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I don't know if there's a real pinnacle to this profession. Some times it really seems like there isn't one. But I do now know that when you're standing there waiting and hoping for two words instead

Made partner today. 

The managing partners of the small plaintiff firm I work for called me in for a meeting today and informed me they'll be making me an offer this summer for a contract that calls for a gradual transfer

Trespass

That's exactly what I told her. This is hardly a felony offense. And so worth getting rid of those smelly ### recycle bags.... said my friend, of course.

Seriously, wtf do we all pay you 250-500 an hr (and in some cases twice that much?).

:coffee:

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Trespass

That's exactly what I told her. This is hardly a felony offense. And so worth getting rid of those smelly ### recycle bags.... said my friend, of course.

Seriously, wtf do we all pay you 250-500 an hr (and in some cases twice that much?).

:coffee:

Because you are a criminal. No one would believe your argument. Edited by Henry Ford
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GTFO!

I did apologize in advance.

I apologize for kicking you in the balls in advance. That means you can't get upset.

Not sure that post rose to that level but I'll give you that one, metaphorically of course.

Edited by NCCommish
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I think that was his out - that it was all a ruse. I really think he was serious and saw an exit lane.

Probably a buddy was actually spinning a tale about why he got fired and Ham bought it. Then he throws it in a thread and egg on his face. Someone suggested he was just testing out an idea for a screenplay and he quickly agreed with that assertion.

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I think that was his out - that it was all a ruse. I really think he was serious and saw an exit lane.

Probably a buddy was actually spinning a tale about why he got fired and Ham bought it. Then he throws it in a thread and egg on his face. Someone suggested he was just testing out an idea for a screenplay and he quickly agreed with that assertion.

It was definitely either his B.S. or his buddy's B.S.

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I think that was his out - that it was all a ruse. I really think he was serious and saw an exit lane.

Probably a buddy was actually spinning a tale about why he got fired and Ham bought it. Then he throws it in a thread and egg on his face. Someone suggested he was just testing out an idea for a screenplay and he quickly agreed with that assertion.

It was definitely either his B.S. or his buddy's B.S.

If I were a betting man, I'd say "both".

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I think that was his out - that it was all a ruse. I really think he was serious and saw an exit lane.

Probably a buddy was actually spinning a tale about why he got fired and Ham bought it. Then he throws it in a thread and egg on his face. Someone suggested he was just testing out an idea for a screenplay and he quickly agreed with that assertion.

It was definitely either his B.S. or his buddy's B.S.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lola+kinks+lyrics&qpvt=lola+kinks+lyrics&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=60B25795A1234067D23B60B25795A1234067D23B

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I think that was his out - that it was all a ruse. I really think he was serious and saw an exit lane.

Probably a buddy was actually spinning a tale about why he got fired and Ham bought it. Then he throws it in a thread and egg on his face. Someone suggested he was just testing out an idea for a screenplay and he quickly agreed with that assertion.

It was definitely either his B.S. or his buddy's B.S.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lola+kinks+lyrics&qpvt=lola+kinks+lyrics&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=60B25795A1234067D23B60B25795A1234067D23B

I don't have sound on this computer, but what's Crispin Glover got to do with this?

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I think that was his out - that it was all a ruse. I really think he was serious and saw an exit lane.

Probably a buddy was actually spinning a tale about why he got fired and Ham bought it. Then he throws it in a thread and egg on his face. Someone suggested he was just testing out an idea for a screenplay and he quickly agreed with that assertion.

It was definitely either his B.S. or his buddy's B.S.

If I were a betting man, I'd say "both".

You don't believe that the GC of a large public corporation would think atty-client prohibits him from disclosing securities fraud, and he'd lose "millions" relying on that belief?

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I think that was his out - that it was all a ruse. I really think he was serious and saw an exit lane.

Probably a buddy was actually spinning a tale about why he got fired and Ham bought it. Then he throws it in a thread and egg on his face. Someone suggested he was just testing out an idea for a screenplay and he quickly agreed with that assertion.

It was definitely either his B.S. or his buddy's B.S.

If I were a betting man, I'd say "both".

You don't believe that the GC of a large public corporation would think atty-client prohibits him from disclosing securities fraud, and he'd lose "millions" relying on that belief?

My belief (I'm no lawyer but HF nominated me bailiff of this thread) is Ham has a friend who was an attorney in house. Maybe not GC. He told Ham a slightly true story of shady a accounting and Ham (as he is known to do) believed, ran with and becme outraged at the story.

He brings it here. K4 and other attorneys call BS. Hell, I have an undergrad finance degree and remember enough of SOX from my junior year 8 years ago that his story sounded fishy. Anyway, he takes an out some poster have him about the whole thing being a test run of a plot for something he's working on.

% chance the following is true (IMO)

Ham has a friend - 99.5%

At least one of his friends is a lawyer - 90%

One of his lawyer friends worked for a large company owned partially by a billionaire - 80%

The above mentioned friend in fact suspected the board of cooking the books - 75%

The friend told Ham he couldn't do anything about it without violating privilege - 60%

The friend was GC and had to certify - 10%

The friend told Ham specifically he was GC (as opposed to just an attorney) - ???

The friend was fired or had to resign due to incompetence or poor performance and concocted a story to tell Ham - 50%

In conclusion I care way too much apparently.

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Finish first quarter/semester of 1L actual classes. Next week off, one week reading period, then an exam every other day.

The whole "professor gives inspiring speech about life and law" at the end of the last sitting of each class was pretty cool.

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first quarter?

Stanford is on a quarter system. But 1Ls start 4 weeks earlier, so it is the same length of a traditional semester your very first fall.

Ah.

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I got no real advice on finals other than get in the midset that those 2-3 weeks are your playoffs. They're your sole focus. Get sleep and eat right, but constantly be thinking in that mindset (I think you indicated you played sports).

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I got no real advice on finals other than get in the midset that those 2-3 weeks are your playoffs. They're your sole focus. Get sleep and eat right, but constantly be thinking in that mindset (I think you indicated you played sports).

Yes, I'm a big basketball guy. Thanks for the good thoughts :)

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I got no real advice on finals other than get in the midset that those 2-3 weeks are your playoffs. They're your sole focus. Get sleep and eat right, but constantly be thinking in that mindset (I think you indicated you played sports).

Yes, I'm a big basketball guy. Thanks for the good thoughts :)
Win or go home. It's the only thing that matters. Watch the kids who are happy to be there party during your time off and shake your head.
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Finish first quarter/semester of 1L actual classes. Next week off, one week reading period, then an exam every other day.

The whole "professor gives inspiring speech about life and law" at the end of the last sitting of each class was pretty cool.

Good luck. One thing that helped me a lot was to look at old exams and practice issue spotting and writing out answers.

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Random question, from a book I'm reading: Witness for the prosecution is on the stand. He testifies on direct, then on cross from the defense. At the end, defense lawyer says he has no further questions. Prosecutor has no re-direct. Witness is dismissed. Defense lawyer then asks to call a rebuttal witness: the same witness again to rebut his just-completed testimony. Why would that be necessary, to dismiss then call back immediately? Is it common?

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Random question, from a book I'm reading: Witness for the prosecution is on the stand. He testifies on direct, then on cross from the defense. At the end, defense lawyer says he has no further questions. Prosecutor has no re-direct. Witness is dismissed. Defense lawyer then asks to call a rebuttal witness: the same witness again to rebut his just-completed testimony. Why would that be necessary, to dismiss then call back immediately? Is it common?

You can only cross-examine on subjects brought up in direct. If the prosecution only used the witness for a very specific line of questioning the defense might be required to recall him as a rebuttal witness if he wanted to elicit testimony to rebut the testimony of another witness. But it makes no sense in the situation you describe.

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I'm working on a committee within our firm to update internal policies. Do any of you private firm guys have a document retention/destruction policy that you could share? Just trying to put together a proposed policy and am curious what other firms are doing. We currently use offsite storage for physical retention of files but are looking to start thinning that site for cost savings purposes. Trying to balance the need for some of the fogeys to keep paper files versus the strong push by the majority to go paperless.

I'll take a PM if anyone has a written policy/procedures they would be comfortable sharing.

TIA.

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Random question, from a book I'm reading: Witness for the prosecution is on the stand. He testifies on direct, then on cross from the defense. At the end, defense lawyer says he has no further questions. Prosecutor has no re-direct. Witness is dismissed. Defense lawyer then asks to call a rebuttal witness: the same witness again to rebut his just-completed testimony. Why would that be necessary, to dismiss then call back immediately? Is it common?

You can only cross-examine on subjects brought up in direct. If the prosecution only used the witness for a very specific line of questioning the defense might be required to recall him as a rebuttal witness if he wanted to elicit testimony to rebut the testimony of another witness. But it makes no sense in the situation you describe.

Only thing I can thing of is if the witness could only appear at that specific date and time, and the judge had previously granted the defense the opportunity to just do rebuttal then for purely scheduling reasons.

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Asked this in the Feeguson thread but it'll get buried...

Serious question - would this have gone to a grand jury with the same facts but let's say it wasn't a national story? Seems like grand jury's almost always return whatever the prosecutor wants.

Were the grand jury proceedings just a show so that people could feel that this wasn't totally swept under the rug? This 'case' sounded like it would be impossible to get a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt anyway.

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Asked this in the Feeguson thread but it'll get buried...

Serious question - would this have gone to a grand jury with the same facts but let's say it wasn't a national story? Seems like grand jury's almost always return whatever the prosecutor wants.

Were the grand jury proceedings just a show so that people could feel that this wasn't totally swept under the rug? This 'case' sounded like it would be impossible to get a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt anyway.

1. Obtaining an indictment through the grand jury is the standard way the prosecutor's office in my jurisdiction establish the probable cause necessary to move forward with felony charges (they could also go through with a preliminary hearing). So, if the prosecutor's office in my jurisdiction had this case and wanted to proceed, they would very likely go to the grand jury.

2. Statistically speaking you're very much right that prosecutor's obtain an indictment more often than not. I'd say >95%. The reason for this is that "probable cause" is a very minimum burden of proof compared to our other legal burdens of proof.

3. If this case occurred in my jurisdiction I would hope the state would explore whether charges were warranted and go to the GJ if they believed they had probable cause. Admittedly, I don't know near enough about the facts of this case to give a reasonably educated guess as to whether my jurisdiction would go forward.

4. I will say this is the longest grand jury proceeding I've ever seen. Generally they're like 30 minutes. Heck, the few murder GJ transcripts I've seen were only a few hours.

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Sorry to drag the Brown case into this thread but I'm not gonna try to ask honest questions in that other trainwreck of a thread (although I'm enjoying YF23, HF, even Todd Andrews in there).

So according to some sources it's well over 99% of grand juries return verdicts of probable cause. Prosecutor doesn't have to present all evidence, controls the narrative etc. It seems (and correct me if I'm wrong) that a grand jury proceeding is simply meant to rubberstamp what the prosecutor already intends to do.

Yet it also seems like a prosecutor can bring charges against a suspect and there can be a criminal trial without a grand jury. Is this the case? I understand why they convened a grand jury for the Brown case in this context, but if the prosecutor has the power to indict a suspect and bring them to trial then why would they ever use a grand jury?

Tangentially, was this grand jury process extraordinary in its scope, length, and level of detail of evidence presentation?

Edited by mr roboto
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Sorry to drag the Brown case into this thread but I'm not gonna try to ask honest questions in that other trainwreck of a thread (although I'm enjoying YF23, HF, even Todd Andrews in there).

So according to some sources it's well over 99% of grand juries return verdicts of probable cause. Prosecutor doesn't have to present all evidence, controls the narrative etc. It seems (and correct me if I'm wrong) that a grand jury proceeding is simply meant to rubberstamp what the prosecutor already intends to do.

Yet it also seems like a prosecutor can bring charges against a suspect and there can be a criminal trial without a grand jury. Is this the case? I understand why they convened a grand jury for the Brown case in this context, but if the prosecutor has the power to indict a suspect and bring them to trial then why would they ever use a grand jury?

Tangentially, was this grand jury process extraordinary in its scope, length, and level of detail of evidence presentation?

This probably answers a bunch of your questions: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/11/ferguson_grand_jury_announcement_prosecutor_robert_mcculloch_influenced.html

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Grand Jury shouldn't be a rubber stamp but given its design it can certainly be considered one. In order for a police officer to act in most instances there needs to be some kind of probable cause. In order for the state to bring criminal charges against someone there needs to be probable cause. There are some states that don't use the grand jury process and instead have adversarial preliminary hearings where the judge makes the call if there is enough PC to proceed with charges and thereafter a trial.

The prosecutor him/herself does not have any power to bring an "indictment" without the oversight of a judge or grand jury that I know of. I know there was no indictment in the Zimmerman case but I assume that the prosecutors office had to have the preliminary hearing setup to show enough PC to get to a trial schedule but I don't practice in Florida.

Was this grand jury out of the norm? Yes. Everything in my experience says yes and I don't practice criminal with any regularity. The ham sandwich line is one of those true stereotypes most of the time. I'm sure Woz could answer this better.

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Sorry to drag the Brown case into this thread but I'm not gonna try to ask honest questions in that other trainwreck of a thread (although I'm enjoying YF23, HF, even Todd Andrews in there).

So according to some sources it's well over 99% of grand juries return verdicts of probable cause. Prosecutor doesn't have to present all evidence, controls the narrative etc. It seems (and correct me if I'm wrong) that a grand jury proceeding is simply meant to rubberstamp what the prosecutor already intends to do.

Yet it also seems like a prosecutor can bring charges against a suspect and there can be a criminal trial without a grand jury. Is this the case? I understand why they convened a grand jury for the Brown case in this context, but if the prosecutor has the power to indict a suspect and bring them to trial then why would they ever use a grand jury?

Tangentially, was this grand jury process extraordinary in its scope, length, and level of detail of evidence presentation?

1. Read my posted above yours. I think I answered some of your questions that you asked again. Nonetheless, never mind, I'll just answer them again.

2. Yes, it is incredibly rare for a prosecutor to not obtain at least one charge amounting to a true bill when a case is presented to a grand jury.

3. While the prosecutor definitely controls the narrative (in fact, in some jurisdictions, the defendant or the defendant's attorney may not even be permitted to be present) and in doing so can ask leading questions or witnesses (a distinct advantage), generally a prosecutor must present all relevant evidence - whether inculpatory or exculpatory. Essentially, a GJ is really supposed to hear everything the state's got whether good, bad, or ugly.

4. All that said, it's not intended to be a rubber stamp. A GJ is supposed to be a check by the populace against the executive as it permits random community members to act as a sort of gatekeeper to the state's cases. However, the burden of proof (probable cause) is a low standard. Additionally, good prosecutorial discretion means that a prosecutor is likely only taking "good" cases to the GJ where the prosecutor believes he already has PC.

5. In many jurisdictions, it is possible to bring a case forward without going to the GJ. For example, at least in my jurisdiction, any misdemeanor charge can be brought by a simple complaint. Additionally, in lieu of going to a GJ on a felony, a prosecutor can have the case heard by a judge/Justice of the Peace in the form of a mini-trial whereby the judge plays the role of GJ. However, a Defendant MUST be present at this hearing and will have counsel who has the right to cross-examine witnesses (making this generally not the preferred method by the state). Additionally a Defendant can waive the right to have the issue of PC heard. This is usually done for some benefit like a reduction in bond or a guaranteed offer to be taken later.

6. Yes, this GJ proceeding was very long and drawn out compared to the norm.

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Sorry to drag the Brown case into this thread but I'm not gonna try to ask honest questions in that other trainwreck of a thread (although I'm enjoying YF23, HF, even Todd Andrews in there).

So according to some sources it's well over 99% of grand juries return verdicts of probable cause. Prosecutor doesn't have to present all evidence, controls the narrative etc. It seems (and correct me if I'm wrong) that a grand jury proceeding is simply meant to rubberstamp what the prosecutor already intends to do.

Yet it also seems like a prosecutor can bring charges against a suspect and there can be a criminal trial without a grand jury. Is this the case? I understand why they convened a grand jury for the Brown case in this context, but if the prosecutor has the power to indict a suspect and bring them to trial then why would they ever use a grand jury?

Tangentially, was this grand jury process extraordinary in its scope, length, and level of detail of evidence presentation?

This probably answers a bunch of your questions: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/11/ferguson_grand_jury_announcement_prosecutor_robert_mcculloch_influenced.html

Eh, I don't necessarily disagree with that article, but I don't necessarily agree with it, either. A GJ really is supposed to be an independent body and prosecutors are never supposed to try to influence the GJ's decision.

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Hypothetical:

Potential client comes into your office without an appointment one day when you are pretty busy. Says he just got released from jail and needs a lawyer immediately. You meet with him regardless of your schedule and discuss his case. After providing the standard "no guarantees," "can't make any real guesses as to potential outcomes without viewing disclosure," etc., you acknowledge that if what your client is telling you is accurate he may have some legitimate defenses to his charges. You quote client X and accept 1/2 X as a down payment.

Next, knowing that some prosecutors can be very reasonable if a resolution can struck quickly saving that prosecutor from some work, you make a quick call over to the office to see if it's been assigned and is someone you can work quickly with. Sure enough it is. You speak to that prosecutor, who is a very reasonable guy, and he indicates he's actually considering "non filing" (dismissing without prejudice to gather more evidence) the case. You give him your take and some additional facts and evidence. This pushes him to decide to dismiss and not re-file unless the officers get more evidence (something you think is unlikely). You call your client with the good news. Client is very happy and exclaims that it's even better because he can come down and get his money back. You look at the guy and realize that you only spent about 60 minutes on his case from him coming through the door to you telling him you got it dismissed.

Your move?

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It is a violation of the rules of professional conduct to accept an unearned fee. If it took you an hour to help convince the prosecutor not to prosecute, charge an hour at your usual hourly rate and refund the rest.

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Hypothetical:

Potential client comes into your office without an appointment one day when you are pretty busy. Says he just got released from jail and needs a lawyer immediately. You meet with him regardless of your schedule and discuss his case. After providing the standard "no guarantees," "can't make any real guesses as to potential outcomes without viewing disclosure," etc., you acknowledge that if what your client is telling you is accurate he may have some legitimate defenses to his charges. You quote client X and accept 1/2 X as a down payment.

Next, knowing that some prosecutors can be very reasonable if a resolution can struck quickly saving that prosecutor from some work, you make a quick call over to the office to see if it's been assigned and is someone you can work quickly with. Sure enough it is. You speak to that prosecutor, who is a very reasonable guy, and he indicates he's actually considering "non filing" (dismissing without prejudice to gather more evidence) the case. You give him your take and some additional facts and evidence. This pushes him to decide to dismiss and not re-file unless the officers get more evidence (something you think is unlikely). You call your client with the good news. Client is very happy and exclaims that it's even better because he can come down and get his money back. You look at the guy and realize that you only spent about 60 minutes on his case from him coming through the door to you telling him you got it dismissed.

Your move?

start putting a non-refundable charge for opening and closing a file into your fee agreements.

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It is a violation of the rules of professional conduct to accept an unearned fee. If it took you an hour to help convince the prosecutor not to prosecute, charge an hour at your usual hourly rate and refund the rest.

Its not unearned if its a fixed fee. I think Woz could also say to the client, "Hey, I'm in a good mood today, so I'll write off the other half you owe me."

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It is a violation of the rules of professional conduct to accept an unearned fee. If it took you an hour to help convince the prosecutor not to prosecute, charge an hour at your usual hourly rate and refund the rest.

Its not unearned if its a fixed fee. I think Woz could also say to the client, "Hey, I'm in a good mood today, so I'll write off the other half you owe me."

I've testified at disciplinary hearings on these facts. It doesn't end well for the attorney.
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It is a violation of the rules of professional conduct to accept an unearned fee. If it took you an hour to help convince the prosecutor not to prosecute, charge an hour at your usual hourly rate and refund the rest.

Its not unearned if its a fixed fee. I think Woz could also say to the client, "Hey, I'm in a good mood today, so I'll write off the other half you owe me."

I've testified at disciplinary hearings on these facts. It doesn't end well for the attorney.

So Woz gets all the downside of a fixed fee (if the matter dragged on to trial, reducing his effective hourly rate), but none of the upside of a quick resolution?

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It is a violation of the rules of professional conduct to accept an unearned fee. If it took you an hour to help convince the prosecutor not to prosecute, charge an hour at your usual hourly rate and refund the rest.

Its not unearned if its a fixed fee. I think Woz could also say to the client, "Hey, I'm in a good mood today, so I'll write off the other half you owe me."

I've testified at disciplinary hearings on these facts. It doesn't end well for the attorney.

So Woz gets all the downside of a fixed fee (if the matter dragged on to trial, reducing his effective hourly rate), but none of the upside of a quick resolution?

this is all state-dependent and will vary on whether you call it a retainer, deposit, flat rate/fixed fee, etc.

with this little work done, having a minimum charge for setting up and closing the file would solve the problem.

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Was the "quote" a fixed fee or an estimate?

Flat fee.

ETA: In my jurisdiction the state bar strongly encourages criminal defense fee agreements to be a flat rate. However, the flat rate will usually include a case fee then an additional trial fee.

Our firm generally charges X as a flat case fee (and won't take less than half up front) and then about 1/2X as the trial fee.

Edited by Zow
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