Jury Duty

Have you seen this law student? Seriously.

* Austin Tice, a Georgetown Law student, freelance journalist, and former Marine Corps officer, is missing in Syria. We hope he’s okay. [McClatchy]

* The nightlife lawyer is already back in the news. He’s repping a new high-profile plaintiff: an NYC cop whose foot got run over by some d-bag in a Ferrari. Make it rain! [Jalopnik]

* Former Allen & Overy partner Edward M. De Sear got arrested AGAIN on child pornography charges. We’ll definitely have more on this tomorrow. [The Record]

* I understand wanting to eliminate viral ads targeted at kids, but who would I be without all those old Crossfire, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and “Hey, it could happen!” McDonald’s television ads? [Threat Level / Wired]

* Jurors in Apple v. Samsung have been deliberating for two days now. I scream, you scream, we all scream — for a verdict. [CNET]

* California’s state legislature passed an act that would force law enforcement to get a warrant before gathering GPS or other location-tracking data from cell phones. All you drug dealers, it’s time to re-up on a new burner. [Ars Technica]

* I don’t think Esquire means what you think it means. Seriously. You can’t give yourself the title when your law license is suspended. No one cares if you read the magazine or own land. [WSJ Law Blog]

What. A. Day. Long long ago, in a time before lunch, I again trekked down to San Jose to watch the closing arguments in Patent Super Bowl 2012: Apple v. Samsung. That, and go through the most boring morning of my life, as close to 40 attorneys, dozens of spectators, reporters, and the unseen masses in the overflow room, sat through a reading of 109 pages of jury instructions.

But after lunch, we finally got what we hoped for: four hours of impressive performances from Charles Verhoeven, Bill Lee, and Harold McElhinny. We’ve probably got a year’s worth of Quotes of the Day from this afternoon, but by the end of the day, one phrase, one idea was abundantly clear: “The world is watching.”

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Well, it’s that time. Cue the Gladiator theme. Testimony in Apple v. Samsung is over, and closing statements are tomorrow. Any and all attempts at settlement have failed epically. Assuming I can get a seat, I’ll be down in San Jose watching and tweeeting the proceedings tomorrow. First, let’s take a look at some predictive analysis of how the world could change depending on who wins the jury’s favor.

It’s still anyone’s ball game, so journo-pundits, unleash the hyperbole and high-minded rhetoric!

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We’ve written countless times about the ways that people have tried to get out of jury duty. While some of them have managed to shirk their civic duties, others have been less successful.

In rare (unpublicized) cases, potential jurors have been more than willing to serve their time. But sometimes, real-life courtroom drama meets with television drama featuring plots ripped straight from the headlines — and that’s where things get messy.

But not in this judge’s courtroom….

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The hot topics in jury misconduct these days are mostly about jurors who over-share or over-research cases on the internet or social media. Everyone is legitimately concerned about what jurors find online about the cases they hear. Sometimes big-time attorneys even get lambasted by judges for allowing certain information to be published in the media — even though jurors have already been instructed not to look at at any press.

But that doesn’t mean old-school water-cooler gossip has disappeared from the list of headaches uncooperative jurors can cause. In Florida this week, a high-profile, extraordinarily slow-moving murder case was delayed yet again after the judge dismissed the entire jury selection pool because of excessive pick a little talk a little cheep cheep cheep

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It’s been quite a while since we checked in on the ongoing military prosecution of Private Bradley Manning, the United States serviceman accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of confidential documents to Wikileaks.

This week, as the court-martial is still crawling forward, Manning’s attorneys raised the point that it will be pretty hard (read: freaking impossible) to find a military jury that isn’t seriously familiar with his case.

That isn’t totally surprising. When you are the face of the biggest leak of classified information an American history, it’s going to be hard to find “peers” who don’t know who you are or what you’ve allegedly done. So what are you gonna do about it?

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Joseph Amendola

* Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, has a very lawyerly license plate — and expired tags, too? [Deadspin]

* In other sports law news, Darren Heitner says at least one football helmet manufacturer should be afraid, be very afraid, of concussion litigation. [Forbes]

* A pop culture blogger, Jenni Maier, is rudely awakened to the boring, sexless, receding-hairline-filled real world of jury duty. [Crushable]

* A pair of former Lawyers of the Day, Michael Tein and Guy Lewis, are in trouble again — this time for allegedly acting “recklessly and unprofessionally” twowards the judge in a wrongful death case they were handling. [Miami Herald]

* The Minnesota Supreme Court rules that a Mortuary Science student was legally flunked for making fun (on Facebook) of the cadaver she had to dissect. Chalk up another point to the Facebook Fun Police. [City Pages]

* Senior U.S. District Judge Robert J. Kelleher, the oldest serving federal judge, died at 99 in California. [Associated Press]

I was called to serve jury duty yesterday morning in the pastoral East Bay suburb of Walnut Creek, in Contra Costa County, California.

I only had to stay until about lunchtime, because I actually don’t live in that county, and shouldn’t have been called anyway (my driver’s license still has my parents’ address on it, blah blah). I spent the morning waiting and getting general instructions from the jury clerk. But I was excused pretty much as soon as we actually got into the courtroom, so I didn’t have to have my friend call in a bomb threat to escape serving, like this brainiac.

My colleague Elie Mystal wrote about his jury service somewhat recently, and I have no desire to be repetitious. What was interesting about my experience yesterday was how completely different was from when I was called last year in Oakland.

Let’s just say, “the wilderness downtown” has very different meanings depending on whether you’re in the suburbs or the city….

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A hacked Romney is a sad Romney.

* Scott Walker, the not-exactly-beloved governor of Wisconsin who cut collective bargaining rights for most public workers, is still popular enough to survive a state recall election. In related news, the nation’s Republicans wish to report that, yes, they feel great this morning. [New York Times]

* If they keep dismissing jurors in the Roger Clemens trial, pretty soon it’ll be 12 Angry Men the sequel: 12 Empty Chairs and a Mistrial. [Bloomberg Law]

* Someone hacked Mitt Romney’s email. Gawker published a massive expose didn’t even peek at the emails and informed the Romney camp straightaway. Wait, really? [Gawker]

* The New York City Bar Association says it’s okay to do online research about prospective jurors, as long as the jurors don’t know about it. So, basically, that means you can’t friend the cute redhead on Facebook, even as part of your “research” for the case. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Who knew that the Barnes & Noble children’s section is apparently a pedo hangout? [The Consumerist]

* An employee in the Texas State Attorney General’s office was convicted of abusing her position to commit identity theft. And it was fun, fun, fun, until she was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in the slammer. [Courthouse News Service]

Casey Anthony: Who you gonna call?

It’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since the verdict in the trial of Casey Anthony, who was accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony. The acquittal of Casey Anthony, which generated strong emotional responses — hear, e.g., this 10-second voicemail — still fascinates, and infuriates, many people.

At least that’s what I concluded after attending a very interesting event at Pace Law School last night, a panel discussion on the Casey Anthony case (for which I received CLE credit, yay). The auditorium was packed, and the energy in the crowd — and on the stage, where the passionate panelists sparred with each other — was palpable.

It was fascinating to see Jeff Ashton, the lead prosecutor, and J. Cheney Mason, co-counsel for Casey Anthony (with Jose Baez), essentially re-argue the case. They were joined by a celebrated television jurist, Judge Alex Ferrer (aka Judge Alex), and a noted novelist and law professor, Thane Rosenbaum of Fordham Law School.

So what was discussed at the panel? If you’re looking for a quick primer on the Casey Anthony prosecution, so you can sound intelligent the next time your daytime-television-addicted aunt asks you about it at Thanksgiving, keep reading….

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