Guns / Firearms

In the wake of the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colorado, President Obama cut short his campaign schedule and issued a call for unity. At an abbreviated stop in Florida, the president said:

I am so moved by your support, but there are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.

Good luck with that.

Our media and political environment don’t allow for reflection on much of anything in the best of times. What do you think is going to happen during an election year?

The Wall Street Journal is already wondering if this shooting is going to cause increased focus on gun laws. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come out and said that both President Obama (whose administration has done nothing to restrict guns) and Mitt Romney need to clarify their positions on gun regulations. Meanwhile conservatives are criticizing anybody who brings up gun control for trying to “politicize” the moment.

I believe that tragedies are a bad time to make policy, and I choose to believe that no law could have stopped the actions of a madman who wants to kill teenagers in a movie theater. As Alfred said: “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” The suspect, James Holmes, allegedly had his hair painted and claimed he was the Joker.

I don’t think gun restrictions would have stopped this man (which doesn’t mean we had to make it easy for him).

If we’re going to reflect on something today, I’m not sure it’s useful to reflect on our laws, instead maybe we should reflect on our culture…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Obama Says There Will Be ‘Other Days For Politics,’ But Will There Ever Be A Day To Address the Violence In Our Culture?”

In one of his ballads, Jim Croce warned that there are four things that you just don’t do: “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape/ You don’t spit into the wind/ You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger/ And you don’t mess around with Jim.” He could have added a fifth warning to that list: “And you don’t let pistol-packing mother catch you naked in her daughter’s closet.”

– Judge Edward Carnes in the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling in Larry Butler v. Sherriff of Palm Beach County, Dorethea Collier. In the case, Ms. Collier, a corrections officer, threatened to shoot Larry Butler when she found him “coupling” with her daughter.

Grenade launcher not included.

Law school is freaking expensive. Duh. If you can’t afford the education without loans, some people would vehemently argue that you shouldn’t go at all. But if you’re dead-set on the legal profession and you’re desperate for ways to pay for it, people are coming up with all kinds of creative solutions. Some people fundraise on the internet… and some sell their old assault rifles.

So if any of our readers need a new fully automatic M16 AND feel like helping an aspiring law student reach his dreams, have we got a deal for you….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Need Money for Law School? Just Sell Your Machine Gun”

This is one law professor you don't want to trap in a closet.

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, there’s an interesting ongoing brouhaha at Nova Southeastern between the school and a professor who claims he was fired after the school misinterpreted some of his jokes. Jokes about shooting people, but jokes nonetheless.

Now it seems to me that any professor who actually decided to teach at Nova Southeastern would eventually contemplate things he could do with a gun. But I imagine even students willing to go to Nova Southeastern would think twice about it if they had to dodge a hail of bullets while sitting in class. So I guess they have to take even jokes about this very seriously.

And, hey, for the rest of us, it’s an opportunity to see exactly what you have to do to get fired after you get tenure….

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* Pay up or shut up: Dewey former partners need to worry about getting our kneecaps busted by the banks that loaned us money to fulfill our capital contributions? [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]

* Senate leaders reached a tentative deal to keep student-loan interest rates at 3.4%. Too bad this only applies to undergrads — law students are still left holding the bag. [Wall Street Journal]

* Your mom probably told you not to be a tattletale, but evidently that kind of behavior really pays off in court. Adam Smith, formerly of Galleon, was sentenced to only two years’ probation for his “very substantial” aid in Raj Rajaratnam’s insider trading trial. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Forty-six CEOs on the 2012 Fortune 500 list went to law school, but only four hold degrees from schools outside the U.S. News Top 100, and just one went to an RNP school. Yikes. [U.S. News & World Report]

* Was this Nova Law professor “mentally deranged enough to engage in a campus shooting rampage”? That’s apparently what members of the administration thought when they fired him. [National Law Journal]

* Anna Gristina, the accused “Millionaire Madam,” was released last night on $250K bond after spending four months behind bars. Looks like it’s back to the world’s oldest profession for this soccer mom. [Reuters]

Flo Rida

* Flo Rida was caught lying to a judge in the “slave wages” case filed by his former assistant, who claims he paid her only $3.08 an hour. Now he has been ordered to cough up $7,000. Not cool, Flo. [Inquisitr]

* Is News Corp. going to divide itself in two? [Dealbook / New York Times]

* Speaking of job changes, Patrick Fitzgerald, the outgoing U.S. Attorney for Chicago, will be replaced on an interim basis by long-time prosecutor Gary S. Shapiro on July 1. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* I admit, when I first saw the words “heroin burrito” I thought: that sounds delicious. Not because of the heroin, necessarily. Burritos are simply very tasty. [New York Daily News]

Justice Keith Blackwell

* Congratulations to Justice Keith Blackwell, the newest member of the Georgia Supreme Court! [Associated Press]

* Defense attorneys for a man on trial for assaulting a priest who allegedly abused him as a child are now claiming prosecutorial misconduct. Can you spell M-E-S-S? [Mercury News]

* A police officer in Carteret, N.J. saved Ellen Shane’s life by shooting and killing the man who held her hostage at knife point. But apparently that wasn’t enough, and now she has sued the city for $5 million. If she wins, she might want to consider donating the money to her lucky stars. [Newark Star-Ledger]

* Dewey still have some folks who owe us money? Yes we do. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Facebook will change its terms of service, specifically regarding the way it handles “sponsored stories” in order to settle a large lawsuit [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* A man opposing a Virginia attorney in a child custody hearing shot at the lawyer outside the courthouse. Luckily, he missed. [Gettysburg Times]

*The Fifth Circuit said yes, the law firm of Smith & Fuller is on the hook for $30,000 for accidentally releasing its client’s secret information. [ABA Journal]

* Recently released interviews with George Zimmerman tell his side of the death of Trayvon Martin. [New York Times]

*The Electronic Frontier Foundation is stepping in represent Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal and the defendant in this mess. [Electronic Frontier Foundation]

* Really, Prometheus was the kind of movie that allows you to think “putting in some lawyers couldn’t have hurt.” [Point of Law]

* Republicans are just better at naming laws than Democrats. I don’t know why that is, but it is. [Recess Appointment]

* Stand your ground laws increase homicides. Tomorrow, the gun lobby will tell us that we need to arm ourselves because of the epidemic of people standing their ground and killing innocent, unarmed Americans who weren’t able to buy a gun. [WSJ Law Blog]

* I almost feel bad for Anthony Kennedy. Every objective indicator proves that he was wrong about what the impact of Citizens United would be, and every month brings a new opportunity to shame Kennedy again. [Election Law Blog]

* Do you take the Metro North home every day? Like Pete Campbell, you might need an apartment in the city. [Dealbreaker]

* Defense rests in Roger Clemens trial. I guess the jurors will have to go back to counting sheep in order to get their rest in. [NPR]

* A judge who meditated would freak me out. Especially if the judge meditated about how you shouldn’t judge people. [Underdog]

As Brian Tannebaum wrote earlier today, many lawyers (and their cases) live and die by the ticking of the clock. Any attorney — or anyone who’s ever talked with an attorney — has heard about late nights struggling to file a brief by deadline.

So what happens when a litigant files a motion for appeal at 3 a.m. instead of the 12 a.m. deadline, and the judge allows the late filing anyway, then dismisses it on the merits… leading to yet another appeal?

In our Benchslap of the Day, Judge Frank Easterbrook writes, “it does not take a reference to Cinderella to show that midnight marks the end of one day and the start of another.” But maybe the plaintiff in the case does need to remember that he turns into a pumpkin at midnight, not 3 a.m….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Benchslap of the Day: You Were Late for a Very Important Date, Deal with It”

* Do you still have to pay for legal research? I say “yes.” You have to pay for it right up until the moment you feel comfortable walking into a partner’s office and saying, “This is everything I could find on Google.” [Legal Blog Watch]

* Chinese female lawyers in China are amazingly successful compared to their Western counterparts. Theories abound as to why, but I like the theories that blame American children for being whiny brats who need their mommies all the time. [The Careerist]

* One would expect nothing less from Warren Buffett’s bodyguard. [Dealbreaker]

* The upside of having children’s birthday parties at gun ranges is that the children will get to see natural selection in action. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* At least Kwame Brown is proving that we still have campaign finance laws. [Washington Post]

* Wasn’t this a subplot in Happy Gilmore? [Constitutional Daily]

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