200px-AbalogoI will have the honor of serving as the moderator on a panel at the American Bar Association’s conference in Washington, D.C. today. The panel is entitled “Stranger in a Strange Land: Cross Cultural Issues in the Courts.” This is part of an internationally successful program organized by Judge Hon. Delissa A. Ridgway of U.S. Court of International Trade. Judge Ridgway has brought together jurists and lawyers from around the world to discuss difficult cultural issues that are increasingly appearing in criminal and civil cases. These cases deal with arguments or defenses that turn on the cultural norms or practices of a given defendant or litigant. The cases have forced the question of when and how courts should recognize such defenses.

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20130915StephanieRawlings-Blake1280x1920-1President_Barack_ObamaBaltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes (D) went on CNN yesterday and attacked President Obama and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) for referring to rioters in Baltimore as “thugs” saying, “just call them n*ggers”. It is a familiar controversy for readers of this blog. Last year, various commentators objected to my writing about the “thuggish” behavior of Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman
as inherently racist — a position that I rejected. I have continued to use thug as both a noun and adjective. Now it appears that President Obama and Mayor Rawlings-Blake are being accused of the same use of racist code words by Councilman Stokes.

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PanepintoPhiladelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Panepinto appears immovable on a controversial roughly $1 million sanction imposed on insurance defense lawyer Nancy Raynor after a witness discussed a bar subject in his testimony. Raynor insists that she told the witness not to discuss that a woman in the case was a smoker. Various witnesses have come forward to say that they heard Raynor give such instructions, but Panepinto has dismissed the new evidence and refused to budge on the sanction. Many lawyers are worried about the standard being set by the case since witnesses will sometimes stray in their testimony without any direction or knowledge of counsel.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 6.00.09 PMWe have previously discussed the type of people who refuse to stop for school buses. I am not talking about the occasional mistake to see a stopped bus, but people who intentionally drive around buses and children so not to be delayed or inconvenienced. The video below shows just how thoughtless and dangerous these idiots can be as a driver of a SUV missing killing three children by inches after speeding through the space between the bus and the curb.

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BaltimoreOriolescap181px-Chicago_White_Sox.svgTomorrow’s game between the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles will be a bit different on Wednesday not due to who will appear but who will not be present . . . any fans. Due to the rioting and robberies in Baltimore this week, the teams have decided to hold a game without fans in the stadium — a possible first for the MLB (if you discount most days with the Oakland As). The question is why with the National Guard deployed and days of police operations the city cannot even protect a small area in the tourist heavy harbor area. They appear to be working off the question from the 1971 feature film, Suppose They Gave A War and Nobody Came.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 6.59.57 AMThe video below sums up the worsening situation in Baltimore. Protesters have been sabotaging fire hoses to stop the Fire Department from saving buildings. The CVS in this case was first looted and then burned (as have other business and cars). When the Fire Department showed up, this man punctured the hose to frustrate efforts at putting out the fire. In the meantime, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake denounced the “thugs” in the streets of her city. She however added another mangled quote after her earlier assurance that the police would give protesters “space” to destroy. For the riots consuming the city during the afternoon and in the early evening. The mayor objected that the city is being “destroyed by thugs who in a very senseless way are trying to tear down what so many have fought for.” People immediately asked if there was a sensible way to tear down the city.

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Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments in what could be the consolidated cases that lead to the recognition of a right to same-sex marriage under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. I will be interviewed on the case on CNN around 9 am on Tuesday morning.

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