first_imgA 21-year-old man was charged with voyeurism Nov. 21 for allegedly pointing his cell phone camera at a student in a Zahm House bathroom stall, according to court documents obtained by The Observer. The man was previously enrolled at the University and has been identified as Benjamine Wears.On Sept. 22, around 3 p.m., a student told Zahm rector Robert Francis that while using a first floor restroom in Zahm, he saw the person in the stall next to him holding a cell phone near his ankles with the camera application open. According to the probable cause affidavit, the cell phone was “pointed into [the student’s] stall under the divider between the two stalls” and the student could see the camera application and images on the screen.Thinking a friend was trying to prank him, the student yelled “what the [expletive]” but the person did not leave the stall. The student waited until the occupant left the stall and eventually saw a man with black shoes and a green backpack with a plastic bottle exit and “bolt” out of the bathroom without washing his hands, court documents said.The student chased after the man but didn’t catch him, and later that day reported the incident to the Zahm rector, according to court documents. A police report was filed that afternoon.The next weekend, the student saw the suspect, “who identified himself eventually as Benjamine Wears by both name and by ND ID card,” according to the probable cause affidavit. Police on Oct. 4 interviewed Wears, who said several times he had not been at Zahm.When asked why he tried to swipe into Zahm in August, even though his card wasn’t able to open the door, Wears said he was testing to see if his ID really wouldn’t work on the dormitories, court documents said. When asked about a similar incident that happened in the Hesburgh Library, Wears said he was not responsible for the incident.After executing a search warrant for Wears’ phone and searching it, the Notre Dame Police Department did not find any videos of the inside of the bathrooms. However, the location data of the phone was consistent with Zahm House around the time of the incident, according to the court documents, and the phone’s data shows the camera application was open at a time consistent with the student’s description of events.According to the probable cause affidavit, the location data for Wears’ phone was consistent with the library around the time of the other incident, and the location data shows he left the library a few minutes after the time of the incident.Data from Wears’ phone allegedly shows he had visited websites where men were unknowingly recorded in bathrooms, according to court documents. However, there is no evidence he ever uploaded any videos to the sites.Wears faces one charge of voyeurism and had his initial hearing on Dec. 3., Jessica McBrier, the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office spokesperson, said. Wears’ attorney, Michael Tuszynski, did not return a request for comment by the time of publication.University spokesperson Dennis Brown provided a statement on the alleged incident on behalf of Notre Dame.“The student is not enrolled at the University, and local authorities are addressing the matter,” Brown said.Tags: Hesburgh Library, NDPD, voyeurism, Zahmlast_img read more

first_img How to prepare for a hearing in state court July 15, 2003 Regular News Tips for the Young Lawyercenter_img Francisco Ramos, Jr.As a new lawyer, you often feel like the underdog, especially when it comes to arguing motions in state court. More often than not, your opponent is more experienced, more suave, more in control. He knows everyone in the courthouse by their first name, whether they are attorneys, judicial assistants or bailiffs. Even the judges go out of their way to say hello to him. How can you compete? Preparation can go a long way toward leveling the playing field. The following are some tips to consider: 1. Pick your fights wisely. Is it wise to file the motion? Is the law on your side? What are the odds the judge will grant your motion? Does the motion really serve my client’s interests? Having a winning track record at arguing motions begins with knowing what battles to fight and which ones to walk away from. 2. Try to work it out with opposing counsel. Before you draft a motion, call opposing counsel and try to work it out. You may save yourself the time and expense of the motion. If not, you can let the Court know that you tried to work things out. 3. Keep the motion simple. In state court, particularly during motion calender, courts are swamped with dozens of motions. Make your motion short, simple, and to the point. In my motions, I tell the judge up front the relief I am seeking and why I am entitled to it. 4. Learn everything you can about your judge. Ask around your office about your judge. Is she plaintiff- or defense- oriented? Is she slow to impose sanctions? Also, obtain a copy of the judge’s protocols for setting and arguing motions. In addition, do a search on Westlaw for all the cases where your judge has been upheld or overturned. One of these cases may address the same issue you raise in your motion. 5. Learn everything you can about opposing counsel. Look up your opponent on Martindale-Hubble. Also, look at the attorney’s Web page to learn about his area of expertise, years of experience, whether he’s been published and anything else to get a sense of his strengths and weaknesses. 6. Be courteous when setting the motion. Before you set a motion for hearing, clear the date with opposing counsel. Also, be courteous to the judge by not setting motions on motion calender that will take more than five minutes to argue. Some judges have a list of the type of motions they refuse to hear on motion calender. 7. Send the court a courtesy copy. Send the court a courtesy copy of the motion and a copy of all the cases cited in the motion, with a cover letter informing the judge the date and time of the hearing. 8. Order a court reporter. Consider ordering a court reporter. Sometimes, opposing counsel or the judge will address issues you were not expecting. It is good to have a transcript of these digressions. Also, parties cannot always agree to the language of an order, claiming the judge said one thing or another. A transcript often resolves these disputes. 9. Make sure you made the calender. A day or two before the hearing, check to make sure you made the judge’s calender. Also, confirm with opposing counsel and the court reporter that they will be attending the hearing. 10. Prepare a hearing file. Prepare a hearing file containing the following: (1) notice of hearing; (2) two copies of the motion (the second copy for the judge if the courtesy copy you previously sent is not at arm’s length); (3) three copies of all the cases, with the relevant portions highlighted; and (4) a blank order (most judges prefer the form orders with the carbon paper). 11. Introduce yourself and your case. At the hearing, say your name, your client’s name and the title of your motion. Give a brief description of the facts of the case and present your argument clearly and succinctly. 12. Be professional. Don’t interrupt opposing counsel or the judge. Don’t raise your voice or become upset. Don’t allow yourself to be baited by opposing counsel. And don’t argue after the Court has ruled. 13. Make a record. Have the judge make a ruling on the record, and try to have the judge address all the issues you raised in your motion. If you filed a motion to compel and for sanctions, have the judge address both issues. If the judge rules against you, do your best to have her limit her ruling. For example, if she denies your motion, have her do so without prejudice. 14. Prepare the order before leaving the courthouse. If possible, prepare the order at the conclusion of the hearing. That way, if a dispute arises over the language, you can go back to the judge and ask her to resolve the dispute.Hearings can be stressful experiences for new lawyers. However, preparation can go a long way toward quieting the butterflies and increasing your chances for success. Francisco Ramos, Jr. is a senior associate with Clarke Silverglate Campbell Williams & Montgomery in Miami, practicing in the areas of commercial and personal injury litigation. He can be reached at (305) 377-0700 or read more

first_imgHave you ever called out a colleague or team member for doing something wrong?  You expected an apology, or at least acknowledgement of their error.  But instead they tried to prove YOU were wrong and they were right?That’s what happened to Michelle.Michelle was not happy with her business partner.  While at an industry conference, he purchased an expensive training program.  She did not find out about the purchase until she was doing the monthly accounting and saw the credit card statement.  This was just another in a long line of purchases her partner Marco made without consulting her. Michelle called Marco into her office and let him have it.“How could you spend that much on a training program?  And without even consulting me?  How can you be so disrespectful? That’s my money too!  We’re super tight on money this month and you’re spending a fortune on training we don’t even need!”Did Marco apologize?  See the error in his ways?  You probably already guessed that’s not how he reacted.“What are you…my mother?  I have to check in with you for every penny I spend?  Guess what, it’s MY money, too!” Marco said while going red in the face. The meeting went downhill from there.Does this situation sound familiar?  All too often in conflicts each side is dug in, trying to prove they are right and the other person is wrong.  This creates a “push against” scenario where each side is focused on winning vs. actually solving the problem.What’s the magic word that can help de-escalate conflict?If you want to make conflicts less contentious and more productive, use the word perspective. The magic of the word perspective is it helps mitigate the “I’m right, you’re wrong” dynamic of confrontations.What would have happened if Michelle had used the word perspective?Michelle: “Marco.  I want to talk to you about this training program you bought.  You didn’t consult me.  It was a lot of money. From my perspective, that felt disrespectful.  We’re in this business together.  And money is tight this month.”Now, Marco still might have a bad reaction.Marco:  “What, I have to check in with you for every penny I spend?”Michelle:  “Not every penny, but from my perspective, this was a big chunk of money. Can you walk me through your thinking on why you bought the training?  I’d like to hear your perspective on our financial situation.  I’m not sure we’re on the same page.”Move to a framework that acknowledges personal experienceRarely is any situation black and white.  We all bring our own life experience and perspective to situations and decisions.  We see the world through our own lens. Conflict arises when we do not understand why someone said or did something. We assign them reasons and motivations that are often wrong.   That disconnect comes from the fact that we are looking at the same situation, but from our own perspective.Framing your position as your “perspective” vs. a stated fact makes it harder to argue against. So the next time you are in a confrontation or conflict, instead of going into an “I’m right, you’re wrong” framework, start with this phrase:“You and I may have different perspectives on this.”  Share your perspective and be open to hearing theirs.  It may make those conflicts easier to resolve. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Holly Buchanan Holly Buchanan is the author of Selling Financial Services to Women – What Men Need to Know and Even Women Will Be Surprised to Learn. She is the co-author of The … Web: Detailslast_img read more