1450 posts tagged with Law.
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Heard it all before

Liss-Riordan is tired of hearing that labor laws should adapt to accommodate upstart tech companies, not the other way around: "Why should we tear apart laws that have been put in place over decades to help a $50 billion company like Uber at the expense of workers who are trying to pay their rent and feed their families?" -- Meet "Sledgehammer Shannon," the labor rights lawyer who took on Starbucks and FedEx, and now, Uber, in defense of their workers.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 31, 2015 - 49 comments

Don't get caught tippling in the stable

Legal Curiosities: Fact or Fable? Among its other responsibilities, Britain's Law Commission works to repeal antiquated or irrelevant laws (NYT article) such as a 1536 law extending a London graveyard or the India Steam Ship Company Act 1838. The commission's "Legal Curiosities" note provides guidance as to which notorious "silly laws" are actually in force (actual example in force: it is illegal to be drunk in charge of a horse, and it is illegal to be drunk on licensed premises, both due to the Licensing Act 1872; not a real law in force: it is illegal for a lady to eat chocolate on a public conveyance.)
posted by andrewesque on Dec 15, 2015 - 49 comments

Wretched hive of scum and villainy, or jury of his peers?

The Legal Geeks discuss Han's legal justification for shooting Greedo first, via a link from The Mary Sue.
posted by bile and syntax on Dec 14, 2015 - 37 comments

“It involves my life, my legacy, my career, my history, my reputation.”

Alan Dershowitz on the Defense (His Own) by Barry Meier [The New York Times]
Last month, demonstrators at Johns Hopkins University interrupted Alan M. Dershowitz as he was giving a fiery speech defending Israel. The disruption normally would not have fazed Mr. Dershowitz, a former Harvard Law School professor who thrives on controversy and relishes taking on opponents in and out of the courtroom. The protesters, however, were not challenging his Middle East politics. Instead, they held up a sign reading, “You Are Rape Culture.” Mr. Dershowitz knew what it meant. A decade ago, he had defended a friend, a money manager named Jeffrey E. Epstein, after authorities in Palm Beach, Fla., found evidence indicating that he was paying underage girls to give him sexual massages. The lawyer led a scorched-earth attack on the girls and, with a team of high-priced lawyers, cut a plea deal for Mr. Epstein that the local police said was too lenient.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Dec 13, 2015 - 80 comments

Understandably Cause for Alarm

Star Simpson, on the aftermath of the airport "bomb hoax" case, how her school failed her, and how MIT's new student law clinic could have helped. "I would have been grateful to ask questions of someone. Was I actually going to go to prison? What were my options? Should I, in the great American tradition, try to sue somebody? What would accepting a plea deal mean? Was it a good plea deal? Should I keep going with the case, instead? On top of having nobody to turn to, I was disallowed from talking about the case in public. Someone needed to make those decisions and I was completely on my own. Honestly I just wanted it all to be over, but that option was mostly unavailable. I just want you to consider for a moment asking the nearest 19-year-old with no prior interest in nor experience at all with the law for guidance on what to do with any court case. You can tell me how it goes." [more inside]
posted by j.r on Dec 10, 2015 - 52 comments

Can you own part of an asteroid?

How Asteroid Mining Is Changing Space Law

On November 24, President Obama signed the “US Commercial Space Law Competitiveness Act” into law. Among other things (like that the government should not pester SpaceX), it states that any US citizen who takes a chip off an old block of asteroid then owns that chip. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Dec 10, 2015 - 57 comments

Law is alive. Listen.

Life of the Law is a scrupulously fair podcast that tells stories and asks questions about the place where the law and everyday life intersects. As part of its commitment to making the law accessible, each episode comes with a full transcript. Life of the Law has covered a variety of topics ranging from pregnancy and motherhood in prison to rules about where cops can live to the hidden costs of traffic stops to the reason lawyer ads get so ridiculous. You learn useful tidbits, too, like the secret power of jury nullification and how difficult it is to legally sell weed in "legal" states. Not all the episodes are so weighty, though; Life of the Law has also been known to cover things like history of legal humor.
posted by sciatrix on Dec 3, 2015 - 14 comments

Leaked Documents Show Dothan Police Department Planted Drugs

The Henry Country Report has revealed leaked documents that show a narcotics team in Dothan, AL planted drugs on black men for years. The cases were prosecuted by Doug Valeska. All of the officers involved were in a local neo-confederate organization, and many of the targeted individuals remain in jail.
posted by hermanubis on Dec 1, 2015 - 85 comments

The £240 million kid

The story of Kane Robinson, the man who supposedly stole £240 million from the music industry. Kane Robinson was a kid who loved the web and the Arctic Monkeys. His music forum Dancing Jesus became the target of the largest anti-piracy case ever seen in the UK.
posted by jontyjago on Nov 25, 2015 - 5 comments

Suppose someone started an adults-only car wash…

In 1991, The Supreme Court heard Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc. (spoilers!) (Number 90-26), in which two strip clubs contented that laws against nude dancing violated their first amendment rights.
The oral argument (as recorded and transcribed at Oyez) is just as titter-inducing and thoughtful as you would expect a hypothetical-filled conversation between lawyers talking about nudity would be; it was later adapted verbatim into the play Arguendo.
posted by Going To Maine on Nov 15, 2015 - 10 comments

Suffer the Children

Suffer the Children: A long and heart-rending essay in The Monthly magazine about the Australian Family Law system's ugly response to allegations of child abuse in custody disputes. [more inside]
posted by Coaticass on Nov 13, 2015 - 26 comments

Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice

With a clause in complex contracts that few people read, corporations have insulated themselves from lawsuits and locked Americans into a system where arbitrators overwhelmingly favor business. (SLNYT)
posted by crazy with stars on Oct 31, 2015 - 27 comments

“Everyone calls us the Crook Islands now,” he said.

I was lucky that he merely threatened me. A journalist from Newsweek actually was deported from a different tax-haven island (Jersey) for her reporting there, and was banned from re-entering the island, or any part of the U.K., for nearly two years. Even though her story was unrelated to the financial-services industry, it was expected to bring negative publicity to the island, threatening its reputation as a place to do business. The message was therefore quashed by banishment of the messenger. The wealth-management industry does not mess around. Inside the Secretive World of Tax-Avoidance Experts.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Oct 29, 2015 - 25 comments

The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods

The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods — a ProPublica investigation into racial disparities in debt collection lawsuits [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Oct 21, 2015 - 16 comments

Mother Jones wins suit against wealthy political donor

For three years, Mother Jones has been litigating a defamation suit over a piece that drew attention to the political activites of wealthy billionaire Frank VanderSloot. "This was not a dispute over a few words. It was a push, by a superrich businessman and donor, to wipe out news coverage that he disapproved of. Had he been successful, it would have been a chilling indicator that the 0.01 percent can control not only the financing of political campaigns, but also media coverage of those campaigns." [more inside]
posted by sciatrix on Oct 9, 2015 - 30 comments

"I am healthy, and I have a plan to stay that way.”

Dallas County district attorney Susan Hawk's life fell apart after she took office: divorce, depression and thoughts of suicide. After she fired some of her most experienced staff and amid allegations of erratic or unstable behavior, she vanished from public view in late July. Nine weeks later, she re-emerged to announce that she had undergone two months of treatment at a mental health facility for Major Depressive Disorder. She says she’s ready once again to serve. Is she up to the job? (Some links in this post discuss suicide / suicidal ideation. Some readers may find linked content disturbing.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 6, 2015 - 108 comments

CJEU Strikes Down Safe Harbour Data Sharing

Europe's top court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), has struck down the 15-year-old Safe Harbour agreement that allowed the free flow of information between the US and EU.
posted by XtinaS on Oct 6, 2015 - 22 comments

Of course I'd like to sit around and chat... but someone's listening in

Fresh from The Intercept (that fearless vanguard of journalism helmed by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras): disturbing documents exposing the unfathomable reach of the United Kingdom's GCHQ in its quest for total awareness of global internet traffic. A hundred billion user actions logged per day. A "Black Hole" database of 1.1 trillion logs. Frightening programs like KARMA POLICE, MEMORY HOLE, and MUTANT BROTH that correlate the kilo-crore corpus -- IP addresses, cookies, forum posts, search histories, emails, and passwords all compiled and cross-referenced into a real-time "diary" that gives penetrating insight into the relationships, beliefs, and desires of every web user on the planet. Internal documents suggest only widespread encryption can threaten the regime -- a movement the UK is determined to subdue (previously). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 26, 2015 - 105 comments

Take *that*, assholes

A Modest Proposal - David Sedaris talks about the pros and cons of getting hitched
posted by a lungful of dragon on Sep 21, 2015 - 30 comments

Patent Data Visualization

PatentsView is a new patent data visualization platform from the US Patent and Trademark Office. The PatentsView beta search tool allows members of the public to interact with nearly 40 years of data on patenting activity in the United States. Users can explore technological, regional, and individual-level patent trends via search filters with multiple viewing options. The database links inventors, their organizations, locations, and overall patenting activity using enhanced 1976-2014 data from public USPTO bulk data files.
posted by jedicus on Sep 20, 2015 - 5 comments

Exonerated prisoners after serving decades for crimes they didn’t commit

stories.. that expose both the depths of what was taken from them and the challenges of rebuilding the lives they once had
posted by pos on Sep 11, 2015 - 14 comments

Why drivers in China intentionally kill the pedestrians they hit.

Driven to Kill. The "hit-to-kill" phenomenon in China where a driver who has accidentally struck a pedestrian will stop to run over them again, or multiple times, to ensure they are dead. Trigger warning for text descriptions of gruesome vehicular murder. Lots of links to photos and videos in the article that you should click at your own discretion.
posted by allkindsoftime on Sep 9, 2015 - 83 comments

Myles Jackman

One lawyer’s crusade to defend extreme pornography. Myles Jackman is Britain’s leading obscenity lawyer. But he does not merely defend the accused: his life’s great plan and purpose is to rid this country once and for all of its laws criminalising extreme pornography – laws that he regards as morally and socially iniquitous. (contains descriptions of sex and pornography)
posted by dng on Sep 9, 2015 - 17 comments

The Freedom to Flash (your home router, among other things)

LibrePlanet.org: Save WiFi.
Right now, the FCC is considering a proposal to require manufacturers to lock down computing devices (routers, PCs, phones) to prevent modification if they have a "modular wireless radio" (c.f. 1, 2) or a device with an "electronic label" (c.f. 3).
[more inside] posted by snortasprocket on Sep 4, 2015 - 44 comments

Lochner? I hardly even know of that legal opinion

Barnett believes the Constitution exists to secure inalienable property and contract rights for individuals. This may sound like a bland and inconsequential opinion, but if widely adopted by our courts and political systems it would prohibit or call into question basic governmental protections—minimum wages, food-safety regulations, child-labor laws—that most of us take for granted. For nearly a century now, a legal counterculture has insisted that the whole New Deal project was a big, unconstitutional error, and Barnett is a big part of that movement today.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Sep 1, 2015 - 61 comments

NSA Mass Phone Surveillance Possibly Constitutional After All

On December 13, 2013, the US district court for the District of Columbia ruled that the NSA's bulk collection of American citizens' telephone records was "likely" to violate the Fourth Amendment (previously on MeFi). Today, DC's federal court of appeals overturned that ruling. The rationale is that the plaintiffs did not prove "that they were affected by the metadata-gathering program," so they did not have standing to challenge it in court. [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Aug 28, 2015 - 25 comments

F is for farce, P is for police state, S is for slippery slope

A plan to conduct Operation Fortitude, a joint operation between the Victorian Police and the newly-created paramilitary Border Force as not been well received by the people of Melbourne who, to put it mildly, did not like the idea of being forced to show their papers in spot checks this Saturday. As Lenore Taylor says, Australian Border Force has united the nation against it. The Police say it was all a terrible misunderstanding over the wording of a press release typed by a "low level official". The original release has been removed. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Aug 28, 2015 - 65 comments

GCHQ and Me

My Life Unmasking British Eavesdroppers. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Aug 20, 2015 - 14 comments

Bay Gold: the brand appropriate to a junior vice-president of GT

Big Pot: the California Democratic party added marijuana legalisation to its party platform - "Earlier this year Founders Fund, a venture capital firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, led a $75m investment round into Privateer, a private equity group focused on cannabis. It is the biggest single investment in the US cannabis industry to date: 'What Privateer is doing is looking like a Procter & Gamble or a Coca-Cola approach. The real value in the market is going to be having the Coke-calibre brand...' Meanwhile, a distinctly California-style backlash is already growing [and] the US has become an exporter of illegal cannabis to Mexico, as cultivation in the US has increased." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 18, 2015 - 73 comments

I'm angry, lah.

Malaysian cartoonist Kazimir Lee documents the oppression faced by trans women in Malaysia, particularly touching on the 17 women arrested at a wedding last year as well as the landmark victory for the declaration of the 'cross-dressing' ban as unconstitutional, the first time Syariah law was challenged and defeated in civil court.
posted by divabat on Aug 7, 2015 - 6 comments

"I am not going to be your attorney"

When Eric Wyatt told his public defender that he was mistakenly being thrown back into jail after already serving his time, his public defender cut him off with those eight words. He would spend over three months incarcerated before another public defender urged him to take a plea deal to serve 10 years in prison for a crime he already served time for. It would be another week, 110 days in total, before Wyatt would be set free. [more inside]
posted by Ouverture on Aug 7, 2015 - 36 comments

Ethereum Launched

In case you missed it Ethereum announced its first developer release a week ago. What is Ethereum? According to the video it's a "planetary scale computer powered by blockchain technology." Given the breathlessness, some skepticism is in order, but what if it purports to do on the tin is true? [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 7, 2015 - 57 comments

"...then I'll give them back ridiculousness in kind."

"...the undersigned (Luthmann) respectfully requests that the court permit the undersigned to dispatch plaintiffs and their counsel to the Divine Providence of the Maker for Him to exact His divine judgment once the undersigned has released the souls of the plaintiffs and their counsel from their corporeal bodies, personally and or by way of a champion."
Lawyer seeks trial by combat to resolve lawsuit (Previously)
posted by griphus on Aug 6, 2015 - 31 comments

When Bicyclists Obey Traffic Laws...

Riders arrived at every stop sign in a single file, coming to a complete stop and filing through the intersection only once they were given the right-of-way. The law-abiding act of civil disobedience snarled traffic almost immediately. "The thing you say you want — every cyclist to stop at every stop sign — you really don't want that" [more inside]
posted by latkes on Aug 3, 2015 - 225 comments

The Americans with Disabilities Act became law 25 years ago today

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Jul 26, 2015 - 18 comments

Lady Drawers: Growing Season

Sarah Becan, one of the best food-focused comics creators in the business, worked on some comics for Truth-Out.org's Ladydrawers series.
* Roots and Migrations looks at how food culture and traditions came to the United States.
* Stinging Nettles: Holding on to Indigenous North American Food Culture takes a peek at the food culture and traditions of North America before colonization - and what it takes to keep them alive today.
* Food and Freedom explores US food policy.
Melissa Mendes adds to the series with Cultivation: Shifting People of Color's Access to Land Use and Cultivating Policy.
posted by jillithd on Jul 14, 2015 - 4 comments

Sour Dough: Airbnb's impact in San Francisco

In a five-part series, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carolyn Said examines Airbnb’s impact in San Francisco. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 14, 2015 - 69 comments

Equations can't be racist

What does it mean for algorithms to be fair? Our lives are increasingly influenced by opaque algorithms. Thoughts on how our existing laws are handling this new environment.
posted by laptolain on Jul 13, 2015 - 34 comments

Nonpartisan Redistricting

Supreme Court rules against gerrymandering - "Ginsburg's opinion is now the law, and I suspect that, in a few decades, this case will be considered one of the most important of the term. Thus far, only California has copied Arizona and created an independent redistricting commission. But with the court's blessing, more states are likely to follow suit. These commissions have been hugely successful thus far, a real boost for representative democracy and a cure for the notoriously stubborn problem of gerrymandering. Had Justice Anthony Kennedy swung away from Ginsburg and aligned with his fellow conservatives, America would be facing down a distressingly undemocratic future."
posted by kliuless on Jul 7, 2015 - 62 comments

New job, same as the old job.

Eric Holder goes home.
posted by T.D. Strange on Jul 7, 2015 - 29 comments

The end of open records in Wisconsin

Nearly all records created by state and local government officials, including bill drafts and communications with staff, would not be subject to the Wisconsin open records law under a sweeping surprise change Republicans introduced in committee Thursday as an amendment to the state budget. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Jul 2, 2015 - 43 comments

"one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country"

California Gov. Jerry Brown signs new vaccination law, one of nation's toughest "The bill, one of the most controversial measures before the Legislature this year, was introduced because of concern about low vaccination rates in some communities and an outbreak of measles at Disneyland that ultimately infected more than 150 people." (LA Times) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 30, 2015 - 182 comments

EQUAL · MARRIAGE · UNDER · LAW

Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together nearly two decades when John was stricken by terminal ALS. With their union unconstitutional in Ohio, the couple turned to friends and family to fund a medical flight to Maryland, where they wed, tearfully, on the tarmac [prev.]. After John's death, however, Jim found himself embroiled in an ugly legal battle with his native state over the right to survivor status on John's death certificate -- a fight he eventually took all the way to the Supreme Court. And that's how this morning -- two years after U.S. v. Windsor, a dozen after Lawrence v. Texas, and at the crest of an unprecedented wave of social change -- the heartbreaking case of Obergefell v. Hodges has at long last rendered same-sex marriage legal nationwide in a 5-4 decision lead by Justice Anthony Kennedy. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 26, 2015 - 1258 comments

Is the US justice system up for sale?

Reasonable Doubts About the Jury System Trial consultants allow the affluent to manipulate the biases of those who judge them, putting our justice up for sale. via The Atlantic
posted by robbyrobs on Jun 18, 2015 - 32 comments

"I call it the war on suburbia."

As California's drought worsens, those who live in Rancho Santa Fe — one of the wealthiest communities in the US — seem to agree: "We’re not all equal when it comes to water."
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jun 14, 2015 - 153 comments

DOJ Issues Subpoena to Identify Anonymous Blog Commenters

The US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York has issued a subpoena to Reason magazine, in order to identify anonymous commenters mouthing off about a federal judge. Ken White at Popehat broke the story. [more inside]
posted by suelac on Jun 10, 2015 - 72 comments

A Game of Clones: Video Game Litigation Illustrated

Eric Adler of the Adler Vermillion law firm and the Legal Hackers group dives into the odd nuances of copyright laws as applied to video games.
posted by boo_radley on May 27, 2015 - 15 comments

The movement is a sort of mosaic.

Wait, Women Don't Have Equal Rights in the United States? - Tabby Biddle, Huffington Post. The History Behind the ERA Amendment ( brief introduction, argument for why ERA is needed). March 22, 1972 | Equal Rights Amendment for Women Passed by Congress (NYT). Chronology of the Equal Rights Amendment, 1923-1996 (NOW). "The ERA Is a Moral Issue": The Mormon Church, LDS Women, and the Defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment (Neil J. Young, American Quarterly, Vol. 59, No. 3, Sep., 2007)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on May 23, 2015 - 31 comments

"You don't want a criminal lawyer. You want a *criminal* lawyer."

The New Mexico Law Review just published an issue dedicated entirely to Breaking Bad. It features eight articles that analyze the illegal acts committed on the show, their real-world parallels, and the consequences attached:
Given the array of legal issues raised, our editorial board was excited to take the opportunity to present analysis of Breaking Bad by scholars and legal practitioners. In April 2014 we issued a call for papers requesting abstracts on topics including the application of the Fourth Amendment to drug crimes under the New Mexico and/or U.S. Constitutions; the War on Drugs; ethical duties of lawyers; drug-offense sentencing; drug enforcement in rural, urban, and/or Tribal areas; and substance abuse and the law.
Some of the greatest legal minds in New Mexico (and the country) came together to examine how Walter White would look to a jury, how the war on drugs affects peripheral citizens like Skyler, and whether Heisenberg could have stayed legit by fighting for his stake in Grey Matter in the courts. [via] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 19, 2015 - 25 comments

Santa Monica says "Later, dude!" to AirBnB

Tuesday night, the Santa Monica (CA) City Council unanimously passed one of the most restrictive laws in the nation on short-term rentals. The ordinance (which strengthens and enforces laws already on the books) explicitly bans vacation rentals – rentals of 30 days or less where the primary occupant of the home or apartment is not present – while legalizing and taxing “home-sharing” – i.e. renting a couch, spare room or backyard cottage - providing at least one of the primary residents lives on-site throughout the stay. Santa Monica (pop. 92K) receives over 7 million visitors annually; Salvador Valles, the city's acting chief administrative officer for Planning and Community Development, estimates the number of available listings on home-share sites would go from 1700 to 300. The ordinance goes into effect June 15. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 14, 2015 - 80 comments

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