Archive for September, 2010

New Jersey officials are dealing with a tragic suicide of a freshman from Rutgers University after Tyler Clementi was allegedly filmed illegally in a sexual encounter by fellow freshman students Dharun Ravi, 18, and Molly Wei, 18. In an example of the merging of tort and criminal law, the two students have been criminally charged with invasion of privacy.
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There is an interesting ruling out of Canada where Justice Susan Himel of Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice has struck down Canada’s prostitution laws as violating the basic rights of prostitutes and their clients. It is a position that many libertarians and some civil liberties advocates have long advocated — objecting to the criminalizing of such agreements between consenting adults absent some injury to a third-party or cognizable crime.
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In Chicago, police and prosecutors are dealing with a shooting in an unexpected way. Margaret Matthews, 68, had long complained about a 12-year-old who has been “terrorizing” her. When the boy joined friends in throwing bricks through her windows, she shot him. Police, however, did not charge her — instead charging the boy.
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University of Chicago Professor Todd Henderson has found himself in the curious position of being the focus of a national debate over tax rates — and his family’s finances. The corporate law professor wanted to show that people making more than $250,000 a year are not super rich and indeed can be struggling in this economy like other families. The response to this argument on his blog was fast and furious — leading Henderson to shutdown his blog and decline further commentary.
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A former partner with the California law firm of Bisnar Chase is suing the firm for sexual harassment and breach of contract. Stephen Eggleston claims that he was forced out of the firm after he refused to attend an office retreat where male attorneys were expected to strip naked and engage in an exercise with a Phallus.
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While there are hundreds of thousands of probate cases each year in the United States, the Supreme Court has decided to take up the case of Anna Nicole Smith for the second time to determine if her estate should get part of the fortune from her late Texas oil baron husband.
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The Iranian courts have produced their weekly outrage. The leading blogger in Iran, Hossein Derakhshan, 35, was sentenced to 19 1/2 years in prison for his writings. Derakhshan was the founder of one of the first Farsi-language blogs and helped instruct others in how to create their own blogs. The authoritarian regime views such blogs as a threat to its control over the population.
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This could make for an interesting torts lawsuit. A new hotel, The Vdara, is a modern glass structure with a curved design. The striking architectural design has one other novel feature: a “death ray” that cooks people in the pool.
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Nicholas Marsh, a Justice Department prosecutor who was under investigation for his role in the botched prosecution of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), has committed suicide. It is a sad end to a promising career for Marsh who was removed by the Public Integrity Section after the investigation was commenced at Justice.
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A federal prosecutor, Sean Cronin, 35, has been arrested for stripping down to his underwear and then taking a dip in a pool at a local bar. Police report that Cronin fled at the sight of police out a back door and then jumped over “multiple fences” to evade them.
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We previously discussed the disconnect between Democratic leaders and liberal voters in the increasing complaints of leaders like Vice President Biden over Democratic “lethargy.” Democrats in Washington once again seemed shocked that voters are not eager to fight for their retention. Now, Biden has added the helpful advice to Democratic voters to “stop whining” about things that they did not get in Washington and to “buck up.”
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We have been discussing the abusive trend across the country of police departments arresting citizens for videotaping them in public. Now, in Maryland, Circuit Court Judge Emory A Pitt Jr. has ruled that a Maryland State Trooper was wrong to arrest Anthony Graber for filming him brandishing his weapon at a traffic stop. The basis of the decision is precisely what many of us have been arguing for months (here and here and here and here): police officers have no expectation of privacy in public arrests and conduct.
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A Florida man was under arrest after assaulting customers in a guitar store and knocking over a display. His alleged rampage ended when he turned on the wrong guy: Elmo. The encounter ended with the man sustaining bruises and broken fingers after a beat down by the costumed character.
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Here is an interesting question: is it animal cruelty to dye your cat’s fur to match your own hair? That is the question to be answered in a proceeding in England where Natasha Gregory, 22, has been hunted down like Jack the Dyer.
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Segway owner Jimi Heselden, 62, died yesterday when he rode his Segway off a cliff and into a river at his West Yorkshire estate. He often used a Segway to explore the grounds of his estate.
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