quick note

Judges Cannot “Do Over” Even When They Give a Rapist 30 Days Instead of 2 Years

Judges make grievous errors like giving a rapist whose crime mandates a minimum 2-year prison term a sentence of only 30 days, but they cannot simply hit the undo button and try again.

Zimmerman Prosecution Unlikely To See Ethics Charges

George Zimmerman’s prosecutors should face ethics charges, but they won't.

iPhone App Promises to Make You a Better Legal Writer

Then again, anyone who thinks a few tips and checklists from a free app will make him a better writer may be beyond help: The app, which was developed by legal writing professor Kathy Vinson of Suffolk University Law School, is described on Suffolk’s website as “an app designed to help legal writers improve their […]

A Judge Loses Patience with a Verbose Litigator

You know what’s embarassing? When a judge takes the time to respond to your motion for a longer brief with by editing part of your brief (pdf) and referring you to The Elements of Legal Style. A review of the proposed, twenty-nine-page motion’s commencement confirms that a modicum of informed editorial revision easily reduces the […]

Lawsuit Idea: Defamatory Search Results

This Australian guy won over $200,000 suing Google for delivering results associating him with the mob. The judge explained the jury verdict by saying Google search results are just like publishing a newspaper: Google Inc. is like the newsagent that sells a newspaper containing a defamatory article. While there might be no specific intention to […]

In Which the Public Rejects its Civil Liberties

This is how liberty dies: The poll found almost one third of American adults would accept a “TSA body cavity search” in order to fly. Moreover a majority believes that it is reasonable to criminalize the act of disobeying any TSA agent. We kill it. Read Poll: One-Third of Americans Would Accept Cavity Searches By […]

Tell Google What You’ve Written

Google Authorship is a way of enhancing the way your writing appears in Google’s search results. If you’ve told Google where to find your writing by connecting it to your Google+ account, your posts and pages will show up with a byline and your Google+ profile picture, like so: Why would you want this? It […]

Bellwethers

The surprising origin of the term bellwether, and why it’s an ominous label to apply to litigation: The term “wether” originated in 9th century Old English, and referred to a castrated male sheep. However, by the 13th Century, the term “bellwether” had become synonymous with “wether,” and both referred to the poor, castrated male sheep. […]

Extortion and Unauthorized Practice of Law — IsAnybodyDown.com

I like Marc Randazza’s rules about porn: Rule #1: The subjects must be adults Rule #2: The subjects must be consenting adults Sounds fair enough. Here’s why he brings up the subject:

Former Supreme Court Justice Stevens Wants to Amend the Constitution

He wants to amend Article VI — the Supremacy Clause — to read as follows: This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; […]

Post Your Graduation Date, but Not Your Win-Loss Record

Since we’re on the subject of what you are supposed to put on your website, Scott Greenfield explains why you shouldn’t try to post your win-loss record (assuming you practice in an area where wins and losses are an actual thing). Read Win, Lose or Draw: Marketing Your Batting Average on Simple Justice.

ABA Asks Lawyer-Blogger to Take Down ABA Ethics Opinion

If you try to publish an ABA ethics opinion on your blog without first seeking permission, you can apparently expect a copyright takedown notice. That’s what lawyer-blogger Ernie Svenson got (PDF) when he published ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 06-442. I had to link to it in Google’s cache because PDF for Lawyers apparently got the […]

Your Mentor’s Advice Isn’t Gospel

A great mentor can be a terrific resource. But that doesn't mean you should take their word for everything.

Justice Thomas: “My new bias, which I now embrace, is that … I intentionally prefer kids from regular backgrounds and regular students.”

Graduates of non-Ivy-League law schools may not have a prayer of becoming a U.S. Supreme Court justice (all the current justices went to Harvard, Yale, or Columbia (Ginburg, who started at Harvard), but we can at least hope to clerk for one. At a talk on Friday at the University of Florida, Justice Clarence Thomas […]

Torts Gone Wild: Liability for the “Increased Exit Speed” of Aluminum Baseball Bats

The downside to the fact that aluminum bats work better than wood bats is, apparently, a dozen million dollars or so in damages, if you are the bat manufacturer. The maker of Louisville Sluggers has had a run of bad days in court, paying $850,000 to a boy who was killed by a ball hit […]