Last week, I tested out a longer-form article picking up other stories from the week and stuff that got overlooked and put together a sort of “week in review.” Folks seemed to like it according to our handy-dandy analytics, so we’re trying it again to see if it was just a fluke of the busiest legal news week of the year.
So here are three bits of legal news from the holiday-shortened week that was, including the George Zimmerman trial’s technical difficulties, a lot of butthurt FISA judges, and… wait, is that an honest to God Third Amendment case?!?
Ed. note: In honor of the July 4th holiday, we do not expect to publish tomorrow. We will be back on Friday, July 5th, although on a reduced publication schedule.
* These are the five cases likely to come up after Fourth of July weekend. The “boating accidents” case reminds me of a poor teen clerk telling Homer Simpson that he couldn’t operate a boat while drunk and he responded, “Sounds like a wager to me!” [The Expert Institute]
* This lawyer is also a professional at shooting off fireworks. In this job market, it’s good to have a career to fall back on. [Indiana Lawyer]
* This is the holiday to go take in a baseball game. If you’re in Michigan, you can watch the Lansing Lugnuts vs. the Lake County Captains at Cooley Law School Stadium. Wait, Cooley has a stadium? [Battle Creek Enquirer]
* The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association is planning a series of readings of the Declaration of Independence. You know, in case you have absolutely nothing to do in Texas tomorrow. [KLTV]
* On a similar note, in Massachusetts, there was an annual reading of Frederick Douglass’s famed take on the Fourth of July from the perspective of abolitionists. [Cape Cod Daily]
* In non-holiday news, the George Zimmerman trial ground to a halt today when Skype testimony was bombarded by pranksters constantly pinging the witness’s account. Video after the jump….
* The Obama administration has decided to delay the employer health care mandate until 2015. What does that mean for you? Well, since you’re not a business, you still have to purchase health insurance by 2014. Yay. [Economix / New York Times]
* Untying the knot is harder than it looks: Gay couples stuck in loveless marriages they’ve been unable to dissolve due to changing state residency may be able to find new hope in the Supreme Court’s recent DOMA decision. [New York Times]
* Clinical professors are pushing the ABA to amend its accreditation standards to require practical skills coursework. Amid faculty purges, they’re committed to do whatever it takes for additional job security. [National Law Journal]
* If you’re heading to a law school recruitment forum and want to get ahead in the applications process, make your mark by acting professionally, not by dressing like a d-bag. [U.S. News & World Report]
* “As a parent we’re not always proud of everything they do.” Of course there’s a prosecution inquiry being made into the Don West ice cream cone picture that ended up on Instagram. [Orlando Sentinel]
A dizzying array of legal news delivered almost non-stop for an entire week. Emotional highs when DOMA is struck down, lows when a pillar of the legal landscape for nearly 50 years is swept aside, leaving millions of Americans even more concerned about their constitutional rights than they were before. There was an epic filibuster and failed jokes. This was a hell of a week to be covering the law.
As the frenzied week draws to a close, I decided to look back and compile my personal review of the major events of the week, gathered in one omnibus post.
So let’s take a look at the week that was ranging from Aaron Hernandez to the Supreme Court…
* A company is selling pork-laced bullets to “keep Islamics from going to Heaven.” Ever since Denny’s, they’re putting bacon in everything… [CBS Seattle]
* Justice Thomas is really terrible. This is probably why #UncleThomas is trending on Twitter. [Jezebel]
* A feminist critique of law reviews based on the Russell Crowe film, Gladiator. This sounds intriguing. [TaxProf Blog]
* If you wanted to know how the judge decided the audio expert issue in the Zimmerman trial, we’ve got you covered. If you wanted to know when attorney Don West will compile his collection of Greatest Opening Statement Jokes, we have no idea. [The Expert Institute]
* TNT has a new show dropping teams in Tasmania and forcing them to endure… a knockoff of The Amazing Race and Survivor. But an L.A.-based attorney is on this Friday trying to win $100,000, or what we used to call “a year-end bonus.” [TNT Newsroom]
* Ken White breaks down all the charges against Edward Snowden. To avoid these charges, Snowden is holed up in the transit zone of the Moscow airport, which I hear has a really terrible TGI Friday’s where Snowden will get to eat for the indefinite future. [Popehat]
If you are my age, this is probably the first ‘damsel’ you proactively hoped would not be saved.
* This is interesting, a lawyer for Paula Deen is saying the woman suing the (former) Food Network star has no standing for claiming a racially hostile environment because the plaintiff is white. So… white people can’t get offended by a lunatic running around talking about dancing ni****s? [ABA Journal]
* I was going to say, “I think Indiana Jones would be worse if he had a contract lawyer as a sidekick.” But then I remembered the Steven Spielberg ruined an entire movie because he wanted to bone Kate Capshaw and, yeah, I’d have taken a lawyer sidekick over her any day. [Legal Geeks]
* I’m constantly amazed at how the SCOTUS clerks don’t leak. I mean, the NSA freaking leaked. [Judicial Clerk Review]
* Vance basically means that if you are broke and you’ve been dying to smack your partner’s administrative assistant on the ass, go for it. “Conservatives” think that’s just fine. [Huffington Post]
* Eric Holder comes clean on his involvement with the James Rosen search warrant, and to the chagrin of many, he isn’t plotting the death of journalism. That, or he’s a big liar. You pick. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* George Zimmerman is going to be staring down an all-female jury for the next few weeks in his murder trial. And let me tell you, that’s going to be so much fun when everyone’s cycles start to sync up. [CNN]
* It’s amazing that the Framers’ intentions can be applied to true love. Best wishes to Ilya Shapiro on his new marriage. Professor Josh Blackman is one hell of a wedding speaker. [CATO @ Liberty]
* Is there an appropriate way to deal with cosmetic surgery — like a breast enlargement, breast reduction, or a nose job — in the office? Just be ready for people to talk about you. [Corporette]
* Former Above the Law columnist Jay Shepherd offers up the secret to lawyer happiness in just six minutes, while taking shots at the world’s largest law firm and the world’s shortest movie star. [jayshep]
* As we noted last week (third item), Judge Rosenbaum recognized that the government was bound to have phone records of the defendant since they were dragnetting the whole friggin’ country. Now the government has responded and predictably claims that this is all classified. [Southern District of Florida Blog]
* Speaking of follow-ups, remember how NYU Law was using non-profit slush funds to pay for housing for professors? Well, they also provided sweetheart loans for summer houses. [New York Times]
* The battle rages over the admissibility of audio expert witness testimony in the George Zimmerman trial. At least Howard Greenberg isn’t going to be there to call them all whores. [The Expert Institute]
* With the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policy about to get smacked down in federal court, it’s important to remember there’s nothing wrong with “stop and frisk” — just every single way that it’s been applied for over a decade. [Vocativ]
* For our law professor readers, cognitive psychology says you get more fair results if you grade exams by question rather than grading the whole exam at once. It also means you’re not as likely to find 15 whole exams missing and fail to grade one student’s exam for weeks on end (in fairness, I ran into Professor Winkler and he assures me he eventually graded that exam). [Concurring Opinions]
* Communications between Superman and a minister in Man of Steel would likely be shielded by Kansas law. A better question is what law are we going to use to prosecute Superman for wontonly demolishing a city? [The Legal Geeks]
* If you’re living the Bitcoin lifestyle, you’re probably about to get taxed. [TaxProf Blog]
* A case of Supreme Court techciting gone wild: What happens when your book is cited in a SCOTUS opinion, but to express an opinion you’ve never endorsed before? A whole lot of irony. [New York Times]
* The Justice Department is dropping its appeal over a federal order that would allow promiscuous prosti-tots minors to access the morning-after pill. Hooray, over-the-counter emergency contraception for all! [CNN]
* The National Law Journal just released the most recent edition of the NLJ 350. As we saw in the Am Law 100 and 200, “economic wariness” was pervasive throughout Biglaw in 2012. [National Law Journal]
* More women are “bringing home the bacon,” but it’s the cheap store brand because they can’t afford better. It’s been 50 years since the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, and women are still earning less money than men. [ABC News]
* When it came time for the ABA to change the time frame for law schools to submit jobs data, it pushed the decision back till August. Adopting the wait-and-see method already, huh? [ABA Journal]
* Jury selection has begun in the Trayvon Martin murder trial, where the verdict will hinge upon George Zimmerman’s credibility. It’s like we’re learning about trials for the first time, you guys. [Bloomberg]
Judge Debra Nelson charged through a string of motions in a pre-trial hearing this morning, including a ruling that the case will actually go to trial on June 10 as scheduled. The defense had sought a delay because apparently a one-witness case was too difficult to prepare in a mere 16 months or so.
But the real action revolved around the evidentiary rulings. Most of the rulings were pretty straightforward. A little, too straightforward.
What I mean is that most of the evidence at issue was so obviously prejudicial that the only purpose served by attempting to introduce the evidence is to take advantage of press coverage to poison the well of potential jurors…
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The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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