Friday, April 21, 2006
Available online from law.com: An article headlined "Calif. Appeals Court Stretches Punitives Precedent, Upholds $28M Award Against Philip Morris" begins, "A California appellate court has defied -- or at least stretched -- precedent by upholding a $28 million punitive damages award against a major tobacco company, an amount 33 times greater than the compensatory damages." You can access today's ruling of California's Second District Court of Appeal at this link.
And the brand new installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column is headlined "Arresting the Homeless Is Unconstitutional? Where the 9th Circuit Went Wrong."
"Some Additional Thoughts on the Sixth Circuit Opinion in Stewart v. Blackwell, and the Future of Bush v. Gore in Elections": Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post at his "Election Law" blog.
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman
"Ryan lawyers called jurors liars": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers for former Gov. George Ryan argued that jurors who failed to disclose arrests, including some that occurred more than 20 years ago, were liars who could not be trusted to render a fair verdict, according to newly unsealed court filings."
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman
"Poritz buries court criticism; Downgrades ruling to unpublished": The New Jersey Lawyer recently published an article that begins, "In a highly unusual move, Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz has personally seen to it - with input from other justices - that an Appellate Division decision highly critical of the way judges are pressured from the top to wrap up cases quickly was reclassified as an 'unpublished' rather than 'published' opinion." The opinion in question of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:48 PM by Howard Bashman
In the current issue of The Harvard Law Record: The newspaper contains articles headlined "Navajo Supreme Court Holds Oral Arguments at HLS" and "2nd Circuit Judge Weighs in on Presidential War Powers."
Posted at 05:45 PM by Howard Bashman
"Appeals Court Rules Against Islanders": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court said Friday it is powerless to grant compensation to people forced from their homes on Indian Ocean islands because of the U.S. military base at Diego Garcia." My earlier coverage is here.
Posted at 05:14 PM by Howard Bashman
"Is a church subject to vicarious liability for tortious acts of its pastor under the Restatement (Second) of Agency § 219(2)(d) if the pastor was allegedly 'aided in accomplishing the tort by the existence of the agency relation' with the church?" In a diversity case in which a plaintiff seeks to hold a church liable for sexual molestation allegedly suffered at the hands of the pastor, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today issued a decision certifying the foregoing issue to the Supreme Court of Vermont.
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman
Love v. Justice to be decided on the briefs: According to the calendar of cases pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, this potentially precedent-setting matter of great import to humanity will be submitted on June 6, 2006. Thanks much to the reader who brought this case to my attention.
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman
Every Justice Antonin Scalia bobblehead doll certificate expires at the end of 2006: The Green Bag's web site links to the web site of Phi Alpha Delta – Mason Chapter, where you will find a link to a Microsoft Word document providing details on how you can have "the membership of Phi Alpha Delta ... act as your proxy in redeeming your Certificate(s)" and then package and ship to you "your Bobblehead Doll with the love and care deserving of such an artistic treasure," all for a mere $25 per doll.
To be sure, it would probably be even more fun to pick up your Scalia bobblehead in person or have a member of the U.S. Supreme Court's press corps graciously offer to do it for you, but this latest option should provide needed relief to those who are viewing with concern the impending expiration date on their Scalia bobblehead certificates.
"Frist Ready To Tee Up The Next Floor Fight Over Judges": The Republican National Lawyers Association's "Judicial Confirmation Blog" links here to an article published yesterday in National Journal's Congress Daily PM.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"Apple Trade Secrets Case Under Close Examination in Court": From California, The Recorder provides a report that begins, "A 6th District Court of Appeal panel expressed serious concerns Thursday with Apple Computer's two-year quest to find out who leaked trade secret information to online blog sites."
"Ryan Juror Told Judge of Personal Attacks": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman
Third Circuit reiterates that its non-precedential opinions aren't precedent: The discussion appears on pages 16-17 of this precedential opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued today.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman
"Sixth Circuit Holds Ohio Voting Systems Unconstitutional": Law Professor Dan Tokaji, co-counsel for the prevailing parties in today's Sixth Circuit ruling, has this post at his "Equal Vote" blog.
Posted at 01:24 PM by Howard Bashman
"Court Says Jayson Williams Can Be Retried": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Former NBA star Jayson Williams can be retried on a reckless manslaughter charge stemming from the shooting death of a hired driver at the player's estate, an appeals court ruled Friday."
"Islanders Sue U.S. Over Relocation": Back in December 2001, The Washington Post published a small item that begins, "A group of indigenous people who say they were forced from their archipelago when the United States assumed control of Diego Garcia and the Chagos Islands in the 1960s sued the government in U.S. District Court yesterday, alleging genocide, torture and forced relocation."
Today, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of the lawsuit. According to the court's opinion, written by Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown, "We affirm the district court's decision, finding that Appellants' claims present nonjusticiable political questions."
An internet search led me to this web page, which appears to offer access to the federal district court's ruling and also to other documents filed in the district court.
"While it is always nice to have one's law review articles discussed by the courts (that is, after all, one of my main audiences when writing), the dispute between the majority and the dissent over how to best read my conclusions is more heated than I have ever seen." At his "Election Law" blog, Law Professor Rick Hasen offers these initial thoughts on today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. My earlier coverage of that ruling is here.
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman
"Lawyer dies in Wake court; No defibrillators available on site": The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina today contains an article that begins, "A lawyer arguing a drunken driving case at the Wake County Courthouse died Thursday, apparently of a heart attack. Tom Farris, 57, a Wilson defense lawyer, collapsed about 11:30 a.m. and died despite efforts to resuscitate him in the courtroom. The courthouse -- a weekday gathering place for hundreds -- does not have a defibrillator."
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman
Divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel invalidates state-election practices on the basis of Bush v. Gore's equal protection holding: Today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit -- examining the claim that "the use of unreliable, deficient voting equipment, including the punch card ballot, in some Ohio counties but not other counties violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment" -- can be accessed here. A law review article about the Bush v. Gore decision by Professor Rick Hasen, author of the "Election Law" blog, receives much attention from both the majority and dissenting opinions.
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman
In this week's coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court from the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer": Wednesday's broadcast contained a segment entitled "Insanity Defense on Trial" (transcript with links to audio and video).
And Monday's broadcast contained a segment entitled "Retaliation Case in High Court" (transcript with links to audio and video).
"Half-Life: What if Roe is overturned?" Ramesh Ponnuru will have this essay in the May 1, 2006 issue of The New Republic.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"The Core of the Case Against Judicial Review": Law Professor Jeremy Waldron has this essay in the April 2006 issue of The Yale Law Journal.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman
"Brown executed for 1983 murder; The execution was to be first to use monitor to measure inmate's level of consciousness": The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina contains this article today.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman
"Which Picture of Skilling Will Enron Jurors Believe?" This article appears today in The New York Times.
The Washington Post today contains an article headlined "Two Takes on Skilling's Character; Lawyers Probe Enron Chief's Investments; Witnesses Buttress Defense."
The Los Angeles Times reports that "Skilling Lives Up to His Billing."
USA Today reports that "Skilling's testimony closes with ex-girlfriend gaffe; Board wasn't told of deal."
And The Houston Chronicle contains articles headlined "Skilling laments 'tough 6 years'; Former CEO ends his testimony by again denying all the allegations" and "How did he do? Experts weigh the effectiveness of Skilling's demeanor on the witness stand."
"Prosecutors Concede Doubts About Moussaoui's Story": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.
The Washington Post reports today that "Moussaoui, Shoe Bomber Link Called 'Highly Unlikely' by FBI."
The Los Angeles Times reports that "Expert Counters Insanity Claim; Zacarias Moussaoui has a personality disorder but is not schizophrenic, a psychiatrist says in testimony that may help the case for execution."
And The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that "Prosecutors doubt claim; Feds have no proof that Moussaoui, Reid conspired before 9/11."
"U.S. Suffers Setback in Case Of Alleged Enemy Combatant": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "With one of his fellow detainees transferred to a criminal court and another deported to Saudi Arabia, the last man held as an enemy combatant on U.S. soil is poised to take center stage in the ongoing fight over presidential powers in a time of war."
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman
"Detroit judge is suspended, ordered to see psychiatrist; Ruling stems from 2005 parking flap": The Detroit Free Press contains this article today.
And The Detroit News reports today that "Court suspends Detroit judge; David Bradfield was subject of many complaints about his tantrums on the bench."
"Attorney: Case against Convertino undercut; Analysis of photos in terrorism case conflicting, he says; feds say they can show ex-prosecutor lied." This article appears today in The Detroit News.
"Gonzales calls for mandatory Web labeling law": Declan McCullagh of c|net News.com provides a report that begins, "Web site operators posting sexually explicit information must place official government warning labels on their pages or be imprisoned for up to 5 years, the Bush administration proposed Thursday."
Posted at 07:05 AM by Howard Bashman
"Bush Counsel May Be Next in Shake-Up": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Joshua B. Bolten, the new White House chief of staff, has raised the possibility of moving Harriet E. Miers from her job as President Bush's counsel as part of a continuing shake-up of the West Wing, an influential Republican with close ties to Mr. Bolten said Thursday."
Posted at 07:00 AM by Howard Bashman
"Rosemead recall has new legal life": The Whittier Daily News today contains an article that begins, "An effort to recall Mayor Gary Taylor and Councilman Jay Imperial could be revived because a court decision Thursday undermines Imperial's legal challenge to the recall petition against him. Chief Judge Mary Schroeder of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the case of Padilla v. Lever to be heard by a panel of 11 judges. In Padilla v. Lever, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit appeals court ruled last September that recall petitions circulated only in English violate the voting rights act."
"Judges take a few swipes at Apple's arguments; Appeal up against First Amendment rights in bid to find who leaked confidential information": Today in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz has an article that begins, "A state appeals court in San Jose on Thursday appeared openly hostile to Apple Computer's attempts to pry information from bloggers that would reveal who may have leaked confidential information on a new company product. In a lively two-hour session, a panel of 6th District Court of Appeal justices repeatedly interrupted Apple lead attorney George Riley, questioning whether the company had valid reasons to sacrifice privacy and First Amendment rights in its quest to find out the source of the leak." Earlier this week, Mintz previewed the oral argument in an article headlined "San Jose court to weigh blogger's rights."
In other coverage, The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Apple tries to keep its secrets; Firm argues no one has right to publish insider details."
"High Court Dismisses 'Friends' Harassment Lawsuit; An assistant on the show had sued because she found the speech of some writers offensive": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
And in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Calif. high court rules offensive language is not sexual harassment."
"Court Lets Schools Ban Inflammatory T-Shirts; A federal appeals panel rules that an anti-gay slogan sported by a San Diego-area high school student interfered with others' right to learn": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Public schools can ban anti-minority messages."
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that "Poway student's request rejected; Appeals court rules in anti-gay T-shirt case."