Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1311 Posts and Counting

Excellent Retweet!

Posted by Cliff Tuttle| March 29, 2017 | © 2017

No. 1,311


Spring has Sprung but This is Ridiculous: Spring Training Cards!

Posted by Cliff Tuttle| March 29, 2017 | © 2017

No. 1,310

HURRY! HURRY! Maybe this edition will be a collectors’ treasure as a one of a kind rarity.

Spring is here

Enhanced Penalty for Refusing Blood Sample in DUI Arrest in Pa. is illegal following Birchfield v North Dakota.

Posted by Cliff Tuttle| February 26, 2017 | © 2017

No. 1,309


Image: Legal Intelligencer

Image: Legal Intelligencer

“Appellant, Mario Giron, appeals from the judgment of sentence entered on April 15, 2016. In this case, we hold that, pursuant to Birchfield v. North Dakota, 136 S.Ct. 2160 (2016),[1] a defendant who refuses to provide a blood sample when requested by police is not subject to the enhanced penalties provided in 75 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 3803-3804. As Appellant was subjected to the enhanced penalties provided by sections 3803 and 3804 for refusing to provide a blood sample, his sentence was illegal and although we affirm his convictions, we are constrained to vacate his judgment of sentence and remand for re-sentencing.”

Postscript: Related Tweet:

“I’m not too drunk to think, but just enough that it is hard To form any letters with my mouth”

Excellent.  Don’t.  Exercise your Constitutional Right.


Recent Retweet: Marbury v Madison anniversary

Posted by Cliff Tuttle| February 26, 2017 | © 2017

No. 1308

On This Day. 1803: A hallmark of American

democracy—the principle of checks & balances—

was affirmed by Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison

Who Is the Worst President?

Posted by Cliff Tuttle| February 20, 2017 | © 2017

No. 1,307

Every few years on President’s Day, somebody conducts a survey of history professors to determine the rankings of Presidents.  Lincoln always wins and Washington is always second.  The two Roosevelts follow behind.

There hasn’t been much movement in these top ranks.  James Buchanan has been ranked at the bottom of this poll.  The reason, of course, is that he presided over the years in which the United States slid into the Civil War.

There is no question that Buchanan provided very little leadership during this critical time.  However, it is doubtful that Buchanan or anyone else could have prevented the Civil War. While his administration had few accomplishments, there are many others that could claim the prize for least accomplished.  On the other hand, Buchanan had an excellent resume — he had held many high offices, including Secretary of State.

Despite all of that, there are a handful of Presidents who accomplished even less in office.  William Henry Harrison caught pneumonia in the Inaugural Parade and died shortly afterward. James A. Garfield was assassinated relatively early in his administration and never had an opportunity to exercise leadership.

The Vice Presidents who succeeded these two were not, very frankly, Presidential timber — Tyler and Arthur.  And then there was Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln. All three of these ex-Vice Presidents were unprepared for the challenge and had very little political power.  They were swept aside by strong leaders in Congress and left almost no legacy.

Benjamin, the other Harrison, hated being President. He belongs in a trio of mediocres, including Filmore and Harding.

So who is the worst?  It depends on what you value most in a President.

Here’s my ranking. Not the same as the C-Span Rankings.  Politics shouldn’t play any role in these rankings.  Leadership should be the chief criterion.

  1. Lincoln
  2. Washington
  3. FDR
  4. Jefferson
  5. Theodore Roosevelt
  6. Eisenhower
  7. Lyndon Johnson
  8. Madison
  9. Monroe
  10. Polk
  11. Reagan
  12. Truman
  13. Clinton
  14. Jackson
  15. JohnAdams
  16. George H W Bush
  17. Obama
  18. Nixon
  19. Cleveland
  20. Taft
  21. Carter
  22. Wilson
  23. John Quincy Adams
  24. Hoover
  25. McKinley
  26. Kennedy
  27. Van Buren
  28. Taylor
  29. George W Bush
  30. Ford
  31. Coolidge
  32. Pierce
  33. Hayes
  34. Arthur
  35. Benjamin Harrison
  36. Fillmore
  37. Tyler
  38. Harding
  39. Buchanan
  40. Andrew Johnson
  41. William Henry Harrison

Please Don’t Send Me Emails with Links

Posted by Cliff Tuttle| February 20, 2017 | © 2017

No. 1,306

A colleague told me recently that he had received an unsolicited email from an alleged jobseeker.  At the bottom of the page was a link to his supposed resume.

You guessed it. My friend had fallen for a ransomware scheme and it was costly.  Lawyers are particularly vulnerable because there are client files that cannot be abandoned.

Two lessons.  Be extremely careful when clicking on any link.  But just as important, don’t send unnecessary links in email to others.  They may just ditch the email.

I get unsolicited emails every day that are supposedly from Google, Apple, FedEx and other legitimate sources, some of which look pretty authentic. In addition, there are inquiries from potential clients.  Fortunately, most of phishy ones are still dead giveaways.  But times are changing and (in this respect) not for the better.




Recent Retweets

Posted by Cliff Tuttle| February 20, 2017 | © 2017

No. 1,305

 Feb 18

Holding onto anger isn’t very useful.

  1. “The trouble is, you think you have time”

    “When among madmen, you should act completely mad.”

    μετὰ μαινομένων φάσιν χρῆναι μαίνεσθαι πάντας ὁμοίως

Measure Thrice, Cut Once

Posted by Cliff Tuttle| February 19, 2017 | © 2017

No. 1,304

I received a comment through the contact box this week.  In case you haven’t noticed, I shut down the comments after each post some months ago because they were being flooded with robotic spam. Even Captcha couldn’t stem the flow completely.  So, if you want to leave a comment, you can reach me through the box in the right hand column that says “contact Cliff.”

This comment was on Post No. 1,301 regarding how many times to think before acting.  Confucius said that two was enough.  However, my commenter, who edits legal material, pointed out that twice is often not enough when drafting legal prose or other technical writing.  Frequently, the second and third draft still needs editing because it still does not say what it is supposed to say or doesn’t say it elegantly or persuasively enough.

Excellent point.


Recent Retweets

Posted by Cliff Tuttle| February 11, 2017 | © 2017

No. 1,303

Here’s a few tweets that I retweeted recently.

 Feb 4

  1. Take action! Live life to the full! And when others see the witness you give,

    they may ask: why do you live this way?

    Open carry night at the judges’ convention. ⚖👨🏼‍⚖️

Bad links and the Obituary to End All

Posted by Cliff Tuttle| February 11, 2017 | © 2017

No. 1,302

If you cannot open a link, let me know in the message box in the right-hand column of this blog and I will email the item to you.

I recently received an inquiry from a reader stating that the obituary in No. 1,300 would not open.  I tried it and it worked for me.  However, you can’t afford to miss this one, it will put a smile on your face that will come back every time you think about it.  Reminds me of Mark Twain.

So, for anyone who has trouble with the link, here it is:


keep looking »


CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 40 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.


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