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Unforgiven

Tony Washington, an NFL prospect, has a black mark on his record. At the age of 16, he was convicted of incest for sleeping with his then 15 year old sister, and forced to register as a sex offender. Washington feels this is the reason he is being ostracized by the NFL.
posted by reenum on Aug 27, 2010 - 122 comments

Reflections on Judging Mothering

(pdf) Chris Gottlieb writes in the "Baltimore Law Review" about judging parents. The article discusses instances of racism and classicism in the family court systems. An adaptation of the "Baltimore Review" article appears in the New York Times. [more inside]
posted by zizzle on Aug 26, 2010 - 56 comments

Justice Department Seeks Ebonics Experts

The Smoking Gun has come into possession of an unusual RFP from the DEA: they want 'Ebonics experts' to help decipher wiretaps.
posted by reenum on Aug 24, 2010 - 76 comments

Free's Gold

Record label Fool's Gold, run by DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs, has just put their entire catalogue online for free streaming with links to paid downloads for each track. [more inside]
posted by battlebison on Aug 13, 2010 - 9 comments

“Clients aren’t deciding whether to pay you so you can send them your product. They’ve already got it.”

The Music-Copyright Enforcers “A few years back, we had Penn, Schoen and Berland, Hillary’s pollster guys, do a study. The idea was, go and find out what Americans really think about copyright. Do songwriters deserve to be paid? Absolutely! The numbers were enormously favorable — like, 85 percent. The poll asked, ‘If there was a party that wasn’t compensating songwriters, do you think that would be wrong?’ And the answer was, ‘Yes!’ So then, everything’s fine, right? Wrong. Because when it came time to ask people to part with their shekels, it was like: ‘Eww. You want me to pay?’ ” [more inside]
posted by availablelight on Aug 9, 2010 - 121 comments

"See no evil, hear no evil..." "Can you hear me now?"

Despite very strong denials last week from Google and Verizon that they were not discussing ways around Net Neutrality, Google and Verizon held a conference today to announce their agreement to the establishment of price-tiered network services, dividing the current Internet into a "neutral public Internet" that remains "open" (and which preserves access to YouTube and other Google properties), and a set of paid, priority channels that Verizon and other telecoms can use to deliver certain other types of content at higher prices, particularly over cell networks and whatever future infrastructure the Internet will be carried over.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 9, 2010 - 224 comments

Executive Decarbonization

With the climate bill dead and blame portioned, Ezra Klein asks what happens when congress fails? He concludes that "regulations to reduce carbon emissions are alive and well. The Environmental Protection Agency can attack carbon as a pollutant, and the Obama administration's announcement that efforts to hamstring the EPA will be vetoed suggests that they mean to do exactly that." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 30, 2010 - 18 comments

Rough justice in America

Too many laws, too many prisoners - Never in the civilised world have so many been locked up for so little. [previously] (via nc)
posted by kliuless on Jul 24, 2010 - 29 comments

Obama signs Wall Street reform bill

In a "Triumph of Policy Over Politics" President Obama today signed most sweeping Wall Street reform bill since Great Depression. Obamas remarks at the signing. A piece-by-piece guide to th financial overhaul law. Timeline of the laws effects. 10 Ways New Wall Street Reform Law Will Help You.
posted by Artw on Jul 21, 2010 - 141 comments

A lie told often enough becomes the truth

Police in Orlando, Florida, frustrated with an "epidemic" of false allegations of rape, threaten arrest for all future false reports. The problems of this Florida community reflect research that shows a disproportionately high rate of false accusations of rape relative to other crimes, though studies on the issue are far from uniform, and frequently the center of controversy. [more inside]
posted by Law Talkin' Guy on Jul 19, 2010 - 143 comments

LAUSD's Dance of the Lemons

Want to fire a teacher in the LA Unified School District? Be prepared to spend several years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jul 15, 2010 - 139 comments

DOMA unconstitutional

The federal Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional by Judge Joseph Tauro of the District Court of Massachusetts.
posted by fireoyster on Jul 8, 2010 - 149 comments

Phantom Debts, Real Anguish

Debt buyers have become a multi-billion dollar industry. They buy old debts and then litigate in an effort to collect with little or no evidence. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jul 2, 2010 - 18 comments

Dead or alive

Wanted: Jonah Hex - on making a movie prop, and a little about actual Old West wanted posters.
posted by Artw on Jul 1, 2010 - 43 comments

I'll Give You Stars and the Moon but not any sheet music

Theatre composer Jason Robert Brown (bio) tries to explain to a young fan why it’s wrong to download sheet music from the Internet for free. Via.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jun 30, 2010 - 451 comments

Spy Files: Illegal Domestic Spying

ACLU launches "Spyfiles" to track domestic surveillance. "The American Civil Liberties Union launched a new website Tuesday to track incidents of domestic political surveillance by the government along with a report (PDF) claiming such incidents have increased steadily since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. According to the report there have been 111 incidents of illegal domestic political surveillance since 9/11 in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The website, Spyfiles, will serve as the ACLU's online home for all news and reports of domestic spying."
posted by homunculus on Jun 29, 2010 - 12 comments

Gaile Owens

Three months from today, Gaile [Part I] Owens [Part 2] will be dead in Tennessee after 25 years on death row. The mother of two boys went to the rough side of Nashville to find a hitman to kill her abusive and cheating husband. Due to a series of events, the jury never heard of or believed the abuse. She pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence, but will die on September 28. [more inside]
posted by daninnj on Jun 28, 2010 - 38 comments

Judgement Day 2010

Today, June 28, 2010, marks the last day of the 2009-10 session of the Supreme Court of the United States. This day will mark a number of historical events, not only in terms of the cases to be handed down. [more inside]
posted by valkyryn on Jun 28, 2010 - 193 comments

Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project

Court Affirms Ban on Aiding Groups Tied to Terror. "In a case pitting free speech against national security, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld a federal law (PDF) that makes it a crime to provide 'material support' to foreign terrorist organizations, even if the help takes the form of training for peacefully resolving conflicts."
posted by homunculus on Jun 22, 2010 - 59 comments

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are registered nurses who have special training and experience in forensic evidence collection (conducting “rape kits”) and survivor-centered care. They also increasingly conduct forensic examinations on suspects accused of sexual assault(PDF). There is evidence that, through this work, SANE programs increase the prosecution rates of sexual assault cases. However, as a result of a recent Supreme Court Case, Crawford v. Washington, the role of SANEs is being increasingly curtailed(behind a pay wall). [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jun 16, 2010 - 57 comments

For pity's sake, don't go to law school.

Despite the most prestigious law firms in the country laying off almost 6,000 attorneys and 9,000 staff since the beginning of 2008, century-old law firms dissolving almost overnight, and law school tuition rising everywhere, law school applications are at an all time high. Even the number of law schools is rising.

But with the century-old Cravath system being "misapplied" by big firms over the last decade, historical income distributions have been disrupted.

For good or ill, things may be coming to a head. [more inside]
posted by valkyryn on Jun 11, 2010 - 188 comments

Worst. Divorce. Ever.

A lawyer and her husband decide to get a divorce. Then, the lawyer loses her mind.
posted by reenum on Jun 10, 2010 - 131 comments

Are you forgetting that you came to me for a job?

What not to do if you want a job.
posted by cereselle on Jun 3, 2010 - 136 comments

How Our Laws are made.

Nice graphic of the Bill to Law process Via The Sunlight Foundation.
posted by tomb on Jun 3, 2010 - 28 comments

Sueing 14,000+ P2P users to SAVE CINEMA

Ars Technica reports on the US Copyright Group (website: SAVECINEMA.ORG), an entity that has sent out over 14,000 subpoenas in the past 5 months to P2P users who have downloaded smaller independent movies such as Uwe Boll's Far Cry and best picture Oscar winner The Hurt Locker. To put that in perspective, the RIAA sued 18,000 P2P users during their multi-year anti-file sharing campaign. The law firm takes the moviemakers cases on for free, splitting with them the money the defendants pay to settle the case ($1,500 to $2,500 per subpoena) on a site that will conveniently take your credit card. The law firm and the filmmakers could end up splitting $19.7 million, and it's likely that this kind of approach will be tried with more movies. As you might expect, some targeted individuals have been wrongly accused.
posted by The Devil Tesla on Jun 3, 2010 - 166 comments

1) “But there are other lives to be saved, of people who haven’t done horrible things, who haven’t actually hurt anyone.” 2) "Fix it or lose it."

Arguing Three Strikes. A defense lawyer (and co-founder of Stanford's unique Criminal Defense Clinic), and a tough-on-crime Republican D.A. make for unusual allies in the move to reform California's Three Strikes law. [more inside]
posted by availablelight on May 22, 2010 - 53 comments

Ripped from the headlines.

After twenty years on the air, NBC has canceled the original Law & Order. The show didn't quite surpass Gunsmoke as the longest running prime time drama in history, although they most likely went through more regular characters and guest stars. The spin-offs Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent will continue. A new show, Law & Order: Los Angeles is set to disappoint us in the fall.
posted by HumanComplex on May 14, 2010 - 182 comments

"Mr. Watkins said his client was basically a good person."

Online Talk, Suicides and a Thorny Court Case A Minnesota nurse named William Mechert-Dinkel is charged with aiding in the suicides of a woman in Canada and a man in the UK. He assumed the name Li Do and trolled online for depressed people to encourage in (ultimately one way) suicide pacts. Caught in part by the efforts of a concerned retiree in the UK, his case brings up issues of not just jurisdiction but also of free speech. Somewhat related and previously.
posted by availablelight on May 14, 2010 - 38 comments

"F**k Michael Powell. Let him sue us."

Home Depot was having an issue with employees cutting their fingers off while sawing wood for customers. Michael Powell invented a safety device that Home Depot then copied without Powell's permission. Today, Powell won a $25 million judgment in federal court. [more inside]
posted by reenum on May 12, 2010 - 141 comments

“There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

Elena Kagan will be officially nominated to replace John Paul Stevens today, ending weeks of speculation and controversy as to who would replace the retiring Supreme Court Justice. Significant criticism has hounded Kagan throughout the nomination process, as she has never tried a case in court (much like Earl Warren). Many worry that her notable statements and writings do not provide a clear progressive record; some go so far as to claim she is Obama's Harriet Miers.
posted by mek on May 9, 2010 - 186 comments

There's one more thing: you can all have one.

How Steve Jobs Got Sick, Got Better, And Decided To Save Some Lives (previously)
posted by Baldons on Apr 26, 2010 - 49 comments

Genetic material and informed consent

The Havasupai Tribe of Grand Canyon won a $700,000 settlement from Arizona State University, plus the return of remaining blood samples, regarding the use of members' blood and DNA for research. The Havasupai had originally contacted researchers at ASU concerning the Type II diabetes that has ravaged that tribe and others, particularly in the Southwest. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Apr 22, 2010 - 96 comments

"HIV is a virus, not a crime."

With AIDS, Time to Get Beyond Blame. Criminal laws related to exposure to or transmission of HIV are on the books in 32 American states, and in many other countries. In January, Darrin Chiacchia was charged with knowingly exposing a partner to HIV without warning him beforehand. He faces up to 30 years in prison. The high profile case has drawn criticism of the laws from those who believe they discourage testing, increase stigma, and intentional infections are sensational but rare and difficult to prove. Others have argued the laws do little to protect vulnerable populations and are bad legal policy. In the sensational but rare category: Nushawn Williams, who completed his sentence last week but remains incarcerated.
posted by availablelight on Apr 20, 2010 - 70 comments

Hello, Ivy League

Now that Stevens, a Northwestern Law grad, is retiring, all eight remaining Supreme Court justices hail from either Harvard or Yale law school. Is it time for some educational diversity on the court? Many think the court needs to expand its educational horizons. Complaints aren’t limited to the Justices themselves. Both Congress and Justice Thomas are concerned with a lack of different educational backgrounds among the clerks.
posted by HabeasCorpus on Apr 15, 2010 - 42 comments

Not a prophet in his own land

Baltasar Garzón is a Spanish judge known for his cases on human right abuses by south american dictatorships under international law, specially the case against Augusto Pinochet. Now, after admitting a case against abuses during Franco's Era, he is facing accusations by extreme right groups of deliberately ignoring the Amnesty Law of 1977, possibly questionable under the same universal jurisdiction that gained him international renown. In a controversial decision, the case has been admitted by the Spanish Supreme Court, and so Garzón is facing the possibility of up to 20 years of suspension. [more inside]
posted by valdesm on Apr 14, 2010 - 14 comments

The cause of, and solution to, all life's problems

Copyright turns 300: An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or purchasers of such Copies, also known as the Statute of Anne, became law on April 10, 1710.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 10, 2010 - 19 comments

If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.

"George W. Bush Knew Guantanamo Prisoners Were Innocent." In a signed declaration filed as part of a pending lawsuit on behalf of former Guantanamo Bay detainees and obtained by The Times, Lawrence Wilkerson, a high ranking aide to former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, makes the stunning claim that: "George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror." (via)
posted by saulgoodman on Apr 9, 2010 - 101 comments

Political Philosophy Every Thanksgiving, 4th of July and Easter

KCRW's Left, Right and Center is usually your standard political talking head show - except on holidays, when the public radio show becomes a platform for conservative Tony Blankley, center-left Democrat Robert Scheer and liberal blogger Arianna Huffington to mount a philosophical debate on the basis of law, politics and culture. Most recently, Blankley and Scheer debated why the US is so deeply polarized. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Apr 7, 2010 - 37 comments

Drugs cost monies.

Dutch coffee shop fined 10m euros for breaking drug law
posted by Tlery on Mar 25, 2010 - 34 comments

Childhood cruelties

Andrew O’Hagan writes in the London Review of Books on the James Bulger murder. It really should be read in conjunction with his earlier piece from 1993 to fully appreciate his stance. Previously [1] [2] [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Mar 25, 2010 - 25 comments

The plight of the Maine lobsterman.

After more than ten hours of deliberation, Vance Bunker, along with his daughter Janan Miller, were found not guilty. The result of last summer's so called "lobster wars".
posted by woodjockey on Mar 12, 2010 - 30 comments

Simon Singh's last column

Simon Singh: This is goodbye. Being sued for libel is not only ruinously expensive, writes Simon Singh, it takes over your whole life. Which is why this will be his last column. Previously.
posted by homunculus on Mar 12, 2010 - 74 comments

DNA’s Dirty Little Secret

DNA’s Dirty Little Secret: A forensic tool renowned for exonerating the innocent may actually be putting them in prison.
posted by homunculus on Mar 6, 2010 - 40 comments

$5 to overthrow the US government

There is a law in South Carolina that forces any subversive organization to register before the Secretary of State. Penalties for refusing to do so include a fine for up to $25,000 and 10 years imprisonment. You can download the form here. [more inside]
posted by Omon Ra on Mar 4, 2010 - 37 comments

Conflict continues over homosexuality in Uganda

Petition against Anti-Gay Bill Delivered to Ugandan Parliament. Fierce debate continues in Uganda over the Bahati Bill, a controversial anti-homosexual law currently under consideration by the Ugandan government (prev). [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Mar 2, 2010 - 32 comments

Rosen on Roberts

US Supreme Court Chief Justice told law professor and commentator Jeffrey Rosen, “I think it’s bad, long-term, if people identify the rule of law with how individual justices vote.” He expressed his intention to help steer the Court away from 5-4 decisions. Now, three years later, Rosen argues that Roberts has been an activist, combative chief justice, willing to risk confrontations with the other branches of government and public opinion.
posted by ibmcginty on Mar 2, 2010 - 75 comments

Weaponizing Mozart

Weaponizing Mozart - "How Britain is using classical music as a form of social control".
posted by nthdegx on Mar 1, 2010 - 88 comments

Big Brother: The Sequel

The Patriot Act was originally signed into law by Bush in 2001, following 9/11. This bill gives law enforcement agencies the power to search your email, telephone records, medical records, record your telephone conversations, without your consent. It's allowance of indefinite detention of immigrants has been a major point of criticism from opponents. Today, President Obama, who previously promised to protect our civil liberties, has quietly extended the bill for another year.
posted by Malice on Feb 28, 2010 - 108 comments

FantasySCOTUS

FantasySCOTUS. For the Tenth Justice in all of us.
posted by OmieWise on Feb 26, 2010 - 15 comments

Your body is now a crime scene

"Using the legal standard of "reckless behavior" all a district attorney needs to show is that a woman behaved in a manner that is thought to cause miscarriage, even if she didn't intend to lose the pregnancy. Drink too much alcohol and have a miscarriage? Under the new law such actions could be cause for prosecution." A new Utah law now makes intentional behavior leading to miscarriage or "reckless" behavior leading to miscarriage a crime punishable by life in prison.
posted by Avenger on Feb 24, 2010 - 88 comments

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