Friday, December 8, 2006
"High court says driving slow not probable cause": The Nevada Appeal of Carson City today contains an article that begins, "The Nevada Supreme Court ruled Thursday simply driving below the speed limit isn't enough reason legally for a police officer to pull someone over."
"Rumsfeld's Detainee Liability Case Advances": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"Judge Weighs Torture Claim Vs. Rumsfeld": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge on Friday appeared reluctant to give Donald H. Rumsfeld immunity from torture allegations, yet said it would be unprecedented to let the departing defense secretary face a civil trial."
Posted at 04:03 PM by Howard Bashman
"Bar fights court's 'invisible' rulings; Appellate findings should be accessible, Ariz. lawyers say": Today in The Arizona Daily Star, Howard Fischer has an article that begins, "Last month, the state Court of Appeals issued a 54-page ruling on the controversial issue of whether state lawmakers are constitutionally required to provide more cash to certain public schools. To the public affected, however, the decision was essentially invisible because the three judges issued it as a 'memorandum decision.' That designation means the legal reasoning and conclusions reached cannot be cited as precedent in future cases. It also means the rulings are not available to the public on the court's Web site. The only way to find out that the judges ruled at all is to go to the court's office and manually go through those files. And there are a lot of them. About nine out of every 10 appellate-court rulings are designated as memo decisions."
This exact issue also exists with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. I wrote about it the June 2005 installment of my "Upon Further Review" column for The Legal Intelligencer headlined "In The Quest For Access To Non–Precedential Decisions, Don't Overlook The Possibility Of A Legislative Solution."
Vote for "Best Law Blog" in The 2006 Weblog Awards: The polls opened yesterday evening, and "How Appealing" is currently in third place out of ten contestants. The first place blog doesn't even yet have 500 votes in its favor, so the contest remains anybody's game. You can vote once per computer, per web browser, every 24 hours. Simply click here to access the page where you can cast your vote.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman
The Seventh Circuit provides no good news today for those particularly averse to paying taxes: On behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel, Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner today issued an opinion that begins, "Just five days before the expiration of the 10-year statute of limitations, the government filed a complaint in federal district court against Thomas McLaughlin for unpaid income taxes of almost $3 million, including penalties and interest." Yet, for reasons explained in the decision, the federal government failed to effectuate service of the complaint on McLaughlin until 271 days later. Today's Seventh Circuit ruling affirms the district court's rejection of McLaughlin's argument that belated service of the complaint should allow him to avoid having to pay the tax debt, all of which he concedes owing.
Benjamin Franklin said it in 1789: "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes." Glen Murphy, a chiropractor from the posh Waukesha County (Wisconsin) suburb of Elm Grove, didn't agree with the taxes part of Franklin's statement. Inappropriately acting on that belief earned Murphy an indictment for filing false income tax returns (seven counts) and willfully not filing any at all (three counts).Today's ruling affirms Murphy's conviction on all counts following a jury trial and resulting sentence of 41 months of imprisonment.
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman
"Minimum Wage: The $1.50 Attorney Fee." That was the title of the February 6, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com. I'm reminded of that column because today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a decision upholding a $1.50 attorney's fee under the Prison Litigation Reform Act for representing a prisoner who recovered a $1.00 nominal damages award.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman
The U.S. Senate has confirmed U.S. District Judge Kent A. Jordan (D. Del.) to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit: The roll call vote on the confirmation hasn't appeared online yet, but earlier today a cloture motion passed by a vote of 93-0. The confirmation leaves the Third Circuit, which has 14 authorized active judgeships, with three vacancies.
"Bible fight not just local anymore; Out-of-town lawyers are helping both sides of case at appeals hearing": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "The battle over a Bible displayed outside the former Harris County civil courts building had a distinctly local flavor. Randall Kallinen, a local lawyer and head of the Houston chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, represented real estate broker Kay Staley and convinced a federal district judge that it was unconstitutional for the county to allow the display. Lawyers from the county attorney's office represented the county. But the appeals hearing next month before the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will have a different feel, with high-powered out-of-town lawyers working for both sides in a case that could set precedents on church-state issues."
In September, I discussed the case in an installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com headlined "Monument at Houston Courthouse Tests the Limits of Ten Commandments Rulings."
"'Beautiful Braniac' to Join HLS": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "A leading constitutional theorist who was once named the 'Most Beautiful Brainiac' by New York Magazine has accepted an offer to join Harvard Law School’s faculty next fall, the school announced yesterday."
But will the inmates receive internet access, too? The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article headlined "Top court upholds inmate's computer access" that begins, "The B.C. government may have to purchase laptops or provide increased computer access for alleged Hells Angels, Inderjit Singh Reyat and other inmates to ensure they have fair trials, as a result of a court decision yesterday."
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman
Question of whether the crosses should remain in the logo of the City of Las Cruces, New Mexico heads to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit: The Las Cruces Sun-News reports today that "City crosses lawsuit appealed" (via "Religion Clause").
"N.J. court upholds eminent domain; It said preserving open space is an adequate reason to take private property": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
And The Newark Star-Ledger reports today that "N.J. justices say towns can seize developers' land; Ruling expands eminent domain."
"Judge Holder must pay his own attorney's fees, state Supreme Court rules; The judge was cleared of misconduct charges last year but owes $1.8-million in legal bills": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "Circuit Judge Gregory Holder beat a plagiarism charge but remains on the hook for his attorney's fees, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday."
"Fumo calls grand-jury judge biased; In a Supreme Court filing, Fumo said he and the judge overseeing the inquiry into him have a history of animosity": This article appeared yesterday in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman
"Nudist colony to reinstate 'loner'; Man gets $12,000 for lost reputation, opportunity": The Victoria Times Colonist today contains an article that begins, "A Vancouver Island nudist, who was ejected from his colony for failing to be sociable with the other nudists, has been ordered reinstated. In a B.C. Supreme Court judgment yesterday, Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein ordered Jerry Grenier be reinstated as a probationary member in the Sol Sante Club."
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman
"Bandits steal car and strand Brazil's Supreme Court chief justice": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Armed men held up the chief justice of Brazil's Supreme Court and stole her car, leaving her standing on the side of a highway, police said Friday."
"High court to review double murder case; Defense says key witness not allowed to testify in 3rd trial": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Thursday to review the case of a convicted double murderer from Solano County who says the jury should have heard from a woman who reported that her cousin confessed to the 1992 slayings."
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman
"A Woman Of Firsts: The first female Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor recently served as the only female in the Iraq Study Group." CBS News has posted online at this link Katie Couric's interview yesterday of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman
"Lame-duck House urged to OK judge security bill": The Chicago Tribune contains this article today. According to the article, "As passed by the Senate, the proposed act would create a federal crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, of the on-line posting of restricted personal information about federal judges with the intent of harming or threatening them or their family members."
"Ex-Detainees Seek to Sue U.S. Officials; 9 Former Prisoners Want Rumsfeld and Others Held Responsible for Torture": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
"Happy Birthday. Vacate Your Office." The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "As November drew near, A. Paul Victor, who spent decades at the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges defending corporate clients, kept a close eye on the calendar. For Mr. Victor, the dreaded date, Nov. 6, was his 68th birthday -- the mandatory retirement age at the law firm."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman
"High court to weigh ban on price fixing; A City of Industry firm challenges a 95-year-old rule that forbids setting minimum retail prices": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 06:33 AM by Howard Bashman