Blog Profile / FindLaw's Writ - Legal Commentary


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Archived Since:April 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Bad Judgement, Questionable Release Conditions in Sentencing Case

In a reminder that sentencing can be a difficult balancing act, the Seventh Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Posner, has vacated the sentence imposed on a recidivist substance abuser. The judgment was reversed technically for failure to consult the relevant sentencing guidelines, though the court didn't hesitate to......

Tips for Marketing Your Firm to In-House Counsel

FindLaw has a blog for in-house counsel and a blog for solos and small firms. But what would happen if they collided, like a comic book crossover? That's what this particular article is about: Marketing yourself to in-house counsel. Mind blown yet? If you specialize in a particular field of......

Long Delayed 3rd Cir Nominee Luis Restrepo to Wait Even Longer

Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary committee will hold a hearing on pending nominees, allowing for some much needed movement after two months without a hearing. That won't mean much for the Third Circuit, however. Even after six months, the Senate is still stalling on President Obama's nomination of Luis Felipe......

En Banc Panel Says No Privacy Right in Historical Cell Site Data

After a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit ruled that there was a Fourth Amendment right to privacy in historical cell site data, the government requested and was granted an en banc rehearing. Yesterday, the en banc court reversed the panel and found that there is no constitutional right to......

2 Step Miranda Technique Undoes Sentence for Felon with Firearms

After Leslie Ashmore, a convicted felon, was found in possession of firearms, he was tried for violating federal law and sentenced to 20 years in prison. On appeal however, he earned a new trial, since the court had improperly introduced evidence that was obtained through the use of a two......

Is It Time to Upgrade Your PowerPoint?

It's been almost 25 years since Microsoft launched PowerPoint -- it's official birthday is May 22nd, 1990 -- and since then, the program has pretty much taken over the world. It controls virtually the entire presentations software market, with an estimated 350 PowerPoint presentations given every second. But, like......

'Deflategate' Report: Pats Staff Altered Balls, Tom Brady Likely Knew

An investigation into whether the New England Patriots illegally deflated game balls from last year's AFC Championship Game says it's "more probable than not" that team personnel altered the balls and quarterback Tom Brady was likely involved. The full report, conducted by an outside law firm at the NFL's......

As SEC Delays, Almost No One Has Received Whistleblower Awards

When the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed in 2010, it included an expanded whistleblower bounty program. As an incentive to report violations of financial regulations, whistleblowers are entitled to 10 to 30 percent of an enforcement action's recovery. If they can ever get it.......

SCOTUS Takes Electricity Regulation Case

In the waning month or two left in the Court's October 2014 term, it issued an order granting cert. in a consolidated case that stands to impact electricity regulation nationwide. The case was brought by the Electric Power Supply Association, a trade group representing several electric companies and regional electricity......

Prenda Law Comes to 9th Cir., Predictably Dodges Questions

Tired of Prenda Law news? Yeah, we didn't think so. We're not either. The disgraced, oft-sanctioned "law firm" that appeared to exist for the sole purpose of suing people for illegally downloading pornographic films, then extracting settlements from them, had its day before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier......

Driskell v. Homosexuals: On Behalf of God, Woman Sues All Gays

Just a week after the Supreme Court heard arguments over whether states must allow same sex marriage, the question may become moot. Indeed, the advancement of gay and lesbian rights from Stonewall on may be reversed as the result of a stunning legal challenge filed in federal court in......

Lack of Inspection Doesn't Establish Prox Cause in RR Crash

Charles Harris worked on the sixth floor of the Black Bear Preparation Plant which, sadly, was a coal loading facility, not a bear manufacturing facility. One day, Norfolk Southern railroad, owners of the trains and track receiving coal, backed a train along a corroded section of track. The train derailed,......

Blue? Brown? Red? Your Guide to Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Readers of a particular age -- by which we mean at least 30 -- will remember the days of the mechanical computer keyboard, when depressing the keys made a satisfying "clack" sound. Those sounds are gone because the old mechanical switches have largely been replaced by simple rubber domes that......

Your Email Sign Off Matters, So Make it Better With These Tips

You might not give a lot of thought to how you sign off on your emails, but your "Sincerely," or "peace" can have a big impact on how you are perceived. There are plenty of lists out there giving you examples of how to close an email. Forbes alone......

Mexican States Can't Sue for Damage Caused by Deepwater Horizon

Even though it happened a little over five years, the Deepwater Horizon explosion is the gift that keeps on giving -- to the environment, and to lawyers. This week's saga involves three Mexican states -- Veracruz, Tamaulipas, and Quintana Roo -- that sued BP, Transocean, and the other usual suspects,......

DC Cir. Remands (But Not Reflexively) Ineffective Counsel Claims

One half of a duo of allegedly drug dealing brothers may have a shot at overturning his conviction after the D.C. Circuit remanded his claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Since the D.C. Circuit allows that claim to be raised on appeal, but district courts are better suited for......

Any Rational Basis Will Do in Failed Class-of-One Challenge

When Stephanie Miller proposed a condo development in the Madison suburb of Monona, Wisconsin, she soon discovered how quickly small town politics could get in her way. After a falling out with a former mayor over another development, her proposed condos suddenly faced a very rocky approval process. Miller found......

Psychiatrist Couldn't Testify in Child Abuse Case, Says N.Y. Ct.

What are the limits of the doctor/patient privilege as it relates to an admission of child abuse? Can a doctor, or a psychiatrist, call the police, or children's services, if the psychiatrist suspects his client of child sexual abuse; or, indeed, if the client has admitted to it? The answer......

A Benchslap on Appeal for 'Carnival Fun House' of Arguments

California's Sixth District Court of Appeal, located near FindLaw's Secret Volcano Headquarters, was clearly not pleased last week as it issued an opinion in Cypress Semiconductor Corp v. Maxim Integrated Products. The case is about misappropriating trade secrets, but that's not really what it's about. As it turns out, Cypress......

Sentence Doesn't Fit the Laser-Pointed Crime, 9th Rules

A California high school student won't be going to prison for 30 months for shooting a laser pointer at a small aircraft, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Thursday. Adam Gardenhire, the kid who shined his friend's laser pointer at a Cessna airplane as it approached L.A.'s Burbank Airport in......

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