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CH-CHUNG

Law and Order conviction rate vs. New York City crime rate
posted by docgonzo on Feb 3, 2011 - 56 comments

"An Act To Declare That Reality Is Now The Plot Of Mad Max"

South Dakota Rep. Hal Wick (R-Sioux Falls), is sponsoring a bill [text] 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. [previously] [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange on Feb 1, 2011 - 146 comments

Say What?

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]
posted by AugustWest on Jan 12, 2011 - 59 comments

The 25-Year 'Foreclosure From Hell'

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.
posted by reenum on Dec 30, 2010 - 150 comments

The Loophole Artist

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.
posted by reenum on Dec 29, 2010 - 18 comments

The Keene Act And You

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)
posted by The Whelk on Nov 30, 2010 - 34 comments

The 411 on 420.

Check Out This Joint: How WeedMaps turned marijuana reviews into big business.
posted by GrammarMoses on Nov 7, 2010 - 30 comments

You Can't Have Your Money Back

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.
posted by reenum on Oct 25, 2010 - 162 comments

mefi coop: how to turn metafilter into a CC cooperative

The Birth of Sharing Law and the Rise of Co-ops - "A new sharing economy is emerging — but how does it fit within our legal system? Time for a whole new field of cooperation law." (via wc)
posted by kliuless on Oct 22, 2010 - 30 comments

Have you ever spent a Thanksgiving reviewing 1.2 million pages of billing records in a warehouse in Topica?

So you want to go to law school?(SLYT) [more inside]
posted by Muddler on Oct 20, 2010 - 118 comments

THIS WHOLE DAMN COURT IS OUT OF ORDER!

OBJECTION! This is a silly meme [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Oct 17, 2010 - 54 comments

The humor writing of Miles Kington

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]
posted by LobsterMitten on Oct 1, 2010 - 9 comments

Tenant Beware

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]
posted by hal_c_on on Aug 30, 2010 - 32 comments

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

Gay Marriage: Not So Great?

Not all queer or LGBT people are for legalizing gay marriage. The Against Equality collective argues that legalizing marriage values one type of relationship over another (.pdf), doesn't do enough for queer people of colour, and plays into the larger class struggle. Beyond Marriage calls for "access to a flexible set of economic benefits and options regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender/gender identity, class, or citizenship status". Queer activists in Maine consider the marriage issue a "distraction from improving the lives of gay people", and Questioning Transphobia argues that "marriage by its very nature is an exclusive practice, its purpose is to ennoble some relationships and by default render other relationships to be less meaningful and less worthy of legal and social recognition". Mainstream queer women's website Autostraddle ponders all this and asks: does gay marriage make gays straight?
posted by divabat on Aug 20, 2010 - 236 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

Nice try, but no legal protection from Sweden, Wikileaks

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.
posted by dabitch on Aug 6, 2010 - 37 comments

"This human rights abuse is universal, and no one should claim immunity from its reach or from the responsibility to confront it."

This year, for the first time ever, the U.S. included itself in the State Department's annual report on human trafficking. Most Americans associate human trafficking with sexually exploited women and children, but the definition includes guest laborers who have been trapped into indentured servitude as well. "More investigations and prosecutions have taken place for sex trafficking offenses than for labor trafficking offenses, but law enforcement identified a comparatively higher number of labor trafficking victims as such cases often involve more victims.” The full report--with victim stories, "TIP Heroes," methodology, definitions, etc.--is here.
posted by availablelight on Jul 31, 2010 - 10 comments

"People want to think that there's always legal accountability where there should be moral accountability."

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]
posted by availablelight on Jul 20, 2010 - 103 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

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

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

Is Cheerleading a Sport?

Five members of the Quinnipiac University women's volleyball team, and the team's coach, have sued the school for dismantling the team to use the money for a cheerleading squad. More on the legal background of the case. Quinnipiac has been also been accused of cooking the roster books--triple counting track/field athletes--to inflate the number of female athletes. [more inside]
posted by availablelight on Jun 22, 2010 - 125 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

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

Did The British Really Put Child Criminals To Death?

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.
posted by Blake on May 21, 2010 - 37 comments

'cause bobody knows fascism like a fascist.

The downfall of "Downfall"?! (SLYT) More info on this from the LA Times. This is why we can't have nice things.
posted by markkraft on Apr 22, 2010 - 95 comments

The Great West Coast Newspaper War

The alt-weekly newspaper war in San Francisco - The titanic struggle between The Bay Guardian and SF Weekly (owned by Village Voice Media), as told by Eli Sanders of Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger.
posted by Artw on Mar 20, 2010 - 23 comments

Justice as Commissioner

The judge-umpire analogy has a long historical pedigree. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Mar 9, 2010 - 5 comments

Bingo! Or not.

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]
posted by wierdo on Mar 5, 2010 - 17 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

Is that legal?

Building Codes for the US by state.
posted by Mitheral on Feb 26, 2010 - 38 comments

FantasySCOTUS

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

Jurors have a power so secret even they may not know about it.

Jury nullification, 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.
posted by shivohum on Jan 22, 2010 - 79 comments

Raw vs. the Law

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.
posted by talkingmuffin on Jan 21, 2010 - 57 comments

The Lawless Netherworlds of Gay Relationships

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.

posted by divabat on Jan 9, 2010 - 51 comments

Obama Told Me I Was Doing The Right Thing

A medical marijuana provider in California is mounting a novel defense after his marijuana farm was raided by Federal agents. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Dec 31, 2009 - 69 comments

Strict Liability

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]
posted by Jakey on Nov 15, 2009 - 133 comments

The House on Garibaldi Street

The capture 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]
posted by reenum on Nov 4, 2009 - 23 comments

The Justice Gap in America

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]
posted by lunit on Sep 30, 2009 - 8 comments

Peace, equality and pringles for all.

At long last, Pringles have joined the family of potato chips after being shunned for years.
posted by Z1LCH on Jun 1, 2009 - 80 comments

Handley pleads guilty

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]
posted by Shepherd on May 22, 2009 - 79 comments

Doing Time For Acquitted Crimes

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.
posted by Appropriate Username on May 14, 2009 - 32 comments

Because I said so? Not according to my lawyer!

'Either way, he doesn't have authority over this child anymore. She sued him because she doesn't respect his rules. It's very hard to raise a child who is the boss.' A Quebec father who was taken to court by his 12-year-old daughter after he grounded her in June 2008 has lost his appeal. via
posted by bitteroldman on Apr 7, 2009 - 61 comments

The Sins of your Fathers

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)
posted by protorp on Mar 18, 2009 - 29 comments

protecting oneself legally and otherwise

A really useful legal help resource at e-Justice blog: 100 Free DIY Legal Resources on the Web includes The Attorneys Forum, free legal advice and support from professional attorneys, lawyers, and law firms nationwide. The archives include: How to Prepare for a Financial Apocalypse: 100 Tips and Tools to Secure What’s Yours l Top 50 Internet & Digital Law Blogs l World Watchdogs: Top 50 Human Rights Blogs l The Ultimate Guide to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu- 101 Resources to Help Anyone Learn the Gentle Art. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jan 13, 2009 - 19 comments

Whole Foods looking to subpoena competitors records?

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]
posted by GilloD on Dec 2, 2008 - 83 comments

"I spent 16 years in prison for a crime I didn't commit."

Remember Jeffrey Deskovic? (If not, spend a minute browsing the links on the previous thread first). He just wrote an interesting position piece on what can be done to make sure that what happens to him doesn't happen to others.
posted by allkindsoftime on Sep 16, 2008 - 13 comments

No, it won't have the pirate comic...

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.
posted by Artw on Aug 20, 2008 - 109 comments

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