Scott Pilutik

I am an attorney and consultant living and working in Manhattan, focusing primarily on church/state constitutional law. I'm a recognized expert on the Church of Scientology organization. I also have strong interests in intellectual property law where it intersects with emerging media, and free speech.

I support the efforts of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU, Creative Commons, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I am a member of the New York County Lawyers Association and the New York State Bar Association. I also enjoy (watching) hockey and (doing) photograhy.

Online I can be found on Facebook, Twitter. My resume can be viewed here. I can be reached by phone at 212.645.6241 or by e-mail at pilutik[at]gmail.com.

Taibbi on Bain, the RNC Convention, and Apple v Samsung

Matt Taibbi has a long piece in Rolling Stone, and basically asks why anyone would think Romney’s business experience makes him fit to run a country probably doesn’t what Bain Capital actually did, i.e., caused flailing companies to accrue massive debt, and paid itself many multiples over its investment for the privilege of firing everyone.

Taibbi points out that the problem is less the business than the tax code incentivizing the business into a can’t-miss model by granting huge interest deduction breaks. Private Equity collects huge whether the companies it takes over live or die, so why would a firm like Bain even care if the business lived or died so long as Bain collected? A: They didn’t and they don’t. This is what the wide-open free market about which the Right has been evangelizing for years looks like–and look close because not only is nothing trickling down, debt is piling up. Consequently, what social good does Bain et al serve, and why should this sort of experience ever be considered relevant business experience vis a vis running a country?

Michelle Goldberg voices something I’ve thought of years–Republicans have forever ridiculed lefty actors for nosing into politics but unabashedly trot out any celebrity willing to shill for them. And while Victoria Jackson and Jon Voigt are bona fide crazy and D & C List (respectively), Clint Eastwood is an American icon. Who pissed all over his legacy last night by losing an argument with a chair. So much for the RNC’s plan to humanize Mitt Romney, who wound up having to follow Clint’s surrealistic turn, which is the only thing anyone’s talking about today.

Sally Kohn was merely one of many people who called out Paul Ryan’s speechfor all the lies it contained, but hers was newsworthy because hers appeared on the Fox News site. Kohn is a semi-regular Fox News contributor and unlike strawman/punching bag Alan Colmes, can actually bring it.

I’m not a fan of Ron Paul but there wasn’t enough attention paid to the fact that on day one of the convention the RNC changed its rules and ignored the outcome of a vote that would’ve brought a result it didn’t want, specifically to ice Paul and his supporters out of the convention. And people call Ron Paul paranoid. Tch.

My cousin Jon pointed me to this excellent summarizing of the problems with our broken patent law system, which problems led to Apple’s ridiculous $1b jury victory over Samsung. There’s also this article suggesting that the jury goofed heavily, perhaps heavily enough to jeopardize that $1b award. There are good reasons juries generally don’t render verdicts in patent cases, and it’s basically the same reason you wouldn’t trust a jury to, say, perform surgery or reassemble an automobile from memory.