We mentioned yesterday morning that James Holmes, the accused Batman movie theater shooter, had been seeing a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, Denver, who was so alarmed by his behavior that she contacted the University’s “Threat Assessment” team.
Following that revelation, commentators are now asking if the University of Colorado could face duty to warn liability in the wake of the shooting. Let the hypothesizing begin…
* Global agribusiness group Monsanto Co was awarded $1 billion in a patent infringement case against DuPont for improperly duplicating some kind of crazy seed technology. [New York Times]
* For particularly thick-headed employers who don’t understand it’s a bad idea to ask employees for Facebook passwords, now Illinois will fine them $200 for doing so. [Chicago Tribune]
* A federal judge in Washington sanctioned well-known plaintiff’s attorney Joy Ann Bull for filing grossly inflated fee statements. She was consequently asked to resign her partnership at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd. Welcome to the breadline! [LegalNewsline]
* Should a trial judge who is a Brooklyn Law grad recuse himself from a case against Brooklyn Law filed by Brooklyn Law alumni? Meh… [National Law Journal]
* As Ralph Baxter nears retirement, who will be chosen to lead Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe? [Am Law Daily]
* The Ninth Circuit already issued an injunction against Arizona’s new late-term abortion ban. Like they say, it’s all about shakin’ hands and killing kissin’ babies. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
* The psychiatrist James Holmes was seeing at the University of Colorado was so alarmed by his behavior sometime before his alleged shooting spree that she notified the school’s “threat assessment team,” but apparently nothing was done. Looks like someone missed the assessment boat, by like, and ocean or two. [Denver Post]
* Jason Cai, the software engineer convicted in the spring of murdering a young attorney, was sentenced today to life in prison without parole and ordered to pay more than $700,000 to the slain woman’s family. [Mercury News]
* An appeals court revived a discrimination lawsuit filed by a woman against her employer. And nobody cares. Wait, hold on a sec. Her employer is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. What, what, whaaaat? [WSJ Law Blog]
* James Holmes, the man accused of last week’s movie theater shooting spree, has been formally charged with 142 criminal counts. They include 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the first degree. [Courthouse News Service]
* The Twinkie defense is so played out. Now, courtesy of an ex-Citigroup employee, introducing the brand spanking new “Where’s Waldo” defense. [Reuters]
* India’s largest and oldest television network has accused Nielsen of violating the FCPA by manipulating viewership data in favor of networks that offer bribes. Say it ain’t so! [Hollywood Reporter]
* Will consultation with victims’ families determine whether James Holmes deserves the death penalty? You could probably consult with a wall to make that determination and get the same result. [PrawfsBlawg]
* Just like that, with incredible ninja-like speed, someone has already filed a negligence suit against the Aurora Century 16 Theater where the shootings took place. [Gawker]
* And no, sorry to disappoint you, but notwithstanding his self-admitted teeny peeny, we don’t think that James Holmes decided to go on a shooting spree because he got rejected by a few women on Adult Friend Finder. [Jezebel]
* While we’re talking about gun violence, Mike Bloomberg has got a great idea: all police officers should go on strike until legislators push through stricter gun laws. How is a nanny state supposed to work properly when all the governesses are off duty? [Gothamist]
* Knowledge is power in the hands of a client, especially when the knowledge you’ve given them is just another tool to piss off opposing counsel during a deposition. [Popehat]
* Personal responsibility fail: allowing your 13-year-old to drive you home because you’re wasted. Fathering fail: believing that was a good idea in the first place. [Legal Juice]
* A fake TV show starring a wheelchair-bound paraplegic paralegal? You know you’d watch this. [The Onion]
* The easiest way to stop James Holmes from becoming a celebrity and inspiring copycats is to stop trying to monetize the Aurora killings to turn a profit with ad revenue, but Professor David Kopel says it in more elegant terms. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Of course there’s a law school death watch list. Now, it would be nice to think that these law schools would shut down, but there are still people willing to fill the seats. You should’ve known better than to assume a silly thing like employment statistics would stop people from applying. [Legal Blog Watch]
* Divorce for men: it’s “not for women.” These family law practitioners may want to get together with Dr. Pepper for some kind of a licensing deal. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A pube sandwich is a very creative culinary treat — unfortunately, the recipe isn’t taught in sandwich artist school. FYI, the price to serve it to a police officer is $13,750. [Gothamist]
* The next time your husband complains about your sex life or lack thereof, just tell him that it’s against the law for married women to fornicate. Or that you’ve had a headache for the past few years. [Legal Juice]
The rush to judgment for James Holmes — the suspect shooter in the Aurora, Colorado movie massacre — is in full swing. I’m not here to defend this guy, but the bloodlust in our culture is fairly shocking. From the Daily News (via Marin):
I just, man, I’m just going to note, again, that BATMAN tries not to kill people. And I don’t think that comic book ideal is so unattainable for a civilized society. The desire for revenge is a natural emotion, but it doesn’t have to be public policy.
In any event, those looking for the ultimate vengeance against this apparent psycho might well get their wish. Though Colorado has been very cautious with its approach to the death penalty, the Holmes prosecutor has a reputation for going out of her way to seek it….
* Presidential campaigns for Election 2012 are focusing in on the Supreme Court and future appointments to the high court, and Vice President Joe Biden is really not a fan of Justice Scalia. [POLITICO]
* Dewey know what the ramifications of D&L’s $50M insurance policy will mean for the resolution of the failed firm’s bankruptcy proceedings? Well, Steve Davis is probably happy. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
* Howrey going to pay off all of our creditors? Probably by dipping into the coffers of the 70 other law firms that took on our defectors. Have fun with all of those subpoenas. [Capital Business / Washington Post]
* The percentage of women in Biglaw partnership positions is up 2.8% since 2003, but the equity gender gap remains. At least some progress is being made. [National Law Journal]
* “I thought your papers were terrific, I just disagreed with them.” Kleiner Perkins isn’t a fan of backhanded compliments, so the firm is appealing a judge’s decision to keep Ellen Pao’s case out of arbitration. [Reuters]
* James Holmes, the alleged shooter in the Aurora movie-theater massacre, is scheduled to make his first court appearance today for an initial advisement. Thus far, he’s facing at least 71 charges. [Denver Post]
* The class action suit filed against Cooley Law over its allegedly deceptive employment statistics has been dismissed, much like the NYLS lawsuit before it. More on the dismissal to come later today. [WSJ Law Blog]
* “Sex isn’t going to buy me dinner.” Michael Winner, the attorney accused of offering “pro boner” assistance to female inmates, claims in an interview that the allegations against him are “just plain false.” [WSB-TV Atlanta]
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…
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The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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