Monthly Archives: May 2010

CCU Baseball completes step one

The Coastal Carolina Baseball team won the Big South Conference tournament this weekend. Congratulations to the team and the coaching staff on a terrific accomplishment. It is, however, just one step for this team. Next up, Coastal will host the NCAA Regional in Myrtle Beach.  That announcement was made yesterday. In a few minutes, the NCAA will announce the field of 64 teams and the nations top 8 seeds.

I expect to hear Coastal Carolina when the top 8 teams are announced. It would be a travesty should it not happen. Coastal went undefeated in BSC regular season play and won the tournament without a loss. They are ranked number 2 in the nation in the simulated RPI.

The benefit of a national seed is that the team plays at “home” for both the regional and the super regional. Coastal’s home will be BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach. That may not be much of a home field advantage though, depending on who the NCAA sends to Myrtle Beach.

Getting named a national seed would be a great accomplishment. Getting to the super regional is another thing altogether. That would be another step. One step at a time.

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Memorial Day

Today we observe Memorial Day and honor our fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. Some of us will. For others, today is simply another day off.

Freedom ain’t cheap. For the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to pay for our freedom, I salute you.

The words:

Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
‘Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
‘Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.

The music.

The source: U.S. Memorial Day History.

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Attorney Fees

I just read two posts about attorney fees and alternative billing methods. Norm Pattis started it off with Flat Fees, Black Holes and the Value of Chaos. Jamison Koehler followed up with Flat Fees Versus Hourly Rates in a Criminal Case. Both articles are excellent and I recommend that you read them yourself.

Attorney fees are a necessary part of representing clients. Most clients understand this and are willing to pay for representation. There are exceptions of course, and I leave that topic for my friend Brian Tannebaum.  The question remains though on which method is better: by the hour or a flat fee? There are good arguments for both.

Most lawyers I know charge a flat fee in criminal defense cases. That’s how we do it at my office.  I like this method because it’s simple and it avoids any potential misunderstanding with the client. When the client hires me, he or she knows what the fee is for that case. No more and no less. I’ve never had a client ask me how much time or how many hours I would devote to the case. The answer would be as much as it takes.

Charging by the hour might sound attractive to a potential client. Most defendants probably have no idea how long it takes to properly defend a case. I’ve heard people comment that the case was simple because it didn’t take long. They don’t see or know about the “hidden hours” Norm writes about.

Charging by the hour might also sound attractive to the lawyer. It is a way to get paid for “extra” time spent on the case because of the client. Some clients want “hand holding” during their case. They will call everyday and ask you to explain the same thing again. Some clients surf the internet. They want you to explain in detail why the minority opinion they read from some other state court doesn’t apply to their case.  Some clients may want the investigation to go in a direction the lawyer sees as useless. If the client wants to pay for these extra services, then an hourly fee agreement takes care of the situation.

The hourly fee arrangement has its problems. There is the additional accounting time required to manage a bill. This is further complicated if you have different rates for different aspects of the case. First, what is the hourly rate? Should it be the same for waiting in court for your case to be called as it is for arguing a simple motion? How about a complicated motion or the actual trial? Travel time? For the lawyer, time spent on the case is time taken away from another client’s case. In other words, time is money. A potential client may see it differently. It certainly presents another issue that a client may balk at when it’s time to pay the bill.

The attorney client relationship has enough dynamics. Money shouldn’t complicate it.

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Coastal Dominates BSC Awards

So far I am having a great time at the Big South Tournament. After Coastal won the opening game today, the Big South conducted its awards ceremony.  Coastal cleaned up in that event also.

Not surprisingly, Coastal’s Gary Gilmore was the Coach of the Year for having a perfect 25-0 regular season record. Anthony Meo was a unanimous selection for Pitcher of the Year. After today, he is 13-1. Arguably the most prestigious award, Scholar-Athlete of the Year, went to Austin Fleet. He is the Chanticleer closer and he has started a few games during the season.

Coastal set a conference record with eight players named to the all conference first team:

SP | Anthony Meo, So., RHP
SP | Cody Wheeler, Jr., LHP
RP | Matt Rein, Jr., LHP
C | Jose Iglesias, Sr.
2B | Tommy La Stella, R-So.
3B | Scott Woodward, Jr.
SS | Taylor Motter, So.
OF | Rico Noel, Jr.

Freshman RHP Ryan Connolly made the all conference second team.

For a complete listing of all team members, check out this article by Josh Hoke.

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Coastal Carolina Baseball Rocks Opener 11-2

Coastal Carolina defeated Virginia Military Institute 11-2 today in the first game of the Big South Conference Baseball tournament. Anthony Meo was the winning pitcher. He went seven innings while striking out eight, walking two and giving up five hits and two earned runs. Adam Rice blasted a three run shot over the left field wall in the bottom of the first inning and the Chanticleers never looked back.

Coastal is now 48-7. The Chants play the loser of the High Point/Radford game tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.

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Coastal Carolina Baseball Begins Conference Tournament

The Coastal Carolina Baseball team starts the Big South Conference Tournament today in Rock Hill, South Carolina. They play VMI at 11:00 this morning. Coastal is coming off a perfect 25-0 regular season record and is seeded number one in the tournament.

The winner of the BSC tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament next week. Coastal has played very well this year and should win this tournament. However, it is difficult to beat a team four or five times in one season. Should Coastal fail to lock up the automatic bid, they will receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

In fact, Coastal is a lock to host a regional in the NCAA tournament. The only question to be answered this weekend is whether or not Coastal gets a national seed.

BSC Bracket

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Objections and Umpires

Don’t waste time making objections to little things.  We have all heard that expression or a form of it before. Like most good advice, it’s easy to say but often hard to do. Many times I have seen lawyers object to the most trivial things during a trial. If you are objecting to every little thing, you are probably doing three other things: One, you are not helping advance your cause; two, you are annoying the judge; and three, you are alienating the jury.

I just got back from a baseball game where I saw a great example of this. College baseball is a great sport and it has loyal fans. Some fans complain about every umpire’s call that doesn’t go their way. It’s typical and it’s annoying. There was a lot of it today and none of it mattered. Well, almost none of it mattered. There was one.

The umpire made a blatantly bad call. The fans made their typical boos. Then a grandmother screamed out her protest. I have seen her at all the games but I never noticed her. I noticed her today and so did everyone else including the coach. Talk about credibility? She exemplified it.  I can’t describe how it felt other than it was a moment that couldn’t be ignored. The umpire did something that umpires rarely do: he reversed his call.

During a trial, just like a baseball game, there will be many things you may find objectionable. If it’s not hurting your case, don’t worry about it. When you do object to something that matters, everyone will notice. They will also notice your credibility.

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