Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Lawyer - Photographer punished

Breaking.  FBI investigating Trump for suspected possession of an illegal, excessive, unwarranted,  and annoying ego.

Trump touts his television experiences and announces that instead of law and order,  he will rule according to Nielsen families. 

I'd run for political office except I'm afraid someone might say something slightly critical of me. Of course it wouldn't be true. I have a perfect alibi for where I was at the time of the Kennedy assassination. 

Dancing with the Stars should pay Texas voters as apparently we are its talent agent. Somehow we have a knack for selecting  a great dancing felon.







Senator Marco Rubio of Florida greeting supporters on Tuesday at an election party in Kissimmee for the state's Republican primary race.
Marco Rubio and John McCain Win Primaries in Florida and Arizona


The Republican senators brushed off challenges and will face crucial November contests for control of the Senate.

Twelve-Year-Old Girl From Utah Causes International Uproar Over Hunting Images

by jonathanturley
Giraffe-girlSerial trophy hunter Aryanna GourdiWe have previously discussed trophy hunters who kill and pose with dead animals.  We recently followed the controversy over the shooting of "Cecil the Lion" by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota. There were other trophy hunting stories that enraged people around the world. (here and here and here) Then there was Josh Bowman who has been denounced around the world for his video from Alberta, Canada as he celebrated the slow killing of a bear with a spear.  Now a 12-year-old named Aryanna Gourdin from Utah has posted a series of highly controversial pictures with dead animals and expressed her love for killing animals.  One picture shows her holding a giraffe's heart.

Tourists at Duart Castle this month on the Isle of Mull, Scotland, when scaffolding was erected for repairs. Work has been underway on the 14th-century castle since Sir Lachlan Hector Charles Maclean of Duart and Morven inherited it from his father in 1990.


A 600-Year-Old Money Pit in the Scottish Highlands


The Maclean clan's castle, with its leaky walls and collapsed ceilings, sits on an island where blustery, rainy weather makes a need for repairs constant.

Old Dominion University Receives $1 Million Grant To Study The Drinking Habits Of Lesbian Couples

by jonathanturley
imgresI am often reluctant to criticize the work of other academics but this one seemed a bit problematic.  The Old Dominion University was awarded a $1 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to conduct a study of lesbian couples to see if stress makes them drink too much.  Most people would say that stress drinking for any couple would seem well established in history without a million-dollar study.


Real Reform or Retail Politics? Minneapolis Gun Buy Back Program Raises Questions Over Its Efficacy

by jonathanturley
thumb_weapon_gun_smith_and_wesson_hand_ejector167px-MN_-_Minneapolis_PoliceMinneapolis had to end its  gun buyback program after quickly going through $25,000 in what critics have charged is a futile gesture.  Some 150 firearms were collected before the organizers ran out of Visa gift cards.  Some of the weapons were homemade and the sellers boasted of securing windfalls.  Putting such subterfuge aside, the question is whether these buy back programs really make a material difference.  Recently, a PEW study showed that 44 percent of households now have guns.  While these programs offer politicians significant benefits, it is hard to see how they seriously reduce gun violence given the massive body of weapons in the country.
jonathanturley | 1, August 31, 

The Brief: Grappling with the Numbers on Police Shootings

by Alex Samuels | Aug. 31, 2016

The Big Conversation

Recent police shootings across the nation have raised uncomfortable questions about how officers interact with minorities.
Policymakers and the public have questioned whether police shoot at minorities at a disproportionate rate, whether it’s possible to tell how often and what can be done about it. 
A Texas Tribune project, “Unholstered,” analyzed data from the state’s 36 largest cities and found that the numbers seem to support claims that police are more likely to shoot at people of color. But parsing those numbers can oversimplify police interactions with minorities.
The Unholstered series also looks for answers to other questions surrounding police use of deadly force, such as on mental health calls, as well as situations when the individual is unarmed or when the officer is off duty.



Donald J. Trump and President Enrique Peña Nieto held a joint press conference in Mexico City on Wednesday.
Donald Trump Gambles on Immigration but Sends Conflicting Signals


The Republican nominee said he and the Mexican president did not discuss financing for a border wall, but his host said later that he made it clear that Mexico would not pay.

Julian Assange looking out from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in February. Having lived there for four years, he is increasingly isolated.
How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West's Secrets


American officials say Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks probably have no direct ties to Russian intelligence services. But the agendas of WikiLeaks and the Kremlin have often dovetailed.
. Trying to Smoke Out the Players in the Hacking of the D.N.C.
. Julian Assange: A Legal History

Paul LePage, the Governor of Maine, Now Says He's Not Quitting


Lawmakers are searching for a possible way to censure the governor, who said he was seeking "spiritual guidance," and pledged never to speak to reporters again.

Families of Aurora Massacre Victims Hit With $700,000 Sanction For Suing Theater

by jonathanturley
The_Century_16_theater_in_Aurora_CO_-_Shooting_locationI have long been a critic of state and federal rules imposing costs on losing parties or those who turn down settlement offers, particularly when courts have little or no authority to waive costs. We previously discussed how a federal court ordering the family of a fallen soldier to pay $16,000 to the Westboro Baptist Church, an extremist organization that pickets the funerals of soldiers and Marines.  Now the victims of the massacre at the Century Aurora 16 multiplex theater have been hit with a $700,000 bill to pay the defendant's costs after losing their lawsuit.  It is a variation of the "English Rule" where loser pays and something that I believe deters lawsuits against corporations and powerful individuals.

The Brief: Here’s What Texas Officers Face on Mental Health Calls

by Alex Samuels | Sept. 1, 2016

The Big Conversation

Confronting an unstable individual is one of the more challenging situations faced by police officers.
The public often questions after a shooting of a mentally ill person by an officer whether it’s possible to cut down on shooting incidents with more training.
The Texas Tribune's Unholstered project analyzed data from the state’s 36 largest cities and found that while training helps, police will shoot when an unstable individual appears to present a real threat to officers or others.
The series also looks for answers to other questions surrounding police use of deadly force, such as whether minorities are more likely to be shot and situations when the individual is unarmed or when the officer is off duty.

Seeing a Threat, Police Officers Will Shoot an Unarmed Individual

Paxton Due Back in Court as Legal Woes Persist

Police Release Videotape Of Wendi Adelson Learning Of Husband’s Murder

by jonathanturley
1405809806000-Dan-Markelarticle-2708745-1FE31D6900000578-378_306x423The evidence continues to surface in the police investigation of a Florida State Law Professor and leading blogger.  Over two years ago, the law professor Dan Markel was murdered. There has been no arrests in the case, but considerable circumstantial evidence has  cast suspicions on the family of his ex-wife and fellow professor Wendi Adelson. Much of this suspicion has been drawn to Adelson's brother and that suspicion has been magnified with a new and bizarre disclosure that Charlie Adelson paid for half of a breast enhancement surgery for the girlfriend of one of the accused killers.  Now the heart-wrenching videotape of Wendi Adelson being told of Markel's death has been released with some particularly odd elements like a prior joke by Charlie about hiring an assassin to kill Markel.

Saudi Arabian Atheist Sent to Jail For 10 Years and 2000 Lashes For Discussing His Lack of Faith On Social Media

by jonathanturley
125px-Coat_of_arms_of_Saudi_Arabia.svgSaudi Arabia has long been an exporter of extremist Islamic values as part of its Wahhabi sect. Despite our close alliance with the Kingdom, it imposes radical Islamic Sharia principles and denies basic rights to women, non-Muslims, and dissidents. In the latest outrage from Saudi Arabia, a court has sentenced a man to ten years in prison and 2,000 lashes for merely expressing his atheism on Twitter. It appears that the Saudi and Sharia courts are terrified that people could actually inform other Saudis of alternatives to Islam or different values.  The fear and anger only appeared to grow when the Kingdom could not coerce the 28-year-old who refused to repent and stood by his human right to express his faith.  We previously discussed this case, but Saudi Arabia is proceeding with the whippings as this man remains defiant.



Georgetown University Plans Steps to Atone for Slave Past

 I might add that early in my career I taught law at Houston Community College and San Jacinto Junior college. I was often behind on my one bedroom apartment rent.
3825 Stratford Avenue 23
This law prof is “something of a legend” — and his house should be too.
Read more →


Federal judge issues footnote warning, threatens to toss pleadings using wrong format

Sep 1, 2016, 8:00 am CDT

DA in San Antonio gives interview saying that vaccines can cause autism, and CDC study is false

Sep 1, 2016, 7:00 am CDT


Governor appointed to represent poor defendant wins reprieve, appoints new members of PD commission

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon appointed three new members to the commission that oversees the state’s public defender system a day after a judge ruled he does not have to represent an indigent defendant.
Nixon made the appointments on Friday to the seven-member board that has the authority to hire and fire the official who appointed Nixon to represent a poor defendant in an assault case, the St. Louis Post-Dispatchreports. The vacancies had been open for years, according to Missouri Times.
Michael Barrett, director of the Missouri State Public Defender, had appointed Nixon to represent an assault defendant earlier this month in a letter noting the governor had blocked budget increases for the agency.
A judge in Cole County, Missouri, ruled last week that Barrett didn’t have the authority to appoint Nixon or other private counsel to represent criminal defendants absent approval by a judge, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in a separate story. Barrett had cited a state law that allowed him to appoint any member of the bar in extraordinary circumstances.
Nixon called Barrett’s action a “publicity stunt” and said he hopes his board appointments will return the public defender commission “to its focus of providing proper legal representation to indigent Missourians.”
Commission chairman Riley Bock countered in a news release that he hoped Nixon’s “renewed interest in the system” will not end with the appointments.
Barrett told the News Tribune in a story published on Sunday that he was focusing on oral arguments scheduled for Tuesday in his lawsuit challenging Nixon’s decision to withhold $3.5 million from a $4.5 million budget increase for the agency.
Hat tip to the Marshall Project.
Missing word in second paragraph corrected on Sept. 1.

Lawyer who filed 'multiplicity of suits' over use of his skyline photo is ordered to pay $22K

Aug 31, 2016, 9:26 am CDT


Lawyer who filed 'multiplicity of suits' over use of his skyline photo is ordered to pay $22K

An Indiana lawyer who filed copyright infringement suits against hundreds of people for using his photos of the Indianapolis skyline has been ordered to pay $22,000 in attorney fees for suing a wrong defendant.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt of Indianapolis ordered lawyer Richard Bell of McCordsville to pay the fees last week, the Indiana Lawyerreports.
Pratt issued the order (PDF) after the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reduced the original award of nearly $34,000 in attorney fees, saying fees should have been calculated at a rate of $250 an hour rather than $410 an hour.
Bell is a practicing lawyer and professional photographer.
Pratt had awarded attorney fees in a June 2015 opinion (PDF) that said Bell never had any evidence to support his copyright claim against Charles Lantz.
“When looking to Mr. Bell’s motivation for filing this action, the court finds that Mr. Bell’s motivation is questionable,” Pratt wrote in June 2015. “Mr. Bell has filed a multiplicity of suits in this court, each involving the same or similar infringement allegations. In many of these copyright infringement suits, Mr. Bell has improperly joined several defendants, thereby saving him extensive filing fees.
“In this case alone, Mr. Bell sued 47 defendants and then quickly offered settlements to defendants who were unwilling to pay for a legal defense. … The court is persuaded by Mr. Lantz’s argument that the motivation of Mr. Bell in filing this action appears to be an attempt to extract quick, small settlements from many defendants instead of using the judicial process to protect his copyright against legitimate infringing actors.”



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