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Due Process v. Ex Post Facto: Why we’re still arguing a Death Penalty case 34 years later

January 4, 2012

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Due Process v. Ex Post Facto:  Why we’re still arguing a Death Penalty case 34 years later

This case is so old, I’ve added the “History” tag.  Oh for the days when a horse thief was found guilty on Monday and hung on Tuesday.  So you know where we’re heading before we get lost in the decades, SCOTUS has been petitioned to grant cert.  No reaction yet, but I suspect they will […]

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How to write like a lawyer (a good one), at least according to a PA SCt Justice

January 3, 2012

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How to write like a lawyer (a good one), at least according to a PA SCt Justice

An associate justice of the PA Supreme Court wrote an article entitled, “The Necessity of Clarity and Brevity in Legal Writing.”  All due respect to one of our Supreme Leaders, but the article reads more like a reminder of the basics rather than one providing deep insights into litigation success.  Regardless, the basics – particularly […]

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Preview of selected SCOTUS Arguments – January 2012

January 2, 2012

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Preview of selected SCOTUS Arguments – January 2012

SCOTUS has 12 cases presently set for oral argument in January 2012.  I’ve grabbed four I thought may be of interest to you. The first case pits the strong arm of the federal government against us little guys in Sackett v. EPA (10-1062).  It’ll be argued on January 9, 2012.  Check this out: Chantell and […]

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Lawsuit of the Day: I’m not entirely sure what to do with this …

January 1, 2012

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Lawsuit of the Day:  I’m not entirely sure what to do with this …

So I pull a civil complaint – Estate of Stacie Smith v. Casto.  I immediately set aside that the attorney, filing on behalf of the mother as personal representative for the estate, misspelled Stacie’s name in the caption as “Stacice.”  I like civil cases that have underlying criminal matters.  Stacie, sad to say, was murdered. […]

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Tripping through Legal History at the end of 2011

December 31, 2011

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Tripping through Legal History at the end of 2011

Let’s look over our shoulders at what happened on or around this day in legal history … On December 31, 1775, George Washington ordered recruiting officers to accept free blacks into the army.  Concerning slaves, Washington had a mixed history.  He owned slaves for most of his life, as president he sent money to France to […]

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When Habeas Corpus Fails

December 30, 2011

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When Habeas Corpus Fails

The Writ of Habeas Corpus (Latin – We command that you have the body) is a cornerstone of our Constitutional rights.  Properly filed, it requires the government to produce an incarcerated person and to defend the basis for the imprisonment.  If the government’s defense fails, the person walks … kinda sorta that’s how it works […]

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Eyewitness testimony: Remembering what you didn’t see

December 29, 2011

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Eyewitness testimony:  Remembering what you didn’t see

Set aside the alleged over-importance jurors give to Expert Witnesses when it’s explained from the comfortable confines of his $3,000 hand-tailored suit that Analyses A and B led to Conclusion C with a 99.9944% accuracy, and then the DA rams home during closing argument that Conclusion C points to and only to the guilt of […]

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Lawsuit of the Day: Can necessity excuse cannibalism?

December 28, 2011

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Lawsuit of the Day:  Can necessity excuse cannibalism?

“Necessity,” which we’ll discuss later in this post, is a legal concept that excuses certain otherwise illegal acts.  A common example is torching a house to stop the progress of a fire which would otherwise take out an entire neighborhood.  The Arson is overlooked for the greater good. A less dramatic example is when a […]

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Homicides & Gun Permits

December 27, 2011

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Homicides & Gun Permits

If you want the politically sanitized version of this discussion – “If we just got rid of every gun in the world, unicorns would prosper and every day would have rainbows” – Google “homicides and gun permits” then enjoy. I’ll make it easy for you – read this tripe.  I have no use for such contorted […]

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Excluding Evidence: A Primer and Lesson as the US DOJ Goes Down

December 26, 2011

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Excluding Evidence:  A Primer and Lesson as the US DOJ Goes Down

We’ve all heard of cases where evidence was excluded from the eyes and ears of the jury.  Television is full of dramatic examples.  Wailing waifs can be heard to claim that some criminal “got off on a technicality.”  Probably the first example most folks would give is a cop searching without a Warrant.  That evidence, […]

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