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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.”
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

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.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Dalai Lama has given researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison a donation of $50,000 to study happiness. Once again, I remain unclear why I am not the recipient of such academic grants. I could show that giving me just $25,000 would produce considerable happiness.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating allegations that an officer shot a woman through a window who was 39-weeks pregnant and then pulled her through a bedroom window into the street.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer would normally feel honored that the Pentagon was so interested in his memoir “Operation Dark Heart” that it purchased thousands of copies. The problem is that the Pentagon bought the books to burn them. Now that must set a new low for a bad review.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Introducing The Kennel Car

Now this is trunk space.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Google and its chief executive Eric Schmidt have been convicted of defamation in France in a decision that, in my view, defies logic and legal principles. The company was convicted due to the results of its “suggest” function which lists words commonly used by users. In this case, the plaintiffs’ name produced automatic suggested words of “rapist” and “satanist.”
(more…)

Read Full Post »

There is an interesting defamation case coming out of a race in North Carolina. GOP candidate Eldon “Buck” Newton is claiming that Sen. A.B. Swindell (shown left) and the Democratic Party knowingly made misleading statements about him in a campaign mailer in the race for the 11th Senate District.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Why is toilet paper so high on the list of budget cuts for states? We previously noted how states moved immediately against toilet paper after tightening their belts. Now, we can add California as places that are announcing BYOTP (Bring Your Own Toilet Paper) for tourists in some state parks.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

This week Congress held hearings on the controversial decision by the Obama Administration to drop charges against Black Panther members for voter intimidation in Philadelphia in 2008. I have previously criticized the decision since I fail to see how these pictures did not show intimidation and the Obama Administration has created a dangerous precedent (if not an invitation) for other groups to engage in the same practices at polling places. In the hearing, Christopher Coates, former voting chief for the department’s Civil Rights Division, called the decision a “travesty of justice” and deepened the controversy over the policies and practices in that division.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

This video is making the rounds of a preacher who “installs” a new hip for this woman with the magic words “bam, bam, bam, bam, bam.”
(more…)

Read Full Post »

A 49-year-old man in Michigan has been arrested following a novel alleged crime: a man-on-parrot fight. Police say that the man was seen shaking and punching his pet parrot.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Civil libertarians enjoyed a major victory yesterday against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) with the ruling in the case of Maj. Margaret Witt — ordering her reinstatement despite the fact that she is a lesbian. This important victory, however, was tempered by the news that the Obama Administration is seeking to limit the earlier blockbuster ruling that found DADT unconstitutional. The Administration had the option of not seeking such a change (an option taken by Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown in the Proposition 8 case) but decided to try to gut the national impact of the court’s order.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

You heard of cow tipping, this is copter dipping. Two Navy helicopter pilots from North Island Naval Air Station have been grounded after this video showed them “copter dipping” with $33 million aircrafts in Lake Tahoe.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

It appears that, before the Queen asked the government to take over responsibility for the finances of her palace, she had asked for the government to use energy-saving grants for low income families to heat the palace.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Marine Shayne Smalling, 20, appears to have a curious way of having fun. He pleaded guilty to stoning of 50 ducks to death June 2008 in a petting zoo in Cedar Rapids.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Vice President Biden noted yesterday that he hoped that the Tea Party might finally get Democratic and liberal votes out of their “lethargy.” The comment struck a nerve with me since various Democratic leaders have expressed surprise and mild criticism over the lack of enthusiasm by Democratic voters. What is striking is the fact that Biden and others continue to consider their own failure to give voters a reason to become active after years of broken campaign promises and outright betrayals of core values. The best that they can come up with (yet again) is that the other people are worse than we are.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

This video of a Chinese teacher responding to a student speaking on his cellphone has appeared on the Internet. I must confess considerable sympathy (and, yes, a degree of vicarious pleasure) in watching her response to a rude student.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I was asked in this cover story for the Civil War Magazine to explore the rivaling constitutional claims that were made at the start of that bloody conflict. As a military history buff, I have occasionally written for these history magazines but I found this assignment particularly intriguing.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was given only a one-week suspension without pay after he fired nine rounds at a vehicle that bumped his cruiser. In the incident caught on this videotape, Trooper Timothy E. Nichols was responding to a call about a man suspected of stealing two bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches from a Palm Harbor gas station. However, an investigation showed that (as indicated on the video) the driver was innocently backing up his SUV when the bumping of the cruiser occurred — triggering Nichols’ shower of bullets.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

The Washington Post is reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to extend a freeze on new settlements in exchange for the release of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. It is an astonishing offer, if true, since the settlements have long been a major barrier to peace negotiations but under this deal would be frozen in exchange for a spy’s release. It would seem to undermine the substantive arguments in favor of such settlements.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

In Pennsylvania, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala (shown here)has made a controversial decision not to charge a Kennedy Township police officer with leaving the scene of a crime after he allegedly drove drunk and hit a man — leaving him critically injured. Zappala announced that, because Frank Caliguiri eventually came back, he will not be charged with leaving the scene. What is astonishing is that this is not the only such case recently against an officer in this area.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

It has become almost a mantra in contemporary news articles: a minister who preached against homosexuality accused of hidden homosexual relationships. In the case of Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Eddie Long (shown here in a past sermon), he is by last count accused in three lawsuits by young men who claim that they came to him for spiritual help and were used for his sexual pleasures.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

There has been a development in the story over the officials in Bell, California. As we previously discussed, city officials raked in obscene salaries until exposed by the media. Eight of the officials have now reportedly been arrested, including former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo. Also reportedly arrested were Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia; Mayor Oscar Hernandez; Councilmembers Luis Artiga, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal; and former Councilmembers George Cole and Victor Bello.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Russian politicians appear to be adopting the methods of some Sharia courts in proposing that corrupt Russian officials be branded with the letter K (the Russian symbol for a bribe taker) on their left hands.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Criminal defense attorneys often challenge the showing of probable cause used as the basis for search warrants. That is the argument of a Spokane, Washington man who was given a search warrant for his rectum simply because police officers said that he seemed to be tightening his cheeks and refused a rectal exam.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

A Kentucky man is claiming something akin to a “java defense.” Woody Will Smith, 33, claims that his ingestion of caffeine left him unable to control himself — leading to his killing his wife.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Daniel J. Daley, 84, is in critical condition after an Orlando police officer broke his neck in a confrontation on the street where the officer threw him to the ground. Witnesses say that the World War II veteran merely touched the officer during an argument over the towing of his car while the officer describes it as being “struck.”
(more…)

Read Full Post »

The fifth day of the Senate trial for United States District Court Judge Thomas Porteous starts today at 8 a.m.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

We just followed the debate in Delaware over whether the GOP candidate for governor is a failed witch or a witch wannabe. Now, new reports have raised the question whether her Democratic rival, Chris Coons, 47, is a failed bearded Marxist. You have to love this race.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

There is an interesting case out of Miami where Valerie Jenkins, 56, has been charged with manslaughter after she allegedly handed her husband the gun with which he committed suicide. Robert Jenkins, 51, told her that he wanted to die and, when she threw him the gun, he proceeded to make good on the threat.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

This weekend WJLA-TV announced that it had fired veteran anchorman Doug McKelway for a verbal confrontation this summer with the station’s news director. McKelway is a longtime journalist in the Capitol and his termination raised questions about the limits on fair commentary for anchors in political coverage.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

In what is believed to be the action of Hamas gunmen, the popular “Crazy Water” park in Gaza was burned down by 25 assailants who beat the security guards before torching the popular entertainment site.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

For civil libertarians, the decision by President Obama to bar the prosecution of Bush officials for the torture program was always a flagrant choice of politics over principle. Now a poll ratifies that decision. A poll commissioned by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found that Americans are accepting torture in greater numbers. The study also shows a decrease in support for Israel in any military conflict and two-thirds saying that they would like the U.S. to be neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

We Got Your Back . . .

This young man has friends in low places . . .
(more…)

Read Full Post »

That seems to be the thrust of reports over Christine O’Donnell’s past references to dabbling in witchcraft before she became the Republican nominee for Governor of Delaware. You have to love this country. Who needs an immigration debate when Delaware is debating whether one of its major candidates “is or was ever a practicing witch?” If true, this could prove an advantage with Sarah Palin going to Iowa to campaign this week. Palin has had prior experience with people working in the area since she has been given a protection from witchcraft. This could make for an interesting first meeting between President Palin and Governor O’Donnell. Indeed, Palin could argue that she is the only expected presidential candidate currently able to meet with O’Donnell without fear.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Florida police have arrested faux doctor Ana Josefa Sevilla in one of the growing number of cases involving unlicensed cosmetic operations. In this case, Servilla is accused of using “Fix-a-Flat” aerosol instead of Botox.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,577 other followers