Animal Rights

In December, Steven Wise, founder and president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, filed writs of habeas corpus on behalf of four chimpanzees he believed were wrongfully detained. Some scoffed at the idea — quips like “the law is going to the apes” or something about “appeals” and “banana peels” — but the facts were pretty bleak. One of the chimps, Tommy, is 26 years old and allegedly reduced to a life in “solitary confinement in a small, dank, cement cage in a cavernous dark shed” in upstate New York. Can you imagine more horrific conditions than upstate New York?

Seriously though, Tommy’s life sounds awful and a New York judge agreed. While admitting that he was unable to grant the order since, you know, the law doesn’t talk about chimps, Judge Joseph Sise conceded that Wise made a compelling argument. Yesterday, a five-member appellate panel heard Tommy’s case and depending on how they rule, they might just make a monkey out of Judge Sise. Is New York on the brink of a revolution in animal law?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Appeals Court Hears Chimpanzee Rights Case”

If every jury heard cases like this, it would almost be worth it to blow a week sitting on a trial. Speaking of blowing, a 61-year-old man allegedly tried to get some gentle cows to show him a good time back in September. I say “tried” because apparently the cows didn’t go for either the carrot or stick and rejected the man’s overtures.

Shut down in the barnyard, eh? Talk about failing to find love in a hopeless place.

Anyway, getting jilted by a cow was only the beginning of his alleged real-life game of FarmVille, and the man’s trial has provided non-stop entertainment for the jury as everything from the testimony to the judge’s instructions have elicited laughter from the jury box.

Bow Chick(en) Bow Wow!

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cow Rejects Man’s Sexual Advances. What Happens Next… Is the Jury Laughs At Him.”

Do chimpanzees deserve legal personhood? A “first of its kind” lawsuit will ask a court to answer that question. Steven Wise, founder and president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, has filed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of four chimpanzees.

I will now pause while James Franco auditions for the role of Steven Wise.

I’m not sure what rights chimpanzees (or pets) deserve in our human society — but “zero” seems to me to be the wrong and certainly unenlightened answer. Wise argues that the chimps are being held as prisoners against their will. I don’t think anybody can seriously disagree with that assessment.

But if chimps have a “will,” do they also have rights that we are bound to respect?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit Of The Apes”


* Better late than never: congratulations to everyone who passed the New Jersey bar exam. You’re just in time to get in on some Sandy class-action litigation. [New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners]

* Congratulations to all honorees from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association conference in D.C. last weekend — including, but not limited to, the Best Lawyers Under 40. [NAPABA]

* And congrats to Professor Sherrilyn Ifill, incoming president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. [Concurring Opinions]

* Does every bra made in America have Gloria Allred’s phone number sewn into it? [WSJ Law Blog]

* Who is “Portfolio Manager A” in the latest major insider-trading scandal? [Dealbreaker]

* You don’t need to be a dog lover to find these allegations abhorrent. [Alabama Live]

* Want to avoid dating Democrats (or Republicans)? There’s an app — okay, two websites — for that. [Jezebel]

* After the jump, Jeffrey Toobin and Alan Dershowitz discuss Obamacare….

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Is, is... is that a baby?

Now this is an Innocence Project.

An Australian coroner has ruled that a dingo really did eat Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton’s baby, over 30 years ago.

To put this in context, the line “a dingo ate my baby” comes from this case! This case was the basis for the movie A Cry in the Dark with Meryl Streep (though IMDB claims that the famous line was never actually spoken in this movie).

So Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, the “dingo ate my baby” lady, has been vindicated! What a world. Next thing you know, dogs will actually start eating homework, and O.J. will find his ex-wife’s real killers.

How did we come to this?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘Dingo Ate My Baby’ Defense Actually Works!”

* More law school graduates are trying to get their day in court for bankruptcy protection. Looks like these people didn’t read their student loan MPNs carefully (or at all). They state pretty clearly that you’re screwed for life. [Reuters]

* Part-time programs are closing their doors. Even Cooley Law took a hit, trimming its incoming class by one-third. Now, only 57 bajillion students get to attend the nation’s second-best law school. [National Law Journal]

* James R. Silkenat was selected as the president-elect at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting, meaning his ascension to the presidency is “virtually assured.” We can only hope that his leadership is as awesome as his combover. [ABA Journal]

* PETA’s Thirteenth Amendment whale slavery lawsuit is heading to court today in California. Maybe we’ll see if what SeaWorld calls a “baseless” and “offensive” lawsuit has got legs. Or flippers. [CNN]

* Polygamy for all! Kody Brown’s bigamy lawsuit will proceed in Utah thanks to Jonathan Turley’s lawyering. Are we going to see the drama play out on season three of Sister Wives this spring? [Associated Press]

* It turns out that Dr. Susan Friery, one of the Boston Globe’s beautiful Massachusetts lawyers of 2009, is just a doctor of laws. She was suspended for claiming otherwise late last week. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Joshua Monson, the suspected serial lawyer stabber, must regret this missed opportunity. While signing documents with his weapon of choice, he allegedly punched a corrections officer in the face. [Daily Herald]

* Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, otherwise known as “The Law Firm,” was supposed to go to law school. And even even with that loss, it looks like he still picked the right career path. [New York Times]

Herman Cain: Do you miss him yet?

* It’d be easy to say “a former Tea Party candidate posted about assassinating the President.” But it’s probably more accurate to say a crazy, racist, loony person scrawled something naughty on Facebook and is now in trouble. [Huffington Post]

* I’d like to buy this, and then use it to TP Herman Cain’s house while screaming, “It’s less complicated than your sex life!” [Tax Prof Blog]

* I wonder if, a generation from now, people will look back on Citizens United like Plessy v. Ferguson. Like, there will still be a few holdouts saying, “money is speech now, money is speech forever,” but most of society will have moved on to a more enlightened state. [Congressman John Yarmuth]

In my lifetime, Kobe has been one of the most fun players to not like.

* Maybe all we need is a simple Constitutional amendment clarifying that “only people are people.” Corporations are not people. Animals are not people. Artificially intelligent robots who one day rise up to threaten humanity’s existence are not people. [Miller-McCune]

* Oh, Kobe. When you beat a rape rap yet still have to publicly admit you bang hoteliers in Vail, you should just get divorced right then and there. No number of diamond nor championship rings is going to put that back together. She’s still going to kill you in the divorce, and all you’ve bought yourself is a few extra years of living with a woman who openly hates you. [L.A. Now via ABA Journal]

* You think bloggers suffer from group think too much? I vote for 2012 being the year when the mainstream media stops stealing story ideas from the blogs (without credit), and does some actual original reporting again. You know, like they are supposed to with their huge staffs and massive budgets. [What About Clients?]

This is perhaps the dog-gonest case ever to reach a federal appellate court.

– Judge Ronald Lee Gilman, writing for Sixth Circuit in O’Neill v. Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government, a case that involved the forcible implanting of microchips in a family’s dogs without consent.

Close, Lindsay, but no cigar.

* Rajabba is appealing his insider trading convictions and prison sentence, but someone needs to suffer for this outrage. Where are Solo and the Wookiee when you need them? [Bloomberg]

* PETA is suing SeaWorld on Thirteenth Amendment grounds for enslaving killer whales. Oh, so the only marine animals you’ll help have to be black and white? Racists. [Washington Post]

* It’s not just black Biglaw associates who get called “token,” but now it’s law professors, too. Kellen McClendon is suing Duquesne Law for race discrimination. [Courthouse News]

* Lindsay Lohan is getting a full spread in Playboy’s January issue, but won’t be doing any spreading of her own. Contract negotiation just ain’t what it used to be. [Los Angeles Times]

* When you sue for age discrimination, you probably shouldn’t discriminate against your judge, no matter what his age. At least this violinist can play his own sad song. [New York Daily News]

* The American Bar Association is hiring Carol Stevens, former managing editor of USA Today, as its new director of media relations. Yeah, ’cause it’s the media that makes the ABA look bad, not the ABA’s refusal to regulate law schools during a time of dishonesty and profiteering by member institutions. [Poynter]

* Let’s play “count the stupid lawyer stereotypes” in this paragraph, many of which could lead a person into making a grave financial mistake. [Boise Weekly]

* Look, if an animal escapes from a zoo, it wins. It shouldn’t be hunted down and taken back to captivity. That’s just natural law. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Breaking news: if you sign your name on a petition, people might find out you signed your name to a freaking petition. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Pretty awesome collection of t-shirts people are wearing in their mugshots. [New York Daily News]

* Viacom cancels Ted Olson, taps Paul Smith as his mid-season replacement. [Hollywood, Esq. / Hollywood Reporter]

* I’m trying to figure out what this report on parenting styles can tell us about Bonobo_Bro’s upbringing. [Dealbreaker]

* If you’ll be in New York on October 26 and would like to attend a free screening of the new, buzz-generating HBO documentary, Hot Coffee, followed by a conversation between Lat and director Susan Saladoff, click here to RSVP. [New America NYC]

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