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Monday, November 28, 2011

Con Edison Ripping Off New Yorkers?

A report shows that Con Edison raised electric rates nearly ten percent last year while national average electric rates stayed about even. (Link to )

New York residents paying their own electricity and natural gas can save substantially on the supply portion of their bill. Residents and business owners interested in these savings should contact me for an assessment of their savings potential at

Eric Dixon

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Britain Warns Of Riots If Euro Breaks Up

Extreme civil disorder is being warned about by the British Foreign Office in the event the Eurozone breaks up.  A major investment bank is also warning that an extreme scenario would see the loss of "basic property rights" upon the collapse of the Euro currency.

In a multinational economy where banking systems are global in nature, the consequences for businesses in the United States needing ready access to revolving credit cannot be understated.  A return to the days in late 2008 when we were -- by some accounts -- within days of a total freeze-up of the financial system and by extension most of the commerce in the nation is not out of the question.

Such concerns would validate corporations' concerns about raising -- or hoarding -- cash.  Similar concerns would explain why intelligent people have been raising cash stores personally for months or, in some cases, years. 

Eric Dixon is a New York investigative attorney, management consultant, strategic analyst and political consultant.  Mr. Dixon follows economic and real estate matters in addition to certain legal and political trends.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Two Runners Die At Philadelphia Marathon

Two male runners died from heart attacks at or near the finish of the 26.2-mile Philadelphia Marathon yesterday.

Autopsies are likely -- I would recommend them -- for the victims, a 21-year-old male and 40-year-old male. However, other factors may have been at work and deserve careful exploration.

Weather conditions Sunday morning in Philadelphia were described as ideal. I say: Nonsense! As a veteran marathoner (eight-time finisher) who completed Sunday's marathon (plagued by injuries in 4:09), I disagree vigorously with that description.

Although temperatures were in the 50s, the humidity was high (nearly 70%). During the race the temperature rose nearly ten degrees. The combination could be lethal, even at sub-room temperature. High humidity impairs the body's ability to cool itself through perspiration.

The humidity could have combined with another factor to impair runners. If runners were not wearing wicking material (which draws perspiration away from the skin and out), soaked overshirts could cause runners to lose the ability to release heat. Overheating could occur, particularly after several hours of uninterrupted exertion. (This is the difference between a training run and a four-hour-long run where body core temperatures could rise steadily and inexorably.)

These factors deserve careful consideration before any blame for these deaths is placed.

(Eric Dixon is a New York investigative attorney and nine-time marathoner and veteran roadrunner.)

Eric Dixon

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Other Eric Dixon, Esq. -- Some Other Guy

There's another lawyer named Eric Dixon who is in some serious trouble for allegedly trying to run over a New Mexico state judge with his vehicle.

For the record, this is someone else.   It sure as hell isn't me.  For what it's worth, I've never been in trouble with the law in any respect and I think I've only gotten about three moving violations for driving over 25 years.  Got that?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ground Zero Mosque About To Go Down For Good

The ill-conceived and grossly insensitive Ground Zero Mosque is now very unlikely to ever happen.

The developer of the mosque and Muslim "community center," Sharif El-Gamal, is being sued in Manhattan State Supreme Court for approximately $1.7 million in back rent by Con Edison, which owns one of the buildings which would be replaced by the center.  The parties appeared in court Thursday at a hearing to determine whether a court order stalling an eviction would be lifted. 

Occupiers Back At Zuccotti

Several dozen protestors were arrested this morning and the bulk of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have returned to Zuccotti Park.

Occupy Wall Street...Live

Estimating 500-1,000 protestors. Various groups are broken up and moving around making thing difficult for NYPD to keep control. Traffic blocked on Pine Street. Pedestrians can get through but must show identification to get onto Wall Street.

Dangers later today of disinformation and unannounced events. Real risk of traffic and mass transit disruption.

No violence or arrests witnessed thus far.

Zero Hour For Occupy Wall Street

On the eve of promised, widespread civil disobedience -- and possible violence -- in New York, the nature and potential of the Occupy Wall Street movement to represent a legitimate vehicle for discontent will be tested. 

In short, Thursday, November 17th may be Occupy Wall Street's "jump the shark" movement, after which it becomes a serious protest movement, or just a quick flameout co-opted by professional rabble-rousers.

For most of the world, Occupy Wall Street represents opposition to the perceived irresponsibility of "big business." The movement tries to speak to the dissatisfied, the worried among us.  This is the same target constituency of the Tea Party movement, those Americans mortified by a $15 trillion national debt and a federal government hellbent on spending more of our kids' money in stimulus programs and other boondoggles which they recognize just transfer their money through taxes to the pockets of the connected and corrupt. 

There are major differences between the Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party movements.  The Occupiers blame big business for economic exploitation of the people; the classic Tea Party blames big government for choosing winners and losers in our economic system of crony capitalism.  The Occupiers are either unaware of or ignore the role of government in running and ruining our economy, while the Tea Party realizes the government has been the primary problem in shaping preferences, misallocating resources and promoting moral hazards and other perverse incentives.  The Occupiers blame capitalism for society's ills, while the Tea Party movement blames government for perverting our economy into a crony capitalism that socializes losses but privatizes profits -- in plain English, the general public shares only in losses and risks.

Of course, the biggest difference between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party is in tactics.  The Tea Party has always been peaceful and its members "police their own," meaning they identify and expel people who cause trouble at their events.  The Occupiers have been enslaved by their desire for inclusiveness and paralyzed into inaction; the result has been to attract and be dominated by people who have co-opted the original movement to advance any of a motley crew of disparate and often-radical agendas.

The events of Thursday may reveal the extent to which professional anarchists, unrepentant Marxists and others on the absolute fringes of civil society -- never mind respected political discourse -- have ruined an opportunity for constructive political discourse on the perils of Dodd-Frank, the government-sponsored enterprises of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and other misguided regulations that have enhanced economic troubles rather than solve them.  

Eric Dixon is a New York investigative attorney, political strategist and management consultant.  Mr. Dixon is a 1994 graduate of Yale Law School, former election lawyer for several presidential campaigns and current legal adviser to several conservative and libertarian groups including Gotham Tea Party, Inc. 


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Joe Bruno's Honest Services Theft Conviction Reversed

Another defeat for the Department of Justice. The Second Circuit federal appellate court reversed the conviction of former longtime New York State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno for the deprivation of honest services.

The appellate court followed the Supreme Court's guidance (in United States v. Jeffrey Skilling) that the honest services statute only criminalized kickbacks and bribes, but not the conflicts of interest that characterized Bruno's conduct that was at issue in his trial.

However, the court found that Bruno could be retried on these charges on alternate theories of criminal liability.

(Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer who handles complex investigations, strategic analysis and political/election law matters.)

Eric Dixon
Eric Dixon LLC

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Killing Street Vendors

Crime, Politics and Policy has learned of one street vendor who claimed to have suffered significant business losses because of the Occupy Wall Street occupation.

The vendor, whose identity and precise location are being kept confidential for safety reasons, had a foot cart situated within the metal barricades that surrounded Zuccotti Park.  Vendors' sidewalk spots are regulated by the City of New York.  This vendor had a peculiar problem: his spot was inside the barricades and as such, he would not be able to return to the spot inside the metal barriers if he removed the cart.  However, with belligerent protestors, homeless and other undesirables increasingly hovering, demanding he make change and tell them the time, he was compelled to occupy and staff his cart 24/7 within the metal barriers to protect his business.  

Yet, despite the full around-the-clock presence, the vendor said his business was down.  He blamed Occupy Wall Street for driving away his regular customers who were either scared of or physically repulsed by the protestors (or both).  Furthermore, he said the protestors were always getting free food and therefore had no need for his grub and  hot drinks.


Occupy Wall Street May Cause Another Real Estate Crash

Today's lower court ruling that the Occupy Wall Street protestors can return to Zuccotti Park, but cannot rebuild their shantytown with tents and other facilities, may be the first major skirmish in a battle over the very extent of private citizens' property rights, and threatens real estate values on a macro scale.

Occupy Wall Street argues that the "tents are there [in Zuccotti Park] 24-7 as part of speech," according to their lawyer.  This may be the first domino to fall in a long cascade that could lead to a redefinition of where public free speech ends and private property rights -- including the right to simply be left alone on one's own property -- begin and are safe from violation by others.  It is possible that the Occupy Wall Street position could lead to a redefinition of what public space is, what is subject to free speech rights, and what private property owners must be prepared for.

The implication of this battle is that property owners could face having to deal with a new paradigm of what it means to own and enjoy one's own property.  In fact, owning property could be reinterpreted to require owners to accept public intrusions.

Naturally, the imposition of such requirements and degradations will make the ownership and leasing of property -- both residential and commercial -- less desirable.  Rents will fall and carry down with them real estate prices as the notion of property rights is defined down.  (As if there weren't already enough factors threatening to pull real estate values down between up to 50 to 80 percent from current levels.)

The economic implications of this movement now are becoming apparent.  Is Occupy Wall Street seeking nothing less than to destroy the very concept of private property?

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer, political and legal strategist and management consultant.  Mr. Dixon is available for comment at 917-696-2442 and by e-mail at  Mr. Dixon also comments on twitter under the name @dixonstrategy.


Occupy Wall Street: NYPD Clears Zuccotti Park

Breaking 1:45 am: New York police and fire department personnel are clearing the original encampment by Occupy Wall Street protestors to clean and sanitize Zuccotti Park.

Reports indicate protestors will be allowed to resume the sleepover once the park is cleaned.

Police personnel apparently surrounded the park and moved in after 1am.

(Eric Dixon is a New York investigative attorney, political strategist and management consultant.)


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Down's Syndrome Test Uses Abortion As Cure

A scandal-ridden company is marketing a controversial new test to identify fetuses with the chromosonal defect (Trisomy 21).  But rather than cure the genetic defect, the test facilitates strategic abortions: that is, it allows for screening fetuses for the defect so that parents can abort the unwanted child.

The test's proponent is Sequenom Inc., headquartered in San Diego, CA.  Sequenom previously suffered a catastrophic stock price drop in 2009 when it was revealed that several of its scientists were fudging scientific test data; even as the broader stock market was recovering in the spring of 2009, Sequenom's stock plunged from $13 to $3.  

Eric Dixon is a New York investigative lawyer with a strong background in complex litigation, securities compliance and business transactions.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Saving Herman Cain

Without a doubt, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain can still survive and thrive even after old sexual harassment allegations surfaced Sunday.

Allegations and even settlements do not equate to behavior which makes one unfit to be President. The only "problem" here is a charismatic personality which, frankly, many people find attractive. Some people get envious or jealous because they cannot attract the attention of their desired target, and can lash back out of revenge. Harassment claims, aided by a legal culture and society which affords a presumption of credibility to the accuser (flipping the legal presumption of an accused's innocence on its head), are among the easiest means to achieve this.

While bonafide sexual harassment is reprehensible, it is a pathetic fact that many harassment claims (sexual or otherwise) are bogus.  Many claimants know that harassment claims are toxic when made, and as the perfect hit-and-run strategy to inflict permanent, if not necessarily major, damage upon a target, make an excellent tool for extracting money through blackmail (or more appropriately, "greenmail") or litigation (derided as legal blackmail).

Another point that bears emphasizing is that harassment claims are by their nature subjective and defined by the mind, and sensitivity, of the accuser.  A standard that an accuser's "discomfort" is enough to validate a harassment claim is shocking -- and ridiculous.  Just decades ago, many public places were still segregated -- in fact if not under the law -- because whites felt "discomfort" around blacks.  Current feminist harassment theory would have made all blacks the victimizers if applied equally.  It is time for mature people in society, the opinion leaders at all levels, to blow the nonsense whistle on this theory.  There is a segment of society, many of whom are borderline mentally ill or socially challenged, whose purported discomfort is more a function of their deficiencies than anyone else's behavior.  It is time to stop passing the accountability buck on this issue. 

It should also be explained that harassment is a subjective term which is defined in the mind -- or delusion -- of the person claiming victimization. The danger of false accusations is everpresent. The potency of such accusations is greater, given that such claims often lead to the imputation of the most vile personal traits and motives upon the named accused.

The existence of settlements is also easily explained away. A settlement may save the company -- the restaurant association -- money and the association is the driver behind the settlement. In fact, the executive who objects to a settlement in such cases can be sued by his own company, for failing to abide by fiduciary duties. In other words, someone like Cain could have been sued for failing to take one for the team.

The danger in these allegations is the potential to encourage any spurned or rejected woman to try to destroy her target's financial or political career, with no proof of actual wrongdoing and purely out of spite. We should demand a much higher standard of proof from accusers before we rush to make potentially catastrophic, disqualifying judgments.

As for Mr. Cain, this controversy is eminently survivable.  However, discipline, fortitude and candor are all needed to address this issue and quell the questions and doubts.  I believe Mr. Cain will come out of this stronger.

Eric Dixon is a New York election lawyer who handles crisis legal matters and legal stress management.  He has not been retained by or on behalf of the Cain campaign.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

MF Global and Presumed Guilt

Multiple media sources report that MF Global is under federal criminal investigation pertaining to allegations of illegally converted customer funds for use to finance the brokerage's operations. 

In such investigations, given the high profile of the brokerage and of its chief executive, former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, there is an operational presumption of guilt.  This means that the investigation should be assumed to operate on the premise that someone committed a crime.  The concept of innocent until proven guilty is a concept honored in the breach, and respected only before the court (which, fortunately, it has effect and may be the last but best protection of your freedom from government abuse). 

Furthermore, the investigation should not be viewed as a "fact-finding" operation but more like an exercise in validating the original theory, which is that someone has committed a crime.  After all, people are human and humans like to prove they are right. On the surface and in press conferences, the protestations will be that there is an ongoing investigation, but in reality, the "targets" of the investigation will be determined very rapidly. (And quite possibly, they will be determined -- and the government will be wrong.)

Almost all titled executives of MF Global should consider hiring experienced white-collar criminal lawyers who are adept at handling financial fraud cases and who possess some understanding of the securities laws.  Many of these people will fall under suspicion for no reason other than their title at MF Global.  That factor, without more, is an excellent reason to hire a lawyer.  If one is indeed innocent, this need to hire a lawyer is actually greater!

The investigation may not be quick.  There may be substantial documentation to sift through, and each party ultimately charged will have its chance to go through the same evidence.  I would not expect a quick resolution of any MF Global investigation.

Eric Dixon is a New York investigative lawyer who handles complex investigative matters and trains targets of government investigations how to handle the stress and other emotions commonly felt by people under investigation or being prosecuted or sued.  Mr. Dixon has substantial experience with the securities laws, compliance and corporate transactions.  Mr. Dixon may be reached for comment or inquiry at 917-696-2442 or by e-mail at