A blog devoted to law, politics, philosophy, & life. Nothing in this blog is to be construed as legal advice.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Maybe there is a reason the parents don't want you around?

"The [Michigan] state Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill intended to protect grandparent visitation that would change a state law recently ruled unconstitutional."
The Sixth Amendment means free representation...

"The Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday struck down mandatory fees the Legislature imposed last year on defendants who use public defenders."
More proof that it's the lawyer that counts

Criminal defendant gives medical records to his lawyer. Lawyer turns over these medical records to the D.A. D.A. uses the information in these records to put nails in the defendant's coffin.

Pre-law? File a lawsuit!

"Three white applicants denied entry to the University of Washington School of Law asked a federal appeals court yesterday to overturn an earlier decision ruling out discrimination."

Thursday, February 12, 2004

The law of marriage in California

California Family Code Section 308.5 defines marriage: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Above the law

"In an open challenge to California law, city authorities performed scores of same-sex weddings Thursday and issued a stack of marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples."
Criminal Law & the Supreme Court, an Update

For your convenience, I am going to provide links to the briefs, oral arguments, and opinions in criminal and Section 1983 cases heard before the United States Supreme Court. I hope that Tom Goldstein will do something similar, since he would have the time and resources to do a better job. At his blog, they timely post documents. However, they do not arrange the relevant material by case.

Also, case summaries will follow as time allows.

Fellers v. United States (02-6230) (Sixth Amendment): opinion, oral argument, briefs

Maryland v. Pringle (02-809) (Fourth Amendment): opinion, oral argument, briefs

Illinois v. Lidster (02-1060) (Fourth Amendment): opinion, oral argument, briefs

United States v. Banks (02-473) (Fourth Amendment): opinion, oral argument, briefs

Mitchell v. Esparza (02-1369) (habeas): opinion

Yarborough v. Gentry (02-1597) (habeas): opinion

[Mitchell & Yarborough were summary dispositions]

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

How can I not support Bush's amnesty plan?

"The Mexican crowd hooted 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' It booed U.S. goals. It chanted 'Osama! Osama! Osama!' as U.S. players left the field with a 2-0 victory."

Via Legal Fiction
McNab v. United States

A superb discussion of the send 'em to jail for undersized lobster tails case is here.

What frustrates me the most is that the United States wants to send to prison for 5-10 years people who contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in income and corporate taxes.

Wesley Clark drops out of campaign.

Breaking news...
Howard "How Appealing" Bashman on becoming an appellate advocate...

... can be found here.
I was irony my BDU's today

Here is someone else criticizing John Kerry for making anti-war statements.

As a young man John Kerry faced combat in Vietnam. His boat came under heavy fire and his squad member fell into the river. Kerry dived into the river to save his friend.

Kerry is anti-war.

All able-bodied males under 35 years old are eligible to fight in the Iraq War. Many of these young men remain at home, living in luxury, where they vociferously proclaim their "support" for the war.

I think that's ironic.

Please click here to show true support for the troops.
What would Patton do?

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, provides this analysis on General Patton and affirmative action.
Pepperdine Professors Kmiec and Scarberry on impeachment

"Interestingly, Massachusetts judges are also subject to removal under a procedure known as a bill of address. The Massachusetts legislature can remove renegade judges from office by a simple majority in both legislative chambers with the concurrence of the governor and his advisory council. Under the bill of address, the legislative and executive branches need not specify the grounds of removal at all."

It would amuse the hell out of me if the Goodridge authors were impeached by some obscure legal principle that would not have been unearthed but for the decision.

Big award in civil rights case.

"LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) A federal jury has awarded a man $190,000, saying two Longmont police officers illegally entered his home while investigating a noise complaint three years ago."

Who says growing old doesn't have advantages?

New HIV tests spots first college outbreak

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Federal Judicial Center - FREE Books

The Federal Judicial Center offers many publications for free download. I have read several of these books. They have all been top quality.
Inglewood Police Officer indicted on federal charges

I think this violates Double Jeopardy. And yeah, I know the theory and cases behind allowing a successive federal court prosecution.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Famous Trials website

Please check out the Famous Trials website. There is a wealth of original documents from many famous trials, including a closing argument by Max Steuer. Who is Max Steuer? Well, Irving Younger, in the famous NITA videos, said that Max Steuer was the greatest trial lawyer of the 20th Century; and second to Clarence Darrow for all-time greatest.

Judicial economy and persuasion

Ernie the Attorney has an excellent post on the role judicial economy plays in persuasion.

I was at a CLE where trial legend Tom Girardi told us how he was able to obtain more than the usual 15 minutes for voir dire. (In California state court, judes rarely give the attorneys more than 15 minutes to conduct voir dire).

Mr. Girardi would say, "Your honor, if I do not know my jury, then I have to put on more evidence than I would if I knew the jury. I just can't tell what will appeal to certain jurors. But if you give me and defense counsel half-a-day to conduct voir dire, I promose you, as an officer of the court, that I will shave three days off trial time." (Emphasis in original).

More often than not, Mr. Girardi would get that half-day. [Of course, he had established credibility earned from years of practicing law. Thus, YMMV.]
Eugene Volokh on the Feeney Amendment

Eugene Volokh, at the VC, posts this op-ed on the Feeney Amendment.

The radical liberal, Renhquist, C.J., had this to say about the Feeney Amendment:

"It is, of course, the prerogative of Congress to determine what to consider in enacting a statute. But it surely improves the legislative process at least to ask the Judiciary its views on such a significant piece of legislation.
* * *
"For side-by-side with the broad authority of Congress to legislate and gather information in this area is the principle that federal judges are not to be removed from office for their judicial acts. The subject matter of the questions Congress may pose about judges' decisions, and whether they target the judicial decisions of individual federal judges, could appear to be an unwarranted and ill-considered effort to intimidate individual judges in the performance of their judicial duties."(1) (emphasis added).

The emphasized material, as anyone who has read much of the Chief's work knows, is VERY strong language.

William H. Rehnquist, 2003 Year-End Report of the Federal Judiciary (January 1, 2004), available here.


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