news also settled, after a judge ruled that a barge and tug were mainly responsible for a ruined fish net in Bristol Bay near Dillingham. That case was one of two cases resolved in December for which no fee was charged. The second was a real estate dispute in Anchorage involving Angstman family friends who had already paid a lawyer a bunch of money trying to get a house sold. The owners were a young couple who bought the house when living together, but later split up. ALO helped get an agreement to sell the house and when the deal closed, the happy clients sent some wine as a thank you. ALO's 2016 marketing motto thus becomes "Will Work For Wine".
In addition to working for no fee on a bunch of cases every year, ALO also sponsors local events, such as a recent pair of free swimming days for kids at the local pool. The theory behind that effort is the fact that there is nothing worse than a stingy lawyer. On second thought, there might be something worse than a stingy lawyer. How about an ultra-rich televangelist, with a fake TV smile who lives in this mansion in Texas?
Please don't send him money. Find a good organization like the Salvation Army that pays its top employee about $200,000 a year and actually uses most of its donations to help needy folks.
ALO is involved in a case which made big news not only in Alaska but nationally. Here are a few stories about ALO client Wade Renfro and his famous customer. One from the Huffington Post and a video from Good Morning America. It even made the Minneapolis paper. Did anyone notice the tattoo?? This ALO case from Kodiak is also making a lot of headlines around the state and world. Someone sent a link to articles in Ireland and the United Kingdom. The City of Kodiak has attempted to spin this story in a favorable fashion, but this story shows they need to check their facts a little closer. ALO represents the autistic man in the story. It is a classic case of shoot first, ask questions later, which is a bad idea most of the time. Here is a follow up story to the tasing incident in Sitka which made the news last month, featuring a picture of a lawyer who doesn't often dress for the occasion.
Speaking of shooting, guns in America continue to make headlines on a regular basis. Some folks loudly cite the second amendment for the proposition that no one better mess with their right to bear arms. Some of them couldn't tell you what the amendment says, but that's ok. Here is what conservative Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger, a Minnesotan, had to say about the Second Amendment a while back.
In Bethel, a four year old state trooper's son recently killed himself while playing with his father's handgun at home, a couple of blocks from ALO. Since 1968, more Americans have been killed by gunshots within our borders than have been killed by enemy fire in all of our wars dating back to the Revolutionary war. Our gun laws are not working all that well.
Warm weather has been rampant in Alaska. A north wind recently blew hard around Nome, bringing with it 35 degree temps. Long time musher Joe Garnie said in his entire life he had never seen a winter wind from the north bring warm temps. Here is an article from the Christian Science Monitor that explains why. Remember, the Monitor is a very conservative publication. Its not just Alaska. Check this story about Lake Superior. If a big lake like that is warming up, it makes sense that small lakes are too. When that causes fish fatalities in Minnesota lakes, many of the deniers will change their tune in a hurry. Of course, ocean temps are also up, along with ocean acid. Here is a short summary of the problem. Almost seems like a trend.
Not all the news was bad in December. This mandatory moose photo shows a unique scene at a morning flag raising on a military base near Anchorage.
Bethel graduate Natalie Hanson continues to make news. ALO represented Kotzebue author Seth Kantner on a minor fish ticket case recently. He is one of Alaska's best writers, and he wrote this short piece for the Anchorage paper. He also wrote a new book which will be reviewed here soon. Here is the latest night time sky photo from Bethel's JoeJoe Prince, who must never sleep.
Even if you haven't checked any of the previous links for this month, be sure to check this one. It is only a few seconds, and if you don't laugh at the end, you are not allowed to read any more editions of the ALO News because you have no sense of humor.