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All comments by Mark Bennett
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Not related to the other Bennetts, though I very much enjoyed reading the book “The Devil's Tickets.”

And perhaps having spent much of my career as a prosecutor, including prosecuting many murder cases, causes me to believe the comparison is not apt.

Nonetheless, I believe that permanent expulsion (or perhaps expulsion that allows a right to reapply after 20 years) is clearly appropriate for collusive cheating (and other types of cheating).

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June 9, 2016
Mark Bennett edited this comment June 9, 2016
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Michael H.–I, like your mentor, throw up the first morning of every trial (well over 100 now). I thought I didn't for appellate arguments, and then proceeded to for my two SCOTUS arguments. Just part of life for me :).

Sabrina–Best of luck in Denver–rooting for you to do great!
Dec. 1, 2015
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Nick–If it really deserves its own name, I have a modest proposal, as a Hawaii resident for 35 or so years.

In our local patois (or pidgin as it's called in Hawaii) lolo means foolish (or worse), as in “what a lolo thing to do,” or "he's so lolo.“

http://localhawaiiexperience.weebly.com/pidgin-language.html

So picking up on David Burn's theme that the squeeze is rare because a competent declarer can usually avoid it: the ”Lolo Squeeze."
Nov. 17, 2015
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David–You write: “But the real reason it is a rare phenomenon is that it almost always requires declarer to have messed up the entries earlier in the play.” Although I don't think I know you, you seem to be very familiar with my declarer play!
Nov. 16, 2015
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Sensible to play 3 as game-forcing.

Thanks!

My hand was:

K J 4
8
7 4
K Q 7 6 4 3 2
Nov. 9, 2015
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Mr. Odlund,

I did not say the US is the world. I offered a perspective on “acceptance of responsibility” that you, and all readers, are free to view as either germane or irrelevant.

And although this thread is neither about the US nor lawyers, I am very proud to be a lawyer in the US, and have been all 35 or so years I have been a lawyer in the US.
Sept. 19, 2015
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In the imperfect U.S. criminal federal “sentencing guidelines,” which help judges determine the sentences for those convicted of U.S. federal crimes, defendants facing sentencing can get some “credit” for “acceptance of responsibility.”

Below are some factors judges are asked to consider in this regard, in determining whether to give the “credit”:

“(A) truthfully admitting the conduct comprising the offense(s) of conviction, and truthfully admitting or not falsely denying any additional relevant conduct for which the defendant is accountable …. Note that a defendant is not required to volunteer, or affirmatively admit, relevant conduct beyond the offense of conviction in order to obtain a reduction under subsection (a). A defendant may remain silent in respect to relevant conduct beyond the offense of conviction without affecting his ability to obtain a reduction under this subsection. However, a defendant who falsely denies, or frivolously contests, relevant conduct that the court determines to be true has acted in a manner inconsistent with acceptance of responsibility;

(B) voluntary termination or withdrawal from criminal conduct or associations;

(C) voluntary payment of restitution prior to adjudication of guilt;

(D) voluntary surrender to authorities promptly after commission of the offense;

(E) voluntary assistance to authorities in the recovery of the fruits and instrumentalities of the offense;

(F) voluntary resignation from the office or position held during the commission of the offense;

(G) post-offense rehabilitative efforts (e.g., counseling or drug treatment); and

(H) the timeliness of the defendant's conduct in manifesting the acceptance of responsibility.”

Obviously this is, at best (and for many reasons) an imperfect analogy to the instant situation, but I think some of the concepts are relevant if and when punishment is ultimately determined by the relevant organization(s).
Sept. 19, 2015
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I find this extraordinarily convincing, and exactly the type of evidence that would convince bridge experts as well as non-bridge players, who could be on any jury.

A key–as Kit says–not the actual lead as much as the signal by a player who would want to signal.

On a side note. My understanding is that the ACBL and its members are bound to arbitrate all disputes.

http://www.acbl.org/about-acbl/administration/binding-arbitration/

I believe the ACBL could actually file an arbitration action against Fisher/Schwartz–assuming, as I do, that they are ACBL members–including to recover damages–this would be above and beyond any internal ACBL disciplinary proceedings.

While such an action would likely be contrary to conventional legal wisdom, I'd like to see it, following the imposition of ACBL discipline–if there is an internal ACBL guilty finding.

Such an action might increase the deterrence level for those considering cheating. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.

Thank you Kit.
Sept. 2, 2015
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Among the many problems with bringing a lawsuit like this in the United States:

1) The plaintiffs' preexisting reputation is relevant–so all of the “rumors” and what spawned them would likely be admissible evidence; and

2) If plaintiffs are considered “public figures”–and there can be “public figures” in a particular field–then simply proving the accusers are wrong isn't enough to win–you have to prove “actual malice”–a legal “term of art” in the defamation context.

Also, in the U.S., pursuant to what is called the “American Rule,” you very seldom can get your attorneys' fees paid by the defendant, even if you win.

A U.S. lawsuit strikes me as unlikely–but who knows, other than the putative plaintiffs.
Aug. 31, 2015
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I am very troubled by the opinion that what Kit Woolsey is doing is “irresponsible,” “liked” by many top players, especially as he is giving expert analysis.

It would be very sad if the perception became that anyone who was even arguably “defending the cheaters” was doing something wrong, and not that it matters to my view, it is clear that that is not what Kit is doing.

Arguing for rigorous review and analysis of the evidence is not only (in my opinion) not “irresponsible,” it is laudable. And it is especially laudable when so many at the top of the game have already pronounced “the cheaters” guilty.

And this is even more demonstrated by how those who want a fair process feel constrained to add that their posts should not be taken as a defense of “the cheaters,” as if calling for a fair process, by itself, isn't enough. I did that myself in a “fairness” post I made before Boye released his evidence.

So my opinion–what Kit did was not only not “irresponsible,” it was very responsible and praiseworthy.

Kit–I don't think my opinion of you could have gone up, as it was so high to begin with. But I will say it certainly couldn't go higher now.

I very much appreciate your posts, on every possible level.
Aug. 30, 2015
Mark Bennett edited this comment Aug. 30, 2015
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Steve,

Excellent questions and comments, I thought.

But as to some of your points/questions; in general, either preceding an arrest, evidence demonstrating probable cause must be presented to a judge or grand jury, or, if an arrest is made without a warrant (like by a police officer who witnessed a crime being committed), evidence demonstrating probable cause would need to be presented to a judge or a grand jury shortly thereafter (the length of time thereafter would depend on whether the person was in custody, and the particular rules of the jurisdiction). As you say though, all evidence is not presented at the accusation stage.

My problem here is not that the accuser(s) had the same obligations as government actors (like prosecutors), who are governed by statutes and constitutions. Nor was my objection that the accuser(s) lacked the legal right to do what they did–they had that legal right.

My subjective opinion was that publicly accusing people of cheating, claiming possession of the evidence, but not releasing that evidence, is unfair. I did not claim it was illegal (it wasn't), nor did I claim that I had any monopoly on defining what is and isn't fair.

It struck me as unfair, but quite obviously, many posters here feel differently.

“This pair has been under some suspicion for quite a while, so probable cause was met long ago.” I have no idea whether this is true or not. But, if bridge experts have reasonably concluded that based upon the evidence they reviewed, the pair cheated, and were cheating at bridge a crime (it likely is in some jurisdictions), then I would agree that that would meet the probable cause standard. But, mere suspicion does not equal probable cause.

“Isn't that exactly how you, as a prosecutor, would have handled this?”

No, for several reasons, including that ethical constraints would have prevented me from saying that the persons I had accused were guilty. In fact, what prosecutors typically say is that “an indictment is simply an accusation, and that all those accused of crimes are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”


But again, what occurred here was not that a person who believed cheating was going on simply turned evidence over to an organization to decide on what had occurred. Individuals were publicly accused of cheating, accompanied by a claim that there was evidence that proved the claim–evidence which could have been released but wasn't. I personally don't think that was fair. But again, that is my subjective belief, and I felt it appropriate to post it (a decision with which many apparently also disagree).
Aug. 27, 2015
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David,

I will not use this post as an opportunity to turn this thread into one on lawyers–not that I would change the minds of those with strong opinions on the subject.

You believe that Mr. Brogeland's actions were not just “OK”–you believe they were laudable. I don't. Mr. Brogeland had a choice of actions, and at least two of those choices were: 1) Make the public accusation, claim you have the evidence, and not publicly release it with the accusation; or 2) Make the public accusation accompanied by the public release of the evidence. Mr. Brogeland chose option 1 (combined, perhaps, with submission of evidence to the ACBL–I don't know).

I don't know why Mr. Brogeland chose to make his public accusation without publicly releasing the evidence. But, I don't like the choice, and I don't think it's fair (and I think fair matters). And, I don't know why “people wouldn't have listened” had the evidence accompanied the accusation.

“I think the focus should be us wondering about a system that forces people to go public.”

I agree that we should have a system that better exposes and punishes cheaters. I don't agree that the system “forced” Mr. Brogeland to go public with the accusation and not release the evidence at the same time.

Aug. 26, 2015
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Our opinions obviously differ, but in any case, my post, as a whole, represents my opinion, which I have the right to express (as do you, with yours).

To me, damning accusations are very, very serious, and should not be made publicly, unless accompanied by the evidence. Others obviously feel differently.

I believe the comparison I made, in the way I made it, was appropriate in a post expressing my opinion. I accept (as I essentially noted in the post) that others may disagree.
Aug. 26, 2015
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Congratulations to Kaya for getting on the show (not easy).

Almost 30 years ago I was on Jeopardy. Won one ($10,000), lost one. I always felt very fortunate, as coordination was needed to buzz in, and I did not possess that in abundance. On my winning day, I ran the categories of “War” and “Cheese” (go figure). But, the disappointment of my loss (I wasn't close) was somewhat tempered by the large supply of “Lee Press On Nails” I received as a parting gift.
April 8, 2015
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Among the sad parts: it would take someone five minutes to type in the top ten, or take a picture of a recap sheet showing the tops teams and post a PDF.

But, having to do that outside ACBLive would constitute an admission of failure, and that apparently is more important than posting the result.

To me, that really says it all.
Dec. 7, 2014
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So many possible things in parentheses: Same gender events; senior events; bracketed knockout events; as you say–events as a client…. I'm sure there are many more.
Nov. 27, 2014
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Kit,

Having now also turned to page 137 :), I agree with your conclusion. I wonder what the basis for the referral was (I assume the referral was in writing).
Oct. 22, 2014
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Rule 93 C 2, ACBL Laws of Duplicate Bridge:–“The director or the appeals committee may refer a matter for later consideration by the Regulating Authority. The Regulating Authority has authority to resolve any matter finally.”

EDIT–As Kit points out below, there's more than this to the rule.
Oct. 22, 2014
Mark Bennett edited this comment Oct. 22, 2014
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Greg–I'm surprised; 10 days ago I booked 10 nights at the Marriott through the link (at $160), and just now to test the link, it showed as available and asked for my contact info (but maybe would have shown unavailable later in the process). Good luck!
Oct. 20, 2014
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