Friday, October 24, 2014

Mother in Coma Heard Everything, Was Scared They’d Turn Off Her Life Support

Kate Allat suffered a stroke at the age of 39 and the mother spent 10 days in a coma afterwards. Now that she is past that frightful ordeal, Allat reveals in a new interview that she heard everything going on around her in her hospital room and she was fearful her life support would be turned off.

Kate Allat
Allat indicates that her mind was functioning normally during her coma but everyone around her thought she was brain-dead as she laid in her hospital bed paralyzed and unable to speak or breathe on her own. She listened in fright as medical staff discussed switching off her life support with her family.

It took two weeks before she was able to communicate with anyone, according to news reports.
LifeNews has focused on these kinds of cases before, where patients heard everything going on around them despite their comatose state. It’s another reason to oppose euthanasia and another reason why doctors and families should take their time before determining someone is “too far gone.”

“They thought I was in a vegetative state. I couldn’t move a muscle. There was no signal I was in there,” She said.

“I was on life support and they might have turned it off.”

“I couldn’t breathe for myself but I could hear conversations that I didn’t want to hear.”

Lucky for Kate, she made a full recovery, and she is urging people to remain aware of the syndrome and strokes.

She also discusses the embarrassment of being in the state.

“There were nurses that spoke over me. They lowered their expectations of me,” she told The Daily Mail.

“It’s fair to call me a control freak so to be in that situation is awful.”

“I’d be left on my shower seat for 20 minutes after a shower, naked.”
Full Article & Source:
Mother in Coma Heard Everything, Was Scared They’d Turn Off Her Life Support

Birmingham law firm employee bilked elderly clients out of $295,000 to fund lavish lifestyle, authorities say

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - A Jefferson County woman employed by a Birmingham law firm stole nearly $300,000 from clients deemed unable to oversee their own finances and used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, authorities said today.

Janice Davis
A grand jury this month indicted 36-year-old Janice Davis, of Minor, on 35 criminal charges. The U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force arrested Davis at her home Oct. 16. She was released the following day after posting $250,000 bond.

Jefferson County sheriff's Chief Deputy Randy Christian said the law firm of Hand Arendall LLC in July contacted the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office after noticing a discrepancy in the firm's Guardianship Department. The inquiry was handed over to the sheriff's office, which launched an investigation.

Davis, authorities said, was responsible for the disbursement of payments for the firm's attorney who had been appointed fiduciary by the Jefferson County Probate Court or the Veteran's Administration to assist clients who had been deemed unable to oversee their personal financial affairs.

Once the discrepancy was noticed, Christian said, Davis was fired from Hand Arendall. The investigation found almost $295,000 was misappropriated from 34 accounts the firm managed through manipulation of the payment system they had in place.

The theft took place over nearly three years. Authorities said Davis used the money to pay personal bills including a $66,000 credit card balance and she bought two Mercedes.

The case was presented to a Jefferson County grand jury this month. Davis was indicted on the following charges: 10 counts of elderly abuse/neglect, 12 counts of first-degree financial exploitation of an elderly person, eight counts of second-degree financial exploitation of an elderly person, four counts of third-degree of financial exploitation an elderly person, and one count of firs-degree theft of property.

Roger Bates, a managing partner at Hand Arendall, said none of the victims will suffer any financial loss, nor did they suffer any loss of services, medical treatment, care or housing. The firm also had launched additional layers of security to its Guardianship accounts.

Full Article & Source:
Birmingham law firm employee bilked elderly clients out of $295,000 to fund lavish lifestyle, authorities say

Man indicted for bilking elderly women out of thousands

A Dothan man has been indicted on charges he bilked thousands of dollars from two elderly women. A Geneva County grand jury recently found there is sufficient evidence against Willie N. Williams to take him to trial.

Williams, 50, is charged with financial exploitation of the elderly in connection with allegations he bilked two Geneva women out of more than $2,000 each. One alleged victim is her 80’s while the other is believed to be about 70.

Police say the crimes occurred in mid-June when Norris offered to perform tree trimming and other lawn work for the victims. He is accused of intimidating them into paying $2,700 in one case and $2,070 in the other.

Full Article & Source:
Man indicted for bilking elderly women out of thousands

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Attorney Ken Ditkowsky on Northshore "LIVE": Cooper's Corner

10-14-14 Ken Ditkowsky

Attorney Ditkowsky received a four-year suspension for advocating and speaking up against guardianship abuse, specifically the Mary Sykes case, in Cook County, IL.

See Also:
NASGA:  Mary Sykes, Illinois Victim

Northshore LIVE:  Cooper's Corner:  Ken Ditkowsky

Pennsylvania Supreme Court suspends Justice Seamus McCaffery

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday night suspended Justice Seamus McCaffery, who last week publicly apologized for forwarding sexually explicit emails to a state employee.

In its order, the court said it was suspending McCaffery with pay to "protect and preserve the integrity" of the state's judicial system and called on the independent Judicial Conduct Board to complete an investigation in 30 days.

The 4-1 decision, with two recusals, said McCaffery may have sought favors for his wife, who has been his chief legal clerk. Without elaborating, the court said McCaffery "may have attempted to exert influence" in judicial court appointments in his hometown of Philadelphia.

"More recently, Justice McCaffery has publicly accepted responsibility for exchanging hundreds of sexually explicit emails with a member or members of the office of attorney general," which surfaced during the attorney general's review of its handling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation, the court said in its order.

The court also cited a claim by Justice J. Michael Eakin that McCaffery on Thursday had "importuned him" to urge Chief Justice Ron Castille to retract his statements about the emails, or McCaffery would release emails embarrassing Eakin.

In a concurring opinion, Castille said, "It would be impossible for this court to function effectively while Justice McCaffery sits on this court."

McCaffery has referred to the email scandal as a "cooked-up controversy" that's part of a "vindictive pattern of attacks" on him by Castille. In his opinion Monday, Castille suggested that McCaffery displays "pathological symptoms [that] describe a sociopath" who blames others for his "transgressions."

Castille conducted his own inquiry into the emails after an Oct. 2 story in The Morning Call, which reported McCaffery had forwarded sexually explicit emails to a state worker who forwarded them to other state workers.

In its order Monday, the court relied on Castille's description of the 234 sexually explicit emails he reviewed from the attorney general's office as "highly demeaning portrayals of … women, elderly persons and uniformed school girls."

Full Article, Video & Source:
Pennsylvania Supreme Court suspends Justice Seamus McCaffery

Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Announces New Plan to Raise Awareness of Attorney Discipline

New Procedure Will Work to Ensure Public Knowledge of Misconduct

Harrisburg, Pa. – Demonstrating its commitment to safeguarding the public and the reputation of the legal profession, the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania announces an initiative to make it easier for the public to determine when an attorney has received public discipline. Effective immediately, the Board is issuing a news release to media outlets in communities where an attorney does business when the attorney is disbarred or suspended by order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Although the Board has a longstanding practice of posting these notices on its website for the public and notifying newspapers of appropriate disciplinary actions, the notices typically appear only in the legal notices section of classified advertising. This latest effort is designed to broaden the reach of the disciplinary notices to boost public awareness of the actions.

The Disciplinary Board was created by the Supreme Court in 1972 to consider and investigate the conduct of any attorney admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania. Funded by annual assessments paid by attorneys licensed to practice in the Commonwealth, it assists the Supreme Court in all matters involving attorney licensing and discipline throughout the Commonwealth.

“As members of the Disciplinary Board, our duty is to assist the Supreme Court in protecting the public, preserving the integrity of the legal profession and safeguarding the reputation of our courts and the legal system,” said R. Burke McLemore, Jr., Chair of the Disciplinary Board. “By raising awareness of attorney discipline, we highlight our commitment to achieving these goals by demonstrating to the public how the profession is policing itself.”

The decision to focus additional efforts on raising public awareness of such actions was partly prompted by events earlier this year when a Dauphin County lawyer failed to notify his clients that he was forced to surrender his law license. Some of his clients claimed significant financial loss.

To stay up to date on the latest notices, the public also is encouraged to visit the Board’s website at Designed for easy viewing, the website enables users to search recent actions on attorneys, including Supreme Court orders detailing the actions and reasons under the Look Up – Supreme Court Actions tab.

About the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of PA

The Disciplinary Board's goals are to protect the general public, maintain a high standard of integrity in the legal profession, and safeguard the reputation of the courts of Pennsylvania. The Disciplinary Board was created by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to review conduct and assure compliance by all attorneys to the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct. For more information about the Disciplinary Board, please visit

Full Article & Source:
Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Announces New Plan to Raise Awareness of Attorney Discipline

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Loose cannon fires away: Mary Rain blind to her own flaws as a prosecutor, public servant

As district attorney, Mary E. Rain has become an embarrassment and impediment to the criminal justice system in St. Lawrence County.

She refuses to accept instruction from anyone on points of law, even from individuals who are as well versed — if not more so — in the law as she is. Her quest for personal vindication has blinded her to the need for professionalism and respect as someone who holds a public trust.

In a ruling issued Thursday, County Judge Jerome J. Richards enumerated numerous mistakes that Ms. Rain committed in obtaining a grand jury indictment against Oral N. Hillary in the 2011 death of Garrett J. Phillips. But instead of accepting the chance to correct the criticisms by empaneling a new grand jury to consider a proper indictment of Mr. Hillary, Ms. Rain appealed the decision and castigated Judge Richards by claiming the judge has a personal bias against her and has sabotaged her work since July.

Full Article & Source:
Loose cannon fires away: Mary Rain blind to her own flaws as a prosecutor, public servant

Brain Cancer Will Likely Kill Me, But There’s No Way I’ll Kill Myself

Like Brittany Maynard, I have extremely aggressive brain cancer. But I’m not downing any kill pills.

Kara Tippetts and family
I’m not surprised that an Oct. 6, 2014 article by Nicole Weisensee Egan—titled “Terminally Ill 29-Year Old Woman: Why I’m Choosing to Die on My Own Terms” featuring a well-produced video found on—has gone viral.

The video, which features interviews of Brittany Maynard and her family members, is very emotional. Maynard, who was diagnosed this past spring, suffers from a stage-four gliobastoma multiforme brain tumor. She has a very aggressive form of brain cancer, and it is difficult to control its growth. In her video story, she describes how she was diagnosed and relates her understanding that the glioblastoma will eventually kill her. She then relates her fear that this scenario will be “out of her control.”

As I watched the video, I wanted to hug Brittany and shed tears right along with her because I, too, know those fears. I was also diagnosed this past spring with a stage-four glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor.

I can identify with Maynard and her spunky, adventurous spirit. She describes her love of travel. In my profession with The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod’s mercy outreach, I’ve led medical mission teams and worked on relief projects in 11 countries, loving every minute of it. I have seen the poorest of the poor and the sickest of the sick. I have seen suffering that would make anyone’s stomach turn.

The Hardest Part Is Not Knowing When

Now I face my own prognosis of future suffering. Some days are joyful. Some days the diagnosis feels like a huge weight in my backpack.
The hardest part of a terminal diagnosis is not knowing the timeline. I speak candidly with my physicians and pray that they can keep my tumor under control with the latest therapies to extend my life, one more year, month, day. Someday, I hope my tumor qualifies to be studied in one of the many clinical trials for brain cancer. I’d like to think my situation was part of a cure for someone else.

My doctors have applauded my decision to step down from my physically and emotionally demanding job to spend precious time with my family. I have a husband and three daughters who I hope will always remember me as a strong, thoughtful (but bull-headed) woman, carrying Christ’s mercy and compassion for others in my soul with rich joy and meaning.

Suicide Is Not the Answer to Brain Cancer

And here is where my comparison with Brittany Maynard ends. Maynard chose to move her family to Oregon earlier this year to have legal access to physician-assisted suicide and to receive a prescription for drugs that she has stated she will use to take her life two days following her husband’s birthday, on Nov. 1, 2014. It’s interesting that Maynard steadfastly refuses to refer to her decision as an act of suicide, even though she will, quite literally, take her own life.

Many people who choose assisted-suicide have expressed that they are uncomfortable with the term. Assisted suicide, which means helping someone take his or her own life, has been redefined into the more euphemistic “aid in dying” or sometimes “death with dignity” campaign which has been spearheaded by the well-funded special-interest group Compassion and Choices (previously known as The Hemlock Society).

However well-intentioned, this is one area where the old adage that “Hard cases make bad law” comes into play. To make good policy decisions about assisted suicide for our society, we need to follow the rabbit trail all the way down the hole to see where it leads. Marilyn Golden, a senior policy analyst for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, warned that “assisted suicide is not progressive, in fact, it puts many vulnerable people at risk, and we have already seen examples of that where it is legal.” Folks concerned about the rights of people with disabilities are worried about this.

Full Article & Source:
Brain Cancer Will Likely Kill Me, But There’s No Way I’ll Kill Myself

Boxer Leon Spinks to Undergo Additional Surgery

Boxing legend Leon Spinks is set to undergo a third surgery after he was hospitalised earlier this month (Oct14) for undisclosed reasons. It has emerged the 61-year-old Olympic gold medal winner, who famously beat Muhammad Ali in 1978, is being treated for abdominal issues after accidentally swallowing a chicken bone, which became trapped in his intestines, according to He is reportedly conscious and recovering, but has to have another surgery.

Meanwhile, Spinks' attorney has dismissed claims from his ex-wife, Betty, alleging she has power of attorney and guardianship over him to make medical decisions. He tells, "(His current wife) Brenda and Leon have a power of attorney agreement. Betty's power of attorney was expressly revoked by Leon."

Full Article and Source:
Boxer Leon Spinks to Undergo Additional Surgery