Alabama’s first openly gay state legislator, State Rep. Patricia Todd has created a stir this week by declaring that she intends to publicly reveal the adulterous affairs of colleagues who oppose same-sex marriage on the basis of family values. The threat raises the prospect of potential tort liability and some interesting questions of privilege.
For teachers, there is nothing more sacred than the space of a classroom. While the sanctuary of rooms are sometimes shattered by violence, it remains thankfully rare. That makes the video this week particularly disturbing as physics teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, New Jersey is attacked by one of his students. The other students do not come to the aid of the 62-year-old physics teacher as he is thrown to the ground by a sixteen-year-old student, though one student eventually comes over to tell the attacker to break off the attack. The teacher had taken the teenager’s cellphone.
This week has continued the on-going conflict between the the National Football League (NFL) and Seahawks Running Back Marshawn Lynch. This is not about what Lynch has said but what he refuses to say.
Lynch was recently fined for a crotch grab on national television. However, he is more reticent off the field where he avoids media. The NFL has fined him to force him to speak with media — a rule that in my view is moronic and counterproductive. Rather than just encouraging players to speak with media (some cannot be kept away from the cameras and social media like Lynch’s teammate Richard Sherman), the NFL actually fines players who simply have nothing to say. Now Lynch is being criticized for going to the compelled press conference and just repeating the same line over and over: “I’m here so I won’t get fined.”
I have been a long critic of copyright and trademark claims that seem to be growing exponentially with companies claiming ownership over basic words and images in a feeding frenzy of claims. The latest example of just how ridiculous this has become is the lawsuit by owners of “Chubby Noodle” restaurants in the San Francisco area who are suing a rival opening a restaurant called “Fat Noodle.” Too confusing, they insist. It appears that any Rubenesque reference to a noodle is taken.
The Obama Administration has filed its expected Motion to Dismiss in the challenge by the United States House of Representatives v. Burwell. As many of you know, I am lead counsel in the action. We posted our complaint earlier and I have posted the motion of the Administration below.
Former 8th Circuit Assistant State Attorney William Ezzell, 37, was charged Friday with video voyeurism for allegedly using a cellphone to record a woman in her underwear at a Gainesville tanning salon. The bizarre case could end a career that included some notable cases for Ezzell as a prosecutor.
If the Seattle Seahawks are known for their aggressive offensive line, their players are nothing when compared to the aggression of their lawyers. Outdoing even the brutish NFL lawyers who claim copyright to terms like “Super Bowl,” the team has filed two dozen trademark applications in a little over a year to claim ownership to such terms as “boom” and “Go Hawks.” The team is also claiming ownership to the number 12 in a font like the one used by the team. It had to settle a prior lawsuit over its use of “The 12th Man” phrase (referring to the fans) — a phrase claimed by Texas A & M where it was forced to pay a licensing fee for the limited use of this common term. Now it is trying to the do the same in claiming parts of the English language as owned by the team (I am waiting for the Patriots to trademark “Deflate-gate”). It is all perfectly bizarre but Congress has done little to stop the frenzy to claim common terms and phrases. Too bad there is not anyone willing to throw a flag for encroachment to protect citizens.
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