Atlanta Ranks Number One in Pledging To Reduce Energy Consumption

Atlanta has outpaced all other competitor cities that pledged to reduce energy consumption by 2020. Atlanta has more property square footage signed up in the program than any other city.

Leave a comment

Filed under A Need to Know Basis, Consider the Law, Let's Learn Something

Dragon Con Expected To Attract More Than 65,000 People to Atlanta

Predictions are that more than 65,000 people will be in downtown Atlanta over the Labor Day weekend as Dragon Con, the internationally known pop culture, science fiction, fantasy and gaming convention, returns for the 29th consecutive year.

Leave a comment

Filed under A Need to Know Basis, Let's Learn Something

Randy Kessler and the Implications of the Ashley Madison Data Breach.

Divorce lawyers everywhere are already very familiar with the site since membership on it is almost sufficient proof of an affair by a spouse. Belonging to this dating site for married people (whose slogan is “Life is short, have an affair”) is usually enough to convince a judge, a mediator or your spouse that someone is cheating. Perhaps more importantly, divorce lawyers and therapists are acutely aware that the simple desire to cheat is even more offensive to a spouse than the actual act of cheating.

Prior to this breach, lawyers and clients have engaged private investigators, forensic computer analysts and others to see if their spouse belonged to the Ashley Madison site or had used its services. This breach may make it easier to learn who used it and who didn’t. But unfortunately, what this news may do is give Ashley Madison more publicity than it has ever had. Certainly they are not concerned that they are perceived as promoting adultery. In fact, they want the word to be spread and for people to use their site to help commit adultery. And anyone who uses their site must certainly realize that there are risks of being caught. What if the person they end up meeting on the site is someone they already know, or someone who knows their spouse? Or what if their spouse sees the site on their computer one day by accident?

As a divorce lawyer for over 25 years, I do not think this data breach will cause more divorce. Yes, that’s what I wrote. Those people who use Ashley Madison to have an affair and who were already headed toward divorce may get there faster now that their secret is out. But this hack or breach may actually have the effect of causing people to hesitate when using such a service. There are apparently nearly 40,000,000 users on Ashley Madison. There is no way that we will now see 40,000,000 divorces. And the bottom line is that affairs more often truly are the side effect of a bad marriage. Once someone elects to have an affair, the marriage is often in very serious trouble, if not already irretrievably broken. Yes more people will be “caught”, but perhaps that will actually save some marriages. Forcing the issue, making people address what they have done can often lead to reconciliation. The alternative is for the conduct to last so long that the parties become apathetic toward each other.

What this breach may do is to force legislatures to look more closely at this site. Perhaps laws will be generated that prohibit sites like Ashley Madison. Will the public rise up and demand that sites like Ashley Madison which promote infidelity (which is still a crime in some states) be prohibited? Who knows, but as with all social issues, sunlight remains the best disinfectant, and this data breach shed a lot of sunlight onto a lot of people’s activities. And maybe it will help? Maybe people will think more before they engage in relationships like those promoted or condoned by Ashley Madison.

But as for divorce lawyers, we certainly will now have an easier time proving someone had an affair, and that should save clients a lot of money they might have otherwise spent on private investigators. But other than that, human nature is human nature. Spouses will continue to cheat on each other, and they will continue to get caught.

Leave a comment

Filed under Above the law, Consider the Law, Let's Learn Something

DOJ Concludes Georgia Illegally Segregating Students With Disabilities

The Department of Justice (DOJ) concluded that the state of Georgia is illegally segregating students with disabilities and behavioral issues. DOJ conducted a two-year investigation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Consider the Law

New Terminology for Real Estate Transactions

Under new federal regulations for the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), the terminology is changing. A “closing” or “settlement” is now a “consummation”, a “borrower” is now a “consumer”, the HUD-1 Settlement Statement is obsolete and the substitute form, called the Closing Disclosure, must be delivered to the consumer three business days before consummation. The changes were slated to begin on August 1, 2015, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), which enforces these regulations, recently issued a final rule on July 20, 2015 extending the date to October 3, 2015.

Leave a comment

Filed under Consider the Law, Law

United States Education And Employment Disparities

“We are creating a paradoxical situation: An educational system that produces a majority of female graduates (the majority of BAs, MAs and PhDs in the U.S. are now women), and feeds them into an economic system that has not yet adapted and keeps recognizing and promoting male styles as superior.”

Excerpt from: To Hold Women Back, Keep Treating Them Like Men
by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox
HBR.org

Leave a comment

Filed under Above the law

Martin Luther King And Equanimity

Martin Luther King said to his adversaries, “We will wear you down by our capacity to suffer, to face suffering, and still not stop, still march, still tell the truth, still do what’s necessary to make the change.” Not being reactive is not being passive. It’s not a kind of stupidity, holding back or being disinterested, removing oneself from the world. Real equanimity isn’t indifference. It’s the capacity to be present with your whole being and not add fuel to the fire.

Leave a comment

Filed under A Need to Know Basis, Above the law