Law School Discussion


« Reply #410 on: February 18, 2009, 07:42:06 PM »

[...] people who cannot take antidepressants due to problems of health or lack of response and pregnant women who suffer from depression or mania. [...]

Wouldn't ECT hurt the baby in the case of pregnant women?

I would tend to believe they don't apply it in advanced stages..

Re: Epidurals - Dura Mater Tearing
« Reply #411 on: February 18, 2009, 08:36:05 PM »

I got epidural (to relieve pain during labor/delivery) and the doctors were negligent, with the procedure having complications in my case. To initiate epidural anesthesia a local anesthetic, an opioid (or a combination of both) is delivered into the epidural space via a special needle. The medication diffuses through the dura mater, the arachnoid, and the pia mater to the spine. Bathing the spinal cord and nerve roots, the local anesthetic and opioid block pain impulses before they reach the brain.

Because the epidural needle and catheter are large, a sudden tear of the dura mater during epidural insertion can result in CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) leaking into the epidural space. You got a "wet tap" if you have sudden severe headaches when upright. I took the hospital to court for not being careful when tearing the dura mater and the hospital was dishonest enough to falsify all documentation to evade liability.

Hospitals have an army of lawyers to protect them. The best you can do with them is to settle in advance.

Not always - if you have a strong case and there are other defendants you're better off taking it to trial.

« Reply #412 on: February 19, 2009, 12:16:28 PM »

Hospitals have an army of lawyers to protect them. The best you can do with them is to settle in advance.

Not always - if you have a strong case and there are other defendants you're better off taking it to trial.

You meant plaintiffs, didn't you paine?

Re: Suicide, practice of medicine, drugs, sex - Outside State Jurisdiction
« Reply #413 on: February 21, 2009, 01:29:38 PM »

[...] Commentators such as Paul Kurtz and others have endorsed the idea that major religious figures experienced psychosis, heard voices and displayed delusions of grandeur. Psychiatrist Tim Crow has argued that schizophrenia may be the evolutionary price we pay for a left brain hemisphere specialization for language. Since psychosis is associated with greater levels of right brain hemisphere activation and a reduction in the usual left brain hemisphere dominance, our language abilities may have evolved at the cost of causing schizophrenia when this system breaks down. Jaynes inferred that these "voices" came from the right brain counterparts of the left brain language centres — specifically, the counterparts to Wernicke's area and Broca's area. These regions are somewhat dormant in the right brains of most modern humans, but Jaynes noted that some studies show that auditory hallucinations correspond to increased activity in these areas of the brain.

Brain function laterization is evident in the phenomena of right- or left-handedness and of right or left ear preference, but a person's preferred hand is not a clear indication of the location of brain function. Although 95% of right-handed people have left-hemisphere language function, only 18.8% of left-handed people have right-hemisphere language function. Additionally, 19.8% of the left-handed have bilateral language functions.

Left hemisphere functions

  • analytical
  • verbal
  • logical
  • numerical computation (exact calculation, numerical comparison, estimation) left hemisphere only: direct fact retrieval
  • language: grammar/vocabulary, literal

Right hemisphere functions

  • holistic
  • prosodic
  • intuitive
  • numerical computation (approximate calculation, numerical comparison, estimation)
  • language: intonation/accentuation, prosody, pragmatic, contextual

Speech and language


One of the first indications of brain function lateralization resulted from the research of French physician Pierre Paul Broca, in 1861. His research involved the male patient nicknamed "Tan", who suffered a speech deficit (aphasia); "tan" was one of the few words he could articulate, hence his nickname. In Tan's autopsy, Broca determined he had a syphilitic lesion in the left cerebral hemisphere. This left frontal lobe brain area (Broca's Area) is an important speech production region. The motor aspects of speech production deficits caused by damage to Broca's Area are known as Broca's aphasia. In clinical assessment of this aphasia (Expressive Aphasia), it is noted that the patient cannot clearly articulate the language being employed. Sufferers of this form of aphasia exhibit the common problem of agrammatism. For them, speech is difficult to initiate, non-fluent, labored, and halting. Similarly, writing is difficult as well. Intonation and stress patterns are deficient. Language is reduced to disjointed words and sentence construction is poor, omitting function words and inflections (bound morphemes). A person with expressive aphasia might say "Son ... University ... Smart ... Boy ... Good ... Good ... " For example, in the following passage, a Broca's aphasic patient is trying to explain how he came to the hospital for dental surgery:

Yes... ah... Monday... er... Dad and Peter H... (his own name), and Dad.... er... hospital... and ah... Wednesday... Wednesday, nine o'clock... and oh... Thursday... ten o'clock, ah doctors... two... an' doctors... and er... teeth... yah.

While word comprehension is generally preserved, meaning interpretation dependent on syntax and phrase structure is substantially impaired. This can be demonstrated by using phrases with unusual structures. A typical Broca's aphasic patient will misinterpret "the dog is bitten by the man" by switching the subject and object. Patients who recover go on to say that they knew what they wanted to say but could not express themselves. Residual deficits will often be seen.


German physician Karl Wernicke continued in the vein of Broca's research by studying language deficits unlike Broca aphasias. Wernicke noted that not every deficit was in speech production; some were linguistic. He found that damage to the left posterior, superior temporal gyrus (Wernicke's area) caused language comprehension deficits rather than speech production deficits, a syndrome known as Wernicke's aphasia. Receptive Aphasia, also known as Wernicke's aphasia, fluent aphasia, or sensory aphasia is a type of aphasia often (but not always) caused by neurological damage to Wernicke's area in the brain (Brodmann area 22, in the posterior part of the superior temporal gyrus of the dominant hemisphere). If Wernicke's area is damaged in the non-dominant hemisphere, the syndrome resulting will be sensory dysprosody - the inability to perceive the pitch, rhythm, and emotional tone of speech. Speech is preserved, but language content is incorrect. This may vary from the insertion of a few incorrect or nonexistent words to a profuse outpouring of jargon. Grammar, syntax, rate, intonation and stress are normal. Substitutions of one word for another (paraphasias, e.g. "telephone" for "television") are common. Comprehension and repetition are poor.

Example: I called my mother on the television and did not understand the door. It was too breakfast, but they came from far to near. My mother is not too old for me to be young.

Patients who recover from Wernicke's aphasia report that, while aphasic, they found the speech of others to be unintelligible and, despite being cognizant of that fact that they were speaking, they could neither stop themselves nor understand their own words. The ability to understand and repeat songs is usually unaffected, as these are processed by the opposite hemisphere. "Melodic intonation therapy" has been pursued for some years with aphasic patients under the belief that it helps stimulate the ability to speak normally, though recent research calls this into question. Patients also generally have no trouble purposefully reciting anything they have memorized. The ability to utter profanity is also left unaffected, however the patient typically has no control over it, and may not even understand their own profanity.

This type of aphasia has three characteristics:

1) A deficit in the categorization of sounds. In order to hear and understand what is said, one must be able to recognize the different sounds of spoken language. For example, hearing the difference between bad and bed is easy for native English speakers. The Dutch language however, makes no difference between these vowels, and therefore the Dutch have difficulties hearing the difference between them. This problem is exactly what patients with Wernicke's aphasia have in their own language: they can't isolate significant sound characteristics and classify them into known meaningful systems.
2) A defect in speech. A patient with Wernicke's aphasia can and may speak a great deal, but he or she confuses sound characteristics, producing "word salad": intelligible words that appear to be strung together randomly.
3) An impairment in writing. A person who cannot discern sounds cannot be expected to write.

Double bind
« Reply #414 on: February 21, 2009, 06:19:33 PM »

[...] In 1956, Palo Alto, Gregory Bateson and his colleagues Paul Watzlawick, Donald Jackson, and Jay Haley articulated a theory of schizophrenia, related to Laing's work, as stemming from double bind situations where a person receives different or contradictory messages. Madness was therefore an expression of this distress and should be valued as a cathartic and transformative experience. In the books "Schizophrenia" and the "Family and The Origin and Treatment of Schizophrenic Disorders" Lidz and his colleagues explain their belief that parental behavior can result in mental illness in children. [...]

A double bind is a dilemma in communication in which an individual (or group) receives two or more conflicting messages, with one message negating the other; a situation in which successfully responding to one message means failing with the other and vice versa, so that the person will be automatically wrong regardless of response. The person can neither comment on the conflict, nor resolve it, nor opt out of the situation. A double bind generally includes different levels of abstraction in orders of messages, and these messages can be stated or implicit within the context of the situation, or conveyed by tone of voice or body language. Further complications arise when frequent double binds are part of an ongoing relationship to which the person or group is committed. Double bind theory is more clearly understood in the context of complex systems and cybernetics systems.

The term "double bind" was first used by the anthropologist Gregory Bateson and his colleagues in their discussions on complexity of communication in relation to schizophrenia. Bateson made clear that such complexities also exist in normal circumstances, especially in "play, humor, poetry, ritual and fiction." Their findings indicated that the confused communication which is often diagnosed as schizophrenia is not necessarily an organic brain dysfunction. Instead, they found that destructive double binds were a frequent pattern of communication among families of patients, and they proposed that growing up with perpetual double binds could lead to learned patterns of confusion in thinking and communication.

Human communication is complex; 90% of it is nonverbal and context is an essential part of it. Communication consists of the words said, tone of voice, body language and also: how these relate to what has been said in the past; what is not said, but is implied; how these are modified by other nonverbal cues such as the environment in which it is said and so forth. For example, if someone says "I love you", one takes into account who is saying it, their tone of voice and body language, and the context in which it is said. Is it a declaration of passion or a serene reaffirmation; is it public or private; is it insincere and manipulative; does it sound as if they are saying "Please pass the salt" or is it said in a joking tone, when they are annoyed at you? Conflicts in communication are common and often we ask "What do you mean?" or seek clarification in other ways. This is called "metacommunication": communication about the communication. Sometimes, asking for clarification is impossible. Communication difficulties are common in ordinary life, and often occur when metacommunication and feedback systems are lacking or inadequate or there is not enough time.

Double binds can be stressful and potentially destructive when one is trapped in a dilemma and punished for finding a way out, but making the effort to find the way out of the trap can lead to emotional growth. The classic example given of a negative double bind is of a mother telling her child that she loves him, while at the same time turning her head away in disgust. The child doesn't know how to respond to both the words and the body language and, because he is dependent on his mother for his basic needs, is in a quandary. Small children have difficulty articulating contradictions verbally and he can neither ignore it nor leave the relationship. Another example is when one is commanded to "be spontaneous". The very command contradicts spontaneity, but it only becomes a double bind when one can neither ignore the command nor comment on the contradiction. Often, the contradiction in communication is not apparent to bystanders unfamiliar with previous communications.

« Reply #415 on: February 21, 2009, 06:32:16 PM »

The double bind is often misunderstood to be a simple contradictory situation, where the victim is trapped by two conflicting demands. While it is true that the core of the double bind is two conflicting demands, the differences lie in how they are imposed on the victim, what the victim's understanding of the situation is and finally, who (or what) imposes these demands upon the victim. Unlike the usual no-win situation, the victim is largely unaware of the exact nature of the paradoxical situation which he or she is in. The contradiction may be entirely invisible in its immediate context and therefore invisible to external observers, only becoming evident when some broader context is considered. Typically, a demand is imposed upon the victim by someone who they respect (a parent, teacher or doctor), but the demand itself is inherently impossible to fulfil, because some broader context forbids it. Bateson and colleagues defined the double bind as follows:

1. The situation involves two or more people, one of whom (for the purpose of definition), is designated as the "victim". The others are people who are considered the victim's superiors: figures of authority (such as parents), whom the victim respects.
2. Repeated experience: the double bind is a recurrent theme in the experience of the victim, and as such, cannot be resolved as a single traumatic experience.
3. A "primary injunction" is imposed on the victim by the others in one of two forms:

  • "Do X, or I will punish you";
  • "Do not do X, or I will punish you"

The punishment is assumed to be either the withdrawing of love, the expression of hate and anger, or abandonment resulting from the authority figure's expression of helplessness.
1. A "secondary injunction" is imposed on the victim, conflicting with the first at a higher and more abstract level. For example: "Do X, but only do it because you want to". It is unnecessary for this injunction to be expressed verbally.
2. If necessary, a "tertiary injunction" is imposed on the victim to prevent them from escaping the dilemma.
3. Finally, Bateson states that the complete list of the previous requirements may be unnecessary — in the event that the victim is already viewing their world in double bind patterns. Bateson goes on to give the general characteristics of such a relationship:

  • When the victim is involved in an intense relationship; that is, a relationship in which he feels it is vitally important that he discriminate accurately what sort of message is being communicated so that he may respond appropriately;
  • And, the victim is caught in a situation in which the other person in the relationship is expressing two orders of message and one of these denies the other;
  • And, the victim is unable to comment on the messages being expressed to correct his discrimination of what order of message to respond to: i.e., he cannot make a metacommunicative statement.

Thus, the essence of a double bind is two conflicting demands, each on a different logical level, neither of which can be ignored or escaped. This leaves the victim torn both ways, so that whichever demand they try to meet, the other demand cannot be met. "I must do it, but I can't do it" is a typical description of the double bind experience. For a double bind to be effective, the victim must fail to see that the demand placed by the primary injunction conflicts with that of the secondary injunction. In this sense, the double bind differentiates itself from a simple contradiction to a more inexpressible internal conflict, where the victim really wants to meet the demands of the primary injunction, but fails each time through failing to see the situation's incompatibility with the demands of the secondary injunction. Thus, victims may express feelings of extreme anxiety in such a situation, as they attempt to fulfil the demands of the primary injunction albeit with obvious contradictions in their actions.

Drawing on Bertrand Russell's theory of logical types, Bateson focusses on the different "levels of abstraction" of communication: the denotative language, the metalanguage, and the metacommunicative, where the subject of discourse is the relationship between the speakers (as in, "this is play). For Bateson, human communication uses various "modes," (such as play, non-play, fantasy, humor, sacrament, and metaphor) which are usually established by non-verbal signs. These mode-identifying signs can be falsified (e.g., the manipulative simulation of friendliness) and they can be falsified unconsiously, either in relation to the self or to others. Thus the subject can conceal his own hostility in the guise of metaphoric play, mistake shyness in others for contempt, etc. Bateson describes the ego function as the process of discriminating communicational modes either within the self or between the self and others. " This ability is weakened in the schizophrenic. For example, when the schizophrenic says "Men die... Grass dies... Men are grass" (also described as "predicate thinking") this, for Bateson is an unlabeled metaphor. For Bateson, the schizophrenic lives in a world of double-binds, where primary negative injunctions ("Don't do so and so, or I will punish you) are contradicted by secondary, more abstract injunctions, ("Do not see this as punishment," or "do not submit to my prohibitions") and some tertiary injunctions prohibit the victime from escaping from the field.

One example Bateson gives is a mother who feels endangered when she begins to feel affectionate and close to her child, and who responds to her anxiety by becoming hostile and withdrawing, but who cannot accept this hostile act, and denies it by simulating affection and closeness with the child. The child is placed in the situation where he must not accurately interpret her communication if he is to maintain his relationship with her. But he is in a double-bind, punished for discriminating accurately what she is expressing, and punished for discriminating inaccurately. The result is that the mother is withdrawing from him and defining this withdrawal as the way a loving relationship should be. Thus the child's dilemma becomes "If I am to keep my tie to my mother, I must not show her that I love her, but if I do not show her that I love her, then I will lose her." In order to produce schizophrenia, these double-binds must occur repeatedly within an intense relationship, where it is vitally important for the individual to discriminate message types, and where the other person is expressing two orders of message, with one of these denying the other, and where the individual is unable to correct his discrimination or make a metacommunicative statement, such as pointing out the contradictory messages. One form of defensive response is to confuse literal and metaphorical, which becomes pathological when the schizophrenic either does not know his responses are metaphorical or cannot say so. With the breakdown of his metacommunicative system, the schizophrenic does not know what kind of message a message is. He can start looking for hidden meanings everywhere (assuming everything is metaphorical) or tend to accept every message as literal. (The door says "Doctor's office, please knock." The Schizo knocks every time he goes by). For Bateson, the human being is like any self-correcting system which has lost its governor; it spirals into never-ending, but always systematic, distortion.

Jacques Lacan describes schizophrenia as a breakdown in the signifying chain of language, in the interlocking syntagmatic series of signifiers which constitute an utterance. He adopts the Saussurian point of view that meaning is generated by the movement from signifier to signified through the relationship among signifiers themselves. When the relationships of signifying chains breaks down, we are left with a rubble of unrelated signifiers. For Lacan the link between this linguistic malfunction and the psyche of the shizophrenic derives from a twofold proposition: that personal identity is the effect of the temporal unification of past and future with one's present, and that such an active temporal unification is itself a function of language. With the breakdown of the signifying change, the schizophrenic is reduced to an experience of pure material signifiers, or, in other words, a series of pure and unrelated presents in time.

Re: Suicide, practice of medicine, drugs, sex - Outside State Jurisdiction
« Reply #416 on: February 22, 2009, 12:26:33 PM »


In ancient Athens, the ritual of the pharmakos was used to expel and shut out the evil (out of the body and out of the city). To achieve this, the Athenians maintained several outcasts at public expense. In the event of any calamity, they sacrificed one or more than one outcast as a purification and a remedy. The pharmakos, the 'scapegoat', the 'outsider' was led to the outside of the city walls and killed in order to purify the city's interior. The evil that had infected the city from 'outside' is removed and returned to the 'outside', forever. But, ironically, the representative of the outside (the pharmakos) was nonetheless kept at the very heart of the inside, the city, and that too in public expense. In order to be led out of the city, the scapegoat must have already been within the city. The ceremony of the pharmakos is played out on the boundary line between the 'inside' and the 'outside', which it has as its function ceaselessly to trace and retrace' [...]

Could you expand a bit? 

« Reply #417 on: February 22, 2009, 02:32:48 PM »

Still, not every immoral act involving the termination of life can be classified as murder. Phenomenology is deceiving: the acts look the same (cessation of life functions, the prevention of a future). But murder is the intentional termination of the life of a human who possesses, at the moment of death, a consciousness (and, in most cases, a free will, especially the will not to die). Abortion is the intentional termination of a life which has the potential to develop into a person with consciousness and free will. Philosophically, no identity can be established between potential and actuality. The destruction of paints and cloth is not tantamount (not to say identical) to the destruction of a painting by Van Gogh, made up of these very elements. Paints and cloth are converted to a painting through the intermediacy and agency of the Painter. A cluster of cells a human makes only through the agency of Nature. Surely, the destruction of the painting materials constitutes an offence against the Painter. In the same way, the destruction of the fetus constitutes an offence against Nature. But there is no denying that in both cases, no finished product was eliminated. [...]

According to what's said here, would you think the 11-year old boy of this story can be charged also with "homicide of an unborn child"?

An 11-year-old boy is facing adult charges in the shooting death of his father's pregnant girlfriend, authorities said Saturday. Police say the boy shot Kenzie Marie Houk, who was 8 months pregnant, once at point-blank range in her farmhouse in western Pennsylvania. The boy, whose name was withheld by CNN because he is a juvenile, was charged with one count each of criminal homicide and homicide of an unborn child in the death of Houk, 26, Lawrence County District Attorney John Bongivengo told CNN. Houk's 4-year-old daughter found her in her bed Friday, according to police. The child alerted landscapers working near the home, who then called authorities.

"This is something that you wouldn't even think of in your worst nightmare, that you'd have to charge an 11-year-old with homicide," Bongivengo said, according to CNN affiliate WTAE. "It's heinous, the whole situation." Under Pennsylvania law, anyone over the age of 10 accused of murder or homicide is charged as an adult. If convicted, the boy faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, Bongivengo said. Authorities said the boy is the son of the victim's live-in boyfriend at the home in Wampum, about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. "At this point, we don't believe it's accidental," Bongivengo said. The weapon was a youth model 20-gauge shotgun, designed for use by children, that belonged to the boy, according to investigators. Bongivengo told reporters the household has no history of child abuse, but that an investigation is ongoing. Calls to the boy's public defender, Dennis Elisco, went unanswered Saturday.

Re: The Rorschach
« Reply #418 on: February 23, 2009, 08:46:17 PM »

[...] This advice on how to achieve a normal score on a Rorschach test is given by the Fathers' Rights To Custody (FRTC) organization, which assists fathers involved in court custody battles. "The FRTC's position on the use of the Rorschach test is that it is an inappropriate and unreliable test for use in the context of a child custody evaluation," the organization says on its Web site. The value of the Rorschach inkblot test, a projective personality test that has been widely used for more than 8 decades, is being questioned by more than just disenfranchised fathers. In recent years, academics also have attacked the Rorschach, saying that it lacks scientific validity.


In any event, I don't think courts would accept the Rorschach as the only test on which to decide as to the propriety of a parent being given the custody of the children. I mean, sometimes people exaggerate when they say they lost the custody battle "solely because of a test."

Well, maybe not just one test - a couple maybe needed - one thing is for sure, though: you can lose the custody battle "solely because of a psychologist."

Don't get me wrong - I respect psychologists and their contribution to society - but don't you think that at times they rely too much on hairy-fairy theories upon which tests like the Rorschach and the like are based?

« Reply #419 on: February 24, 2009, 12:47:45 PM »

Not always - if you have a strong case and there are other defendants you're better off taking it to trial.

You meant plaintiffs, didn't you paine?

Of course paine meant plaintiffs, halivero. It's called a class-action suit.


A class action lawsuit brought by uninsured patients was filed some years ago in Illinois state court against Carle Foundation Hospital ("Carle"), with widespread community support and outrage at Carle's discriminatory treatment of uninsured patients, including its highly controversial billing and debt collection practices that has included issuing 'body attachments' arrest warrants against uninsured patients who cannot afford to pay the inflated rates Carle specifically charges the uninsured. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Illinois Circuit Court of Champaign County, is the 65th lawsuit filed against 60 hospital systems in state and federal courts as part of a nationwide class action litigation that commenced on June 17, 2004. The litigation currently spans 24 states.

The suit charges the hospital of forcing uninsured patients to pay unreasonable and highly inflated rates, failing to provide them with the opportunity to apply for charity care, and using reprehensibly aggressive and humiliating collection tactics against people who cannot afford to pay the inflated bills. These practices violate the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and breach Carle's duty under state law to only charge people the fair and reasonable value of the services provided to them. The suit depicts Carle's practice of regularly charging uninsured patients rates that far exceed the amount charged to other patients. Moreover, these inflated rates are concealed from an uninsured patient when he or she is admitted to the hospital. Carle forces these patients to "consent" to pay all charges as they are admitted to the hospital, most of the time under duress of pain and illness, without informing them that they will be charged many times more than all other patients for the same exact treatment. Carle's unlawful scheme also includes efforts to dissuade uninsured patients from receiving financial assistance from the hospital by routinely placing numerous obstacles in the way that prevent patients from applying for charity care. As a result, Carle issues inflated hospital bills to thousands of uninsured patients who cannot afford to pay them.

Beyond that, Carle then egregiously uses extreme 'anything but community care' tactics to collect outstanding bills from even the poorest patients, many of whom have been deemed indigent by the courts of Champaign County, IL. Carle has filed hundreds of lawsuits and garnished patients' wages and social security checks. Since 1995, Carle has sought 164 arrest warrants, known as 'body attachments,' for their patients who owe money to Carle for missing a court hearing. 'Body attachments' are such an extreme and abominable practice that even most private companies will not use them. After mounting pressure from consumer advocacy groups and nationwide media attention, the hospital announced that it would stop the practice. George Bellas, an attorney with Clifford Law Offices of Chicago who is representing the plaintiffs, stated, "The basis of Carle's nonprofit status, under which it reaps hundreds of millions of dollars annually from taxpayers, is to provide affordable care to those who need it in return for total tax exemption. By charging uninsured patients inflated prices — in fact, rates far higher than anyone else — and then using the most aggressive and humiliating collection tactics imaginable when they simply can't afford to pay the bills, Carle has completely breached its legal and moral obligations and has betrayed the communities it is supposed to be serving.”

"The abusive practices heaped on the uninsured by hospitals such as Carle are illegal, offend our sense of morality, and must be stopped. To actively try to throw people in prison, to get a judgment issued against them, and to go after their wages simply because they are too poor to pay a medical bill is unconscionable. Poor people who can't afford to pay for necessary medical services shouldn’t be sued in the first place." Carle is a 300-bed facility located in Urbana, IL that serves as the primary teaching hospital for the U of I College of Medicine. It is the only locally owned and operated hospital in the Champaign-Urbana area, and its purported focus is to serve the community. Carle is a profitable hospital and earned $13.9 million in 2002 alone. As of June 2002, Carle's parent non-profit company, The Carle Foundation, had $28.18 million in unrestricted cash assets in an account in the Cayman Islands, a place known for its banking secrecy and financial schemes.

The law firms representing the plaintiff are the Scruggs Law Firm of Oxford, MI, Clifford Law Offices of Chicago, IL, and Phebus & Koester of Champaign, IL.