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21 Dec 8:38 am
I am delighted to announce that Professor Naomi Cahn is joining Concurring Opinions to post here on a regular basis.  Naomi teaches at George Washington University Law School, where she holds the Harold H. Greene Chair.  She is involved in book, article, and law reform projects concerning families’ interactions and intersections with the law and gendered institutions, nationally and globally.  Her scholarship and teaching cover the entire lifespan, from pregnancy (and attempts to become pregnant) through death and inheritance.   Her co-authored book… [read post]
21 Dec 8:33 am
Borrowing from a page of the Carter Administration’s failed Cuba policy, the President wants closer relations with Cuba and he has tasked his team with that goal. Part of this effort includes re-establishing diplomatic relations as well as high-level talks on issues of mutual interest. This is wrong, however, the President has decided that it is in [...] [read post]
21 Dec 8:27 am
The press and advocates focused on the death penalty and even police shootings are missing the big picture about deaths of Texans at the hands of the state.Regular readers know this blog seldom considers death-penalty topics unless a case intersects with other issues I routinely cover like innocence, forensic errors or prosecutor misconduct. By contrast, to read most MSM sources, both opinion and news, you'd think that what happens in Texas' execution chamber is the single most important life-or-death issue facing the criminal-justice system. Taking a step back from that myopic view,… [read post]
21 Dec 8:17 am
The Sony privacy hack has drawn international attention and calls into question internet security for companies and employees. For employees who were victim to the security breach, legal questions remain. What are their rights? Can employees take legal action against an employer for a security breach? Thousands of employees suffered from the security breach when their social security numbers, birthdays, salaries, and even medical records were leaked online. In addition to the sheer loss of privacy, these employees are left vulnerable to identity theft and extortion. What… [read post]
21 Dec 8:11 am
8-21-2014 Florida: When a 35-year-old mother was stabbed to death and a 10-year-old girl raped in Clay County on Dec. 1, many in the small Middleburg community learned for the first time that the sexual predator suspect was among 143 offenders who lived within five miles of the crime scene. Registered predator Donald Hugh Davidson Jr. lived in a mobile home on the edge of that circle with [read post]
21 Dec 8:11 am
A police officer's claimed "untruthfulness" and the dictates of public policy have been the subject of previous posts here and here. (Discipline for untruthfulness generally is discussed here, here and here.)The Supreme Court of Connecticut has now addressed this issue. In Town of Stratford v AFSCME Council 15, Local 407 the Court reversed the decision of the Appellate Court and essentially confirmed an arbitration award reinstating a police officer found to have been deceptive during an independent medical exam concerning his fitness… [read post]
21 Dec 8:05 am
We reported five years ago on a contract-law hypothetical come to life: a criminal defense lawyer went on TV and said he’d give a million dollars if anyone could prove the prosecutor’s timeline was consistent with the known facts, whereupon an enterprising law student proceeded to do just that. The Eleventh Circuit said the proper test under Florida law was whether “a reasonable, objective person would have understood [the lawyer's words] to be an invitation to contract.” And: “The exaggerated amount of ‘a million dollars’ – the common… [read post]
21 Dec 8:05 am
Hon. Judge Susan P. GraberThe Sixth Amendment and Supervised Release: never the twain shall meet.    United States v. Gavilanes-Ocaranza, 772 F.3d 624 (9thCir. Nov. 25, 2014), decision available here.Players:Decision by Judge Graber, joined by Judge Hawkins and District Judge SedwickFacts: Gavilanes-Ocaranza pled guilty to attempted illegal reentry and received a three-year supervised release term after his term of imprisonment. Id. at *626. He was removed, reentered, detected, and convicted of reentry again; he received a 46-month custody term from another court. Id.at 626.… [read post]
21 Dec 8:03 am
A more balanced treatment than some we’ve seen in the press, including a video interview with Colorado baker Jack Phillips. [New York Times; earlier on forcing small business owners to service weddings against their beliefs here and here]. Tweet Tags: Colorado, discrimination law, same-sex marriageNew York Times on bake-my-cake cases is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system [read post]
21 Dec 8:00 am
IN THE MAIL: From Frank Portman, King Dork Approximately. Love Doktor Frank. Plus, today only at Amazon: Nokia Lumia 520 GoPhone (AT&T), $19.99 (80% off). And, also today only: TRX Suspension Trainer Basic Kit + Door Anchor, $129.99 (32% off). Hey, it’s not Rippetoe, but it’ll fit in a suitcase. [read post]
21 Dec 8:00 am
While no one likes to think about his or her own death, it is important to be educated and prepared about end-of-life financial requirements so that any money, possessions or debts you leave behind are distributed exactly the way you... [read post]
21 Dec 8:00 am
On December 12, 2014, by a 3-2 party-line decision, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) issued a final rule, which if implemented will drastically truncate union election procedures. Such changes are intended to shorten the election period from the current median time of 38 days from petition to election to between 14 and 21 days (and perhaps as few as 10 days). This development is part of a flurry of year-end activity by the NLRB to implement more pro-employee, pro-union changes to established Board precedent and practices (see, e.g.,… [read post]
21 Dec 7:58 am
TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 591. Biggest news: The IRS has so far released only one percent of the documents relating to the targeting scandal. [read post]
21 Dec 7:56 am
Treatment guidelines help doctors and other health-care providers understand and follow the best clinical practices, but as a recent commentary in the New York Times points out, they also can undermine the best care for some patients. In “Don’t Homogenize Health Care,” Dr. Sandeep Jauhar denounced the lack of flexibility for practitioners to diagnose and treat individual patients. “In American medicine today,” he writes, “’variation’ has become a dirty word. Variation in the treatment of a medical condition is associated with… [read post]
21 Dec 7:53 am
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is again showing a willingness to insert himself into NYC civil rights litigation.Earlier this year, Stringer stepped in and settled the claims of David Ranta, who had spent 23 years in prison after being framed by a NYPD detective, and Jerome Murdough, who died needlessly at Rikers Island, before any lawsuit had actually been filed. Facing an impending lawsuit by the estate of Eric Garner, Stringer is stepping forward to see if the claims can be resolved without litigation. These actions mirror his office's increased emphasis on pretrial… [read post]
21 Dec 7:50 am
A lawsuit has been filed against the fire chief of Winston-Salem, as well as the city, after a hit-and-run plaintiffs say was caused by someone driving a pickup truck registered to the chief. The bizarre series of events began in late March, when plaintiff was driving with a passenger and passenger's daughter on South Maine Street near Pasadena Drive. Suddenly, a dark-colored pickup truck rear-ended her vehicle. The impact of the crash caused total damage to the vehicle and minor injuries to vehicle occupants, who noted a large "Dodge" sticker on the rear window of the offending… [read post]
21 Dec 7:49 am
One of the focuses of Cruise Law News is not only crime on cruise ships, but crimes in ports of calls.  Cruise lines have a legal obligation to warn passengers of crimes which occur in the ports of call that they take their passengers. Cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean have agents in the ports and have first hand knowledge regarding which ports are dangerous.  Cruising is not considered by the courts to be just "point to point" transportation, as in the case of the airline industry which has no duty to warn of crime in a destination the passenger picks to… [read post]
21 Dec 7:46 am
Two fines for EEO violations released Friday were among the rush of actions coming from the FCC last week as it tries to finish its work of 2014.  Incentive auction procedures, MVPD redefinition, online public file issues, approvals of long-pending TV company mergers and so many other actions were taken in the last week that we can’t keep up.  Now, we can add EEO violations to the list of year-end actions, as the FCC’s Media Bureau on Friday released two Notices of Apparent Liability to radio stations operators for violating the EEO rules, proposing fines of $5000… [read post]
21 Dec 7:45 am
In our post about the recent New York Times’ article, which we entitled The Motherhood Trade-Off, we noted that “the authors write about why working women in the US find it more difficult to return to work after having kids than their European counterparts.” Link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/14/upshot/us-employment-women-not-working.html?ref=business&abt=0002&abg=0) We publish below some interesting comments on the post from knowledgeable folks around the world: Danielle Hartmann, an HR specialist in the Basel area of… [read post]
21 Dec 7:42 am
A REPORT FROM ZOMBIE: Bill Maher Speech at UC Berkeley Unaffected by Small Protests. [read post]