Fishing Alaska: The Guide From Hell

Fishing Alaska: The Alaskan Sampler Plate….Part II

The good fortune of a successful fishing trip to Alaska was already socked away in the fishing memory box, so as far as I was concerned, everything else we caught was “gravy”.

Now you might say I am a guy with low expectations-and you might be right- but I never get to disappointed anymore(at least when it comes to fishing!) and if I catch more than one fish on a fly, I have pretty much exceeded my goals. Day threes “humpy” fishing was incredible.

Thus, we entered day four-hump day on the fishing trip- with low expectations.

We hadn’t really kept many fish up to this point, so we began thinking about “meat fishing”.

Most everyone I know comes back with lots of Salmon or Halibut when they return from Alaska-so not wanting to be the guy who says: ” We released all our fish.”- we decided to take a guided trip out of Seward for Silver Salmon. We already had a Halibut trip out of Homer lined up for Friday, but we didn’t want to have to count on that as our only chance for keepers.

During the week at “Camp Yuppie Fisher” we had seen this fella running around in an apron packing fish fillets and cleaning fish, I assumed he must be the infamous and often maligned “fish bitch”, which had taken on the mystique of the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus by now.

Little did I know, this man was to be our guide for our Silver Salmon trip!

O.K., so a man of humility and not afraid of having his manhood challenged–I thought!!

“Who you going out with?” a couple of the employees inquired.

“Oscar”** I replied.
**Please note that I have changed this guides name to protect the guilty–but if you see a guy running around in an apron with a less than pleasant attitude, on the Kenai peninsula–you might be able to figure out who it is.

A strange and almost sympathetic whince came over the faces of the employees.


“Is there something we need to know about Oscar?”

“Ahhhhh…. noooo….no, you guys will do all right… Oscar will find you some fish.”

Something was not right. Apron, evasive answers, do all right !?!

“C’mon, tell us what’s up.” I said.

“Well, Oscar can be a little rough on people–just ignore him and you will be all right.”

If those employees were Ebert & Roper–I would assume they would have said: “Just stay away from this one–save your money.” BUT being employed by “Camp Yuppie Fisher” made it difficult for them to be too “candid”.

“How bad can he be?” I said this out loud–and only heard chuckles.

Never being one to shy away from an “experience” -good or bad-I was actually looking forward to seeing Oscar in action. Afterall, they did say he would find us fish!!

The first hint of “the guide from hell syndrome”, appeared when we were introduced to Oscar that night before our trip.

“These are your clients for tomorrow, Oscar.”

No eye contact and barely any recognition took place at this moment.

Now, I don’t necessarily need someone to break into a chorus from the Sound of Music or hand me a happy face button- but it would be nice to have someone say- “Great see you tomorrow, we are going to have a great day!!”. Just a little positive energy would be nice.

Oscar, was like the grim reaper.

“Bring your rain gear, there are small craft advisories tomorrow, famine and pestulence should follow and don’t be surprised if we are forced to sacrifice one of you to the fishing Gods.”

That isn’t word for word–but he might as well have said it that way. He should have traded his apron for a black cloak and a scythe.

The morning of the trip wasn’t much better.

Getting up at 4:00 a.m for a fishing trip is tough enough-but then to be ignored at the “fishermans breakfast” with little or no game plan, other than pass the ketchup and “Don’t forget your rain gear”, made me wonder if I had gone to junior high with this guy and accidentally hit him with a spitball!! Although, if I had known him….. it wouldn’t have been an ACCIDENT.

Somehow, we figured out which rig to get into and were soon on our way.

Joining Greg and I were brothers from Australia. Actually, one was living in Oregon and the other was still in Australia, so this was a reunion of sorts for two grown men who obviously had traveled a great distance to reconnect.

Poor guys.

Oscar didn’t say much on the way to Seward. Just more ominous forecasts and little warm fuzzy statements like:” I don’t like to guide for people I don’t know anymore.”

Sure glad I passed him the ketchup. Heck, that practically made us best buddies.

Again, understand- I have had enough guides in my fishing life to know that they are not exactly Wal-Mart greeters- but at least if they just talk about the days plan or how we are going to fish, helps to make a forty five minute drive go a little faster.

The Aussies were jovial guys and we had some fun along the way talking about Crocadiles, Foster’s beer,and physical therapy. All of which had nothing to with each other–I think! Neither of them did much fishing, so they really felt in the dark about things.

We got to Seward, and all in all the weather wasn’t to bad, although the sky was getting darker and there was a light mist beginning to fall. Everything was loaded into our Willie Predator, which isn’t exactly the Queen Mary when it comes to size or security on the ocean.

At least we had Mr. Sunshine–Oscar.

The trip out into the bay was invigorating, and I had to fight the urge to stand on the bow and yell ” I’m the king of the worldddddd.” Mainly, because the Aussies would have pummelled me if I did.

Oscar had his fish finder and radio going, and headed to where the Silvers were being caught. We motored out about an hour from Seward, and settled into a cove where FINALLY -Oscar gave us some rundown on the game plan.

We would do some trolling and we would do some jigging.

I looked at the Aussies and wondered if they were ready to break into some fancy dance moves and….whatever….. because I am not sure they knew what the terms “trolling and jigging” meant.

In Oscars defense–he did give us instruction at this point. Then he proceeded to give the Aussies a little rundown on the use of a level wind reel and mentioned that if they didn’t want to look like “twelve year old girls” they should hold their rods further up the butt.? !!?

God, I hope the Aussies had a sense of humor!!

He also pre-scolded them for the “backlash” they were going to have when they suffered through the learning curve of the level wind reel “rats nest”.

First, we would troll.

We let our lines out the appropriate amount of turns on our reels and began to troll. Oscar told us it was important to either set our rods in the rod holders, or to be sure that we held our rods at the same angle and level that the rod holders were set at. Being one who likes to feel the bite, I held on to my rod and was careful to have it at the proper angle. I was the first to get a strike and Oscar told me to wait on the hook set. He said nothing on how the hook set should be-and since during his short instruction I had watched him give a pretty good set when it was time to set the hook– I gave a pretty good hook set and Oscar almost flew out of his seat.

“Geez, your not catching Marlin-what are you doing!!”

I have never hooked a Marlin so I am not sure how hard to set the hook when Marlin fishing-but I have hooked a lot of Salmon-and this was pretty much the same hookset I always give Salmon. The Silver was on and running and for thirty seconds or so my rod bent over and I had a nice battle.

The fish got off.

You would have thought that I had just lost the first fish anyone had ever lost on an Oscar guided trip. Oscar reprimanded me with a good tongue lashing.It certainly wasn’t my first lost fish or my last. I laughed and now knew what everyone meant by “he can be a little rough on people”.

Next, it was one of the Aussies turn to receive the wrath of Oscar.

The perverbial “backlash” occurred and Oscar lit into our friend from down under with a humiliating diatribe that left the Aussie feeling like….a “twelve year old girl”!! Then while he worked on unraveling the backlash, he got on the radio and in talking with one of the other guides, announced to the world that he was working on the WORST BACKLASH HE HAD EVER SEEN IN TWENTY YEARS OF GUIDING.

Nothing better than paying to get insulted.

I could go on and on about more of the Oscarisms while we were out to sea-but mercifully- we only had to fish for two hours, because Oscar said the ocean was getting to rough to stay out any longer.

Not nearly as rough as the time with Oscar.

Somehow we managed to catch eight Silvers and way to many Dog Sharks. Oscar justified the short trip by saying if we had fished on the lower Kenai that day for Silvers we would have our limit. There was no offer to stop and bottom fish on the way in, even though the inner bay was quite fishable. Oscar also made sure to mention “tipping the guide” somewhere during our travels and since I somehow “forgot” to tip Oscar I have a tip for him now: IF YOU ARE BURNT OUT FROM GUIDING, QUIT… OH, AND WHILE YOU ARE AT IT—-STOP WEARING THAT SILLY APRON AROUND AND YOU MIGHT HAVE A LITTLE MORE SELF-ESTEEM!!!

There, now I feel better…

Tips on How to Survive a Bear Attack: Step 1 – Buy Guard Alaska Bear Spray

Very few of us will ever understand the sheer terror of a bear attack and the pain involved with surviving one. We can however greatly increase our chances of surviving such an attack by simply equipping ourselves with an extremely affordable (although what price do you put on your personal safety) canister of Guard Alaska bear spray.

The following are some helpful tips on how to survive a bear attack and using Guard Alaska bear spray in general…

Tip #1 – Buy the bear repellent online or at a sporting goods store that carries Guard Alaska. You can’t use bear repellent if you don’t have bear repellent so take the first step and get some either online or at a store that carries it.

Tip #2 – Do not accept cheap imitations or bargain basement bear spray. There are a few things you can buy generic in the name of saving a few bucks. Paper towels? sure. Breakfast cereal? Why not. Distilled water? Absolutely. These are products that won’t be as quality as their name brand counterparts but who cares? When talking about a product that is designed to save your life, or at the very least keep you from being violently, permanently, mentally and physically scarred I say don’t skimp. Buy the real deal and have the satisfaction and confidence that you have the very best protection against bear attack that is available today.

Tip #3 – Carry the bear spray with you at ALL times. This should be a no-brainer but I was recently camping with some friends up in Northern Wisconsin and when I asked one of these friends where the bear spray that I bought her was she replied “in my backpack, I think”. That’s great, that should help immensely when standing face to face with a 400 pound Black Bear. Just tell the bear that you misplaced the bear repellent and it would be greatly appreciated if it could sit still and postpone ripping your throat out while you locate the spray. A better idea would be to just carry the spray with you at all times, don’t you think?

Tip #4 – Keep your campsite clean. Store food in your vehicle or hung up in a tree at least 10 feet off of the ground. Certainly do not leave food in the tent with you as the smell of food could attract a bear. Waking up next to a hungry wild bear is a bad thing.

So please keep these tips in mind when venturing off into bear populated wilderness areas.

The Role of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Today’s Time

Criminal defense lawyers sometime get a not-so-flattering portrayal because people assume that they defend guilty people. However, if you are a defendant in a criminal proceeding, you need the assistance of a qualified criminal defense lawyer, regardless of your guilt or innocence. As the protectors and advocates of the accused, defense lawyers play a pivotal role in the United States justice system to see that everyone charged with a criminal act has an opportunity to defend themselves.

Defense Lawyers Protect the Rights of the Accused

First and foremost, a criminal defense lawyer’s role is to protect the rights of the accused. Upholding your rights under the Bill of Rights as set forth in the United States Constitution, criminal defense lawyers are bound by law to assist their clients by making sure you are treated fairly by the United States criminal justice system. Specifically, your criminal defense lawyer’s job is to see that you are allowed:

·The right to a trial by a jury of your peers;

·The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”;

· The right to a speedy and public trial;

· The right to remain silent;

·The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures; and

·The right to legal counsel.

All these rights are guaranteed by the United States Constitution and are applicable to all states through the Fourteenth Amendment as well as United States Supreme Court case opinions. As such, a criminal defense lawyer is obligated to provide clients with protection against the overreach of the government in meting out punishment to any individual accused of a criminal offense. An experienced, qualified lawyer accomplishes this by challenging any government or law enforcement conduct that violates the rights of any United States citizen accused of a crime. Should a criminal defense lawyer fail to make reasonable efforts to protect your rights or provide effective assistance, he/she risks losing his/her license to practice law or other penalties (some of which could include jail time).

Criminal Lawyers Defend the Innocent

The second most important role of a criminal defense attorney is to defend the innocent. We see daily about overturned criminal cases where new evidence verifies the incarceration of an innocent person who has served time as a result of an incorrect guilty verdict. And, while for the most part, most clients of criminal defense attorneys are somewhat criminally culpable in the crime they have been charged with, on rare occasions, some of a lawyer’s clients are truly innocent. Though a rare occurrence, innocent people are accused and convicted of criminal offenses.

To combat the prosecution of the wrongly accused, criminal defense lawyers must be diligent in holding prosecutors and police accountable for every stage of their investigation in every case they handle. Thus, defense lawyers must take seriously their role as advocates for the innocent and the not-so-innocent to assure that the guilty don’t escape while the innocent are punished.

Therefore, to accomplish the task of upholding a client’s constitution rights and acting as a watchdog to oversee the conduct of police and prosecutors, a criminal defense lawyer must zealously pursue independent investigations into the crime for which a client has been accused to assure that at trial, that client is either completely exonerated or that there is enough evidence to prove that reasonable doubt exists to warrant his/her client’s release from custody.

And, while for the majority of instances, a person who has reached the point of a jury trial is guilty, defense attorneys are mandated to provide every client an opportunity to a fair trial. Guilty or not, everyone has the constitutional right to have a fair trial. With a strong belief in the adversarial nature of the criminal justice system, reputable criminal defense attorneys recognize the right of every citizen to have representation and sometimes must put aside their emotions to represent those who have committed very serious crimes.

Criminal Defense Lawyers Defend the Guilty

In general guilty clients that criminal defense attorney’ represent fall into two categories:

·Those who deny criminal culpability; and

·Those who take responsibility for their criminal behavior

Most lawyers agree that the most difficult criminal client to represent is one that takes some responsibility for the crime as it is much easier to establish innocence or reasonable doubt when you don’t think your client is guilty. Facing ethical and moral dilemmas daily, a criminal defense lawyer must deal with situations where they have knowingly facilitated the release of a guilty person, risking their reputation and a clear conscience. On the other hand, defense lawyers get a great deal of satisfaction when their representation of an accused individual has a positive impact on society. For instance, when a criminal defense lawyer helps a client avoid more serious legal consequences by intervening in lives to affect positive change (i.e., plea bargains of rehabilitation instead of jail time, community service and probation instead of jail time etc.). As a trusted advocate, criminal defense lawyers have a great deal of influence on their clients’ lives as opposed to a judge, prosecutor or probation officer.

Lawyers are a Necessary Part of the United States Judicial System

Sometimes portrayed as villains who help criminals run free, criminal defense lawyers are necessary for the United States legal system to run smoothly. Without the availability of qualified legal representation for those accused of crimes, the potential for overreach by government would be great. A balanced system where all parties are represented and where one side isn’t given free rein to rule over the other is what our judicial system is all about. And, while every system has its flaws, the United States judicial system is still the best available in the world.

Cross Examination of the Defense Medical Doctor: Nine Keys for Success

1. Cross examination: one fact one question.

The only way to keep control of the doctor on cross examination is to ask questions with one fact that calls for a yes or no answer. You are giving a speech in the form of questions. The facts in your questions should stand on their own and not depend on any information the witness has in their head. When deposing the defense doctor, there are plenty of facts to pull from. Here are some sources to pull facts to put in to your leading questions. The defense doctors report, plaintiff’s medical records, the doctor’s deposition in your case, depositions the doctor has given in other cases, journal articles written by the defense doctor.

2. Summarize the important admissions with leading questions.

Many times a defense doctor will admit a few things in deposition that help your client’s case. We should all confirm those facts with leading questions on cross examination. For example in most cases defense doctors will admit that a traumatic event can result in an injury that is appropriate to treat with physician supervised physical therapy or chiropractic care within six weeks of the injury. Confirm the amount of the bills he or she agrees the collision was a substantial factor in causing.

At deposition get the defense doctor to admit that your client experienced pain following the injury and that patients of theirs have complained of pain for varying periods after an event like the one your client went through. Most defense doctors will admit that a certain segment of the population is predisposed to injury and that prior injury can make people more susceptible to greater harm from a later injury. Here are some questions to try at the defense doctor’s deposition. These are not cross examination questions for trial.

Q. Would you agree that some people are more fragile than others?

Q. Would you agree that fragile people are often predisposed to greater injury or pain from an injury-producing event?

Q. Do people experience pain differently?

Q. Some people have a greater threshold for pain than others?

Q. Is there a precise way to measure pain?

Doctors understand that a person’s body can be “healed” but they can still have pain. A defense doctor may be using the work “healed” to mean that, architecturally, the body has reached maximum medical improvement. Some defense doctors will admit that symptoms, such as pain, last long after the body has “healed.” Focus on symptoms rather than injuries or healing.

3. If the defense doctor’s file is incomplete…

Often defense doctor’s files will be incomplete. They may not have all of the prior medical records and most commonly defense doctors will not look at the radiology images themselves. Typically their review will rely on the written report of the radiologist who interpreted the images. This is a good opportunity to point out where the defense doctor got his information. Walk through with the defense doctor how he got the records of plaintiff. Ask, “All the records you got were provided by the defense attorney, correct doctor? Confirm the defense attorney did not provide the images of plaintiff’s spine from her X-ray, MRI or CT scans. Most doctors will admit that it is their general practice to review MRI images themselves before making a decision on whether or not to perform surgery.

Remember this issue applies with equal vigor to the plaintiff’s treating doctors and testifying healthcare providers. Beware, treating doctors who are not made aware of important medical records, or information about prior trauma are just as susceptible to this type of cross examination.

4. Some symptoms improved: You believed my client when she said her headaches went away?

Keep an eye out for symptoms or pain the plaintiff has that get better. For example it is common for injured people to have multiple locations of pain early on, some of which resolve, only to be left with one or two chronic conditions that are significantly affecting their lives. If this is the case, you can employ the following cross examination.

Q. Did Ms. Jones’s say her headaches went away?

A. Yes.

Q. Did Ms. Jones’s say her low back pain went away?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you believe Ms. Jones when she said her headaches went away?

A. I did.

Q. Did you believe Ms. Jones when she said her low back pain went away?

A. I did.

Q. She was honest with you about that.

A. Yes she was.

Q. Did she have any complaints in any other part of her body when you examined her?

A. Well, yes she said her neck was still hurting?

Q. Did you believe her when she said her neck was still hurting?

A. Well No or Yes I did. [Either answer is good here.]

Q. [If they Say no.] You do not state anywhere in your report that you did not believe her, true?

Q. Did you label Ms. Jones as a malinger in your report?

A. No.

5. Show that the defense doctor is more familiar with law firms in town than the names of the people he has testified against in court.

You may be able to make the point on cross-examination that the defense doctor is very familiar with the names of the defense law firms that refer him defense medical exams, but less familiar with all of the individuals he has testified against. At the doctors deposition see how familiar the doctor is with the names of the more prominent firms that send him cases. Ask which firms refer him the most defense medical examinations. If he says he does not remember, provide the names of some firms you know have referred business his way. He will remember some.

Q. Do you know the law firm of Smith, Jones and Johnson?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know the law firm of Levi & Louis?

A. Yes.

Q. These are law firms who have referred you business?

A. Yes.

Q. Doctor do you know Javier Martinez?

A. No.

Q. Do you know Tom Jones?

A. No.

Q. Do you know James Lee?

A. No.

Q. Do you know Sally Smith?

A. No.

[Make sure you get real names from real people, and have the old reports ready to back it up.]

Q. You know the law firms I asked you about, true?

Q. You don’t know the names of any of the people you have testified against in Superior Court?

Q. You don’t remember any of them do you?

Q. You don’t have any responsibility for these people do you?

Q. You don’t care for them as their doctor do you?

Q. You don’t treat them?

Q. You don’t have to worry about them at all

Q. You just have to produce a report that says they are not hurt?

Q. You just have to produce a report for the law firm that hired you?

6. Doctor do you have any private patient’s that you’re responsible for?

Many defense doctors still have a few private patients that they see. Here is a line of questions that exposes that absurdity that everyone gets better at the same rate, all within six weeks time, all with a short course of physical therapy and some home exercises.

Q. Dr. Do you have any private patient’s that you’re responsible for?

A. Yes.

Q. Do some of them get hurt in accidents?

A. Yes.

Q. Do some of them get hurt swinging a golf club?

A. Yes.

Q. Playing tennis?

A. Yes.

Q. Jogging down the street?

A. Yes.

Q. Stepping of a curbing

A. Yes.

Q. Bending over the counter to shave?

A. Yes.

Q. Changing a baby’s diaper?

A. Yes.

Q. Any impacts in any of those incidents?

A. No.

Q. Any property damage?

A. No

Q. Do you ask for pictures of golf clubs, or baseball bats, or tennis racquets?

A. No.

Q. Do you have any pictures inside your private patient’s charts?

A. No.

Q. Have you ever taken care of anyone who was ever hurt in an auto accident?

A. Yes I have.

Q. Have any of them had neck injuries?

A. Yes some of them.

Q. Have any of them had back injuries?

A. Some of them have.

Q. Do you actually treat them for this?

A. Yes I do.

Q. Some of them get well right away.

A. Yes.

Q. Have you ever heard of the word chronic?

A. Yes.

Q. What does that mean?

A. Well it means something that long lasting and long standing.

Q. Over the years have any of your patients had chronic back problems?

A. I am sure there have been a few of them.

Q. Do any of them have chronic neck problems?

A. Occasionally that will happen.

Q. Well if they say they are still hurting do you still take care of them?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you send some of them out for MRI’s, PT, or pain management?

A. Yes.

Q. My client told you the truth. Her headaches got better, her neck got better, and her back is not better?

Q. And she was in an auto accident just like some of your private patients.

A. Yes.

Q. Don’t you think doctor that she could have been hurt to in this accident?

A. [There is not a lot he can say.]

7. Doctor do you have pictures of vehicle damage in any of your private patients charts?

Here is a line of questions to point out the absurdity of basing a medical diagnosis on property damage estimates or photographs of car bumpers. Typically you can get these admissions during the deposition of a doctor. Many medical doctors will admit at deposition that there is little correlation between the extent of injury to the amount of damage to a vehicle.

Q. Dr. Did you get a copy of the repair estimate in this case?

A. No.

Q. Did you put a copy of the repair estimate in the plaintiff’s file?

A. No.

Q. Have you ever asked any of your own patients for a repair estimate from a body shop?

A. No.

Q. Don’t you just ask your patients if they were hurt?

A. Yes.

Q. Don’t you listen to their subjective symptoms?

A. Yes.

Q. Aren’t their subjective complaints the best tool you have to diagnose their problems?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you have any pictures of a fender or a bumper in any of your private patient’s file?

A. No.

Q. Have you ever made a diagnosis of any spinal condition bases on a photograph of a bumper?

A. No.

This is a good rebuttal to the common defense in the low impact case of just use your “common sense”. The trial that starts with a big picture of a bumper and the refrain, “use your common sense.” We need to turn that around and say, “Yes, use your common sense. Members of the jury, when you want to know why your back hurts do you look at your golf club, or your tennis racquet or your bumper? No, you feel the pain and you tell your doctor.”

Jurors don’t try to figure out if their back hurts based on a physics formula, they cannot understand. Pose the thought, “Has anyone in this courtroom ever gone up to the black board to figure out their injuries?”

8. Create leading questions with facts lifted from the medical records.

We should take some pointers from defense lawyers from their cross examinations of plaintiffs. The best cross examinations of an injured plaintiff uses leading questions with facts taken from the subjective complaints lifted from the medical records. A similar strategy can be used when cross examining the defense medical doctor. Here is a line of leading questions using facts lifted from medical records.

Q. You reviewed the medical records of Ms. Smith’s treating doctor, Dr. Jones?

A. Yes.

Q. You are aware on May 1st Ms. Smith reported to Dr. Jones that her right thumb was numb?

A. Yes.

Q. Again on May 15th she reported that her right thumb was numb?

A. Yes.

Q. And that right thumb numbness was documented by Dr. Jones in her chart on that same day May 15th.

A. Yes.

Q. Again on May 22nd Ms. Smith reported to Dr. Jones that her right thumb was numb?

A. Yes.

Q. And again that symptom of right thumb numbness was documented by Dr. Jones on May 22nd.

A. Yes.

Q. These facts are documented in Ms. Smith’s medical records.

A. Yes.

Q. You do not dispute the truth of these facts do you?

A. No.

9. Limit the defense doctor who wants to testify about malingering.

Defense doctors will often testify on matters on which they are simply not qualified to offer testimony. A common one is testimony about malingering or secondary gain. If the physician starts stating that the client is a malingerer, or advancing secondary gain, get them to admit that these are diagnoses under the DSM IV or DSM IV-R. Have a copy of the DSM criteria for malingerer and ask the doctor to tell you what they are. Typically they cannot. Get them to admit that they are not licensed to do psychology, that they are not practicing as psychologists or psychiatrists and they refer their patients to professionals in psychology / psychiatry if they think that they need such treatment. This demonstrates that they are not licensed in that field and, therefore, lack the qualifications to provide testimony on those subjects. Have them admit that they did not preform a psychological examination, psycho-social history and/or did not conduct the battery of psychological tests such as the MMPI or MMCI. This shows that they lack a foundation upon which to provide testimony as to a psychological diagnosis. Remember your deposition is as much about limiting the scope of testimony as it is about knowing what that testimony might be. File a motion in limine to preclude that testimony.


When preparing for your cross examination of the defense doctor keep in mind that each case is unique. Trying to use cookie cutter cross examination techniques many not serve you well. Practice your cross examination on your colleagues and friends. Have them read the DME report and deposition and see how well your leading questions work. Does each question truly stand on its own and call for a yes or no answer? Does each of your leading questions call for facts and not characterizations or opinions? After your preparation is complete, remember the jurors expect the plaintiff to take some hits from the defense doctor during the direct examination. Your job is to not make it worse on cross. Make some points using the powerful tool of the leading question and sit down. Remember the words of Voltaire: “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

Our website is Follow us on Twitter @AlbertStoll. We are a firm of experienced personal injury attorneys taking on challenging cases when others back down since 1994. What separates us from the rest? We are the only California Injury law firm with a former California Highway Patrolman and accident reconstruction expert who now works as a full time lawyer.

Defending the Option With the 4-3 Defense

The modern 4-3 Defense was originally designed by Jimmy Johnson and the Miami Hurricanes to stop the Wishbone Option that Barry Switzer was running in Oklahoma. The Miami 4-3 Defense, or 4-3 Over Defense, as it is known today, is one of the best defensive fronts to try to stop the Option in football today.

The main reason that the front is so good against the Option is the clear Option fits that are built into the defense. Knowing who is going to be responsible for the Dive Back, Quarterback and Pitch Man on every Option play is crucial to stopping the offense.

The Dive Back

In the 4-3 Over Defense, the 4 Defensive Linemen and the Mike Linebacker are going to be taking away the Dive Back. This may seem like overkill, but the Dive Back is the only person who has players blocking specifically for him. Everyone else, the Quarterback and the Pitch Player, are going to be reading and taking advantage of the defenders.

In the 4-3 Defense, the Mike Linebacker always keys the Dive Back. He is a 2-gap player, responsible for Strong A Gap or Weak B Gap. Whichever way the Dive Back goes, the Mike Linebacker will fill hard in that direction. He is the toughest Linebacker used in the defense, because of the war he will be in with a fullback all night long against power running games.

The Defensive Ends will be the player that the Quarterback is reading. In traditional defenses, he is expected to be a Quarterback player, because he is aligned in the C Gap.

In the 4-3 Defense, the Defensive Ends are taught to bend hard to the inside and tackle the dive back if they are unblocked. They are taught that being unblocked should be read as “Run Away” and the Defensive End needs to fly straight down the line of scrimmage, where he will collision the dive back.

The Quarterback

The Quarterback is going to be accounted for by the Outside Linebackers, called the Sam (strong side) and Will (weak side). They will end up on the Quarterback by performing a gap exchange with the Defensive Ends.

A gap exchange means that while initially the backer appears to have the inside gap, and the End have the outside gap, when the play develops and the End is unblocked, his bending run will put him in control of the inside gap.

The Linebacker sees this, and expects it because it has been practiced hundreds or thousands of times, and fits to the outside of the Defensive End. Here he will take away the Quarterback, forcing the pitch.

Defending the Pitch Man

The 4-3 Defense always wants to force the ball to the pitch. As long as the ball is moving sideways, there is a chance to run it down with team speed.

When the ball is pitched, there is always the possibility of a fumble as well. Even though a perfect pitch can be extremely dangerous if not defended properly, a bad pitch can be disastrous for the offense.

The pitch will be defended by the force player, or outside contain player. In the 4-3 Defense, which is a 2-High Safety Defense, this will either be the Cornerback (Cover 2) or the Safety (Cover 4 or Quarters).

The pitch is also going to be defended by the other inside players recognizing that the ball has continued to move laterally, and pursuing to the football. The foundation of the 4-3 Defense is team speed. Team speed can defeat any Offense, and by getting your fastest players on the field and teaching them to properly run the 4-3 Defense, you can stop the Option.

Missile Defense in Asia

North Korean and Chinese missile forces cast a long shadow over U.S. allies in Northeast Asia. The United States has sought to develop common missile defense policies among its allies-Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan-to defend the region against missile attacks from North Korean and Chinese launch sites. Yet the varied responses of its allies have led to a record of mixed success in dealing comprehensively with this ominous threat.

North Korea’s launching of a No Dong missile over the Japanese archipelago in 1998 generated a strong sense of national vulnerability and public support in Japan for intensifying construction of a missile defense system. South Korea’s tepid response to North Korean military provocations was the result of Seoul’s fear of undermining its diplomatic and economic outreach to Pyongyang. In Taiwan, the government finally managed to pass a budget to augment its missile defense system only to face a U.S. roadblock.

North Korea has deployed approximately 600 short-range Scud tactical ballistic missiles and 200 medium-range No Dong missiles. The Scud missiles have an estimated range of 320 km-500 km, which limits them to South Korean targets. The No Dong has a range of 1,300 km, allowing it to target most of Japan. Pyongyang is also developing two longer-range variants, the Taepo Dong 1 (TD-1) and Taepo Dong 2 (TD-2), but they have not yet been deployed because of failed test launches. The ranges of the TD-1 and TD-2 are uncertain but are estimated at 2,220 km and 6,000 km, respectively.

On August 31, 1998, North Korea launched a TD-1 missile that flew over Japan. Although its third stage failed, it demonstrated a long-range capability that could put Alaska, Hawaii, and the western United States at risk. On July 4, 2006, Pyongyang successfully launched six Scud and No Dong missiles, but a TD-2 missile failed after 42 seconds of flight and crashed into the Sea of Japan. If the launch had been successful, the TD-2 would have flown over Japan.

The most visible aspect of the Chinese missile threat is shortrange ballistic and cruise missiles. By late 2007, China had deployed 990-1,070 conventionally armed (but nuclear capable) Dongfeng-11 and Dongfeng-15 short-range missiles opposite Taiwan. It is augmenting this force with approximately 100 new missiles per year, including variants with improved ranges, accuracies, and payloads. China also has 300-400 operational long-range missiles that could reach U.S. and Japanese forces on Okinawa and the other Ryukyu Islands.

In July 1995 and again in March 1996, China launched a series of missiles to intimidate Taiwanese voters into electing a pro-China candidate in Taiwan’s first popular presidential elections. Its intervention closed the Taiwan Strait to merchant shipping for several days and forced thousands of ships to reroute around Taiwan’s east coast. The missile tests underscored China’s willingness to use short-range ballistic missiles as instruments of coercion.

Driven by concerns over North Korea’s highly visible and growing missile and nuclear capabilities, as well as the quiet but inexorable expansion of China’s ballistic missile forces on the Taiwan Strait, Japan is pursuing Aegis sea-based missile defense systems and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) systems around Okinawa and Tokyo. Despite repeated U.S. urging, however, it is reluctant to adopt a broader regional security role.

Japan’s postwar pacifist constitution precludes engagement in “collective self-defense,” or defending another country against attack. Under the current interpretation, it is uncertain whether Japanese missile defense systems would be allowed to intercept missiles attacking the United States or to protect a U.S. naval vessel that was next to a Japanese Aegis destroyer. On June 24, 2008, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda rejected the recommendations of a panel convened by his predecessor that would have allowed a more expansive interpretation of Japanese defense roles, including defending the United States.

Progressive South Korean Presidents Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo-hyun downplayed the extent of the North Korean threat to garner domestic support for their attempts to foster reconciliation with Pyongyang. Seoul was fearful that deploying a missile defense system or even criticizing North Korea over its military provocations and human rights abuses would anger Pyongyang and lead to a collapse of the inter-Korean engagement policy.

President Roh resisted joining an integrated missile defense system with the U.S. and limited the South Korean response to building a lowtier missile shield. General Burwell Baxter Bell, then commander of U.S. Forces Korea, underscored that South Korea does not currently have a missile defense system that complements deployed U.S. capabilities. He recommended that Seoul “look more directly at the anti-theater ballistic missile capacity, partner better with us and fully integrate with our capacity, so that they can provide a more protective envelope for their nation.”

To do so, South Korea must deploy a more sophisticated missile defense system, including PAC-3 and SM-3 missiles. Seoul is currently building a low-tier missile shield by purchasing eight batteries of older German Patriot-2 missiles and fielding Aegis destroyers without theater ballistic missile capability.

Since Lee Myung-bak was elected president, South Korean defense officials have been more receptive to joining the U.S. global ballistic missile defense (BMD) initiative. However, General Lee Sung-chool, deputy commander of Combined Forces Command, stated that before joining a U.S. BMD system, Seoul would have to “conduct a comprehensive review of lots of factors first, such as a security environment around the peninsula, conditions of combat areas, North Korea’s military threat, budgetary issues, and public sentiment.”

In December 2007, Taiwan’s legislature announced a long-delayed decision to increase defense spending, including funding for upgrading PAC-2 systems and purchasing three PAC-3 missile defense batteries. The PAC-2 upgrades would enhance ground support equipment for three existing fire units to enable them to fire either Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM) or PAC-3 missiles. The PAC-3 would be the more likely option because the PAC-2 GEM is no longer in U.S. production.

However, the Bush Administration has delayed the $11 billion arms package for Taiwan, which includes the missile defense requests. Although there has been no official change in U.S. policy, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has reportedly put a hold on the arms sale to avoid irritating China, lest it upset ongoing North Korea negotiations and the President’s visit to the Beijing Olympics. Reports also suggest that the Ma administration in Taipei requested the hold as part of its push to resuscitate cross-strait negotiations.

The Heritage Foundation is releasing a new documentary film about missile defense titled, 33 Minutes. On the 33 Minutes site, the movie trailer can be viewed, along with a wealth of information and articles about missile defense in the United States and worldwide.

Bruce Klingner
Klinger is a Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, specializing in issues related to Korea and Japan. Before joining Heritage, Klingner served as the primary Korea analyst at the Eurasia Group, a global political risk assistant firm. Prior to this, he spent 20 years in the intelligence community, working at the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency. He was the Deputy Chief of the Korea Issue Group in the CIA’s directorate of intelligence where he was responsible for analyzing Korean political, military, economic and leadership issues for the President and other senior policymakers. He is a frequent panelist in policy forums around Washington, and his articles have appeared in the West in The Financial Times, USA Today, Washington Times, and Korea and World Affairs, and in the Far East, his articles have appeared in The Korea Herald, The Korea Times, Nikkei Weekly, and The Asia Times.

Guard Alaska Bear Spray Because Bears Don’t Like It When It Feels Like Their Faces Are On Fire

Bears are beautiful creatures. I’ve been fascinated by them since I can remember my parents taking my siblings and I to the Brookfield Zoo. There was just something about the raw blend of beauty and grace of these gentle giants. It was undeniable and I still feel the same way when I take my own kids to the very same zoo these days. With that said I would rather one not bite me in the neck, head or vital organ region. In reality I would probably rather not have a half-ton Kodiak bear bite me on any part of my body or really any part of the body for that matter. That would be unpleasant and no doubt uncomfortable so I’m just going to go ahead and make it a personal rule not to put any of my body parts in a bear’s mouth. One way to do that while you’re camping or hiking is to carry bear spray on you at all times.

Bear spray is one of those unique items that is truly important. I mean it has vital importance like not many products can truly say they have. Take a spare tire for example, those are pretty important. If you break down on the side of the road and don’t have a spare you are going to be pretty upset. Is it going to be a life altering event? Probably not. It just means you are going to have to call a tow truck and lose a couple of hours out of your day. Now let’s talk about what happens when you need bear spray and don’t have it. It means you could very well die. It won’t be a situation where you’ll later look back and say “Gosh, some bear spray would have been nice in that situation.” It won’t be a situation like that because you won’t be looking back. Ever again.

Guard Alaska bear spray is so effective because bears, much like the vast majority of creatures on this planet, are not all that hip on having their face feel like it has been set on fire. It tends to make all of gods creatures stop just a moment and reevaluate their current actions. I think on some rudimentary level it makes the bear question whether or not continuing the attack is worth the feeling of having its face melted off.

Most Popular Self Defense Products – The Top Ten

Self defense products have become a first line of defense for men women and kids throughout the world because they work. I have been a distributor of these products for nearly four years now and people frequently ask me which ones are the most popular. So here are my top ten most popular self defense products from my experience.

1. Telescopic Stun Baton-This versatile product is equally good against the bad guys as it is against charging dogs which is why it is #1. 800,000 volts in a 13 inch package that expands and electrifies to 21.5 inches at the touch of a button. It is rechargeable saving you money too.

2. Cell Phone Stun Gun-This powerful 800,000 stun gun is disguised as a cell phone giving the user a distinct advantage of surprise in an assault situation. The feature customers love about this product is the disable pin that prevents the stun device from being used against you should it be taken away.

3. Pretender Stun Gun- 950,000 volts is a stun weapon that is disguised as a camera cell phone. It has a lifetime warranty and comes with free batteries and a free holster. Now available in hot pink. One of the most powerful stun guns there is.

4. Wildfire Pepper Spray- Pepper spray is the most widely used self defense product in the world and has been for decades. While the “wildfire” brand is relatively new it is very popular because of its’ wide variety of sizes and potency. At 18% OC concentration it is one of the strongest in the marketplace.

5. C2 taser-The newest product in the taser line is geared specifically to women with its’ size and potent pink color as one color choice. The C2 is still the king of the hill when it comes to effectiveness at nearly 100% stopping power. Some have a hard time with the price starting at $299 and up but how much is your life worth?

6. Electronic Pocket Whistle- This is the most popular personal alarm we have. Press a button and a 120 db alarm sounds as long as the button is depressed. Many parents buy this alarm for their kids. It is the cheapest of all of the top ten at $15.95

7. Multi Function Stun Gun- The newest stun gun on the market and it just so happens to be the most powerful at 2.7 million volts. Disable pin, LED flashlight, alarm and red emergency flashing lights are the main features of this new stunner.

8. Guard Alaska Bear Spray- The most popular bear spray in the world. EPA approved and Sierra Club recommended this bear spray works on coyotes, mountain lions and any animal that has a sensitive sense of smell-all of them.

9. Electronic Dog Repeller- This popular device makes an ultrasonic noise only dogs can hear. Great for walkers, joggers and cyclists. May not work on aggressive breeds like pit bulls and Dobermans.

10. UFO Alarm- This personal alarm double as a burglar alarm, door/window alarm, flashlight and more.

There you have the top ten most popular self defense products. To me it is interesting that of the top 10 three of them have to do with animals. When are you getting some?

Jack Krohn owns “Security Solutions” and is the author of over 400 articles on self defense and home security problems.

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Alaska has laws in place to keep motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists safe from drunk drivers. These laws are known as the DUI laws and can be very complex, especially if you’ve been charged with a DUI offense. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, it is very important that you contact an Alaska DUI lawyer immediately. If you wait too long to get legal assistance, you may forget information that is important to your case and lose any chance you have of winning. By contacting an Alaska DUI attorney immediately after your arrest, you can give your attorney all of the information necessary to begin building your defense.

Driving Under the Influence

Alaska has two ways in which someone can be prosecuted for DUI. One is if the person is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This means that the person is too impaired to operate their vehicle safely. Someone who is under the influence and too impaired to drive may exhibit odd driving behaviors such as driving too slowly, excessive braking, or swerving when it is not necessary to avoid an obstacle in the road. Someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol may also cause accidents due to their impairment. Impairment can be determined by the way they are driving or by their failure to successfully complete field sobriety tests. The other way a person can be prosecuted for DUI in Alaska is if their blood alcohol content level exceeds the limit of 0.08%. This level can be determined using chemical testing. Contacting an Alaska DUI lawyer as soon as you’ve been arrested for a DUI offense is imperative. These legal professionals know how to review each type of evidence and also have access to expert witnesses that may be able to reduce the impact of this evidence on your case.

Alaska DUI Penalties

Most DUI offenses in Alaska are classified as misdemeanors. The exceptions occur when someone has committed a third offense or greater or when a DUI results in bodily injury. The penalties for DUI in Alaska become more severe with each offense and can include fines, jail time, and community service. Some offenders can be sentenced to electric monitoring instead of jail time. Discussing all of these consequences with an Alaska DUI lawyer can help you to decide the best course of action to take and help you have the best chance for winning your case.

Administrative DUI Penalties

Criminal charges and penalties are not the only problems you will face if you are arrested for DUI. You will also have to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the administrative penalties that they impose when someone is charged with a DUI. This suspension will take effect 7 days after your arrest so it is IMPERATIVE that you contact an Alaska DUI lawyer before that time period expires. A qualified Alaska DUI attorney can help you get a hearing with the DMV to request a temporary license that you can use until your case goes to trial. If your suspension was due to having a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater, a restricted license is only available after the first 30 days of your suspension has passed. This option is not available if you have refused chemical testing to determine your blood alcohol content level. The revocation period lengthens if a person has had prior DUI convictions. For one prior DUI conviction or refusal to submit to chemical testing, the penalty is a license revocation of 1 year. This penalty carries no opportunity for a restricted or temporary license for any reason. For two prior DUI convictions or refusals to submit to chemical testing, the license revocation time period is three years. This penalty gives offenders no opportunity for a restricted work permit. The penalty for three or more offenses is a license revocation period of five years. There is also no opportunity to apply for a restricted work permit during this period. Because of all of these possible penalties, consulting with an Alaska DUI lawyer is one of the best things you can do. Representing yourself may cause you to miss out on important deadlines and miss information that a legal professional would be able to use to strengthen your defense.

DMV License Revocation Hearing

If you are pulled over and charged with a DUI, you will receive a “Notice and Order of Revocation” from the law enforcement officer conducting the traffic stop. The day you are issued this order is the day that the clock starts ticking on the time you have to request a hearing on your revocation. You have 7 calendar days to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and request a hearing in writing. If you do not meet this requirement, the license revocation will go into effect on the 8th day and you will have missed out on the opportunity to contest the revocation. You can deliver your written request directly to the Department of Motor Vehicles or send it to the DMV via the US Postal Service. If you choose to hand deliver the request, be sure to have someone in the DMV office sign something that shows the request was received. If you choose to use the mail, send the request certified so you can be sure the DMV received your request. In the event that the DMV claims they did not receive a request from you, having a signed certified mail receipt would prove that you did meet the requirement for requesting a hearing in the required time period. Be sure that your request is postmarked before the 7 day expiration date or your request may not arrive at the DMV on time.

Your license revocation hearing is very important to your DUI case. Even if you were not guilty of DUI and end up being not convicted or having the charges dropped, you will lose your license if you do not request a hearing within the 7 day period. Your lawyer may be able to successfully defend you against the revocation depending on what has happened with your case. This hearing also gives your attorney the opportunity to determine what information may come up at your criminal trial. Since the DMV hearing testimony is on the record, it can be very important to you at trial time. If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an Alaska DUI lawyer as soon as possible to help you save your license and defend you against criminal DUI charges.

Avoiding Moose Accidents in Alaska

One of the largest categories of accident on Alaska’s rural highways are moose-vehicle accidents. Nearly 500 moose vehicle accidents occur each year in Alaska which is the most in North America. Sweden has the highest accident rate in the world.

While 500 accidents pales in comparison to the 50,000 deer accidents that occur in Pennsylvania each year, the size of a typical moose is 3 to 6 times as large as a deer making it one of the largest animals that is commonly struck on highways. Colliding with an 800 to 1200 pound moose can lead to serious property damage and personal injuries. Luckily, only ½ of 1% of moose accidents results in a fatality.

Drivers in Alaska can help minimize their chances of colliding with one of these massive creatures by knowing some facts about moose behavior and employing some defensive driving techniques.

According to a report by the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public facilities Central Region, “Moose Vehicle Accidents on Alaska’s Rural Highways”, most accidents occur on the rural highways surrounding major cities such as Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla, Soldotna, Kenai, Fairbanks and North Pole.

Location is one important factor in the likelihood of hitting a moose. Moose migrate across lowland marshes and tundra at elevations of less than 200 feet. Unsurprisingly, highways that cross these areas see the highest incidents of accidents.

Another important factor is the time of day. Commuters traveling to and from work coincides with the moose’s most active time periods of dawn and dusk. The two periods of the day with the most accidents include 6:00am to 9:00am in the morning and 5:00pm to midnight in the evening. 75% of moose collisions occur at night. The dark brown hide of a moose can be difficult to see against a brown wooded backdrop.

The time of year also significantly affects the chances of seeing moose on Alaska’s highways. Accidents peak in January and December as moose migrate downward searching for food during the winter months. The downward migration and long night hours combines to create two times the amount of accidents in December and January as the rest of the year.

Drivers need to be especially careful in those two months and be sure to exercise sound defensive driving techniques including slowing down at night, especially in those areas marked as moose crossings. Drivers should also be alert for any indications of moose crossing such as lights of oncoming traffic flickering. Some roadways, the Glenn Highway between Anchorage and Eagle River in particular, have seen significant drops in moose accidents by lighting the roadway and adding moose fencing.

By exercising caution in areas where moose are common and visibility is hindered, you can help decrease the chances of getting involved in an accident with a moose.