South Dakota Rep. Hal Wick (R-Sioux Falls), is sponsoring a bill
] which would require all citizens to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense” within six months of turning age 21. Rep. Wick said he is introducing the bill to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional
] [more inside]
Seeing this article today
about a defendant in a drug trafficking trial who if deaf, mute and without any language skills reminded me of this question from 5 years ago.
One of the answers to that question linked to the Straight Dope which had this question and answer
. [more inside]
Patsy Campbell has been fighting her foreclosure in Florida courts for the past 25 years
. She has not made a mortgage payment since 1985 while foiling the efforts of several banks to evict her from her home in Okeechobee, Florida.
Jonathan Blattmachr, one of the country's leading estates and trusts experts
, feels that helping his clients reduce their tax liability
helps the IRS close loopholes that he and his colleagues use. As with most attorneys, there are some clients who weren't happy with his work
, but Mr. Blattmachr pushes on with his efforts
Is Batman a State Actor? Could you pass a Mutant Registation Act? Law And The Multiverse
considers legal matters in a world of capes, supes, and alternate dimensions. (via Mefiprojects
A third year law student at Boston College doesn't like the prospects he has after graduation, so he decided to ask the dean for a refund
High court hangups
and There's no place like a hotel
are short humor pieces by Miles Kington featuring the Socratically uncooperative testimony of one Mr Chrysler who's accused of stealing 40,000 hangers from hotels. [more inside]
Moving to or within NYC soon? Check to make sure your potential landlord isn't on this list of 153 by the NYC Public Advocates Office. [more inside]
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
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]
Swedish law does not protect Wikileaks sources
despite what has been reported
, the Swedish 'grundlag' does not protect whistleblowers at Wikileaks just because their servers are in Sweden
. There's a technicality, Wikileaks the website has no licence
to publish material in Sweden.
What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince?
Six teens remained charged--down from the original nine
--in the death of Phoebe Prince, who committed suicide after bullying at school
. Legal writer Emily Bazelon of Slate.com continues her investigation of the case with a new three part series:
I've wrestled with how much of this information to publish. Phoebe's family has suffered terribly. But when the D.A. charged kids with causing Phoebe's death and threatened them with prison, she invited an inquiry into other potential causes. The whole story is a lot more complicated than anyone has publicly allowed for. [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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
But with the century-old Cravath system
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]
A lawyer and her husband decide to get a divorce. Then, the lawyer loses her mind.
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]
On Monday the SCOTUS said
juveniles who commit crimes in which no one is killed may not be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Thomas, ever the orginalist
, apparently said
they should only consider practices at the time the Bill of Rights was adopted. Stevens, however, noted people as young as 7 were put to death in the 18th century. "Knowledge accumulates," he wrote. "We learn, sometimes, from our mistakes." So, did they really
put kids that young to death? Well, Probably Not
. A look back at all the death sentences handed down for children under age fourteen by a well documented court in London found in every case (over 100 in all) the initial death sentence was eventually changed to transportation, imprisonment, and/or whipping. No child criminal was actually put to death.
The downfall of "Downfall"?!
(SLYT) More info on this from the LA Times
. This is why we can't have nice things.
Alabama Governor Bob Riley has recently begun a crusade against electronic bingo machines
in the state. His task force has conducted
massive raids on bingo parlors in the state, some involving 150 state troopers
at once. Riley's own Attorney General disagrees
with the Governor and thinks the parlors are legal. Citizens are deeply divided
on the issue. Owners are fighting back
through the courts and by surrendering their liquor licenses. [more inside]
for the US by state.
For the Tenth Justice in all of us.
, a situation in which jurors acquit in a criminal trial even if the facts favor conviction (often because the jurors disagree with the law), is of ancient provenance
in the Anglo-American legal tradition. Courts are ambivalent
towards it, regarding it both as quasi-illegal (they'll remove jurors if they catch them during the attempt
) and as something that they cannot overturn once it happens. Nullification has furthered many causes, from anti-death-penalty to pro-southern-lynchings
. Lawyers can't mention it in court on pain of contempt, but some hope
to educate people
in other ways.
Michael Schmidt has been found not guilty
of selling raw milk in the province of Ontario. Schmidt owns a dairy co-op
where consumers can purchase shares in a dairy herd and receive a portion of the raw milk
those cows produce in return. His farm was raided
and his equipment seized at gun point back in 2006. Experts are predicting this decision could have wide ranging effects on the rights of consumers to choose what they purchase and eat.
Queer female webzine Autostraddle
, who interviewed media celebrity Tila Tequila
shortly before the death of her fiancée, socialite Casey Johnson
, uses the aftermath to discuss the complications of not having legal rights as a gay couple when the relationship becomes dysfunctional
We don’t look at those crazy-ass toxic relationships that were so intense they carved a hole in your heart and you knew, no matter how deep the emotional connection, that at any minute your loved one could get up, walk out the door, and never speak to you again, and that it wouldn’t matter if you’d paid their bills or built a life around their demands. There is nothing tying you together besides your feelings. And that’s really frightening.
A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for "doing his duty".
Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year. [more inside]
of Adolf Eichmann
is one of the more daring spy operations
in the post WWII era. The story spans 17 years, beginning with Eichmann's clandestine escape from the Allied forces and the Nuremberg trial, and ending with his hanging in Israel. [more inside]
Nearly one million people who seek help for civil legal problems, such as foreclosures and domestic violence, will be turned away this year
. A new report by the Legal Services Corporation
, a non-profit
established by Congress in 1974 to ensure equal access to justice
, finds that legal aid programs turn away one person for every client served. The full report, "Documenting the Justice Gap in America" is available here
(pdf). The 2009 report is an update and expansion on a 2005 report (available here
) finding that 80% of the poor
lacked access to legal aid. [more inside]
At long last, Pringles
have joined the family of potato chips after being shunned for years.
Christopher Handley has pleaded guilty to Possessing Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children.
He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a three-year term of supervised release. What Handey was arrested for was not child pornography, however, but Japanese Manga. Previously on MetaFilter. [more inside]
If you have been charged
with multiple crimes
and not convicted on all charges
, the judge may increase your sentence based on
'acquitted conduct', the crimes for which you were not convicted. This policy is beginning to get a lot more attention due to Jim Caron, writing to a U.S. District Court judge as 'Juror No. 6'
and recently highlighted by articles in the Washington Post
and the Washington Times
. His offense at the idea that his work as a juror had been nullified by this policy has opened a can of worms with all sorts of people
who view this "in terms of defendant's rights versus government interests." Too late for Mr. Caron, a distinguished agricultural economist with the USDA
, who died
suddenly last year.
Familial genetic profiling of law enforcement DNA databases
has already been used to succesfully establish both guilt and innocence. Legal and moral questions on these expanded techniques abound and are comprehensively explored by a speaker at a recent FBI symposium on the topic. In the author's words, scenarios previously limited to movies like Minority Report are unfolding quietly, before most of us have thought about the consequences. (Via)
Whole Foods looking to subpoena competitors records?
Not content to do sneaky business
the new way, Whole Foods is using it's court battle with the FTC to try and subpoena the business records and marketing plans
of competing natural foods market New Seasons. [more inside]
Who watches The Watchmen
? Kevin Smith
has, Dave Gibbons
has, Alan Moore won't (Gibbons hopes he'll watch the DVD), and if Fox has its way
maybe YOU won't either.